Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dirk Benedict Has Lost His Frakkin' Mind

So... last week I was having dinner with a dear, dear friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in ages, and asked her if she was going to be watching BSG on Friday. "Oh, I don't watch it," she said. "I can't fathom a female Starbuck." As I pleaded with her to watch this show, insisting that regardless of whether Starbuck was a man, woman, or unicorn, this show was LEAGUES above the original, she emphatically shook her head and said her heart lay with the 1970s version of the show.

Her comments immediately brought to mind a quote in the book I worked on once, called Frak You (a companion guide to BSG) where the author quoted Dirk Benedict as saying there was something seriously wrong with a female Starbuck, and it would never work. Despite looking happy in this picture here -- with Katee Sackhoff, at a *cough* Starbucks... ba dum bum bum -- he's very very VERY bitter about the reimagined BSG (probably because he wasn't offered a part in it) and isn't afraid of saying so.

My friend Chris just sent me a link to Dirk's latest rant about "Stardoe," as he calls her, explaining that in HIS day, men were men and women were women and everyone knew his/her place. Apparently women belong on TV shows to be the conquests of the womanizing male characters, and this new version of BSG — which forces us to look at the world today and see the various shades of grey in it — is depressing and stupid. Black is black and white is white and there is good and there is evil and THE END, in Dirk's world. Starbuck was a cigar-chomping womanizing sex machine and he had a LOT of ladies sending him underwear and the Suits (his capital, not mine) hated him, and cancelled the show because of him, he implies.

But enough of me talking, let's listen to Dirk:

In the bleak and miserable “re-imagined” world of “Battlestar Galactica,” things are never that simple. Maybe the Cylons are not evil and alien but in fact enlightened and evolved? Let us not judge them so harshly. Maybe it is they who deserve to live and Adama and his human ilk who deserve to die? And what a way to go! For the re-imagined terrorists (Cylons) are not mechanical robots void of soul, of sexuality, but rather humanoid six foot tall former lingerie models who f**k you to death. (Poor old Starbuck, you were imagined too early. Think of the fun you could have had ‘fighting’ with these thong-clad aliens!) In the spirit of such soft-core, sci-fi porn I think a more re-imaginative title would have been “F**cked by A Cylon.” (Apologies to “Touched by an Angel.”)

Personally, I love the TWO asterisks he's added to his bad word at the end. How exactly does he think that word is spelled?

This was my personal favourite part:

Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars. Hamlet does not scan as Hamletta. Nor does Hans Solo as Hans Sally. Faceman is not the same as Facewoman. Nor does a Stardoe a Starbuck make. Men hand out cigars. Women “hand out” babies. And thus the world for thousands of years has gone’ round.

Seriously, does it get more awesome than that? If he were writing Lost, Kate would simply be repopulating the island while Sawyer marked off his female conquests with notches on a coconut tree. And Jack and Locke would be handing out cigars.

You can read the entire thing here. And scroll down for the comments. Some of them are what you'd expect, "Oh my god, STARBUCK! You are THE MAN, and you are totally right and the new BSG sucks!" But there are some really good ones in there pointing him out for what he really is. Like these two:

Randy - January 19th, 2009 at 10:22 amWow, a washed up actor bitter that his brief shine in the spotlight has been totally eclipsed by a far superior version of that 70s joke. Whereas Dirk glorifies and even sanctifies the cheap Star Wars ripoff that he so beloves, Ron Moore’s version takes the genre to a whole new level of intrigue and sophistication.

It’s not the Big Suit’s fault that they’re better than you, Dirk. Grow up.

Stav - January 19th, 2009 at 10:29 amDude, Katee Sackhoff’s Starbuck has a much bigger pair than your femme, hairbrushing, mirror-loving pipsqueek ever did. When I was 14 or so your old show was a great Sunday night diversion. The new BSG is like a great novel, with three-dimensional characters, a taut storyline and complex thought-provoking writing.

