Your Inner Klingon

We Are Klingons!
We Are Klingons!

Klingon Mania

What in the world possesses Star Trek fans to dress up in Klingon warrior garb and drive to conventions, movies and gatherings of similarly minded people where they only speak Klingon? There was even a story about a couple that raised their kids to speak only Klingon. That is definitely over the edge unless they expected their kids to become pirates, but even then there's no way they could gather the resources they needed to become pirates. And who would marry them? They would never fit in and will probably suffer from a host of psychological disorders for the rest of their lives. This is an extreme example, but it is somewhat symptomatic of the mania Star Trek engenders with many fans.

There is a hysteria involved in being a Star Trek fan. It seems that it always comes down to complex in-depth discussions about how the producers and writers made a certain mistake because the direction they might have taken in a particular episode didn't fit with the historical lore, or a certain character wouldn't behave that way. Endless discussions ensue these sorts of topics in the Star Trek community.

How unhealthy is this? Is it unhealthy? It seems almost a religious zeal that grips us fans. It isn't quite there, but it is one more thing that can fill our lives to the point that we don't miss relationships with people and religious influence in our lives. I draw the line at wearing uniforms and Vulcan ears. Going to conventions more than 15 years ago, I saw lots of people dressing up as Star Fleet officers and Klingons. There was one Klingon in particular who went to every convention in the United States. The person who pointed this out to me had a scrapbook filled with pictures from every single convention and this particular Klingon was always in it.

I'd say that's unhealthy. There are many good things that come out of Star Trek: cross cultural tolerance, the golden rule, the vision of a future utopia, seeking all possible routes to peace with your enemies before shoving a torpedo up their shuttle bay... But there is no doubt that the most visible fans are socially awkward geeky types who model their lives after particular aliens in Star Trek or as officers in the Federation's Starfleet. Maybe that's good, because on the opening day of the latest movie, I saw a lot of slightly overweight but seemingly happy couples file in from the parking lot. Their allegiance to Star Trek was evident by the stickers on their car, hats on their head or Star Fleet logos on their t-shirts. Can we argue that Star Trek may be having a negative effect on people when it can bring together people who lack social skills but have a lot of heart?

Okay, admittedly, there are positives. But for those who dress up as Klingons and stage mock battles at movie events, I will say that they need to re-evaluate their lives. Some of these people have Klingon weddings for goodness sake! What makes this behavior questionable is the fact that they are completely immersed in their characters to the point that they even identify themselves as Klingon, and yet do not actually live as Klingons. What I mean is that they do not actually take their bat'leths, (a Klingon sword for lack of a better analogy), and fight each other for real. They are unwilling to take that step into the extreme and really experience life as a Klingon.

I am not proposing that fans of Klingons become violent and stage real battles with other Klingons or humans so they can live the life they think they love. But if they really want to show their commitment and truly embody the essence of being Klingon, that's one of the things they would have to do. There are other ways they can live as Klingons that do not have to be so destructive. One of the biggest of these is hard discipline, and closely related is the denial of comforts. But that would be a big problem, because most human Klingons are overweight. It's the kind of fat you also might see on an adult that eats a lot of comfort food. These are people who do not want to deal with reality. I know, I have that same tendency. And Star Trek was a big escape for me in high school.

From time to time I think about that every-convention Klingon, and I always remember his face. In all the pictures I saw of him, he never smiled. He wandered around alone, looking at vendor tables, maybe buying something, maybe not. But who knew him? I could be totally off the mark, but I think he led a sad life.

This is the problem with Klingon mania. They are a group of people who emulate the fiercest, toughest people in the Star Trek galaxy, and they are very much the opposite of that ideal themselves. They lack something great in their lives, and being a Klingon and being a part of the Star Trek community fills that hole and makes them feel special for a little while.

I think it's better to get off the holodeck, and start living in the real world, and deal with real people, and most of all, deal with the real you. If there is a Klingon inside you, scratching and biting to get out, find out why he or she is there. Maybe you'll find that you feel like a walking carpet in real life and you're afraid to confront mean people, or maybe you need to go river rafting, or maybe you need to join the Navy and live that life for real.

There is one interesting group, a German-Klingon band, Kosmic Horrör, that sounds like a cross between hard metal and goth, with a Klingon attitude. I don't care for their music, but I admire that they have blended a fantasy with something real and are successful at it. I would say that what they are doing is more healthy because they actually apply an aspect of what they love to their lives. They are not fakes. Is what they are doing healthy? I'll leave that up to the reader to decide.

Beware: one picture may be a little inappropriate!

Drop Cloaking Shields

The real question is, is there a Klingon inside you clamoring to get out? My inner Klingon is the struggle between the surfer dude I want to be and the negative pessimist realist that tells me I shouldn't be spending the time and the money required for gas and maintenance on my car if I go regularly like I want. What is it that frustrates you? What conflict inside your head and heart keeps rearing its ugly head? This doesn't mean abandon all your responsibilities and fly away with a whole new persona. The trick is to merge this part of your personality with the rest of you, and in that way you will become the master chess player at the park, or a ministry leader at your church, or maybe you'll go bungee jumping or buy that classic car you've always wanted. Perhaps you'll look for a homeless person to take to Denny's and give him a hundred dollars afterward. These are the things we hold ourselves back from because of some personal, familial or social convention. But for whatever reason, we refuse to listen to that inner voice. So the questions you must ask yourself if you find yourself looking for that Star Trek uniform are, who is your inner Klingon and do you have the courage to find out?

Vicki the Biker Chick - Rose is Rose

Credit goes to Pat Brady the strip artist at
Credit goes to Pat Brady the strip artist at

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Comments 52 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

I definitely have another person inside me but not a Klingon. At the moment it's a writer! Shouldn't you live by the sea? Monterey has an airport. Interesting hub, thanks

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Utrecht11 7 years ago

Another great article by Alexander Mark. He paints with words.

botterguy 7 years ago

Shoving a torpedo up their shuttle bay! My inner Klingon thought that was hilarious. I have an inner Ferengi too, If I let him out I'd get slapped.- "Chew my food female!"

Zollstock profile image

Zollstock 7 years ago from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW

I think you brought this concept almost full circle here, by at first questioning possession (is it?) and ending with a reference to an inner voice and personal fulfillment. The in-between gives me pause, though. Aren't movie and TV producers and writers to fault because they provide that escape from reality for such a large part of the population without offering solutions for real-life issues?

In the end, the answer may rest with the consumer. My own observation at a local showing of Star Trek shows that context may help us distinguish here: not one Star Trek outfit, not one sticker, not one Vulcan ear, not one wig were present. Instead, a rather happy bunch of people, ranging from young adolescents to early retiree …. groups, couples, singles, who rejoiced in the underlying messages if peace, courage, and friendship and who had some really, really good laughs along the way. I do, wonder, though: Are they so busy consuming entertainment and life that the need to drop their shield and find true purpose has never even entered their mind?

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Oh God, you make me think. Are producers responsible for content? Simply yes. McDonalds sells crap, and puts stuff in it to entice people to come back, and they put out commercials to draw people in to eat their garbage, so McDonalds is responsible for encouraging poor health.However, the entertainment industry's responsibilities are a little more complex. Of course, I would say that all content should be Christian friendly. But in this world, speaking of pure entertainment, can we demand morality? I don't think so, because you will also be left with the question: whose morality? Looking at Star Trek as a media phenomenon that has a large and consistent following, I suppose they do have a responsibility to take care of their audience. Since they are profit motivated, and most likely also motivated by a love for what they do, they will see nothing wrong with encouraging mania. Are the fans happy? No doubt. But in the end, you are right in my opinion. Star Trek is an overwhelming experience for many people, and it distracts from a fan's true purpose in life, both in finding it and fulfilling it. This can easily said about many things we find entertaining.

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Korvas 7 years ago

While I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion; it would seem that you have not done the necessary research for this article. Those who "dress up" in funny costumes such as Klingons do it for entertainment purposes. They are entertaining folks just as a clown entertains children. I am one of those who dresses up as a Klingon to entertain folks. I am a part of a larger group who engages in fundraisers for charities (Cancer research, MS, CF, food drives for the needy etc), blood drives, and collecting toys for tots just to name a few. I served and was permanently disabled in the US Navy. I have put my life in danger many times and as such I can say that I have lived and my life has purpose. Just so you know, out of the larger group that I belong to there are several Vets, successful business men and women, law enforcement officers, nurses, doctors and paramedics. I have been married for 20 years and have two children. I worked in the medical field until I was disabled and I also help run a food closet.

I also belong to other groups such as the Masons, Shriners, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion to just name a few. I will agree with you that there might be some folks who have psychological issues and use their fandom to compensate, but that can be found in any group of people that gather together for a common purpose. If we judged all folks by the actions of a few, no group of people would be spared including religious groups. Maybe instead of looking for something lacking in people who engage in these kind of activities; you might look to see why they do what they do and realize that they are just having fun. I would be interested to see what you have to say about renaissance fairs and those who dress up for them. How about those who dress up as clowns to entertain children?How about the Shriners Keystone Cops or the folks who where kilts and go to Scottish games?

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I'm not sure if you read or understood the entire article, but I applauded the German Klingon band that went all the way with the Klingon style and adapted their music to reflect it. That's why I put a video up. The same applies to you. I applaud your efforts, you are doing something productive with your love, obviously "dressing up" means more to you than supressing "your inner Klingon". Thank you for your military service and thank you for your comment. I am also flattered you joined just to comment!

By the way, I love Scottish fairs and games, that is a celebration of a notable culture and for many, a heritage.

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Korvas 7 years ago

I did read the whole article and I did understand it. In the paragraph that you talk about the German Klingon band you do say " I would say that what they are doing is more healthy because they actually apply an aspect of what they love to their lives." You qualify their actions by using the words more healthy which indicate that there is still some kind of deficit.

I still stand by my statement that you did not do the necessary research in order to draw the conclusion that you have tried to present. I have given you examples of the kind of work those that dress up as Klingons and why they do it. I explained that there are folks from across the societal lines that engage in this roll playing activity. They are far from weak willed people who cannot confront mean people, or who do not engage in other activities such as rafting, or serving in the military.

My dressing up is fun to me. If it ceased being fun I would quit doing it. I like to entertain folks and I use my love of this genre to help other people and do good works. The question is can I do it without dressing up? Yes I could and I have done it. Do I have more fun when I dress up and entertain folks while I do good works? You bet. It seems to me that you, based on what you wrote, have this idea that folks who dress as Klingons are overweight 40 y.o's sleeping in their mothers basement watching old vids of Star Trek and wasting their lives away or that those who do this have some kind of mental illness. I wanted to point out that you were incorrect.

Well, I am glad that you love Scottish fairs and games. What do you think of those who have no Scottish ancestry and yet rent or even buy an $800.00 kilt so they can play being a Scott for a day?

You are most welcome in regards to my Naval service and my comment. I joined to point out what I saw as a flaw in your post.

Thank you for your post in response. I still have yet to hear what you think of the other groups who dress up and do charity works, i.e. Shriners, Clowns etc.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Yes, I think that dressing up as someone else to compensate for a lack of character does indicate a problem. This article required no research because these are my observations. You are the one who said "40 year olds in their mother's basements", not me - so obviously because we both recognize that statement and the painful truth behind it, it must have come from somewhere, (before Shatner said it on SNL).

My "research" comes from years of reading news stories about Klingons who get together to speak the Klingon language and do nothing, watching anti-social people become a little social because they feel safer in a Star Trek environment does little to inspire anyone. I do research when it comes to subjects that need research such as Nationalized Healthcare, another one of my articles for which I have 14 sources. An obvious phenomenon such as Star Trek mania doesn't need that kind of research. You and perhaps a growing number of people, are the unusual ones, and instead of getting mad at a justified perception, be happy that you are a part of something good, and perhaps even write about it. I might do it myself, and then I will come to you first because you seem to know a great deal about it.

