Gender and Fan Studies (Round Nine, Part Two): Derek Kompare and Cynthia Walker

Fandom Meets The Powers That Be

CW: You make a couple of interesting points, Derek, some of which I’ve been pondering myself. The first is the need to get away from the idea of a rigid binary. TPTB have never been a single entity. We know there are conflicts between the producers and the various levels of the big corporations that distribute their work. Indeed, that’s how all of this began. Roddenberry needed allies against Paramount and enlisted SF fans for support. He wasn’t the first producer to make that effort (a similar alliance occurred in MFU) nor certainly the last. You mention Joss Whedon who has “fannish” credentials and attitudes. I’m sure most Buffy fans will remember when, in the wake of Columbine, the WB network delayed the airing of an episode involving a would-be student sniper in the U.S. In response, Whedon famously recommended that Canadian fans “bootleg the puppy.”

Other producers (Chris Carter and J. Michael Straczynski and yes, Ron Moore, come to mind) have also represented themselves as underdog producers battling the “suits.” Personally, I find these alliances between various creative professionals and the fans (which can be complicated and angst-ridden for all parties involved) quite fascinating and, with the internet, more and more common. I used to feel encouraged by them. Lately, though, I’ve become more pessimistic.

DK: I’m more ambivalent and skeptical than pessimistic, I suppose. My default position is that TPTB will probably screw things up (to wit, Star Trek), so ambivalence must be an improvement, right? This is a rapidly changing media environment, after all, so there’s much here that is legitimately “new,” particularly as far as the networks and distributors are concerned. I was encouraged by the deals worked out for Battlestar Galactica and Lost, for example, which essentially protect each series from future exploitation by networks/studios, but still leave doors open for fannish creativity. Still, it’s a very open question as to whether that creativity will be constrained under various rules and (God forbid) EULAs, or just left alone.

CW: Marketing is certainly a factor now that TPTB have realized that fandom can be utilized for viral marketing efforts. I don’t think fans mind all that much being used to promote their favorite source texts. Heck, we ourselves proudly admit to “pimping.” The real issues are power and control. Producers and marketers are accustomed to seeking control over audiences or, at least, being able to predict their behavior. By comparison, fandom must seem very scary in its diversity and unpredictability. Although one can probably argue that there are some similarities between fandom and Hollywood in that they are relatively small, highly networked communities, ultimately, they don’t operate in quite the same way.

The incursion of Hollywood into fandom reminds me of the European explorers encountering the indigenous population in the New World for the first time. We’re talking about a clash of civilizations here with very different economies and value systems. We might get past the first exchanges of beads for land use, but eventually, inevitably, there are going to be serious tensions as interests conflict.

Linking this to gender, my experience is that, in general, male fans have been much more open —even welcoming —to these incursions into Media Fandom than (again, in general) female fans. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but I have some theories. Prime among them is that the kinds of activities that guy fans are involved with — collecting memorabilia, assembling non-fiction information websites — are more likely to be approved by TPTB than some of the activities, like writing fan fiction, that are dominated by women. Also, at least in my experience, I find my guy fan friends are much more competitive with each other in vying for the attention of TPTB, are more likely to have connections to the professional and/or Hollywood communities, and seem to have a stronger desire to see their passion for the source text legitimized.

For example, because of my dissertation work and my professional ties to Norman Felton (we’ve both been involved in promoting media literacy), I’m often one of the folks that TBTB will seek out when they’re looking for a representative of MFU fandom. There are other fans who fill this role as well, but they are nearly all male. I’m often the lone female voice, which is odd considering that our fandom is mostly run by women fans and is majority female.


Fanboys/Fan Girls Revisited

DK: I think you’re right about the broad differences of gender within and between fandoms. Lots of quantitative and qualitative work (including yours) has pretty much borne this out, after all. Still, there will always be exceptions, in almost every fandom. Unfortunately, my experiences (and those of my fan friends) inside and outside fandom have shown how gender is often policed from within. “Fanboys” at comic cons alienate female fans by drooling after scantily clad cosplayers, or mounting loud, pedantic arguments about canon. “Fangirls” at fic cons alienate male fans by talking in code or banning them from slashvid rooms (as one of my female fan friends reported witnessing at MediaWest

back in the 90s).

