Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interstellar Political Correctness, AKA "Star Trek"

When we actually get to the 23-24th century era, I expect that people will have a lot of fun watching the old Star Trek tapes or pods or whatever format they'll be in, much like it's fun for us to real science-fiction novels from a century ago and and see how wrong they got it.

Actually, though, I'd call myself a Star Trek fan. Not a Trekkie, which I take to be a true-believer fan. I actually kind of missed the original series (TOS) the first time around, what with being in the Army most of the time and all, but what I did see of it didn't impress me much, probably because I'd been a science fiction reader from childhood — I still have vivid memories of reading Perelandra and Pebble in the Sky for the first time, and marveling at it. Before that, I'd read through all the Doctor Dolittle books (the unexpurgated versions, BTW) and they were certainly SF for kids.

Even for TV, I didn't think ST was all that innovative, because Twilight Zone was mostly much more sophisticated. If anything, TOS seemed like Captain Video or Tom Corbett, Space Cadet upgraded for a more adult viewership.

Then, much later, the first movie came out, and, though still somewhat hokey for a veteran science fiction reader, it was a definite improvement. And after a year or so of shaking off the TOS sensibility, Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) really got to a mature level, and was genuinely enjoyable. DS9, in many ways, ratcheted things up a notch, and added a gritty realpolitic feel to the franchise, which I very much appreciated. Voyager, by any measure, was a joke, sort of the B-Team version of ST. And my theory of Voyager, which I'm sure I've mentioned before, is that it never really happened, but was a holodeck program created by and for Clerk-Typist Third Class Janeway of Starfleet for use in her free time. Enterprise had some good writing and good ideas in it, but I thought Bakula unconvincing in his role and the whole thing never really gelled for me.

But to the point: ST is no exception to the political correctness rules of television. First and foremost, it underscores the myth of our age, that diversity is strength, as in the illustration. (Tribbles, of course, carried diversity a little too far.) In reality, the racial and cultural diversity championed by ST and other PC TV shoss is a weakness, as a moment of actual thought will confirm. If you actually did welcome welcome Klingons into Starfleet, of course, you'd have a lot of Major Nidal Hasan incidents — maybe they do, and the Federation equivalent of Eric Holder just suppresses the information. They did make Worf as believable as possible by having him brought up by human parents.

Come to think of it, I've said a lot of this before. Just put STAR TREK in the search box at the top right there and you'll find it. This post is mainly just a reaction to the nice quibcag that Baloo made for me there.


  1. I enjoyed the first series a great deal but the second one, with Picard, was just too much.

  2. Agree about Bakula, also they needed to get rid of the unnecessary Time War plot. There was plenty of story available without creating a new timeline.

    Also you might like the link below, its a fan kickstarter movie "Prelude to Axanar" which is pretty good. Its 20 minutes long and has professional actors and crew. Its pushing a kickstarter effort to make a full movie. They have already gotten to their goal so a movie should happen.

    Prelude to Axanar is in the documentary style while the full movie is suppose to be more in drama adventure.

  3. Janeway violated many Star Fleet directives and is made an Admiral because lady type actress needed the money from other Star Trek movies?

    Scott Bakula's Star Trek suffered from the equipment being more advanced than TOS had and Yoshi inventing the magical translating device. This is referred to in the rebooted Star Trek where Uhuru who is just trained takes over as translator because the trained translator does not know the difference between Vulcan and Romulan.

    You like the good TOS because that was back when there were people called writers hired to write shows such as Charlie X whereas these days it is see Captain Picard see Captain Picard get involved in zany adventures with his senior officers some of whom should be left back on the ship in case his zany adventures result in him being injured and unable to perform his duties. The movie that opens with them in some 4 wheel drive vehicle which they take to the site of a buried android and then leap into a shuttle after controlling it with remote control. If a shuttle can fly you places why did they not fly it to the site they wanted to investigate?

  4. Obviously they needed to pull a recce on the ground before calling in air support. (why go in dune buggy then call in shuttle?)
    Actually, the Federation has a well defined culture, at least in TOS, which does have room for quite a bit of diversity with in it. It's the culture created by the that much aligned "bunch of Dead White Guys" that modern pseudo liberal fascists hate so badly.
    Star Trek is ultimately about the triumph, not the supplantation, of American social, economic, and political libertarianism.

  5. Old Trek had money and private property. While it had a weak mono-culture wasn't very especially integrated. This kind of arrangement, diversity without proximity in a weak shared culture fairly stable,

    Another example the Valdemar Series by Mercedes Lackey which has this and a magical incorruptible king and police force and still just holds together,

    Back to Trek in canon ships were basically single species as were planets , Spock as a half Human/half Vulcan (via gene engineering BTW) was unusual.

    An in short example, the USS Intrepid in The Immunity Syndrome episode was almost entirely Vulcan crewed.

    It was also in places a fairly brutal and repressive society as well with enough criminals ti have entire criminals for them extensive interest in mind control tech (Whom the Gods Destroy) and protocols that would allow a Starship Captain to legally genocide cultures (General Order 24 seen in A Taste of Armageddon)

    The hard core Leftard stuff came about with Next Generation