I think you took all this personally, but I was not talking about people like you who turn it into something more than putting on the garb and sitting at home or going to conventions. Yes I think that dressing up for an event is a bit silly. I wanted a kilt years ago, but finally decided I am not Scottish, I wasn't involved in the games and it would be silly for me to get one just to walk around in, (they're $800 now???). My point is that if you're going to do something, do it all the way. I believe that the majority "dress up" fans do not do more than this, and people like you are the exception. What about that dentist whose office looks like a starship, or the lady who went to court as a juror dressed in a Star Fleet uniform? Or the person who redecorated their entire apartment as a set from Star Trek? There are better things to do with our time than roleplay our lives away. Like I said, you are doing something constructive with your love.

To answer the last question, I think I already answered. Basically, dressing up for charity events is helpful and probably a good thing because the focus is not on the individual, but on the event. There is purpose there beyond dressing up. You are very focused on the charity aspect, but what about fan movies? I also think that is a good time to dress up.

I love Star Trek. The Next Generation has had a huge impact on my life, but at some point I recognized that the characters onboard the Enterprise actually represented people who went through a tough academy to get their position. If it wasn't for Picard, Riker would never have ended up on the Enterprise because of his integrity. The equivalent is military service here on Earth, so when an overweight comic book store clerk dresses up as a tough Klingon or a Star Fleet officer, I roll my eyes. Those people want to be someone they lack the courage and fortitude to be themselves in the real world. But because this is an expression of an inner desire, I wrote this article with the point of saying that one should start living out their hidden desires in the real world, not as a fake.

On a separate subject, you write eloquently, and you have lots of life experience, why don't you do a little writing here? Hubpages is the best place I have found so far. It gives you complete freedom to make an entire web page to write anything you want with links, pictures and more.

Moira Jane 7 years ago

This is not aimed at those in support of having a passion for being silly. I'm not so crazy that we speak only Klingon to our children. But it saddens me that so many rip on a fan base that is more than just a bunch of people with no lives. Those out there complaining about we who dress up funny and go to cons, if you don't like it. don't do it.

I kind of pity you for not having something in your life like dressing Klingon. It's not only fun, but is more than just dressing up. The charity work we participate in gets much more attention when in costumes. This increases the ammounts we raise, donate, etc.

But in the end it's just plain fun. I've been doing it for over 10 years now. I'm by no means the loser in my moms basement. I have a degree, two well rounded children, a sucessful husband. Another of my group members had a nurosurgeon husband and shes successful as an artist. We are more than just computer geeks and loser nerds.

We are smart people who are not afraid to have fun and do the world a little good in the process.

Keep in mind while tearing down the costumed geeks of the world, that most of these people have more confidence than anyone you know will ever have. Can you really say you would be able to wear a leather vest, metal bra, and forehead ridge prosthetics with the same confidence you think you have now ? I know I can.

So if you hate the trek Idea, build up your own type of fan group to have fun with, or hey, just hang out with normal human friends. I don't really worry what you do as long as it's not declaring war on the Empire.

Moira Jane 7 years ago

You do realize that no matter the topic theres always extremes.

Guy who drinks wine with dinner.....Alcoholic Maniac

Guy who spanks his kids.......Abusive parenGuy who doesn't do the dishes on unwashed slob

Guy who DVRs a TV show.........Guy who never turns off the TV

Guy who like to surf the internet.......Guy who lives in the internet

Guy who plays video games.........guy who doesn't unplug from video games

Of course there are unhealthy obsessions with startrek, but I have yet to meet anyone in any of the Klingon groups I have been part of that fits that mold. In fact, most of us also do Renaissance Faires. But we also don't show for everything if it conflicts with something more important.

You cant really say that everyone who is into dressing as a Klingon for Cons is obsessed an unhealthy anymore than you can say everyone from Germany must be a Nazi.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you for sharing Moira Jane. I think it's great you do charity events - that has a purpose. There's nothing wrong with being a fan of Star Trek, I am a big one. But there's a line there. Getting together for fan parties? That could be healthy or unhealthy. But when people start dressing up, transforming themselves, it tells you that they desire something else in life. I think these fantasies are out of hand.

Let me turn your examples around. Getting together to watch some Star Trek movies and talk about Star Trek could be considered normal. Getting so excited that you dress up and even implement some Klingon values (or any other character's), is obsessive.

It's certainly your right to do as you wish, you're not hurting anyone outside of your family, but is there nothing better to do with your time? You don't have to feel sorry for me, I am working on bringing my "inner Klingon" out by doing the things I want to do - not wrapping myself into a world that doesn't exist.

I think you and Korvas need to accept this perception that people have about your group. Perhaps the tide is turning and your culture is becoming something more, I could accept that. And that's my biggest problem with this mania, if you're going to dress up, go all the way with it, start acting and living like a Klingon, you obviously want to. If I was going to slap on all that gear, I'd either fully integrate it into my life or it would be because I am doing a movie.

I still say you are compensating for something. I do not mean to offend you, that was not my aim, but I have and I will have to stand by that. But I sincerely hope you find what you are really looking for.

Ande Moore profile image

Ande Moore 7 years ago from Austin, Texas

Wow, the comments were as entertaining as the hub. Having seen many different costumes at comiccon and the likes the Star Trek fans amazed me the most. My best friend has an Indy fedora that he wears to the flicks, I've also got some S.W. friends that have some wonderful costumes. I've been seeing the extreme side of S.W. but Star Trek fans. They are devoted. My friend Gary Barclay (true Star Trek fans will know exactly who he is!) for one. Living the life I guess can be good, but I believe a touch extreme. The stereotype of anything is there for a reason. Living at home in the basement or your room with them made up like certain vessels in your mid 30's + is a little scary to me. Of course on the flip side of that coin, maybe they are happier than the rest of us. D&D, video games, movies, playing dress up, or living the life, where is the point that we become "crazy". I would love nothing more than to dress up like Venom and run around with my kids shooting imaginary web from my wrists. Sadly, we didn't have the wrist launchers when I was a child. But will my neighbors call cps because I've lost it, being a grown adult playing make believe? My role is not to question or wonder why, I guess I'm saying if you've got the guts and the scratch. Do what you want, but realize that outside your starship is the real world. My "inner Cylon" says we're all a little fraked up, some may be just a little more than others.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I'm not so obsessed, (that's frakked with 2 k's by the way) :-).

