I’m definitely a nerd, and I’m proud of it! I love science fiction, galaxies, aliens and special effects (but only if they’re well done). I also love a good story, and you can find those on a spaceship as well as you can find them on earth.
Thus, I love Star Trek in general (Voyager and The Next Generation specifically). Unfortunately–as I suppose is true with any relationship–there are also some things about Star Trek that annoy me. Should you care, please keep reading!
- LOVE: I love the interesting characters from different planets and star systems. It’s especially cool to see how they interact with one another, or how each planet boasts one or two unique general characteristics among their indigenous peoples. For example, Vulcans are analytical and emotion-less, while the Ferengi are chauvenist car salesmen types. I love being able to distinguish a character’s home planet by his facial characteristics. The Bjoran’s nose; the Cardasian’s greenish, lizard-like face and dark hair; the Klingon’s long wavy hair, jacked-up teeth and cranial ridges. I feel like some kind of hobby sociologist or something–like those people who can tell where you’re from (down to the zip code) by the particular twang in your dialect. It’s all so very nerdy!
- HATE: How is it the entire representation of a planet boasts the same general traits–both physical and relational? They all look alike, they all act the same, they all dress the same (besides slight color variations) and generally have the same hair style. Aren’t there different continents on these planets the way there are on Earth? (Actually, it seems all Terrans are from San Francisco in the future.) Isn’t there any individuality on these planets? At least (and here’s a little love within the hate) some species boast different races: Vulcans have both black and white; Klingons boast black, white and even Hispanic.
- LOVE: I love Captain Janeway because she’s a strong woman who can lead without compromising her femininity. She runs her ship with humor, patience and strength, but she cries sometimes and she’s depressed sometimes, and that’s okay. In one episode, Neelix yelled at her and basically disputed something she told him to do. Her response: She took his hands and gently spoke to the heart of the matter. My response would have been: “Excuse me?! Who do you think you’re talking to? To the brig!” But that’s why I’m not a starship captain and she is! Her response puts me in mind of Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” She’s so dang wise!
- HATE: The prime directive is supposed to be the be-all, end-all of their decisions. It’s their worldview, the foundation of all their decisions. Yet in the midst of difficulty they allow the moment to dictate their morality. For example, an alien had attached itself to Torres. The Doctor used the knowledge of a holographic Cardasian specialist to perform the procedure to remove it. But when they learned this doctor had performed atrocities against the Bjorans to acquire all his knowledge, they ultimately chose to ignore this information to perform the surgery on B’Elana. This is a perfect example of the flimsy “morality” of men and aliens alike. It shouldn’t change when it’s convenient. The right thing to do doesn’t change based on circumstances.
- LOVE: Humans have “evolved” beyond violence and hatred. They use peaceful means to get along, and no one is judged on their color or gender or any other thing. This is a heartwarming and hopeful outlook on our future!
- HATE: They’re so “evolved” that most don’t believe in God and find belief in a higher power archaic. Religious civilizations are portrayed as intolerant, cold and unreasonable, putting faith in their foolish gods above love for others or any other good thing. (I guess Star Trek isn’t much different than most television shows or movies in this regard). According to Star Trek and the like, God and science cannot logically co-exist; we must believe in either one or the other. How silly!
- LOVE: I love how Star Trek is on the cutting edge of technology, unknowingly inspiring some of our own coolest devices! The cell phone, the desktop computer, the laptop computer, the PDA, voice commands, video conferencing, digital cameras … even blogging! That is SO COOL! I can’t wait until we get transporter technology.
Much as a love Star Trek and their hopeful view of our future as a planet, there’s something they overlook. People aren’t moving toward world peace. Racism, hatred, murder, violence are not getting better, but worse. Technology and education aren’t helping–even the most educated among us are capable of the most heinous actions against one another. We’ll never outgrow these things because we’ll always be selfish beings. There’s only one hope for peace on earth … but that’s another blog!