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©04 and 05 The Media Desk
For the USS RAVEN Newsletter
October 2004 edition. Updated 25 Jan/05
"What we humans are is really a remarkable thing. How can you doubt that we will survive and mature? There may be a lot of wisdom in the old statement about looking on the world lovingly. If we can, perhaps the world will have time to resolve itself."
-Gene Roddenberry 1921 - 1991
The Desk has been a proud member of the International Federation of Trekkers for several years. It had worked the recruiting table for the International and the Regional group at conventions and posted links to various entities within the IFT. And, perhaps the most significant show of support for the Federation, the Desk bought a T-shirt with the IFT logo on it and has been seen wearing it in public.
The reason was that the IFT, behind its commanding admiral, had the mission of "Guarding the Dream" of Gene Roddenberry. The originator of Star Trek believed that: We ARE a basically Good people. We can be more than we are. The Future Will be better than the past.
It wasn't about profit, or how many chapters are in how many cities, or who got promoted to what. At least it wasn't supposed to be.
Yes it was and is an organization made up of humans, and with humans comes politics and favoritism and jealousy. All those 'dark side' emotions. You can't help it. But you can work around, or through, it.
Roddenberry knew all about our differences as individuals, and he incorporated them into his TV shows with different types of humans as well as the various alien species they encountered. From Trek through "Andromeda" and everything in between, the Vulcan IDIC was a theme that carried through them all under various names.
Well. The Desk isn't going into all the 'he said she said' and finger pointing, rumors, counter-rumors, and all that now. Some of that dirty laundry will most likely get aired out in various fan magazines and other websites.
We'll cut to the bottom line here.
The IFT seems to be abandoning the Dream in pursuit of somewhat shadier ideals involving other genres of science fiction with one eye on how many people stop by the recruiting table and their dues.
Like Democratic Senator Zell Miller said at the Republican Convention during the summer. He hadn't left the Democratic party, the Party had left him.
From the IFT Command website:
Through all of the changes in IFT, one thing remained the same: IFT PURPOSE! This purpose: "to promote the humanistic philosophies and ideals portrayed in the Star Trek myths in a realistic fashion conducive to the continued existence and responsible advancement of human kind. To provide, promote, and support education and positive legal activism in the area of human rights, racial and sexual equality, environmental causes, and space exploration. To promote a more positive impression of Star Trek enthusiasts as intelligent, socially conscious, active individuals who are aware and concerned about the real world today."
If THAT has changed, if the "IFT PURPOSE" has changed....
The Desk joined the IFT precisely because of Roddenberry's Dream.
If that is no longer the central tenant of the IFT… If instead it is truly becoming International Fandom Teams or some other danged "Politically Correct" title instead of the one Roddenberry himself suggested for the group. If the focus is on numbers of members instead of charity and other good works. If who is running what chat group or which email list something should be sent to is more important than having the local chapter as a whole contribute to a homeless shelter…. Then there is something wrong.
While the Desk is not yet severed relations with the IFT, it does expect the IFT to sever relations with it. Which will be their choice.
There is still time for the Council to wake up and put the ship back on course.
YES, there is room in the IFT for fans of other types of Sci-Fi. Some people really do like "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" and do not see a conflict between the two.
NO, belonging to the "Dr. Who" fanclub does not necessarily compromise your membership in the IFT. Indeed, it could actually help by getting Who-ites to help out with IFT events.
YES, the IFT can be an umbrella organization for the 'Star Dr. Babylon Rings 1999 Buffy' fans and anything else you can come up with (the Desk wouldn't mind seeing some more about "Blake's 7") and STILL remain true to the Dream. THEY can join US by recognizing that the Dream is for the Good of All, we shouldn't have to join them.
NO, the Desk is NOT going to take anybody's side except what it sees as the Dream Itself as outlined in the quotes in this article and elsewhere.
The Desk wrote to the Commanding Admiral some time ago when these concerns first surfaced.
It has yet to receive a response. If it does, the answer will be posted alongside this article.
[note: All titles, names, abbreviations and identifying phrases are property of their various owners including the initials IFT and the name International Federation of Trekkers. Use in this work is for identification and comparison purposes only. No disrespect or derision is intended. If the owner of a mentioned copyright objects to its inclusion in this article said reference will be removed. If the IFT objects, they'll get over it. The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author. thank you]
Emails removed at the respectful request of IFT Command.
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