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Thursday, September 24, 2009

A thought about Star Trek: Next Generation

I was talking with friends today about Star Trek (specifically Next Generation) and we were talking about how weird it was that so many characters were interested in music/literature/games and such that was all 20th century or earlier. Like...there's no actual pop culture in the future? Isn't it weird that NO character seems to have "contemporary" tastes.

Working on the Enterprise-D must be so weird. Like serving on a cruise ship manned entirely by Renaissance Fair re-enactors. Weird.

9 Comments:

  • At September 24, 2009 10:10 PM, Blogger snell said…

    Well put.

    Then again, to give them "contemporary" pop culture would mean the 20th century audience couldn't identify with it. If Picard had a big book of plays by Kleezor of Rigel 5 in his ready room, no one would know what it meant. If Riker was into 23rd century Nausican klegotron music, the audience wouldn't be able to identify and understand it as well as "Riker's into jazz."

    Plus, whenever the writers DID try to come up with contemporary culture...ambo jitsu, "the ultimate evolution of the martial arts?" Dom-jot? Dabo or Tongo? Talarian rock music? Heavens, we're probably better off that they didn't try more often...

     
  • At September 24, 2009 10:20 PM, Blogger Tom Bondurant said…

    Man, don't get me started on NextGen-era hobbies. Still, I play the trombone, so I let Riker have that one.

     
  • At September 24, 2009 10:21 PM, Blogger Maddy said…

    In Voyager, too. There was one episode where they were stuck in a cheesy old black and white sci-fi movie on the holodeck, and there was a series of episodes where these aliens put them in a holodeck program that placed the crew in WWII and observed them.

    What I call a "holodeck episode" is usually just an excuse to indulge in that sort of thing.

    Also, time travel.

    I gather, though, that the holodeck must pretty much be the most popular form of entertainment. It's like unlimited live action role play, and that's gotta be pretty entertaining. But also consider that the crew aboard Enterprise D are supposed to be best of the best of Starfleet, so you know they're all nerds from the get-go. =)

     
  • At September 25, 2009 1:16 AM, Blogger Brian Smith said…

    The closest thing to "future" pop culture I can recall is the Sisko family love of baseball; specifically Buck Bokai, the greatest player of the 2030s.

    A quick check of the Star Trek wiki reminds me that the 2040s are supposed to be horrible for pop culture; television dies out in 2040 and baseball dies out in 2042.

    And re: the holodeck: My friend Steve has seen, maybe, a dozen episodes of "The Next Generation." He knows only one quote from the entire series, and it still cracks him up on the rare instances it comes up for discussion: From "The Perfect Mate" -- "Riker to bridge. If you need me, I'll be in Holodeck 4." (It's quite funny in context.)

     
  • At September 25, 2009 8:38 AM, Blogger Peter Bernard said…

    I myself am a HUGE Kleezor of Rigel 5 fan.

     
  • At September 25, 2009 11:07 AM, OpenID bookslide said…

    AHAHAHA. I agree buuuut it does give that Doctor Who-y "pinnacle of human achievement" feel to the whole thing. Just as fashion might glamorize the 1930s or the internet might absolutely adore the Victorian era at some point, it's best to just assume that at that point in time, certain interests are in fashion. I GUESS.

     
  • At September 25, 2009 11:10 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Kleezor is awesome, man.

    I always thought Andromeda, and even Earth: Final Conflict (for all that it was only a hypothetical 10 years later) did a good job of injecting "pop culture" in their stuff. Not a HUGE amount, but enough that we could see that time took place. :-)

     
  • At September 26, 2009 1:39 PM, Blogger Breena Ronan said…

    LOL! I want to see that series, astronauts on the first long range space voyage who are CSAers. It might be a good choice when they crash on a livable planet and begin losing their technology ala McCaffry.

     
  • At September 27, 2009 8:53 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Breena: I think that was the backstory behind Grammarye in Christopher Stasheff's Warlock series. It was pretty funny. Also had pro-totalitarian time travelers and robot horses. And a horrible understanding of high school genetics. :-)

    I love that series.

     

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