Star Trek. The Movie And The Traditional Media
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Saturday on opening weekend Brad and I went to the 12.10 pm showing of Star Trek. the movie in Boulder. The theater was packed on a beautiful sunny day in Boulder Colorado. We both conclude that the movie was a wonderful extension of the iconic T.V. series and movie sequels. In fact Brad tweeted that it was the best movie of the decade. I know that motivated many to see the movie on Saturday date night. American pop culture is a pacesetter worldwide. It is nothing for Americans to be ashamed of. To my dismay, but not to my surprise the media, evaluation of the movie has been negative.
The America press is on a suicidal path. They are not representing the views of the American public. Frank Rich expressed it beautifully in his op Ed article on Sunday May 10, 2009.
The cultural disconnect between the journalism establishment and the public it aspires to serve could not have been more vividly dramatized.
He said this when describing Stephen Colbert’s address at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner 3 years ago.
“Mr. Colbert delivered a monologue accusing his hosts of being stenographers who had, in essence, let the Bush White House get away with murder (or at least the war in Iraq). The Washington Post reported that it “fell flat.” The Times initially did not even mention it.”
The speech became viral overnight over the internet after You tube put C spans coverage on the internet.
On Wednesday, C-Span, the nonprofit network that first showed Mr. Colbert’s speech, wrote letters to the video sites YouTube.com and ifilm.com, demanding that the clips of the speech be taken off their Web sites.
Star Trek has a complicated history with a simple plot. It has developed a massive cult following because it is “camp”. To me Star Trek glorifies American pop culture. It excites the imagination of kids and adults alike. Ever though the story plots are not innovative it stimulates the imagination to be innovative. I cannot wait for the invention of a real transporter.
An op ed piece by David Hajdu a professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism highlights traditional journalism misreading of the American public.
“Gene Roddenberry, was a gifted hack writer for TV Westerns like “Have Gun, Will Travel” and cop shows like “Highway Patrol,” and “Star Trek,” though set in a nominally stylized future. Star Trek was essentially a Western cop show.”
So what. The good guys always win. It is the American way. This is Star Trek’s appeal. Someone ought to tell the New York Times editorial board the American public is no longer intimidated by intellectual snobbery. The American public now has control of the distribution of information without newspapers. Blogs, social networks and Twitter will replace traditional newspapers as a form of communication. I would guess Brad’s tweet caused more than 2000 people to go to Star Trek last weekend.
To say America is exploring the universe, one B-movie at a time simply misses the point. People power has spoken. On an early count Star Trek is one of the highest grossing movies of all time in the first weekend.
Paramount’s sci-fi movie "Star Trek" opened as No. 1 at the box office in North America this weekend, taking in some 72.5 million dollars over the three-day period, a movie industry-charting firm reported on Sunday. With I-MAX revenue its gross surpassed 85 million dollars.
The film will show major legs in the coming weeks with strong word of mouth propelling it well beyond the opening weekend," said movie industry analyst Paul Dergarabedian
Today many people under 40 years old get their news of the day from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Marc Andreessen in a recent video streamed of the Charlie Rose show said newspapers on dead. If the New York Times woke up and spend 90% of their budget on internet communication they would figure out how to become relevant once more.
The message should be clear. Americans want real information, not manipulated information. The media has to respect the intelligence of the public. Only then will the public support the media.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone