Friday, August 19, 2011

Everybody Knows That The Bird is The Word

Ninety years ago today, a most important birth took place in a land called Texas.

Eugene Wesley Roddenberry is a name Trekkies, Trekkers, and whatever the heck else they call themselves (fans of Star Trek, I mean) will never forget.

A WW2 pilot, an LAPD cop, husband, father, agnostic, humanist, but mostly for us: writer/creator of the original Star Trek series and thereby all others (well, maybe at least partly a team effort).

Gene Roddenberry is the first name in Trek, and his fans with a weird sense of irony or pomposity seized on a line of Trek dialog for a nickname. Gene became ever after 'The Great Bird of the Galaxy'.

As in: 'May the great bird of the galaxy bless your planet.'- Sulu, The Man Trap.

Reportedly kind and thoughtful, a dreamer and a shaper. Also reportedly a money-grubbing, credit-hogging, dirty old man. I have not the slightest doubt that both have their truthyness. His soul, to coin a phrase, was most human. In no way do I advocate ACTUAL worship of Gene, but there's much to admire in his words, and (in the secular sense of the term) his faith. His faith in HUMANITY. I sincerely believe he was out to make a buck, but on the way he wanted to inspire others to integrate, interrelate, and mature as a people, us kooky creatures.

One of the first men whose ashes were shot into space, they're supposed to send more of his ashes in a capsule with those of his beloved second wife Majel in the near future. They were strong believers in the future of humankind, in the space program, and in our ability to grow beyond ourselves together.

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