Star Trek Commentary

Star Trek Voyager

Remember

Remember is Star Trek at it's finest if you ask me (despite Jeri Taylors comments on Memory Alpha). A clinical society - they obsessively sterilise everything with "radio-septics", even their own fingers before a meal - eradicates and murders an entire unwanted group on their planet. That group voices dissent and resistance to the blind following of progress. the episode brilliantly exposes the hidden nature of the fascistic tyranny in the society that the character is living in. She is so sure that her Father is the best of citizens. He turns out to be a manipulating psychotic. Transferring and projecting all the worst aspects of himself and his society onto the scapegoats depicted in this episode.

This is exactly what we do in our own society, here in the West. The work of Chomsky or Pilger and other dissenters and journalists who expose the fascistic nature of "our" governments, is derided and shunned - as are the memories of the poor woman in this episode. The worship of the progress and the assumed "goodness" of the society, and the worship of the governments that are tasked with ruling that society blocks all sense and clear vision of the disgusting abuses carried out in our name. This is true if it's the CIA, or MI5, or our own health system, or any abuses that get ignored and covered up. This episode brilliantly captures the atmosphere of polite society that insists that it has discovered and mastered the best in life; while ignoring the abuses going on around it. It postures with the assumed liberating nature of it's art and music, but really it worships dilettantes. Real sexual and authentic artistic liberation is shunned and often persecuted. As usual Star Trek puts this in a Galactic context. A planet or a society has to work out it's own problems from the inside. Another may be able to see what needs to be done from the outside but there is a difficulty there. To come in and alter the society for it would be to practice a form of control similar to the abuses that the society originally carried out itself. There has to be an authentic discovery of the truth from within that society or real change can never take hold.

Next Generation

Q Continuum

John de Lancie'a superb performance as Q goes down as the epitome of unpatronising Shakespearian like characterisation. No doubt Shakespeare attracted such masterly actors to play to audiences that the actors were only too glad to reach. Here as well the actors are given a place to shine by Roddenberry - a modern Shakespeare - who brilliantly creates along with many other writers a portrayal of Humanistic and atheistic ideas. The master stroke is Q who embodies everything that is wrong and destructive of mankind that is in blind Religion. But this is not atheism as it is commonly seen. This is not "anti God", in fact there is an awareness that God-like beings may well exist in the Universe. It's just this; why should they even be perfect ? Why not question "what is written in stone" (the ten commandments) ? Why become possessed by that which is assumed to be beyond human comprehension ? This is actually a continuing theme in Star Trek. Beings or forces turn up demanding that they be worshipped but the Star Trek character boldly stands up and questions, challenges. Often the Emperors New Clothes slip for a moment and we are suddenly in an extraordinary two way street.

You see Literalistic Christianity is a one way system. You sit in your Church and God gives you inspiration or protection. But where is our help given to God, or criticism of HIM ? It's a one way street with everything handed down to a humanity "in sin" but nothing going in the other direction. Q hints at a Universe where "supreme beings" coexist and co-evolve with perceived "lower" beings. Co-evolution and co-creation are seen in the Buddhist belief system. Much of it is Religious (literalist) but elements are far more logical. A spiritual logic based on observation of how the Universe works. A Spiritual Science. This is where the grey area is between intelligent Religion and atheism. Atheism has been absurdly characterised as a lack of belief, often by those with a vested interest in keeping a "God delusion" going. But atheists do believe in something. They believe strongly in standing up for humanity. In appreciating the hard work of real science of logic applied and emotions felt. Their identification of the delusions created by blind belief is not the angry reductionism of people like Dawkins, but, as is portrayed in Star Trek, actually includes the possibility that strange "God like" beings probably do exist "out there". It's certainly wise of us to grapple with such insights as we are on the cusp of actually launching ourselves into the exploration of strange new worlds.

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