Like your comment, and have to agree with the sentiment, "outside your starship is the real world." With anything, when we really get into something, it's hard to see if we are into it too much.

Coming from my side of it, I can say that this is a whole lot better than running in a gang or abusing drugs.

Moira 7 years ago

I really do feel sorry for you now.

Obsessed ? Not really. Though I suppose it's because you are ignorant to the use of the word.

Dressing up for a convention is no more obsessed than a person who buys a team jacket and goes to a football game.

Or having ice-cream three times a week from baskinrobbins.

Though I do draw the line at the guy who made his whole house look like the inside of the USS Voyager.

I encourage my children to have an imagination. Those of you that think that you have to not have any imagination or fun with something you enjoy, worry me. I can't imagine growing up to be repressed and so self concious that you pick apart other people for having a bit of fun. You have no idea what you are missing.

Most of us are multi fandom players, renaissance faire actors. I also do stage and movie makeup which is what draws me to a fun place to act as a character, and play with my makeup skills outside of a set.

Perhaps if you are worried about any of this being obsessive, you should get friends who don't care if you love something and do whatever it is you are trashing because you wont admit to wanting to be part of it.

How do you feel about renaissance faires ? Do you feel that's obsessive as well ? Did you celebrate Halloween as a kid ?

I've yet to see, meet, or hear about anyone raising their child as if they were really a different species. That's not obsessive by the way, that's called mentaly ill. But feel free to post a link to a story about something like that.

I hope one of these days you are less embaressed to have fun.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I'm trying to be nice. You have yet to prove to me that role playing is normal. I do think that buying a team jacket is obsessive. People are way too crazy when it comes to sports. Yes, I think Renaissance fairs are obsessive in the way in the way that people want to become something they're not.

Yes, I celebrated Halloween when I was young. When I was YOUNG. Children role play to find their place in this world. And this alludes to my point doesn't it? People who dress up are at some level trying to establish or find their true identity. This was the point of my article, it was not about geek bashing. I do not need to dress up as a Klingon or any other Star Trek, Star Wars, Renaissance, LOTR or whatever else character. I think I am more comfortable in my skin than you are in yours. That is all. It's my opinion, but in protesting so vehemently against it, you have revealed a level of desperation for validation that the world at large will never give you.

Why aren't you comfortable with your values enough to ignore someone whom you pity? Your reaction and that of Korvas is the same reaction as from one who is religious or politically biased in the extreme.

By the way, I just finished and enjoyed watching Star Trek 3 again. I don't feel the need to put on Spock ears or a Star Fleet uniform, I take it as it is and put it back on the shelf for another year or two. What you guys do is akin to drinking too many beers, going past your limit.

I have to stand by my assertion, people like you are seeking to fulfill something missing in your life, and you think you've found it in a fantasy world. This is why you go to Renaissance fairs and dress up as noble lords and dukes and what have you. You prefer escapism over reality.

Remember Broccoli? My challenge to you is to try going without Star Trek for a while. Don't dress up. Can you do it? I doubt it. You're obsessed, and I am trying to save you.

Do you think Roddenberry's intent was to create a fantasy world for real people to inhabit? No way, he was making commentary on the politics of the day, and trying to teach us new values of tolerance and looking for answers instead of jumping to conclusions. I don't agree with all of his intentions and values, but growing up on Star Trek has taught me much about faith and love.

Warped 7 years ago

Cross cultural tolerance is not exercised here, freedom of speech is. This argument reminds me so much of the Atheist and Christian discussing creation. Both opinions are firm and both persons un-wavering. The hub in question is based on opinion and personal observances, the writer doesn't know anyone who is involved as much as Moira & Korvas.

Let us seek all possible routes to peace before shoving a torpedo up someone's shuttle bay. What would Picard do. In Chess sometimes you must back off, re-group and even change your strategy to win. You Klingon types never back off, and that is your weakness. As I see it, Alexander Mark has shown tolerance and praise, trying to make peace as a good Captain should. Yet the Klingons repeatedly fire insults and Alexander Mark's shields are beginning to waiver.

Once you insult a Klingon as Alexander Mark has with this phrase " They are a group of people who emulate the fiercest, toughest people in the Star Trek galaxy, and they are very much the opposite of that ideal themselves". He has unknowingly declared war on the Empire. This fight can only be resolved through diplomatic means, or total annihilation of the opponent.

I'll be watching this Hub comment section for a while. It's like two Klingon birds of prey taking turns firing green bolts of obscure reason upon a single Starfleet Frigate at full shields trying to hold its ground (or.. space) occasionally firing back some blue beams of logic.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you Warped, that was one of the most interesting comments I have read on my hubs so far I think. I really love your analogies since I am a Star Trek geek at heart, (it's a disease, I can't help it). I think you are like the mediator, much like the Federation, and perhaps I am the Vulcans or the Andorians because I won't back down and I piss everyone off ;-). Alright Ambassador, I will come to the peace table, how about the honorable Klingons? I'm going to go ahead and mentally dress up as a Vulcan to come halfway and meet the Klingons Moira and Korvas, and as a Vulcan I also represent a people who piss the Klingons off. I think non-emotion may be the way to go here.

Warped 7 years ago

Captain! My sensors show that the Klingons have retreated.

We lost our lock on them when they went into the Neutral Zone.

