In 1984, shortly after watching Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in the theater, I found my teenage passion for Star Trek rekindled. I wanted to view all of the episodes again. We didn't have a VCR, so I watched grainy episodes on DC Channel 5. I read all the books about Star Trek I could fine at the local libraries.
More than anything, I wanted to meet other Star Trek fans who were as passionate about the show as I was. Other fans that would analyze that look Kirk traded with Spock in episode 39, someone who could discuss Spock's relationship with his Vulcan father and human mother -- someone who could sit through Spock's Brain with me and agree there was some redeeming value to the episode.
I eventually did get to meet those kindred spirits through a local Star Trek convention. I was fortunate to live in Maryland, which was and still is the home of some great fan run Star Trek conventions -- Shore Leave and Clippercon which later became Farpoint.
Meeting up with fellow fans was more wonderful that I could have imagined. I listened to seasoned fans in the panel rooms and I got into discussions of favorite fanzine stories in the dealer's rooms.
I would go to a convention for a 3 day weekend and we'd stay up half the night at room parties watching videos and talking nonstop. I started to resent the time I needed to sleep because we had so much to discuss.
My friend, Sreeizzle2012, has been talking about Netroots Nation since I met him two years ago. When he talks about Netroots, it reminds me of my own passion for going to Star Trek conventions thirty years ago.
I don't feel the same need to travel to a Netroots Convention. My urge to be with other progressives has been largely satisified by some of the people I'm meeting through Maryland and Virginia Kos meetups. Great people, but most of them are considerably older than Sree who is 22.
When I was involved with Star Trek fandom, I came away from those conventions with renewed energy. I eventually joined the committee that ran one of the conventions. I wrote stories for Star Trek fanzines (amateur publications) and drew portraits of my favorite characters. I improved my writing skills and my artwork.
All good stuff. Attending the conventions, and the friendships that came out of it, made me a stronger, more effective person. I became more computer savvy and learned to hook up and program a VCR, very useful, because as a school librarian, I was in charge of the media equipment.
I also learned some things about organizing that I utilized later when I became a school librarian, e.g., organizing the school fair and publishing the school's literary magazine.
If Sree wins one of the scholarships to Netroots, I'm sure the experience will help him to be better in whatever path he chooses in life. Since he'll be attending medical school in the fall, he'll most likely be a doctor. I have no doubt that the experience of networking with other progressives at Netroots will have an influence on what kind of doctor he becomes. This will be an opportunity for Sree to learn, but it will also be an opportunity for the progressive community to make a future doctor more aware of medical and health related issues and perhaps through him, to have some influence on the medical community.
Please help vote for him for one of the Netroots Nations scholarships. Here's the link to his application, it only takes a minute to click on the blue button and vote!
By the way, if you read this diary because Star Trek is in the title, be sure to read rimjob's excellent diary on Star Trek philosophies which was posted last week.