November 03, 2005

Live long, and laughter.

I have decided, since my last few entries have been mostly explanatory and not all that whimsical, that I shall make you laugh today. You will laugh long, and you will laugh hard. How can I guarantee this? Because I will share with you something very personal. Something guaranteed to invoke laughter. You will not be laughing at my jokes, but at me—deeply and personally. I am going to talk about my love for Star Trek.

Are you still there? Excellent.

I am not a strange Star Trek fetishist, and I rarely watch episodes nowadays, but it was still a great chunk of my formative years. I feel like I owe the franchise a bit of a nod, and what better place than in an entirely public forum where my goal is to entertain? I invite you to mock me (because I know you will anyway); so it’s totally OK that I know you’re laughing at me; at least I don’t have to watch you do it. If you’re a fan, get ready to nod, and occasionally go “Yup.” And “Yeah, I hated her, too”. We will laugh for what we have not known, and laugh for what we know all too well. I am bridging the gap between geek and prep, like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club. Except my hair is clean.

Remember—I do this for you.

I make no exceptions, no equivocations, and no excuses for being a Trekkie in my late ‘tweens / early teens. You may have met people who will tell you that they used to watch Star Trek, but that they weren’t “like, obsessed, or anything”. Well, I was. I’ll own it. I have nothing to hide. I started watching a few original series episodes (the Kirk & Spock ones, for those in really deep denial), and as I grew I moved on to Next Generation. It was a hobby, but not an addiction. Yes, I got Star Trek gifts for Christmas. No, I didn’t have the bedsheets and wallpaper. Use this to estimate my level of geekdom.

The only distinction I would like to make is that I was not a techie-Trekkie. I watched the show for smart-girl reasons: The adventures, the diplomacy, the funny writing, and the romantic entanglements. I did not know which deck Ten Forward was on. I did not know the specs of the battle bridge. Here’s the distinction: Trekkies owned the episode guides and some fanfic novels. Teckkies had the technical manuals from every successive Enterprise model, as well as the Klingon, Romulan, and Ferengi ships. I was not at all interested in the technology. I liked the fantasy bits. I didn’t care how they fixed coolant leaks or temporal anomalies—I just wanted them to say something funny and occasionally make a valid point about something we can all understand and grow from. In TOS, it was usually racism or pollution, but Picard tackled heavier things, like addiction and the ethics of science. Mmm, Picard. More on him later.

The best bit about TOS was unquestionably my first love, Mr. Spock. This is the first in my series of attractions to ridiculously smart older men. Despite the green pallor, Audrey Hepburn bangs and badly plucked eyebrows, Spock was a raging hottie. He displayed no emotion and knew everything there was in the world to know. In my real life existence of boys who smelled funny, spat, and made fart jokes, Mr. Spock was the apex of real men. He was the foil to Capt. Kirk’s ridiculous shmooze. I think Kirk was just Spock’s wingman; his inane flirt tactics made us look past the guy who makes the stupid line at the bar so we can eyeball his cute, silent friend. Spock was so mature, so… serious. He was so cold, he was smokin’. Any episode that was remotely Spock-heavy and I was two inches from the screen, practically up his nose. Then the movies came, my love was not blunted by the fact that Spock was old enough to be my great-great-grandfather. I cried when he died. I cried when he came back alive. Kirk died; my eyes were dry.

As I got older, I realized there were a few episodes of Next Generation that I had seen bits of and liked (not the first season; fans know that sucked hardcore), so I started watching it weekly. In this incarnation, the ST powers-that-be decided they wanted to keep the swingin’ sex offender character—they just realized it really shouldn’t be the captain. It sends the wrong message. Enter Commander Will “Fuzzy Chest” Riker. The women, they swooned, especially after the arrival of the Season 2 beard. I, myself, did not go for Riker. He was easy like Sunday morning. Not my type. I prefer the hard-to-get.

…Like Data. Now, I know, he’s a robot. But on the other hand… he’s a robot. He’s got the knowledge of the 2026 Encyclopedia Britannica—and he’s got an enormous forehead. Also: Gold skin, haunting yellow eyes, pointy nose, and a goofy-but-endearing grin. He can do anything, knows everything, has that super-strength thing and is always lovably perplexed by your actions. All he wants is to learn to be more human. And all I wanted was to give him that chance. I knew some stuff—even at fourteen. Ah, the late nights I spent watching Data’s bittersweet romances make me not sad at all that I never woke up early enough to do my hair for school. I cried and screamed when he did Tasha Yar, and not just because I hate Tasha Yar. I so cheered when her ass got hit with a phaser beam by a mud monster, giving fans worldwide what they wanted ever since they faked us out with it in the pilot: a death for Yar that was as pointless as her existence on the show. We all wanted more of Worf anyways. (No, despite the forehead, I did not have a thing for Worf. But even those that never watched the show have wondered what Klingon sex would be like. You know you have).

The only other crewmember I had any indecent thoughts about was Capt. Picard, because hey, Patrick Stewart. Tall, British, bald. Commanding tone of voice. Fit for his age. Knowing smile. Can alternately give guidance and kick ass with very little recoup time in between. And…hey, forehead again. I’m starting to think there’s something to this, now. This was only a slight thing, between me and the Cap’n, because we all wanted him to hook up with Bev Crusher—even if he would become the father of an unfortunate and annoying progeny. I coveted Bev’s hair color of the week. I hated Troi’s jumpsuits, like she was ship’s counselor / Smurfette-concubine, and rejoiced the day she was allowed to wear a uniform like everyone else. Wanted to be Troi’s Mom. Still sad that I’m not. Man, I loved this series.

Then it was cancelled, and all we had was DS9. Now is where you expect me to say that I had a thing for Quark. Well, I must disappoint you there. I never watched Deep Space Nine. Never. The fans will shun me now. I feel it—they clicked the window closed in protest. I guess it’s just us cool kids now. Maybe I caught, like, five minutes of a show, once. I think if I had watched it, I would’ve eventually developed a thing for Odo. He was the brainy / awkward / creepy one, yes? Right up my alley. Which makes me think I choose men on the basis that they are unlike any one else. I always shoot for the odd man out. Hmm… my dating record seems to suggest that as well. Also, the large forehead thing. In retrospect it’s probably good that I never watched Enterprise. I already had a semi-unhealthy thing for Scott “Sam Beckett” Bakula. And why? The eyebrows.

Yeah, I’m sick. Hope you had fun.

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