Re: you upverted generate! was: Normal vs. Weird

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 22:52:26 MDT

On Sunday, May 07, 2000 4:28 PM Spike Jones wrote:
> > Death to 7 of 9, the Borg, Data, and Spock, proud upholders of the
> > frickin' *stupid* tradition that intelligent people are supposed to be
> > unable to understand emotions. Hail Gene Roddenbury, who managed to do
> > more damage to American rationality than, well, just about anyone.
> Oh, faaar too harsh on Roddenberry, Eliezer, waaay too negative.
> GR's work had its shortcomings, but recall he was writing for the
> television
> proletariat. Furthermore, take a look at TV sci-fi of the late 60s.
> Terrible!
> Desolate wasteland! Sci-fi was only a slight one-off from traditional
> horror
> flicks [Danger, Will Robinson!].
> Roddenberry suggested a future in which humanity was working
> out problems, fixing things, overcoming. Humans were not perfect
> by any means, and yes, one did wish Spock had strangled Kirk that
> time Spock got horny and challenged him to a dual. And one wished
> that when Kirk was doing it with some green chick she would
> transmogrify into Q. That'd fix him. {8^D
> But all in all, for 1967 it was one helllll of a cool series. Homo
> grew into a really butt-kicking species, a meme that was amplified further
> in the Next Generation. Roddenberry can be forgiven for a few kooky
> memes, such as smart people are unemotional, the theory of parallel
> evolution, playing fast and loose with the physics of spacetime, etc.
> It was *too* cool for its time, thus the early cancellation. spike

Roddenberry might be excused for not knowing, but the damage is done. The
conflation of irrational with emotional and rational with unemotional,
sadly, has a longer history than Mr. Spock, extending back to the Ancients,
but _Star Trek_ gave it a concrete portrayal that people confuse with the
real thing.

Even though I agree with Eleizer, the problem should not be assigning blame.
Instead, it's how to overcome the stereotype here and now.

Also, we should raise standards for our expectations of TV SF. I was not
alive when _Star Trek_ first aired, so I have no idea of what the television
landscape was like, but there's been a lot of stuff since then. Sadly,
though TV science fiction remains way below what it could be. How can we
change this? Suggestions, aside from violence and destruction, would be


Daniel Ust

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