Here’s where, I hope, the emergence of female writers and writer-producers in the industry might help change things. Not in an essentialist sense, but in a sense of maybe projecting a kind of “fangirlness” (or at least not presenting “fanboyness”) as a distinct, viable category for broader dissemination. We have a few prominent women writers on key popular and cult shows as it is (e.g., Jane Espenson, Carol Mendelsohn, Marni Noxon, Shonda Rhimes, Amy Sherman-Palladino), but they’re very much the minority in Hollywood (and every other TV-producing community in the world, for that matter, unfortunately). I don’t think more women producers would necessarily change the fairly fundamental split between men and women over who wants access to TPTB, but it might at least present some other possibilities for engagement, within the source texts and in publicity.

CW: No, I don’t either. I don’t see evidence that women producers and writers are necessarily more open to engagement with fandom than male producers. Those who are most open to interactions with fans seem to be those who, regardless of gender, have some experience with and/or strong ties to the SF community. This makes sense since the SF community has a long history, dating back to the early 1930s, of pros and fans interacting together and even folks exchanging roles at various times. I understand something similar happens in the Romance community.

But getting back to the fanboy/fangirl dichotomy, I’d like to see us get past this binary as well, although I’m not sure we ever will entirely. Despite the fact that women and guys (in general) favor different fan activities and do appear to have different experiences, I think it’s in their (our?) common interest to forge some sort of alliance. In the end, as fans/users/consumers/audiences, we’re all in the same boat.

I made this point when the discussions in this forum touched on machinima, which struck me, despite its reliance on images rather than words, as a reworking activity very similar to writing fanfic. At the media conference I attended in New York in May, one of the machinima panelists explained to me how the gaming companies, which are relatively small, are really open to their players altering the games and offer open source code. I then asked him what would happen if the gamers created a message which was critical of the gaming company or which was contrary to what the company would really enjoy or approve. He admitted that this doesn’t happen much. But one would expect that, inevitably, a machinima artist will come along who will create a more radical piece that’s not something the gaming companies can approve or ignore. What happens then?

The conversation I had that day also made me wonder if male fans seem more content than women fans to ‘color within the lines’ because most popular culture is created by guys for guys and women have to alter it more severely for their own pleasure. Are women fans more radical in their approach or does it just appear that way?

For example, I notice that machinima features a lot of violence, shooting and blowing up stuff, which frankly, seemed to embarrass the panelists who felt a need to warn the audience about it. It seemed to me the equivalent to how we have to prepare mundane audiences to accept and understand the existence and use of sexuality (both in slash and het) in female-dominated fanfic. Of course, at least in American popular culture, violence is more acceptable than sex and how feature films are rated reflects this.

DK: I think you’re absolutely right that particular media forms and genres have a kind of gendered existence not because there’s anything intrinsically “male” about blowing stuff up, but because “blowing stuff up” has become a prominent signifier of a culturally promoted masculinity. When the economics of the gaming industry are factored in, as well as the design history of gaming software (i.e., variations on controlling visual space), and the culture of computer science education, it all favors particular codes and possibilities, and marginalizes others.

Still, does this make these men any less “creative”? I’m not sure. I keep thinking of those guys in Trek fandom in the 70s and 80s who would create these elaborate technical blueprints of Trek technology, some of which might never have actually been seen on-screen. Not my cup of tea, but pretty impressive nonetheless, and categorically not all that different from women writing fanfic. Now, once you get into the actual content of the creativity, and its relationships to the source texts and wider culture, then substantial differences emerge. But still, blueprints or fanfic or machinima or vidding are all creative acts inspired by particular sourcetexts and supported by fan communities.

A big question going forward is this: do we (as fans, or acafans) want to crash the gates? Do we want to affect change in the way media is conceived, produced, and distributed? Do we want our cultures and perspectives to be represented in the source texts themselves? Or would we rather keep them to ourselves, build our own communities, and keep them exclusive? Setting aside the issue of fear of the copyright police for a second, do we still want to maintain boundaries between fandom and the mainstream?

As you pointed out earlier, the gates are being crashed anyway, to an extent, by TPTB arriving on the shores of fandom, and producers (benevolently) shouting-out to the fans. Accordingly, as academics and fans, I think we need to keep picking at all of these categories, “men,” “women,” “fans,” and “producers,” and learn better to think in other terms as well (most notably class, race, generation, and culture). We can learn an awful lot from the histories of these categories and interactions (as our scholarly work has shown), but we should also attend carefully to their flux at this moment, and look for opportunities, such as the FanLib debate, or these great discussions, to build new identities and relationships and/or defend old ones.

