EDITORIAL: The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Voices of the Few

Vocal minorities tend to lead perception. It’s not necessarily because they are right, but because they are loud, consistent in message and sometimes the only mouthpiece. Lately however, that vox populi has taken its gripes and issues to an entirely new level; one that ridicules, mocks and bullies creators online, as well as posting critical and negative comments to anything and everything covering something that supposedly brings these fans great joy. All of these behaviors can easily be attached to countless fandoms currently occupying the zeitgeist, yet sadly it seems to have taken a firm hold on Star Trek, which is disappointing considering what the franchise represents.

Enthusiasts of Star Trek know the story all too well, how when the franchise debuted on September 8, 1966 with “The Man Trap”, viewers witnessed something they had never seen before on broadcast television – a diverse group of people working towards a common goal. What’s more, the crew of the starship Enterprise, or planet Earth as George Takei has explained, were not identified or labeled by their race or gender, but by their abilities. They were equal members of a crew that represented a better future with collaboration, personal fulfillment and the realization not to force their beliefs on other cultures and individuals.

Impressing his ideology of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (IDIC) on the masses, Gene Roddenberry continued to expand his notion of how humanity could behave in the future with each new Star Trek story in which he was associated. Conflict would no longer be something that would define people, nor would the acquisition of wealth. While the former made for boring dramatic storytelling according to some, it also gave humanity something in which to aspire; a team of individuals working as one to solve the unknown with “strength in unity.”

Ideas of a non-dystopian future and peaceful coexistence with others, as well as observing a brighter future while working towards the betterment of humanity, is the reason fans have allowed the franchise to endure for an unprecedented 50 years in popular culture. Imagine if a better future began today with that positive group of supporters, who celebrated Star Trek for what it means to them and shared their eagerness for the next new installment. Trekkies can still nitpick the details, but can do so without being rude and offensive – for instance, debating the way a piece of technology works or whether an event is canon in a constructive conversation. However, posting comments like “I won’t take my children to see Star Trek Beyond now that Sulu is gay” is not in the spirit of what Star Trek is, and should be, about.

Noting that humanity is “an incredible species” in his Hollywood Walk of Fame acceptance speech on September 4, 1985 (31 years ago), Roddenberry added, “we’re still just a child creature, we’re still being nasty to each other. And all children go through those phases. We’re growing up, we’re moving into adolescence now. When we grow up – man, we’re going to be something.” Inspirational words for sure. For evidence that humanity still has a ways to go one need only look at the current political climate assaulting our world – isolationism, bigotry, hate, all of which are perpetuated by the globe’s chosen leaders. It’s no wonder people are so negative.

Here is the rub however: Star Trek should offer relief from negativity and hate. Roddenberry’s vision is much more than mindless entertainment. While fans have every right to embrace Star Trek for what it means to them, it is still important to realize, understand and accept that ultimately Star Trek is about a philosophy of a positive future. Star Trek reveals a better way, and suggests that there are more intrinsic goals society can and should welcome.

Change begins within each individual towards that better way of life, while promoting respect to the world, its cultures and ideas. This is what defines Star Trek and is what Roddenberry aspired for in his franchise: instead of homogenization and jeering, acceptance and understanding should be the rule of thumb.

The implication that Star Trek fandom is the only community witnessing such behavior would be a misrepresentation . Detractors to Avengers: Age of Ultron attacked Joss Whedon on social media as well as chased a storyboard artist behind the popular Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe after her portrayal of LGBT characters. Time magazine even devoted attention to the toxic effect the vocal minority is having on all of fandom in a Joel Stein penned article.

I’m not suggesting that fans drink the Kool-Aid and accept everything the studios and networks have to offer. When art is in the public eye, consumers have every right to analyze and criticize it. But that does not mean those same acknowledged fans need to rip apart Rick Berman, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Fuller every time news of something they do not want to see is going to be included. IDIC is about embracing different ideas and cultures, and Star Trek is that vehicle in which people are exposed to those concepts.

Discussing Roddenberry’s code of IDIC at a recent press conference in Seoul where Star Trek Beyond was about to premiere, the film’s co-writer and star, Simon Pegg, discussed a future, “where we all live together with total tolerance, total acceptance. That should be our goal as a species.” While this objective seems to be one shared by most Star Trek fans, the vocal minority is the one that takes to the message boards to denigrate and disparage (especially recently with news of the next oppressed and poorly represented group in popular culture, the LGBT community, being included in the next iteration of Star Trek). Star Trek fans should be embracing these differences and allowing them to make the group stronger, not weaker.

Never has there been a better time to be a fan of popular culture, including Star Trek. Yet, with all the new material dropped in fans’ laps to absorb, and the ability to instantly and continuously make your voice heard on the Internet, fandom is more judgemental and more unwilling to allow the art to breathe and even exist. Instead fandom wants stories catered to them as individuals. Imagine if Roddenberry attempted to create Star Trek or The Next Generation today? Would he be one of the creators who would take a self-imposed exile away from the fans in which he was trying to connect? How would his vision change?

While this phenomenon is widespread across many fandoms, shouldn’t Star Trek stand for something more? Imagine if the Star Trek masses, not just the vocal minority, but all, descended upon the message boards to share their love and joy of Roddenberry’s vision – the negative voices would be drowned out by appreciation. In the end, negativity thrives on attention. Snuff out its air like oxygen to a flame, and there is nothing left. Sure, there will always be dissenters, but those proclamations will have less of an impact than they do today.

Imagine a Star Trek fandom that truly embraces the ideas that IDIC represents. Now that is something towards which all Star Trek fans should aspire. Hopefully one day all Star Trek fans will no longer define others by the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their gender, but instead by their accomplishments and character. But for now it appears the human adventure is still “just beginning”.

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“Yet, with all the new material dropped in fans’ laps to absorb, and the ability to instantly and continuously make your voice heard on the Internet, fandom is more judgemental and more unwilling to allow the art to breathe and even exist.”

This is honestly why I’m trepidacious about a new series.

Jared Whitley,

From my old fart perspective, I don’t get that trepidation, because before “the Internet”, fans, such as yourself, had “the ability to instantly and continuously make your voice heard” on TALK Radio and Television Talk shows that would take call-ins [See: Tom Snyder’s “The Tom Snyder Show”, “The Late Late Show”, etc. ] in just one example of the myriad of ways that “the telephone” always served that purpose [still does in cellhpones use of new “the Internet” boogeyman].

Generational change is difficult to navigate with a 50-year-old property which has appealed to so many from such diverse backgrounds for so long. Indeed, in STVI, Kirk admits that his generation will have a tough time living in an era that turns his own well-worn preconceptions of good and evil upside down. These days, the Internet allows all voices to be heard, and for better or for worse, we live with it. Star Trek is always about how we transcend that which divides us, and hopefully all strive for a greater good. I wish all “bigots” and “trolls” were as perspicacious as Kirk & Co. in STVI, acknowledging that what they believe has to give way to new and different beliefs. Some are, and will tell you so. Some will try their best to find others like them and resist change on a grand scale. Star Trek shows a future based on the nature of our planet’s history – which favors good over evil. Eventually. There is nothing that even the loudest of “vocal minorities” can do about that.

If social media existed when Star Trek was originally being broadcast, I doubt it would have made it past season one! I certainly can’t imagine it lasting more than a couple of episodes into season three.

The original Doctor Who series is one of the best examples of gobby fanboys shooting themselves in the foot; in the late 1970s to mid 1980s, the level of abuse thrown at the production teams so annoyed BBC management that when they needed to allocate substantial funds to set up breakfast television, they cancelled the show along with many others, since they assumed the fans didn’t like it any more. The show eventually came back for four more truncated seasons, but it was an ever cheaper, limping wreck that caused no waves at all when it breathed its last in 1989.

However the article above disappears into the usual gobbledegook Roddenberry utopianism and banging on about IDIC (a joke ‘philosophy’ created to sell cheap 1960s hippie medals) serves no one. Sadly the upshot of the article’s message is ‘Shut up if you disagree with the majority!’

Ha. Well, that didn’t take long. Just for the record the subject and predicate of your last sentence don’t agree; there’s nothing at all unworthy about a philosophy of diversity and inclusion; and, finally, it’s truly astonishing to see a constant defender of the modern capitalist order on these boards apparently incapable of wrapping his head around the notion that Trek’s creator might have actually wanted to peddle a notion he thought worthwhile AND make a buck selling hippie trinkets at the same time.

Finally, I’ll just point that calling out bad ideas, so long as it’s done with a minimum of spite and vitriol, isn’t exactly the same as telling someone to shut up.

You are so right. Shut up if you don’t agree with the majority, which I don’t think it is the majority. They think they are. Also, what the heck is total tolerance? There is no such thing because people have different opinions and values. How far do you take tolerance? It’s a ridiculous notion that every behavior should be tolerated. Funny how the people ranting about tolerance are usually he most intolerant. Hollywood is the perfect example.

You realize that when tolerance people talk about tolerance, they mean not arresting/firing/assaulting/etc people because of religion/race/gender/sexual orientation?

It doesn’t mean that nobody can disagree with you on the Internet.

the production team on ‘who’ made mistakes in the mid 80s, including alienating the fans as well as casual viewers, that harmed the show.

I was one of those long time fans dismayed at the drop in quality during colin baker’s time as the doctor.

but the bbc management at the time were was always going to take funding from a show like that to give to new fangled, sexier breakfast tv and soaps.

for the record the last two seasons of classic ‘who’ saw a creative renaissance that included one the best dalek stories ever written, ‘remembrance of the daleks’

Dom,

Re:If social media existed when Star Trek was originally being broadcast

Social media DID exist when STAR TREK was originally being broadcast. What the heck do you think letters, telegrams and phones were? And how did you think letter-writing campaigns got organized? Prayer? Tribal drums?

We had phones and we may have used them a little differently than they are mostly used today, but they still served a social media function even back then.

No quarrel with any of this here. I loathed just about every minute of Trek 2009, but never accused J.J. Abrams and Co. of being hacks or of raping my childhood, and when I engaged with Bob Orci in these forums–sometimes pretty vigorously, I’ll admit–I at least attempted in spite of my disappointment not to make it personal. And while I’ve never much gotten the appeal of superheroes, it always seemed to me (and confirmed by Roddenberry’s college talks during the Seventies) that Trek fandom should be convivial and idealistic, or it means nothing more than sanctifying an often silly and flawed 1960s TV space opera. Thanks for reminding us why.

