Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pen Meets Paper Nov.30'09

Opinion by Helge Nome
Back in the sixties, Star Trek used to be a very popular TV show. It is said that even the astronauts and support crews on Cape Canaveral used to look forwards to new episodes of the show in between moon missions.
I remember one episode in particular: It began with calamity about to happen where the Starship Enterprise’s main computer warns about imminent loss of the ships structural integrity followed by a blank TV screen.
The story then picks up with the Enterprise moving merrily along in space with the faint background hum of its warp drive audible in the background.
Captain Kirk, Scotty, Lieutenant Uhura and all the others are at their regular stations on the bridge without anything exciting going on.
Then, slowly things begin to happen that are slightly out of the ordinary and escalate to the point where the final scene, once again, is a blank screen and the whole sequence repeats itself with some minor variations.
To the viewer, the answer is obvious: The Enterprise is trapped in a time warp as long as the crew keeps making the same decisions every time the same challenges present themselves.
And the frustrating thing is that they don’t know that they are trapped and so are likely bound to make the same mistakes over and over again.
That is, until one of the ship’s crew accidentally come across some troubling images in the main computer’s data banks that stir up some strange memories that don’t make any sense.
Finally, having gone through the loop a few more times, a sense of disquiet begins to spread among the crew, they manage to solve the riddle and with pounding hearts change the decisions (which seem perfectly logical) in favor of others that make no sense to them, in order to finally break out of the time warp.

I have seen some troubling images on my computer, and many before that in movie theaters. I have crawled around in trenches and bunkers that were perfectly real and smoked tobacco that real soldiers left behind.
I have seen YouTube videos that are copies of films taken by people that invaded my homeland with guns and cannon and bombs before I was born.
Cities in ruins, bodies strewn across fields.
All of them clear indicators of the structural failure of society.
Right now, if you have a simple doctor’s stethoscope, or manage to get one, and place the probe on any thing you care in your surroundings including yourself, you can distinctly hear the background rumble of our ship’s warp drive.
Can we do what the crew of the Enterprise did?

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