Captain's Blog supplemental: Some Parting Thoughts

Well well well, the end of another blogging project. Parting is bittersweet, my friends.

I guess the meadow beyond the King's Highway was full of stars.
It's imperfect, of course, and incomplete, even more of course. I'm sure I'll add to it somewhere down the line. 

I'm happy enough with setting this as the finish line, though (not counting the DS9 blogs, still to come.) I was unsatisfied with the overviews I'd read or heard, particularly for TOS, whose psychosexual catacombs are criminally unmapped, and set out to create an alterative road map to the Trekverse. But it ended up being a Billy Pilgrim-esque defragmentation of that portion of my mental hard drive related to Star Trek: that house on the hill with many windows and pocket dimensions in the back of the closets.

Forget that house on the hill metaphor: if Trek is the Great Pyramid of Giza, this was akin to Caliph Al-Mamoun-esque tunneling through its walls and stumbling upon the chamber that leads to the heart of the mystery. But the mystery remains unsolved, and the pyramid remains the pyramid. (And hardly anyone remembers Al-Mamoun.) 

I'm often puzzled by (and sometimes irritated with, to be honest) the insistence that people get into Star Trek for its rosy depiction of a future that works for everybody. That's part of it, sure, and it's certainly a nice part. (And important, as fiction and myth are collective dreaming which leads to individual action and yadda yadda.) But so much is made of this that I sometimes feel like its subversive theatricality is undervalued. When it comes to the "family" aspect of Trek, I have to agree with Patrick Stewart, who said of the original draft of Insurrection, "I think that is sentimental and uninteresting and eventually leads to space heroes sitting round a campfire singing 'Row Row Row Your Boat.'" 

Truth. I don't feel it's uninteresting altogether, mind you, just the over-emphasis.
The Genes, Bennett, Berman, and Abrams Eras represent such different periods in my own life and interaction with the Trekverse, as I'm sure they do for you. How could one feel-good broad stroke cover all of it? For anyone, really? And yet, it is such a common refrain out there and in all the books. (Shatner's Get A Life is practically gushing with this kind of sentiment, and it's not an ironic reflection on the title.) 

I don't mean to knock the admirable accessibility and general good nature of Trek; I'm just way more interested in the crazy implications of its intersection with my own life and development, its abundance of interpretations, and its relatively deft handling of complex themes in a pop art environment.

It'll be interesting to read future overviews of Trek by people with no personal memories of growing up with it. A series such as this one, comprised of at least 40% personal memories and associations, will be obsolete in 2071. But just as likely not: the franchise could very well still be kicking at that time and producing new material.

I'll get another post up with links to all points previous for ease of searching sooner or later. 

If I didn't cover your favorite episode(s), my apologies. Take comfort in the statistical improbability of our ever being marooned on the same desert island together; you'll more-than more than likely never have to abide exclusively by my choices. But if that's how it happens, just remember: the bullets are not real.

As sincerely as I can convey this via the computer screen or mobile device, live long and prosper. 


  1. One of the perils of fandom is that it almost always devolves into the type of "insightful commentary" that is analogous to a dog sniffing its own farts. I've been guilty of that from time to time, too (the lazy, self-congratulatory commentary, that is, not the other thing), so I probably shouldn't be too harsh. But honestly, how many times do we need to be told about Trek's rosy-future outlook or social progressivity? That song has been played out, and I salute you for not succumbing to it in these write-ups. I read a lot of things here that I'd never considered before, so job well done!

    1. Coming from you, that means a lot - thank you!

  2. Bryan, well done. It's been a fun journey and I have very much enjoyed your musings on this from your own perspective (and not just because I'm your brother!). I have to say - reading through these, it's been interesting, witty, insightful, and just fun to read. Thanks!


    1. You're welcome - happy you enjoyed, Brad. We look fwd to your and Vandi's DS9 overview to complete the trail of Trek plunder.