Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trek Interview!

Natasha Eloi and I after the Interview on Space!

A couple weeks before the Trek Movie opening I did an interview on the Space Channel here is the out come.... A fantastic Nerdarati moment! Enjoy!

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flash Storm & Rainbow Ending!

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Polly's Birthday - The Gemini Jam!

I ain't gonna lie, this is my favorite pic of Polly EVER! Not jus cause I took it but because it's HOT YO! And I am mad crazy happy she picked it for her B-Day flyer... Make sure you show up on Saturday June 13th and show her some love!

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Friday, May 15, 2009

RANT - They Don't Get It!

I have given up on feeling bad for the brick and mortar retail stores! Even worse I have given up on the music industry for not understanding how to sell music. A couple of days ago I went to go purchase the soundtrack to the new Star Trek Movie. I love the symphonic feel of the new music and so I looked up the release date of the record and it was clearly May 5th. GREAT! I'm off to stimulate the economy to the tune of $20.00 and I head out to HMV (One of the largest distributors in the world) I ask the clerk if he can help me because my initial scan of the store is a blank.... "Sure!" he says as he hands me over a copy of the Soundtrack of Star Trek Nemesis! "Um No actually I was hoping for the new movie." Blank Stare "There's a new Movie?" "Are you kidding me?" as I point to the wall of special T-Shirts devoted to the Movie. "Let me look it up" he says... "yeah it came out the 5th.... we don't have any... in fact no store has any." "Why if you have the T-Shirts do you not have the music?" I asked back, I mean I am in a music store right. "I don't order the product" he shot back.
"This is why music stores are hurting" I countered "Would you like me to order you a copy?" "No thanks Ill purchase it on itunes!" I must admit that last line was said pretty loud as I wanted others to hear my frustration.

But I really wanted the disc for this one... liner notes etc.... so I moved on to Sunrise Records. "there's a new movie?" he said... I paused and looked at him... I raised my finger to the shirts and action figures and other assorted toys Sunrise was selling devoted to this summer block buster. "It made 112 million dollars worldwide on its opening weekend... yes there is a new movie" "Would you like me to see if I can order you a copy? I can probably get it here in a week." "A week?, I can get it from amazon in a day..." Again I am leaving the store and headed off to itunes.

I am boggled by the current state of affairs when it comes to retail and music. Both of these stores clearly were selling material that was related to what I wanted but not the piece related to their core business! Whats wrong with that picture. One look in HMV and it is clear that the sign is up on the wall... there is now two isles of ipod accessories and itunes cards for sale. Apple and to a lesser extent other online services have made selling music challenging. While this example was about a movie soundtrack it is clear that other forms of music are equally hard to come by and I personally blame the music industry for over charging for their products for years.
While many of us still want to do the right thing and buy our tracks on line, the industries shortsightedness and lack of any knowledge as to what we the consumers DO want clearly illustrates know one is at the helm.

Later that night I down loaded the entire soundtrack for less than $10.00 off of itunes. I love my iphone/pod, I love Apple too but the recent change in pricing forced on to apple by the ailing music industry may continue to force others into illegal down loading. Yes I know that the tracks are now DRM free and they are at a recorded bit rate that is closer to CD quality but in my mind this is how it should have been from the beginning and at the 99 cent price point. Its not just me confirming this... itunes sales have been down since the change over. People are fed up that the music industry just doesn't get it! I have my music but the experience has left a bad taste in my mouth for HMV and Sunrise... They did not get my money.

Here is a piece of the soundtrack from the movie... enjoy!

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I remember taking pictures like this one. Mother liked pictures and therefore I am blessed with a treasure trove of images that document my life as well as her's. What the images clearly show is her love for me and my brothers and sister, she worked hard to make us happy and safe. I am still in awe of the job she did and while in the end I know she wanted more in her own life I still want her to know that what she accomplished as a mother can not be underscored enough. I am in the process of constant self analysis since my mother has passed away. Partially as a measurement of the distance from her passing but equally my memories of childhood that paint my internal portrait of her that I want so desperately to hold on too. I find myself wondering what her opinion be in many of my decisions and the way I conduct myself as a person and I often hear her subtle answers continue to guide me. I often tell people that my mother raised me right, she did, in a time that was better than today.
Happy Mothers Day!

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Trek Anew!

What You don't have your enterprise model and 12 inch action figure yet?! Better get a move on it Mr!

Ok so it's April 30th, 5 in the afternoon... my best nerd buddy has called and issued a call to be at the AMC Dundas by 7pm... My heart begins to race as I know whats up! I'm about to be included in the very first showing of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek Movie in Canada!
I pack my bag at work and I am out of there at warp speed! Making to the theater with time to spare we meet up for what was one of the best movie going experiences in a long time. Thats right! This film while not with out it flaws is a great movie on so many levels and while I will not get into each and every moment I am about to write some minor spoilers... so look at the next two pictures and if you want to know more keep reading, if not come back to this post after you have seen the flick!