Don’t be an old has-been grump. Lesser storytellers provided the seeds that gave us Shakespeare. Your little romp is the seed that gave us an extraordinary five years of drama.


humanebean said...

Wow. Every so often a mindless display of chauvinism comes along to remind us that, yes, the world not too long ago took for granted that sex roles in society were Carved In Stone, Ordained By God and The Natural Order Of Things. Oh, wait, I mean OUR corner of the world.

The sad fact is that this sort of sexism is not only still tolerated in intelligent society but actually PINED for by the terminally insecure - young and old alike. One of the reasons that the reimagined BSG is innately superior to the original is that its writers are able to paint the shadows of human behavior in ways that resonate beyond the rigid confines of "traditional" society. The characters on the show struggle with their needs, insecurities and ingrained prejudices.

This kind of complexity blows the fuses of those who can't think beyond their narrow mindset. Television (well, GOOD TV) now routinely offers this rich complexity in ways previously seen more regularly in the cinema. Dirk, we look forward to someday studying your fossilized 'Homo Erectus' ... and giggling at the pun. John Hiatt had you nailed when he wrote, "I'm just so easily led/when the Little Head does the thinking...".

A.G.Wooding said...

I've never seen BSG but I know enough about Dirk Benedict 2 know that his time on the A Team has completely turned him against women. With this guy you kind of get the feeling he resents women even being on TV in the first place but hey, hes getting old, whats he got left if he can't complain a bit.
Just don't start complaining about Lost...then it gets personal. Lol

greycoupon in LJ exile said...

The best part is this essay isn't new. It was published in Dreamwatch in April 2004. (Note the reference to 13 episodes AKA season 1 in there.)

Dirk did the Starbucks thing because they paid him. He has had no issue publicly slamming Katee since then.

Chris in NF said...

I think this is my favourite bit:

"I am also sure that Show Business has been morphing for many decades now and has finally become Biz Business. The creative artists have lost and the Suits have won. Suits. Administrators. Technocrats. Metro-sexual money-men (and women), who create ever more efficient formulas to guarantee profit margins."

I have several questions I would like to ask Dirk.

(1) Can you, um, point to a time when Show Business WASN'T "biz business"??? Are you honestly arguing that late 70s network television was the acme of televisual art, only to be sabotaged by the appearance of money-grubbing execs more concerned with the bottom line?

(2) If that IS what you are suggesting, have you not been paying attention to television the last 10-15 years? A few thoughts: The Wire, Oz, The West Wing, The X-Files, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Dexter, Everything Produced By Joss Whedon, and of course Lost (to name just a few). Television is experiencing a renaissance, genuinely unprecedented. Have a look.

(3) On second thought, never mind. None of the above shows I mentioned have easy black/white morality, the characters are dark and complex, and are positively rife with strong women. Though now that I think of it, Bunk Moreland on The Wire is a cigar-chomping womanizer. Might want to check him out.

Actually, I think I'm just going to cut and paste this into Dirk's blog comments.

Happy Lost, everyone!

redeem147 said...

Hey, Nikki. Want to help me with my all-female reimagining of The A-Team?

joshua said...

There goes your guest spot on 'Exposé', jackass.

Nikki Stafford said...

I'm so glad I posted this, because these comments have made me laugh out loud. :)

redeem: Oh YES.
BA = Queen Latifah or Eliza Dushku. Someone who wouldn't take crap from anyone, but who would be far more attractive than Mr T.
Hannibal = Lucy Lawless or Tina Fey
Murdoch = Alyson Hannigan: goofy and lovable
Face = Katee Sackhoff. Just to REALLY piss off Dirk Benedict. Ha!

Chris: I hope you posted this!

thisguypossessed said...

HANS solo?!?

Nikki Stafford said...

thisguy: Yeah, he was in the spinoff series, with his brother, Franz Solo. "May the force... pump you up!"

Anonymous said...

Dirk was 100% right in his post.

Nikki Stafford said...

Anonymous: Thanks for dropping by the blog, Dirk. ;)

Donny said...

