You Know Why I Love Star Trek? The Social Aspect

Hi, I’m A.P. Miller, and I am a Trekkie (I’m a Picard guy). Let me be a little more broad, I thoroughly enjoy science fiction. I devoured Star Wars, I often quote RoboCop, and I always answer “Skynet is becoming self-aware” everytime the IT Department at work asks if there are any other problems I’m having. I wanted to talk today about Star Trek because of something I did, involuntarily.

What was this grievous offense? I was watching a video on something horrible on the news and I watched a Star Trek video to rid myself of the disgust. That sounds a little immature, doesn’t it? A grown man with adult obligations turning to science fiction to escape from the real world horrors going on around him. Honestly, I can almost feel my father shaking his head in disbelief.

Consider the following: on any given episode of Star Trek (I’ve always focused on “the Next Generation” or “TNG”), you have a crew of men and women floating through the stars on a scientific mission to discover, not conquer. Those men and women come from all walks of life and creed, and they do so under the same directive: for the betterment of all. When the crew gets into trouble, the Captain tries his damndest to resolve the situation with diplomacy, and is almost visibly sick when he has to resort to aggression. At the end of the episode, they resume their journey through the stars. The formula is simple: Conflict divided by Inclusion & Diplomacy equals Progress. Have you ever seen an episode of Star Trek where the Captain is out to blow up the Romulan homeworld because its rich in oil? How about Lieutenant Commander Worf trying to overthrow Commander Riker because a promotion means more money? Gene Roddenberry himself has stated that the Star Trek universe is one without currency and that science exists for the benefit of everybody.

Everyday on the news, there is a new level of depravity or cruelty inflicted on human beings by other human beings. As a country, we’re more divided than we’ve ever been, and I honestly fear for the direction that we’re heading. I’m not trying to get political, but I’m as entitled to my opinion as you are with yours. I don’t think we need to take away guns or get into bitter facebook feuds with each other, but maybe we could all watch a little more Star Trek; perhaps we could all get into the frame of mind for betterment for everyone and look outside of our spheres of influence.

Before you say “It’s just science fiction, emphasis on the fiction,” consider that before cellphones, the internet, and space travel, there was a fan of science fiction willing to put the work into making it actually happen.

Until next time: “Live long and Prosper.” -Mr. Spock-

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