Epic! with a capitol E best describes what JJ Abrams has brought to the screen with this 11th Star Trek film. This is was the minimum requirement if this movie was to succeed! JJ gets an A+ here. Six months back if you had asked me what I thought about the initial images coming out of Paramount I would have given a very visceral response, in fact I might have told you that this was the end of the franchise as the die hard fans knew it. Take the next image... when I first saw the trailer and saw them constructing the Enterprise on the ground it was a big WTF moment! After working on the Enterprise my self over the years this was clearly a travesty of canon. I felt insulted! No really I felt insulted at having bought into a carefully crafted history and look to what in my mind was already established in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of Star Trek books and models, props and costumes now seemingly washed away with what seemed like crap on the screen. How could this have happened? Even the guy who drove Star Trek into a wall Rick Berman couldn't have fracked it up this bad!?

But then bits of the story outline began to surface... Leonard Nimoy was in the film... If hes in it certainly he has a say on some of this right? A plot with time travel and altered time lines began to appear??? Hmmm Finally the release of Countdown a four part comic book prequel hits the shelf and suddenly and magically the Vail of doubt and hate is lifted off of this film. At least for me.

This is a story of how Kirk and Spock and all of the original crew come together, just not the the Kirk and Spock story I grew up on... This is a new version of history driven by a Romulan madman from the future... The Next Gen future to be exact. Ambassador Spock is indeed assisted by Picard and crew to save the know universe only to be pulled into time and space and the past. When he sees that Nero (the baddy) has affected the time line of the past he seeks to set Kirk and Spock into a meeting that ensures that at least this part of history is not missed. As we all know the universe depends on this team to save the day countless times going forward!;-)

This recreation of the two iconic characters really drives home how great a casting job JJ and team actually did! In fact casing was key to this entire film! The contributions of Simon Peg (Scotty) and Karl Urban (McCoy) are freakishly on spot for their characters providing some of the most humorous moments in the movie.

This movie is about action and after running at a medium pace for the first 30 min the movie kicks it into warp drive(which is really kewl in this version) and never looks back and if I had one critic of the film itself is that the pace never lets up... there is now emotional up and down which causes the final act to feel a bit less than satisfying. But this is a small critic and should not dissuade you from enjoying the action. As I have said this is a fun filled experience and the story reset allows for many new adventures with this heroic crew!

EN Pros: Fab casting, great script, An epic canvas, the film stays within canon.

EN Cons: Lack of dramatic build up, Spock and Uhuru? WTF!, Tyler Perry! (I'm serious he is in this movie!) As Madea he is flawless! but its that association that makes him being head of Star Fleet hard to swallow.

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Why I Live In Gene Roddenberry's World!

Lets get it out before I ramble on. I have seen the new Star Trek Movie! And I am not saying a word! Not because it wasn't good because it was! Oh boy was it good! I'm not talking because it's not out yet and I want you to see it and decide for your self... and so I will post my review before next weekend.

Tonight I want to talk about the world created by Gene Roddenberry and its importance to me and many others. I live in this world more often than not. I am aware it is not real yet its vision is one that I and others wish will come to pass more sooner than later. This is the world of Star Trek, this vision of our future is 300 years from now. In this future we have ended hunger and poverty, we have ended most disease and have created lives of personal fulfillment, contentment and peace. Racism is a pot no longer stirred on the planet earth. While commerce continues on some level, currency and rabid consumerism no longer exist. We have stepped off of this planet and have begun to venture out to other worlds. We have taken our new found understanding of diversity and our sense of curiosity and have started the journey to understand just how humanity fits in the larger universe.

Seem alien? Impossible?

Well fictionally It didn't come easy. Humanity couldn't come together until we persisted through a nuclear and biological war and a post-apocalyptic period in the mid-21st century akin to a modern dark ages. But we eventually came together again and we overcame many Earth-bound frailties and vices by the middle of the 22nd century, creating a quasi-utopian society where the central role is played not by money, but rather by the need for exploration and knowledge. It seems that the world and humanity have always evolved in the midst of conflict and hardship.

To understand the attraction to Gene's world you need to look back at the early days of Star Trek. The shows origins seem to originate out of a series of meetings begun in May of 1964. Originally conceived as a space western, a wagon train to the stars, Star Trek became so much more. Gene Roddenberry privately told friends that he was actually modeling it on Swift's Gulliver's Travels, intending each episode to act on two levels, first as a suspenseful adventure story, but also as a morality parable. The shows protagonists were essentially altruists whose ideals were sometimes only imperfectly applied to the dilemmas presented in the series. The conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek formed allegories for contemporary cultural realities: Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the day, race relations, the vietnam war, nuclear arms and the cold war.

