Incremental progress meets Zeno’s Paradox

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.

1 Comment

  1. Daru
    April 4, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

    "The Jihad” depicted Lara as someone who deliberately rejected the technoscientific fetishism of the Federation in favour of living by the land, but whose people still managed to develop space travel. The implication, at least, that there are ways to Star Trek's galactic utopia that don't involve going through Starfleet was still there, not only intellectually, but materially as well."

    This gets to the point of some of my underlying tensions with Trek as a show, even though I still enjoy it. I have discussed this with my partner as we travelled through our recent mammoth re-watch of Voyager. In a lot of ways I would say that my partner and I live quite an unusual life compared to much of the culture immediately around us where we live. I could actually say that a lot of my vies can have their influence tracked back to the more cosmic and magickal episodes of shows like Trek – but I have come to realise that given the opportunity there is absolutely no way that I could be part of the Federation, let alone Star Fleet – I would just be incompatible.

    That is my issue with the show – the fact that the kind of life I live (as described well in your above quote) does not feel represented in the show. I do live with technology, but in as simple a way as is possible. Maybe it is till to come or I have missed it, but I can't help notice that when people or cultures that spring from the Federation, but choose to live outside of it, they are often portrayed as deluded or wrong somehow. The difference does not seem to be celebrated. This does not undermine the show for me, but the question mark is still there.


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