Trek & The Left
I have been very fortunate in my professional/artistic journey to meet and work with some incredibly talented and big-hearted people. Some of them go on to excel in their fields and then you get the pleasant surprise of reading about their upcoming book or TV show in the news one morning and thinking "damn, I used to do dive bar open mics with them...Way to go!".
This is both like that and not. I don't know Will Nguyen particularly well, but we have been FB friends ever since he came out fully costumed to a Star Trek trivia event that I hosted in a comic book shop back in 2016 and totally dominated.
As such I was delighted to learn about both the bottomless depth of his Trek devotion AND his commitment to Communist politics in this recent piece featured on the official StarTrek.com page. It might not be SNL or a New Yorker Shouts & Murmurs piece but if you're a super nerd former president of your high school's science fiction club like moi well...this is HUGE. Way to go Will!
Although every generation has been affected by the excesses of capitalism, Nguyen says, some generations are more uniquely situated to witness that. “That's obviously the Millennial generation and the Zoomers, right behind us,” he says. “They were told that they just sort of go to school, and take on this debt, but then you'll get a job. They play by the rules, right? But then they've emerged into a market that is virtually non-existent. They are swimming in debt. And then having almost all of their income go for rent, [they’ve] got to piece together multiple jobs, three or four side hustles, gig jobs...this is the best that capitalism can do. So, I think I became radicalized just by my experience, just like millions of other people, not just in this country, but around the world.” ... “The reality is, we actually already live in a post-scarcity world. Now.” Nguyen begins picking up speed here. “There's often an argument that people say, ‘Oh, you only get the Star Trek future because you have a replicator box in the wall. And, you know, only then can you have socialism or communism,’ which I would say that's a very disingenuous dodge, because we already have the ability to house and clothe and care for everyone right now, that's not that hard. The Earth has the ability to feed 10 billion people.” ... “You know, he's very proletarian,” Will says, “His [ancestor] was Sean O’Brien, a union man and he's a real proletarian, but he also plays cello. He plays darts. He’s a family man, with children. Has a well rounded life, while also being the heart and soul of Deep Space Nine. And that's exactly what we're saying ... if we free ourselves from living paycheck to paycheck, what couldn't we do? How much of our lives would be freed up? If you didn't have to worry about putting food on the table? That's why people gravitate toward Star Trek, they look at Star Trek, ‘Wow, I really want to live on that nice pastel-colored ship.’”