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Thursday, September 08, 2005

To Boldly Go....

Space...the Final Frontier, These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise"

On September 8, 1966 these words were uttered for the very first time as Star Trek debuted on NBC. Star Trek has had a profound impact on our society. It has inspired countless numbers of scientists, inventors, and even astronauts. Dr Mae Jemison, the first Black female to go into space, has credited Star Trek, and Nichelle Nichols' portrayal of Communications Officer, Lt Uhura, as being directly responsible for her interest in the Space Program. NASA named America's first Starship of sorts, the OV-101 Space Shuttle, Enterprise, in honor of the TV Starship. Many inventions, advancements in technology, even slang phrases and expression are all due to the impact of Star Trek.

For me, a geeky kid in the late 60's and 70's, Star Trek offered adventure and fun all the while teaching the subtle message that it is OK to be different . Yeah, sure I knew the Vulcan salute, and played "Space aliens" way more than I ever played Cowboys and Indians, but much more to the point, I believed that life existed on other planets, that friendships were sacred, that people shouldn't interfere were they're not welcome, that technology would not solve all of our problems, that racial prejudice was for stupid people and that young Russian men looked like that guy from the Monkees.

Many of those things have stayed with me and have shaped the way I interact on my own planet.
I do not suffer from prejudice, I am not homophobic, I think different cultures are fine and should be left to be as they are, whether I like them or not. I believe in peace first.

So, Thank you Star Trek....Live Long, and Prosper and Happy Birthday!


At 6:28 PM, Anonymous kricket said...

Jeff, you hit it on the head, when I was in 7th grade I got made fun of because I believed in life on other planets. When kids called me an alien, I just smiled and said thanx.

Look forward to other chats...


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