The fiftieth anniversary of “Star Trek” is upon us.[Link] As is the fiftieth anniversary of my being a college freshman.
Start Trek was one of two television programs my “band” watched each week. Calling it a “band” was optimistic because we seldom numbered ten, much less twenty-five. But we were a group of nerds and geeks beset by a Greek EXTRO society and instrumentality so the bonds were fairly tight.
Mostly we were entering freshmen and majoring in STEM stuffs. And a few chose not to default to the ground state of residing in dorm. SO twice a week we formed up after third meal (which was often only second for several of us who were late sleepers or had stiff schedules,) and walked off campus to two of our number’s apartment to watch, respectively, “Start Trek” and “Laugh In”. Both of these had great impact on me over the years. I still find almost no humor comparable to R&M – sometimes Monty Python – and all the later Treks are inferior to the original.
And that has nothing to do with the captain character.
What Laugh In taught me was to be critical and cynical and disrespectful of the establishment.
What Star Trek taught me was to strive for the unattainable. Star Trek was about making the universe fit for everyone, not just the wealthy and powerful and beautiful. Equity, not Evolution. And definitely not government.
But organization was necessary despite its evils.
But only worthy of loyalty when it was not being evil. This was the Vietnam era after all.
We are further than ever from that ideal. The amazing thing is that it could be thought of and a television program made about it.
It’s one of the things that make me glad to be ORF.
The young today are pretty sure they’re serfs. And not doing very much about it. So Star Trek stays a fantasy.