Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Making The Choice

So last week I wrote one post. And it was all about how Gene Roddenberry was a big d-bag. At the time, I was already stressed out with a lot of general life stuff. Not getting to do my Shakespeare camp this summer, not getting to go home and spend time with my family, dealing with injuries and illness, worrying about regular grown-up human things, now working on two big projects and then having to cancel a trip home at the last minute really got to me and writing that post just pushed me over the edge.

I suddenly felt like I couldn't write. I couldn't blog. I couldn't paint. I couldn't work on anything.

My head was spinning.

I wanted to retreat into a cozy hole in the Shire and read The Hobbit and eat scones and sleep until all this stuff was over. Just let the storm pass.

But the storm won't pass. I'm at the eye of the hurricane. I made this storm and, wherever I go, I take it with me. It won't stop until I make it stop.

So, over the last few days, I sat down with some bribe cookies and tea and made myself work. I pushed through the big problem I was having in one manuscript. I worked many, many hours trying to nail down the art for another one and I've just about got it. I can move on with these things now. Last night I went to bed in the knowledge that the storm had lessened.

This morning though, I was still upset about the blog, Star Trek, and the whole "Roddenberry was a d-bag" thing. I'd always known that he wasn't great to be around but I intentionally shied away from the gory details. Reading the interview with Gerrold, and then having to really think about it as I wrote a post, I couldn't get away from it anymore.

And, after a couple of days, I realized that all this stuff had sort of hurt my enthusiasm for this blog and, maybe more disturbingly, for Star Trek.

I realized at the beginning of this project that I didn't want to do something that condemned or harshly criticized or snarkily made fun of something I've always loved so much. I wanted this project to be about optimism and the love of something. About focusing on the good that Trek brought into my life, the way it has been my third parent, my therapy, my solace on a bad day.

I logged into Blogger this morning for the first time in a week and found a comment from a reader who'd read the awful details about Roddenberry's behavior and said, "I couldn't let it hurt my love of Trek."

So I guess that's it. It's really a choice. I can choose whether or not the knowledge of Roddenberry's issues affect my love of the show. Star Trek may have been created by Roddenberry but Roddenberry wasn't Star Trek. His personality may have dictated a lot of what went on backstage and what made it onto the screen but even he couldn't get in the way of a good, meaningful story. And, like I said in the previous post, TV is a collaborative business. A whole lot of hands went into making Trek and thanks to that "many cooks" approach, Star Trek was a show that portrayed an optimistic future and a group of people all trying as hard as they can to do the right thing.

Sometimes it falls short. LGBT characters are painfully absent. Female characters are often victims rather than capable crewmen. Sometimes people turn into salamanders and leave their miraculous offspring on some podunk planet in the Delta Quadrant.
What I'm saying is, Star Trek is not always perfect. Its creator certainly wasn't. But, I can still love it. I can still cherish what it has given me. I can still carry on with this project, knowing that one man couldn't make or break the greatness that was Trek.

1 comment:

  1. Ashley,

    Indeed, we can still love it. When I think of Trek and how it affected me growing up, the ideals it inspired (it even inspired my career and pursuit of science!) , I am reminded of the many universes that shaped my imagination, ideals, and morals as I have grown. Many times, when researching the story-tellers and authors of the fantastical universes i immersed my self in, they themselves have usually fallen short of their visions. It is much the same way I strive to instill the best in my children even though I myself have fallen short of those standards in my own life. I still give them and expose them to the best of me and nurture best of themselves.

    You are so right that one man cannot make or break Trek. It may have started with Gene, but it long ago became what it was because of you and me and all the actors, writers, and all fans. Like the ethos say it boldly went where no show had gone before, and that was thanks to the best of all of us...


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