Sunday, January 16, 2005

From The Perennial Rambler
On the liberal myth behind some bad science fiction
One thing I always couldn't stand about ‘Star Trek’ (which is why in the end I always prefered Star Wars, both as a story concept and actualized series of films) was its naive trust in the notion of "better living through science" also known as that bane, "inevitable progress". He [Gene Roddenberry] honestly believed that with enough material affluence (elimination of poverty and disease, etc.), people would get along in some egalitarian wonder. The truth of course is that there is never enough, that human appetites know no end. Peace comes with the transformation of man, not with the acquisition of gadgetry.
Gene Roddenberry was a lifelong believer in that liberal myth and anti-religious on the Bolshevik level.

As I learnt from reading The New American years ago if you take his imaginary universe to its logical conclusion his ‘good guys’ (in whose employ are Capt. Kirk and Mr Spock) are... totalitarian. You see it every time Kirk bosses some newly discovered aliens around (sometimes at gunpoint!), forcing the American way on them, just like the real-world liberals were trying to do in Vietnam at the time and like Mr Bush’s neocon puppeteers are trying to pull off in Iraq.

Yes, the transformation of man, the Catholic answer. Not to be confused with The Transformed Man, William Shatner’s ’60s album of dramatic readings of pop-song lyrics that’s laughed at to this day. (In which he yells ‘Mr Tambourine Maaaaaaan!’ just like he did Khaaaaaaaaan! 15 years later. To be fair, AFAIK he’s never tried to sing.)

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