Let Them Have... Cake!

Let Them Have... Cake!

“Data, sometimes a cake is just a cake.”
-- Deanna Troi, “Phantasms


One of the ways that the creators of Star Trek help modern audiences identify with 23rd and 24th century characters is to show familiar celebrations and customs that have survived into the future. The use of cakes to celebrate various occasions dates back to at least classic Roman and ancient Greek eras, so it makes sense that the desert would survive into the era of Starfleet. Malcom Reed had an affinity for pineapples, for example, and to help celebrate his birthday, Hoshi Sato had a pineapple cake prepared in his honor. Of course, arguably, the most interesting (and disturbing?) use of the sweet may very well be Data’s dream-state Deanna Troi living cake from “Phantasms.”

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Maria Jose and John Tenuto are both sociology professors at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, specializing in popular culture and subculture studies. The Tenutos have conducted extensive research on the history of , and have presented at venues such as Creation Conventions and the St. Louis Science Center. They have written for the official and their extensive collection of items has been featured in . Their theory about the “20-Year Nostalgia Cycle” and research on fans has been featured on WGN News, BBC Radio, and in the documentary . They recently researched all known paperwork from the making of the classic episode "Space Seed" and are excited to be sharing some previously unreported information about Khan's first adventure with fellow fans. Contact the Tenutos at jtenuto@clcillinois.edu or mjtenuto@clcillinois.edu.
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