Well, not exactly from William Shatner in person, but something I was thinking of while listening to his album “Has Been” yesterday. If you don’t have the album, you should get it right away (along with his magnificent 60′s psychedelic work The Transformed Man).
I always advise caution with anything to do with Star Trek when it comes to dating, but there is a lot to be learned from this man. First of all, Captain Kirk always got the babes, but more importantly William Shatner did plenty of other things after he beamed off the USS Enterprise for the last time.
Okay, so here’s the thing about William Shatner: it’s easy to mock him, but it’s hard to compare to him. Maybe we did all laugh when he made TJ Hooker, but really his body of work is outstanding- Star Trek, Star Trek Movies, he authored Sci Fi Books, Boston Legal, and these two albums.
Now the 60s album is plain weird. You occasionally hear William Shatner’s version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” on the radio, usually introduced as a novelty song gone wrong, but that does a tremendous discredit to the album as a whole. But I can understand if 60s Psychedelia isn’t your bag, baby, so if you like more conventional music look no further than Has Been.
The dating advice angle – very straightforward. In the title track, with a sort of western movie vibe to it, he meets three desperate characters, Jack, Dick and Don. They mock him as a “Has Been”.
Jack has a nickname, “Never Done”. Not as is in “He is never done” but more simply “Never Done Jack”, as in “He has never done”.
His pal Dick is not much better. His nickname is “Don’t Say”. Not as in “You don’t say?” but simply “Never Say Dick.”
And Don is known as “Two Thumbs Don” because he spends his time playing computer games.
Not being American, I don’t really appreciate the slang of “never done Jack” and “don’t say Dick”, but I get the gist of it.
These are people who criticise someone, but have never risked anything themselves, never taken a chance and so they have never lost. They laugh at Shatner’s character in the song because they feel he is a “Has Been”, but they themselves are “Never Were and Never Will Be”.
Given the choice, Shatner concludes that he would rather be a has been, because that means he actually was, he actually could be, and he could be again.
And so it is with affairs of the heart. If your pals are there goading you about your ups and downs (mainly your downs, I find) while not trying themselves, then think less of them. If they spend all their time complaining that the women aren’t good enough for them, then they will stay single.
And so will you if you pay too much heed to them.