Saturday, October 18, 2014

Star Trek: The Final Insult

I’m a fan of Star Trek which means I’m a fan of heavy handed allegory. Star Trek gets a lot of credit for its progressive views on gender and race. I think a lot of it is well deserved. A lot of it is horse shit too. Star Trek featured the first interracial kiss on American TV between Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura. Which really just proved that no matter how progressive our society gets men will use positions of power to get sexual favors from subordinates. Plus this amazing kiss occurred after a whole bunch of inter-species kissing. So even utopian think we’ll accept blue people before we accept black people. I’m glad they’ve spent time addressing these things, but I think the view of the show as being so progressive is tad overblown. There’s still a shit load of hate on the show it’s all just transferred to aliens. We haven’t progressed as a species we’ve just shifted our scapegoats. Klingons are cruel and violent, the Romulans are arrogant and sneaky, the Grizzelas are lazy, and don’t even get me started on the Breen. They're the fucking worst.

In 1960s America this was more acceptable than being black
So for the most part all races on Earth started to get along when new people came around to hate. There’s no longer any white privilege it’s all just human privilege. But regardless of why it happened we’re getting along swimmingly in the future. All the races on Earth decided to start putting their hate resources outside our little neck of the Alpha Quadrant. Whites and blacks get along. Europeans and Eurasians get along. Asians and people from the Indian subcontinent get along. They were even able to write decent lines for more than one female by the third series. And the Native Americans are probably getting along with whatever or whomever is on the planet we shipped them off to. In the future everyone is living happily ever after. What’s that again you ask? We did what in this future utopia? Not just a little bit away like to Mars or somewhere close and neat, but a whole shit load away. Hundreds of lightyears away near a stretch of space controlled by a rather surly group of aliens called the Cardassians.

Can't be treated any shittier than the planet you're coming from
You get to find this out in a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called Journey’s End. Of course in the episode The Federation decided to give that planet away via treaty. Seriously. Because god forbid there be any subtlety here. This is also some pretty goddamn lazy writing. Not only do Native Americans have to have the same old story thrown back at them, but they don’t even get a cool alien to represent their plight. Star Trek has a long tradition of having aliens represent groups on Earth. Every other race and group gets to have their plight told with a thinly veiled alien who obviously represents their plight. The Ferengi have been seen as the Jews, the Bajorans represent the Jews, the Zeons represent the Jews, and the Eskosians represent Nazis and their persecution of Jews. So they’ve had all kinds of very spot on political commentary throughout the years. Even Deep Space Nine was brave enough to pull out all the stops by condemning sixties era racism thirty years after the fact.

Really Chief, this is really your own fault for not expecting this. 

But Native Americans don’t even get that, what they get is just an exact retelling of their story, BUT THIS TIME IN SPACE! But then to top off the great insult that is this episode. The whole thing ends before it’s even begun and we get a shitty resolution to an arc of the shittiest character in then it comes in and decides to resolve a Wesley Crusher arc that sucked from beginning to end. So not only did they take away the cool alien stand-in for their plight that the Native American people so rightly deserve, but they also had the balls to steal half the time that should’ve been devoted to the climax of this story.

Miss me?

So in the episode where Star Trek is trying to show how shitty it’s been for the Native Americans having things they deserved taken away from them at the very end they made an episode where they just took the end of the episode away and gave it to Wesley Crusher, a white man (of course), who managed to make a guy controlling space and time as boring as humanly possible. Meanwhile all the American Indian actors were left sitting around watching with a single tear ran down their collective cheeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment