Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh diversity, where art thou?

Several years ago, I purchased a video tape (pre-DVD days) that was the original pilot for the original Star Trek series. You see, the original pilot was never shown on TV in it's entirety. When the "big shots" at NBC saw it, they asked for another pilot, one with a more western style. So Roddenberry went off and created a new one. The original pilot came back in pieces as a two part episode.

For the initial showing of the tape, I invited a lot of co-workers from my then new job. The tape had an introduction from Gene Roddenberry that explained (among other things) that the show practiced wide diversity at a time when television was not very diverse. Indeed, the show included males and females in roles of authority, blacks, Asians, and even aliens. One of my college friends told me that the show featured TV's first inter-racial kiss (Uhura and Kirk). In the last few years, we've learned that one of the stars (Lt. Sulu) was even homosexual, although he wasn't open about it at the time.

During the show, I realized that my group of friends lacked a lot of diversity. All were white males. However, we were somewhat diverse, one co-worker asked where he could go to smoke a cigarette.

So my question is, what is the value in diversity? Should there be diversity in everything? If your company is looking to be diverse, does that mean they will be recruiting smokers and alcoholics or is diversity restricted to skin color and sexual orientation/

It's come to my attention that my blog readers are not very diverse. I did have one self-described liberal reader (David, are you still out there?), but most are politically conservative. Most are Christian. I do have a mix of male/female.

If you have some liberal and/or non-Christian friends, I'd appreciate it if you sent them my way. My message hits a diverse set of topics and hopefully there is something for everyone.


David said...

Yep, I'm still here.

I'd say to be diverse with your definition of diversity. Sure they were all white males, but what age were they? Where they married, did they have children? What kind of music do they listen to?

Brooke said...

I'm not surprised about the similarity between your readers. Most people seek out like-minded ideas, or are trolls out to provoke.

I liked Pike so much more than Kirk... And wasn't Spock's makeup fantastic in the pilot vs the series?

In the corporate/professional world, diversity=affirmative action, imo.

"The Edge" said...

Kudos to one fellow Trekkie (I hate Trekker, it's so wrong....) to another. One of the hallmarks of the series was a pendant work by Spock called the IDIC, which stands for Infinite diversity in infinite combinations. And when you think about it, that's kinda what all of us are - part of the infinite combinations of possible people who could read your blog. I, myself, am a fantasy-football commissioner/Star Trek fan/cat-owner/Coke Zero-drinker/argyle sock-wearer/pizza lover. That's pretty diverse just on it's own merit....

Randy said...

David, Glad you're still around. Be sure to keep me honest on any liberal/conservative issues.

The Star Trek showing was years ago, but my crowd was mostly single guys. I think mostly with no children. Music was all over the place. So I guess that was diverse. Still, send some of your friends my way.

Brooke, the show had so many facets. I liked Kirk's swash-buckling attitude. Fire phasers! Fire photon torpedos! Well, maybe we can be friends.

Edge, I never knew about Spock's IDIC. And yes, I'd say your combination is pretty diverse.

Thanks to all.