June 28, 2008
Originally PUBLISHED July 8, 2004
My father gave me both a blessing and a curse when I was young. He taught me to love reading and he also steered me toward a lot of science-fiction books when I was growing up. I read everything Heinlein ever wrote. I enjoyed Bradbury, Asimov and Laumer. I had a head full of stars, and I remember gazing at the night sky while huddled in a sleeping bag and thinking, "I want to GO THERE some day."
Alas, I'll never realize that dream, but I've lived it vicariously a thousand times, through books and Star Trek, which remains to this day my all-time favorite TV program. The introduction hooked me from the beginning. Take some majestic music, show me a picture of a starship and mention "Boldly go where NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE" and I'm a goner. Yeah. I'LL sail with you, captain.
I still watch the reruns on the sci-fi channel. I see now that the sets are cheesy, the special effects suck and the show operated on a shoestring budget. Shatner frequently went over the top in his acting. Not every episode was a work of art.
But it was the SPIRIT of the show and the CHARACTERS that came to life for me. Captain Kirk--- the wild-ass cowboy who bedded wimmen of every alien persuasion. Spock--- ruled by logic and never fully understanding the passions of humans. Bones--- a country doctor at heart, who always had the best lines in the show: "Jim! I'm a DOCTOR, not an archeologist!" Scotty--- loving his ship and tending the engines. ("Coptin! She con't take any more!") Sulu, always reliable at the helm. Checkov, young and full of cum. Uhura, lovely and competent.
I watched The Next Generation, but I felt creepy about a "Federation" that sounded a lot like a communist wet dream to me. No money? No private property? Nobody has to work? Just push the replicator button? Then why the fuck go to Starfleet Academy and bother to achieve anything? It's all FREE, just for the taking. Piss on that idea.
Picard was a much more realistic ship's captain than Kirk (the ship's captain doesn't lead away teams), and I lusted after Commander Troy. But that show never grabbed me by the throat and shook me the way the original series did.
I confess. I've been to six Star Trek conventions. I never dressed up in a costume, but I have a T-shirt signed by James Doohan, DeForest Kelly and Walter Koenig. That's a collector's item. I've never washed it or worn it. I wanted the hot chick who played Yeoman Rand to sign my shirt, too, but I never got past the mob around her.
I'll never ride on a starship, but I still look at the night sky and dream. We CAN go there and we SHOULD go there.
Full ahead. Warp factor eight.
All content © Rob Smith