Star Trek

STAR TREKstartrek

Dir. Cliff Bole and Les Landau. Perf. Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner. Paramount Television.

Star Trek‘s blandness, I think, must develop from the fact that it makes it deities out of middle management. For those of us now so anesthetized against passion that we replicate even in our dreams the elements of our pointless middle-management jobs it provides the perfect fantasy. It gives us gods as bland and as bourgeoisie as ourselves who’ve taken those same jobs to the immortal stars. It gives us avatars of Western suburban emptiness who yet seem fulfilled and respected, and never even think about disintegrating themselves in their dress uniforms.

Have a frustrating day at your white-collar job? Never mind. Put the kids to bed. Sit back and watch an episode of Star Trek. Pour yourself a glass of wine. What comfort!

Have no fear: no one will try to set a new fire in the ashes of your passion for ideas.

When did the last one burn out? 2000? 2005? I think we still have a few bottles of the wine we cellared that year. When we finish the house renovations we must move them across. That makes me feel like a block of high-cocoa chocolate. What comfort!

The crew of the spaceship or space station have a problem – feuding aliens or a glow that siphons power from the ship, or a moral dilemma. But don’t worry: we can middle manage a solution.

What a dilemma – to eat our cake or have it. Quick, you do this, while she does that and he tries to do such and such a thing in engineering. We’ll plunk the cake in the replicator. Then we’ll eat one and have the other. Hang on to your characterless jumpsuit, it can work. We can have a win – win solution.

A team in action just like at work – or the way it should work at work. Watch the team strive and win in this fantasy of a workplace where everyone knows his or her job and undertakes in earnest to complete it. How satisfying! We must buy this season’s DVD boxed set for our shelf of DVD boxed sets. Here the staff do not spend all their time covering their ass, faking it or droning on about changes to “the process” and doing no work. Here the system works. We just need the right middle management.

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