Though nobody comes to this site to keep on the cutting edge of news, we would be remiss if we did not note the passing of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry yesterday at the age of 76. More than any of other luminaries whom we’ve lost in recent weeks — more than Bettie Page, more (I would argue) than Forrie Ackerman — Ms. Barrett-Roddenberry was an icon of the kind of genre fandom that has infused Western pop culture. As Nurse Chapel, she gave us occasion to see that the unflappable Mr. Spock was on occasion flappable (and gave hope to us socially-maladaptive types with bad haircuts that hot blondes would nonetheless throw themselves at us). As the universal voice of Starfleet computers, she infused our conception of computers with a personality that is still absent from our constantly used desktops (Clippy notwithstanding). As a partner to her husband Gene Roddenberry, she fostered a view of the future that, though inconsistent, maintained a certain spark that somehow attracted masses. As Lwaxana Troi, she brought a big shit-eating grin to Commander Riker’s face when she appeared naked for her own wedding, dressed only in earrings and a saucy smile.
Goodbye, Ms. Barrett-Roddenberry. You go not alone into the next realm; a part of the childhood of everyone in a broad demographic travels with you.