acepuppets

Star Trek – Has the Federation of Planets censored literature?

Posted on: May 19, 2012


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I have been a Trekki by proxy since I met my husband nearly eight years ago.  Until then I had occasionally watched the original Star Trek but hadn’t really paid attention to it at all.  For nearly a decade I have watched Captain Janeway attempt to get her crew back home after being thrust across the galaxy by an alien entity and Jon Luc Picard managing to maintain an air of being in complete control of his whole being in his quest to find new species across the universe.

My initial observation of the cult series was that it was a soap opera in space, dealing with various social issues using various aliens whose whole identity was based on stereotypical core beliefs. We are given an insight to our own species through Data (an android) and Seven of Nine (a reconditioned Borg), who spend their lives exploring humanity in their quest to develop human characteristics. Deanna Toi is the ship’s councillor, her qualification for the job seems to be that she is half human and half Betazoid, which grants her the privilege of being empathic so she can sense what is wrong with you and manages to sprout out clichéd psycho babble.  The crew of course tend to discuss their real problems with Guinan  the 700 year old bar maid, played by Whoopi Goldberg, who serves synthetic alcohol that doesn’t make you drunk.  If you do want to get drunk you need to befriend a Ferengi, who will smuggle some highly potent illegal Romulan ale on board for you.

I have detracted from my original question which asks if the Federation of Planets has censored the literature its citizens can read.  For non Trekkis who have stuck with this post (thank you) the FOP is a bit like the EU but they don’t have to worry about currency because money doesn’t exist in the twenty-fourth century.  Every single author seems to be on the banned list except for Charles Dickens, Herman Melville and Shakespeare, who is not strictly an author.  Dickens is referred to in the Wrath of khan, where Kirk starts reading ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and in Nemisis when Picard was in the Nexus, his dream family are reminiscent of the Crachits in ‘A Christmas Carol”, expect they are not quite as poor, .  In the film First Contact Picard is compared to Captain Ahab because he is willing to risk everything to kill the Borg.(The Borg are unsightly creatures who mass murder species to make them as ugly and cumbersome as themselves and become part of the ‘Collective’).

I find it very peculiar that in a total of eight centuries there haven’t been any authors to rival Dickens and Melville.  Is this because literacy deteriorated so drastically that no one could write any more?  Maybe holodecks caused the demise of reading because you could live your own fantasy in your virtual world without having to turn a single page.  Or did the FOP select these particular authors because it helped their citizens to accept the place in society and to strive to succeed in their quest?  All Starfleet graduates seem to have developed the ability to control themselves so successfully that there is very little room for creativity.  Picard – bless his cotton socks only knows the song Frere a Jacque because he is French.

Any way I must ‘Boldly go’ and split my infinitives and make a cup of coffee, if you are an enraged Trekki please feel free to add any comments about my observations.

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