Monday, May 7, 2012

Star Trek, such as it was

I've always enjoyed Star Trek in all of its manifestations (well, not Voyager, which I insist didn't really happen, but which is just a holodeck program that Hillary had somebody program for her), but like a lot of other TV shows that are otherwise enjoyable, it's chock-full of liberal memes and morality tales.  It had a long run, and if the movies continue, it'll maybe have a longer one, so of course it occasionally has a non-liberal message.  You just about have to now and then, or completely give up on realism.  I remember when Captain Jellicoe took over for Picard temporarily, and took Ryker down a peg or two and made Deanna put the proper britches on.  A lot of us miss Jellicoe and his message about actual military discipline and virtue, as opposed to the usual touchy-feely stuff.  And I remember when Odo redid Bedtime for Bonzo and tried to bring an infant Jemhadar up to be a worthy citizen of the Federation and failed because of, you know, genetics.  If anybody could have pulled it off, it would have been Odo, because lord knows he was flexible.  That was a rare case of HBD (humanoid biodiversity) in Star Trek.  And then there's the whole Borg thing, which seems to be a metaphor for the evils of collectivism, but none of the characters ever seems to pick up on that. And then there's the message of the Brain Slugs.

Buy Sam Francis' book HERE.
But mainly, the show has always been relentlessly liberal, sometimes to the point of indoctrination. We've learned all about "unity in diversity" from it, and are so used to Vulcans and Klingons and varicolored species all working together kum-ba-ya on the Enterprise or some other ship, that when we stick our heads out into the real world, we're downright shocked that plain old human beings can't seem to fit together all that well. We've learned that money (and capitalism, then, I guess) can be made obsolete and that everybody will work really hard anyway. (How the heck did Sisko's dad operate that restaurant of his?  Did all the diners just wash dishes afterwards?)  When they first started up Next Generation, some of us remember, they had some male crew members going around in miniskirts, just like the girls, but that was too silly even for them, upon reflection.

Well the late great Sam Francis, who was one of the victims of the purge of the right wing to exclude actual conservatives (Pat Buchanan is the latest), pontificated on the overall meaning of Star Trek back in 1994 in "Principalities and Powers" in Chronicles magazine.  He said in part:

The public orthodoxy of the world of "Star Trek" is virtually
identical to that sappy and syrupy credo concocted by 

Francis  Fukuyama in his ill-advised "end of history" thesis, 
though the TV series is better science fiction. The planet 
Earth and much of
the inhabited universe have been unified under a mysterious,
omnipotent, but benevolent "Federation," and there seem to be no
wars, no political or social conflicts, and no wants in this warpspeed 

utopia unified by Global Democratic Capitalism gone
galactic. Indeed, what else does the human race in the Star Trek
cosmos have to do but stick its nose into the affairs of other
species? They can zip about the galaxy at velocities faster than
light and "beam" themselves from one place to another
instantaneously, and there never seems to be any question of food,
clothing, money, disease, aging, or even of career advancement in
this placid paradise. Having resolved all conceivable material
problems of the human race, the only woes that remain to it in the
world of "Star Trek" are those perennially invented by the
cultural elite, of which the Enterprise's crew is an equally
transparent representation, and, of course, armed with energy
weapons and beamer-uppers, the elite always solves these problems
as quickly and as happily as it discovers them.


"Star Trek" represents what the cultural elite thinks America
and the world should and would be like if only the Philistines
would get out of the way and let the Federation (i.e., the
leviathan) spend their money as the elite wants, and the enduring
popularity of the series suggests that no small number of viewers
at least unconsciously share this vision or have absorbed its
premises.


(Read the whole thing HERE.)

1 comment:

  1. The long-enduring debate of which Enterprise Captain would win in every fan’s epic showdown has spilled over with guts and gore. See the battle of the Zombie Captains as Kirk and Picard go head to head on the Zombie Walk of Fame at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/star-trek-zombies-from-zombie-walk-of.html

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