Question of the ages, settled

“Only question I ever thought was hard,” said white’n’nerdy Weird Al, “was do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?”

Easy one, Alfred:

Remember when The Riddler took control of the USS Enterprise and started flying it in the wrong direction? It was the first appearance of the self-destruct routine in Star Trek. What did “need a wheelbarrow for my balls” Captain Kirk say about that? Huh? Anybody? Bueller? What was the famous line?

“I am captain of this ship, and it will follow whatever course I set for it, or … I will destroy it.”

In the Picard era, the self-destruct device was used to illustrate the willingness with which the individuals would sacrifice their lives for the greater good. See, this is why Kirk beats Picard. Kirk was all about the triumph of the human will, ultimately, the triumph of the individual against chaos, misery, strife, insurmountable situations and impossible odds; Picard was all about subordination of that individual to the nebulous calling of the greater good.

Picard, of course, was quick to point out the necessity of that presumed Greater Good:

“The Prime Directive is not just a set of rules. It is a philosophy, and a very correct one. History has proven again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous.”

Then again, Picard wasn’t exactly blind to the universe around him:

“Villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged.”

And these days, the latter far outnumber the former.


  1. Jeffro »

    4 March 2012 · 2:43 pm

    Ol’ James T. wasn’t too keen on the Prime Directive or space/time paradoxes, either.

  2. McGehee »

    4 March 2012 · 4:56 pm

    Well, Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa — a.k.a. “Flyover Galaxy.”

    Picard is from the Planet of the Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys.

    WTF was Roddenberry thinking in the ’80s?

  3. Teresa »

    6 March 2012 · 4:25 pm

    I tried really hard to like TNG. Of course the British accent made it palatable to listen to for a while… but entirely too soon, the overtly obvious, beat one over the head with it, preachy, dreck they served up as the weekly story lines took its toll and I turned it off. I haven’t regretted this decision ever.

    I have often regretted they didn’t make more of the original episodes. *sigh*

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