Art Sparker made this Star Trek badge for my 50th birthday.
"Did I miss something in the thirty years I've known you?" Stefalala asked me on the phone last night. "Did you ever want to be president?"
No, I didn't. My political ambitions are pretty much met by walking down the street to cast my vote every couple years or so.
I felt like a failure after watching 8 episodes of The West Wing (in three days) not because I want to be a success in its story world but because I'd wandered into the wrong story.
We're all living out some story or another, running several story lines at once, really.
The "politics is the only game that matters" story line is not mine. It's my father's, the political scientist, the guy who told me he was disappointed in me.
No wonder I felt like a failure, entering into a story that shares that pov.
I run a little test sometimes, to see how stories intersect:
I google "_______ + Star Trek."
The only match that showed up when I plugged in "West Wing" was this clip from WW where Josh tells a new White House staffer she can't wear her Star Trek pin to work because Trekkies are not fans, they're fetishists. Aaron Sorkin even manages to insult her gender.
I think he's onto something: The two story worlds don't play well together.
When I watch Star Trek, I feel like engaging in the pursuit of excellence.
When I watch The West Wing, I feel like going into protective hedgehog mode.
The way I see it, it's important to create or claim stories that help us become the heroes of our own real lives, and that help us to listen to one another's stories, without needing to take them on as our own.
So, I feel enfeebled watching WW?
Easy solution: don't watch it.