Tag: Star Trek

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Where No Values Have Gone Before

For more than two weeks I have kept open in a browser tab essay “How Star Trek Explains the Decline of Liberalism” by Timothy Sandefur. Someone shared the story in one of my social feeds in mid-September—and apologies for not recalling whom. I don’t agree with the title, set against the writing, but I do largely agree with the analysis about Star Trek’s reflection of our society over the course of 50 years.

I loved the original series, which aired in 1966. Much as I liked, and even imitated Spock, Kirk’s bravado and moralism rapt my attention. He acted rather than hesitated. Meanwhile, series creator Gene Roddenberry and his producers, directors, and writers used the storytelling as metaphors and allegories commenting on American society and its values. I aspired to be like James Tiberius Kirk: Do the right thing, for the greater good of all, regardless the risk. 

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We’re Just Being Human, Mr. Spock

No fictional character influenced my youth more than Mr. Spock. I identified with the Vulcan’s cool, calculating ways, and adopted analytical attitudes that pushed back emotions. That’s still true as an adult. Surely I am not alone. You, too? That’s my reaction to news today about the passing of Leonard Limoy, at age 83.

In viewing “The Original Series” on Netflix, Star Trek looks a little hokey to me now. The series is heavily influenced by Sixties television era’s demands, which pounded the octagon-shaped TOS into a square action-drama-method hole. Consider the color of the uniforms and panels around the bridge, which surely fit in with NBC Peacock’s broadcasting “In Living Color”. Gene Roddenberry’s “Wagon Train to the Stars” is entertainment-period formulaic, which looks so unsophisticated now. Nevertheless, the science fiction storytelling was groundbreaking for the time, and transcends many of the imposed constraints. 

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Not How Many, But Whom

Microsoft employees are prolific bloggers, and I’m surprise the company hasn’t really developed software tools supporting the phenomenon. I understand that blogging hasn’t reached mainstream momentum, yet. But, sometimes, it’s not the “how manys” but the “who they are” that matters more.

In 1966, I accidentally discovered “Star Trek” on a CBC station out of St. Johns, New Brunswick, Canada. When I was a kid, local TV station WAGM, in Presque Isle, Maine, had the unique distinction of being three network affiliates: ABC, CBS, and NBC. WAGM was the only American broadcast TV station serving Maine’s largest but sparsely-populated county, Aroostook, which spanned about a fifth of the state. WAGM didn’t air “Star Trek”; some show from another network made the cut instead.