Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Geek credentials

It will come as a shock that I’m a fuh-laming geek.  I was the kid in Currys writing BASIC programs on the BBC Micros on display until I got thrown out.  They’d tolerate me for an hour or so, it’s amazing what you can get done in that time if you’re under pressure.  People like me are why the machines in PC World always have their screens locked. 

And I love Star Trek.  Yeah, I know it’s not really proper sci fi and there’s much that is deplorable, including every single frame of Voyager, but I was *desperately* excited when TNG came out and I grew to love DS9 toward the end.  I was unfeasibly excited about Enterprise as well, although it never really seemed to get going.  I saw what they were trying to do, but it was all a bit po-faced and the characters just didn’t seem to work together.  Perhaps it should have been more like the Star Trek movie.  There was no….joy….in it.

But this post is about Gene Roddenberry’s vision.  I always assumed he was a conservative Christian, because the values in Star Trek are often so corny.  In fact, he was a humanist, a liberal and an atheist.  There were several TOS episodes where gods and specifically a Christian god was invoked but there is reason to suppose that this wasn’t his idea, wasn’t his vision and was out of his control.  He was selling a product, after all.  You take your lumps.

However, I saw a bit of a TOS episode by chance the other day and it contained something that stunned me and presumably would have floored Roddenberry.  It was astonishing.  In this episode, Kirk says "It's time you learned that freedom is never a gift. It has to be earned."

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