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Masao April 4 2013 04:48 AM

What kind of fan are you?
(To the mods: I'm posting this in the TOS forum, because that's where I usually post. Move to a more appropriate forum if you see fit.)

Whenever I witness one of these doctrinal conflicts within Star Trek (Thread: "Do you believe in the official Chronology", I’m kind of amused (but also a bit saddened) by how much it resembles conflicts in other “faiths” and belief systems, like religion, science, sports, hobbies, politics, or other entertainment franchises.

Like other faiths, Trek had a core of events, narratives, and values that were later declared canon or apocryphal, celebrated and denounced, and expanded and elaborated upon.

All of us assume familiar roles in this faith which include:

The Priesthood - who have been anointed to have authority over others

The Faithful Flock - who happily accept, without question, whatever the priesthood tells them

The True Believers – who show complete devotion to the faith and allow it to enter all aspects of their lives

Conservatives, who include:
The Fundamentalists - who claim adherence to the faith, as they believe it was in the beginning
The Traditionalists - who prefer the old ways but tolerate the new

The Prophets and Mystics - who claim a direct communication with forces beyond our ken

The Defenders of the Faith - who seek to maintain doctrinal purity and protect the faith from within and without

The Crusaders - who fight other faiths

The Cannibals/Fratricidials - who fight most with those of their own faith

The Scripturists - who pride themselves on their superior knowledge of the faith and canon and use it to lord over other believers

The Archivists – who make detailed records of the people, places, and events of the faith.

The Conspicuous Believers – who make a show of how deeply they believe

The Quietly Observant - who believe (perhaps deeply) but make no professions of faith

The Casual Believers - who pay attention only to the big events

The Grazers - who pick and choose from along the various tenets of this and other faiths

The Intellectuals - who ponder and discuss deeper issues and meanings of the faith and belief

The Artists - who depict and celebrate characters and events of our faith, out of devotion, patronage, or self-expression

The Elitists – who look down upon others for “believing in the wrong way”

Progressive, who include:
The Reformers - who say that problems with the faith or with believers need to be fixed
The Evolutionists - who say the faith is a living, breathing entity that should change with time and the environment.

The Iconoclasts - who attack the faith but provide no solutions

The Provocateurs - who like to stir things up, just for the hell of it

The Apocalyptics - who believe the things are so f*cked up that the end is near

The Splittists – who say that one aspect of the faith should be followed and others abandoned

The Ecumenicals - who try to reach out to other believers and faiths

The Relic Hunters - who search for and collect physical articles pertaining to their faith

The Pilgrims - who travel to sacred places and meet with other believers

The Closeted – who are ashamed of their belief and will denigrate or downplay it, especially before nonbelievers

The Deniers (I couldn’t think of a better term) – who say the faith is not important while always talking about it

The Apostates/Heretics/Blasphemers - who denounce the faith in part or in whole

The Lapsed - who once believed but have since left the faith

The Big-Tenters/Universalist - who believe that all are believers are welcome

TrINO – “Trekkie in name only.” A possibly mythical type who only claims to be a fan for the supposed social cachet (!)

NuTrINO - What fundamentalists call people who like the 2009 movie (I just thought it sounded funny)

It’s a fun parlor game to step back and think about what role or roles you and other fans play. I know that I play several of these roles. While I find some Trek fans annoying on a personal level (OK, I’m an elitist), I think we need all types of fan.

Yeah, Star Trek is “just a TV show.” But it’s one that I’ve enjoyed for most of my life. Trek means a lot to me, but I refuse to get into heated arguments with other fans about their beliefs. Think what you want and let others do the same. As a wise man once said, “Don’t be a dick.” Even as Trek grows and evolves, I will always have some part of it to hold on to. That will never change. It’s only the behavior of other fans that could ever push me away from active fandom (and posting about it on Internet message boards).

Nerys Myk April 4 2013 05:58 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?

ZapBrannigan April 4 2013 06:12 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?
Over the years, I've been eight or nine of those things. Sometimes a few things simultaneously. Just which ones and when is a little personal. That's between me and my Franchise.

aridas sofia April 4 2013 06:18 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?
You're right, Masao. And your way of avoiding conflict is the better way. I plead guilty to jumping the gun to attack points of view with which I disagree. And yet, like I said in the Chronology thread, in the end, it's all a matter of taste. Which says something about religion that many would find profoundly disturbing.