I have to say I agree in principle with the above. Some pretty jaw-dropping posts have been made on these pages in the last few weeks.
However, most of the trolling i’ve seen has been carried out by social justice warrior types, reacting with self righteous venom to any opinion which they feel conflicts with sacrosant liberal orthodoxy. They’ve bullied quite a few people off of this site, I think it’s fair to say.
The funny thing is though, no-one ever seems to call them out on it.

You are aware we are talking about Star Trek right? One of the most left leaning “SJW” shows of all time……? Earth has a one world Government and nobody has to work for things its all easily attained via replicator. This is painted as Utopian. I’d say its hard to get more “left wing” than that.

However, I focused on … no-one ever seems to call them out on it.

Star Trek was never, in any way a “SJW” show. If anything it presented more of a Libertarian mind set ie The Prim Directive, Individualism vs collectivism ect. SJW’s and “the left wing” have nothing to do with those things .

How often did Kirk take action against war and overcome prejudice (including his own), the PD notwithstanding?

Funny that Eugene Roddenberry, a self-professed liberal humanist (if no leftist ideologue, thank Heaven) managed to create and produce three season of a show that somehow didn’t manage to reflect his own beliefs. But maybe you know more about the subject than he did.

Take action against war? I guess you missed all the times Kirk attacked enemies. I guess you missed where he supplied weapons (A Private Little War). I guess you missed where he hunted down to destroy enemies that attacked human outposts (Arena). I guess you missed where he actually forced two planets to fight an actual war(A Taste of Armageddon). I guess you missed where he kidnapped people and forced them to conform (Piece of the Action). And on and on.

Well, since you don’t provide relevant examples of all those times Kirk “attacked enemies,” you’ve really given me nothing to respond to. I’ll be happy to reply when you do. In the meantime: In “Arena,” Kirk does indeed embark on a quest to track down and destroy an alien ship that has laid waste to an Earth outpost. By the episode’s end, however, he has come to understand that the aliens may have actually had a legitimate reason for feeling threatened (McCoy even reflects that “We may have been in the wrong.”), and pointedly refuses to kill his enemy. Thus, the point of the story is decidedly antiwar. I’m actually astonished you could miss that, since it was about as subtle as a sledgehammer. (For bonus points I’ll toss in “Errand of Mercy,” where Kirk actually argues his “right” to fight what would have been a devastating war with the Klingon Empire, then is brought up short when he recognizes the absurdity of that position, and “The Devil in the Dark,” where Kirk pursues a murderous alien creature only to discover that its actions were entirely legitimate and understandable under the circumstances, and that the humans in this case were the real monsters.) In “Armageddon,” the two planets involved were ALREADY fighting a war that was costing millions of lives each year. But because the results were tallied by machine and the citizens showed up to be euthanized on schedule like good patriots, the war was neat and bloodless. Kirk’s… Read more »

Absolutely right.

Yeah, right, the idea of a United Federation of Planets is just soooo libertarian.

Federation:
1. the act of federating or uniting in a league.
2. the formation of a political unity, with a central government, by a number of separate states. EACH OF WHICH RETAINS CONTROL OF ITS OWN INTERNAL AFFAIRS.
3. a league or confederacy.

It sure doesn’t mean collectivism! The stock and trade of the “SJW” , the far left, the far right and a host of other “isms” that’s been foisted on the peoples of the world over the centuries. I cant stand intolerant people who think they have a right to tell others how to live and think. And SJW’s and the far left are some of the most self important, authoritarian usful idiots I’ve ever meet who love to dictate everyone elses moral codes and behavior They are not gods and can F off!

Uh, huh. Tell me this: which arrogant SJW-inspired law has interfered with your individual freedoms and precious rights that would compare with, say, the agonizing dilemma facing a 13 year-old rape victim living in Texas who wishes to terminate her pregnancy? I’ll wait.

LOL. It’s truly hilarious to see someone whine about “orthodoxy” while simultaneously regurgitating the very latest in “social justice warrior” groupthink. Well, I’ve got news for ya, Tobe: by alt-right standards Roddenberry, Coon, Nimoy et al were all SJWs to one extent or another, and probably worthy at least of mass censure and possible removal at the hands of the proposed deportation force. (If you think that’s an exaggeration, try checking out the Reddit sub-basements sometime, assuming you don’t already live there.) As I suppose I’m an SJW bully for pointing this out to you, you may now take on your preferred status as a persecuted victim.

Thanks all for proving my point.

The last refuge of the lazy intellect. Enjoy your martyrdom. :-)

Martyr? Not at all. No-one on this board has ever trolled me before. I haven’t posted here long enough for that to happen. I was referring to others who’ve had the misfortune to incur the sneering wrath of your elitist group. Left against Right indeed. Bizarre, since Trek’s utopian future supposedly outgrew such petty ideological concerns.
But again, thank you for demonstrating my point. You all took the bait.
Didn’t take much, did it?

Yes, I know we’re sneering peecee fascist elitists (when we’re not wussified, Kumbaya-singing cowards who won’t face up to manly reality; these things get confusing), but you forgot the stuff about social justice free-trade soy-milk lattes that come in recyclable paper cups, not to mention the arugula and brown mustard.

As for Trek’s (quasi) utopian future–well, you’ll forgive me, but it doesn’t make much sense to a great many of us that we managed to get there while sneering at the very concepts of inclusivity and social justice, sorry. (Though if you’re saying those things should be beyond the realm of mere politics, I agree.)

Tell me: do you have any vocabulary and thoughts that are truly your own, or did you just forget to pack?

LOL. Clearly your idea of ‘done with the minimum of spite and vitriol’ differs from most other peoples.
Is this where we’re supposed to argue until one of us gets the last word? Okay my friend I’ll tell you what, I’m feeling in a good mood today so i’ll let YOU have it. I know how much you need to have that in order to feel good about yourself.

Ta-ta!

You know–you’re right. Too much spite and vitriol, there. My apologies.

I sure do like me some brown mustard.

See, I don’t get this attitude. I’m convinced that many fans of Trek just don’t grasp what it is about. That they come to it for adventure, spaceships and so on. I think those fans miss the point. I do so loath the term “social justice warrior”. Alas, everything is judged these days by the American political sphere (which is particularly frustrating for us non-Americans). You have people with no clue of true political conservatism calling themselves conservative and using it as a platform to support their own prejudices. This is the origin of immature labels like “social justice warrior”, a phrase of American origin that has spread like wildfire inline. It’s the latest in a long line of catchphrases designed to shut up and dismiss anyone who defends the rights and interests of the underdog against those who would undermine them. I’m generally politically conservative (in areas such as economics) by my country’s standards, and centrist by American standards. But in spite of that, I am arguably socially liberal in the eyes of many Americans as I am not religious and I don’t hold onto superficial prejudices. Part of this is down to living in a country where many of the issues still dividing Americans are increasingly becoming non-issues, only bleated on about by a small minority. A poster who has replied to you is right when he says that Star Trek is a socially liberal show, especially by American political standards. However, to me it is just a… Read more »

El Chup,

You’re definitely the sort of conservative I’d be happy to have a beer with. I grew up in a conservative region of a pretty liberal state, and so have no issues in getting on fine with people I disagree with (else I’d have gotten my a$$ kicked on a fairly regular basis).

And yeah, the use of hateful, stupid phrases like “social justice warrior” is just an unsubtle way of announcing to the world that you have no interest whatsoever in thinking for yourself. In fairness, such sloganeering is not unknown in certain precincts of the political Left as well.

Great post, in any case.

Thanks Michael

Well done

Bravo, El Chup. Well said, sir or madam.

“Young minds, fresh ideas. Be tolerant.” -Admiral Kirk, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Ok but at the same time, you’re overly praising and reading to much into the production team’s attempts at “open-mindedness” and “diversity”. It’s not like it’s a whole new wave of young of idealistic millenials are working on this, it’s the same old people that worked on the TNG-era.

Remember that the creative team produces a work more for themselves than for the fans and for it to be enjoyable for them, that means creating only original characters and scenarios that we’ve not already seen in previous Treks.

I.E.: A female LGBT lead on a mixed starfleet-klingon starship.

Basically they’re creating something different for the sake of being different otherwise its boring to them(the creative team).

Which is exactly as it should be. If a creator doesn’t make something that makes sense to them and reflects their worldview, they won’t create anything worth being a fan of. Frankly, I don’t understand the attitude of certain fans of “You created something I like, so now I get to tell you what you can or cannot do.”

Very well put.

AMEN AND HALLELUJAH! Thank you Rich Schepis!

This was an enjoyable article and I must say I agreed with pretty much all of it. The thing about Star Trek fans, is that they can really be hypocrites at times. They want their Trek made a certain way, some want sunny side up and some want over easy and then of course there’s the ones that want scrambled. I’m the scrambled guy, I’ll be honest, I like stories that go all over the place… Point is, sometimes what Star Trek fans want isn’t good for the franchise for moving forward and I think that many of them have a tendency to be biased toward “new stuff” in Star Trek. That is totally the reverse of what the IDIC is all about. So yes, Star Trek fans can be some of the meanest, loud mouthed people there are. They say they dream about the type of optimistic world that the Star Trek Universe is in, yet I certainly don’t see many of them contributing to building a world like that. Not with their ideals of noninclusiveness. I’ve always loved Star Trek, and even when it was bad, it was still better than most other television shows. Stop complaining people!! The Silver Age is on the horizon!! I was just a little kid when TNG came out but I still remember the first time I seen it…that was the Golden Age for me…and it lasted until 2005. The films only serve as dessert, and yes I loved the JJ films,… Read more »

I pretty much agree with you and I’ve been into Star Trek literally since I was a toddler. I don’t know if my first exposure to Star Trek was the syndicated reruns, the network run of TAS or my Colorforms set. I’ve seen a section of fandom bitch and moan about every new version of Trek since before TNG premiered. What I’ve never understood is the need some of them have to watch something they don’t enjoy, just so they can continue to complain about it. Personally, when I’m not enjoying a TV show or movie franchise, I find something else to watch.

