Last Friday saw the premiere of the show, Star Trek Live: Starfleet Academy at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it is scheduled to run all summer. Sadly, what should have been a big day for Star Trek fans was marred thanks to the organization known as PETA.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a group that has never shied away from controversy, decided to appear at the premiere of the show, in Star Trek costumes to picket NASA over experiments that the agency performs with squirrel monkeys, exposing them to radiation. Now, I can understand their concern and the need they feel to advocate for animals, but to do so in this manner is troubling to this writer.
Fans of Star Trek, be they called Trekkies or Trekkers, have their very unique public relations problems having to deal with stereotypical portrayals in the media, and frankly do not need the stigma that PETA and its history of antics brings with them. It is bad enough that everyone wants to make us all out as nerds, with the old living in our parents’ basement image and all it brings. Now, PETA attempts to make it seem that all Trekkies support them.
Here’s a news flash for you, PETA. Not all Trekkies agree with your stands, and many that do agree on your issues, do not agree with your tactics. Trek fans are a very diverse group, with vast differences in culture, ideas, religion and philosophy. Despite the negative images of us, we do not all walk in lockstep, in total agreement with each other.
PETA, by its actions, clearly fails to understand one of the key principles of Trek fandom, Infinite Diversities in Infinite Combinations, or IDIC. They fail to understand that they represent their particular viewpoint and are entitled to it, but others representing a different viewpoint have the right to theirs. A wise man once told me that, My rights end where the other guy’s begin. That is a lesson that all of us need to learn and follow.
If you won’t heed this plea, PETA, would you at least do one thing? Next time you decide to play Trekkie, would you get all of the uniforms right?
Think about it.