Julia Houston On Star Trek's Myth And Mythos

By Christian
August 8, 2000 - 11:09 PM

Over at About.com's Star Trek Fans, Julia Houston has put up a new weekly feature article. This week, she writes about how much Trek has influenced our culture:

Star Trek's popularity isn't really the issue here. The most impressive television program in terms of simple syndication popularity is actually Gilligan's Island. Of much more interest is the impact that popularity has had on how we interact in the Real World, particularly in terms of how we express ourselves.

When TOS came out in 1966, it was, as all fictions are, a myth, but it also contained within it a mythos of progressive civil thought, a reflection of America's 1960's "radical" ideas about racial equality and all the rest. Over time, this mythos has become less preachy and more commonplace. Indeed, Star Trek has come under criticism lately for not having updated its mythos, for having gone from preaching to the world, to preaching to the choir. Perhaps that's why Star Trek has gotten darker. Its good things aren't so wonderful anymore, not because they're not good things, but because they are no longer remarkable things.

(Yes, yes, we still have a long way to go and all that.)

My point is that through a combination of design, foresight, and pure accident, much of the mythos of Star Trek has served us so well as we work to make the world a better place that the trappings of that mythos, by which I mean the mythology, has entered into our vocabulary as well as into our thought patterns.

You can read on by going here.

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