Palin cites New Star Trek Series in Gun Rights Decision: “Everyone Had a Phaser”

Star Trek is enough reason for justifying the Supreme Court decision today, according to once VP nominee Sarah Palin.  Poised to become the new captain of the USS Steadfast (in UPN and Fox’s new Star Trek Series–see past entries here and here), Palin gave a speech today where she cited as precedent the popular science fiction series, aired between 1966-1969.  “Sidearms protected everyone.  Everyone had a phaser.  This is the future.  So, we thank the judges for remembering not only where we’ve been but where we’re heading,” she said today outside her Alaska home.  She showed the crowd her own handgun, which she claims has stopped fourteen robberies, six alone by her next door neighbor, writer Joe McGinniss.

Palin excited the gun rights lobby (which is near frothing already for Palin) by endorsing the Supreme Court decision and by linking it to popular culture.  Seventeen unidentified men and women held up their iPhone 4s after having googled “shooting death” to show how many gun death entries are in the news for just today, June 28th.   “Those really effective background checks keep guns out of the hands of crazy people!” one of them shouted at Palin’s abrupt press conference.  [The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, an advocate for sensible gun laws, cite more than 100,000 people a year are the victims of a shooting]

Palin countered, “If it’s good enough for Star Trek, it’s good enough for the country that will be Star Trek one day.  After all, these are Americans in space.”

Bloggers have tried to explain the Federation of Planets to Ms. Palin (as she’s about to become a captain on the new series).   She twitters politely, “All captains of the series were American, everyone spoke English, and the military was in charge of ‘exploration.’  This makes it an American ship in space.  How much more American can you get than U.S.S.?”

The writers, once thrilled at writing the conservative adventures of rogue captains, were shocked at Ms. Palin’s link-up between Roddenberry’s vision of peace and her own gun-toting agenda.  “She’s obviously not familiar with the ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ alternate timeline.  Sidearms on the bridge crew were a sign that things had gone bad—not good.”

Palin is certainly a rogue Trek actor for the writers.  She has cajoled the writers into scripting outright sedition on the bridge.  “This is how real, honest people would talk if their President was a weak-kneed, educated liberal facing this kind of disaster.”  She refers to the Reckoning–that portentious, ominous, apocalyptic thing hurtling towards Earth–that is the tension backbone of the new series, Star Trek: Reckoning.

Writers have committed to one season.  My inside man in this writing group says, “I don’t think the fans could sustain the series past one season.  Just seeing how a conservative rogue group would f**k up the whole Federation would make them cry out for the Reckoning just to clean house.”

Another writer says, “We’re treating it as comedy.  And the best thing is that Sarah [Palin] is taking it dead seriously.”

The team of producers and the director, Chris Berman, want it that way.  “I think Palin, Gingrich, Cheney, Limbaugh–they’ll be able to pull it off because they believe in their beliefs so much.  It won’t even have to be acting.  And yeah, I agree with the sentiment of the writers— fans will be torn between which is worse for the Federation–conservatives or a giant meteor, wave, whatever coming to wipe out human civilization.  Both alternatives wipe out civilization.  It’s really the lady or the tiger, isn’t it?”

About the Trek reference in today’s speech, Berman says, “Any reference to Trek in popular culture helps the show.  When we air this series, Palin and the others will have done a huge favor to us by just being themselves and by mentioning the series.  We’re trying to give them as much creative control in this as possible.  Since we know nothing about what conservatives would actually DO with a starship, we’re learning from them how to go about creating these characters.  We’re looking at this as a cultural and creative exchange.”

He added, “Nothing is more alien to us than the Tea Party.”

Note: all content is intended as parody.  That said, Star Trek: Reckoning would be very interesting indeed.  References to Joe McGinniss in no way implies he is guilty of robbery, only implying that Sarah Palin would think he was.  

For NY Times editorial on how wrong the courts were.  

Palin Eyes Role in New Star Trek Series

Fresh from her announcement that she’s accepting a position on Fox comes bigger leaked news.  Former governor Sarah Palin is in negotiations for a lead role on a new Star Trek series, tentatively titled Star Trek: Reckoning, going into production this fall, ready to be aired on both Paramount and Fox in the Fall of 2011.  

If she accepts, Palin would play Captain Nalia Fergus of the USS Steadfast, one of the ships convinced of an upcoming battle which the Federation won’t take seriously.  Unlike past series, this series concentrates on multiple ships and the Federation–so some political intrigue.  Palin, of course, has to be a “rogue” captain! [I love it!]  

The series takes place after Voyager, with an expansive Federation, a bit more difficult to govern, a bit too relaxed.  The title, Reckoning, refers to an Armageddon-like disaster predicted by the D’mi, a culture that sees dreams as predictions of the future.  They’ve had a collective, planet-wide dream that involves the whole Federation, but very few are listening.  The show is about their attempts to convince the Federation to do something about an impending attack that could destroy multiple sectors.  In the premiere and first season, they are able to convince three ships, who will work tirelessly through the series to undermine the current administration, all while trying to create alliances with other ships through deception, manipulation and controlling the media.

The President of the Federation, a very powerfully-minded, but peaceful, Betazed, is unphased by a dreaming culture predicting doom.  Fergus, believing D’mi predictions, forms an underground alliance with two other ships (writers are arguing over names like the USS Sun Tzu, USS Pearl Harbor, and the USS Buchanan) to protect Section 001, Earth.  This show will be about a bit of infighting in the Federation.  

“They’ve done it before,” says one of the writers.  “The TNG episode, Conspiracy, the Maquis, and the Dominion, and even the threats of Species 8472–but these were mostly alien attacks, people posing as humans.  The Maquis sequence really opened up the door to talking about multiple sides within the Federation–or even political parties,” say writers who want to remain anonymous till Paramount’s April announcement. 

Still they’re excited about the series.  And about these rogue captains.  “They really distrust the President.  He’s too peaceful.  He can read their minds–which they hate.  He’s a negotiator, a diplomat, at a time when they feel like war is coming. The constant question on the table will be–are the D’mi’s dreams really accurate, do they have a political agenda, and at what moment do you take matters into your own hands?”  

One of them quipped, “It’s kind of like writing a series in the Mirror Universe, except this one is bad.”

The coolest thing is that Fergus’ first officer is Commander Nuuk, a walking, talking polar bear from some ice planet.  Earth apparently dropped off its Arctic species on this planet (yeah, climate change wiped them out on Earth) and they mixed with the indigenous life there–very similar–so you get a polar bear.  Fergus used to hunt bears.  Nuuk doesn’t know that, so this is going to be a source of tension, as she doesn’t want to admit it, but thinks of him as a trophy first officer.  She’s gonna have a D’mi onboard too–who has these waking dreams–who’s living in both reality and fantasy all the time, but can’t tell the difference.  

These are three ships full of conservatives.  I do think that a ship of conservatives gives the writers what they’ve always waited for–the ability to write in closeted gay characters.  There won’t be much open romantic intrigue because everyone’s uptight, not wanting to be revealed.  

Palin has expressed interest, according to one former aide in Alaska.  “She likes the character.  It’s so much like her–bold, aggressive hunting woman, now commanding a starship of conservatives, who move with her every command.  They fight for Earth, and they seek to protect the planet from its own bad judgment.”  

Palin is reportedly brushing up on Federation policies, which like Kirk, she will ignore and bend at will, and she’s learning Klingon–just in case.  She does have some concerns.  She’s asked to be written in as a mother, with small children on board the ship.  She wants to be assured of a four year gig (no death in season two).  She also wants to have her own ghost writer write in folksy things she would normally say, but now in a command-sort of way.”  

Paramount and Fox want to give her as much latitude as possible.  “We’ve never been able to pick up this demographic.  Usually we just get intelligent, science-oriented, techno geeks with a liberal, compassionate viewpoint.  We have the potential to scoop Red State America–the O’Reilly viewers,” says one assistant producer.  “We wouldn’t just have a fan base–we’d have an electorate!” 

McCain, a trekkie since William Shatner was a child, has said he’d always wondered how the Earth in Star Trek ever resolved pluralistic ideas.  “Never made sense to me why everyone agreed on Earth.  What happened to pluralism?”  And he has a point.  How did this series eliminate differences of opinions?  Where did the all Israeli ship go?  Or the Chinese ships?  Where were the rivals to get spaceships into space?   Did they sabotage each other?  Surely there was more fighting before we conquered space.  This series, McCain indicates, will “bring back the lipstick in realistic.”  No one knows exactly what he means.  

It does bring up interesting possibilities for the writers.  Could they keep the Star Trek fan base intact–those rooting for the Federation?  But those fans just might like a quirky, folksy rogue captain–plucky enough to cause a conservative revolution.  

Palin as Captain of her own ship?  What do you think?  She does wear red well.


 Shatner giving Palin the baton, the formal written permission to be as “rogue as she wants to be.”


(this is, of course, a parody.  A wink to Sarah Palin.)


For more on the new Star Trek Series, don’t miss these entries:  Gingrich as D’mi, and Palin citing Star Trek to promote Gun Rights  and Red State America Wants Their Star Trek

The Media and the Flashlight in the Dark Room theory


What do you want us to see now?
What do you want us to see now?

Imagine, if you will, a large room, completely dark.  The room is crowded with people, most of whom you can’t see.  Only those next to you can you see dimly.  You don’t know what others are doing, thinking, or what they look like.  

However, a flashlight comes on and you can see a person, and also hear what he is saying.  

Let’s say he’s ranting about something.  There is a murmur in the darkened crowd, and suddenly six other flashlights pop on.  The people highlighted now chat about that rant.   No one in your area.  But you can see all the others and hear them talking about it.  

Then a strong murmur sweeps the crowd and seventeen new flashlights pop on, the people responding to the first flashlit rant.  Sometimes, you notice, they try and correct the rant, sometimes the person rants about the rant, and occasionally a spotlighted man or woman will talk about how this rant is felt through the entire room.  

But you don’t know what everyone else is thinking about the rant.  And even more importantly, you don’t know if they would have been thinking about the rant had the first person not been flashlit.  Why was that person flashlit in the first place?  Hmmm.  Maybe those with flashlights enjoy the reaction of the crowd, or they may be paid by someone to flashlight on a regular basis, and sometimes those with flashlights are concerned about other people with flashlights getting more attention.  

This is Media.  

I work for the media, and I know that my flashlight is used to highlight something I want people to know or talk about.  To keep my job, I have to have things to light up.  To move up the career ladder, I must highlight things that will get people talking–and even to flashlight more people talking about what I talked about–to create the bigger murmur.  I can either join the chorus of voices, lead the chorus of voices, or attempt to highlight something else–and wrest the focus, the murmur of the crowd, the other flashlights, on a topic I want to highlight.

Recent articles on Sarah Palin forget one thing–they turned the flashlight on her.  Her Facebook page is one of a billion Facebook pages; her opinion is one of a billion opinions.  She has no more sway if we don’t flashlight her.  We would never have known about her Facebook page, except that someone with a flashlight wanted to get the crowd’s attention.  Media control people’s knowledge and awareness.  In that darkened room, no one really is aware of my opinion without the media.  My blog comment here will reach exactly 120 people over the course of my life–only because these are my friends and they don’t need a flashlight to see me.  I’d be lucky if this post made it outside my close circle of friends.  My opinion here couldn’t make the murmur happen–and flashlighting someone without the expectation that this will cause a murmur is a waste of batteries, it seems.  Fluff stories.  Feature articles to pass the time.  

I hope as new technology transforms all of us into Media—with our own flashlights–that we choose carefully what to highlight–that we don’t spread the rants of bigotry, lies, distortions, and divisive arguments around the internet or TV.  Let’s choose truth to highlight–even ugly truth, but we make sure it is truth first.  

As flashlighters in a darkened room, we are responsible for vetting what we highlight—we are asking the whole room to turn and look at us.  We are asking the whole room to think about what we are flashlighting them to see.  What we flashlight may not be indicative of the thoughts of the whole room, but it can influence people so much that other people will think they are the thoughts of everyone, might even change their minds, or it might cause them to assume that the whole world is thinking this or that.  Gradually, that assumption will win over naysayers.  

You can use this to the world’s detriment, or use it to sway the world for its good.  Palin may cry foul over the media’s flashlighting, but she loves the light.  And she knows how to manipulate it.  You can END this story by turning the flashlights off of her.  Ignoring someone is the fastest way to shut them up, to make them irrelevant.  You can kill “news” by putting it in a vacuum.  You can choose to flashlight INTELLIGENT opposition, not lies.  It doesn’t help the Republicans or the naysayers to the Healthcare plan to continue spotlighting Palin’s rants.  Turn off her light; let smarter voices be heard.

The media, ultimately, is responsible for the life of a bad, or good, story.  

Please, for the sake of our time and sanity, stop highlighting things that tear down truth, and spotlight the truth instead.  You can still get the murmur, get the crowd talking.  We have to train the crowd to murmur against real injustice, murmur about the making the world better–something that makes a difference, not that makes a buck out of a murmur.

In the dark, the flashlights are the only way anyone can see.  Use them well.