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Friday, May 15, 2009

Star Trek

Go see it.

I've been a Star Trek fan since the beginning. Silly and dated as some of the original episodes seem now, it was far and away the best science fiction on television at the time.

It really wasn't science fiction, although it got that label because it was set in the future among "aliens." Oddly enough, the show was really about the humans -- how they reacted and interacted with concepts and people who were foreign to them. It posited a future where war on Earth and the pursuit of material gain had been replaced by a desire for self-improvement and the acquisition of knowledge, but still struggled with issues of power, control, sex and ego.

The second series, some decades later, was more sophisticated both in acting, writing and "message."

Both were actually interstellar morality plays disguised as futuristic conundrums. Does one do the "right thing" and what is the "right thing?" Does the Prime Directive trump compassion? If you offer "advancement" to a "primitive society" then what should you do when they tell you thanks, go away, we don't want/need it? "Bad guys" and "hot-dogs" and "90-day-wonders" come in both genders in the future, and navigating between human frailties and the pitfalls of intersteller diplomacy in the Great Void made for terrific television.

The two most famous non-humans were Spock, the Vulcan science officer hailing from a planet that deified logic over emotion, and Data, the adroid whose quest to be more human was an on-going odyssey.

Both reflected the human condition back at us, through the prism of non-human observance.

It's been a great ride since 1966. The Next Generation in our house grew up on Star Trek morality. As a child, he decided he wanted to be a starship captain AND a rabbi. I think those ambitions have been tempered a bit by now, but I found it interesting that he pretty much equated those two posts.

Thank you, Gene Roddenberry, for the vision of a future where there is always a win-win solution, and the Kobayashi Maru can be beaten.


Blogger rutimizrachi said...

Wonderful post! What a terrific trip down memory lane. And it caused the youngest of our next generation to ask, "What's a 'Kobyashi Maru'?" Which caused his abba to launch into a great philosophical explanation, pulled directly from the Captain's Log...

P.S. Thanks for an absence of "spoiler alerts." The guys are going out for a rare testosterone-only evening tomorrow night to boldly go... well, you know the rest.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:31:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

They'll LOVE it! I got to go twice because the Boy wanted to see it but the Husband was sick--so I went with each of them individually and blew the budget. No regrets.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 6:17:00 PM GMT+3  

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