Let's be on the alert, they may be cloaked.

I, i Captain

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I hate to say this, but this proves my point, they like to pretend to be warriors, people who face a fight, but in the end, they're all peace loving humans. Ptachs! (If you Klingons are out there and cloaked - that last insult was just a joke, please don't go crazy, but the rest of the insult stands).

Gary Barclay 7 years ago

If you truly want to know anything about Star Trek from the TV shows and movies, the official Star Trek club Starfleet Command @, Star Trek bands, Star Trek conventions, to all other Star Trek related groups, then you will want to check out my MySpace page @

I am on the top friends list of the official MySpace page for the new Star Trek movie which has over 24,000 friends. I am on the top friends list on Zachary Quinto's official MySpace page and he has over 28,000 friends. I have over 7,500 friends on MySpace. It is always great to go to a convention and meet these people in person. They are very smart and pleasant along with being fun to hang out with.

I was a U.S. Navy scientist dealing with oceanography. One surprised crew mate exclaimed "I can't believe that you are one of them because you are so cool"! He was trying to compliment me on being in a field where I was using my brain and not my brawn without being condescending to the workers in the other fields known as rates. My legs were crippled and I was medevaced from the United Kingdom to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center. I was hospitalized for 2 months along with 6 months in medical hold in DC. The U.S. Navy didn't want me to reenlist so they placed me out after 4 years with a small disability payment. The VA wanted to cut off one of my legs that had locked up, turned blue and had a week pulse. So I took my life into my own hands and became a healthy vegetarian which led to me walking again after much physical therapy.

All of my experience has taught me that it is important in life to work on being healthy and being funny. I can go around at a convention as the stoic Vulcan Mr. Spock. Then I will perform in a costume/masquerade contest with slapstick humor. One little girl put it best after my friend Mark, AKA Kirk, and I, Gary (a.k.a.), Mr. Spock had put on a show at InConJunction in Indianapolis. She said "They were soooo funny"!

People will paint themselves and dress up in weird costumes and go to their favorite athletic game. They may even wear a jumpsuit and pretend to be one of the drivers at a race. My friend from Brazil told me that he would always wear a rain coat to the football, (soccer), games because people would drink beer and pee in their cup and throw it onto the crowd of spectators.

So if you only want to see skinny beautiful people, then you need to go to a fashion show. However, you can go to a Star Trek convention and meet a cross cultural convergence of unique individuals. My Star Trek club Starfleet Command has a number of people with a doctorate degree running it. The cartoon show American Dad put it best when Stan Smith went to a convention with his son and his friends. They entered the convention and Stan exclaimed "My God! Who's running the internet!"

Live long and prosper \\//,

FCAPT Gary Barclay Chief Security Officer USS Endeavour @

Starbase 06 CO @

Starfleet Command Q1 Deputy Chief Of Public Affairs @

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Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Great hub Mark I tried to think about my inner yearnings that I would let out if I was brave enough too or in my younger years..wether is was role playing or involveds being a biker chick and living with Grissley I wasn't sure how to make those two co I never acted on either I did the next best thing..became a nurse and backyard farmer with a bike

Thanks for a great hub.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Sunnie, I think you're awesome just the way you are. And I don't know what it is, but I love a girl on a bike. I was in Davis (California) with a friend the other day, and watched a girl on a motorcycle ride by, I am so impressed with that, I feel that women on bikes know themselves. Maybe it's just me, I never felt more confident about myself than when I was riding a motorcycle!

Sorry for the ramble, thanks for reading and understanding this hub ;-)

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Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Ahhh thank you...I really do understand...yes I think that is it..there is an air of confidence when on a bike..the Grissley Adams thing was this man who lived with nature, kind, hard working..and that always drew me..the things we think about huh? Hope you have a wonderful day! Off to work I go..

God Bless,


ashendreamer profile image

ashendreamer 5 years ago

Heavy duty comments. Very educational!

I don't have an inner Klingon. I have an inner Hobbit, also an inner night elf (W.O.W.). Don't tell me to stop picking mushrooms in my backyard cave. I'm not going to start shaving my feet either. LOTR, all the way!

"Star Trek is an overwhelming experience for many people, and it distracts from a fan's true purpose in life, both in finding it and fulfilling it." This sentence was deliciously funny to me, as someone who is overwhelmed by, in her totally sick and twisted opinion, the inanity of Star Trek. (I have no evidence to back up that statement, unless you want to see the scars on my head from banging it against the wall whenever my dad forced me to watch Star Trek as a small child.) I really shouldn't be allowed to comment here!

No, but, pretty good article. And thanks for reminding me to schedule my next LOTR marathon. :)


What? That's my night elf name.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Hi Dawnwood, I'm not sure what to think about WOW, but I know some people who live a second life in that universe (about a 1/3 of their day) and I don't think that's too healthy.

Star Trek = inanity???? Oy! Thankfully it doesn't bother me because IT'S JUST A SHOW ;-)I know lots of people who don't care for Star Trek and they are still my friends. It's the format that people love or hate. Those dress up Klingons are sucked into the universe but don't input the values inherent to that universe into their own lives.

LOTR is awesome, both as a cinematic experience and as a play about morality, values and friendship. I am dorky enough I have the extended versions of all three movies and I am waiting till I can afford a couch so I can watch the movie in comfort and relax completely so I get the full experience.

Of course your comments are very welcome, I let the other two dress up Klingons say their piece, why not you? Plus I'm honored you chose to read one of my older hubs.


