I first heard of the death of James Doohan (who played Scotty on Star Trek) on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Sure there’s the Supreme Court nomination, White House scandals, and other news, but they still devoted time for a tribute to James Doohan. That is just one small measure of his importance to our culture.
This was certainly not the most significant tribute which Doohan received during his life. For example, Neil Armstrong has credited him for giving him the inspiration to go into space. Scotty died on July 20, the anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon.
As Scotty, Doohan provided an example that there is no problem which could not be fixed (even if we didn’t understand all the technobabble). Star Trek provides a welcome contrast to the problems we face today. In the Star Trek world, as opposed to Bush World, reason and science always triumphs over religious fanaticism. We see a philosophy of non-intervention in the affairs of others rather than senseless wars, and support for freedom over tyranny and injustice.