You guys really are speaking my language here; finally I can disconnect my universal translator! People generally seem to really love complaining about things but generally, there really seems to be no need to unnecessarily point out negative aspects of things and dwell on them. As you have suggested — they didn’t make it to the amazing and inclusive future depicted in the trek by being wet blankets!

I love this article — it seems to be bringing out all of the faithful and optimistic trekkies, of which I most certainly am one. I have loved the JJ films thusfar; I do believe that Beyond has been the most enjoyable Trek film since The Voyage Home, and I am really looking forward to the Star Trek future which may be created on television and film, and in life and reality also :D

Like many editorials on fans and their input this starts off well and then devolves into false equivalency. I agree it is against Star Trek IDIC philosophy to be homophobic and it is a minority who think this way. However, legitimate criticism by actual minorities like against queerbaiting or for more feminism was made equivalent to that by the author here. And that is false equivalency. I agree that Star Trek never was nor is merely a sci-fi show but actively promotes its ideals. Protest for better representation and against using women and minorities as mere tokens is not against IDIC but on the contrary part of Star Trek’s ongoing mission to represent the world as it is and not as mainly white, straight men like to misportray it as on TV, in movies or in other publishing forms. IDIC means to see and accept the reality that people/aliens are divers. It does not mean to be nice or respectful to everyone or their ideas/work no matter how bad those are. Star Trek has always portrayed legitimate differing viewpoints but always fought against the ideas and people who stood against its ideals. I agree therefore that a fan that accepts Star Trek’s ideals must stand against homophobia and other lgbt+ hatred. The casual fan that JJ Abrams & co. specifically targeted with their reboot that specifically had less empasis on Star Trek’s pholosophy do not always share these ideals. Some will come around, such is the power of Star Trek.… Read more »

Are you telling us to lay off the criticism of a gay character and female lead? That is common sense. But if the implication is “stop complaining about Star Trek”, that’s asinine. Infinite Diversity also includes diverse opinions.

I’m guessing not, but if ALL someone ever does is post negative responses to others then it is being directed to them

I think the author made that pretty clear, actually.

I also think the spirit of the article is that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

@Michael Hall,

Not really, he wants only certain point of views to be expressed here, for everyone to sing kumbaya and not saying anything negative.

The guy is pissed off that his past “editorials” are getting negative comments.

————————-

Rich Schepis: “Imagine if the Star Trek masses, not just the vocal minority, but all, descended upon the message boards to share their love and joy of Roddenberry’s vision – the negative voices would be drowned out by appreciation. In the end, negativity thrives on attention. Snuff out its air like oxygen to a flame, and there is nothing left.”

He also said that it was perfectly okay to criticize aspects of various Trek productions; the point was that such criticism shouldn’t be mean spirited. What’s wrong with that?

@Michael Hall,

Obviously nothing wrong with that, but that is not his main point, just read the quote and see for yourself.

Sorry, we’ll have to agree to disagree, since I think that was his main point.

Actually, Ahmed has a point. The penultimate paragraph does seem to imply that the author wants conformity of opinion, for everyone to join hands and sing Kubaya. How and whether that paragraph relates to his main point about his (mis)interpretation of IDIC and gays getting a hard time, I couldn’t say:

“While this phenomenon is widespread across many fandoms, shouldn’t Star Trek stand for something more? Imagine if the Star Trek masses, not just the vocal minority, but all, descended upon the message boards to share their love and joy of Roddenberry’s vision.”

I think the author was saying that it’s fine if you have complaints and nitpic but it’s all about how you do it. I feel like the author was trying to point out people who are essentially trolls with their comments, who are inherently negative and disrespectful to that section of the franchise, the creative minds involved, etc… I have my complaints about some things in the Kelvin Timeline as well as things in the Prime Universe but as Trek fans we should be able to express that in a way that’s not angry and/or closed-minded because it goes against the very thing that we all love. That at least, was my take-away.

@TUP,

“But if the implication is “stop complaining about Star Trek”, that’s asinine. Infinite Diversity also includes diverse opinions.”

The author is basically telling people to only express their “joy and love” for Trek, any negativity is not welcomed!

@Ahmed,

That’s not what the author is saying either (your comment may have sarcasm in it so forgive me if I didn’t see it). To break it down in simplistic terms, you can disagree with someone without saying “you’re stupid and your ideas suck, you shouldn’t be allowed to write or even touch Star Trek.” That’s the whole point that this is trying to get across.

@PEB,

The last paragraph in the editorial shows that he wants to hear only “positive comments”, any criticisms or as he put it “negativity” should be not allowed here. That’s my take from this editorial.

Also the author wrote an editorial last week that received some negative responses and I think this one is his response to those comments specially when you see this line:

“as well as posting critical and negative comments to anything and everything covering something that supposedly brings these fans great joy.”

No, that’s really not what he said.

I do agree with the author on those who attacked Beyond because Sulu was gay. There are people with different sexuality, why not put that in? In the grand scheme of exploring the universe however this should not make or break a movie. That is what is more troublesome to me however is that Trek stories are reduced to soap opera material (so and so will be gay, now I will watch/not watch Trek????)? To both sides, is that really what makes or breaks Trek to you?? The founder of paypal Peter Thiel (who is openly gay btw) had a great quote: “But fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline,” he said. “When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?” I think these “phony culture wars” in this case are just a distraction from the fact that despite a massive fan base these studios can’t seem to put out good entertaining Star Trek stories that excited kids and adults alike like TOS and are generally worried about how quickly TNG Trek faded in the end. On the plus side I liked Beyond – but it is sad how as a fan I am surprised by good quality product as opposed to the usual, quite frankly boring, un-entertaining, uninspiring, garbage they… Read more »

So, if I read you correctly your takeaway from THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY was that the Federation and Starfleet (including Admiral Cartwright, Valeris, and those two doofs who beamed aboard Quo’nos One and assassinated Gorkon) were unalloyed good guys, the Klingons were imperialistic bad guys, and that was pretty much it? In the spirit of the article I say this with respect, but. . . seriously? To quote Captain Sulu in that same film, are you kidding?

We’re agreed about the cultural issues being a distraction–though that’s mostly due to the right using them to garner votes; you really think it was a coincidence that all of those anti-gay marriage state initiatives were on the ballot during the 2004 election? Peter Thiel, whatever his sexual orientation (I could care less) once claimed to have given up on all politics and democracy in general but has now chosen sides, so he’ll have to take the criticism that comes with the territory. He should probably get back to his Seasteading Initiative which, while I’m a fan per se, would be a social experiment that could generate some fascinating and useful results, however it pans out.

I do think your proposed story about religion is interesting and provocative, and believe it would make an excellent episode of Trek if handled properly

NOT a fan of the Seasteading initiative, dammit. Where’s the edit button when you need one?

A starfleet conspiracy where Admirals in 1991 was a surprise and even then there were still evil Klingons and Kirk wasn’t all comfy with the idea. In 2016 it is par for the course – hell Starfleet admirals are not evil then Kahn.

Fine, but that it was fresh and original in 1991 and par for the course now is not really germane to the point you were makingl

Well said and a sentiment that desperately needed to be said. As a life long Star Trek fan, a lover of all things Trek, and a fan of Roddenberry’s philosophy, it break’s my heart to see such negativity constantly attached to this show I love. It’s time we wrestle our beloved fandom back from the vocal (and oddly angry for a show that’s all about optimism) minority. IDIC

Totally OT, but are you the Andy Bray who played Chekov in New Voyages’ “World Enough and Time” by any chance?

yes

Well, dude! (Shakes digital hand vigorously, while Bray nervously backs away.) You were awesome! Not only a dead ringer for Koenig, but you did some respectable acting–particularly in “To Serve All My Days,” though that episode showed a lot more seams. Really wished you’d stuck with it.

Thank you very much for your kind words. I had a fantastic time shooting those, proud of the work I did and made some really good friends. So I couldn’t really ask for more. I left when I felt it was time to, though I do miss playing the character and more importantly: getting to wear that costume and sit on that bridge! :)

This is mostly how I feel. The irony of people being upset over gay characters in Trek or female leads or whatnot, people who say they want to boycott some Trek because it’s different or the ones who say they won’t support some Trek because Sulu is gay…you sound like the viewers in the 60s who complained and were negative because Kirk kissed Uhura. You miss a huge part of what Gene wanted Star Trek to be. How do you reconcile this? It’s something I’ve never really been able to wrap my head around… I guess a portion of the fandom is really having their Trek VI moment.

Having diverse character choices in tv shows or movies is generally a positive thing, but I think there are times when it’s appropriate to question the motives behind those choices. Star Trek Beyond is a case in point. Why is Sulu gay? When it makes no sense, continuity wise? Was it something that was decided upon very early on in the preproduction process, or was it something that was added at the last minute during the January 2016 reshoots? We can’t know for certain, unless George Takei tells us when he had ‘that’ conversation with Pegg and Jung, but i’m willing to bet it was the latter. Paramount looked at the movie, realised it wasn’t in the best shape and decided to pull out all the stops to get as many people into theatres as possible. So we have the diversity play, whereby the studios pander to the predominantly liberal film reviewers in order to see their movies awarded that extra star. This clearly worked with Beyond (as it did with Ghostbusters). With the best will in the world, that movie is not a five star picture. I personally rated it 3/5. I know that many here would go to 4/5 and that’s great if you really enjoyed it. But critics? Most of them aren’t Trekheads, so why would they be so kind? Bottom line: a homosexual character in of itself is fine. More than fine. But exploiting a minority group in a last-ditch attempt to bolster the performance of… Read more »

George said early on Simon approached him about it. There were scenes that weren’t even filmed that would have expanded on the fact that he has a husband so I feel like that in itself speaks to how early on they were working this out in their heads – to leave parts of the scripted material out and whatnot. But go back to DS9 and the mirror universe episodes where Dax, Leeta, and Kira all enjoy women now. You could argue that it shouldn’t have been done in the first place and it even feels like the STB plot was done with more thought and heart behind it whereas the DS9 plot felt like it was done to boost ratings and get boys drooling. Why did 7of9 and T’Pol have to wear skin tight catsuits? How does that advance the plot of their characters? I didn’t mind it but the ‘outrage’ is interesting when you could easily say by the laws of time travel and alternate dimensions that the Sulu born in this alternate timeline could very well be gay. I do get what you’re saying but it’s interesting where we can be okay with decisions made in other versions of alternate Trek timelines but we can’t be okay with the decisions made for this one.

