Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013 12:43:26 AM
My parents say I was born a nerd, and no truer words have been spoken. Normal children don't grow up spending their free time reading astronomy books.That's who I am, and that geekish inclination has followed me into adolescence. I try to keep it low-key. A bit of fanfiction writing here, a dash of undercover look-throughs at the local comic store. Nothing to arise suspicion.
That ends today. I'm taking a deep breath, and coming out of the geek closet once and for all. For this essay, I will admit something I have never told my friends because of the taboo attached to it.
Hello, my name is Ann Winder, and my favorite television show is... Star Trek.
Here comes "The Look"! The gasp of mingled surprise and disgust! The assumptions of little free time, high annoyance levels, and possible action figures stashed away. Instantly, I have become less attractive as a female and as a conversationalist, yes? No. It may be my favorite television show, but I'm not insane. I don't have a pair of Vulcan ear stick-ons in my wardrobe, nor do I own a Starfleet uniform. I'm a fan, not a cult follower.
My adoration for Star Trek runs deeper than materialism or collectables. We Trekkies portrayed as space-cased pariahs, but the show is more than that. Its ethics are exquisite, the characters instant sympathizers, and the plot lines enticing. Plus, back in the day, I hear it was a true prejudice fighter.
Let's start with the ethics. Modern-day television has an astonishing lack of it. As a young woman trying to live up to her values, I am astounded by the sexism, violence, and brash language I am bombarded upon by the flicker of a button. Even some commercials are edging on the side of risque. Not so in Star Trek! Each episode usually comes coupled with a moral: be it respect, generosity, or simply to coexist with others of differing views. No race, gender, or belief system is ever considered "second class" in the series. And the swearing? It's there, but at a bare minimum. This is a fresh of breath air to me.
Going off on this tangent, its lack of discrimination is admirable; it is more so if you research the historical background. The 1960's wasn't known as a compassionate time for Americans of different races. Did the cast of Star Trek reflect that era's views? Quite the opposite. From the characters of Uhura, an African-American woman to Chekhov, a Russian, racism is nonexistant. The show's aim was to create a world more tolerable than the one they lived in. For that, they have my respect.
This, above all, is what draws me in. The characters... they're great. Top notch. They make the series enjoyable. But the values? That's what marks Star Trek as a classic. That is why the fans are uncommonly dedicated.
That is why I am proud to call myself a Trekkie.