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1 Anti-Semitism Link
Star Trek distorts the memory of the Holoca st !a"ell #10 [Matthew Wilhem Kapell, historian and anthropologist best best known for three edited academic volumes on popular
culture, film, and television, Schoolcraft ollege, !he "niversit# of Michigan$%earborn, Wa#ne State "niversit#, all in Michigan, "S, and at Swansea "niversit#, Wales, "K&, '()(, *Star !rek, the +olocaust, and the ,epresentation of Atrocit#*, pg& online http.//scholar&google&com/scholar0hl1en231*Speakers4for4the4%ead&4Star4!rek5' 4the4+olocaust 5' 4and4the4,epresentation4of4Atrocit#&*2btn61Search2as7sdt1(5' 8(2as7#lo12as7vis1(// bprp9 !he :a;orans differ in that their %iaspora and their +olocaust are both placed within a si<t#-#ear span of time and are both caused b# the same species, the artlassians& !his event, which the :a;orans call the =ccupation, saw the death of over )( million people, often in camps& >et, with struggle and the help of a "nited ?ations of a sort @read. !he "nited Aederation of BlanetsC, the :a;orans are able to regain their homeland, and establish a fragile self-govern-ment& All this begs a rather difficult 3uestion, though& Star !rek has been seen, usuall#, as a rather "topian future-as-progress narrative depicting liberal- humanist values that on the face of things are wholl# antithetical to an# possible representation of the +olocaust& +ow the creators and producers of %SD manage to pull together the appropriate allusions and tropes of such atrocit# and place them in 6ene ,oddenberr#Es "topian future is the first theme of this essa#& Secondl#, F concentrate on how the representation of such an event in a fiction like Star !rek distorts the event being represented and in this specific case both lessens the dramatic impact of the spectacle and harms the memor# of the event& !he representation of the :a;oran +olocaust, the =ccupation, and the people who inflicted it as well as those who suffered it is a central theme to %GD and one of man# ma;or allusions drawn from the period of World War !wo& Michael Biller and ,ick :erman, the original creators of the series, as well as the host of producers and writers who worked on the series managed to fit this horrific historical incident into Star !rekEs value s#stem is at once ingenious and dangerous& !he# have ultimatel# transformed the images of the +olocaust the# present b# making them over in the American fashion which Star !rek, b# its ver# nature, cannot avoid& As a result of this A mericaniHation, Star !rekEs +olocaust cannot 3uite manage to capture all that it is reaching for and in the end must fall back on kitsch and happ# endings rather than stare into the black ab#ss of evil that is the +olocaust& ,ather than allude to the actual +olocaust, %SD nods instead to the American representation of the +olocaust found in films such as SchindlerEs List& :ecause of its inherent American tropes, %SD becomes a simulacrum of histor#, rather than a representation of it&

2$% Tech &i'k


The idea that tech'olo(y ca' lead to a )etter f t re * stifies e (e'ics a'd the Holoca st !a"ell #10 [Matthew Wilhem Kapell, historian and anthropologist best best known for three edited academic volumes on popular
culture, film, and television, Schoolcraft ollege, !he "niversit# of Michigan$%earborn, Wa#ne State "niversit#, all in Michigan, "S, and at Swansea "niversit#, Wales, "K&, '()(, *Star !rek, the +olocaust, and the ,epresentation of Atrocit#*, pg& online http.//scholar&google&com/scholar0hl1en231*Speakers4for4the4%ead&4Star4!rek5' 4the4+olocaust 5' 4and4the4,epresentation4of4Atrocit#&*2btn61Search2as7sdt1(5' 8(2as7#lo12as7vis1(// bprp9 Star !rekEs emphasis on technolog# as a solution to problems and itEs representation of a multiethnic culture, avowing notions of liberal democrac# and benevolent imperialism, are the essence of the American tropes which underlie all the series and films& Aor Star !rek the future is better than the present, because technolog# will solve our material problems and we will all get along together as a result& >et how can an event like the +olocaust become part of a narrative of the dialectical process of moral ascent @IHrahi )JDC& +ow can the +olocaust be represented in a fiction that holds these ideals0 !he +olocaust, after all, is the direct refutation of all Star !rek seems to argue for& Where !rek suggests that increased technological know-how will improve lives, in the +olocaust it onl# made the killing easier, swifter, and surer& !rek promotes @at least on the surfaceC acceptance of diversit#, #et those who died in the camps and elsewhere were murdered because the# were seen as different, inferior both biologicall# and culturall#& !here was no strength in holding a different perspective or being a different ethnicit#. being different meant death& !he creators, producers, and writers of %SD have succeeded in this accomplishment onl# because the show isnEt reall# a representation of +olocaustK it is a representation of the American representation of the +olocaust& As an historical simulacrum, then, it is also a misappropriation of atrocit# @,osenfeld, %ouble %#ing )J)C& Fn an# realistic rendering of the Lewish catastrophe that is the +olocaust, senseless death must take a central position& >et this is a difficult idea to face, especiall# for a dramatic writer& !he historian ,aul +ilberg has seen the representation of the +olocaust a tendenc# toward t#pological understanding, showing not individual human beings but instead, *a variet# of perpetrators, a multitude of victims, and a host of b#standers* @i<C& Most would suggest that

