#846: The United Federation of Planets

GETTING MORE TALE #846: The United Federation of Planets

I used to be an optimist.  In my younger, more impressionable 20s, I felt like humankind had the universe by the balls.  The things we could achieve when united were remarkable but only the tip of what we could do collectively.  Where did I think we’d be by 2020?

Not here, that’s for damn sure!  I didn’t think we’d have the flying car, or free energy.  I thought we’d be on a better road than this.

At that younger age, I immersed myself seriously in science fiction.  Clarke in particular, but Roddenberry was also crucial to my mindset.  The optimistic future of Star Trek was the one I chose to believe in.  Gene Roddenberry was not wrong about what humanity could do when united.  I believed unity was our ultimate destiny, as we left behind our tribal pasts and prejudices.  I thought it was inevitable that eventually we would have something like the United Federation of Planets.  Prosperity through technology and collective wisdom.

It makes me sad and broken to see that we have not made many strides towards Roddenberry’s future, but have taken many steps backwards.  What would Gene think?  While I think he would be delighted to see that technology has leaped faster in some regards than he predicted, he would also be crushed by our continued divisions.

It’s in the news every day.  People are angry.  Some have forgotten the basic manners that their mothers taught them while others are behaving like, frankly, assholes.  Covid has us all stressed, and it has brought some of us together more closely while dividing others even more sharply.  I try to consume as little news as possible but it’s all but unavoidable to see this bullshit.  Even if one only reads music news, it is everywhere.  Ratt and Bobby Blotzer’s son feuding with Sebastian Bach and Dee Snider over the wearing of masks during this pandemic.  This cultural tension has pervaded every aspect of society.  At least you can buy some sweet Kiss-branded masks now.  Yet the amount of hate in the air over this issue is actually quite scary.

Incidentally as a side note, as our economy continues to be devastated by this disease, every brand in the world should start making masks.  Metallica, Maple Leafs, Kiss, Kellogg’s Froot Loops.  People are going to buy them and it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.  Only by adapting to this pandemic are we going to save businesses.  But back to where we were.

I used to believe good would always triumph over evil.  That is what all my favourite stories taught me.  Good is stronger.  Show humanity some adversity and we will unite and overcome.

Roddenberry did predict we’d need a Third World War before we get there.  I hope he was wrong about that too.

Star Trek was popular because people wanted to live in that world.  Star Trek fans exist in every part of the political spectrum.  Millions dreamed of being the helmsman on a starship, and to live in that world.  A world where the Earth knows no war, no poverty and no starvation.  Some of Arthur C. Clarke’s fiction was equally optimistic.  I figured guys as smart as Clarke, who conceived the communication satellite, were smart enough that they were probably right about the future.  Yet here we are, stuck in the mire like it’s still the 1950s.

Of course it’s not too late.  We can still turn around and say “I don’t care if you are this or that, and believe in A, B or C.”  We’re going to have to.  Why can’t everybody see this?  Humanity has no hope of survival if we can’t rise above our tribal differences.

 

33 comments

  1. Kicking down is way easier than building up.Is there room for humanity in the digital world where most of us spend most of our time these days? Not even sure if everyone is familiar with kindness anymore. I guess one of the reasons I love your site so much is that it reminds me of the times that made lot more sense to me. I used to love obsessing over music and bands still sometimes do but there is no one in my real life that cares about music anymore. It’s all online.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the cool comment. It certainly is easier to kick down. I have been trying to be nicer during this pandemic. This isn’t a good time for any of us. As an introvert, I personally have been doing better than a lot of people. I’m just trying to have empathy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Limiting interactions with fellow humans in favor of digital world counts for a lot. Just googled aggressive behavior and this is what came up:
    What Causes Aggressive Behavior?
    physical health.
    mental health.
    family structure.
    relationships with others.
    work or school environment.
    societal or socioeconomic factors.
    individual traits.
    life experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel lucky. My health is OK. Mental health less so. My family is tight. Work isn’t great but I have socioeconomic advantages that not everybody has. I am doing OK on most things on that list and I guess that’s one reason why I only defend, not attack.

      Like

    1. Yeah, we fucking suck. No one wants to improve either. Somewhere along the way we got spoiled. We’re comfortable enough to never improve now, and all that boredom has bred contempt for each other.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Comfortable enough to never improve now. As a man who knows his dystopian fiction, I knew you would have something wise to offer. You are right. I think that’s called stagnation.

        Like

  3. Well said sir. I’m sure the World is F’d, but the U.S. is leading that charge for what I see going on here is truly heartbreaking and disgusting both with lack of leadership and the average citizens behavior. It is sickening. I could go on a whole diatribe here, but I will hold off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tell us how you feel, Jon! I’ve gotta know!

      I do think we should cut people a little slack right now. This whole year has sucked major ass for everyone. That’s no reason to be a douchebag, but an occasional gruff moment is forgivable here and there.

      Maybe I’m trying to cover my own ass since I’ve been really losing it lately. Though I haven’t been going out in public, so no one really has to witness the decline of my fragile grasp on sanity and words.

      This rant was to make you feel better about giving us your unfiltered diatribe, Jon. And maybe an outlet for my compounding angst.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have no shame in saying that I see a counsellor, and what she said to me that really resonated is that this is the time to be “spreading kindness”. It has stuck in my head and I think the more we do that, the better off we will all be.

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  4. Whenever I see Kurtwood Smith I think of him killing Alex Murphy while asking Rambo to rescue Col. Trautman all with his foot firmly lodged up his son’s ass.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember after our governments got caught illegally spying on their citizens. A journalist asked the leaders of the US, UK and Australia how are they any different to any totalitarian government. Their answer “because we’re the good guys”.
    Ummm yeah … not really…
    great writing by the way. I like how you bring in books, music and life experiences into a post.

    Like

  6. Nice point about all brands should offer a mask – if we’re all wearing them, not making some would be a missed marketing opportunity for sure.
    And I can’t read “The United Federation of Planets” without starting to sing Banditos by The Refreshments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My friend Rob Daniels is selling masks branded to his radio show. I’m in! Ideally I’d like to own five masks so I always have a clean one for work every day without worrying about laundry. It’s going to be part of our lives for now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mask is problematic. Just read an article with pictures that showed temporary lowering the mask to your throat if necessary only gives the germs on your neck a free route to your mouth when u place the mask back. How do u wear your mask and do u have a clean replacement at hand all times? If so how many do u need during the day?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I was a huge Arthur C., Robert Heinlein in my teens, and I had hope for an improved future where we got our collective shit together. Maybe science fiction let us down thinking that technology could fix our problems, instead of becoming one. There, I said it – it’s ALL FUCKING GENE RODDENBERRY’S FAULT

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Would much have preferred a ‘steampunk’ DIY John Campbell timeline to his. Star Trek drove the desire for Alexa & Siri, robot checkouts in grocery stores, “communicators”, “Telehealth” and more “convenience”. But I’m just a cranky auld Luddite….

        Like

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