Today's Newsweek magazine just touched my heart in a deep way with it's Star Trek cover story: "We're All Trekkies Now" Of course, we already knew that President Barack Obama was a Trekkie, and not afraid to admit it. Now Newsweek tells us that
"Star Trek is way cool. How'd that happen? Because the geeks have inherited the earth, and the White House.
My Star Trek Story below, come geek out with me.
Except that I'm a large lady on a bike, you would look twice as I passed you by. I could direct you to a great book at the bookstore and make you glad you had come in to spend some cash, but you couldn't tell by looking that I'm a true blue Star Trek fan. Don't they look geeky? Don't they all work at computers and have girlfriend problems?
It all began in 1967, when Star Trek came on TV and I was a very impressionable 10 years old. This was the time of real appointment television, if you didn't get in front of the TV (ours was still black and white) you missed the show. I was captivated from the first. God, William Shatner as James Kirk was sexy. And an interracial cast, and Spock the Vulcan, and a woman on deck, and cool aliens in cool costumes. What's not too love? I fell hard. And I believed. I believed that our future could look like this, diverse, adventurous, exciting, unpredictable, and with lots of fabulous outfits.
Both my brother, sister and I loved Star Trek, we dreamed Star Trek, we played Star Trek. My sister had to be Kirk and Spock, my brother was the monster and I was always the damsel in distress getting rescued. By Captain Kirk. I wrote Star Trek scripts in my head while trying to sleep and they all had a starring role for a 12 year old space faring girl.
One night, my parents kicked us off the TV before the end of a very compelling episode. (I've never forgotten it.) Mr. Spock was engaged to a really sexy looking Vulcan lady and it looked like they were going to get married! But, but if the Vulcan's were aliens, how were they going to make babies, because they couldn't do it the human way. I crept out of bed to listen at the TV room door where my parents were. Damn, nothing. The best I could figure out is that perhaps Vulcans would spawn like salmon. Give me a break, I'm from Oregon and had seen too many school films about spawning and salmon.
Growing up, you could find Star Trek most every day on Channel 9 from Portland, and we grew to know the episodes all too well. The Pon farr will always be my favorite, but the older I got, the more I realized that the true love story included Nurse Chapel. Rest In peace Majel Barret.
No, I didn't ever get to a convention, hard to do from rural Oregon, but I read books, and magazines, and met others who loved Trek, and enjoyed all sorts of Science Fiction, took a year of Science Fiction as Literature at Lane Community College, and found religion.
Religion and Star Trek? Most assuredly. Captain Kirk and Co. were on their Five Year Mission to explore new worlds, because the most basic of problems on their world were solved. They came from Planet Earth, not the United States or the United Nations, a unified planet that had found a way to create a world peace that allowed to look outward. Yes, yes, there was a WWIII in there somewhere, but remember that you never heard about who won or who lost? The idea was that peace reigned, and it was a creative, harmonious, universal peace that clearly gave equal rights to peoples of all colors and nations. And then the humans went out into space and did it again with the Federation of Planets.
The first Baha'is I ever met were Star Trek fans, looking out, forward to the future, assured of building world peace, filled with the love of science and exploration, and creativity that used the best of what all our varied ethnic, tribal and religious groups have to offer. No brainer, I was in.
To this day, those of us with silver hair still can recognize our cohort. One of my best friends kept her "Engage" license plate for her new car. My sister and I indoctrinated our sons. Her's has a complete outline for Star Trek the musical. Mine can draw a blueprint for any of the dozens and dozens of Star Trek spaceships.
I'll watch Star Wars, I greatly enjoy Kim Stanley Robinson, I liked Battlestar Gallactica, I loved Firefly because it broke all the Captain Kirk rules, and I even dabbled a bit in Fan Fiction (Voyager). But the original cast, they formed who I am today, and I'm going to love this new "origin" movie, just because.
See you in the theatre. I'll be the one with the tall 18 year old who is geeked out and shy at the same time to be seen with him mother.
Oh, and pick up that Newsweek if you don't get it. You will love, adore, be dumbfounded by the "Shepard Fairy Spock", I promise.