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in a representation of this atrocit# the victims should take center stage& Ft is upon them that these crimes were committed& >et in recent renderings of the stor# of the +olocaust the victims are rarel# noticed, while new t#pes find themselves thrust forward as dramatic leads& !hese new groups include, according to Alvin ,osenfeldE such t#pes as *survivor,* *rescuer,* *liberator,* and *resistor* @)DDM,)8GC& Somehow the dramatic spectacle turns to them and awa# from the victims who remain faceless and, as a whole, not central to the drama&

'? !N Link
The "ortrayal of atrocities thro (h tele+isio' erases them ,a drillard #-. [Lean :audrillard, philospher at the Iuropoean 6raduate School, translated b# Sheila Aaria 6laser, )DDJ, *Lean
:audrillard - Simulacra and Simulations - FFF& +olocaust*, pg& online http.//www&egs&edu/facult#/;eanbaudrillard/articles/simulacra-and-simulations-iii-holocaust// bprp9 Aorgetting e<termination is part of e<termination, because it is also the e<termination of memor#, of histor#, of the social, etc& !his forgetting is as essential as the event, in an# case unlocatable b# us, inaccessible to us in its truth& !his forgetting is still too dangerous, it must be effaced b# an artificial memor# @toda#, ever#where, it is artificial memories that efface the memor# of man, that efface man in his own memor#C& !his artificial memor# will be the restaging of e<termination - but late, much too late for it to be able to make real waves and profoundl# disturb something, and especiall#, especiall# through a medium that is itself cold, radiating forgetfulness, deterrence, and e<termination in a still more s#stematic wa#, if that is possible, than the camps themselves& =ne no longer makes the Lews pass through the crematorium or the gas chamber, but through the sound track and image track, through the universal screen and the microprocessor& Aorgetting, annihilation, finall# achieves its aesthetic dimension in this wa# - it is achieved in retro, finall# elevated here to a mass level& Iven the t#pe of sociohistorical dimension that still remained forgotten in the form of guilt, of shameful latenc#, of the not-said, no longer e<ists, because now *ever#one knows,* ever#bod# has trembled and bawled in the face of e<termination - a sure sign that *that* will never again occur& :ut what one e<orcises in this wa# at little cost, and for the price of a few tears, will never in effect be reproduced, because it has alwa#s been in the midst of currentl# reproducing itself, and precisel# in the ver# form in which one pretends to denounce it, in the medium itself of this supposed e<orcism. television& Same process of forgetting, of li3uidation, of e<termination, same annihilation of memories and of histor#, same inverse, implosive radiation, same absorption without an echo, same black hole as AuschwitH& And one would like to have us believe that !N will lift the weight of AuschwitH b# making a collective awareness radiate, whereas television is its perpetuation in another guise, this time no longer under the auspices of a site of annihilation, but of a medium of deterrence& What no one wants to understand is that +olocaust is primaril# @and e<clusivel#C an event, or, rather, a televised ob;ect @fundamental rule of McLuhanEs, which must not be forgottenC, that is to sa#, that one attempts to rekindle a cold historical event, tragic but cold, the first ma;or event of cold s#stems, of cooling s#stems, of s#stems of deterrence and e<termination that will then be deplo#ed in other forms @including the cold war, etc&C and in regard to cold masses @the Lews no longer even concerned with their own death, and the eventuall# self-managed masses no longer even in revolt. deterred until death, deterred from their ver# own deathC to rekindle this cold event through a cold medium, television, and for the masses who are themselves cold, who will onl# have the opportunit# for a tactile thrill and a posthumous emotion, a deterrent thrill as well, which *vill make them spill into forgetting with a kind of good aesthetic conscience of the catastrophe& Fn order to rekindle all that, the whole political and pedagogical orchestration that came from ever# direction to attempt to give meaning to the event @the televised event this timeC was not at all e<cessive& Banicked blackmailing around the possible conse3uence of this broadcast on the imagination of children and others& All the pedagogues and social workers mobiliHed to filter the thing, as if there were some danger of infection in this artificial resurrectionO !he danger was reall# rather the opposite. from the cold to the cold, the social inertia of cold s#stems, of !N in particular& Ft was thus necessar# that the whole world mobiliHe itself to remake the social, a hot social, heated discussion, hence communication, from the cold monster of e<termination& =ne lacks stakes, investment, histor#, speech& !hat is the fundamental problem& !he ob;ective is thus to produce them at all cost, and this broadcast served this purpose. to capture the artificial heat of a dead event to warm the dead bod# of the social& Whence the addition of the supplementar# medium to e<pand on the effect through feedback. immediate polls sanctioning the massive effect of the broadcast, the collective impact of the message - whereas it is well understood that the polls onl# verif# the televisual success of the medium itself& :ut this confusion will never be lifted& Arom there, it is necessar# to speak of the cold light of television, wh# it is harmless to the imagination @including that of childrenC because it no longer carries an# imaginar# and this for the simple reason that it is no longer an image& :# contrast with the cinema, which is still blessed @but less and less so because more and more contaminated b# !NC with an intense imaginar# - because the cinema is an image& !hat is to sa# not onl# a screen and a visual form, but a m#th, something that still retains something of the double, of the phantasm, of the mirror, of the dream, etc& ?othing of an# of this in the *!N* image, which suggests nothing, which mesmeriHes, which itself is nothing but a screen, not even that. a miniaturiHed terminal that, in fact, is immediatel# located

