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Submit to pulp

December 2001

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In this issue:    Harry Potter, Prince of Darkness! Star Trek! TV Terrors! PLUS: Coca Cola Christ! Literature! and What Ash Really Wants for Christmas!.
The Glory of the Geek

Ah, Star Trek. The ultimate in geek culture. It's somewhat comforting to know that no matter what's going on in the world, no matter how depressingly pathetic the state of pop culture gets, there will always be at least one hour a week filled with bad actors walking around bad sets and speaking bad lines about 'trilithium', which sounds like a drug Gene Roddenberry should have taken before he was allowed to make a TV show. And, as long as there are Star Trek shows, there will be Star Trek fans, and more importantly, plenty of large people to beat up Star Trek fans. And rightly so, because as much as I like the TV show, there's nothing more annoying than a guy who knows exactly how a 'antimatter drive' works, and feels the need to tell me about it. Enterprise is the latest show to fill the violently nerdy Star Trek void, which has been left vacant since Voyager was put down like a sick dog. Yet, as much as Voyager needed to die, it pales in comparison to the tedious Enterprise. Starring Scott Bakula, of Quantum Leap 'fame', and shot in what appears to be a particularly shabby storage locker, Enterprise has all the appeal of videotaped Magic: The Gathering tournament. The acting has the subtlety of Ace Ventura, the special effects make Babylon 5 look like The Phantom Menace, and the simplistic, obvious plots make one long for the complexity of a Spiderman episode. But nevertheless, the show serves a purpose, and an important one at that. But without Star Trek shows, we wouldn't have Star Trek fans, and then who would all of us normal folks feel superior to? There is no universal scapegoat in the pop culture landscape as effective as Star Trek geeks. Star Wars, while another easy target, is far too acceptable to society and Kevin Smith to make a good choice. The X-Files is too popular, and not enough people care about Sailor Moon to make a difference. The Star Trek fan is the one person the most pathetic, Harry Potter-reading, comic book-obsessed, Battle Bot-addicted loser can feel cooler than, and that is a damnably important function. Imagine you actually cared about WWF Smackdown, and had no one to look down at. You'd kill yourself between tag team matches on The Superstation faster than you could say "Redneck 3:16". Imagine John Madden was your hero, or you actually thought Relic Hunter was a good show, or you spent significant portions of your spare time dubbing Mystery Science Theatre 3000 videos, and there was no lower level of pop-culture social strata to feel better than. There wouldn't be enough bullets in the world for all the people desperate to load a gun and put themselves out of their dateless misery. And then, short on ammunition, our troops in Afghanistan would be completely unarmed against the wild, TV-deprived Muslim hordes, who are so lacking of the Star Trek scapegoat that they fear not death, and in fact welcome it as an escape from a world where coolness depends on beard-length. So do Western society a favor, and watch Enterprise. While buying war bonds.

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