Friday, September 25, 2009

You know things are bad...

....When you watch an episode of Star Trek Voyager on Virgin plus one (insert your own joke here) and think...mmmm this is good I should buy the box set, maybe of just the last series. It's a slippery slope. No offense to the more hardened Trek fan, but when Firefly, Serenity, and Battlestar Galatica have passed through the 'verse, watching Star Trek is like seeing a quaint Edwardian play about morals or something.

I remember living alone in Rathmines and Star Trek was there like emotional crack for the sci-fi fan. I spotted and bought in a Virgin Megastore sale the Data Head box set and the one that was like a transporter with all the episode that had crossovers, especially Relics, that always brings a tear to the eye, and got hooked on Sky One reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation

I've just finished three weeks of substitute teaching where, bizarrely my nickname is 'Mr.Bean', I don't know why, maybe some kid misheard 'Mr.McGrane' but it stuck. I was covering English and Religion. I was proud of a moment when a pupil asked: 'but aren't priests breaking their pledge when they drink wine on Sunday?', and I replied, 'well, no, because it's technically the blood of Christ when they drink it.' I also had to explain that banshees and the Blair Witch don't exist and dodge the question of whether Lady Gaga 'is a man'*

Anyway, today I was on the verge of genuine tears while watching the Star Trek: Voyager episode 'The Eye of the Needle', will they get home, well as it's only about 8 episodes in to the first
This guy's has a good take on it:

Although it tries to be all nicey and inclusive, the Star Trek franchise has stuck to a simply, cut-out-and-keep male white chauvanism, which goes thusly:

Star Trek: Male white captain, off to conquer the universe, and ride green women.

Star Trek: The Next Generaton, male white captain, off to conquer the universe in a more uradite way, and drink tea, and kinda ride a red-haired lady, sometimes, I think.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, black captain, he's going nowhere! stick him in a sorta ghetto in space with an Irish man. Oh yeah, and make it roundy, we don't want him in charge of anything phallic.

Star Trek: Voyager, lady captain, she's got lost and whines about getting home for seven seasons. Yeah we'll explore and that, but the main aim is to get home as soon as possible.

Star Trek: Enterprise, 'It's been a long road'...but at least all the minority English/French, African-American and Lady captains are out of the way, so it's back to a male white captain, off to conquer the universe, and something about a dog and not the 'realistic' depiction of space exploration that was touted at the beginning. It doesn't count to just have a cgi clip of a space ship landing on yet another life-supporting planet instead of a cgi teleporter clip. For a franchise that's never 'Out of Gas'.

It's not auld Rodenberry's fault it's just that bad periods of my life have coincided with times were I suddenly got into watching Star Trek regularly and evaded problems with it's simplistic world. The only character I liked really was yer man Barclay because he was a fuck up. He was the only one I could identify with...'Where's ensign McGrane?'...'mmm there was that synthetic whiskey and holodeck Bangkok incident, captain...' and poor ensign McGrane arriving late to the bridge with his uniform all in disarray and having not done his space sums about how to press the wee buttons and that. No one in Star Trek is bad at their jobs or has an untidy room. A little too much time in the holodeck and that's about it with human foibles.

*I can conclusively reveal that Lady Gaga does in fact have a penis, but only occasionally...and in my masturbation fantasies.

I'll leave you with a great triple bill:

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