Siding with bugs is praxis

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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. David Faggiani
    February 5, 2016 @ 5:24 am

    That's a very funny quote you've picked above the essay 😀


  2. Adam Riggio
    February 6, 2016 @ 5:19 am

    In a way, you're right. This really is the beginning of the end for Star Trek. At least for now. One of the best aspects of this blog (among many) is that you've given some solid, detailed content to the utopian vision that's popularly believed to have always animated Star Trek.

    The sad thing about the stewardship of the franchise going forward is that Star Trek becomes this saga of seemingly never-ending interplanetary space wars between these massive republics and empires (that really reminds me of something, but I'm just not sure what).

    The drama of TNG has always been about demonstrating that there are ways to solve problems at the personal and societal levels without anguish or violence. And the drama of DS9 works best when it's about building a community from a history of tragedy and trauma, overcoming those struggles to be better than the terror you went through. As DS9 progressed, I felt that its characters and the show itself was struggling to keep this idea alive, though it ended up doing so by making the station a beacon of peace and diversity in a wider world of geopolitical cynicism (that reminds me of something else, but I'm going to be scratching my head over just what it is all day).

    I have a feeling that I'm going to see a lot of redemptive readings of Voyager stories here.


  3. Robert Hutchinson
    February 6, 2016 @ 7:54 pm

    As gross as Worf's comment is, I hate Riker's "besides, you look good in a dress" even more. The former can at least be the writers holding up Worf as wrong, but the joke is just "but seriously, men in dresses is hilarious".


  4. gatchamandave
    February 7, 2016 @ 2:25 am

    There is a comment Lawrence Miles made a few years ago on his blog that now is as good a place as any to mention. IIRC, it was along the lines of,

    " this week on Babylon 5 the Shadows make a major move in their war of galactic conquest, whilst over on Star Trek Deanna Troi struggles through relationship issues with her mother. Guess which one we all watched ?"

    And I thought, " Well, I dunno about you, Larry, but I watched both."

    Whilst I agree with you, Josh, that a lot of the problems that are about to beset the Trek franchise are internally generated, let us not forget that it's about now that Trek staff start feeling besieged by competing franchises, notably Strazcinski' s magnum plus, which becomes the Holy Hand Grenade lobbed repeatedly at DS9 and Voyager. I'm hoping you'll give us your thoughts at some point on this matter.


  5. gatchamandave
    February 7, 2016 @ 2:26 am

    For "plus" read "opus", after the penguin of the same name.


  6. Ross
    February 7, 2016 @ 8:04 am

    I think that it is certainly the case that as the '90s go on, there will be a serious clash in geek culture with a heavy note of "Babylon 5 is better than Trek because it's grimdark and not all gay and utopian" is symptomatic of what's wrong with the '90s.


  7. Daru
    March 1, 2016 @ 12:04 am

    Yup with you there Ross. As the 90's went on it was a real shame seeing such a reaction against stories with empathy, co-operation and emotion at their heart.


  8. Daru
    March 1, 2016 @ 12:06 am

    "Dresses are too feminine for the manly space warriors."

    I would have hoped that in a utopian culture that at the very least gendered fashion trends would have pretty much been eradicated. I long for that to happen myself as I generally find male orientated clothing as dull as ditchwater.


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