Why Star Trek made me angry
Apparently, it’s important to update your website with regular content, news and commentary. However, I find that whenever I have something important to say, I’ll just record a song about it – that’s my chosen way of expressing my views.
Last night, though, I was watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, entitled “Clues”, and unlike most Star Trek episodes, it upset me on a conscientious level, so much that I simply had to vent this immediately. The episode involved the Enterprise encountering a xenophobic alien race called the Paxons, who wished for their existence to remain a secret from the galaxy. They threatened (without any evidence to back up the threat) to destroy the Enterprise and its crew.
This is where things get WTF. On receiving this threat, the normally courageous Captain Picard, rather than standing off against them or negotiating, simply agrees immediately for the entire crew to be brainwashed into forgetting the Paxons, and to have the computer’s memory banks tampered with so that no record of this truculent species remains.
Why the hell was Picard so eager and enthusiastic to agree to the aggressive demands of the Paxans? He seemed positively delighted to be manipulating the minds and memories of his crew, his ship’s memory banks, and lying to both himself and Starfleet. Picard’s self-proclaimed mission is to seek out new life and new civilizations, yet upon finding it here, he is determined, with no provocation other than a Klingon’s broken wrist, to look for a way to un-find it.
Furthermore, before having his memory wiped, Picard has learnt that the Paxons are a danger to anybody that comes into contact with them. Rather than dealing with this danger by either neutralising it or warning Starfleet to steer clear in future, he has simply walked away from the situation, allowing it to happen again another day.
Star Trek is meant to be all about seeking the truth and expanding humanity’s knowledge; however, this episode comes across as a strange allegory promoting the exact opposite.