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JM 223525642.doc in #our head - #ou are the screen, and the !N watches #ou - it transistoriHes all the neurons and passes through like a magnetic tape - a tape, not an image&

DDI 2011

/'ti0Semitism /lt1Im"act
The alt is a "rere2 isite a'd moral o)li(atio' 3 fail re to "reser+e the memory (i+es Hitler a "osth mo s +ictory 4erste'fel 50- [Manfred 6erstenfeld, Bh&%& hairnman of the Steering ommittee of the Lerusalem enter for Bublic Affairs,
'((D, P!he Abuse of +olocaust Memor# %istortions and ,esponsesQ, pg& online - http.//www&;cpa&org/te<t/holocaustabuse&pdf// bprp9 =ne ma;or reason for maintaining the memor# of the +olocaust is a moral obligation toward those who perished& Aorgetting them also means the fading awa# of the crimes committed, thus facilitating their return in various forms in contemporar# societ#& !here is a second moral obligation R the one toward those who survived and suffered the conse3uences of their +olocaust e<perience for the rest of their lives& Similarl#, there is a commitment toward the ,ighteous 6entiles who risked their lives to save Lews, as well as to the soldiers who fought against ?aHi 6erman# and its allies& )G' hapter Ileven. What an and Should :e %one0 AackenheimSs T)Uth ommandment According to the tradition, the !orah contains T)8 commandments Lews have to obe#& Aackenheim defined remembering the +olocaust as the T)Uth commandment, formulating it as. P!hou Shalt ?ot 6ive +itler a Bosthumous Nictor#&Q +e e<plained. We are, first, commanded to survive as Lews, lest the Lewish people perish& We are commanded, second, to remember in our ver# guts and bones the mart#rs of the +olocaust, lest their memor# perish& We are forbidden, thirdl#, to den# or despair of 6od, however much we ma# have to contend with him or with belief in him, lest Ludaism perish& We are forbidden, finall#, to despair of the world as the place which is to become the kingdom of 6od, lest we help make it a meaningless place in which 6od is dead or irrelevant and ever#thing is permitted& !o abandon an# of these imperatives, in response to +itlerSs victor# at AuschwitH, would be to hand him #et other, posthumous victories&) !ossavainen observes. Pcommemoration, which R together with other ritual practices R is a central part of civil religion, fulfils man# important needs in a societal conte<t& ommemoration forges a sense of unit# and continuit# and at the same time is a great educational opportunit#, helping to develop and sustain values that can be passed on from generation to generation&Q' !he 6entile World A further reason for fostering commemoration of the +olocaust is that in those countries where Lews were persecuted and perished their stor# should be part of the collective memor# and national histor#& !here are man# who would like to erase the crimes of their forefathers& Most likel#, the less these crimes are confronted the easier it will be for similar criminalit# to develop in the future& Fn the battle against the distortion of +olocaust memor#, maintaining the truth about what happened is essential& !he remembrance of the +olocaust is also important for societ# at large& Almost si<t#-five #ears after the war, man# have learned few lessons from histor# and are inclined to repeat, in toda#Ss changed environment, the mistakes of the past& Maintaining +olocaust memor# is a tool that can perhaps to some e<tent prevent this& Fn postmodern societ#, distortion has fragmented and will proliferate further& !hus the battle against distortion must be fought on a great man# fronts& Ft cannot be seen as incidental or occurring in isolation& Ft is one ma;or issue in the framework of the correct memor# of the Shoah&