CW: You said: “But still, blueprints or fanfic or machinima or vidding are all creative acts inspired by particular source texts and supported by fan communities.” Yes, they are, and personally, I’d like to see folks stop privileging one over the other. Like you, a lot of my academic interest and work is in media studies and also in the related areas of media literacy and media ecology. I’m a big fan of Marshall McLuhan.

And one thing we understand in media studies is that each medium has its virtues and limitations. Film is different from television, and television is different from radio — but not necessarily better. We choose a medium depending upon the message and the intended audience. One of the first exercises I assign my students is to talk about the class to three different audiences in three different ways. They can write a letter, send an email, text a message, make a phone call, have a face-to-face conversation, whatever — and then report back. They are always amazed at how the choice of medium shapes, influences, enhances or limits the message. Some media, they discover, are more effective with some audiences than others.

I think it’s the same with the creative activities of fandom. I don’t think we can privilege creating machinima over fanfiction or the reverse. Posting episode guides, creating technical blueprints, putting together a fanvid or writing a story all have their place and contribute to the commonly shared culture of a fandom. Instead of dismissing activities which we don’t understand or in which we don’t participate, I’d like to see more cross-community and cross gender communication. After attending that machinima panel, I, myself, wanted to explore, if only as a viewer, that particular medium. I wanted to hear more from the machinima fans.

I’d like to see more guy fans pursue fanfiction, if not as writers at least as readers. And while slash may make some guys uncomfortable, well, those sexy figures based on comic book characters (remember the recent controversy over the depiction of Mary Jane washing Spidey’s outfit?) make some of the women uncomfortable as well. Maybe, as academics, we can be bold enough to sit on panels together and explore what makes us uncomfortable, gender-wise, as well as what commonalities we share in our fan activities. I think more dialogue —more open but respectful dialogue — is a goal to pursue.

As far as your next bundle of questions — ie: Do we want to affect change in the way media is conceived, produced, and distributed?… Or would we rather keep them to ourselves, build our own communities, and keep them exclusive? etc. —those are tough questions and the answer may be different for each individual fan. Is it possible for fandom to do both? As far as maintaining boundaries, can we somehow interact but still keep a distance? (And am I being too greedy in wanting my cake and eating it too?)

Moving Forward

DK: I agree that dialogue in many varieties is necessary, and here I’d hope that people following this discussion would lead the way in doing this (fans, academics, and acafans). If men are uncertain about slash, maybe gen fic is a place to at least start. If women aren’t so sure about Halo, maybe try the Final Fantasy series. The next time you assemble a panel for a conference, try to find a different perspective. Discomfort is part of the process, and can be interesting in itself.

I think greater visibility is important as well, even if it is a double-edged sword. I honestly had no idea that LiveJournal was a vibrant hive of fan activity until the MIT 5 conference in April, and I don’t think it would have come on my radar without people like Kristina Busse pulling me in. If we’re invited to something, or are at least made aware of it within our usual haunts (online or otherwise), then we’re much more likely to check it out. That’s how fandom works, after all!

As Matt Hills wrote, fans are fans of being fans, and migrate between passions and mediums. We all have interests that overlap with what we might consider our “primary” fan identities, but which stoke our passions in different ways. I don’t mean moving from Stargate Atlantis to Smallville or from Amazing Spider-Man to Ultimate Spider-Man, but to gardening, or reggaeton, or college basketball, or whatever. Perhaps we could open up as we migrate, and connect these areas, rather than treat them as islands of engagement.

As for connecting fans and producers, that’s going to be a trickier process, but one that’s already happening in many different ways. Ideally, producers should be free to “walk the walk” of fandom, and not just declare themselves to be fans (Ron Moore’s ecstatic and immediate blog post reaction to the Sopranos finale-his first blog post about anything, in months–was a rare instance of this). Realistically, though contracts and network lawyers will keep them on a leash, and carefully monitor any kind of potential or actual IP exchanges between fans and producers. There are some situations that shouldn’t happen (producers really don’t want to hear your episode pitch in a convention hallway), but there are others that should happen more often (gabbing at the hotel bar about how much you both love a completely different show that the producer never worked on). The latter, thankfully, goes on every year at the Gallifrey con in LA, and it sounds like it works that way in U.N.C.L.E fandom as well, from your description.

