The result is an image with the sex appeal of a circuit diagram.
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So last night Mrs. Fungus and I happened to catch a couple episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation--Who Watches the Watchers and The Bonding--and I realized there was a pretty good reason why I had not watched that show since it ended.
Synopsis of the former here, so I don't have to type it all out.
The problem I have with this episode is the automatic assumption that all religion is ignorant superstition that inevitably leads to inquisitions and horror. The alien who mistakes Picard for a supreme being himself is a caricature of a religious person. Picard himself automatically assumes that if the primitive culture's belief in the "Overseer" is rekindled, it's going to set their society back by hundreds of years.
I used to love this episode, because the concept was so good and I really enjoyed how the story showed the primitives' wonder at high tech, but in the sober maturity of middle age I can see the smug assurance of its writers insisting that atheism is the only rational belief system, and realize that this was the entire point of the show in the first place. It was about denigrating religion, dismissing it as superstition.
This afternoon, on my way to work, though, I had another thought, something that the writers of the show did not consider.
See, in some human religions, the gods are mortal. They can die; it's just that they don't, because they're gods and they don't die easy. They don't grow old or get diseases, and because they're all so powerful their feuds rarely result in death. But their immortality is not absolute, either.
So what's-his-face skewered Picard with an arrow, proving he was mortal. So what? Regardless, stories will be told about Picard and his sky-ship and-and-and, and they are going to mutate with time until--guess what!--Picard becomes a mythical figure.
It's a long time from living in huts to taking starships to other worlds--thousands of years--and that's more than enough time for a religion to grow up around the stories people will tell about Picard...and as Liko (played by Ray Wise) demonstrates, there is enough willingness to believe in such a being still present in their culture that it will happen.
For crying out loud, look at what the muslims have managed with Mohammed.
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Naturally, everything hurts today. I worked quite hard yesterday.
Og is encouraging me to make an "appointment" to get the Fiero running--the way I made an "appointment" to fix the Jeep--which isn't such a bad idea, but I am going to have to wait on that until my entire freaking body stops hurting so much from the mechanic work I did this past week. Holy crap.