I think I’ve written about the science fiction franchise Star Trek once or twice somewhere on these pages. It’s a wonder I haven’t written more than that since I’ve been a Trekie for all the fifty-four years since this on-going tale of galactic encounters first hit the small screen. There was something uniquely appealing about this tv show when I first saw it. I was living as a sixteen-year old in dusty, poor Cross County Arkansas. This show presented an image of a future where poverty, racial animus and all the human flaws which prevent us from realizing our fullest potentials had been eradicated. This was too powerful of a fantasy to discard. Nineteen sixty-five was a time of discord in America when many social and political occurrences were coming into their own: the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, the Hippie consciousness. Not unusual in any form, the world was hiccupping in its own contemporary fashion as it has throughout history whenever some political or social consciousness rises to the fore. We see examples now in Hong Kong and Iraq, places where one would think people would have some hesitancy about marching in the streets. However, when folks are sick and tired of being tired, they throw life and limb into the wind.
I’m one of those people who can converse deeply and philosophically about Star Trek. The connectivity between all the tv shows and movies is clear to me. I’m also one of those people who saw more than science fiction in the show from day one. How can a sixteen-year old back in 1965 not be fascinated by a world where humans have finally figured out, to an overwhelming degree, how to be humans; demonstrating care and respect around the planet that’s been needed for eons? Not only have we learned how to live together harmoniously, we have ventured into the far reaches on our universe, seeking communion with other species of sentient beings. Most of the isms that have plagued humanity since the time of the garden have been eliminated.
In the Star Trek world, humanity has coalesced and formed a never-before whole, strengthening itself to withstand enemies from outside its home world. Politics as we know it today are passé. Money and the enticement for evil endeavors are no more. Can’t you see how this picture of peace and harmony, short of the second coming of Christ would be pleasant to the senses of a poor sixteen-year old during a time when America was seemingly come apart at the seams? Maybe we do need a little star trek today, or a little of the social and political consciousness fanaticized by it at least.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.