Monday, May 11, 2009

Live long and prosper

After meals, dishes, and 10 loads of laundry the Last Amazon and her brother Isaiah Sender decided to take me to the movies for Mother’s Day. No slacker Mommas in my house. The movie choice was completely theirs. I suppose because they grew-up hearing stories of me sneaking into my grandmother’s bedroom to watch the original Star Trek in the dark, it was only appropriate to take me to the latest Star Trek franchise.

Here’s the thing. I loved Star Trek in the late sixties and I have loathed every single new franchise since. The original was daring for its time and the characters compelling. The plots were interesting and the series didn’t shy away from philosophical dilemmas in encountering new situations and life forms. I had my interest in Milton piqued during the Wrath of Khan episode and I remember deciding, one day when I grew up, I would read Paradise Lost - that is, once I learned to read in English. And oddly enough, in my late teens, I saw a copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost and read it for no other reason than remembering the Wrath of Khan episode. The original series was not only cheesy but exceedingly corny which is why the old series is relatively unwatchable for those who grew-up watching it.

There are not enough words in the English language to describe how much I loathed Star Trek: the Next Generation. All that angst and touchy-feelieness, with standard pop psychology measured out in large dosages in every episode. I am not going to even get started on the deliberate neutering of all Federation males but Worf and the Ferangi. Talk about a progressive wet dream, besides, there is not enough imagination in the world to make it even remotely plausibly that in the future - an aging French metrosexual will captain and lead a space ship to boldly go where no man has gone before. Replacing Dr. Spock’s with a machine was a damn stupid idea and belied what made Spock’s character interesting in the first place - which was watching the interplay between his hidden human inner self and his outer coldly rational Vulcan self.

So how did I like this one? Well, it has been years since I managed to stay awake watching a movie from beginning to end in dark movie theatre. This is why I generally wait for movies to come out on DVD. So it has ‘stay awake’ appeal which is really quite a feat. The characters possess all the charm, warmth and flaws of the old Star Trek. Although, I do have to admit that as the plot unfolded, I did have to have a little talk from time to time with my inner child and remind her; this was the Star Trek of a new generation. And if they want to play havoc with the time-line continuum and all of what we know of the old that came before – it is their prerogative as we had our day. Now is the time for new generation to go boldly and discover what this alternative universe has to offer and say. And actually, I am just grateful the tribe still wants me to make the journey with them. Oh, and the oldest son, he stayed home and ordered dinner.

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