essays

One of my “‘crazy thoughts” .We all need a little humor.  This is for fans of Star Trek, Mad Max, Galaxy Quest, Waterworld and Spaceballs.  Also zombies.

Thoughts on Extinction, Evil and Science Fiction Heroes

While visiting a natural science museum recently, my friend and I happened upon an exhibit on extinction.  All species will go extinct eventually the information card read.  In fact, most species now alive on Earth may well be extinct in a hundred years!

This got me to thinking.  Who or what would step up to the plate and fill the niche currently leased to us, homo sapiens sapiens?  Well, judging by the events filling the news each day, my money is on a Mad Max scenario.  You know, the one where vicious animal-like sub-humans chase a few good guys across the desert in an attempt to lay claim to the last drop of gas left on the planet while they are being pursued by hoards of zombies who’d like to eat their brains if they had any.

Or maybe Earth has become a waterworld where a few good guys are terrorized by vicious animal -like sub-humans cruising around in the Exxon Valdez, in an attempt to recover all the oil they spilled, while searching for the last bit of dry land on Earth.

Sorry, Gene Roddenberry, but the way things are going, I just don’t see the vision you penned in Star Trek winning out over Mad Max World.  Visions of a future where intelligent humans, reasonably good looking and well groomed, explore the galaxy in advanced starships guided by even smarter computers, and seek out new places to make friends.  Visions of a more civilized age, a time when people no longer enslave animals for food and have put aside petty differences, finally putting an end to war, poverty and reality TV.   And, as united they stand, they are deemed evolved enough to join a mighty Federation.

Now, I must admit, they don’t always encounter friendly beings out there among the stars. There are the usual bullies, delusional godlike beings, vicious animal things (and yes, zombies, although they didn’t eat Spock’s brain so much as borrow it) that you’d find in most galaxies  but they don’t go looking for a fight.

Meanwhile, on Earth, families go about their lives, able to eat dinner without having to listen to the “who killed who” news and detailed descriptions of the latest way to blow yourself up and take those around you along for the ride. (Provided that a ship filled with confused whales does not stop by and finding their relatives have become extinct, decide to turn the Earth into a waterworld after all.)

What I don’t get is why people and vicious animal-like sub-humans are so drawn to deeds evil rather than good.  Is Dark Helmet right when he says that evil will win because good is dumb?

Well, I for one refuse to buy it.  Evil is just easier than good.  Good requires effort and compassion and commitment.  Evil is taking the easy way out, but in the end it fails to satisfy.  How much better it would be to develop a cure for the diseases that plague us all, then to wreak havoc at the point of a gun (or a bomb).  How much better it would be to work on ways to keep our bodies and minds healthy far into the future, far beyond a hundred years.   How much better it would be to see evil the target of extinction rather than the species which now infuse our world with unparalleled beauty and wondrous variety.  If we can harness the power of good, we CAN go boldly where no one has gone before.

(And as for the zombies, well, we’ll stand united, and in the words of Captain Peter Quincy Taggart, “Never give up, Never surrender.”)

Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s