Archived Story

Appearances: Are we are regressing

Published 12:00pm Thursday, October 11, 2007

As a Star Trek fan, I remember watching the series, with its various Enterprise captains (still can’t pick a favorite), and thinking what a wonderful world it would be if some of the concepts became reality in my lifetime.

For instance, medical treatment on the fictional TV show fascinated me to no end.

It seemed the ship’s doctor could cure any malady, from laser gun wounds to disease. I don’t think cancer or Alzheimer’s disease concerned the futuristic people.

Wouldn’t it be something to have the ability to medically treat people without having to cut into their bodies?

I realize some surgeries are less invasive today than they were even 30 years ago, but medicine still has a long ways to go before all surgery will be non-invasive.

More appealing than even the medical advances, though, was the respect with which all alien life forms — and cultures — were treated.

The crew members most frequently allowed access to the Enterprise bridge represented a broad range of nationalities and aliens — Spock was a Vulcan.

There was never a problem among the crew because of their race; the futuristic do-gooders attacked those who tried to harm them.

Generally speaking, the Enterprise staff looked for the good in people and moved on to explore where no other man had gone before.

Sure, it was a ridiculously simple principal — respect for all cultures — but

one worth striving for, in my opinion.

American society seems to have embraced other cultures far better than at any other time in our history. After 9-11, I expected to see people of Middle Eastern descent rounded up to live in refugee camps, as the Japanese were following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Didn’t happen.

I figured we learned our lesson well.

Sure, many people are likely more cautious, but there were no mass roundups.

No matter your politics, when I saw a woman and a black man running for president, I thought the majority of Americans were finally accepting of the cultural diversity and freedoms which has made this country the envy of many.

Maybe I’m a polly-anna: I am a white person, afterall, and not usually subject to racist reactions.

Still, I am surprised to hear about the nooses which have been appearing in various locations across the country.

The nooses, hanging from trees, laid in a gym bag or placed around the neck of a child, are as symbolic of race tensions as the burning crosses on lawns in the south generations ago, and serve the same purpose — to instill fear.

While I thought the U.S. was moving closer to the idyllic world of the Star Trek reality, it appears Americans, rather, are regressing. It’s a sad commentary that we can’t move forward and will, I suspect, be our downfall.

* * *

At the Noon Kiwanis meeting Tuesday, I had to put a buck into the pot because I wanted to whine a little. With three rooms left to paint, I had to say I was thoroughly tired of painting and hope it will be eons before I have to pick up a paint roller again.

Although the end of the painting is in site — I’ll be done by the end of the weekend — there are still four days left before the now tire-some job is completed.

We are still shooting for an end-of-October move-in date, but there remains several jobs left to do: finish painting, lay the tile in the entry way and more painting — though it will just be touch-ups, which we’ll do after the move, in case the movers — which is us — bang furniture into the walls.

A co-worker, upon hearing the latest, said “well that (the house project) went fast.”

At this juncture, I disagree. It seems like we’ve been dealing with the house for an eternity.

In reality, I know in the grand scheme of time, these past few months will be but the blink of eye when we look back.

Debbie Irmen’s columns run Thursdays.

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