I agree with you entirely on the 7of9 issue but not so much on the DS9 one. I like to think that was DS9 being genuinely inclusive, in a just-there-not-preachy kind of way (well, ‘Rejoined’, perhaps). Back in the good old days before social media and virtue-signalling raised their ugly heads. On the point about Pegg and Takei’s talks-if they were as early as you say, then I stand corrected. But nevertheless I still have my concerns with the gay Sulu storyline. It was never enough to stop me from seeing the movie (and granted it does only comprise of around 30-40 seconds of footage) but it was a niggling point, and not just continuity-wise. I’m all in favour of an inclusive crew-what kind of Star Trek would it be without one-provided it isn’t done to further some ‘political’ end. Those kind of in your face agendas, however well intentioned, tend to turn people off. And I don’t like the idea of a minority group being positioned or ‘utilised’ to aid a movies box office or score points with critics. However, there is a flip side to that argument. Perhaps… When it comes to such groups, maybe being utilised to that end is better than being ignored completely?. Maybe breaking the rules and accepting a certain level of pandering in order to promote their rights (NOT to satisfy SJWs, though that would be a unfortunate side effect) is morally acceptable for the long term, even though it may alienate a… Read more »
What I don’t understand here is this idea that SJW is a target demographic. I don’t see this gay character announcement as that at all – what I see is a gay producer talking about how he’s frustrated by how long its taken to get a gay character on Star Trek (and by the death threats he got 20 years ago). Who’s it pandering to, exactly? What evidence do have that the motives are cynical and commercial. And I haven’t seen all the comments here lately – but I have seen people saying they’ll boycott Trek because of this, complaints about a liberal agenda, complaints that kids won’t be able to watch this show, worries that it will turn into a gay orgy, complaints that it was pandering to a tiny minority (with stats from the internet) and predictions that by the 23rd century we will have cured the disorder of same sex attraction. All based on announcement of a gay and a female character in a panel discussion months before the show even starts filming. So disagreeing with any of those points is bullying? As someone who had to hide who I was for years out of legitimate fear of getting fired/thrown out of school/beaten up/rejected by church and family, I can tell you that I started tearing up in that blink-and-you-miss-it Sulu scene. Trek was supposed to have shown a human society where race/gender/sexual orientation didn’t limit us – and it was powerful to actually see that on… Read more »

You bet, Jason. FWIW, this SJW has your back. :-)

Jason, if I may. I’m glad that the Sulu scene was special for you, that you had that kind of reaction to it. And I understand I think, part of the reason why LGBT Trek fans are so anxious to see a homosexual character in a Trek movie or series. They want everyone to see that the future belongs to them too, not just everyone else. But I still have my doubts with regards to Gay Sulu (if I can call him that). It’s mainly a continuity issue more than anything (and no, I don’t subscribe to the whole ‘Well, he never explicitly stated he was hetero’ argument-that’s just rationalizing and there’s been too much of that with NuTrek). I also question the motives behind such a bold choice. Critic-wooing? Political posturing? Who can tell. Whatever the reason, it has been a niggling point with me, as it has for others on these boards. Not enough for me to avoid the movie, which i’ve seen once on the big screen and will consider purchasing on digital Hd (based on the old Trek Maxim that anything which is better than Insurrection is probably worth owning). That issue on it’s own would be a stupid reason to boycott a whole movie. And incidentally, since I haven’t made it clear before, I have no problem with the idea of a gay character in Discovery. I don’t think there’d be any as some have suggested, ‘propogandizing’ with such a character. Being gay himself Fuller… Read more »

Good points. Trek used to be smart about how it went about a story. It didn’t preach and offend and instead brought a point of view or even both sides to light for intelligent and thought provoking reflection and discussion. The way it should be done instead of jamming down our throats.

G66, No one is jamming anything down anyone’s throat – are you eating your Star Trek DVD’s? So, if Star Trek didn’t preach and offend, why was it banned in the South after the Kirk, Uhura kiss?

Don’t forget Troi. She was introduced in a skin tight uniform as well, and didn’t get an actual uniform until what, the 7th season?

There’s definitely a double standard that exists with women same sex relationships and male same sex relationships. And Trek definitely took advantage of that as social mores permitted, or more specifically a male dominated fanbase. Keep in mind that even where there were female same sex relationships, they were all alien — not humans. Trek couldn’t even step up to making them human same sex relationships. Likewise with any storyline which dealt with gender bending. And such was the nature of Trek all along. Use alien species to hold a mirror up to the taboos of our then current society. Even Kirk and Uhura didn’t actually kiss out of free will in the 1960s. So to that end, there does need to be a male gay character on screen to put an end to that issue once and for all.

Sulu was the least of it, since there’s absolutely nothing canon that really disputes him being gay, and definitely nothing that affirms his hetero-ness. I’d just as soon accept him as gay in all universes than to even get into the issue of nurture vs. nature in the KT.

ZoophiliaAgendaInYourFace

“There’s definitely a double standard that exists with women same sex relationships and male same sex relationships”
Not only that. That double standard also existes with interspecies- sexual relationships. Kirk waking up with 2 cat-like alien species and implying they head sex? No problem! Kirk laying in bed with an orion girl? No problem! (At least the actress was WHITE, so even rednecks shouldn’t have a problem.) What is the equivalent to interspecies-Sex? Zoophilia?! No problem, it can be shown right in your face. But Sulu hugging a same sex-partner?! God beware! That is sex shown right in your face and sooooooo much more offensive than showing the equivalent of zoophilia…

“Sulu and Uhura also went without a single love interest during the run of the series. Sulu came close in ‘This Side of Paradise,’ but the final draft of the script was revised to give the love interest to Mr. Spock
instead. (A. Asherman, The Star Trek Compendium. New York: Pocket Books. 1981, p.59) ” – ‘Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry’s “Vision of the Future”: The Creation of an Early Television Auteur’, MICHAEL KMET, University of California Los Angeles, Volume 5, Issue 2, NETWORKING KNOWLEDGE, September 2012

Yep, there’s outwardly very little to establish Sulu as hetero in the prime timeline (man, I hate that nomenclature–thanks, Bad Robot!). I have great respect for George Takei, but I don’t think he understands that his inward perception of the character isn’t necessarily what the audience saw during those years. And it’s not his fault as an actor, God knows, since we were given so little to go on.

@PEB excellent points, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are threatened by the idea that they might have a twin in an alternate universe or timeline that’s gay. This is just the kind of thing that makes Star Trek so great – it gets people thinking, and it makes some people really uncomfortable.

It certainly wasn’t last minute or part of the reshoots, as one of the reasons coscreenwriter Jung was chosen to play the role was because they couldn’t find anybody local in Dubai to do it. And they sure didn’t fly everybody back to Dubai to do it, either. Just watching what is onscreen — crowd scene, views out windows, all that production value — should be enough to let you see that your notion of ‘make Sulu gay as a last minute desperation appeal-to-all move’ can’t possibly have any validity.

That docking scene with the Yorktown is the best thing about BEYOND imo.

You can’t prove Sulu was straight in the series. He’s the only male lead to never have a female love interest. Novels and fan fiction notwithstanding, Sulu’s personal life was 100% off-camera. Mirror-Sulu was could have been so deep in the closet he was halfway to Narnia. I don’t think coming out as gay on the ISS Enterprise was an option? He probably gave himself that scar too.

“Don’t feed the trolls” is still good advice! ;-)

Yeah, but those damn trolls just insist on eating anything they disagree with….

“Hopefully one day all Star Trek fans will no longer define others by the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their gender….”

Bravo. But people keep…bringing…those…things…up. In a negative way.

Having a passing interest in the civil rights movements in the 60’s, I am really staggered to realize how little society has progressed since then. If anything, we’re worse off. And I truly believe social media has a lot to do with it.

If we all want the above to be widely accepted (which we should – I certainly do), here’s an idea: try accepting it.

With regard to the new show and these themes, they can throw every ‘type’ in there they want; the show will succeed or fail based on the quality of the writing (and your $10 a month).

Agreed.

If the lead on DSC just happened to be male, and straight, and white, my guess is that it would provoke little comment amongst the show’s intended audience, including liberals, based on the casting of Scott Bakula as Archer not all that long ago. But suggest that it might be nice to feature a woman of color, or (gods forbid) a gay, and in the eyes of certain individuals it can’t be anything other than peecee special-interest justice warrior pandering. Why do you suppose that is?

@Michael Hall, Well said.
As a gay person, I never thought of all the straight characters and viewpoints I’ve seen in movies, t.v. etc. as being rammed down my throat. I’ve managed to be entertained by thousands of programs that never contained a gay character or theme. On the flip side, there are several shows currently on the air that have gay characters, and I don’t watch many of them simply because I don’t find them well written or entertaining. I don’t understand why some people get so bent out of shape over that subject, and then complain how it’s boring and everyone’s trying to ram it down their throats. As far as I’ve seen, Bryan Fuller simply answered a question in one or two interviews, and it’s only the people who are up in arms over it that keep bringing the subject up. Apparently, gay characters truly are needed in Star Trek after all.

@Danpaine Yep. I wonder whether we’re losing the ability to emphathize with other people and to understand that different groups of people have been treated less fairly and have had different experiences than we have (ie. Many of us have never experienced real racism or been targeted by police, therefore we think it doesn’t really happen).

Its called Human Nature John Lennon. We all have differences that make us who we are. You sound like the song Imagine which is the most BS song ever. And if you really think things are exponentially better than the 60’s for Minorities and Gay people then there’s no hope for you and people like you.

“Imagine” is a great song, actually.

Not only is “Imagine” a great song, but I bet the entire crew of TOS characters would like it and agree with it if they heard it.

TL;DR: We’re here to preserve IDIC not practice it.

Agree with this one. I miss the positive attitude and aproach to new Trek from fans online. This show is making me happy, fandom used to make me happy but nowadays fan behaviour sucks the fun out of it. I am not saying that there must be no critique but there should be a positive interest and hope that something new will be good.

If I hate something I say it and then move on because I don’t need to convince others that something they love sucks. If they like it then it is great. Be critical but don’t ruin it for everybody.

