It started quite innocently with this Tweet from a JR listener south of the line:
And a minute later, when I tried to show Karen the tweet I discovered that Bill Shatner had blocked my personal Twitter account AND JR’s. (Or at least the person who handles his twitter account did? I’ve since been told that his manager does his tweeting and that he’s quite block-happy).
Then a couple of folks who are obviously big Shatner followers decided to teach me some things:
And naturally some JR listeners decided to have some fun with it too:
Now, in the interest of context, “Shatner Claus” is without question a bad album. I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s 14 tracks of Bill reading the lyrics to Christmas songs, and it seems to be pointedly, intentionally bad. Example:
Shatner famously narrated over-the-top cover versions of songs like “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” in the 60s and they became cult classics because they were unintentionally funny. With his new album, the goal seems to be to lean into the bad narration for comedy’s sake. Fair enough, but it’s a stretch to call it, in any way, “good music”.
Ironically, I’m a lifelong Star Trek and Bill Shatner fan. And I was oddly thrilled to have been blocked by him…? I mean, this a guy who got Henry Rollins, Todd Rundgren, Billy Gibbons, Iggy Pop, Judy Collins, AND Brad Paisley to guest on his album. That’s pretty astounding. It’s also really hard to listen to in more than a passing way but hey, it’s a big world and people can like different things. For example, after the “twitter block heard ’round our office”, Docc Andrews showed us an email exchange he had with JR’s General Manager way back in September:
As of this writing, Bill Shatner has still blocked me. I like to imagine he’s somewhere in his basement screaming out my name…