There is a website (whose name escapes me at the moment) where members contribute to the creation of a community-edited sci-fi future history. It's carefully wrought and hews close to what is scientifically plausible. Their scenario has the entertainment phenomenon that is Star Trek splitting into various "mythologies" that eventually evolve into literal faiths. It's fascinating and makes the point that what is like a religion might in fact be a religion in the making.

Nerys Myk April 4 2013 06:20 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?
Yeah, I've been a few myself.

The Faithful Flock

The Scripturists

The Archivists

The Intellectuals

What a long strange trek its been. ;)

Masao April 4 2013 07:24 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?

aridas sofia wrote: (Post 7896337)
You're right, Masao. And your way of avoiding conflict is the better way.

I'm starting a religion. Send me some money right f*cking now (large denominations, nonsequential serial numbers, unmarked) and get in on the ground floor! I'll make you a priest. No celibacy required.

Gov Kodos April 4 2013 07:38 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?
What about Abramaic Separatists?

Masao April 4 2013 07:57 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?

Gov Kodos wrote: (Post 7896574)
What about Abramaic Separatists?

My list was not intended to be exhaustive. If your flavor of belief is not listed, please elaborate!

Dix April 4 2013 11:17 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?
I definitely am not a JJ Abrams apologist.

I respect and like (some more, some less) all Trek, but I despise AbramzTrek. I don't know exactly in which of your categories that puts me nor do I actually care. I don't see Star Trek as a religion, I see it as a philosophy. It is Star Wars that is much better suited to be branded as a religion. That's one of the reasons why I would oppose Star Trek becoming like Star Wars, which it did with AbramzTrek.

Gov Kodos April 4 2013 11:30 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?
I can't imagine why anyone would despise the new Trek films. But why would you clutter the thread if you don't care. Besides, it's just a fun little thought experiment. As to Star Wars, it's enormously successful, which is reason enough to have taken a look at a franchise that had become moribund years before it ended and reboot it into the dynamic series Abrams has created.

BillJ April 4 2013 11:48 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?

Masao April 4 2013 11:51 AM

Re: What kind of fan are you?
People who like the 2009 film and think it makes a nice addition to the diversity of Trek would would consider themselves "evolutionists" (who believe Trek is a living, breathing entity that should change with time and the environment). If you don't like it, that's cool too.

All are welcome here, brothers and sisters.

Ancient Mariner April 4 2013 12:45 PM

Re: What kind of fan are you?
Intellectual / Evolutionist

teacake April 4 2013 12:46 PM

Re: What kind of fan are you?

Gov Kodos wrote: (Post 7896574)
What about Abramaic Separatists?


I put myself firmly in The Artists, though I started out my Trek life pre-internet as an Archivist. Maybe I'd still be an Archivist if it wasn't all seemingly done.

Also, should be in General for more coverage!

King Daniel Beyond April 4 2013 12:52 PM

Re: What kind of fan are you?

Masao wrote:
The Evolutionists - who say the faith is a living, breathing entity that should change with time and the environment.

Maybe this one? While I enjoy seeing TOS on it's own terms and speculating on the original intent of it's creators, I also get a lot of enjoyment from looking at the constantly evolving bigger picture, and how TOS fits into it. All the new information we've had about the Trekverse. They all change our perceptions of the original slightly, and there's a lot of fun in re-examining the old with what we've learned since.

For example, we now know that the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 was the second starship Enterprise, following on from the Enterprise NX-01 a century before. George Kirk was a Starfleet officer (and Jim's inspiration for joining up) and first officer of the USS Kelvin NCC-0514, a ship that was twice the size and had twice the crew of Kirk's TOS Enterprise. Why is that? Did Starfleet shrink their captial ships? Or was the old Enterprise perhaps a 23rd century equivalent of Voyager, smaller and more advanced, while the bigger and older Kelvins, Newtons and Mayflowers lumbered around unseen in the original 79 episodes?

Were the NX-01 and the Kelvin "more advanced" than the TOS ships? Or was TOS' depiction of the 23rd century limited by the budget and technology of a TV show in the 1960's? If the obviously rubber-suited Gorn was "really" a dangerous lizard monster then perhaps some other things, like randomly blinking squares for control panels, are similarly open to interpretation. Perhaps the Romulan ship from "Balance of Terror" really looked like the one from "Minefield" - or perhaps it was a Starfleet knock-off design, as described in deleted scenes? It's fun to speculate about.

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