Thursday, 13 March 2014

To Boldly Go where EVERY geek has gone before

Another day, another geek rant, a geek’s work is never done.

At this juncture, however, I feel it is necessary to put a little disclaimer in my work. That is to say that this blog isn’t meant to offend anyone or make myself sound anymore patronising or pompous than I can do in the flesh. It is just me trying to complain about things over which I have zero control, so if anyone has a problem with anything I say, please contact me and let me know and I’ll see if I can accommodate you.

Anyway, on with the subject of today’s post. And that is a subject that stands above all other geek subjects. It rises like Godzilla out of Tokyo Harbour (not that it actually is Godzilla) and beats all into submission. It is the subject that all geeks have opinion about. Even if said opinion is dismissive and derisory. And that subject is “Star Trek”.
No television series polarises people’s opinion quite like it. For the totally non geeky, it is that symbol of the geeks complete loss to the rest of the human race. They look at you as you say you like it, with the exact same look on their face as Diane Keaton has in the last scene of “The Godfather”. As Pacino is lost to the mob, we are forever lost to the forces of geekdom, at least in their minds.
And then there are the people who like sci-fi but don’t want anybody to know it. “I only like Star Wars” they say “I’ve never watched Star Trek”. As if watching sci-fi was a crime akin to taking a controlled substance and saying “I only like Star Wars” is like smoking one cannabis joint in college whereas watching “Star Trek” is like snorting cocaine while tweaking crystal meth. So long as you’re not a “Star Trek” fan, you’re not completely gone.
There are the hardcore fans of course, those who’ve watched every episode, have every Star Trek novel ever published, they have their own uniform and a character profile they’ve created to go with it. I can’t keep up with all that. It’s too much effort but I have a lot of respect to anyone who does. To you I say “Qapla!”
I just like watching it. I have some on dvd. I enjoy it and will happily converse with you for hours over the merits of DS9 versus Voyager, Kirk versus Picard, Spock versus Tuvok (as the best Vulcan, I know it seems ridiculous to suggest anyone comes close to Spock but it’s a close run thing for me).
Despite all that I’m only a passing fan. I enjoy it, well enough but that’s it. When I was in school, a group of guys would watch every episode religiously, (this was “Star Trek : Deep Space Nine” which conveniently finished the year we left school for college) they talked about it, debated it and one even used it for an English speaking and listening presentation.
It is very clear to me that I’m not a Star Trek geek, just a fan. (I’m also rubbish at making a presentation. Back in school when asked to give constructive criticism of others pieces I went slightly overboard while never working on my own. I thought I could wing it. Needless to say it was a verbal bloodbath when my turn came around. Ah! The patronising arrogance of the geek! Everyone in that English class knows I deserved the response I got and so do I) But there is lots in “Star Trek” for the passing fan. So for anyone wishing to dip their figurative toes in the Trek pool here are my (humbly offered, lest a repeat of Year 11 English Class of ’99) top tips.

1. Start with “The Original Series” or “The Next Generation”, They’re the least geeky (although my friend Danny loves “Voyager” and he’s about as ungeeky as they come)

2. There’s going to be a lot of rubber foreheads. As a general rule whenever “Star Trek” wants to make an alien, it sticks moulded rubber on a human head, you can’t cope with that, give up now.

3. It will not make sense. It is highly illogical.

4. The new films are great but check out the series.

5. The Captain WILL fall in love. REPEATEDLY. Deal with it.

6. The Vulcans WILL fall in love. REPEATEDLY (Even though Pon Farr, the Vulcan mating cycle happens only once every seven years and they’re supposed to have controlled emotions)

7. All the computers WILL sound the same. And they will get trapped on the Holodeck again and again.

If you can cope with these things then sign up for Starfleet and watch some classic ‘Trek if not then there’s always some girl on “Maury” who’s about to have a paternity test on her baby for the 15th time. No doubt she’ll run backstage in a totally unscripted act when she finds out that it’s not his. Peace out and Live Long and Prosper!

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