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stessily 5 years ago

Alexander Mark: I can't believe I finally reached the comment module, although of course I could have scrolled ahead, but just think of all those sparring comments that I would have been spared! My preference is only to read hubs which provide me with a positive experience and to stay away from those which might entice a Klingon exchange. I've only seen a few of the Star Trek movies and only a few of the TV episodes, so I'm out of my element here. Nevertheless, I was immersed in your presentation and intrigued by the idea of an "inner Klingon." I once rode a motorcycle REALLY fast on a Greek island. I think that, unbeknownst to myself, I was releasing my inner Klingon. I loved the wind streaming through my hair. (I'm thankful that no one was hurt or killed during that somewhat reckless ride.) I really enjoyed reading your hub, which really seemed to me more about looking inside oneself to see what we can do to identify our passions and to live with purpose instead of flitting aimlessly, defined unsatisfactorily and buffeted mercilessly by expectations and conventions which are stultifying and counter to personal growth. The closest that I can come to relating to Star Trekkies is to recall a few years in which I wanted first-hand exposure to Celtic music so I was focused on Irish Fests and coffeehouse performances. I'm not a fan of crowded places, so I carefully pick my few crowded environments. I hope that you are able to unfurl "surfer dude." It's a breathtaking sport which takes place in my favorite environment, water.

Thanks for this journey. All the votes.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I love your comment stessily, you grasped the point of my hub, thank you! But you also added to it and that reminds me to be more focused on the positive side of things.

Many of us feel the need at some point to identify with something larger than ourselves, as you pointed out with your Celtic music experience. I would say that isn't a bad thing if you become involved with it and it adds to your life. I attack the Trekkies who are completely absorbed in the fantasy world because I felt that pull and it isn't real. There are no starships that travel at warp speed. Celtic culture on the other hand, is based in reality and history - not made up.

That being said, it sounds like it was a phase for you? If you were involved with it and moved on, you realized you were looking for something else maybe, and that isn't a bad thing in my book.

On water, yes we share that love - that irresistible pull. I know I have to be careful not to wish for that entire lifestyle because I think the end of it is unproductive. When we get to heaven, we'll have all the surf we could ever want, and so my focus is to surf if I can, but aim for Jesus.

I am really glad you liked this hub, as you mentioned, there was a lot of debate between me and the "outer Klingons," and it's refreshing that you grasped the main idea.

You still ride? I have never ridden without a helmet at high speed, but the experience must be exhilarating.

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stessily 5 years ago

Alexander Mark: I think that immersing myself in live performances was part of exploring and understanding Celtic music. My life opened in a way for that short space of time to allow that immersion. I knew that I had absorbed what I needed to last within me when certain inconveniences began to show up, including being noticed by band members and attendees. I could see how easily the pleasantness of familiarity could turn into groupie-hood. Also, I had achieved my goal of internalizing the music. I treasure that experience, which is one of the few in my life that I would not change.

I think that there's an inherent dichotomy in terrestrial life that assumes various proportions and shades according to our interests and other ambiguous factors. That dichotomy concerns living in this world without being of it --- not an easy path to tread. I feel that dichotomy is exemplified perfectly by the life of Eric Liddell, whose journey for Christ with his talents was presented so movingly in "Chariots of Fire." I love that Eric saw running as an expression of gratitude and love for his creator and for Jesus; he shared his running talents briefly with the world and then concentrated on missionary work. What saddens me, nevertheless, is that he died in a Japanese concentration camp in China, although apparently he not only inspired fellow prisoners but also his captors as well. I have been thinking about writing a hub on him for some time.

As for motorcycling, I had a second helmetless ride as a passenger on my friend's brother's cycle on their farm. It was beautiful to still be able to feel the wind through my hair. I have ridden with a helmet and just have been spoiled by the freedom and exhilaration of going helmetless. The inner Klingon in me tells me that some day soon I'll resume cycling, but (according to the inner Spock in me) with a helmet. I don't like to wear anything on my head. I grew up in the midwest where winters are brutal, and the most that I could manage for head covering was ear muffs, which sometimes really weren't sufficient.

As for surfing, I know that this saying from the magnificent seafarers of ancient times, the Phoenicians, echoes from the ages before Christianity but I love it nevertheless for it describes so perfectly the incomparable beauty of the ocean: "The Gods do not deduct from man's alloted span those hours spent in sailing." It is to the ocean that I look for the freedom of the wind blowing through my hair, and I hope to be living close to the ocean or a huge body of water, like the Great Lakes, soon.

A surfing documentary that I have watched many times is "Riding Giants." I love the waves, and I love seeing the surfers gliding into that tunnel (I don't know the term) that's formed by waves. Breathtaking. I cannot imagine fully how that feels but it is absolutely breathtaking to see.

Thank you once again for a hub which for me had such a positive focus.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I hear that getting tubed is an otherworldly experience and it's on my list of things I plan to do. I have not seen, "Riding Giants," most likely because I avoid surfing videos. They make me want to go so badly and then I get so frustrated because I can't. But I'm putting that one on my list for one of my moments of weakness :-)

Would you believe I haven't seen, "Chariots of Fire," either? I had absolutely no idea that it was about a life serving God, any promos I have seen always show a man running, leave it to the world to hide something beautiful and uplifting by making it seem it is about something else. I am definitely going to watch that one soon!

Stessily, that Phoenician quote was something else - it is the epitome of the expression of the relationship between man and the ocean. I would worry about our desire to be near the water if the beauty and power and majesty of it didn't glorify God. And even though there will be no sea in heaven, the Bible often mentions water in conjunction with life and how it comes from God.

I think you're right on about the dichotomy of living in the world but not being of the world. This is one of the reasons I am somewhat against the Christian media complex. There is nothing wrong with Christian movies or Christian music, but it seems to me that Christians and the world would be better off if those artists were to make movies, make music and write for worldly institutions. I think less people are called to specifically Christian business than are currently in the Christian media world. I know that seems topsy-turvy to the idea that we need to not be of the world, but personally I think that most Christian media is pure rehash of comfortable themes to just make money.

Anyway, I went off on a tangent, hope it was not offensive. But I think you are right on for moving from one experience to another and remembering to worship God instead of the creation. We all stand before God alone, and he knows our hearts - in the end, no one else can judge our actions.

