See how many moments of I'M OBVIOUSLY NOT REMEMBERING, OR ELSE I WAS NEVER AWARE OF, THE FRANCHISE'S PREVIOUSLY ESTABLISHED CANON you can spot in the author's politically partisan, self-serving criticisms of the new movie!
Big Hollywood: Where Have All the Kirks Gone?
by Heather Smith
Don’t beam me up, Scotty. The Capt. James T. Kirk in the new “Star Trek” film is proof of how much ground men have lost in today’s culture.
Before you tell me it is just a movie, recall the words of series creator Gene Roddenberry: “I have no belief that Star Trek depicts the actual future,” Roddenberry said, “it depicts us, now…” And right now, the latest Star Trek depicts men as insecure, impulsive lechs who need women and aliens to keep them out of trouble.
Consider four attributes of the ideal man: self-control, bravery, confidence and sex appeal.
In the original series, Kirk has supreme self-control. He sacrifices himself for the safety of his crew and, in more than one episode, even chooses duty over true love. In the latest “Star Trek,” Kirk is Peter Pan, an irresponsible, reckless man-boy. (Warning: plot spoilers ahead.) The new Kirk tears down an empty Iowa highway in a stolen hot rod and drives off a cliff, jumping out to save himself, not the car. He gets into bar fights to serve his vanity, not some higher cause like rescuing the crew from aliens.
While the original Kirk used reason, the new one mostly leaves that to Spock. Even when the new Kirk does sometimes get things right, he does so by being impulsive not shrewd. The 1960s Kirk destroyed evil computers with logic problems to save the ship. The new Kirk almost gets thrown out of Starfleet Academy for manipulating the computer program to his advantage.
Even bravery gets a dressing down in the new “Star Trek.” In the film, Captain Pike lectures Kirk about the importance of the peacekeeping and the humanitarian missions of Starfleet to the multi-cultural, multi-world Federation. The original Kirk bluffed aliens, threatened planets, started wars and keenly understood the necessity of maintaining peace through strength. The new “Star Trek” punishes Kirk on an icy planet because of his aggressive desire to take the fight to the enemy rather than consulting with the bureaucracy of the Federation. But then again, what do we expect with the headquarters of Starfleet being based in San Francisco? In the end, Captain Kirk is honored for his correct decision to attack the enemy, but only because, I suspect, the producers do not want an empty box office.
One of the most dramatic differences between 1966, when the “Star Trek” series first aired and today is the diminishing role of the father - and that change is mirrored in the two “Star Treks.” In the 1960s series, Kirk and Spock respect and honor their fathers, who were clearly present in their earlier lives. Today’s Kirk is fatherless. Naturally, he is also reckless, aggressive, impulsive and desperately seeking guidance. While the original Kirk was an authority, the new Kirk is openly insubordinate. The film’s producers consider these behaviors normal tells us how much American society has changed in the past 40 years.
The 1960s Kirk was a skillful seducer of women across the universe, a trait feminists now find unacceptable. So the new Kirk is a lecherous lad who suffers rejection by confident, professional women throughout the film. In fact, Mr. Spock gets more female attention than Kirk. When Kirk first meets Uhura, she immediately dismisses him as an uneducated Iowa farm boy. She later passionately kisses the emotionally distant Spock. Women are a civilizing force in making men accountable for their behavior throughout history. Feminism changed that. It was only in sexual liberation that women unleashed the Kirks from of their cages, transforming the male-female relationship into one of suspicion and cynicism. In Kirk’s old days, men’s adventurous freedom-loving thirst was quenched with a love of women and new landscapes. Today’s Kirk gets the blow off while Uhura throws herself at the emotionally unavailable Spock. (Of course, feminists are still unsatisfied. Melissa Silverstein writing for WomenandHollywood.com summarized the new “Star Trek“: “The three female characters of significance were insignificant - one gave birth, one was a mother, and one was a girlfriend.”)
“Star Trek” might be set in the 23rd century but the emasculation of men affects us today. How are we going to fight war and recession without a country of Kirks?
Heather Smith is a radio and documentary film producer based in Washington, D.C.
Yes, Kirk being a bit of a Peter Pan, and hacking the computer simulation in the new movie, were both assaults on modern masculinity, because it's not like the original Kirk ever quoted Peter Pan, or beat the Kobayashi Maru by cheating, except OH NO WAIT NEVER MIND, YOU STUPID NON-CONTINUITY-KNOWING WHORE