To boldly go

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I was watching Star Trek the other day. Well actually I watch it quite a lot. I am not a Trekkie, I just happened to have watched every Star Trek series and film ever made and I know a lot about it. I don’t dress up and go to conventions. Live long and prosper, where did that come from!

Anyway when I was musing about it; as you do. It occurred to me that Star Trek is boasted of as a series about a time in the future when humanity has evolved to no longer have basic needs. No more hunger, disease, poverty or need of money. Humans don’t wage wars or desire after selfish things. Ah, the wonderful ideal of it. If only it were true. It’s not by the way. Any Trekkies reading this will be beating a path to my door with phasers on stun. At least I hope they are on stun.

Let me explain; humans on Star Trek fight aliens and indeed each other. They still have basic needs like disease and hunger, even on earth. They are most definitely motivated by selfish desires and that old fashioned word ‘evil’ is very much evident in humanity on Star Trek. Wars are waged all the time.

Why is this relevant to real life and illness/disability? Because we tend to strive as humans towards being better. Improving ourselves; but very often we fail. I am aware that we are living in a very selfish time. One when our own needs Trump, oops trump those of others. The needs of others are very unimportant compared to our own. So a series like Star Trek would appear to set a standard for how we could be. In reality it is a mirror for how we are.

One of the big things in Star Trek is ‘The Federation’. It’s an interplanetary alliance. Many planets working together in harmony. Well that was Gene Roddenberry it’s creators idea. Actually in the more recent series, which are set earlier in time than the first series. (Are you with me?) The planets are not in unity. There is dissension and disunity. Even on an individual planet, like Kronos The Klingons are in disunity. Whoever wrote the current scripts are reflecting our times. We are not getting more unified as human beings, but more fractured.

The current state of society is further reflected in the violence and aggression within the series. Distrust of other species, in their case actual aliens, in our case other nations. There is even a reflection of the way some people look at disability and illness. In Star Trek a disease or condition that cannot be reversed or fixed is treated with wariness and suspicion. In many cases their fear turns out to be justified as the storyline makes the new illness ‘evil’ in some way. That’s not true in real life, we just act that way.

It’s almost as if Star Trek is a parable of our society. I should be writing a thesis on it rather than a blog. Actually there are probably courses on the subject and many doctorates have probably been awarded on the subject. Fancy being a doctor of Star Trek studies. A real Dr Spock and not a childcare specialist.

Do take this blog with a pinch of salt. I was being light hearted.

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