I know for a fact I am 52. I don’t feel like it and I sure as hell don’t act like it, but yep, I am 52. I was born in 1964….
Back then there were no interwebs, cell phones, or cable. We had 3 national channels, plus what ever local TV channels there were. Hell, when my dad was stationed in Germany, we had 1 (yep count em, just one) English-speaking channel. Oh the horror….
Like all kids, I LOVED cartoons. I remember Johnny Quest, Speed Buggy, and, of course Looney Tunes! They were only on Saturdays, but, each morning I would be there, in my jammies, watching them.
I am not sure how, but somehow, during my formative years, I also developed a taste for science fiction shows. I distinctly remember watching The Time Tunnel, The Land of the Giants, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Lost in Space. Somehow before I knew what the word Nerd and Geek meant, I was the textbook example.
In addition to these shows listed above, there was one other. In my mind, the single show that helped me become who I am today. Star Trek….
I was too young to remember when the original episodes first came out. (Though I swear I remember commercials for it…) I do know, though, that I watched the reruns time and time again. I followed the adventures of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty time and time again. In addition, I have seen every episode of the Star Trek Cartoon multiple times! Hell, it was during the cartoon that I learned Kirk’s middle name was Tiberius!
Unlike depressing science fiction of today, like The Hunger Games, Star Trek gave us hope for the further. Even though in the Trek time line there was a World War III, the future is a time of great prosperity. Universal Heathy Care, no hunger and no need for money. Better yet, for the most part, religion has been forgotten. Everyone respects each other,
As a kid of the 70s, I was hooked. Not only did I watch every show time and again, I also read ALL the books as well. James Blish and Alan Dean Foster did an excellent job of turning the real life and animated episodes into books. I had every one. I also had the Star Trek Technical Manual that outlined all the ships and equipment of Star Fleet, I also had the Enterprise schematics as well. Yep, it’s not a mystery why I did not have any girlfriends as a young lad…
This kept going into college. I remember lining up the first night ‘In Search of Spock’ premiered in theaters (We used a pay phone to order pizza) and I saw Leonard Nimoy speak in person at WSU. Yep. I was still a sci fi geek in College…
In the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, they launched some new series. (They being the world of Star Trek). There was the Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise.
I watched a few seasons of each when they first came out, but with kids, work, life and beer, I was not an avid follower of these newer shows. I was a fan of each one though.
Then, a few years ago, the world was given the miracle of Netflix. It aint a holodeck, but it will do! About 2 years ago I decided I wanted to watch all the episodes, in order, of the new Star Treks. I started with Voyager, then Enterprise, and then hit Deep Space 9. The 7 seasons of The Next Generation (TNG) I put on hold. It just seemed like a HUGE commitment of time.
But then November 2016 hit, Trump was elected on a wave of hate…. I needed something positive, some hope for the future. Within a couple of week of the election, I started streaming TNG.
No matter what hate has been spewed over the last few months, the crew of Enterprise helped keep me grounded. Race, creed, or religion means nothing to these folks, in their world they are all the same They have given me a place to escape when real life news is horrid.
I just wish the current resident of the Oval Office would read this one quote from Captain Picard.
You know, there are some words I’ve known since I was a schoolboy: “With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie, as wisdom and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged. I fear that today…
Sadly, for me, my place of hiding is gone. Tonight, I streamed the last episode, aptly named, “All Good Things Must Come to an End”
Part of me is happy as I saw episodes I had missed over the years. Other parts of me are sad as it means I may have to interact with the real world more now. Regardless, the series has left me hope.
No matter how dark and dismal the world seems now, there IS hope for the future. I can only pray that sometime in the future, say 200 years or so, the world will still be here and developing Star Fleet. The climate will be fixed, science will rule, and we will be roaming the stars.
Maybe I got too deep with this post, but I couldn’t help it. Tonight I have finished Star Trek. I am fully versed now in Star Trek lore. More importantly. if I hold onto the message created by Gene Roddenberry and the crew’s of all his ships, there is hope for my great grandkids! I can only hope future Mountainstroh generations make a point to watch this on the Interwebs. Hell, it might make them better voters!