Post by a Post by Snake
So the Klingons evolved...to mirror the internal evolution of the USSR
itself. And, like the Soviet Socialist Republic - which never truly
achieved its goals of pure socialism and instead got stuck in a downward
spiral caused by a politicomilitary oligarchy - by ST:TUC it is seen as
being torn apart by its own petard.
But that makes them a profoundly boring species to base sci fi stories on,
unfortunately. Somewhere along the line, the storytellers made some bad
decisions. I think jaxtraw was correct when he blamed California style
The only 'safe' species to make 'truly evil' were the Borg - because they
weren't an organic race, but rather android. That's where they started -
truly evil - and that's where they were at their most interesting and
But since they were partially organic, even they have 'good' in them. And
they became less interesting and compelling as a storytelling device as a
result. As soon as the storytellers make a gesture towards anything PC,
you know that's where the whole story will end up. It's not only preachy
but predictably preachy. That is a bad combination. The "Hugh" story arc
undermined the menace of the Borg for me. I haven't watched anything
post-Hugh yet (not even TNG movies) but at this point I have no real
desire to, either.
That 'moral ambiguity' which such 'shades of gray' introduces, seems like
a good thing from some perspectives: ambiguity connotes depth.
But it masks a shallowness in that the more human something is, the more
good it is (for instance, the Q Continuum lacks "human niceness" and is
therefore fundamentally flawed, even though they are *omnipotent*).
Viewers know this and it makes everything predictable.
There really is no depth ..... just the obvious and tedious 'political
correctness' which is the purported "Ultimate Evolution of Sentient Life"
in the Trek universe.
Interestingly, in reality, the most successful species are the most
ruthless - sharks, for instance. Top of the food chain, and completely
amoral killers. Old-Klingon style. But there is no room for such a
species in Trek universe.
There's some interesting ambiguity.
Because Star Trek is, after all and at its best, a moral play. It is what
the Great Bird wanted Star Trek to be, and the best / longest lasting
stories stuck to that premise.
The Borg were meant to connote homo sapiens dehumanized by technology: a
warning. This might be considered "preachy" but that is the fundamental
basis of the Star Trek universe, the social commentary and moral play. It
is what has truly allowed Star Trek to persevere through 4 decades of social
change and become a cornerstone of popular culture. Without it...it would
have faded into memory long ago.
The Klingons were Star Trek's answer to the USSR, and as the USSR faded into
history as a significant threat to perceived human freedoms...so did the
Klingons. It is by this change that the best of Star Trek endures - it
changes with the times, always seeking relevance. If the Klingons continued
to operate in their original pattern, long after the USSR had itself become
a lesson of the past, Star Trek would be seen as losing its relevance. It
might have become a laughing stock, stuck in a "preachy" non-relevance that
was disconnected from the viewer's real lives.
And, therefore, surely Star Trek would have suffered greatly.
It is a double-edged sword for the writers; they cannot continue to pursue
old themes yet they must maintain a sense of connection with the past. I
must admit to this very difficult task; Star Trek must continuously evolve
to stay alive.
So the Klingons changed, became less hostile and threatening - just as the
old Soviet republics did in real life - and we must...move on.
If anyone in charge of Star Trek were wise, they would be dealing with
today's societal problems: the struggle between radicalism and
fundamentalism, and the seemingly over-reactions and limitations imposed by
individuals on one another in answer to this essential problem. It
is...ironic...that many governments answer what they perceive as "radical
fundamentalism" by removing some of the very liberties that they feel their
enemies are against. The future must hold equality for all individuals, the
freedom to believe as they deem necessary without burden, and for this to be
achieved the rights of the individual must be held high - for everyone,
This is what Star Trek teaches us, and may we hope that one day.it will