I understand what this article seeks to achieve, but there are serious flaws in its reasoning. Firstly, the meaning of IDIC has been largely bastardized and corrupted by some Trekkies. I would suggest they look to the source material for guidance on what IDIC was really intended to mean: AREV: “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination. Words that are a mere shadow of its true meaning” (ENTERPRISE, Season 4, “The Forge”). OK? So, IDIC does not mean “celebrating liberal values relating to inclusiveness.” Or, at least, the aforesaid is not an accurate meaning of IDIC. I happen to be a politically active liberal/progressive, myself. But, I’m also a free-thinker who is instinctively wary of, and/or put off by, and/or outright rejects attempts at achieving social conformity for its own sake. I did a little rant on this issue previously in another thread about a month ago, but just to sum up: if you’ve adopted the belief system that IDIC means celebrating diversity for its own sake, then logical consistency requires you to celebrate all “combinations”, including cultural practices such as: female genital mutilation, polygamy, pederasty, dog-fighting, cock-fighting, animal and human sacrifices, cannibalism. I personally do not think that all cultural practices—all “combinations”—are good ones, and hence I don’t celebrate diversity for the sake of diversity. When I read a story about women in Africa suffering genital mutilation, I don’t think, Hurray for diversity! I don’t interpret IDIC as the belief in celebrating diversity for its own sake at all times, and… Read more »
I understand what this article seeks to achieve, but there are serious flaws in its reasoning. Firstly, the meaning of IDIC has been largely bastardized and corrupted by some Trekkies. I would suggest they look to the source material for guidance on what IDIC was really intended to mean: AREV: “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination. Words that are a mere shadow of its true meaning” (ENTERPRISE, Season 4, “The Forge”). OK? So, IDIC does not mean “celebrating liberal values relating to inclusiveness.” Or, at least, the aforesaid is not an accurate meaning of IDIC. I happen to be a politically active liberal/progressive, myself. But, I’m also a free-thinker who is instinctively wary of, and/or put off by, and/or outright rejects attempts at achieving social conformity for its own sake. I did a little rant on this issue previously in another thread about a month ago, but just to sum up: if you’ve adopted the belief system that IDIC means celebrating diversity for its own sake, then logical consistency requires you to celebrate all “combinations”, including cultural practices such as: female g enital mutilation, po lygamy, p ederasty, dog-fighting, cock-fighting, animal and human sacrifices, cannibalism. I personally do not think that all cultural practices—all “combinations”—are good ones, and hence I don’t celebrate diversity for the sake of diversity. When I read a story about women in Africa suffering g enital mutilation, I don’t think, Hurray for diversity! I don’t interpret IDIC as the belief in celebrating diversity for its own sake… Read more »

*with*

P.S. Though, again, Rich Schepis, I do appreciate that you are trying to do away with bigotry. My point, simply put, is that your chosen reasoning here doesn’t support your desired ends.

@ Rich Schepis. To put it another way, you’re trying to use Star Trek to justify your beliefs, and to justify the worthy goal of curbing or eliminating bigotry and—to put a more human face on it—the worthy goal of making gay people feel welcome, included and appreciated. Again, those are all worthy ends, but you can’t get there by using IDIC as a vehicle.

Cygnus-X1

Well, since you reject the notion of IDIC promoting “diversity for its own sake”–and I certainly wouldn’t disagree with you reading female mutilation, or the other examples you cite–what exactly does that philosophy suggest to you?

You can’t simply do away with bigotry by force. It has to be taught away. And who decides what is really bigotry? It may be bigotry to not like a person for how they were born/look but is it bigotry to not like how person conducts themselves. Of course not. Sounds like a trek episode where both sides/views could be discussed.

Bigotry is sometimes taught away by legal action or enforcement of law; i.e., a bigot may think a thing, and not be accountable, but when he brings it into action in the real world, he is held responsible.

Cygnus-X1,

STAR TREK seems to represent its legal code of rights as extending back to Earth’s Code of Hammurabi right through the US Constitution into the future.

So I’ve always subscribed to the notion IDIC is an individual’s right and your right to swing your fist in infinite diversity and infinite combinations only extends as far as it does not compromise my space in which I freely execute my IDIC rights.

Under that, my right to do something physically to someone else without their permission simply does not exist now and will not exist in the 23rd century, save for the individual who violates my rights or the rights of others upon such acts forfeiting their legal Belero shield protections.

However, I do suppose this view does support a fully informed and aware Federation citizen’s right to chose self-mutilation. But it doesn’t seem to be yet realized in Trek’s Federation in that respect, as some believe, because how is that it bans the personal choice of genetic mut….enhancements?

DisinvitedToday 7:17 pm

Interesting. I believe there were a few Trek novels written back in the Eighties, when I still read such things, which dealt with that very subject.

Cygnus-X1,
BRAVO, BRAVO! You said it perfectly. By your statement that you are more Liberal and I lean more Conservative, we totally agree and I wish more people understood this statement. On a side not your explanation and logic reminded me of how Kirk on multiple occasions would outsmart a computer like Nomad or the android in ‘I Mud’.

“When art is in the public eye, consumers have every right to analyze and criticize it. But that does not mean those same acknowledged fans need to rip apart Rick Berman, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Fuller every time news of something they do not want to see is going to be included.”

Therefore, it’s OK to criticize as long as you don’t criticize. Makes perfect sense.

Come on, we can criticize without constantly criticizing people personally. Not sure how constantly calling Abrams Jar Jar or Orci a hack contributes anything to the discussion.

Oh, I’m sure they’ve all heard their share during the years in the business. I doubt anything we say now has any potential to surprise them.
Things we’ve said about Braga back in the late 90s, oh my.

What part of ‘rip apart’ did you not understand?

“Criticism” does not mean condemnation.

Not to belabor the point (too late), but, here’s another variation on it:

“Change begins within each individual towards that better way of life, while promoting respect to the world, its cultures and ideas. This is what defines Star Trek and is what Roddenberry aspired for in his franchise: instead of homogenization and jeering, acceptance and understanding should be the rule of thumb” (Rich Schepis).

The referenced beliefs—people having problems with Sulu’s gayness—are actually cultures and ideas of the world. Is this article promoting the respect of those ideas and the cultures that espouse them? It doesn’t seem like it. It seems like this article is promoting the exact opposite—the rejection of certain culturally held ideas, namely the aforementioned. It seems like the message here is: You people that have a problem with Sulu being gay need to respect MY/OUR ideas and culture, but I/WE don’t necessarily need to respect yours, if I/WE disagree with it. Neither do I see any attempt at “acceptance” or “understanding” in this article. The message is not, I/We want to understand why you people have a problem with Sulu being gay. But, seems more like, You’re wrong for having a problem with Sulu being gay—AND, it makes you a less valid Star Trek fan, because your values and beliefs are at odds with those of Star Trek.

Frankly, I don’t even HAVE a problem with Sulu’s gayness (and I think his wifeguy was kind of cute). I have a problem with the fact that gayness – an inborn condition restricted to a community no bigger than 5% of the populace – is being stuffed down our collective throat every hour of every day, as if it was more normal to be gay than to be straight. I must’ve seen more gays on TV than I’ve ever met in my real life. I suspect gay fans are like dog fans: they just can’t shut up about their favorite subject. But it is getting ridiculous. We get it, there ARE gays in the world. So what? There are also people born with six fingers, or people born with a harelip, or people born with both sets of genitals, or people born without genitals at all, or people born with one eye, or people born without a nose, or people born with one leg missing… and yet you don’t see any of them on TV unless the production wants to go cheap on a monster makeup. Gayness is just an inborn condition, people, stop gushing about it all the time, for F’s sake. It used to be novel and refreshing, but that was back in the 80s. Nowadays it’s just boring. I’m colorblind. By percentage, there’s about as much colorblind people as there’s gays. It’s an inborn condition, much like gayness. So WHERE IS MY DAMN STAR TREK CHARACTER TO… Read more »

Criminy. You really think that an unconventional choice in whom you choose to love is the same as being born with six fingers, or missing genitals, or a harelip? And while your color blindness may have kept you from piloting the space shuttle or other plum gigs*, can you cite an instance where the condition threatened to get you fired from your job, or evicted from an apartment, or denied the right to visit your loved one in the hospital–or, more to the point, get the living $hit kicked out of you?

Also, I have to wonder: if you’re really having gayness stuffed down your throat (love that putrid phrase; it’s so telling, and on so many levels) every hour of the day, exactly what teevee station are you watching, anyhow?

*It occurs to me that Geordi LaForge was, in fact, most likely color blind. Just sayin’.

Paul,

Re:WHERE IS MY DAMN [colorblind] STAR TREK CHARACTER TO IDENTIFY WITH?

As you seem to indicate you have the most common form of male colorblindness which is dichromacy and not complete blindness to all colors, I believe that character would be Porthos and since he exists in 3 separate universes, you have your pick of 3 of two breeds depicted.

Paul – “I’m colorblind… so where’s my d*** Star Trek character to identify with?”

Answer: Laforge – he doesn’t see colors the way the rest of the crew does.

One Missing Neuron,

The most common thing referred to as “colorblindness” in human males is dichromacy which is “normal” color vision in dogs. I don’t believe LaForge’s color sense ever modeled that or complete genuine colorblindness, besides didn’t the character go on, in the movies, to complete restoration of the equivalent of normal human vision so wouldn’t that have removed him from contention?

@Disinvited, I don’t think a character arc that involves Laforge’s character experiencing a change in his vision would make his inclusion in the cast any less valid in trying to connect with and represent audience members who have a sense that is in some way different from their peers, whether that difference is augmented or diminished. People can look down at someone who they consider to be defective in some way, and they might be surprised to find out that person does not perceive himself/herself to be defective. My point is that the producers of Star Trek have tried to be inclusive. There’s no way they could represent every audience member exactly without literally inviting every single viewer to be part of the cast. I would welcome a color blind character in Star Trek – Bryan Fuller, if you are listening, there’s an idea for you.

One Missing Neuron,

Re:Laforge’s character experiencing a change in his vision

Of course it doesn’t change all the tales told prior with the character, but his cure, for lack of a better word, ceases to make his further experiences any more relevant to the vision impaired than any of the other recurring characters. A voice is removed through which the writers could relate future tales going forward to their daily experiences. The LaForge character can continue fill an abstract quota datapoint but their experiences cease to be represented in the regular relating of his experiences in the tales going forward.