At our end, as fans and acafans, we’ll just need to continue to monitor these interactions, critiquing as necessary, but also recognizing possible positive developments. I suppose my ideal situation would be that each “side,” fans and producers, could still continue doing their own things without interruption or aggravation (neither side should be beholden to the other), but could still find some spaces for collaboration or at least sharing their texts and viewpoints.

CW: Well said. To sum up, I’d just like to reiterate four quick points we’ve sort of made already. One is, that in any one of these discussions and/or debates, the “sides” are not a simple dichotomy but multiple and complex, often between and among collective parties. The second is that these parties are composed of real people. For example, both TPTB and Fandom (with a capital F) are made up of individuals with varying perspectives and maybe that’s where dialogues and relationships might begin —between and among individuals who then network with others. Third, that perhaps we aca-fen might provide a bridge to further understanding and cultural negotiation, as critics do between professional artists and their audiences. And finally, this is a good moment in time to develop and advance the dialogue and to support initiatives like Net Neutrality, because the boundaries are becoming more permeable and the shape of the Internet environment is still in flux. Change will come whether we’re ready for them or not. It’s better to be ready.

Thanks for the conversation, Derek. I enjoyed it.

DK: Those four points are an excellent plan moving forward, and they can all happen now. I’d also emphasize your last point, about the future of the Internet. We (as in all of us) have common interests in maintaining and expanding the openness of this resource, so we need to monitor possible changes carefully, and be prepared to mobilize with others in order to preserve and improve it.

It’s been a pleasure, Cynthia, and I look forward to continuing this discussion here and elsewhere.

Comments

  1. Interesting argument RE: Hollywood colonizers Dr. Walker. The key, here, though is that fen acutely want to hear positives from the producers and the like. While most fans do care, intrinsically, what the creators of their core texts might think the fear of being “found out” often limits discussion — especially if the fandom in particular has some oddities inside of them (in this case being things that are sociologically construed as inappropriate).

    Are you pessimistic of this structure because it seeks to ‘control’ these Internet spheres where (mainly) women congregate?

    The need for legitimization is an interesting, one, though. It hearkens to more ‘prominent’ sociological concerns — i.e. because men are encouraged to be in the public their “loves” are legitimate; however, women are still relegated to a private sphere that is denounced (especially in regards to descriptors like “overweight and single” while men generally are described as “zealous” or “compulsive” in articles) in mainstream media.

    Thank you for the argument.

  2. Derek, you write:

    Still, does this make these men any less “creative”? I’m not sure. I keep thinking of those guys in Trek fandom in the 70s and 80s who would create these elaborate technical blueprints of Trek technology, some of which might never have actually been seen on-screen. Not my cup of tea, but pretty impressive nonetheless, and categorically not all that different from women writing fanfic. Now, once you get into the actual content of the creativity, and its relationships to the source texts and wider culture, then substantial differences emerge. But still, blueprints or fanfic or machinima or vidding are all creative acts inspired by particular sourcetexts and supported by fan communities.

    … and Cynthia responds:

    I don’t think we can privilege creating machinima over fanfiction or the reverse. Posting episode guides, creating technical blueprints, putting together a fanvid or writing a story all have their place and contribute to the commonly shared culture of a fandom.

    Just to play devil’s advocate, is there a danger here of subsuming all fanwork under the aegis of “creativity” and from there shortcircuiting (without intending to, I’m sure) critical investigation? I’m keenly interested in Trek’s “blueprint movement” of the 70s, which bubbled out of convention culture, its arts & crafts shows & trading booths. Despite its roots in what we might call “pure” fan creativity (i.e. not motivated by financial profit & willing to work “against the grain” of its source material), hardware or design-oriented fandom was immediately recognized by Roddenberry and Paramount as a potential revenue stream. (Without going into the whole story here, Franz Joseph, not a fan himself but father of a [female] fan, drew up the Enterprise blueprints and Technical Manual, selling them first at conventions under limited license from Paramount, then as highly successful mass-market publications in 1975 under the Ballantine Books label — a subsidiary, I believe, of Paramount.)

