Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy 94th, Gene: Would you have been @trekmaker?

Gene Roddenberry would have been 94 today. I could just leave you here with this simple, backyard LA Times photo I came across (at right, with the now-missing three-foot 1964 Big E).... or reiterate some thoughts I had a few years back about "GR" and me and us ...

We've had so much fill in in recent years for rank-and-file fans on the full story of the "godhood" versus all the man's human's foibles.... much less the workhorses who also brought the Star Trek vision about: Bob Justman, Dorothy Fontana, Gene Coon, Matt Jefferies, and more ... then Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer who popped up the movies so that Rick Berman and Michael Piller could come along and restart the sequel machine...and many more with them all.

But I've been thinking lately about Gene, and what he would have been like living in a 24/7 social media world. I think he would have loved the chaos and messiness, but most of all loved the empowerment of fans, the increased communication and the increasing channels of fan creativity—even as the holders of the copyright deal with it as a monster of popularity and thoughtfulness and try to let that leashed beast run as freely as possibly.

He may have been a visionary, but he did know how to access and wield some pretty powerful hands-on tools. He saw a paradigm or two come along in his own life as media monopoly power broke up for TV content and delivery, and would be delighted that even so many more options exist now for producers and their ideas.

Most of all, I believe the vibrant, sprawling geek-is-mainstream sensibility he helped ignite would just tickle him. I'm betting.

What about you? How do you see Gene Roddenberry today, after all we now know and measure since the early days?


Spaceman42 said...

Back in early 1986, a friend and artist name Richard Bartholomew was commissioned by the Texas Sesquincentennial Committee (Texas 150th Aniversary) to do 75 characters pictures of famous Texans...When I was talking to him on the phone he said he was deciding on the final 6 people to put there of the 75......I asked him, "Do you have Gene Roddenberry?"... He asked, "Gene Roddenberry?"..I said "Did you not know he was born in El Paso, Texas?"....He said, "No I didn't know he was born in El Paso, Texas.I'm glad you told me..Now I have to decide on the last 5 people for this."....There is now a Historical Marker in El Paso, Texas at a strip shopping center where Gene Roddenberry's birthplace used to be.

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