Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

Originally appeared in the artsfuse.org 5/26/13

Star Trek Into Darkness

After a bit of thought, I realized why Star Trek: Into Darkness is such a yawn: the Borg have won. The franchise has been assimilated, sucked in by a big $$$ tractor beam and reduced to special effects digital inanity.

Go "Where no man has gone before"?

That was Star Trek, pre-assimilation, and not a bad motto.

Borg Trek is more like go where most every Hollywood movie goes these days, terabytes deep into digital miasma.

I'm not happy about it. Star Trek in its various expressions and incarnations could leave me with something to think about. For instance, on Next Generation, there was Data — pure intellect, powered by that positron drive (positrons yet, as in anti-matter) — and Troi — the empath, pure heart, pure feeling. Is that division simplistic? Yeah, but you could work with it. It left you with something. Simplistic is way better than meaningless.

And back in his heyday, there was Spock and the mind meld. If Plato had known of mind meld, you can be sure he would have applied to be a Vulcan. Aristotle would have humbly put his application in, too. Socrates, well with Socrates, you never know for sure.

And then, there were the Borg: "We Are the Borg. You Will be Assimilated. Resistance is Futile."

Wow! Not a bad take on totalitarianism.

Did Hannah Arendt — 1906-1975 — ever turn her television to Star Trek — 1966 -???

Then again, that was Star Trek.

Borg Trek is something else again. With Borg Trek, even the Borg have been assimilated, sort of. Their victory is silent, invisible and complete.  Borg Trek leaves you with nothing to think or feel about. Nothing about this digital contraption will come back to you.

And maybe you will be too completely assimilated even to care.

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