Posts Tagged ‘Power’

The first cliff hanger of the Summer of 1990 (end of Season 3, beginning of Season 4), Best of Both Worlds, on par when Dallas did who shot JR… When Riker ordered “Fire” on the Borg ship with the newly assimilated Locutus (Jean-Luc Picard) on the view screen…cut to black. From June to September it was a long wait and with the introduction of Commander Shelby grade 7 me had to ponder was this the way to make Riker the captain?


                As cliff hangers go, it was well written. Yet these two parts, recently re-released on blu-ray as a feature length, set the stage to question. The Borg are Star Trek’s version of Cybermen-Daleks mixed together. Where Cybermen state upgrade, and Daleks state exterminate, the Borg inform species and individuals “you will be assimilated resistance is futile.”   They are a species that have created huge storylines (think I,Borg, where Hugh was discussed as having conscience or to be used as a bio-weapon to wipe them out. Or for Voyager fans, 7 of 9’s pursuit of her humanity once more).

Like good sci-fi though, it is more than just an invasion story with the Borg en-route to sector 001 (earth). It is the story of belonging, and what brings us to belong. It is the story of stripping away all the masks we need to function in our different roles of life, to be what we are truly meant to be. Nothing more relevant than the battle within Picard to return from being part of the Borg collective (assert his identity). The Borg are an allegory for cults or fanatical-extremist groups that remove one’s identity and ability to think outside of group think completely. Picard was assimilated- yet the Borg erred, much like the Cult leader who believes to groom a successor, the Queen desired a King and let some identity remain to bring an enemy low. Identity and name, not number were used.

This struggle was seen from the other side of the spectrum of extremes. Where Starfleet struggled with the idea of First Officer that refused to advance. Even in a world where money had been done away within the Federation planets, it seemed to stump people why Riker would keep turning down ships of his own to remain on the Enterprise. Not just a ship, but a community, a family, where he belonged, shared common stories and experiences. Others saw him as standing still while others shot past, yet here he was living the adventure of a lifetime.

Where the Borg had Locutus to challenge the extremist of collectivism, Riker was challenging the Federation’s extreme of individualism within the militarized wing of the Federation.

A duality presented to understand that in the middle outside of the bounds of extremes. A place where the Federation was a shining light, where peace existed, where one was truly free to pursue passions over survival. This is the ethos that drove Star Trek in the hearts of many others…a utopian future where there is still struggle, but where one could be who they are and the collective good was looked out for.

In case one forgets the dangers of extremism, there is stories like this that show all pieces of the political spectrum even in Utopia could create extremism. Today we must remember in the traditional political-religious spectrums there is extremism that has nothing to do with the core of the movements:

There are those in our world who watched Star Trek Deep Space Nine and believed the Cardassians to be the heroes of the Bajoran occupation, and Ferengi to be the moral compass of the universe.

Conservatives to facists to Neo-Nazis. Liberals to Communists to Stalinists (note how Stalinists and Neo-Nazis connect on the same hatred points—extremism creates weird bedfellows). Religiously seen in Islam to Al-Qaeda to ISIS, Christianity to IRA/Religious Right/PRO-LIFE Terror groups to the KKK.

But what is missed, is the joining floor, like the United Federation of Planets (our struggling version, the United Nations—religiously the Parliament of World Religions, World Council of Churches) where core values come through, common ground is found. Where individuals do not have to become assimilation spouting/doing automatons or climbing Jacob’s ladder to higher points of self-grandeur, whether warranted, but may not be what resonates for true vocation or readiness.

It is the moment Mary of Nazareth attempted to show us at the Wedding at Cana where she broke societal norms for hospitality, shattered patriarchy, and pushed her Son to be part of miracle to show the world…that things come in many different forms.

It is the challenge that history tells us moving into the before season of Easter Lent that builds to Palm Sunday, Jesus entry into Jerusalem. A day where Caesar would flex his might against the extremists of the Empire and force assimilation by having legions march in Jerusalem. It was also a time when the drive to climb the ladder kept families in power on their toes to constantly stay alive. Where the drive for power had one put aside family, friendship, belonging, and anything else that may be claimed to value to ensure the climbing up of the ladder. How the Herod family played all sides, how the religious authorities sold out their own belief systems to maintain power.

All this… and then you have the Riker/Locutus moment. Jesus, the peasant carpenter (labourer), born a bastard, raised in a small town where everyone knew Joseph wasn’t his Daddy (imagine the bullying) …rumours of the madness of Mary claiming God’s son, yet the whispers of gossip mill about the passing through Roman soldiers that had used her, and why Joseph was able to secure her. Shock that he stayed and had not turned her out quietly or stoned her.

Yet here he was, coming into the city at high holy time. A rabble of followers from the lower classes, those in the halls of power that may be curious only visiting by night to literally save their own necks.

While stallions and weapons were on the other side of town, flexing military might, entering along an entrance lined with crucified “terrorists”, “zealots” and “messiahs” with the power bases cheering.

Here was Brother Jesus, holding to his core beliefs of belonging, family, community, inclusion, hope, joy, faith, peace and L-O-V-E. Simply entering in such a fashion to shake the foundations and begin the ripple of what it meant to be neighbour. No more show, no more cognitive dissonance. Simply be. Simply do.

Are you ready for your Locutus/Riker moment?

Your donkey ride?

Are you ready to find your core?



Lightning cascaded across the sky. John stroked his formerly salt and pepper, now more salty beard.  “Zed, old friend, is it truly time for this to end.” No answer came. He had a long life. Many lives over many different types of stories, there was moments as he watched the rain fall that he truly felt he was living more inside a comic book than the real world with the types of adventures he had.

His smartphone vibrates, MacCurtis glances down, Rick Saturn, lifelong friend. But in this moment he did not see him as his a friend or even the partner he was in the old Great Crime Fighter days, but as a reminder of where John was now. Alone, and waiting for those he once called proteges that he led into a life of mayhem and murder. Who knew the murder of Reesa would start the end game, then finding the body of Daemon in the gutted bunker, and now Malcolm dead as well. Just Sax and Natan left.

Much more death than when Thor had control of him, yet there was something more to be thought of in all this.  From the corner of his eye he notes Jacqueline moving from the couch in his office towards him. “Going to answer that boss?”

John just shakes his head. It shocked him to find out that the crazy former agent Jake “Shades” Slick had a daughter, he always thought the man whore was infertile or at the very least was smart enough to get a vasectomy. But here was proof.

The phone’s annoying ring tone that was a factory setting signals Rick had left a voicemail. John looks to the clock on the phone, 15 minutes until the kids arrival. The last of the Martyrs, who depending on what one believed about the murderers in the last several days were living up to their names.

“Remember the plan Jacqueline, when they walk in…”

“I shoot them both and drop the extra guns so it looks like I stopped an assassination attempt, but what about Speare boss?” She asks.

John chuckles. “Speare is an idiot, we will easily pay him off.” The thunder cracked loudly and the lights dipped. The Mayor wondered if the privatized energy companies were screwing around with the power grid once more. One of the worst things Ralph Klein ever did on the day California proved de-regulated/privatized power didn’t work, was to then follow through blindly, the one thing he hoped by being in office was to follow the money in the city to see who got the pay offs for the privatization. Unfortunately the tracts were covered to well.

Another flickering, what was the term—brown out?

A loud crack. The room was bathed in lightning.

3 new forms?

Then blackness.

A thud. A bullet shot.

Speare felt the stickiness of blood on his cheek as another flash of lightning illuminated the room. “Oh shit.”