Productions lack subtlety
To the Editor,
I am a lifelong Trekkie.
Patrick Stewart is returning as Jean-Luc Picard in a new “Star Trek” series.
Producers proudly assure viewers that the new show will address important and current issues such as, naturally, social justice and human rights concerns in the oppressively “racist,” “fascistic” era of Trump.
Well, there’s another “Star Trek” show, like “Star Trek: Discovery”, that I won’t be watching. And I guess another show I enjoy, “This Is Us”, is adding a political edge, throwing its support behind the obsessively navel-gazing, anti-Trump hysteria.
Endlessly liberal Hollywood — and especially the new “Trek” production teams — should understand that not everything they do needs to be a soapbox or ideological sledgehammer. Sometimes, people just want entertainment.
You want to convey a message, fine — that’s what good science-fiction does.
However, the magic of the original series, and all the other “Trek” incarnations which followed, that they’re missing now is, simply put, subtlety. They made their points without being too annoyingly obvious and heavy-handed. They told good, solid stories, their messages carefully implied.
In fact, episodes where the moral was too glaringly obvious and heavy-handed are generally considered as among the least of the series.
A great example is “The Omega Glory,” a preposterous tale wherein the Enterprise encounters a planet of primitives engaged in a devastating, centuries-old war in which they’ve literally bombed each other back to the Stone Age.
It emerges that the two cultures, the Asiatic “Kohms” and Caucasian “Yangs,” represent literal communists and Yankees — complete with a tattered, ancient American flag and our Constitution, verbatim, on a world hundreds of light-years distant.
“A Private Little War,” a 1968 allegory on Vietnam, wherein the Klingons, representing the U.S.S.R., attempted to gain control of a planet, supplying a primitive culture with muskets. Capt. Kirk, representing the U.S., is faced with the distasteful task of providing the other natives with equal weaponry. Actually, as a metaphor for events of the time, the episode seems essentially pro-war, at least, as far as our Southeast Asian intervention goes. The official line was that we had to intervene to keep the communists in check. Kirk was obliged to do so, to keep the Klingons at bay.
It’s as though the writers understood the danger if communism won out.
I repeat, though, heavy-handed and glaringly obvious is bad.
However, heavy-handed and glaringly obvious is where these classless, tasteless social-justice-warrior types excel, ruining everything in so doing.
Americans are tiring of getting force-fed politics in everything, just because Hillary Clinton was such an egotistical, poor and inept candidate, that she couldn’t even steal the election with virtually the entire Obama government cheating on her behalf. Conservatives and Republicans wouldn’t have reacted anywhere near this hysterically and fanatically over-the-top reactions had she won.
I’ve read that when Stewart comes to live in America, he promises to join the Trump opposition. Stewart, a Brit, is coming to live here legally, and will protest an administration that opposes illegal immigration.
Think about that.