Your thoughtful comments spurned these ramblings. Thank you - I also now have an image of you riding a motorcycle with your hair streaming several feet behind you :-D

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stessily 5 years ago

Alexander Mark: Aha! "Tube" is the word I was looking for! "Getting tubed" does indeed seem like an otherworldly experience. I love the clips in "Riding Giants" which show surfers gliding through the tube; it's practically an otherworldly experience for me. After watching that documentary, I am blessed with beautiful replays of those shots in my imagination. For someone who knows how to surf, I imagine "Riding Giants" would exert quite a pull. I hope that you are able to devote some time to surfing; I do believe that feeling at one with nature, especially water, enriches the soul.

I understand exactly what you're saying about some Christian business people being really in the business of making money. I once worked for someone who claimed to be a Christian, had signs which lured customers in with the claim of "Let's put Christ back in Christmas," but there were some aspects of his business which were not charitable. For example, he gave bonuses and gifts at holidays to managers but not to the rest of the employees and was upset that one manager gave gifts to the non-management employees in his store. The owner's attitude really seemed quite differential and rather cold. But unfortunately there always seem to be such puzzling examples of unfathomably greedy or hard-hearted behaviour in the world.

I am pleased that you liked the Phoenician quote; it does indeed epitomize our relationship with the ocean, and without water we die.

I appreciate the image of me riding a motorcycle with the wind flowing through my hair. My hair was quite long when I enjoyed those two helmetless rides. My image of you will be that you successfully enter the surfer's tube and glide safely and smoothly through it.

By the way, I do think there is something about the Klingon look that is quite captivating. I can see in a way the attraction of duplicating it!:-) Perhaps I'm saved from that obsession by the fact that I don't like to have anything on my head, or forehead for that matter. :-)

Kind regards, Stessily

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Ha ha! Yes I love the way Klingons look too. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and play a Klingon in a Star Trek movie.

Unfortunate you worked for one of those pretend Christians. Been there, but my boss did treat us better than that. Ugh.

Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Hmm, you really needled some play-Klingons with this one, Alexander.

I watched the original series of Star Trek when it first appeared and couldn't bear to miss one. I think not only the space adventure thing appealed but, being a romantic, the concept of trying to bring total peace and harmony to a Universe. But, as a Brit and therefore fairly introverted, it never occurred to me to want to dress up as a S.T character and try to become one for a few hours.

In fact, multifarious though my interests are I have found that life is just too short to focus (some would say obsess) on just one thing to the exclusion of all else.

I did understand what you were getting at in this hub and I do agree with you. Some people are as you say, others, quite obviously from the comments, are not. Well done on holding to your assertions, I totally defend your right to an opinion.

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stessily 5 years ago

Alexander Mark, since my last comment I've been dealing with a "wipeout" on land, so I just saw your comment. (I misplaced my imaginary rose-colored glasses but I thought of them yesterday so things are better.) I would consider it a real treat to be a Klingon in a Star Trek movie with you --- just let me know!:-)

Yesterday evening I saw "The Ultimate Wave Tahiti" --- very beautifully filmed. I might write a hub about it if I can find other words besides a million "wows"!

Hope all is well with you. Kind regards, Stessily

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Hello Angie, thanks for the great comment. Some might not believe it after reading this hub, but I love Star Trek, it has affected my life deeply. I look at Star Trek as a great piece of music or other artistry to inspire the individual in different ways, not to delve into a make-believe world that does not exist.

In one of my short story experiments, naturally a sci-fi that takes place in the future, one of my characters had a complete Klingon make-over, and his choice was one of many that people could choose from - sort of the evolution of a tattoo (another example was someone who was physically altering his body into that of a reptile). I think it is very possible that out of Klingon fandom, such powerful cultural diversions could occur. You and I might say, "only in America," but there is a Klingon opera called, "U," produced in my home country of Holland of all places.

Ironically, I would go see it if I had the time and it was near where I live in California, but only because these people have most likely put a lot of effort into making something rather than pretending to be something they are not.

I guess that either makes me a hypocrite or a purist.

I appreciate you understand my point, it is hard to remember why I think the way I do sometimes because of the backlash, but that's what I get for having an absolute opinion :-)

I am very pleased to make your acquaintance Angie, I will be coming by to see your hubs soon.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Hi Stessily, sorry you are dealing with a "land wipeout" (I like that, I think I'm going to integrate it into my daily vocabulary). Glad you found your rose-colored glasses again :-), we can't leave home without them ha ha!

If one of us hears about auditioning for Klingons, we will have to make sure to let the other know.

I finally broke down and bought Point Break the other day, I am waiting until I get my recliner to watch that one. I know it's not a true surf documentary type movie, but I give myself points for being willing to risk having that terrible longing for the surfing life in order to keep the fire alive. Maybe you and I will share a break someday, that would be fun.

Thanks for the note back, hope things are going better for you.

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stessily 5 years ago

Alexander Mark, surfing terms are quite adaptable, or so it seems to me! They enhance my vocabulary, and they have the added benefit of the surfing connotation, which immediately evokes visions of water and of waves. So it is such a winning situation, for me, to incorporate them into my thoughts and words.

May you have your recliner soon! Hopefully someday you will watch "Ultimate Wave Tahiti" and "Riding Giants." Although I have never surfed, I admire the intrinsic grace and beauty of the sport, which takes place in my favorite natural wonder, the ocean. Thus I have an inkling of how surfers would feel in watching a well-done film such as those two; the pull would have to be overwhelming and almost irresistible. Sharing a break would have to be fun.

I am glad that I was able to offer "land wipeout" to you as I am grateful to you for reminding me of rose-colored glasses.

Thank you for your well wishes, which I know to be sincere. It's an uncertain time for me; the plus in it is that what I treasure and value in this world has assumed clarity for me.

Best wishes and kind regards, Stessily

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I smiled when you mentioned the bonus of verbalizing a surfing term, that does appeal to people. I think Americans on the whole feel a certain ownership over the surfing culture as it is a phenomenon associated with California, a state many people migrated to half a century ago with visions of waves and sunshine in their head.

