Trekkies vs. Trekkers vs. Lovers of the canon

While I think Jenkin’s book does present some very interesting points. there are certain areas where I think he’s just plain wrong, or perhaps intentionally manipulating information? The major problem for me comes near the beginning of the book. Jenkins talks about the fact that Start Trek fans are not “Trekkies.” While I most certainly agree that Trekkies are an exaggerated representation of fans, and that most fans are not like those represented, I think it’s naive to say that none of the Star Trek fans are a little extreme. Part of the reason people took such notice of the Star Trek phenomenon was because of the level of fandom. Jenkins then goes on to state, on page 17, that “The fans’ transgression of bourgeois taste and disruption of dominant cultural hierarchies insures that their preferences are seen as abnormal and threatening by those who have a vested interest in the maintenance of these standards…” Jenkins basically argues that the Star Trek fan culture is frowned upon because it does not fit in with the bourgeoise canon, and the rules that go with it. I don’t think this is why people feel strangely towards hardcore Trekkers. Jenkins talks about how the ways in which people interpret and read Star Trek is uncomfortably different from the rules and norms of reading the canon. Um, I don’t think this is the reason people respond so strongly towards Trekkers. In general, when people make fun of them, it is mostly focused on their allowance of the show to take over their lives, and I think this is really what people on some level take issue with. Furthermore, I don’t think this is a bourgeois response, I think it’s something else. It’s not just the bourgeois who mock Star Trek fans, people of all classes seem to find it odd. Furthermore, people who allow canonical works to have such a large impact on their lives are also viewed as strange. The only examples I can think of off the top of my head are not really educational, but they’re from a popular movie/TV show. Firstly, in “10 Things I Hate About You” a character is completely obsessed with Shakespeare. She dresses like him and drags aspects of his works and his life into her daily life. It makes her a freak. In an episode of “Gilmore Girls” there’s a Poe society with a group of obsessed Poe fans who are portrayed as ridiculous. Because they are. For me, fans of any work who take it too seriously and overly incorporate it into their ordinary lives is someone I view as bizarre. I think Jenkins needs to clarify that he is talking about people looking down upon those who enjoy Star Trek in an equal manner to the way in which some enjoy canonical works, and not those Star Trek fans who take it a step further.

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