Episode Zero: Inspiration

I’ve got a friend who is massive Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan.  He once directed me to a blog where the writer, a 30-something lawyer, was going through the series writing on his impressions of each episode.  This purpose immediately caught my attention.  From reading a bit of his work, it is clear the art of Buffy inspires so much in the viewers.  It has the quality of reflecting humanity in our worst moments and our best.  I shall not mention Whedon’s greatest achievement again beyond this post, so I will say if you haven’t seen it, do so.  It addresses personal themes like coming of age and being alive very well.  Yet…these are small potatoes.  The subject of this blog set its sights far higher.

While I absolutely enjoy Buffy, I must disgorge a pent up bias…Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is better than Buffy.  Better than it all.  The themes of DS9 fascinate me so much because they address the whole of humanity, the collective ‘us.’  The characters of the show are paragons of the way humanity should be.  Both humans and aliens.  Especially the aliens!  Though I am fearful of the contradiction in terms, these characters are not perfect paragons.  But they do represent the best of humanity as we strive to better our situation living in a world surrounded by so much brokenness.  The grand tradition of Roddenberry’s Star Trek is a future with hope.  Too many science fictions see the future as a place where humanity’s darkest qualities win out.  If they are to be believed, dystopia is what waits for us.  Roddenberry’s creation refused to succumb to this hopelessness.  Even in DS9, which is easily the darkest of the Star Trek chronicles, hope for a good life being built on the frontier of space is a major theme early in the series.  Hope persists as a major theme as the series progresses to its second half.  This vision of humanity is one to cling to, one that may inspire, if we permit ourselves to see the world as it should be instead of as it is.  Beyond hope, DS9 gives voice to other grand narratives that sweep across humanity.  Faith, friendship, moral compromise, Par’mach, treachery, fear, and forgiveness.  Hopefully I find more as I watch.  This is true art.  This is a narrative of humanity, a gospel if you will.  And one to be engaged, enjoyed, and enthusiastically blogged about.  It is my joy to write on these notions, and thus I reveal my purpose.  Read The Point if you wish more on my personal attitude to this writing project of mine.

I shall conclude with a warning.  Spoilers will abound.  I have refrained in this initial post, but will not do so in later entries.  If you’ve read The Point page, you’re aware of my attitude for this blog.  I wish to write it for my own enjoyment, which necessitates a holistic view of the show.  Elements in the first episode drive major themes that progress deeply throughout the series.  I cannot ignore them if I’m to fully address an episode’s meaning.  Enjoy!

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~ by Joshua Black on June 27, 2012.

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