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My life as a 'Trekker'

Yes, I’m a ‘Trekker.’ No, I don’t live in my parents’ basement, or own an ensign’s uniform

Posted: May 7, 2009 2:01 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2009 6:08 a.m.

This undated file photo shows actors in the TV series "Star Trek," from left, Leonard Nemoy as Spock, William Shatner as Captain Kirk, DeForest Kelley as Doctor McCoy and James Doohan as Scotty.

I admit it, I'm a Trekker. For the uninitiated a "Trekker" is a serious fan of "Star Trek."

Some call us Trekkies... and I don't take offense at the term ...unlike others of my fandom brethren who consider it demeaning and offensive.

If you are an adult and are willing to admit undying fealty to a television show, then you need to avoid taking yourself too seriously.

I believe that the only people on EARTH who can take themselves seriously are brain surgeons, heart surgeons and the guys who have the keys to the nuclear weapons.

Everyone else, including politicians, police and school bureaucrats, teachers and administrators should just lighten up.

Having outted myself as a Trekker I have to admit that I don't own a Star Fleet ensign's uniform and I've only attended one Star Trek Convention - the one that honored James Doohan, the man who played Scotty, the character I admire most in the "Star Trek" universe.

Another important point - I don't live in my parents' basement and I don't speak Klingon.

Betraying my age, I admit I saw the very first episode of "Star Trek" that ever aired. I was very young, mind you, but I remember the sense of wonder and adventure I took away from the experience - and how mad I was at my mother for commandeering the TV on future Thursday evenings so she could watch "Bewitched" - a program that aired at the same time.

In those days (did I really just say that?) many homes only had ONE television. I know that's hard to imagine when today we have televisions everywhere, one in each room and sometimes in the bathroom and outside on our patios, too.

What amuses me to no end is the number of today's products that emulate what I saw on that small black and white screen as a child:

* The communicator (look at your cell phone... if you have one that flips open like I do, I think of the crew of the USS Enterprise every time I make or answer a call.)
* Patients in "sickbay' often read their "books" on a screen. Have you seen the Kindle wireless reading device?
* The talking computer. Have you listened to your car or your GPS lately?
* The personal computer. I think we're well beyond the computers they used on "Star Trek."
* The writing "tablet" with stylus... used a PDA lately?
* Uhura's wireless earpiece. Hmmm, can you say Bluetooth?
* Flat screen television. Well, duh.
* Sliding doors. Every time I go to the grocery store and the doors "whoosh" apart I think I'm arriving on the bridge of the Enterprise. Okay, maybe not every time...

There is much I learned of life lessons in Star Trek. One of my favorite sayings that I've found to be truer as I get older is one uttered by Spock after he "kills" Captain Kirk to win his bride "T'Pring" in "Amok Time."

"Stonn, she is yours. You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. This is not logical, but it is often true."
I think nearly everyone has obtained a long-sought goal only to find that the reality wasn't nearly as much fun as the struggle to reach the goal.

The friendship between Kirk, Spock, Scotty and McCoy was one of warmth and humor. It had rough patches and there were stresses and strains, but through it all you knew these guys had each other's backs. It is the way true friendship should be, whether between a group of men or women - or men and women - but often is not.

I never really took to "Star Trek: The Next Generation" or "Star Trek: Deep Space 9." I tried to like Kate Mulgrew in "Star Trek: Voyager" and Scott Bakula in "Star Trek: Enterprise," but I just could never "boldly go" there.

I enjoyed, some more than others, the series of "Star Trek" movies, but none really captured the true nature of "Star Trek" for me.
I doubt, like most serious Trekkers, that this new "Star Trek" film will satisfy. How can a film made by someone who never saw the original "Star Trek" be able to capture the essence of "Star Trek?"

Will I see the new "Star Trek?" Most probably, despite my skepticism it seems only "logical."


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