@Disinvited,
Good point, but the vast bulk of La Forge’s appearances in Star Trek were before the restoration of his sight. Maybe the fact that the writers/producers were willing to change that aspect of the character could go toward the argument that the show runners are not simply trying to fill quotas for the inclusion of characters. They are trying to tell interesting stories, first and foremost. Being inclusive isn’t about filling quotas for PC purposes, but rather it’s about creating a fertile environment for telling interesting stories.

One Missing Neuron,

Re:Laforge’s character experiencing a change in his vision

Apparently research is on the verge of rendering my point moot:

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/uw-scientists-biotech-firm-may-have-cure-for-colorblindness/

@Disinvited, Interesting article – thanks for the link.

Exactly right, Cygnus.

Just because value systems differ, doesn’t mean one set of values is right while the other is wrong.

Cygnus-X1Today 2:54 pm

Sorry, but I don’t see what you’re getting at here. On the one hand, you insist that all cultural institutions–including female genital mutilation, in spite of a centuries-long pedigree (which is not exclusively Islamic, btw)–are not in any sense created equal, or equally worthy of respect. Agreed! But then you go on to imply that it’s politically correct liberal hypocrisy not to acknowledge that the fundamentalist religious tradition of shunning gays IS somehow worthy of respect, because it’s a cultural tradition of long-standing and the beliefs are sincerely held–never mind that the tradition has on many occasions led to individual tragedy every bit as awful–or worse–as FGM. Well, which is it? You criticize the author for playing both sides of a sticky moral wicket, yet it seems to me that’s what you’re doing yourself, for reasons of playing Devil’s Advocate, or contrariness, or some other reason I just can’t fathom. Maybe I’m just being obtuse, but I really don’t get the point you’re making about Schepis’ piece, or IDIC, at all.

There are a lot of issues being raised, so I’m gonna try to address all them in a new post.

Cygnus-X1Today 2:54 pm

My reply to this and your later posts still awaiting moderation. Just as well; you may not like it. :-)

“We’ve learned not to fear words.” What happened with that idea? How did we come to this point? What turned us into wimps who can’t take a harsh word? It’s just words, they don’t matter. If you think your cause is good, stick with it and ignore the ridicule. People *are* going to disagree with you, people *are* going to laugh at you, people *are* going to insult you. It’s their right. Your right, in turn, is to disagree with them, laugh at them and insult them back.

We all need to grow some thicker skin. In the universe, there’s no room for those who crawl in their safe space whenever someone gives them a side-look. If Kirk was a safe-space kid, he’d never left Riverside.

Risk… is our business.

@Paul, “We’ve learned not to fear words.” I believe that’s a quote of Uhura speaking to Abraham Lincoln – a man who is trying his best to speak respectfully to her in spite of the fact that he is from another time with a different manner of speaking. She may have had a different response if he were trying to insult her.

So, in order to make the world a better place, we should all go around insulting each other more? So we can thicken each other’s skins? Is that your theory? I think the reason the internet has gotten so nasty is people can be anonymous when they make comments. As soon as there’s a photo and name attached, most people are nicer. There’s nothing wrong with being respectful of other people. Sure, not everyone is going to be, but I try to live my life that way. I don’t always succeed, but I find I get better results when I do. Plus, I think conversations are more lively, intelligent and fun when people show respect for others. It’s less likely to devolve into juvenile, nasty name calling.

Spock might say, “I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline.” A quote of Spock speaking to Trelane in “The Squire of Gothos”. Spock wasn’t a fan of people insulting him – he didn’t see any reason for it.

“She may have had a different response if he were trying to insult her.”

Nu Uhura certainly would have! :-)

“Vocal minorities tend to lead perception” is the premises of the editorial. I wonder if the negative vocalizations are, in actuality, the minority. What if it is the majority?

My problem with fandom these days is how dogmatic and territorial it has become. I am from the school of thought where good and bad STAR TREK is still STAR TREK; I support it all. But with certain fans, there is an active desire to see STAR TREK, in the hopes of forcing CBS/Paramount to produce ‘Trek (film or otherwise) EXACTLY how they want it, or they won’t support it…and this goes back to ENT. As long as this attitude remains in effect, nothing is going to change…

I Khan Believe It An\'t Butter

While the ideas of IDIC are at the very core of Gene Roddenberry’s philosophy and foundation of his beliefs and teachings (so to speak) thru his fictional universe known as Star Trek, the one inescapable truth is, we the audience of still culturally backwards, even savage and primitive showing us all just how little we have changed over the last 50 years.
At the end of the day, we are for the most part selfish, arrogant and nasty humans undeserving because of our resistance to tolerance.

Speak for yourself. If you think humanity has not grown, then you need to stop being a fan of ‘Trek. The unfortunate reality is that change comes from conflict, whether it is due to the clash of ideas or the clash of armies, and both cases, innovation of stuff and ideas come forth. However, it is up to future generations to learn from the past, so that these conflicts are lessened. But…conflict will always remain within the shadows of the human condition.

This isn’t the place for a Babylon 5 discussion. Hehe.

I Khan Believe It An\'t Butter

I couldn’t think of a more better example of humanity not evolving then your reply.
Excellent work Dswynne!

Besides in the realms of bickering Fans one need only watch the news to see how little man has changed…in fact it looks more and more like de-evolution is occurring.

IDIC, Schmidic. Fun stories. Good soundtrack music. Colorful visuals. Entertaining performances.
Back then anyway.

I take it, then, that you’re still not a fan of BR Trek, Stank? :-)

The invocation of “IDIC” is typically a lazy argument. The concept of IDIC appeared in only one TOS episode, as a Vulcan philosophy, not Terran or even Federation. Moreover it’s insertion into that one episode was an embarrassment to all concerned, as it was nothing but an end-game merchandising ploy by Roddenberry to sell a cheap medallion through his mail-order side business. You might remember “Lincoln Enterprises” as the business largely run by the Trimbles until Roddenberry took it away to give Majel something to do.

While it’s fair to say TOS represented “diversity” in physical attributes – skin color, sex, nationality, species, the series expressed a desire for UNITY of behavior under the Federation in ways that reflect traditional Western cultural mores, morals, and modes of conduct.

UNITY of behavior under traditional Western mores, really? I’d love to see your evidence that the Enterprise crew favored, say, Christianity over Buddhism. Seems to me that both Kirk and McCoy mentioned at various times that they represented many beliefs, but what do I know?

(Do those traditional mores involve capitalism, btw? Because if they do, it seems pretty unseemly to criticize GR for the sin of trying to make a little scratch on the side. Far from being ’embarrassed’ by IDIC, he championed the concept as a central component of Trek for the rest of his life, and mostly to great fan approval, regardless of how alt-right types feel about it.)

Of course your invocation of “alt-right” gives away the game as far as your sympathies. And I said NOTHING of religion. I said “Western cultural mores, morals, and modes of conduct.” That includes freedom, the value of work and self-reliance, capitalism and free enterprise, military order where warranted and democracy otherwise, formal diplomacy, and many other Western/American cultural norms. Note that TOS was NOT portraying what many revisionists claim. It was NOT a moneyless society. It was not an authority-less society They didn’t have idleness or anarchy or absolute pacifism Force was used where force was required against those not observing Federation rules of behavior.

I agree that TOS did not portray a moneyless society, and I’m not aware of any ‘revisionists’ who have tried to claim otherwise. (Nor, for that matter, did TNG, unless you posit that Robert Picard and Ben Sisko gave away their fancy vino and meals for free; all that was ever explicitly stated was that technology had by that point created so much material prosperity that no one had be poor, and that consequently people could choose to do more meaningful things with their lives than scrabble after money or endlessly acquire stuff. I find it fascinating, and instructive, that some on these boards would find such a state of affairs objectionable, much less ‘communist’ or ‘socialist.’) And yes, no doubt the Starship Enterprise could pack quite the punch when it had to. But while James Kirk was no pacifist, he was ever the reluctant warrior–check out the tone and body language when he calls battle stations in “Balance of Terror,” and even when the Enterprise prevails over the Romulans in that show it’s treated less as a victory than the culmination of great tragedy. Because that was ethos of a show created, produced, and mostly written by two liberal men who had fought in a great conflict and understood its costs (unlike many armchair warriors who post on these boards), and that made the point, over and over again, in episode after episode, that war is a terrible, not glorious thing, and is to be embarked upon only when… Read more »

witzend,

The whole purpose of STAR TREK being on NBC network TV rather than PBS was to make a buck by telling compelling stories. If you are going to start stripping out this or that in STAR TREK because it had a profit motive behind creating it, I’m just not sure what we’d have left to talk about?

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/oral-history-star-trek-180958779/?no-ist

”Desilu was like a family. Herb Solow [the production head] used to come down and talk with you on the soundstage. Herb went out of his way to help you. Can you imagine a studio working like that? When Paramount bought it, a kind of corporate mentality took over. That’s why I resent Paramount having such a hit in “Star Trek.” If they had their way, they would have killed it off. It survived in spite of them. Now they have this bonanza making them all of this money.” — Ralph Senensky (director, STAR TREK “Metamorphosis”)

Had he lived, Mr. Senensky–whose work on Trek I greatly admire–would certainly be enjoying his heaping plate of schandenfreude at Paramount’s expense.

Oh please. More liberal crap! Sorry Star Trek was not some high minded hippy love fest! That came later with TNG. Yes, there was a Federation and A Prime Directive and IDIC. But Kirk always shot from the hip. The sort of Cowboy Diplomacy that old Spock tells Picard about later on. It’s nice to believe in all this high minded thinking but what it comes down to is this is a military vessel not a one world democracy. Any ship is a dictatorship. The captaining by committee also came later with TNG and the idiotic three chair bridge! Spock always was the one that embodied the Federation and its principles and could never deviate from its rules like Kirk could. And it always made Spock a poor commander as in The Galileo Seven. The Vulcan and Federation one world principle of The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few or the one is very liberal bordering on communistic. Basically everything should be for the greater good. But Kirk never thought so everytime he risked everything to save Spock. Because sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. Sometimes individualism is greater than the greater good. And rules are meant to be bent and broken. That makes Kirk a great commander, he was written to embody that American farmboy sentiment and at the time in the 60s the far left communistic thinking was what we were fighting against. We were fighting against those… Read more »

Geez, I don’t know even where to begin. But I’ll just ask this: what part of ‘United Space Ship did you not get?

(And yeah, Kirk on TOS sometimes–not always–shot from the hip. The point of those shows, though–which Kirk always came around to, but you seem to have missed–was that shooting from the hip was WRONG.

Well said. The Vulcan’s were also to logical as in ‘The Immunity Syndrome’ and couldn’t rationalize to do the opposite like Kirk figured out.

The main fallacy in this “editorial opinion” is that the criticism levied towards Star Trek Beyond is because of “homophobia” when in fact if you are intellectually honest and read the critiques, they are about everything but. The entire Kelvin Timeline has been criticized, in 2009, long before a gay character was introduced and the criticisms then are still relevant today. Cardboard villains, caricatures of sci-fi legends, big loud noisy special effects in favor of heartful soulful stories, iBridge, Titanic Engineering, the list goes on. Instead of whining and crying, fans of Nu Trek should be more critical instead of drinking the kool aid forced on them. Only then can a higher quality Trek be made. If anyone thinks we are not heading towards a Dystopian future have your heads in the sand. Global banking, George Soros, the UN monitoring of the internet all points to the future you are all afraid of having is already upon us. At least Britain woke up in time.

I am so looking forward to Star Trek Discovery! Where the true future of Trek resides.

@John from Cincinnati,

Well said, John.

and as with many Dystopian societies, the vocal critics not representing the majority opinion are often silenced, banned, ridiculed. Its the new McCarthyism!!!!

the second fallacy of this editorial is that somehow the vocal few on the internet somehow persuaded milions of people worldwide not to go so see Star Trek Beyond. No, Star Trek 2009 and Star Trek Into Darkness did that. The Kelvin Timeline has failed to catch the public’s imagination because those currently in charge at Paramount do not understand Star Trek.

Seriously, have you ever seen one of these fanbois admit that they were in the wrong? The truth is, the rabid kind of “Trekkies” hate getting any sort of pep talk and the reactions here show that much.

I’ve always kept an adage that it is useless to argue with the fandom, they’ve already made up their minds before the damn debate even started. Let’s face it, mob/crowd elitism and dictatorship is the rule rather than the exception in the most extreme parts of the fandom’s forums/boards and what-not. Because rigid continuity apparently overrules any form of artistic license, and it is painfully difficult for fan artists and the like.

Can you imagine how stagnant Trek could have become if the fanbois were in truly charge? Hell, even the Enterprise-D would have never seen the light of day and every goddamn ship since would be a plastic TOS Constitution. Because “continuity” and “purism” equals “perfect” Star Trek, and the hardcores wouldn’t have it any other way. For the rest of us, well, we’re just the “casuals” with no voice on the matter.

This article popped up on my FB feed, and I read it and really appreciated the sentiment.
Then the discussion underneath reminded me why I stopped coming here. Kudos to the author; so many of you below are exactly what’s wrong with our fandom.

People want to know where this all started? TOS was something to fight for. As a kid to hear that there was a letter campaign. To write my first screenplay in sixth grade and have kids come over and rehearse it. To write short stories until they got published in fanzines after the first movies came out. TOS had the lightning in the bottle to judge one’s actions own against. The scripts stool tall — without technobabble. Afterwards, not so much! Critics of the new stuff were people like me who were bored to tears by TNG. Maybe they made their beef into something political and pedantic. I barely watched the first few seasons. Too busy. This wasn’t really Star Trek. I appreciate TNG now, but at the time, I never wanted to watch an Enterprise that was designed like the office space of one of my college era temp jobs and was led by a bloodless manager type. That just felt like it capitulated right into Reagan-era corporate America. Beige slacks. I remember those feelings, and I still want to puke. There were no beautiful colors in TNG. Plus, why was Tasha Yar dead? WTF with the therapist on the bridge if they couldn’t write a good script for her? Why was the Kirk-echo neutered? I also didn’t understand why Klingons and Romulans were flying around in the same ships. TNG seemed somehow to bring in a bunch of lame fear-driven Star Trek fans who really didn’t like adventure… Read more »

People are, on the whole, horrible. That’s a simple fact. And that is exactly why we all enjoy the fiction of “an optimistic vision of the future.” It’s what we want to see but it’s not what we are. Past is prologue and generation by generation our DNA doesn’t change. We are what we are. And we are the species that invented genocide, war, the Holocaust, slavery, slaughterhouses and host of other horrors. Is it surprising that the same species that is destroying the planet with climate change, that has initiated the largest mass extinction in millions of years and has killed over 50% of the population of living things on the planet (and in the known universe) between 1970 and 2010, is also rude online to people who create shows? As Q put it, we are a “grievously savage child race.” The hope for humanity is that we die out as generation after generation it’s just more of the same monstrosities. Killing 50% of all living things in 40 years is enough evidence for convicting us in Q courtroom. Just stop having kids. They will create just as much garbage and kill just and many animals to satisfy their selfishness as you have. You are not that great. Neither are your kids. Just. Stop.

Like. . . wow. Need a hug? :-)

Yeah, that was rather dark. This editorial is bringing out the best in everybody….

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Ahmed,

Re: the harbinger of death

One thing, that quote didn’t spring from from an ape primate’s sacred scrolls, but rather from the he who is the harbinger of death, the very human ex-blacklisted writer, Michael Wilson, who was rewriting, Rod Serling himself inspired by Pierre Boulle’s novel MONKEY BUSINESS, perhaps more famous for his other novel, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, which was also actually scripted in secret by the blacklisted Wilson.

Some fun stuff on the DNA of your chosen still from the picture:

http://www.rodserling.com/pota.htm

@Disinvited,

wow, thanks a lot for the link.

I love reading these types of info about the Planet of the Apes franchises. Other than Trek and B5, I probably watched everything made in that universe, from the original & new movies, to the French novel that turned out to be different from the 68 movie. Later on I watched the TV series that was made in the 70s as well as the comics, the animated series and so on.

“not in the spirit of what Star Trek is”

Sooo…you’re telling people not to be judgmental while simultaneously judging them?

Hm.

Ah, yes, the old “If you don’t like bigots you’re just being bigoted yourself” argument. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to trot that one out.

Well, thanks for that opinion. Roddenberry sadly didn’t understand the nature of Man as a species (not a gender). We can want everyone to be nice to everyone else, but the day EVERYONE actually does that will be a cold day in Hell. It’s great if one wants to be kind, thoughtful & generous. We all SHOULD be. But the reality is that there is evil in this world. And no matter how badly you want people like the now deceased Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong Un to play nice, the fact of the matter is those people do NOT want what you want. They are NOT interested in making friends & being pals with everyone else (despite what liberal politicians & progressive activists want you to believe). They’re only interested in their own selfish lust for power. The sooner people comprehend that fact, the better off they’ll be. To believe anything else regarding individuals like them is an act of self-delusion.

Well, thanks for lecture on human nature, Mr. Realist. As a progressive, rest assured that I do understand there are nasty pieces of work in human form on this planet. Some of them are named Saddam Hussein, or Kim Jong Un; in the opinion of millions of your fellow citizens, a couple of them are called Dick Cheney and Donald Trump. In any case, the questions a Trek series might want to take on would be: what gives rise to such people, and how do we confront or manage such threats without becoming the very thing we’re opposing? Interesting stuff to ponder, and I don’t mean to suggest that there are any easy answers. But I strongly suspect you’re a vocal member of the contingent that loudly denounces it as typical Hollywood peecee b.s. whenever they’re asked at all.

Numenosium,

Re:Roddenberry sadly didn’t understand

So what you are saying is that while our cousins, the subspecies commonly known as Bonobo chimpanzees, learned to be less “evil” than other primates, we with all our capacity for learning are just too “evil” to ever have any hope of learning anything from them or other alien cultures?

If you find this whole underlying premise of Roddenberry’s STAR TREK so invalid, why, exactly, is it that you continue to consume it? The few and far in-between MIRROR tales?

Disinvited

No great mystery: he likes to watch cool-looking spaceships fight. Kinda enjoy that myself from time to time, but as many have pointed out, that’s really not the point.

The problem is Brian Fuller IS defining people by their gender and sexual orientation and putting that ahead of anything else.

….which is yet Another reason I’ll wait until reviews are in before I watch any of DSC.

You know this. . . how, exactly? Seen an episode of the show, or read a script? If so, c’mon, give!

And were is the difference to the problem that rednecks ARE defining people by the STRAIGHT sexual orientation and putting that ahead of anything else?!? Wait, there is a difference: Gay people are not complaining that also other people are not gay. How is it vice versa? That is a huge difference to the problem “STRAIGHT only”. Not forget to mention “male and white only”.

Imagine how upset the vocal minority would have been back in 1966 when Gene Roddenberry quite intentionally cast a black woman as a main character. Talk about pushing your views on the public. Social justice is a GOOD thing. For too long those who were simply being themselves have been maligned, denigrated, “put in their place.” The idea that celebrating that diversity of mankind by casting those with skin-color other than white, sexual orientations other than heterosexual, gender identities differing from “the norm,” etc, etc is somehow a negative blows my mind. Even in this day and age there are barriers to representing all of this diversity in television. So, YES, it is necessary and important to state with no equivocating, that there will be characters of the LGBTQ persuation. Without intentionally creating and casting roles like this, it just won’t happen more often than not. So yes, one has to be a “warrior” in these situations, or else nothing happens. You can’t just “hope for diversity,” you must push as hard as possible to make television and movies diverse. LGBTQ people must see themselves represented on TV, just like black women saw Uhura in 1966 and realized that maybe there was hope for the future. The Star Trek universe is a large one, with beings of every possible persuasion represented. Whole races have been created to help represent the real world we live in. Without intentionally casting these real world minority groups, the Star Trek universe becomes a sham.… Read more »

Let the free market decide if it likes the material. In this case, unfortunately, Star Trek Discovery will be a flop Season 1, and they’ll massively re-tool it for Season 2, which will be better but still fail. Then they’ll skip a year and go to Season 3, which will be the last.

You got some tips on the ponies while you’re at it? I can use some easy money.

@Baxter,

No offense but perhaps you should focus on THE END OF TIME predictions & leave these earthly matters to us, Monsieur Nostredame!

