Thursday, 11 August 2022

Venster Kykers

Apartheid meant that socialising with somebody with a darker skin tone could turn your skin darker...

"There are in South Africa many thousands of people who cannot be classified according to a rigid system of racial identification. . . The lightest-coloured members of these ["border-line"] families often "passed "as whites and went to live in separate homes. Their darker relatives have been referred to as "Venster-Kykers" ["window lookers"] because, in order not to embarrass those who had "passed," they made a practice of looking studiously into shop windows in order to avoid greetings should they happen to meet on the streets." (Horrell, 1958:4, cited in Bowker & Star, 1999)

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photograph (waitress, Bezuidenhout Park, 1973; MCA/Goodman Gallery) by David Goldblatt via

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Awkward Puppets: Car Talk

"So, where do you wanna eat?"
"Umm..."
"Let me guess, let me guess.
  Taco Bell.
  Sorry."
"Where do you wanna eat?
  Starbucks?"

"So, what is it like mowing my lawn all day?"
"I don't know. What is it like eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all day?"

::: Awkward Puppets, Car Talk: WATCH

image via

Monday, 1 August 2022

Asking Nichelle Nichols about the Phenomenon of Very Excitable Fandom

First, it was a first. Now, there are all kinds of conventions that celebrate their favorites, but this was the first. And so it was very, very different. And it was very honorable, you know? They loved the show. They got it. They got that Gene Roddenberry created something in the future that "today" -- 1966 -- dispelled all the racism, all the ... Dr. King was marching, every day you'd look on the TV and people are having hoses and dogs [used on them] because they wanted to eat at a fountain -- though they wanted more than that. 



And Dr. King was the person who was guiding that. And Gene was the person who was announcing that not only was this going to succeed, but it already has, because when the 23rd century [arrives], see, there's Nichelle, there's Uhura, in the 23rd century, communication officer, fourth in command. So it didn't just start in the 23rd century. It started from what you're seeing on television every day. Men and women of the future are here now. 

[And the fans] got it. I'll just tell you one of the most important things that someone said who was white. He said, "When discrimination, when racial discrimination was outlawed, black people weren't the only people who were freed. We were freed, too. We were freed to care, we were freed to think and not be bound by racism, and protocol, and what our parents think." Because a lot of parents didn't want their kids looking at Star Trek.

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image via