Star Trek, Discovery, Idealism

Star Trek has been a part of my life since I was tiny. I grew up on The Next Generation, watching it curled up on the couch with my older sibs. While I remember the death of Tasha Yar, I don’t remember Riker without a beard (I see the impossibility there, presumably my brain edits out most of the worse stuff).

I was, arguably, too young for the show. I know it wasn’t geared towards toddlers. Some of my earliest nightmares grew out of Star Trek episodes. Those did not stop me from watching.

Of course, the same can be said for watching my sibs play Doom. Maybe toddler-Henry’s judgement just wasn’t that good. Toddler-Henry almost certainly valued spending time with sibs more than not having nightmares. That’s still true.

All of which is to say, Star Trek has a special place in my heart. Moreover, at a formative age Star Trek fed me an underlying idealism that serves as the keystone for good Star Trek stories. If you’ve watched enough older Trek you know what I’m talking about. When it isn’t there, the Star Trek-ness of the story just falls apart.

That idealism isn’t always well-written. But I admire it all the same. With it, generations of Star Trek have tried to do something that much of the rest of its contemporary narrative milieu dismissed as naive, or uninteresting, or hopelessly unrealistic. Unlike those other stories, well-written Star Trek refuels me.

All of which brings me around to Star Trek: Discovery. I’m working my way through it, bit by bit, but as much as I’m having fun seeing science fiction in the Star Trek universe it still doesn’t feel quite like Trek. This won’t surprise anyone who’s familiar with both Discovery and older Trek. Discovery’s first (and second, so far) season are dramatic and often exciting, and they have more character growth and development than I remember from TOS or TNG, but… they don’t hold the Trek idealism that I love. There are glimpses of it, moments when that idealism comes through, but it’s mostly hidden behind their larger threatening story arcs.

The most Star Trek thing I’ve seen in them so far have been Captain Pike and Number One, part of why I’m so excited for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

I have heard good things about Discovery’s third season, however. I’ve heard that it feels more full of the old idealism. I could really use that right now. So I’m still plugging away, doing my best to appreciate the science fiction show wearing Star Trek’s skin, and looking forward to it growing into something more hopeful and idealistic.

Canada + Star Trek?

Sorry, this isn’t about putting Spock on Canadian money.  It’s far more interesting than that, I think.

There’s this thing right here, which is a fascinating glance at what Trudeau is doing / has already done in Canada.  And there’s this piece here, which is The Oatmeal’s comic on a very particular epiphany, one that I rather appreciate.  How are they connected?

First, you should probably look at both of them.  They’re rather short.

Then, well… maybe I took away the wrong message from watching and thinking about Star Trek.  But it seems to me that at its best, and in spite of its flaws, Star Trek tries to share a vision of a world (of multiple star systems) united, in which our differences simply aren’t an issue.  A world in which it doesn’t matter whether you’re obviously representative of one side of a cold war currently gripping the TV show’s planet, or obviously part of the other side.  Where it doesn’t matter that your skin is not the same color as that of the other members of your crew.  Where it doesn’t matter that you’re human or alien or a little bit of both, or even (though TOS didn’t do such a good job of this one, methinks) not a man.

The show is a good reminder that everything is the product of its times.

To continue, it’s a world where, ideally, your gender and sexual orientation aren’t tools used by those with power to subject you to living hell.  There are many other differences I could / should mention here.

But what I’m trying to say, I think, is that Trudeau appears to be assembling the crew of the next Enterprise.  I am intrigued.

Artemis Bridge Simulator Offers Arch Entertainment

Pun aside, this game is not about building bridges.  It is about being on bridges.  Spaceship bridges.  While it can be legitimately panned for its exceedingly high computer requirements (it isn’t demanding about system specs, it demands many systems), this game is a multiplayer gem of excellent quality.  I played it for the first time this weekend, and now…

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