Gone, too, are the interesting dissensions among the Valar, for Tolkien in his old age found such things impossible to reconcile with his theological preoccupations. It is duller than the earlier story, for precisely the same reason that Dante’s Paradiso is duller than his Inferno, or that Paradise Regained is duller than Paradise Lost. Or to take another example, distinctly lesser but perhaps more familiar, it is like the difference between the original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The second series was more polished and ambitious than the first, but when Gene Roddenberry laid down the law that there should be no interpersonal conflicts among the crew of the Enterprise D, much salt went out of the work. The friendly sparring of Spock and McCoy, or of Ulmo and Ossë, was an element that should not lightly have been lost.Gammas hate and fear dissension and open conflict. So, to a lesser extent, do women. This ban on interpersonal conflicts is precisely why Star Trek was, and is, pure rabbit entertainment. It allows them to indulge in vicarious, collective heroism that does not pay the cost that classic tales usually require of the hero, which is his exclusion from the ordinary folk.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Why gammas love Star Trek
I've never, ever, been able to figure out the appeal of Star Trek to otherwise intelligent people, nor understood why so its fans are so reliably low in the socio-sexual hierarchy. But in reading Tom Simon's essay on The Silmarillion, a minor comparison suddenly explained the nature of Star Trek's appeal to the gammas and low deltas of the world, particularly The Next Generation, to me: