Concerning Star Trek, the word ‘geek’ is an important one.
The dictionary does not make the distinction, but I do. Now, bear with me, my point is coming.
A ‘nerd’ = Someone who is not aware that they are so, and have a biological and psychological inability to recognise that they are boring other people to death with their constant rants about things, do not accept that the things they like have flaws, and will not accept the new arrivals of different takes on older classics. (ie: New Star Wars Trilogy, incarnations of Star Trek any later than TNG, remakes of older PC games. OK , game remakes are hit and miss, some are pure shite, but many are excellent).
A ‘geek’ = Someone who is aware they are so, aware of their penchant for science-fiction/fantasy/gadgets/computers, whatever, take your pick or add your own, and should be lauded for their pride in their passions, they make these subjects interesting to others via their descriptions and enthusiasm, their willingness to see the flaws in the things they admire whilst still considering them masterpieces, and their ability to accept new versions, different visions, of older formats. Additionally, despite loving a chance to talk about their passions at any opportunity, knowing when others they are with are in no real mood to hear about how great a particular TV show is for the hundredth time that week, and drop the subject for another.
Now, I am a geek. I am perfectly comfortable with that, in fact glad, as I think ‘normal’ people with no real passions in life are boring. Nerds, on the other hand, piss me off. Take, for example, the technobabble in Star Trek, and how uppity these whiny little nerds get when it is wrong. Now, glaring errors annoy me to a degree as well, I do not require masses of continuity, but some semblance of it is appreciated. It makes the universe and setting seem slightly more coherent. But when they get their knickers in a twist over something that doesn’t even exist, I find myself wincing in embarrassment. Oh, who cares? WHO CARES?! Enjoy the story! Enjoy the ride!
These are the people that give the rest of us level-headed Trekkers who love it for all the right reasons a bad name, saddling otherwise passionate fans who find the techno-aspect of Trek interesting rather than essential, with the labels of ‘detail-freaks’ who wouldn’t know a good story if someone with a hammer labelled ‘exciting adventure’ came along and smacked them in the face with it. I’m all for altering the techno-bible (a device the writers of Trek use to try and maintain a kind of continuity in the frankly contradictory technology sometimes found on the show) in small areas here and there if it means a particular story-line works better and allows the crew, whichever one your main allegiance lies with, (me = VOYAGER) to get embroiled in yet another escapade, all for your viewing pleasure. These directors and actors and writers and gaffers and camera crew and set hands and producers and….craft services, what the heck they deserve a mention….provide us with thousands of hours of entertainment, essentially for FREE. If that isn’t enough to make some slight technobabble -blah blah blah- technocrap -blah blah- errors irrelevant then the viewer who feels this way needs to take a long, hard look at themselves. I like knowing how the M/ARC works and why dilithium does what it does, it gives an extra level of relevance and meaning to the story, but I don’t give a flying fuck about how fast or slow the ship needs to be going to use transporters effectively whilst at warp, and what the transporters range is. It is an interesting EXTRA, not the POINT of Trek.
Star Trek is about the journey, the exploration, a celebration of the human spirit in all its magnificence and darkness, its about heroism, about family, about protecting your friends, defending the innocent, its about diversity, a celebration of similarities and differences, its about danger and excitement, striving to do the right thing according to your beliefs, about trying to make it right again if a path you once choose was the wrong one, about triumphing over adversity and evil, about conflict and resolution, its a hopeful, optimistic vision of the future, a future which humanity will perhaps reach through blood, sweat and tears, hard work and courage. I could list forever, but I shall control myself urge to do so.
I find these qualities admirable, and I find that Voyager captures all that is good about Star Trek the best.