China to the rescue! ——————————————- Box Office: ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Blasts Off In China With $9.3 Million Opening Day It’s not quite the final frontier, but this weekend arguably represents the last and best hope for Star Trek Beyond to become less of a “disappointment in relation to cost.” Justin Lin’s crowd-pleasing sci-fi sequel, the third in the “reboot” franchise and the 13th overall Star Trek film since 1979, launched in a handful of major territories this weekend, including Mexico and Brazil. But the big debut this weekend is, of course, China. So for now, as is all too common these days, all eyes are on China. To wit, Star Trek Beyond snagged a decent $9.3 million on its first day in China, including $370,000 in midnight preview showings. That is 160% larger than the opening day of Star Trek Into Darkness back in late May of 2013, which led to a $57m overall total. There is a chance that the Paramount/Viacom Inc. picture could soar above $100 million (so sayeth China Film Insider), and a multiplier similar to Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation would get it to $70m. but that won’t make Star Trek Beyond into a hit by itself…. So yes, unless it’s crazy frontloaded in China (always possible), we’re probably looking at a $300 million+ worldwide total, but on a $185m budget. These films still cost way too much. At some point, if Star Trek is to survive as a feature film franchise, Paramount needs to realize that… Read more »

Trekmovie staff,

Do we have any clarifiaction on what:

http://chinafilminsider.com/china-screen-paramount-trek-promo-campaign-reaches-stars/

STAR TREK’s Chinese theme song means? Beastie Boys substitution?

Ahmed,

“All of the local marketing gives Star Trek Beyond significant box office clout beyond most Hollywood releases in China and the film should be able to hit RMB 700 million ($105 million), doubling the total box office of Star Trek Into Darkness.” — ‘China On Screen: Paramount TREK Promo Campaign Reaches for the Stars’; By Jonathan Papish|September 2nd, 2016| CHINA FILM INSIDER

Looking at the YouTube video it seems to be a local replacement for the Rhianna song. I doubt it replaces the Beastie Boys.

So that’s potentially another $25 million toward recoupment. Not bad if it turns out that way, and if the local distributors don’t buy their own tickets ;-)

Ahmed,

Apparently PokemonGo, with NO advertising, China, or theater presence just outstripped BEYOND’s grosses:

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https://sensortower.com/blog/pokemon-go-month-two

“In less than two months after its July 6 launch in the United States, Pokémon GO has brought in more than $440 million in gross worldwide revenue on the App Store and Google Play. This puts publisher Niantic’s net revenue from the app at more than $308 million so far…” — ‘Pokémon GO Has Grossed More Than $440 Million, Out-Earning Some of 2016’s Biggest Films’; Randy Nelson; Sep 1st, 2016; Sensor Tower

Looks like STB made $30.1 million over the three day weekend in China. STID opened with $26 million, so it’s unlikely STB is going to do much better than the $57 it earned on STID. It definitely won’t put STB into the black. Keep in mind Paramount will only get around 25% of that total BO anyway.

What’s going to hurt Trek in the short term is not STB’s performance so much as this:

“IDIC is about embracing different ideas and cultures”

A wonderful sentiment, but ‘tolerating’ is probably a more realistic goal than ’embracing’ for most people. Simply being respectful of others and not calling them every name in the book for being different would be a huge step forward in the maturation of our species. Not everyone is into ’embracing,’ namely Spock.

I’ll try to clarify my argument and address all rejoinders in this post. This is a very complicated issue, but I’ll try to simplify as much as I can. My point 100%: It doesn’t make sense, and it is inappropriate, to try to use IDIC as a basis for advancing—not only the values sought to be advanced by Rich Schepis in this article—but any values other than those expressly associated with IDIC. And, what values are expressly associated with IDIC? What does IDIC mean to me? IDIC is a fictitious concept invented as part of the character development and backstory of the Vulcan people in Star Trek. As I showed in my initial post, the exact meaning of IDIC is left intentionally mysterious, nebulous, uncertain and unexpressed—which is what IDIC means to me. I’m fine with allowing IDIC to remain the Vulcan mystery that Arev declared it to be in ENT “The Forge” (I’ll post the original quote again below). If you’ve seen Monty Python’s LIFE OF BRIAN (1979), then you should understand the meaning of, “Cast off the shoes! Follow the gourd!” If you haven’t seen LIFE OF BRIAN, then you really should do yourself a favor and see it. The point being that, over the years, IDIC has been deviated and appropriated by some Trekkies, who’ve sought to turn it into a belief system, for the purpose of advancing certain values that they see as meritorious and good. And, with such precious little text (in Trek TV and… Read more »

This post is a duplicate.

simplify as much as I can. My point 100%: It doesn’t make sense, and it is inappropriate, to try to use IDIC as a basis for advancing—not only the values sought to be advanced by Rich Schepis in this article—but any values other than those expressly associated with IDIC. And, what values are expressly associated with IDIC? What does IDIC mean to me? IDIC is a fictitious concept invented as part of the character development and backstory of the Vulcan people in Star Trek. As I showed in my initial post, the exact meaning of IDIC is left intentionally mysterious, nebulous, uncertain and unexpressed—which is what IDIC means to me. I’m fine with allowing IDIC to remain the Vulcan mystery that Arev declared it to be in ENT “The Forge” (I’ll post the original quote again below). If you’ve seen Monty Python’s LIFE OF BRIAN (1979), then you should understand the meaning of, “Cast off the shoes! Follow the gourd!” If you haven’t seen LIFE OF BRIAN, then you really should do yourself a favor and see it. The point being that, over the years, IDIC has been deviated and appropriated by some Trekkies, who’ve sought to turn it into a belief system, for the purpose of advancing certain values that they see as meritorious and good. And, with such precious little text (in Trek TV and film) available as to the exact meaning of IDIC, Trekkies seeking to read their preferred meaning into the fictitious concept are not entirely… Read more »

PLEASE DISREGARD AND DELETE THIS POST. The beginning got cut off.

I’ll try to clarify my argument and address all rejoinders in this post. This is a very complicated issue, but I’ll try to simplify as much as I can. My point 100%: It doesn’t make sense, and it is inappropriate, to try to use IDIC as a basis for advancing—not only the values sought to be advanced by Rich Schepis in this article—but any values other than those expressly associated with IDIC. And, what values are expressly associated with IDIC? What does IDIC mean to me? IDIC is a fictitious concept invented as part of the character development and backstory of the Vulcan people in Star Trek. As I showed in my initial post, the exact meaning of IDIC is left intentionally mysterious, nebulous, uncertain and unexpressed—which is what IDIC means to me. I’m fine with allowing IDIC to remain the Vulcan mystery that Arev declared it to be in ENT “The Forge” (I’ll post the original quote again below). If you’ve seen Monty Python’s LIFE OF BRIAN (1979), then you should understand the meaning of, “Cast off the shoes! Follow the gourd!” If you haven’t seen LIFE OF BRIAN, then you really should do yourself a favor and see it. The point being that, over the years, IDIC has been deviated and appropriated by some Trekkies, who’ve sought to turn it into a belief system, for the purpose of advancing certain values that they see as meritorious and good. And, with such precious little text (in Trek TV and… Read more »

AREV: “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination. Words that are a mere shadow of its true meaning” (ENTERPRISE, Season 4, “The Forge”).

Well, okay. That makes more sense, or is clearer, than what you posted earlier. I’m not sure I entirely agree, but I see your point at least. I’ll give it some thought and hopefully have some halfway intelligent reply in a day or two.

I think Rich’s article makes a lot of really good points. I have been a huge Star Trek fan for 35 years or so, and I think that Star Trek, at its best, gives us a lot to ponder. But Star Trek fandom has been a real turn-off for me at times. The nasty, mean-spirited comments that get posted on these sites make me embarrassed to call myself a fan. For me this article is not about whether there should be differences of opinion expressed about Star Trek, but the manner in which they’re expressed. Of course there are differences of opinion and many viewpoints on what Star Trek is, and what it should be. But calling people names and denigrating their character because they don’t agree with you is what feels very un-Star Trek. Here’s a great example: I read an interview that was done with JJ Abrams a while back, after the release of Star Trek Into Darkness (I know, let the hissing commence!). JJ was discussing what he felt didn’t work with the film. He was being very polite and diplomatic, clearly taking responsibility for problems with the story. He clearly had heard the criticism of many fans. In one of the first comments posted about the article, a fan responded by calling him a nasty name and suggested he burn in hell. This is the kind of stuff that drives me crazy. It’s so juvenile and cowardly. It does nothing to advance the cause of good… Read more »

This is among the best editorials about Star Trek in general, and perhaps my favorite post on this site. Thank you.

“‘Star Trek’ is all about the community and the fans are a real important part of that. I’m a fan and if I wasn’t on this side of the table [at Star Trek: Mission convention in New York 2016] I would probably be on that side.” — LeVar Burton

Fan shaming, That’s all this website does. God forbid you have an emotional attachment to the prime universe, a franchise which tied together multiple series and was like nothing else. The JJ films apologise for being Trek films, the last one made fans happy because for a few seconds it showed you a photo of the original crew… When are fans, whatever age, demographic, gender, sexuality, allowed to turn around and say ‘enough, no more emperor’s new clothes, these are pretty hollow action movies and I feel continually insulted by a studio who wants me to buy tickets for a movie it’s making for non Trek fans, but calling Star Trek’? But god forbid you say anything negative or question things, because then you are a troll and the ‘vocal minority’. God forbid this site wrote articles about the new Trek series in production, did some investigative research, etc, no, let’s write fantastical articles asking what you think about “Jaylah”.

Ralph,

No disrespect intended, but that’s pretty unfair, both to this site and the people who post on it. Just speaking to my own experience, I’ve been very critical of BR Trek since May 2009 (long before, I’d like to think, it was ‘cool’ to be critical of BR Trek), and while I’ve engaged in some pretty vigorous discussions here in the years since no one has threatened to kill my cat, ban me from the site, or even imply that I was less of a fan for speaking my mind on the subject, even if they disagreed. (A few did come to find my critical comments tiresome, and they may have had a point.) But people will have all kinds of opinions on any given subject, and pushback is the price we should willingly pay for the privilege of getting to air our own.

So you’re disagreeing how exactly?

Um, with your statement that this site engages in shaming those who feel, as we both do, that the KT films were a bad idea. Wasn’t that obvious?

Perfectly said, and thank you for saying it. I have long tired hearing the bitching, fighting, name-calling. IDIC, baby.

wpDiscuz