If you have the misfortune of reading my books, you may pick up a sense of optimism. I believed in the happy ending, and a happy ending with light and music. I’m not so sure now.
Confessing a secret: I’m a Trekker since the original series first aired. Dating myself, yes, but I remember when Matt Decker sacrificed himself because he couldn’t live with the shame of surviving while his crew died at his feet, almost literally. Such good writing that took viewers for being adults, and we were drawn to the “serious” science fiction that was the “Wagon Train to the Stars.”
Part of the Star Trek lore is that we hunger for the truth. Adults deal with misdirection, half-lies, full lies, distractions, and PR campaigns that turn our focus from important priorities that should guide our lives: our planet is dying from pollution and heat; there are too many people and not enough basic resources; billionaires spend money to skip along the atmosphere’s edge instead of feeding the hungry.
Star Trek showed us a future that may have been possible at one time, but seems so impossible now. We could have looked outward, but we turn inwards with our wars and self destruction. We could have bonded with our neighbors, but we raise flags on social media and in our front yards that trigger our darker selves. We could have touched the face of God, as they say, but we lost our souls to the seduction of the ever-persistent inner demons.
If only we had a touch more strength to reach up and out. If only we had a bit more trust to believe in each other. If only we had dared to love our fellow man as every decent religion begged us to. We could still do all that, but too many of us would rather watch and believe Fox News.
I used to believe in the future, but now I don’t look beyond tomorrow. Doing so seems a waste of energy. Here we are, at this crux where we should turn from a fate we designed with our own avarice and hate, but no. There is only darkness ahead and that’s sad. We were so close to reaching the stars.
We could have been better. We should have been better. But that last truth is that unless something amazing happens, Star Trek will always be science “fiction.”