Enterprise,Socialism, and Idiocy

The Nation has an article which criticizes the new Star Trek series Enterprise for being politically incorrect. While I’m hardly the world’s biggest Trekker, this is a classic example of liberal idiocy and political correctness. So here is my response to this piece of tripe, blow by blow…

So, watching the first season of the latest Trek vehicle, Enterprise, I’ve felt…nausea and horror. It takes Star Trek so far backward that it’s like Buffy becoming a sex slave chained to a bed for the rest of her television career. Set in Trek‘s "past," 100 years before Kirk’s time and just 150 years after our own, Enterprise depicts the first humans to have contact with alien races. Emphasis on races: the interplanetary politics seem to have been framed by Pat Buchanan. Though there are two token humans of color on the ship, humans are heavily coded as white and male.

With the exceptions of the lead female who is characterized as intelligent and strong-willed, the female linguist, and the African-American navigator… This also shows the Leftist obsession with race. What difference does it make that the Captain is a white male? Are we so foolish that the color of our skin determines the value of our lives? To say that a black person cannot learn from the experiences and knowledge of a white person is like me saying that Martin Luther King Jr. has nothing to say to me merely because he was black. It’s racist, stupid, and wrong. But it gets even better…

Let’s start with white. The titles, set to a hymn that combines the first Christian references ever heard on Star Trek with some boasts about resisting alien domination, show drawings of the ships of fifteenth-century European colonial powers and European maps and globes from the same period. On one is scripted "HMS Enterprise." This jibes neatly with the plot, the first ever on Star Trek in which racism is applauded. The normal, virile, white spacemen of Earth are being held back by the ridiculous sensitivities of the Vulcans, pushy, geeky aliens who want them to respect the cultural differences of all the alien races.

Where do I begin with this one?! First of all, the title theme is "Faith Of The Heart", which isn’t a hymn at all, in fact, it’s a Rod Stewart song written by Diane Warren. I suppose The Nation fact checking department doesn’t have at least one resident Trekkie. Plus, the notion that anything mentioning the concept of faith equates to Christianity which in turn equates to racism is simply too bizarre to be believed. I’m not sure if I should be more disgusted with the anti-Christian sentiment or the lousy fact checking.

Now we get into the meat and bones. The opening to Enterprise is a montage of scenes about the history of exploration from the earliest sea voyages to the space program, with a final shot of the titular starship flying off into the great unknown. While Trekkies generally hate the song and the imagery, I have to admit it’s both effective and inspirational. The intro isn’t meant at all to celebrate colonialism or anything of the sort – it’s about the history of exploration, which was – gasp! – dominated by Europeans in tall ships. But I suppose columnists for The Nation shouldn’t let little things like facts get in the way.

Now for the issue of the Vulcans in Enterprise. In essence, the Vulcans in the show can be seen as symbols of liberalism and statism? Not buying it? Let me explain – the Vulcans believe that the unwashed masses (ie humanity) are too "provincial" to go out into space. They’re constantly stressing "toleration" even when it goes against common sense or self-preservation, and they’re generally know-it-all-wiseasses who talk of such things as mutual cooperation and harmony, but never live up to it. It is therefore not a surprise that a bleeding-heart liberal would find the show’s belief in human potential above controlling elites to be "nauseating" indeed. Let’s wade through some more of this mental septic tank…

The Vulcans have withheld scientific information from "us" because they are envious, effete dominators who can’t stand our vitality, our creativity, our closeness to life. Want me to spell it out? What they really hate is our balls.

Yet another cheap shot. Actually, the Vulcans have withheld information from humans in the show because they wish to further their own interests above ours and manipulate our affairs. In other words, acting just like the European elites that the Left admire – elites that truly don’t have any balls, as the author might put it. Skipping some more garbage about how women’s roles are minimized on the show (again, simply not true to anyone who actually bothered to watch the show) we find this gem of a statement:

Why the gods of Star Trek have seen fit to radically change the show’s politics is a question I’d love to be able to answer. Enterprise was birthed before September 11, but it seems tailor-made for this time of alien-hating and macho heroism. The show actually has its mouthpiece characters say outright that Americans are better than other people, which even the first Star Trek had the taste to avoid. (At this rate, Star Trek won’t admit the existence of gays and lesbians until 2150.)

There’s a good reason why Star Trek has changed; because it wants to stay relevant, unlike The Nation. 150 years from now humanity probably won’t be some great enlightened people living in utopia. Any conservative will tell you that human nature is human nature. Enterprise is the most accessible Trek because the characters are people we could know. This isn’t the self-righteous Captain who knows all and "feels our pain". This is about people who are trying to seek out new frontiers, not listening to the voices of those who preach elitism and want to deny humanity their chance to stand or fall on their own merits. Enterprise is also, arguably, the most conservative of the Trek series. (Although the underrated Deep Space Nine dealt with such issues as just war and terrorism long before Sept. 11, and took the stale Trek franchise into a bold new direction.) No wonder a columnist for The Nation doesn’t like it. In the end, it’s those who have faith in human progress rather than playing the race/class/gender card at every turn who shape the future. Luckily, in the 21st Century setting of Enterprise such piddling logic is a relic of a regrettable past.