|Posted: 21 June 2018 at 10:33pm | IP Logged | 1
Everything has become so politicized in our culture now that if the same episode aired, there'd be loud screams of, "Yeah! Sticking it to Trump!" from half the internet, and "What is this SJW agenda bullcrap ruining my Trek!?!?" from the other half.
I'm just kind of sick of the whole thing. If somebody could set off an EMP and destroy social media, I think we'd all live happier and more productive lives.
Sounds about right. The extremes have ruined everything. The politicization of pop-entertainment has ruined one franchise after another.
I’ve read about DISCOVERY’s subsequent episodes, and I just have no interest. Bad writing, bad science, retcons galore. And the producers hide behind their progressive ideology, although I don’t think they’ve gone quite as far with the “racist”/“sexist”/“manbabies” stuff as Lucasfilm has.
These things are no longer about storytelling. It’s a culture war, in which people who are not particularly creative have taken existing IPs and use them to preach. From what I’ve seen, fans’ and reviewers’ descriptions of DISCOVERY characters seem to boil down more to their surface characteristics more than their actual personalities and such (“Gay Doctor”, “Robot Head”, etc.). Doesn’t fill me with confidence about the quality of writing and characterization. I’m generalizing, of course, but that’s the vibe I get. The filmmakers cry “bigot” when legitimate criticisms of story and characters are raised by fans, and some fans go overboard in condemning and harassing filmmakers because they see agendas everywhere. The reality is probably closer to the middle. Some fans feel entitled to dictate where and how a franchise should go (they’re not), and some filmmakers feel like they can do whatever the heck they want with a property once they get the keys (Which is just bad business. Know your audience! Unhappy customers will stop paying!).
Vintage STAR TREK could be preachy, yes, but it was used to generate conversation, not tell people what and how to think. It was about getting people TO think. From what I’ve seen of DISCOVERY, I’ve not been impressed by its morality or intellectual content.
I identify as neither Republican nor Democrat. I tend to be moderate, and just try and treat all people I meet fairly and compassionately unless I’m given good reason not to. I don’t have a dog in this culture war. The extremes on both sides greatly worry me. But, that all said, my Spider-sense has often tingled when seeing these brave, new iterations of beloved franchises. Too often, the people behind the scenes open their mouths and say things which have made me call into question their motives. Too often do they seem more concerned with patting themselves on the back for their progressive ideology rather than telling compelling stories and characters which resonate with the audience. And too often have they reacted badly to legitimate criticisms of stories and characters by hiding behind words like “bigot” and “alt-Right Nazi”. It’s all very tiresome and sad.
Social media is a blight, of course. My fascination with the creative process aside, I much prefer the days when art was just thrown out there in a vacuum, to be analyzed by the audience with little or no commentary from the creators.
And, politics, aside, I simply have no interest in the show on a canon/storytelling level. I don’t have any interest in Spock’s until-now-unseen Mary-Sue sister, or any of the other weird and off-putting stuff I’ve read about. Spore-drives, f-bombs, and nostalgia-milking references to TOS simply hold no interest for me. It’s just the usual exploitation of familiar names and ideas to keep the fans interested. Which is why I’ve voted with my wallet, and don’t waste time and energy yelling at people online about it, aside from the occasional discussion here. And even that gets me all riled up and uneasy, which is not what I want.
I managed to survive my rewatch of ENTERPRISE without having a stroke from all of the continuity-havoc that show wreaked on TOS. I think I’d be best-served ignoring whatever TOS-exploiting surprises DISCOVERY has in store. Better ways to spend my time and energy. I’m not one of those people who will digest anything with the STAR TREK name on it because of mindless brand loyalty, or because my self-esteem is intrinsically tied together with what other people think of a franchise I’ve loved for my entire life. Because I love these things, I’m willing to let them go. I just regret the inevitable tarnishing of their legacies.
Fact of the matter is, I see properties I love dying all around me, and even discussing their problems is becoming...well...problematic, because all of the politics and whatnot end up getting dragged in. It’s no longer about storytelling and generating a spirit of fan community. It’s about politicization and taking sides, rather than finding common ground.
Whatever happened to the good old days of fans arguing simply because Spock uncharacteristicslly and casually told Droxine about Pon Farr...?