Later versions of Star Trek in the 80's and 90's reflected issues of their respective eras. Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism and feminism, and the role of technology. Gene Roddenberry stated: "By creating a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network."

Star Trek ranks as one of the most culturally influential television shows of all time and clearly the most influential science fiction TV show of all time. The original series, which aired on the NBC network from 1966 to 1969, had spawned four successor shows starting in the 1980s and ten movies. Countless toys, a publishing franchise that is in the top 5 of all time, and other products have been marketed by Paramount, the company that owns the Star Trek "franchise." But the show's cultural influence goes far beyond its ability to replicate itself and make money for its owners.

Measuring the cultural and social impact of a TV show or event is never easy. But there are numerous indications that Star Trek has had an influence on many peoples' lives. This can be seen in a variety of ways, from the inclusion in mass-market dictionaries of words and phrases originally invented for the show, to the testimonials of people who claim that their career and life choices were influenced by Star Trek. Star Trek was the first television series aimed at adults to tell sophisticated morality tales and to depict a paramilitary crew on a peaceful mission to explore the galaxy. At the time the show's special effects were superior to anything else then depicted on TV, its stories were often written by highly regarded science fiction authors, and many of its production values, particularly costuming, were extremely high, despite the relatively limited budget of a weekly TV series. Critics who call the show cheesy ignore the fact that by the standards of the day, Star Trek was quite advanced, and it effectively raised the bar, meaning that the science fiction television shows and movies that followed it had to meet its standards of quality and maturity in order to be taken seriously.

Roddenberry envisioned a multi-ethnic crew, including an African-American woman, a Scotsman, a Japanese American, and most notably, an alien, the half-Vulcan Mr. Spock. In the second season Roddenberry added a Russian crewmember at a time when the United States was engaged in a tense cold war with the Soviet Union. Blacks and women were also shown as scientists and doctors on the ship.

Star Trek featured the first multi-racial kiss on television, when Captain Kirk kissed his communications officer, Lieutenant Uhura. The multi-ethnic nature of the bridge crew as well as its positive message that humanity would survive and thrive among the stars is often credited by writers, fans, and historians for the show's broad appeal. As many fans later explained, Star Trek presented a positive image of the future at a time when the news was filled with stories of racism, social strife, and war. When many people wondered if the world would emerge intact from the Cold War, Star Trek depicted many different races working peacefully together several hundred years into the future. At its most basic level, Star Trek had a simple humanistic message: humanity will be okay.

Star Treks vision of the future was so compelling that the show defied conventional expectations and actually became more popular and reached a much broader audience after its cancellation than it had when it was originally shown on NBC. The strength of the fan based grew by leaps and bounds via the convention circuit and by 1976, following a fan-organized letter-writing campaign, NASA named its first Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise, after the starship in the show. The Enterprise was used in a number of flight tests, but NASA canceled plans to launch it into space because it was too heavy. NASA also employed actress Nichelle Nichols, who played communications officer Lieutenant Uhura, to try to recruit African-Americans and women to become astronauts. During her work on the show in the 1960s, Nichols had become frustrated at her relative lack of lines and was considering quitting. She was talked out of this decision by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who told her that a show that depicted a black woman working alongside whites in a position of importance helped further the goal of racial equality.

In 1986, Roddenberry created a second TV show, Star Trek: The Next Generation. The new series had a less aggressive and more socially liberal message. The show drew a whole new generation to the show and influenced many people in scientific and engineering fields have stated that they were inspired by Star Trek, which they thought portrayed science and engineering in a positive light (although rarely accurately). Even physicist Stephen Hawking was a fan of the show. Although the original Star Trek series was occasionally sexist (women wore skimpy outfits and no woman was ever shown commanding a starship), many women have testified that they were positively influenced by the show's depiction of women scientists working alongside their male counterparts. Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg has said that seeing a black woman sitting on the bridge of a starship, and not working as a maid, made her believe as a young girl that she could be an actress with a real role. Mae Jamison, the first African-American woman to fly in space, has also said that she was deeply influenced by the show. Goldberg later played a regular on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Jamison made a cameo appearance on the show.

Today I saw a whole new Star Trek and I am happy to say that the world Gene Roddenberry's has made it through almost five decades intact. His vision clearly has had a positive influence on society... Advances in race relations how ever large and small have occurred. The Country has elected its first black president Barack Obama who at a campaign event in Wyoming, said the following: "I grew up on Star Trek. I believe in the final frontier." Obama's clearly shows that he too has an optimistic view of the future as portrayed by the show. Advances in medicine and science are beginning to have profound effects in society and the world Gene Roddenberry created, no more accurately prophesied back in the mid 60's is ever more alive and real today.

So yes I know its fictional, and I am a fan, but I live in Gene Roddenberry's world and believe one day his vision will be reality.