    My point is, even as Derek stipulates that “once you get into the actual content of the creativity, and its relationships to the source texts and wider culture, then substantial differences emerge,” those differences quickly slide back into the shadows, granting Trek’s hardware fandom a pass on its impact on fandom’s freedom to create and rework. It seems to me a significant problem is presented by fan products, like blueprints, that set out to (A) uphold canon through microscopic observation of the series diegesis; (B) police the boundaries of that canon by solidifying a kind of design “law” (to cite one stray example, the number and layout of crew quarters on the Enterprise and what follows from it in terms of normative sexual pairings and family relationships — architecture is ideology!); and finally (C) “fill in” the unseen spaces of the diegetic world. Such products and their underlying ethics are 180 degrees away from the aims of much fanfic. Blueprints and galactic maps and such are smoothly integrated into the ancillary tie-in industries, to be sure, but more subtly and profoundly, they work to constrain — rather than open up — the diegesis to fannish revision. (They don’t call it the Master Text for nothing — and as Audre Lord says, the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.)

    In a nutshell, I worry sometimes that fanwork gets valorized and sort of “leveled off” critically in academic discussions; what the totalization risks leaving out is that, much as it might pain us to admit it, factions of fandom can work at cross-purposes to each other, in a stew of subjection and resistance, unexpected alliances and jealous turf wars. Brings us back to the admirable multidimensionality of your philosophies: perhaps ironically this approach, in its pursuit of consensus, sometimes ends up effacing important differences and power relationships?

  3. Hi Bob. I have to admit that I had no idea that anyone, let alone you, had analyzed the production of those 70s blueprints. I mentioned them only off the top of my head as an example. Have you published this work anywhere? I’d love to read it.

    Your question raises a serious roadblock for co-existence: are some major differences in fan perspectives and creative output (and relationships with TPTB) more-or-less unavoidable? I’ll grant the challenge they present, but I’ll still go with a more Gramscian outlook on things, i.e., these differences are more hegemonic than fixed.

    What’s “dominant” and “resistant,” or “validated” and “underground,” depends not only on relative positions at the moment, but (more importantly) on how particular practices have hardened over time. As you well know, there was a fairly wide variety of authorized Trek books in the mid-70s, including quote books, parodies, behind-the-scenes books, philosophical analyses, and novelizations, as well as the blueprints and technical manual. Amidst all this, the two Marshak and Culbreath “New Voyages” anthologies came out, featuring not only an almost entirely female slate of writers, but also the written blessings of major cast members.

    As it turned out, that was that as far as such experiments would go at Paramount (the novel series debuted in 1981, hewing to a more mass-market standard SF style than the earlier short stories). But imagine if it hadn’t. Imagine if such anthologies had blossomed, and the blueprints and tech manuals were relegated to the unauthorized margins. Star Trek (and SF media fandom in general) would be very different, dominated in the mainstream by narrative exploration (and even experimentation) rather than gearhead design fetishizing.

    Would it be too much to suggest that Paramount/Roddenberry’s decision to legitimate one and marginalize the other set the tone for SF media fandom ever since?

    This is why we need more analyses of past fan-producer relationships, as well as close attention to contemporary practices. I understand the critical necessity of not “paving over” all differences, but we should be on guard not to let it inevitably lead back to a “women-do-this, men-do-that” conception of creativity.

  4. Suzanne Scott says:

    I’ve been lurking for far too long now, so I’m going to start with a comment here and work my way back to the earlier debates. First and foremost, I have to say how much I enjoyed your exchange, as well as all those came before it! I’m especially thrilled to see you both broach the topic of the conflicted identity of producers like Ron Moore, as it’s been weighing on my mind in recent months along with broader concerns about the co-opting of fan practice. My own feelings towards the increased “contact” between producers and fans fluctuates between Derek’s ambivalence and Cynthia’s pessimism, shaped by my engagement with BSG fandom and Moore’s “fannish” new media content model (webisodes, blog, podcasts, etc.). My concerns are twofold (despite the fact that I’m an avid consumer of this content): 1. Does such a model encourage increased fan consumption at the expense of fan production? And 2. Do the materials themselves function primarily to reinscribe authorial and creative power to the (in this case, and many cases, male) producers of the source text?

