It is little wonder that life imitates art when the gadgets that come to life today were designed by men and women who first encountered them in the science fiction of their youth. I’m thinking of how the hand phaser and communicator in Star Trek resembled two mobile phones I once owned. Or how the iPad I am typing this article on looks uncannily like the portable video devices used by astronauts Bowman and Poole in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nor is it any accident that the first space shuttle, Orbiter Vehicle 101, should have been christened “Enterprise.” Children grow up to be designers and electrical engineers and scientists and they, unsurprisingly, design stuff that sometimes has a charming affinity to those things that populated their imaginations when they were small. That charm goes away when it is hijacked by adults who never grew up.
So it is with little surprise but much dismay that I notice the official patch for the miscarriage known as “Space Force” should contain the command star arrowhead insignia from Star Trek The Original Series, or TOS as it’s known to the cognoscenti. That its design is a direct plagiarism of the Star Trek patch cannot be contested. But the usually whimsical and enchanting appearance of designs from the imaginative entertainments of a prior generation become blasphemies when used by the evil that is Space Force.
Codified into the TOS manifest was a most unrepublican thing called the Prime Directive. The Prime Directive (also known as “Starfleet General Order 1” or the “non-interference directive”) was a guiding principle of Starfleet, prohibiting its members from interfering with the internal and natural development of alien civilizations. It was inherently anti-imperialistic, and enshrined as a legal emphasis of Star Trek’s intrinsic mission: to explore without conquest, to make contact without domination, to create and encourage galactic diversity without recourse to cruel supremacy or profiteering. It was a decidedly untrumpian directive.
The manifest of Space Force is to weaponize space, to introduce into the New Frontier the machinery of war and ensure that America is the chief exponent and dominating possessor of that machinery. It is to establish a sixth branch of America’s military in space with the guiding principle to pollute outer space with humanity’s most egregious invention, conflict of arms. It is Donald Trump’s attempt to export hatred into outer space itself, as the earth alone is now presumably too small to contain it.
Using the iconography of Star Trek, a show that by way of allegory so often inveighed against hatred and bigotry and tyranny, is yet another example of Donald Trump desecrating noble ideals with his unique stamp of sacrilege. Donald Trump is not content to ruin and profane our lovely blue planet, but now must extend the hand of his rapacious ego into the heavens. Well I say no. I therefore respectfully ask the next president, whoever he or she may be, hopefully installed as early as January 20, 2021, to dismantle and repudiate this abortion known as Space Force as one of his or her first official acts of a sanity restored.