Class – or Crass?

It’s no secret that I am not particularly fond of a certain section of the Star Trek fandom that has decided they are the guardians of what can and can’t be considered Star Trek and worse, who can and can’t be considered a fan of the franchise. The judgemental approach of this is fuelled by arrogance and elitism, and a lot of it comes from people who, rather ironically, speak of Star Trek’s ideals. It seems they can speak about it but struggle to actually live it. Now, it is unfair to expect complete adherence to Trek’s philosophies – the franchise represents a future where humanity has managed to overcome many of the flaws which currently afflict us – but to proclaim to be a better fan whilst indulging in divisive – and at times offensive – behaviour, is utter hypocrisy. All of this brings me to this:

https://twitter.com/classklingon/status/1091842019142582273?s=21

Now, I won’t deny the depiction of a child’s severed head is not something I expected to see on Star Trek, but by now it is abundantly clear that Discovery is not the same as previous shows. This doesn’t mean Discovery isn’t Star Trek – it means it is different, which is not automatically bad. Are the images from the episode shocking? Of course, however, let’s apply some context here. I should warn of spoilers for episode 3 of season 2.

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Still here? Okay, let’s go. In the episode, L’Rell and Tyler are fighting to save their baby. The situation looks grim until Georgiou turns up and saves them. Georgiou makes it clear L’Rell’s place as Chancellor of the Klingon Empire will always be in danger as long as her enemies believe Tyler and the baby are still alive. A ruse is obviously in motion when L’Rell reveals the ‘heads’ of Tyler and the baby later on. Any fan with half a brain would know this. Yes, the imagery is still shocking, but the cognitive dissonance that our ‘class Klingon’ displays next is quite remarkable.

You see, there is an episode of Class Klingon’s beloved Deep Space Nine (season 4, episode 18, ‘Rules of Engagement’), where it’s made clear that at least some Klingons regard slaughterers of civilians – including children – as heroes. Even Worf, a ‘good guy’ in the context of the show, not to mention a Starfleet officer, believes this, giving the order to kill the civilians when re-enacting the battle in a simulation. If Class Klingon can muster up so much faux outrage over one head, but none over the Klingons indulging in mass murder and being regarded as heroes for doing so, one has to question his motives. I present a snippet of conversation on the subject:

There’s even more to this. Faux outrage over the depiction of a head always intended as part of the plot point to be fake, but no concern whatsoever for both a misleading acronym but also one that some people could easily consider hurtful. At best, Class Klingon’s behaviour on this next issue is ignorant – at worst, it is an act not only of deliberate dishonesty but one of deliberate pettiness and one of total disregard for the people who may be hurt. It is normal with Star Trek for each show to have an abbreviation. TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT. The most logical and acceptable (to any prudent and reasonable individual) abbreviation for Discovery is DSC. Naturally gatekeepers – including Class Klingon – have gone with ‘STD’. They argue – without much in the way of accuracy mind – that putting the ST prefix ahead of the show is normal. Except, it isn’t. I don’t know of any instances of people using ST:TNG or ST:VOY. The most obvious reason for the arrogant gatekeepers to use STD is because they want people to make the connection between sexually transmitted disease and the TV show – they want that association. This trivialises a serious issue and can be greatly hurtful to anyone who suffers from such a disease (and also greatly hurtful to anyone whose lost someone to such a disease). This fact was pointed out numerous times to Class Klingon, who, in keeping with the ethos of the franchise… ignored this and ran away from discussing it. Ok, so he failed to meet the ideals he claims to defend. What a shock.

I wish I could be surprised by now at this sort of hypocritical behaviour, but it seems to be a common narrative for gatekeepers. This sort of thing is not even the worst of it – there are Facebook groups out there devoted to outright racism and bigotry because of black female officers and same-sex couples. It is important to note that these are a different category of gatekeeper completely, but typically, they don’t come in for much criticism of other ‘True Trek’ champions. Maybe gatekeepers should consider policing their own a little bit more…

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