Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Star Trek as a Cultural Phenomenon

As a Star Trek fan, I get asked over and over again, why Star Trek has had such an impact on popular culture.  So figure I'll dedicate this blog to answering this age old question.
At the time Star Trek debuted (early sixties), technology itself was a new frontier, and the world was rapidly changing. We had created a bomb which ripped apart teh very fabric of our world - the atomic structure. For the first time, man was talking about going to the moon as if it could really be done. Computers were metamorphasizing from the monstrosities that filled entire rooms down to a much more manageable size. Music was changing, and with it - the whold mind-altering hippie drug, freedom, exploration culture was born. And, the Cold War $ McCarthyism had begun. There was a LOT of be afraid of.

When a new horizon appear, there are two conflicing factors that emerge in all of us - fear and curiosity. Unlike a horror film which preys on the darker side of these emotions, Star Trek opened people's minds to the intense beauty and benefit of technology could bring. It wasn't something to be feared but to be embraced! It presented ideas bigger and better than  the problems of daily life. We will explore new worlds. We will "bodly" go where no man has gone before, yes indeed.

The original seriese only lasted a couple of years. But the ideas had touched a chord deep inside a small gropu who refused to let it go, and as teh rest of society caught up with them, they began to embrace it as well.

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