Dilithium and Dystopia
Last year I attended a panel at DragonCon about a seminar/workshop at Kent State on Star Trek and wrote up some thoughts on it in the course of reviewing the Con generally. My bottom-line response, as I recall, was that this particular approach to an academic assessment of Star Trek as a political/social phenomenon was lacking application. Put another way, there comes a point in any scholarly enterprise worth doing where theory has to meet data, whatever that happens to be, and this Enterprise treated data like a "Forbidden Zone."
I also said that the class could probably use a theoretical perspective, but this morning I spotted a link on Greencine Daily to an article that calls me to rethink that advice. David Hudson calls it "probably easily the most brilliant analysis of Star Trek. You will never see Star Trek the same way again." The article is called "The Political Aesthetic: Nation and Narrativity on the 'Starship Enterprise'" and it may fulfill Hudson's prediction by making you never watch Star Trek again at all. I can't call it brilliant, but I can call it hilarious and that's better, really.
The first couple of sentences should do:
To illustrate the Jamesonian maxim that "objective effects have their consequence in in the aesthetic realm" or his claim that in the logic of late capitalism, the political deviously reconfigures itself as the cultural, one might consider a televisual text such as that regressive, post-colonial chimera known as Star Trek.
Let me explain...
As someone who thought he'd seen the last of Fredric Jameson after finishing The Political Unconscious 15 years ago, I'm grateful.
This piece reminds me of things I used to read and write on alt.postmodern back in undergrad goofing on Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch.