Ranting in Others' Blogs
damages the ecosystem or encourages the further exploitation of a subjugated culture? You know: the guy may be right, but it wasn't exactly the place.
So let me move my post here, where people can comment at will. A critique of the political and moral implications of Star Trek may seem like shooting fish in a barrel, but I am convinced that treating this stuff as silly but innocuous simply gives it a free ride.
Here is the post:
The fact that this or that activity has now been done in Klingon is the cute furry creature of contemporary culture -- whenever you are told of it, you are expected to smile and say, "Aww." Hamlet has been translated into Klingon? Aww. There is now a Klingon Language Institute? Aww.
Since one of the most ethically offensive things about Star Trek was its assumption that everything can be judged by our culture's values, a supposedly alien language that in its structure and syntax resembles modern European languages more closely than most non-European languages do is a pretty clear sign that its creators don't wish to conceive of anything in their fictive universe that our cultural mindset doesn't allow us to readily comprehend.
To shift franchises, do you remember the Ewok song that is played over the credits at the end of The Return of the Jedi? It's just a dumb little song, but despite the nonsense lyrics (its syllables comprising western European phonemes and intonation), the song sounds a lot less alien than, say, a Balinese one. This may sound priggish, but I find this refusal to dramatize anything as truly strange (even if something is supposed to be unfathomable and scary, it is presented in familiar terms) a piece of moral and ethical complacency, to put it nicely. (Less nicely, its racist ethnocentrism, used to justify imperialism.)
The original Star Trek was all about how funny foreigners (aliens) are, how silly their inability to run their own societies, which the Federation (essentially all white male humans) must step in and fix for them. Star Trek: The Next Generation was a bit less overtly imperialist: in perfect Eighties manner, it was all about validating one's feelings. The inferior societal values of the aliens (Klingons especially) were to be treated with compassion, rather than a punch in the face from James T. Kirk. That really doesn't make it much better.
So, yes: Klingons? Aww. But I can't join in the general fuzzies.