Saturday, February 4, 2012

On Star Trek ...


    One of my favorite things to do lately is to sit on the couch and watch re-runs of Star Trek on Netflix. Specifically, I am currently going through the entire series of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, and that got me to thinking about a few things.

    When I watch TV, what I do watch of it, I am a little disappointed. Not that there is no new Star Trek, that doesn't really bother me. No, what bothers me is that there is nothing to replace it. There is no show that exemplifies the human species. Apparently, we really love to hate ourselves.

    What I am trying to say is, Star Trek always had a way of looking for the best in people. It showed a future that, while not perfect, showed that we were at least trying to better ourselves. I blame this on Star Trek: Enterprise.

    Star Trek: Enterprise, specifically, should have been called, Star Trek: Terran Empire. You see, in Star Trek lore exists an alternate, parallel, universe called the "Mirror Universe". In that universe, the United Federation of Planets was replaced with the Terran Empire. At some point during early human expansion into the universe, according to Lore, something happened to cause Humanity to became fearful of other races and become militaristic and start conquering other races before they could conquer us.

    Star Trek: Enterprise was much darker than any other Star Trek series. They even had an assault team, "Space Marines", just to take on anything that the "Normal Crew" couldn't handle, and they used them, a lot.

    Granted this is probably closer to what would really happen if such a universe actually existed. But that's not the point.

    The point is, without good 'ol Gene Roddenberry at the helm, the show lost focus. The "darker" it got, the more viewers abandoned it. It finally got canceled. It was the "only" Star Trek series not to complete its full seven seasons, and it is fairly clear why.

    Star Trek, as a whole, showed a future of tolerance and general peace. The main goal of everyone, well every human anyway, was to enhance the quality of life for everyone else. Yes, war's where waged, ships exploded, and people died. The universe is not without peril. But through it all, even in our darkest hour, we excelled. As a species, as a race and as a culture, we overcame ourselves.

    Its all in re-runs now. There is simply no example to live by. No more mountains to climb. No wandering star to chase. A wisp of memory that will remain with me and others who grew up with, and became a better person because of, Star Trek.

    The next time you find yourself watching Jersey Shore, X Factor, Breaking Bad, True Blood or even Keeping up with the Kardashians, remember that these are the new role models for your children. This is what they will remember when they are grown. How do you think this will affect the choices they make?

    In fact, this could even be part of the reason so many people (myself included) either already have, or are trying to "cut the cable", and get away from television altogether.

    Live long and prosper... 

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