Full impulse for Method Star Trek!
After 1969 the global Star Trek fandom gets a second chance to prove itself
A comment by Worfo K.
"John and I have proven many times that we still believe in the concept and the fandom that has shown so much charity as well as enthusiasm. The amazing thing is how passionate Trek fans are after all these years in spite of cynical predictions that it will 'all die down' real soon now. This passion is the epitome of Gene Roddenberry's oft quoted belief that the human spirit will prevail. I'm very proud to be a Star Trek fan. GR would be very proud of all of you!"
Bjo and John Trimble, heads of the 1968 Star Trek campaign
Nevertheless TrekUnited -- the 2005 Star Trek campaign -- proves to be succesful and hasn´t reached the end of the line by now. There is evidence that Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT) 2005 will end up the same way like The Original Series (TOS), by finding a far to early end. Bad ratings and network bosses arguing for business management reasons could be identified as apparent reasons in both cases. On second thought however, one realizes that the United States are at war, like they were in the late sixties.
The Vietnam War served simple imperialistic aims. According this aim, nothing much has changed tremendously, when one thinks about the War-on-Terror. The humdrum dying of ones own and forgein people is legitimized in the name of "freedom and peace for the world". This is a legitimation which keeps the US-society divided, as recent presidential elections have shown drastically, like the protest against the Vietnam War in former times. On the other hand the sceptically and critically minded half of the Nation of the Free remains in loyal passivity up until a movement with plausible visions develops from within. It is controversial, whether Gene Roddenberry and his colleagues represented a part of this movement, which finally led to the US armies "defeat" in the homeland.
With the episode A Private Little War, which was aired two days after the Tet-offense, Star Trek apparently capitulated, facing a challenge of the humanistic alternative: Disregarding the Prime Directive and Bones protest, Kirk arms a civil war party. He justifies himself in the logic of the cold war, by arguing that a Klingon delivery of weapons to the opponent had enddangered the unfortunately inevitable "balance of power". Only four weeks later, in The Omega Glory, Gene sends the Enterprise into a confrontation between East and West again: Caught in a century old planetary conflict between Kohms and Yangs, Kirk -- this time -- decides to defend the Prime Directive against another Starfleet captain who wants to lead the Kohns to victory by using phasers. Finally Kirk pacifies the conflict with a flaming anti-war speech about civilizing values of the American constitution. A year later ideological reservations of the network bosses, which were probably related mainly to the pop cultural backup of the black civil rights movement by Star Trek, set the seal on Capt. Kirk and his crew. It also might have played a decisive role, that the movement against the Vietnam War was not yet strong enough.
Today something similar is happening. ENT is often accused of having sacrificed -- with the Xindi arc in the year before last -- the civilising heritage of Star Trek to the aggressiveness and inhumanity of the post-9/11-world. And by that the show's emancipatory crux has been ignored assiduously: With the military elite troop, the MACOs and a Capt. Archer aboard Enterprise, who falls back to barbarian instruments like torture (Anomaly) and piracy (Damage) to save earth, the federal promise -- in its blatent absence -- comes to it's own right. The captain's disability to prevent earth from the Xindi's plan of mass destruction, despite his accord with humanitarian believes, oversubscribes Archer as a pre-federal and contemporary character. Archer stands for the American democrats. He also -- some how -- stands for the war-reluctant European governments as well. Both appear -- up to now -- unable to oppose the Bush administration's war-on-terror with a convincing alternative in terms of a World Domestic Policy. In Star Trek it was time agent Daniels job to call Archers attention towards the federal promise of a peace bringing interstellar alliance and the necessity of cooperative action. (Azati Prime, Zero Hour)
To initially pick up the helplessness of the liberal democrats in order to arouse them with the deeper insight that the search for peace bringing alternatives needs a concrete perspective, will one fine day perhaps make history as Method Star Trek. The TOS pioneers therefore proceeded abruptly and voluntary. For the second step ENT comes up with the perspective of a four season embracing foundation process of the Federation of the Planets to draw attention to the Civilizing Imperative of the 21. Century.
The inhabitants of this planet are facing social rejections of a globalized economy in respectively different ways. They appear as wars, terrorism, torture, poverty or diseases. An effective solution can only be managed via the deployment of a global democracy. A democracy in which the different species could meet each other at eye level. In which dangerous aliens become appriciated partners. A democracy finally, which norms and precepts never are determined in a rigid way, but which could be transformed and advanced by any first contact. And which name does this global democracy deserve more than that of a Federation of the Planet Earth.
In the later sixties the Method Star Trek turned out as highly unstable. Unlike the protesting students, the show became a global phenomenon not until over the seventies. Hence the protest of the national fans had to run out on the second try. Even though the emphasis of the second ENT-campaign concentrated so far on the US, and on Great Britain and Israel -- as the politically and culturally most aligned countries -- the fan protest has -- via TrekUnited -- overcome national borders. The fans for themselves, the much maligned freaks and dreamers are creating a concrete piece of world citizenship on the long road to the Federation of the Planet Earth. The campaign is thereby an achievement inherently. The aim of its mission - to accomplish a fifth season of ENT next fall - promises at the same time to become a relevant milestone to the planets pop culture.
By the way, if the mission's cumulated donations -- which are actually around 3.1 Mio. US-Dollars and are still growing -- couldn't get released for that aim, the campaign has announced to refund the money back to the fans or to donate excess funds to tsunami relief efforts in south asia. (w.)
Discuss the comment at transfictiontrek.blogspot.com
Related Links on LT:
DOWNLOAD Gene Roddenberry: The Star Trek Philosophy (PDF)
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