My mother, the most wonderfullest beautifullest person in the entire world, introduced me to Star Trek starting at birth. I never had to warm up to the show; I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. As a child, the appeal was the adventure aspect. Every episode took its audience on some sort of dangerous and exhilarating journey which was invariably entertaining for me. As I grew older, shows like Star Trek the Next Generation, coinciding with a consistent stream of films kept me interested and entertained. I still love Star Trek and have high praise for the new films, but I have added a new reason for loving the fictional world that is the Starship Enterprise.
The storylines are always framed by communicating our greatest potential as human beings and the relatable aspects of us at our best.
The crew of the Enterprise has always been comprised of human and humanoid beings that all work side by side to pursue the same goal. Their search for “strange new worlds” always brought them in contact with foreign entities that challenged them in upholding their principles, ethics, and personal bonds. I view the Starship Enterprise as a microcosm for the United States. We are a motley crew of different ethnicities and cultures but share a bond that is consistently challenged by outside entities, and at times, internal strife.
When I think of the internal strife, my first thought goes to Bones. Bones being the ship’s doctor was always integral to the plot. He was crabby, judgmental, and at times downright mean. He was relentless in his ridicule of Spock for not displaying enough emotion, and was always the voice of resistance for whatever impetuous ideas Captain Kirk, or “Jim” as he called him had. He seemed utterly closed and pessimistic about everything, but this had nothing to do with his commitment or the feelings that the other crew members had for him. The crew and the audience always knew that Bones would gladly give his life for anyone of his comrades despite his misanthropic rhetoric.
This is how I view the United States. We have Captain Kirk, the impetuous idealistic liberal always trying to forge ahead with half-cocked schemes that are always well-meaning but not always practical. Then you have Bones, the defensive conservative always irritated with the incessant demands placed on him by all of this dangerous and costly progressive thinking.
That’s why they both need Spock. He’s always objective and cool. He can never be swayed by emotion or desire. He sees things as they are and coolly reports the facts, always performing his tasks unfailingly.
I believe in this instance, Spock represents what the free press has always been for this country. The Watergate Scandal, The Massacre of My Lai, and Abu Ghraib were all brought to our attention by the free press. The work done by muckraking reporters shows how the ability of the free press to report the unadulterated truth has been crucial for our efforts to make sound choices in plotting our course as a nation.
Imagine how the Starship Enterprise might function without Spock and you get the state of affairs our country is in. Without an objective third party to report facts as they are and our ability to trust those facts, we become bickering fools unable to find our way. We need Spock, even if we don’t like what he tells us. Bones can’t just call Spock a liar because he doesn’t tell him what he wants to hear, and this is precisely where we are. To continue with my metaphor, I must say that I feel as though Khan has successfully commandeered the ship and is poisoning everyone’s minds on the inherent value that Spock brings.
We need a Captain Kirk to restore order, and I’ve seen enough episodes of Star Trek to know that he will appear just in time.
It’s always darkest before the dawn.
Love you Momma Bear 🙂