Sometimes it can be a good thing to wait out a storm while sitting on the beach, waiting for the day another set comes in. Before long, you'll be getting tubed again. If not, we know Jesus walks with us the whole way.

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stessily 5 years ago

Alexander Mark, Surfing terms certainly give me a good feeling; they bring the warmth of the sun and the breaths of the ocean to my imagination and can change in a heartbeat "some part of a day I had rued" (with thanks to the great modern American poet Robert Frost for that meaningful phrase --- too bad he didn't surf!).

The California migration must have been something! My maternal grandfather passed time in Santa Barbara and loved that place, carrying memories of it in his heart for the rest of his life. My maternal aunt ended up following two great aunts who retired to Pasadena; they all fell in love with the slopes of the land, the ways of life, the air, and the ocean.

Sitting on the beach, waiting out a storm: there's such vivid imagery in that, and the community of feeling combined with the purity of the endeavor are quite inspiring. All of that comes through in "Riding Giants."

What reaches me most of what you've written today --- and really makes a difference for me as I emerge from some rather persistent shadows --- is your last sentence: "we know Jesus walks with us the whole way." Thank you for that reminder.

Kind regards, Stessily

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Stessily, you have completely blessed me today, I don't want to add anything else but - I'll keep you in prayer this week.

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stessily 5 years ago

Alexander, I cannot think of a greater compliment than being told "you have completely blessed me today." Thank you! So well expressed, and you in turn have completely blessed me.

Keeping me in prayer means so much to me, and in the 18 hours between your leaving this comment and my reading it now a shifting is occurring. I truly appreciate your kind thoughts; they make such a difference. This is a sensitive week for me, not just because today is my mother's birthday and I miss her.

It's as though I've been waiting out a storm, and this week is the week for perceiving that "the surf's up!" So I am very appreciative that you will keep me in prayer this week.

Thank you.

Kind regards and best wishes always, Stessily

moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 5 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

Interesting Hub, Mark--but then you have an interesting mind and you write well, that's why I follow you. You also--gently--challenged me to get some Hubs of my own out there, a challenge I finally took up a few days ago. I've been thinking, feeling, living, and teaching poetry forever, but I've never had the guts to put one in front of the public. I finally did. I would appreciate your opinion.

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Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Ah moonfroth! I am excited to get the news, thank you, I will be over soon if not sooner.

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mcals71 4 years ago

Well, it's life Jim, but not as we know it! LOL!! You weren't kidding about the controversy, and that's why I had to read this hub. WOW, the comments are very intense and almost as long as the hub itself. We Trekkies are passionate about our stuff. I must confess I wore Spock's ears and a Star Fleet uniform once, but it was at a Halloween party. When I attended a Star Trek convention back in 2002 I didn't see many people wearing Klingon outfits, but the few I did see were fun to watch. I think Star Trek is good entertainment and harmless fun. Some people may go overboard, as you indicated in this hub, which by the way is very well written, but that's probably true with anything else. I especially like TNG and Star Trek the Movie (the latest one) and my favorite character has always been Mr. Spock. I know you are a fan as well, and that you were just trying to make a point and a very good one at that, so I voted this hub up, fun and interesting, because it got me engaged...

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you for the up vote mcals71. I do love Star Trek, in fact, I have learned many Christian spiritual truths before I knew anything about it from TNG so I certainly do not hate it! I'm glad you got my point - I do recognize that we need these fantasies as well, but a relative of mine told me at one point that when I was younger, he thought I thought I was convinced I was going to Star Fleet Academy!

The last movie was AWESOME - my favorite character was Bones because he emulated the old character so well and made it his own.

I haven't been to a convention for maybe 2 decades now, but I remember feeling very empty there, it was like everyone wanted to be there but there was no excitement - all you could do was buy lots of stuff. The best part of those conventions were the compilation videos and the actors who came to speak. Maybe things are different now.

There is one thing I would love to do, and that is to not only meet, but actually perform with the TNG cast - that is never going to happen I think... :-(

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mcals71 4 years ago

Oh, my goodness, yes I love BONES! He was perfect for the part and funny! Kirk too. All in all it was a bull's eye. I hear they are making another one. About starring in TNG, never say never.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I think I could be a Pakled! (and if you know what that is - you are a true geek - which includes me).

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mcals71 4 years ago

OK, but I had to research it, LOL! I learned a new word today. Yeah, that's what I had in mind. I hear they often pick fans to be... Pakleds. I get a red alert under that word. Is there a plural to it?

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I thought Pakleds was plural - like my dimwitted alter ego, I am confused. I had no idea that fans are often given that role. Very cool.

Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 23 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I liked this article and voted it up. I then went searching for Star Trek: The Next Generation wiki! I think that many of us have sides of us that we wish we could express that we do so by watching TV or movies so that we can live through the characters.

Those people I know who actually express their yearnings have little time for TV movies or computers.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 23 months ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks again Rodric29. The Next Generation is for me, the best show ever made. Although it is too light for many people to watch seriously, it's all about the human heart and it has helped shape me as a person. I go through the entire series once every year or two years, it never seems to lose its appeal.

And I agree, those who are out there busy living, have little time for media entertainment. I am living a nearly full life, and I have to MAKE time for these kinds of shows and movies, but that is because I desire to be a writer and I love storytelling. Thanks so much for visiting yet another one of my hubs. I am honored.

Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 23 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Now, let me clarify. I like Voyager because it has more of a human heart feel as your mentioned about TNG, but I love Picard, He is my favorite Captain. I too view them all, Voyager, Enterprise, DS9 an TNG. I have little interest in the Original other than the movies,

Janeway is the forgiving captain who trusts her crew. She shows that everyone is important and friends are worth fighting for. Picard is not as compassionate as is she, but he is honorable and just.

I was disappointed when I saw the actors out of character. I foolishly imagined that each were as lifesize as were their characters on their shows.

I don't have to make time unfortunately for viewing these things. I have to refrain from having the time!

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