Subject: Star Trek: Thank You a Few Tons' Worth
Please allow me to heaps a few dozen bushels of thanks around
(Perhaps it will at least be helpful insulation from the more acidic
avalanches you have asked Santa to trigger for you this year.)
Here is what all the heaping and thanking is about:
Just checking out the latest edition, and you noted:
insanity is the biggest problem in America.
Bigger than the debt, bigger than the economy, bigger than sexism,
bigger than racism.
itself, this combined thought and statement of yours is not only sorely
needed as a steady drumbeat,
as you suggest -- it is simultaneously a gigantic understatement for
the hypnotic / hypnogogic life many sheep
-- I mean, people -- lead in this country.
And then, just when I am about to leap to my feet in wild applause, you
pull out the rug with this add-on question:
are the Star Trek years going to arrive?
Gravity was suspended -- I was flabbergasted and gobsmacked and sent
out to lunch!
You see: I have been thinking and saying this *exact* same thing
for 30 years and more.
(It has usually been said by me as exasperated resignation, a
last-ditch effort to disentangle myself from
the psychosis of modern American life -- especially from politics and
away from our laughable "leaders"
by saying it this way: "Wake me
when we're Star Trek," or, "Thaw
me out when we're Star Trek.")
I like sci-fi, but I'm not nerdily focused or all-consumed by it.
The best sci-fi, for me, is the sociologist's sort:
humanity's roles within progressed systems -- not about blasters and
BEMs (Bug-Eyed Monsters).
For me, Gene Roddenberry's little "Wagon Train to the Stars" program,
as he had to sell it get TV execs' blessings,
even as clunky and mythic a show as it sometimes was -- in order to
achieve network time for the masses
-- it kick-started in this one kid, who is now a reluctant adult
American with 9 years military service completed, one single, towering
The notion of there someday being true equality, fairness, and
opportunity for everyone -- the idea that every
single person, without exception, should have, and could have, a
chance to identify, test, and fulfill their potential,
and to be able to do so in the service of a high-road ideal of life and
It was a future where Real Hope resided, even if temporarily in pastel
leisure suits. But, it was the normalcy,
the routine-ness of the notion that such pathways were not only
available and commonplace in the future,
but were expected and normal. Just as we once all used to
understand the concept of clean air and fresh water
should be available for everyone.
"Star Trek," for me, got itself all wrapped around the space program,
too, especially the moon shots, and more
-- when we were a society with a heady mission and a goal worth
achieving, and many hands working to make that happen.
And, man -- the jumpstart and the astronomical rate of return on
investment in this country from our meager,
early efforts poking about in space, instead of blowing up people and
things. (We need not progress only
during times of war -- a hard lesson to remember, apparently.)
Yeah, I'll say it, and proudly, too: I'm a former
hippie-free-spirit-commie-pinko (to use the terms of
the ancient times, the 60s, when Mastodons ran freely underfoot) in
I see the wild successes in the Social Democracies, places like Germany
and a host of northern European countries,
and I'm at a completely stunned loss, trying to explain how it is
that we, the supposedly "Greatest Country in the World"
(TM)(R)(C) are being throttled to death (some slowly, some quickly) by
our leaders, systems, and by religious insanity.
Rather than re-invent the world, I think we should allow Canada to
annex us, or maybe Germany, or one of
the Scandinavian countries, maybe. A bidding system might be studied
and supported via the United Nations.
It would help this punk country get off the streets and stopping
bullying its neighbors every time we got a whiff
of war profits to be churned into the coffers of the One
(Perhaps that statement, coming from a veteran, will wake up some
people -- but, I doubt it. I am not a thousandth
the man he was, but, nothing Gen. Smedley Butler ever said has
ever fully turned the tide against the oppressors here,
not as yet. He received, by the way, the Medal of Honor --
twice. He also stopped a coup in this country. No small
beans, this guy.)
Meanwhile, overseas, in democracies focused on The People, not on
The Profits, everyone pays taxes;
they have extraordinarily successful societies, and everyone achieves a
full and richly rewarding life in return.
(Perhaps the cold weather forces people to work together more
efficient, more forthrightly, less deviously, less greedily?)
Here, in America, having a richly rewarding life is interpreted to mean
you are wealthy -- which usually means
you have stolen more than anyone else -- and are bathing in cash,
Well, I have a question for everyone who assumes that Predatory or
Vulture Capitalism, such as we have now,
in these You-nited States, is the only way to fly.
Here is the question: If you couldn't pick how much money you
would be born into in your family, would you
rather be born into a society where the needs and concerns of The
People were the most important focus, or,
rather, into a society in which a blinding, unchecked drive for The
Profit was the point of being alive?
If you are still reading: Here is a back-up question -- it's not
offered as an alternate, but as an addition:
Name ONE thing Republicans have EVER done that benefitted the common
man, woman, and child.
I doubt logic or clear thinking has a place any longer in this country,
where more attention is paid to the latest
wrinkle in the lives of people famous for being famous, rather than on
trying to untangle propaganda and really
come to understand why it is that so many people continue to use their
voices and votes in their own worst interests.
I am still trying to understand how it is the Tea Baggers came to be
protesting on *behalf* of the wealthy, but,
that's propaganda and the power of money for you. I guess Hermann
Goering would have given some of his
own limbs for a set-up like Faux News and the Wrong-Wingers have.
We seem to be free-floating, adrift in some neurotic sea of nonsense
and innuendo, unwilling to latch onto any
boats or rafts of logic or fact.
OK, Bart -- thanks for enduring another rant from here, as I wonder how
it is my country has gone insane and
lurched right off the edge. (I would say they are leading us all
like lemmings off a cliff, but that's a myth that
they do so, started when a film crew was shooting a Disney film, I
think it was, and herded a bunch in the direction
of the cliff's edge. Instead, I will simply say we are all chum,
and we have been tossed into the water, abandoned to the sharks.)
So, again: Thank you in innumerable ways for saying what needs to
be said, and always saying it the way
it needs to be said, and deserves to be said.
May your pie grow sky-high in this year.
Hammer on -- and, Cheers,
Alex in Oregon
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