6ro'tier &i'k
Star Trek em"loys a' /merica' fro'tier ideolo(y 7hich seeks to destroy c lt re !a"ell #10 [Matthew Wilhem Kapell, historian and anthropologist best best known for three edited academic volumes on popular
culture, film, and television, Schoolcraft ollege, !he "niversit# of Michigan$%earborn, Wa#ne State "niversit#, all in Michigan, "S, and at Swansea "niversit#, Wales, "K&, '()(, *Star !rek, the +olocaust, and the ,epresentation of Atrocit#*, pg& online http.//scholar&google&com/scholar0hl1en231*Speakers4for4the4%ead&4Star4!rek5' 4the4+olocaust 5' 4and4the4,epresentation4of4Atrocit#&*2btn61Search2as7sdt1(5' 8(2as7#lo12as7vis1(// bprp9 Fn one of the first critical photon torpedoes across the bow of the "SS Interprise, William :lake !#rrell accepts 6ene ,oddenberr#Es original claim that in essence Star !rek is a *Wagon E!rain to the Stars* @Whitfield and ,oddenberr#, cited in !#rrellC& Fndeed, this anal#sis is useful, as Star !rek does tend to traffic in the political tropes of American frontier ideolog#& Star !rek, then, can be read as an e<tension of the western frontier archet#pe into space, making the Aederation officers carriers of *culture* to the barbarian and savage *others&* A host of critics have made this connection to man# of the televised !rek series& Nalerie Aulton makes one of the most cogent statements on the topic, writing, *the AederationEs

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goals are both Eto seek out new civiliHationsE and Eto boldl# go where no one has gone beforeER missions that clearl# contradict each other unless read through the lens of frontier ideolog#, which grants new civiliHations e<istence onl# to the e<tent that the originar# culture has EfoundE them* @TC& Fndeed, like the m#ths and legends of the American West, Star !rek has passed through a host of media formats so that when Kent Steckmesser notes that V Nestern legends pass, *through a t#pical c#cle which includes dime novels, biographies, histories, novels, ;uveniles, movies, and television pla#s* @'UMC he could easil# be referring to the success of !rek& !his is because Star !rek has obviousl# approached this m#thological @cf& !#rrellC status through a similar multitude of media outletsK five television series, one animated series, eleven films, novels, fanHines of man# sorts, computer games, conventions, and thatEs ;ust so farO And while the West has become associated with the search for a better life in the future, Mar !rekEs frontier is that better life @Mattson )(C& While the newer series maintain a similarit# to the frontier tropes found in the original series @!=SC @see Worland, l#de Wilco<C, Star !rek. !he ?e<t 6eneration @!?6C and %SD present a Aederation surrounded b# other cultures which are considered different, but e3ual, a departure from the previous formula& !he newer series are less like the =d#sse# @as was !=SC and more like, as ,ichards has noted, a space Fliad @iiC& !his difference is a reflection of changes in contemporar# societ# since M%S& !he newer shows are less about confronting the other and going home to tell about it @the =d#sse#C and more about maintaining a balance of powers between known, e3ual others @the FliadC& While %SD turns awa# from these frontier images in man# wa#s, it does still traffic in the tropes of the VNest& V Nhere F%S was Wagon !rain to the stars, %SD is more !he ,ifleman, the frontier town on the ver# edge of civiliHation, where a constable and a single father keep order and the local tavern is a place of gambling& Fn a certain sense, Star !rek represents a transference of the frontier m#th to outer space through technolog#, impl#ing an important relationship between technological innovation and the e<tension of the F western F m#th life-c#cles @BfitHer G)C& :# e<tending the Western genre into outer space, Star !rek be-comes an ideologicall# American, technological "topia in all meanings of the word& Also, this stress placed on technolog# is another ma;or aspect of Star !rek that is distinctl# American in function& A&S& :raille places the origin of the American idea of a technological fi< for all of societ#Es ills @GC in the late nine-teenth centur# @where most Westerns are set, as wellOC through an e<amination of the works of Mark !wain and Idward :ellam#, among others& !o :raine, Star !rek presents a future built on the old values of human wisdom, good gov-ernment, and the proper use of technolog# @JC& Aurther, Fn Star !rekEs comfort-ing vision, the "nited Aederation of Blanets and Starfleet @also known as :ig 6overnment, :ig Science, and :ig Militar#C are benevolent and honorable in-stitutions, not authoritarian or duplicitous regimes& Science has even liberated humans from their earthl# constraints, and made them calmer, wiser, even braver @JC& As a result, of course, it seems perfectl# reasonable that !rek char-acters are forever interfering with other cultures the# encounter, even though such behavior is against their own Brime %irective @See Logan, for e<ampleC& Katrina :o#d suggests the same trope, sa#ing that !?6 @though her statement is applicable to all of Star !rekC, * onstructs its "topian future b# drawing on nineteenth-centur# faith in progress, human perfectibilit#, and e<panding frontiers* @DGC& =bviousl#, this notion is drawn from Karl Mar<Es concept that human nature is bound to the mode of production @and, b# eliminating want and need, future generations F will F become more civiliHed and humane @Aulton 8C& !he American notion that science and technolog# will help eradicate human wants and human needs, allowing individuals and societ# to progress toward a "topian future, is central to the m#thos of Star !rek& Ft is technolog# that allowed twent#-third- and twent#-fourth-centur# humans and their allies to evolve be#ond the pett# wants and needs of their ancestors& =f course, as an anthropologist who teaches human evolution and human paleontolog# courses ever# #ear, F must take note with the notion that evolution is in an# wa# pro-gressive& !his one ma;or error in the !rek philosoph# has been a ma;or thorn in the side of viewers with backgrounds in biolog#& And, regardless of technolog#, such progressive evolution remains unlikel#&

2$% /lt Sol+e'cy


%halle'(i'( ass m"tio's 7ithi' Star Trek ca' trai' s to )e more critical of the ideolo(ical media a'd cha'(e o r collecti+e co'cio s'ess 8tt a'd /oki #01 [:rian L& =tt, Bh& %& at Benn State, Iric Aoki, Bh& % at "niversit# of Washington, professors of Speech
ommunication at olorado State, *Bopular imagination and identit# politics. ,eading the future in Star !rek. !he ?e<t 6eneration*, pg& online - http.//pro3uest&umi&com/p3dweb0 inde<1(2did1DJTD((DT2SrchMode1)2sid1)2Amt182NFnst1B,=%2N!#pe1BW%2,W!18(D2N?ame1BW%2!S1)8)'TT'U8' 2clientFd1U8UM// bprp9 ritical ,eflections on Fmagining the Auture *Iver# epoch,* observes :acHko @)DJDC, *has its modes of imagining, reproducing, and renewing the collective imagination* @p& 8)8C& Late in the twentieth centur#, Star !rek. !he ?e<t 6eneration furnishes ;ust such a mode, one that functions not merel# as entertainment, but as s#mbolic inducement& After

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)MJ episodes, !?6Es futuristic images-of space and species, of individuals and institutions, of technolog# and innovationslinger in the minds of its viewers, shaping the collective imagination& :ased on an anal#sis of the seriesE representational practices surrounding race, gender, and se<ualit#, we contend that !he ?e<t 6eneration functions ideologicall# to re-center White heterose<ual masculinit# b# inviting viewers to imagine a future of reified present, a future that renews dominant cultural codes as progressive and utopian& Since our identities and actions in the present are connected to the wa#s in which we imagine the future @Lameson, )DJ'K ,uppert, )DJTK :acHko, )DJDK Wu, )DDUC, these images function to constrain the creation of a set of social relations outside current hegemonic structures& Bopular imagination must, therefore, be contested and struggled over in the same wa#s as popular memor#& ultural and media critics must politiciHe futuristic fantasies and criticall# e<amine their role in the construction of popular imagination& !he politiciHation of images that appeal to a collective sense of the future is all the more important in cases such as Star !rek. !he ?e<t 6eneration where those images make claims to utopianism& When images are represented and represent themselves as utopian, the ethical and ideological grounds must be e<plicated, so that audiences do not uncriticall# accept that certain images represent a better future simpl# because the# bear the utopian label& "topian appeals to popular imagination, too often, present histories of the future as disinterested and authoritative and hierarchies of value as universall# valid and consensual& !his erasure of ethical and political considerations subverts the future as site of struggle and constructs human agenc# as a condition for adapting to e<isting sites of in;ustice& !o the e<tent that utopian images are prescriptive, the ideologies that underlie them must be interrogated& ritics must ask, *for whom are the images utopian0* and *what are the social and political implications of those utopian appeals0* Since *the abilit# of audiences to shape their own readings, and hence their own social life, is constrained b# &&& access to oppositional codes* @ ondit, )DD), p& 8TGC, cultural workers must also e3uip students with oppositional reading strategies, strategies to Esee throughE the ideolog# of media te<ts @+all, )DD'C& More specificall#, we advocate a pedagogical practice of counter-imagination, which e3uips students with reading strategies to evaluate how appeals to popular imagination inform, shape, and structure configurations of power in the present& Students must be taught to read individual representations within the larger scenic vision so that the depiction of racial and gender diversit# is not simpl# allowed to take the place of a progressive politics&)U ounter-imagination endeavors to provide historicall# marginaliHed sub;ects with decoding strategies that recogniHe and empower their voices and identities, rather than e<cluding and diminishing them& Ft is not simpl# enough to be critical of appeals to collective imagination, however& *!o live well in the present, to live decentl# and humanel#, we must see into the future* @Scholes, )DMG, p& MGC& !hus, in addition to teaching students to interrogate images of the future, we must encourage them to imagine a more ;ust future, a future of radical possibilit# and opportunit#& Ft is in the conte<t of these visions that we will begin to realiHe a more democratic present& Aor as Alcoff @)DJJC e<plains, *#ou cannot mobiliHe a movement that is onl# and alwa#s against. #ou must have a positive alternative, a vision of a better future that can motivate people to sacrifice their time and energ# toward its realiHation* @pp& U)J-U)DC& Fn this essa#, we have demonstrated that the utopian appeals of !he ?e<t 6eneration affirm and re-center White heterose<ual masculinit# in "&S& popular culture& Nisions of the future will alwa#s serve particular political interests and relations of power& Aor cultural and media critics, the goal is to interrogate the sites of popular imagination construction and their relationship to the cultural politics of identit#& Fn pursuing this pro;ect, scholars can offer valuable insights into how individuals think about their world, social change, and themselves& Iducators at ever# level can pla# an e3uall# important role b# e3uipping individuals to read cultural te<ts criticall# and encouraging them to e<amine the social functions the# serve& !he producers of cultural te<ts can also contribute b# striving to imagine a future outside the current codes of ine3ualit#& Fn short, the challenge is not to allow our collective visions of the future to be reduced to e<isting codes of in;ustice simpl# because the# are familiar and comfortable&

9hite S "remacy &i'k


Star Trek5s to"ia is o'ly to"ia accordi'( to 9hite males 8tt a'd /oki #01 [:rian L& =tt, Bh& %& at Benn State, Iric Aoki, Bh& % at "niversit# of Washington, professors of Speech
ommunication at olorado State, *Bopular imagination and identit# politics. ,eading the future in Star !rek. !he ?e<t 6eneration*, pg& online - http.//pro3uest&umi&com/p3dweb0 inde<1(2did1DJTD((DT2SrchMode1)2sid1)2Amt182NFnst1B,=%2N!#pe1BW%2,W!18(D2N?ame1BW%2!S1)8)'TT'U8' 2clientFd1U8UM// bprp9 !?6 as "topian Fmagination =ur aims in this section are to identif# how !he ?e<t 6eneration is presented and presents itself as a utopian vision of the future, and to begin to suggest how this positioning bears upon viewersE collective imagination& Working from the

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assumption that one te<t is never read in isolation, *that a range of te<tual knowledges is brought to bear upon it* @Aiske, )DJM, p& )(JC, we begin b# e<amining how studio publicit# and ;ournalistic reviews promoted a utopian frame through which to view the series and its vision of the future& !he popular press consistentl# and regularl# reported that !?6 addressed contemporar# social problems and, in the process, invited viewers to seek out those social messages& Fn the earl# stages of !?6Es production, creator 6ene ,oddenberr# assured audiences that, like the original Star !rek, the new series would address contemporar# social issues& %escribing his vision, ,oddenberr# proclaimed, *"nless we shock and irritate people, weEre not doing our ;obs&&&& WeEve got to be on the cutting edge* @%oughert# 2 Ale<ander, )DJM, p& T8C& Broducer ,ick :erman echoed a similar sentiment, promising that the series would feature weekl# moralit# pla#s about ;ustice, ethics, and other universal 3uestions @*' rid Star !rek,* )DJMC& !he initial reviews of !?6 reflected the themes raised b# ,oddenberr# and :erman, noting that *the social and moral messages are still hanging in there* @!err#, )DJM, p& GC, that it pro;ects *positive human messages relevant to toda#Es issues* @Stanle#, )DJM, p& UGC, and that it offers *entertainment with a message* @%onlan, )DD(, p& %8C& Fn addition to promising viewers that !?6 addressed contemporar# social ills, the popular press suggested that the series depicted a superior set of social relations& ,eviews of !?6 were so homogenous that b# the close of season one, conventional wisdom held that the series carried *a message of hope, a belief that mankind is growing-- and maturing* @Merrill, )DJJ, p& 8DC& As the series continued over the ne<t several seasons, ;ournalists described it as a vo#age in *utopian futurism* @%ohert#, )DJD, p& UC and a world where *what is best in the human spirit will prevail* @ oit, )DJD, p& JJC& When ,oddenberr# died une<pectedl# in )DD), !?6Es fate was uncertain& :ut a short time later, Baramount named :erman the new e<ecutive producer, and he e<pressed his commitment to continuing ,oddenberr#Es vision of *a famil# of people in a future thatEs much better than the present* @ erone, )DD', p& )8JC& Little changed with :erman at the helm, and the Star !rek universe was still touted as a site of *utopian social interactions* @%avis, )DD8, p& UTC& Wrote one critic, *[!he ?e<t 6eneration9 pro;ects a "topian communit# into space,* adding that, *[o9n the Interprise, black and white, male and female, human and humanoid live and work together in peace- each and all read# to fl# to one anotherEs rescue&&&& !he showEs appeal lies in our longing for communit#-- communit#- utterl# responsive and supportive of all its members& !he Interprise is "topia* @Mason, )DD8, p& )'C& !he da# before the final episode, Siegel @)DDUC summariHed both the vo#age and the vision with the observation that !?6 creates the *sense that the onl# shackles on the human imagination are those that we put on ourselves or that we allow social norms and institutions to place upon us* @p& U'C& !he studio publicit# and ;ournalistic reviews surrounding !?6 uniforml# portra# the social interactions of the Star !rek universe as ethicall# and morall# preferable to contemporar# social relations, and encourage viewers to internaliHe the Star !rek model as desirable& +ence, viewers come to the series without the s#mbolic e3uipment needed to 3uestion or interrogate its vision of the future& !he rhetorical appeal to accept !?6Es vision of the future as fundamentall# superior, indeed to strive for this vision, is reinforced b# the dramatic elements of the show& =ne central wa# that the series casts itself as a utopian vision is b# making a ship, the starship Interprise in this case, the locus of interaction& Since *utopias are fundamentall# unreal spaces,* according to Aoucault @)DJTC, *there are &&& in ever# culture, in ever# civiliHation, real placesplaces that do e<ist and that are formed in the ver# founding of societ#-which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectivel# enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneousl# represented, contested, and inverted* @p& 'UC& Aoucault terms these sites heterotopias, and identifies the ship as the heterotopia par e<cellence because it, more than an# other place, reflects the hopes and aspirations of a societ# or people& Ships, writes Aoucault, *[are our9 greatest reserve of imagination [and9 in civiliHations without boats, dreams dr# up* @p& 'MC& Staging the action of !?6 aboard a @starCship creates a space where frontiers of the imagination can be e<plored and charted& !he Interprise represents a social utopia because it is free from the fi<ed and mapped spaces of societ#& ?ot onl# does the ship appeal to utopian imagination, but so too does the narrative& !he Interprise depicts a communit# in which ever# human need is fulfilled and technolog# has been perfected to serve humankind& !he absence of an# form of material suffering suggests that b# the twent#-fourth centur# problems such as unemplo#ment and povert# have been eradicated, a perception that is confirmed e<plicitl# b# the character %eanna !roi @Marina SirtisC in the episode *!imeEs Arrow ))&*D Fn addition to claiming to have corrected the economic ills of the twentieth centur#, !?6 claims that humans have evolved morall#& !he Interprise purports to be a communit# without racism, se<ism, or ethnic or religious bigotr#, and viewers are invited to believe that all cultural biases have been wiped out& %uring the showEs two-hour premiere, *Incounter at Aarpoint,* aptain Bicard @Batrick StewartC of the Interprise is put on trial for the past crimes of humanit# b# a powerful being known as W @Lohn de LancieC& "ltimatel#, the aptain convinces W, and subse3uentl# the audience, that humankind has evolved be#ond a cruel, hateful species& !hrough repeated reference to progress, perfection, and social harmon#, the dramatic narrative functions as an invitation to perceive the future in !he ?e<t 6eneration as utopian& !hus,

