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JWR 2.30 - Imabigdork
So, itís no secret that even since itís inception, Star Trek (Oh, Jesus God, is he going to yammer about that nerd-shit again? Yes) has been something of a direct parallel to the world. More specifically, the peoples in Star Trek could be more or less made to match a people in life, whether it be the people from the sixties when the original series was on, or the people through the nineties and today.
The Federation, the good guys, has always been a cultural personification of America. (Canada, too, just because.) Theyíre the peacemakers, the people with an advanced sense of self. Hell, by the time Star Trek: The Next Generation came around, money had disappeared within the Federation. You didnít get paid, you worked to better mankind. (Horse shit, sure, but donít it sound nice?) So, there you are, the good guys. Iíll be getting back to the good guys.
Then you had the Klingons. In the sixties, they were the baddest guys of all. They clearly represented the Russians. During the cold war we were never at war with Russia in an all out sort of way, but we sure as shit came close. Maybe they would have beaten us and maybe we would have beaten them, but imagine the losses, especially with the fingers on the buttons. By the time Ď87 rolled around the cold war was winding down because the Russians were running out of steam and on Star Trek: The Next Generation, they had a Klingon on the bridge of the Enterprise. They explained this with the flick Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Kronosí primary moon Praxis blew up due to over-mining and sub par safety precautions. The Klingon Empire was in danger of dying. The Federation came to the aid, opening the door to an iffy friendship. Somewhat parallel to the fall of Communism. Their moon didnít blow up, but their war in Afghanistan bled them dry. We were there for them. Star Trek copied it. Boo-yah.
Back to the original series, in the episode, ďLet The Be Your Last BattlefieldĒ there was this alien who was black on one side of his body and white on the other who chased another alien who was half black, half white, but on opposing sides from the first alien. So, the crew was all, what the dilly-yo? And the guy was all, heís black on his left side. Iím black on my right side... Get it? Like it was obvious why he was hunting the last of those people down. See, it had an obvious correlation to the segregationist views so prevalent in the sixties that told the honkeys that them darn Negroes were sub-human just because they were black.
Did you know that Star Trek had the first interracial kiss on television? (Lucy and Ricky aside.) Yeah, ole Kirk gave Uhura a kiss, sure he was forced to do it while under the influence of an alien, but it went down. I remember reading part of a letter sent in by some redneck asshole that said something to the effect of: Iím not too keen on the idea of whites kissing blacks, but if a good old boy like Kirk can, itís not so bad. Hey, man, Uhura was hot back in the day. And, for the record, Kirk is Jewish. Soís Spock.
Most of the species we met in the original days were a one time only thing, so they werenít quite as developed as the Klingons were. I suspect that they all reflected in some way a major issue of the times.
The Next Generation rolled out quite a few species that you can make parallels to other races or countries. For example, the Ferengi were introduced to be menacing, but the creators realized they were more of a joke than anything. They were small in stature with big ears and were motivated by profit. Yes, a lot of talk that this is a representation of the Jewish people has circulated. They replaced the stereotypical big nose with big ears. The love of money is there. I kind of see it and I wonít say there is no way that it was intentional, but I do doubt it.
The Romulans were introduced in the first series and were a factor in a couple episodes including the great ďBalance of TerrorĒ with was a lot like a submarine battle as I saw it. The Next Generation made them out to be super bad guys but I always thought they were underutilized. They were an offshoot from the Vulcan race which is why I had that analogy in the previous Rambling about the Vulcans are to Romulans as Chinese are to Japanese thing. Although we have no hostility with the Japanese at this time and weíre more likely to go to war with China (not only because they actually have an armed forces), I see that as an accurate (hee hee) correlation.
Then there were the Cardassians and Bajorans. They would probably mimic the Iraqis and Kuwaitis best. First, chronologically, their introduction coincided with the shit that went down right around Desert Storm. The Cardassians were less advanced than the Federation but were far more powerful than the Bajorans. But, whereas Iraqís motivations were oil, the Cardassiansí were more historical in that they occupied Bajor in the past and after their war with the Federation ended, they were looking to reclaim that real estate. The relationship between Cardassians, Bajorans and the Federation was explored in far greater detail in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And Iíll get into that because it ties in with what I mentioned earlier.
Star Trek: Voyager had a species in the first couple seasons, the Kazon, who were a tribal, factioned, warlike people who were closest to the now nonexistent Yugoslavia. Splintered and warring among each other. The drive to wipe each other out and anyone else who gets in the way. The Kazon were kind of weak as a plot device, mainly because the real thing in Eastern Europe was so horrific and historic that fiction canít compare. I mean, are you aware that World War I began because of an assassination committed in Yugo? Were you? Huh? What? What? What? What?
Then there was the Borg who were the biggest enemy in both The Next Generation and Voyager. I donít know who they resemble because they were way more powerful than the Federation. I suppose it could be a metaphor for the way technology is taking over every part of life. It may be a warning to watch out before youíre assimilated.
Now, the biggest enemy in Deep Space Nine was the Dominion which was actually rather complex. There were the JemíHadar who were the soldiers. They were genetically engineered fighters who were tough as nails and their loyalty and obedience was gained through their addiction to a drug called Ketracel White that only the Dominion could manufacture. Next in line were the Vorta who were the Dominionís ambassadors, dignitaries, JemíHadar puppet masters, and as we eventually found out, the puppets of the Founders who were the masters of the Dominion. The Founders were a race of shapeshifters who, after being chased from different parts of the galaxy for being shapeshifters, tried to hide, but finding that impossible, created the Dominion and the races who would ultimately protect them. Now, there isnít and easy connection to any people we know here on Earth, but there were elements of terrorism in a lot of the Dominionís actions.
Deep Space Nine, in itís last three years became more or less devoted to the war with the Dominion. And there were some great war stories, especially in the sixth season. But back to the good guy thing I spoke about earlier. In one war episode the Federation ground troops were at war with Dominion ground troops. The Ferengi bartender was there for some reason and he was explaining to another non-human the nature of humans. He said, yeah, they act very civilized. They look spoiled with their sonic showers and their Klingon coffee. But you get them in a situation like this where all the conveniences of home are taken away, no replicated food or clean clothes, you put the human in a position where his life is on the line, and he will become more ferocious than any Klingon.
That was a prophetic message from a few years ago. The bartender saw this terrorist shit coming. He knew that some Arab fucks were going to fly planes into buildings. He knew that we were going to be put in a position where we had to fight. And he knew that there would be the speculation from many and the taunts that we Americans didnít have the patience or even the guts to fight. Well, you know that look? You know, the look. We have that look. Fear is natural. But the ferocity is larger than all that.
Now, we have allies: Great Britain is our largest ally. I was watching Canadian Broadcasting on C-SPAN yesterday. Canada commits a proportionally larger amount of resources to these operations than most western nations. They were the first to volunteer for action against Iraq even before America a decade ago--and they had the fourth largest amount of equipment committed. They were one of the first to say they would commit to fight with us this time, too. And moreover, they do it without fanfare. Australia, Germany, Spain, Mexico, France (probably) all are with us and not just in words. Japan has offered to help in any way they can, but you know, no military...
But I tell you what, even if we stood alone, even if our great allies were not able or willing to help up, I am positive that we would still go ahead with this. I am positive that we Americans would fight and not tire and win.
ďToday is a good day to die.Ē - Klingon proverb
Copyright © 2001 John Lemut