I hope Dirk Benedict reads your blogg, as I would like to thank him for the personal letter he wrote to me in May 2010 in reply to mine. His 'name calling' and defensive remarks has helped me to see that just because someone is an actor who used to be very popular and loved,and has got lots going for him - this does not make him a grateful, kind or thoughtful person. I thank him for enlightening me, and intend to never see him at the theatre or on tv again.

ett83 said...

Dirk is such a jerk, he doesn't accept letters of any kind anymore and hasn't for years. His (so-called) website confirms this. He probably doesn't even have a computer anymore, he's such an old washed up geezer. If you want to hear him b1tch and moan and really show what he's like check out clips of him from his stint on Celebrity Big Brother 2007 on Youtube. He shows what a whiny old fashioned chauvanistic rude baby he is. Dirk the Jerk sucks!

not a fan said...

The only people who think Dirk "the jerk" is great are his fans, and they're only in love with his looks. If they got to know him they'd learn pretty fast that he practically hates women and is just an arrogant sarcastic old pervert and all around a-hole. If you're a fan and you're female, and you talk nice or flirt with him he'll put on a best show and make it appear like he's such a nice guy. But if you were female and actually married or lived with him you would be in for a real shock. You would see how he really feels about them. BTW his last name is a stage name. I have to wonder if his first name is too. He's so self-absorbed that he seems the kind of jerk to do something like that. He may think he's still handsome but there's nothing handsome about a miserable old grouch. The sooner he dies the better.

Angela said...

This gave me good giggles. Thanks. For years, my vagina and I have wanted to be Han Solo for Halloween. I know it's been some years since Dirk wrote this, but hopefully the pictures I send will hurt his sensitive ego/erection.

Miss T said...

Sexism aside , I hate the casting of the new BSG. A female starbuck didn't sit right with me , because the character and ego of starbuck was that of a chauvenistic man and not a woman. Who frankly made the character over the top and cheesy. The idea of a character like the original starbuck made sense in HIS universe , the new BSG universe is really lame. They also cast a female to the Boomer character who i was also disappointed with. You watch the Battlestar Galactica Movie and there is so much needless sex scenes with women just throwing themselves at men and females call the original starbuck a womenizer makes no sense to me. Please women before having an opinion on BSG please actually watch an episode...

ett83 said...

Angela, the chances of your pictures being noticed by Dirk are slim. He's a recluse. He said so himself. He doesn't accept letters and probably the same goes for pictures. He almost reminds me of the way Greta Garbo acted wanting privacy all the time, hiding her face, wanting to be left alone, etc. Whatever his reasons are, I doubt he'd give you a 2nd thought let alone a first one. Like many older men he's probably more interested in hot young females, but I could be wrong.

Miss T, I agree with you. I've tried to watch the "re-imagined" BSG and it holds nothing to the original, its male chaarcters now made female, the Cylon nonsense etc. I hate the new BSG so I can understand where Dirk is coming from, but as he's gotten older he's also gotten crankier. The original Starbuck was a flirt if not maybe a womanizer too since he talked of marrying Cassieopia to his (unbeknownst to him) dad), but all along, if he eyed another good looking female might try to make a hit on her too. (Incidentally he (the actor) teased and flirted with Shilpa Shetty in CBB 2007, which goes to prove he's interested in young hot women but probably not in much else.)

Anonymous said...

1. New BSG was awesome. Old one sucked (even as a kid I realized what a lame Star Wars rip-off it was)

2. Dirk Benedict is a shitbird

Anonymous said...

God, you people are whiners. I can't stand all the enlightened, PC, liberal do gooders that want a world where everything has to be fair and they'll attack you like a rabid dog for expressing an opinion that doesn't coincide with their agenda.
Dirk Benedict is entitled to his opinion on the recasting of the role that he brought to life and made famous. If you truly listen to what he says, he's not wrong. Differences should be celebrated, not obliterated. There's no sexism in that.