    Ultimately, while I think most fans appreciate the (guise of?) camaraderie that comes with a producer like Moore, I think that Cynthia hits the nail on the head with this statement: “The conversation I had that day also made me wonder if male fans seem more content than women fans to ‘color within the lines’ because most popular culture is created by guys for guys and women have to alter it more severely for their own pleasure. Are women fans more radical in their approach or does it just appear that way?” Going back a few weeks to Geoff and Catherine’s discussion, and Bob’s comment above, I think the debates around creativity and canon are doubly fascinating when addressed through the increased presence of male producers in fan communities (or, at the very least, their own “fannish” textual additions to the source text that often work to chip away at their own text’s negative capability). Regardless of team, I think that “coloring within the lines,” to borrow from Cynthia, is becoming increasingly difficult for fanboys and fangirls alike. To what extent fangirls are consciously or subconsciously subverting the text, or working outside of it, as a response to this model of male authority is up for debate.

  5. Cynthia Walker says:

    Thanks for your comments and questions, Shaynie.

    You asked: Are you pessimistic of this structure because it seeks to ‘control’ these Internet spheres where (mainly) women congregate?

    I think I’ve become more pessimistic because of the control issues that are not necessarily gender-related although they certainly can be.

    My own fandom has always had a cordial, respectful, reciprocal relationship with the original creators of the series. They shared information with us; we were there to support their efforts to revive the series whenever they needed us. Everyone knew his/her place even though those places occasionally changed and overlapped.

    Now that TPTB — producers and more importantly, marketers —have discovered the power of fandom, I think many of them would like to control it —mold it, guide it, strongly influence it —because there’s nothing scarier than an unpreditable audience that thinks for itself.

    It reminds me of how PR folks conceive of the press (I’m a working journalist too): as a hungry beast that needs to be tamed and guided because it can turn on you and results won’t be pretty.

    Some producers, especially those with personal roots in fandom or at least, fannish perspectives, are more savvy in their dealings; some are simply clumsy and obvious.

    But I do think there is a lack of understanding on the part of both pro folks and fans about how the other community functions. What I’m seeing is less the respectful, reciprocal relationships of the past and more misunderstandings. We’ll probably have to endure a period of conflict and misunderstandings before we arrive at some place that is mutually satisfying for everyone. I’m not convinced that all-out resistance is the answer, but I would not like to see fandom colonized either.

  6. Derek: I appreciate your thoughts on these points — and agree completely that any absolute binary (whether male/female or hardware/text) is a dangerous red herring when it comes to grasping media creation in all its complexity. As I said, my post was in the devil’s-advocate mode; sort of writing it out to hear how it sounded.

    In answer to your question, I haven’t yet published any blueprint-fandom research (though it’s a chapter in the book proposal I’m working on this summer!). For all the reasons you mention, the 70s were a fascinating period in the formation of Trek fandom specifically and media fandom overall; kind of a post-big-bang-cloud in which the various particles and forces of contemporary media fandom were coalescing.

    I’m especially intrigued by your picture of an alternative reality in which Trek fandom would be “dominated in the mainstream by narrative exploration (and even experimentation) rather than gearhead design fetishizing.” While I like the egalitarian flavor of this scenario, I’d argue that design-oriented fandom offers significant (and, to corporate owners, highly attractive) synergistic linkages to tie-in properties such as model kits, action figures, wargames of the pencil-and-paper as well as computerized variety, props, toys, costumes, stickers, etc. The inherently *visual* nature of design-oriented fandom, that is, gives it an advantage in transmedia replication, slotting its products (whether fan- or officially-made) into certain immediately recognizable templates and, hence, drawing on and expanding the brand. Design-oriented materials skew more toward the canonical and less toward the transgressive — unless we allow for the possibility of “slashing” the Enterprise or the Tricorder, in which case, no problem, you’ve just come up with something else to market! In short, design-oriented materials are ripe for commodification (and here I’ll plug Alan Shapiro’s book Technologies of Disappearance, in which he discusses the Trek franchise’s “quasi-viral” code of replication through product tie-ins).

    For these reasons, I would suggest that the gearhead mentality quickly came to enjoy a privileged spot in the swarm of Trek creativity; and that, in fact, the technical components of Trek’s diegesis were much more important to the franchise’s longevity and reproduction than the utopian quality of Roddenberry’s vision (which tends to get the credit).

    Again, great discussion; many thanks to both of you!