Star Trek

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Where No Suckage Has Sucked Before

« October 2007 »

Memo to James Lileks: WRITE ABOUT JELLO.

For those of you who came in late, this week we're discussing National Review Online's Star Trek Weekend, a concept so abhorrent that most people cannot look at it without a special filter, lest they go insane. Consider me your hot, blind ambassador, serving as a go-between, negotiating with the hideous conservatives with you so that you can begin to understand them.

As I mentioned yesterday, there are few things wankier than cherry-picking fiction for the bits that match your personal beliefs. And nobody does that betterworse than James Lileks, who has a secret identity as an author of books about "regrettable food", but frequently ducks into a phone booth to change into DOUCHE-MAN. Able to pen dozens of really irritating get-off-my-lawn-you-whippersnappers conservative columns in a single bound. For Star Trek Weekend, Lileks wrote the inelegantly titled "A Conservative Trek". His premise? Sure, Trek was liberal, but it was ONLY GOOD when it was conservative.

He starts off by debunking the Kirk-Uhura kiss, on the grounds that it was coerced, so Uhura only enjoyed it a little bit. Lileks deliberately blurs the line here between Trek the liberal TV show and Trek the liberal fictional setting. His snide reference to Standards and Practices makes it clear he knows which is which, but mixing the two is the only way he can strike the kiss from the record, so he does. He then goes on to state his thesis, which is important, because he'll be damned if he's gonna follow up on or support it. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Nevertheless, the best Trek was conservative: it was rooted in the unchanging nature of man, be they hooting hominids on the plains of Earth throwing rocks at prey, or civilized spacefarers. Money, power, lust, war: These were the constants, and Star Trek knew they’d follow us to infinity and beyond. At best we could find enlightened, savvy ways to avoid the pointless fights. But some people only understand a photon torpedo up the dorsal vent port, and we’d best be prepared to deal with them."

Typical conservative - lumping lust in with war as if there wasn't much difference between the two. You know, most liberals believe that money, power, and war will stay with us constantly too. We just don't strive to accumulate as much of all three as we possibly can, at the expense of all else. And neither did Kirk.

But as I mentioned, Lileks has neither the time nor the place to support his argument, apart from dragging up a few OG episodes where Kirk blew stuff up or punched things. That's because he needs plenty of space for WACKY TREK COMEDY. Yes, if you find yourself recycling dusty jokes that ventriloquists and impressionists could barely make money off of twenty-five years ago, you qualify for the ranks of conservative zaniness.

Everyone speaks English! Shatner overacts! I'm actually shocked he didn't mention redshirts once, even as a metaphor for the left's willingness to dispose of neonatal life. Lileks looks back from his lofty 2007 perch and loudly proclaims the half-white, half-black racism episode as hokey and overly broad. You know, unlike the subtle brush-strokes Roddenberry used to paint the rest of the show.

He then heaps great disdain upon Next Generation (pulling out the term "multi-culti", which, like "feminazi" and "islamofascist", is an instant Do Not Take Me Seriously, For I Am Fucked In The Head flag), praises Deep Space Nine for having its lower-class Irishman be a racist like he's supposed to be. And that's when we learn the sickening truth. Conservatives don't want Voyager or Enterprise either. Well, except for one scene from Enterprise.

"Says Trip: 'Well, I don't recall any Europeans knowing how to build a warp engine. No Brits, no Italians, no Serbo-Croatians...' It’s one of the few times a character in Star Trek defends America.

Of course, even if an American invented a warp engine tomorrow, he wouldn't build it. He'd have the Chinese do it for fifty cents an hour. Also note the telling equivalence between the concepts of "defending America" and "retarded frat-boy name-calling of Europeans". Somehow, I don't think Freedom Fries are ever going to make it into a Journal of Regrettable Food.

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