Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Gene Roddenberry

Gene Roddenberry holds a special place in the sacred halls of sci-fi fame and fandom.  Millions upon millions of nerds would have had to obsess over and absolutely pick apart ad nauseum episode by episode some other television show for the past fifty-six years had he not created the space epic that boldly went where no man had gone before, Star Trek.

Roddenberry is one of the elite when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy.  He cooked up an entire universe in his head and told the story of it.  Too often, our imaginations are stifled by the real world.  We conform to societal pressures and don't let the vivid images that swim through our imaginations take flight (I think a fish just became a bird in that analogy, but you understand).  Had he, Tolkien or Lovecraft listened to the mainstream, the people who ridicule those who continue to dream and wonder at the possibilities of the universe even as they grow older, the world would be a darker and far less awesome place.

Were he alive, today would have been Gene Roddenberry's 91st birthday.  So, I decided to celebrate his life the way I hope people might do after I have been released of my mortal coils.  I looked up his Wikipedia page.

Perhaps the most interesting thing I found (and I'm not sure how this fact escaped me up to this point) is that he was a police officer and sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department for just over seven years.  According to the site, his letter of resignation read:

  • I find myself unable to support my family at present on anticipated police salary levels in a manner we consider necessary. Having spent slightly more than seven years on this job, during all of which fair treatment and enjoyable working conditions were received, this decision is made with considerable and genuine regret.

Being a police officer is, of course, a noble profession.  But I respect Roddenberry even more having decided he wanted better for himself and his family.  I respect the hell out of ol' Gene for wanting to following his dream, a dream we should all keep a hold of, to live long and prosper.

No comments:

Post a Comment