понедельник, 19 августа 2019 г.

Undercurrents of Imperialism and Colonialism in Star Trek :: Movie Film Essays

Undercurrents of Imperialism and Colonialism in Star Trek Star Trek mirrored the Cold War/Vietnam paranoia of the late sixties—in command of the Enterprise, the Federation had an uneasy peace with its adversaries, the Klingons and Romulans (there were many episodes that came down to Kirk vs. the Klingons). In one episode Kirk and his Klingon counterpart each tried to influence an emerging culture to see things their way—remember Vietnam, Chile, and El Salvador? In another, Kirk and Spock were sent to spy on the Romulans so they could steal their cloak (stealth?) technology. And there was Kirk: yellow shirt torn across his chest, with blood on his forehead or across his cheekbone. There would be a weapon in his hand—something primitive, a knife perhaps—and he would circle the battleground (often an arena for those barbaric aliens) staring intensely at his opponent. In the background there would be dramatic music (what comedian Dana Gould refers to as the â€Å"Star Trek fist fight theme†). Suddenly the comb atants would join in their deadly dance until, inevitably, Kirk would stand victorious over his enemy, a powerful example of a superior culture. Indeed, Kirk often displayed cultural superiority over his amorous conquests; he was irresistible to alien women because he was such a fine example of a superior culture. The lusty-busty alienettes would flock to him (much to the distress of their fellow aliens) and Kirk would show them what it meant to be in the Federation. Meanwhile, in the real world, the Cold War raged on. And Star Trek’s masters used characters like Chekov to ridicule the Soviet Union. Remember his accent? And what about all his claims of Russian cultural superiority? What about the fact that he would say—straight faced—that the Russians invented the phone, that Shakespeare was Russian, and that Russia was the source of all culture, while Kirk (and his audience) knew that all the things Chekov claimed as Russian were part of our dominant West; knew that Chekov, and by extension Russia, was one big joke. But the fact that he was there at all (as a minority) reassured an American audience that the United States was superior and that its culture, not Soviet Marxism, was the way things should be. This brings us to Picard’s Star Trek, as different from Kirk’s as 1995 is from 1968.

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