Or: Jay's Gun Bunny Rant.
| In reply
super dreadnought, space control ship or anything with more that four
nacelles, Jay P.
Hailey, fan fiction writer and general Nice Guy, did reply on the
TrekCreative mailing list with
this mild rant. We the management being in perfect agreement hereby
post it with
permission. -- Garry Stahl
Okay. Then we get
into a different question, Did Gene Roddenberry have a clue when he
said that Starfleet is not a military organization? I am not thinking
so. In GURPS (A role playing game) and Traveler (A different and
occasionally related game, I'd explain but your head would explode.
C.F. South Park's "Chewbaca Defense")
In these two imaginary
worlds, there is a Space Navy and a Scout service. The Scouts handle
exploration and scientific investigation. The Navy handles defense. In
times of war and Emergency, the Scouts are attached to the Navy for
This division of labor makes
nearly perfect sense to me. But no one asked me. Gene Roddenberry said
that Starfleet melds the duties of both Scouts and Space Navy.
Now one must ask a
question. Gene Roddenberry proposed cruisers (Starship class, I presume
a special and superior form of space ship) as the highest form of
Starfleet life. Gene Roddenberry proposed that the Federation's chief
arm would be this Jacques Cousteau like paramilitary force.
One must either decide here
if A> Gene Roddenberry was stupid or B> The paramilitary
Starfleet was *sufficient to the task*
If Gene Roddenberry was
stupid then you'd see Starfleet building warships and dividing into
these subclasses (Scout and Navy).
If, as Gene Roddenberry
imagined, Starfleet was sufficient to the task then the fire power of a
single cruiser would be horrifying, sufficient to replace a squadron of
real navy battle cruisers, and the the captain would be picked to use
this force with great judgment and reserve. And these cruisers
would be all you need. One cruiser, one problem.
I like to try to
take a middle ground and assume that Starfleet was not stupid or
criminally incompetent when designing it's starships.
Every time a gunny-bunny
hands you a new super dreadnought, this is what he's implying.
"Starfleet was too stupid to add the other nine nacelles and all the
weapons until *I* came along and a good thing for them that I did, in
all my wonderfulness."
Every time a gun bunny hands you a
ship that totally out guns the Enterprise, he's saying that the
Enterprise wasn't big or strong enough for him.
Look at it this way.
Do you remember the old TV Show Baa Baa Black Sheep? Robert Conrad as
Pappy Boyington. He and his brave crew of pilots fly forth and do
battle against Japanese Zeros and so on. It's set during WWII and uses
a lot of footage of Corsairs and Japanese Zeros.
So this guy comes up to you
and says "I am a fan of Baa Baa Black Sheep. I even wrote my own story
about my own Baa Baa Black Sheep pilot. But I thought that the F4u
Corsair was a bit wimpy and so I made up my own airplane for Baa Baa
Black Sheep." And then Mr. Black-sheep-nical fan hands you a drawing of
his special plane, an F-14.
If you can look
past, for the moment, the maximum statement of "I have no penis"
inherent in this sort of thing, then Mr Fan-boy there is resting his
little ego trip on a couple of weird premises.
If there's an F-14 in WWII,
then by extension the U.S. in WWII can build F-14s. So why are Pappy
and his crew flying Corsairs?
"Well" Fanboy says "It's a
super duper secret prototype and I have the only one."
So the U.S. In WWII has the
ability to build a super plane but elects not to, except for one
Special character? Duh?
It makes the
assumption that the U.S. during WWII or by extension that The
Federation defending itself against any given enemy will only go
halfway and use half measures until the arrival of Mary Sue on the
It assumes that they're
stupid until fanboy shows up to show them all the error of their ways.
Never mind that the Corsair
was something of a super plane during it's day and flown by a
competent, lucky pilot, who used the right tactics, a one-on-one match
was foregone conclusion.
Pappy Boyington and his crew
commonly *attacked* formations of 30 Japanese airplanes and once got
the drop on 60 of them (!!) and waded in anyway. They were good pilots,
with superior tactics and superior airplanes and had every faith they
could follow through such an attack.
So why add an F-14 to a Baa
Baa Black Sheep story? Why add a super-duper dreadnought to Trek?
Ya got me there,
Actually I like to
blow things up, too. I don't think Trek is the tool for that.
Battlestar Galactica. Tom Clancy. Baa Baa Back Sheep. But Trek?
Also I like my "blowing
things up" a slightly different flavor than that. A more balanced form
of destruction where it's the *character's* skill, ability and spirit
that makes the difference.
-- Jay P. Hailey
Body material Copyright © Jay P Hailey, 2002
Introduction Copyright © Garry Stahl 2002
Do not reprint without permission
Comments or questtons on this file? Mail Here
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