Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek is a commie plot

I just deleted the first two paragraphs of a serious entry about Obama-hating in the countryside. I needed to find a link to the photo essay on Newsweek's site about the resurgence of neo-Nazis in America. Very serious stuff indeed.

Instead, as I couldn't find it easily, I got sidetracked. Quite sidetracked. I found a photo essay about the early days of the Star Trek conventions. The clothes of the 70's may be ugly, but they aren't as ugly as pictures of children traipsing around looking like Hitler youth.

I have to admit I didn't really want to see those beautiful photographs of such mean spirited people again. And now, I don't want to either write or think about them.

Instead, I'd rather think about Star Trek. I'm willing to admit it freely: I'm a Trekkie. No, I don't wear costumes and I know not a word of Klingon, but I loved Star Trek when I was a kid, and I've loved every incarnation of it (except the last one, but I'll save why for another post).

I'm surprised that Rush Limbaugh and company aren't yelling their heads off about how much Americans like Star Trek. Give it some thought. The world that Star Trek portrays is socialist.

Want food? Just get it from a replicator. Okay, I know one has to pay for their food at the bar on Deep Space Nine, but it's run by Quark, a Ferengi, who are identified by a Wikipedia entry as the "ultra-capitalist Ferengi", and that's an insult.

School is free. Health care is free. Capital punishment has been outlawed. In one memorable episode of Voyager (aired on the day Timothy McVeigh was executed), the crew almost mutinies when they have to follow the prime directive (don't meddle in lesser evolved species' evolution). Why? They don't want to deliver stranded prisoners who are awaiting their death sentences back to their home planet.

Shhh. Don't spread this stuff around. I don't want to hear any uprising against Star Trek.

Photo note: When searching for an image of Klingon food, I found this interesting post on The Eaten Path.
The author juxtaposes a truly memorable Star Trek Next Generation episode's dialogue with the reality of the faux Trek experience in Las Vegas (you'd think I believed that the world of Star Trek is real, wouldn't you?)

What is real, however, is the idealism that Gene Roddenberry wanted Star Trek to convey. Here is the dialogue between Captain Picard and a man who has wound up in the future, stripped of all his status and money:

PICARD: A lot has changed in three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of “things”. We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We have grown out of our infancy.

RALPH: You’ve got it wrong. It’s never been about “possessions” - it’s about power.

PICARD: Power to do what?

and then, later:

RALPH: And then what will happen to us? There’s no trace of my money. My office is gone. What will I do? How will I live?

PICARD (amused): This is the twenty-fourth century. Those material needs no longer exist.

RALPH: Then what’s the challenge?

PICARD: To improve yourself… enrich yourself.

Pictured: A glass of Klingon Blood Draft.

For more about the food and drink of Star Trek, go to Serious Eats.


The Fragrant Muse said...

"Everything is Interesting" (and why didn't I think of that great blog name first?) is officially my new favorite blog stop. Anyone who shares my favorite movie, Perfume, has a special place in my heart!! It was the only thing I had on my Christmas list last year. So pleased to make your acquaintance!

jmcleod76 said...

I always liked Star Trek, too. Started watchimg it in high school when I was dating a Trekkie. Back then, I didn't make the political connections, but I was listening to something about this very subject on NPR yesterday. No wonder I always enjoyed the shows so much ...What's strange is, all of the Trekkie boys I knew back then are big creepy Republo-fascists now. Guess they weren't paying attention, either.

Julie H. Rose said...

Hi Liz. Pleased to meet you, too.

I hope you got the movie for Christmas; that's all you wanted?

I see I have a new blog to check out, too - yours, plus some cool links.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant point, Julie!!!And a funny juxtaposition in that post at the Eaten Path.
Jamie, it is weird how some Trekkie boys have turned Neo-con. But I do see some twisted logic in that. I think it's some strange attempt on their part to over-compensate for the idealism and high-spirited-ness of youth. Did you ever notice how the biggest idealists sometimes turn the most bitter cinics later in life?
As for me, I do believe in humans and their immense potential, we have nowhere to go but up. It just takes a while...