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there e<ists an overwhelming consistenc# between how the show is represented in the popular press and how it represents itself& Fn the conte<t of utopian imagination, !?6 not onl# invites a shared sense of the future, but also activel# mobiliHes agents toward the realiHation of that future& :# routinel# insisting upon the divergence of its handling of social relations from the status of contemporar# social relations, !?6 highlights twentieth centur# class, race, gender, and se<ual relations as arenas vitall# in need of social change& hange is not left open to chance though, as !?6 aggressivel# presents its reconfiguring of social relations as ideal& Niewers, in effect, bear EwitnessE to a better future, and the process of repeated witnessing @i&e&, the viewing of subse3uent episodesC ensures that this future becomes a more familiar, friendl# place& Fn addition to naturaliHing its vision of the future through displa# and repetition, !?6 further naturaliHes its future through appeals to the past& Within the dramatic narrative, characters fre3uentl# reference well-known historical figures and events to e<plain wh# their present @our futureC appears as it does& !hese appeals to collective or public memor# situate !?6Es future in a historical timeline that furnishes it both with a sense of fidelit# and inevitabilit#& Fronicall#, !he ?e<t 6enerationEs appeal to the linearit# of time ma# be central to the wa# its future shapes our present, and constrains our abilit# to imagine and thus realiHe alternatives& !herefore, it is imperative that we tighten the critical lens and e<amine more closel# the specific representations within !?6& 6iven the importance that the series assigns to social relations, we turn to representational practices concerning race, gender, and se<ualit#, and criticall# assess them in the conte<t of contemporar# identit# politics&)( =ne of the persistent difficulties in tr#ing to get at what representations EdoE is that readers can, provided the# have access to the appropriate codes, alwa#s construct EoppositionalE reading positions& Such positions create openings, fissures, and even ruptures in ideolog#K the# create politiciHed spaces where ideological messages can be productive as well as repressive& Short of the Xoppositional practicesE of readers, +all @)DD)C contends that, *ideologies do not consist of isolated and separate concepts, but in the articulation of different elements into a distinctive set or chain of meanings* @p& 'M)C& !he concept of EfreedomE, for instance, can be transformed to serve radicall# different ideological purposes depending upon how it is articulated within the logic of different discourses& Fn this particular essa#, we are more concerned with how race, gender, and se<ualit# are structured into a chain of meanings, than in the multitude of wa#s that readers can break the chain& We are, of course, aware that to do the work of ideolog# the chain itself must be fle<ible enough to invite adherence from a wide range of readers&

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