Wednesday, July 03, 2013

everything i need to know i learned from star trek


when we recently subscribed to amazon prime, i was delighted to find that they had all three seasons of the original star trek for viewing.  i am not a trekkie by any stretch of the imagination (i had seen only a handful of the episodes, at that point, and have never watched the other related series), but i have long held a bit of a fascination with the original series from the late '60's.  i had seen a few episodes as reruns when i was a kid, and so there was a sort of nostalgia to it, in addition to the campiness that i have a soft spot for (the same reason i love those original batman shows with burt ward and adam west). 

so i started watching.  and i just finished.  every episode.  in order.  all 79 episodes. 

and it was awesome. 

from time to time shannon would watch it over my shoulder, and she would mock me incessantly.  when, for example, abraham lincoln made an appearance in one episode, she not-so-subtly hinted at some drug use on the part of the show's writers/producers/actors.  or when another episode featured a bunch of space-hippies trying to have a jam session with mr. spock, she incredulously begged me to explain to her how i could enjoy it.  and i couldn't.  so i stopped trying.  you either get it or you don't. 

and i get it. 

for example, i get that non-interference is the prime directive.  that's important in my life, too.  also, i get that i'm called to seek out new life and civilizations, or, in other words, to discover life everywhere i can find it, to learn from it, to celebrate it, and to bless it, even if it requires me to go boldly where others dare not go, or have never been.  star trek kept telling me to keep my phaser set to stun, unless there is no other alternative.  see, that makes sense to me. 

star trek helped me see that we are all aliens, in our own way.  and that we have much to learn from one another.  it taught  me that there is no such thing as a vulcan death grip, that tribbles hate klingons, and that one should never put all your ranking officers in one shuttlepod.  i was reminded that logic and reason are great gifts, but not the only gift.  i learned that being human means having compassion and mercy and, yes, i even see it on star trek, love

in short, it is a ridiculously (out)dated, campy, overly dramatic show that, at least for me, doesn't tell me about what is out there somewhere in the far reaches of the universe, but about what is right here on planet earth, and in my own heart.  it is about humanity, about friendship, about selflessness, and about understanding one another.  those are all things we could stand to learn a little bit more about. 

so there you have it, shannon, in just a few short paragraphs:  why i love star trek.  now you better stop making fun of it, or you're going to feel the wrath of kahn. 

oh, one more thing:  live long and proper. 

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