To Boldly Suck

« October 2007 »

Memo to the National Review: BACK OFF. WE GET TREK.

David Horowitz put you fuckers up to this, didn't he. I bet he did. Horowitz won't rest until every last bastion liberals claim as our own gets turned into a conservative fortress. He's been going after the colleges, and now he's got you sons of bitches planting a Bush-faced flag on Roddenberry's grave.

This past weekend saw, if you can believe this, Star Trek Weekend at the National Review Online. A whole series of articles where NR's conservative authors tried to throw their collective lot in with Kirk and Picard. Which is an even worse idea than it sounds.

I've never been a big fan of labeling fiction with a particular ideology. It's fanfic for policy wonks. And policy wonks are just nerds with ties. In fact, the only thing separating your average "think tank" from your average "a/v club" is the amount of funding the former gets from Richard Scaife. Going through and cherry-picking examples of how a bit of popular culture supports your political worldview is an exercise in wankery. So, in my defense, THEY DID IT FIRST.

OG Trek is liberal. It's liberal in the same way the 60's were liberal - full of ideas that most sane people agreed were good things, but that we hadn't come even remotely close to internalizing as a nation. Things like "killing is bad unless you have to", or "racism is stupid", or "maybe we should talk about our differences, because if we sit here and shoot at each other all day, it's going to be REALLY FUCKING EXPENSIVE". Yes, there was drinking and womanizing and bare-knuckle fisticuffs galore, but at the time, the right hadn't actually laid exclusive claim to all that.

TNG is about as liberal as you can get. They fly around, negotiate with terrorists, fight for the rights of aliens and robots and non-traditional relationships, sometimes between aliens and robots. But most importantly, Next Generation predicts that the only entertainment forms accepted in our Utopian future are classical music, Shakespeare plays, and jazz trombone. There's no NASCAR, cockfighting, gay-bashing, or Jeff Foxworthy in the Federation. Ergo, it represents the ultimate societal triumph of PBS liberalism.

DS9 tried to rough things up a bit, entertainment-wise, going with baseball and Bond movies, so you might, sort of, kind of, think of it as moving a bit to the right. Plus it did have an entire parallel evil universe filled with deviant leather-clad bisexuals, which is, I imagine, how James Dobson imagines gay pride parades. But they had a black guy in charge, and he wasn't Alan Keyes, so we get to keep it.

William Kristol and company can fucking have Voyager and Enterprise if they want them.

Not that it really matters. I'd be almost as harsh on the Utne Fucking Reader if IT did a whole issue exploring the politics of Star Trek. It's like those damn "Science Of" books where they put a picture of a flip-phone next to the OG communicator. Hooray, you've found an unintentional congruity! Have a cookie.

But it's worse when you try to lay claim to shit that's clearly not yours. We're not sitting around our TiVo's, waiting for an episode of "24" that features a successful needle exchange program. We know that one's yours. Even if Janeane Garofalo's on it this year, we won't try and claim it, even if we will enjoy watching you squirm about it.

And it's even worse than THAT when put into the hands of the scruffy-looking nerf-herders* at the National Review. How much worse? Oh, you'll see.

*Yes, I know. I did it on purpose. And when you see why I did it on purpose, you will regret ever having doubted me.