Before Picard, if you were bald, society was going to hold you back.
I’m not sure why short people still were getting high powered jobs in society while the bald men were getting shoved to the back of the bus of corporate America; but they were. A 1995 Playboy survey of what women weren’t looking for in a mate found “being bald” as the most mentioned phrase. Bottom line? Bald men were vilified right up there with Hitler and Jared from Subway.
Then Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered.
Enter Jean Luc Picard. A cultured, well-spoken, strong leader with some kind of European accent that made such phrases as “the line must be drawn….here” sing like the most lyrical of lyrics. He could play the flute, was a connoisseur of fine wines, was skilled with some weapon-stick thingie that the writers never specifically named, and could negotiate his way out of a paper bag with a look, a wink, and a smile.
Ah, culture. He had so much of it, it was coming out of his ears.
James T. Kirk, on the other hand, is known for three key acts of stupidity in the world of Trek. He slept with a green woman, let his ship get overtaken by fuzzy orbs that look like Ewoks’ shit, and spoke with the kind of staccato rhythm that made him sound like an uncultured backwoods hick.
There was a reason the original Star Trek was cancelled, and another reason why ST:TNG was the basis of all the Trek spinoffs that followed in its wake. There’s a reason that January will bring us a new Trek series on CBS All Access starring a familiar European culture-star.
That reason is Jean Luc Picard.
Bring on the Holo Deck, the tea, the flutes and the wine. Bring on the sideways glances of menace and the camaraderie of Data and Number One. Bring on a dog and a vineyard for all I care, as long as Jean Luc Picard is there in the center of it all.
Because Jean Luc Picard has always been my Captain and he always will be.
Heck, the dude’s my interstellar homeboy, and I am happy to admit it here and now.
[Insert calming flute music, here.]