It would kick arse to go to space at all. Going to space in a dustbin would kick arse to a certain degree, if you can survive in hard vacuum. Just to go up there and watch the majestic panorama of the universe, to see both the desert and the tundra at the same time, to go alongside the list of men who have been Outside. Pff, rubbish. Everyone's already seen space. It's not that different to the TV version, just slightly less noisy and slightly more three-dimensional.

But being Captain of the Enterprise would particularly kick arse. It wouldn't kick as much arse as being Freddy Kreuger but it's certainly one toe-poke better than being an underpants thief. And do you know why? Of course you don't, that's why you're reading this.

Actually, something just occurs ... how come no-one, in the entire history of Star Trek, has EVER been killed by exposure to hard vacuum? It's not that uncommon in sci-fi in general, but ... weird. Anyway, onto the reasons.

1. The Captain factor

Digressing for a moment, being Captain of anything kicks arse. You might be in command of Babylon 5 or a garbage steamer, but whether you're ploughing the endless rolling folds of space or the oil-smeared waves of the North Atlantic, there'll always be someone you can order around. Ordering people around is great. That kicks arse on its own. You can act like a complete prick when you're captain. Playing poker, losing badly? "I've decided that I've won!" "You can't do that!" "Yes I can! I'm the Captain!" And being Captain of the Enterprise would kick arse doubly in this area. "I've decided to nuke that settlement with our photon torpedoes." "Why?" "Because I'm the Captain and I can do whatever I bloody well want!"

2. Self-destruct privileges

Of course, pursuing that sort of policy does not a contented workforce make. You'll be facing mutiny before you can say "Klingons wear cornish pasties on their foreheads". With any other ship you'll just have to lump it but on the Enterprise you can just set the self-destruct and leg it in the escape pod, launching all the others as you do, braying loudly through the comlink or whatever they're called. And of course, only the Captain is able to deactivate self-destruct. That's always been a pretty stupid idea, I reckon. What if the captain loses it? What you want to do is make the Captain the only one who can set the doomsday device and make the cancel button open to all comers. And put the cancel button and the start button next to each other, you stupid Hollywood set designers. Honestly.

3. Blow stuff up

Of course, just because you have the power to incinerate whole settlements doesn't mean you SHOULD. Just because, if you gave the order, the entire population of California could be totally wiped off the face of the Earth is no reason to just cock your hat at a jaunty angle, rest one leg over your armrest and do that very thing. That would just be abusing the immense power of an immensely powerful ship. And sure, if the thought did occur, you could wave a hand and press a few buttons, and within a few minutes all that would remain of Velma from Scooby Doo would be a small circular burn mark on the floor. That's no reason to actually tail the Mystery Machine and lock on. But you have to admit, that would KICK ROYAL, CHUNKY, SILKEN, STRAWBERRY FLAVOURED ARSE. Not that I condone slaughtering Californians and annoying cartoon characters. Sure, if I wanted to I could load up an AK47 and do a Columbine ...

4. Snazzy uniforms

Maybe not so much in the original series, but by TNG the Enterprise dress code was kicking supreme arse. Dressing in black on its own is cool for one thing, but the simple addition of a red band meant you could stand in front of the van from the A-Team and be rendered completely invisible. And big black boots always kick arse in both senses of the word. But it's the little things that count. The Starfleet comms badge, if it were a person, would probably dress like a pimp and say things like "Youse keep your hands offa me, bitch!". That's the impression I get, anyway. And those little stud things you put on your collar! While standing in front of the A-Team van you can pretend the birds have shit on it, and piss off Mr. T. I pity the foo who doesn't take every opportunity to piss off Mr. T and get away with it. Why didn't the birds ever shit on Knight Rider? Or any car on TV? It makes no sense. "Please put me in the garage if you're going to bed, Mr. Hasselhoff, the birds shit on me something rotten." Not gonna happen.

Hey, did anyone else notice how much of a digression that last bit was from the original point? That's gotta be a nomination for 'most extreme tangent'.


1. Being picked on

Being the highest-ranking member of crew on one of the most important starships in the universe earns you a lot of street cred (space cred?). However, it also makes you a prime target for the numerous enemies of the Federation. I'm surprised Mr. Picard doesn't spend all his time sitting under his desk with a saucepan on his head, what with all the times he's been kidnapped or tortured or nearly killed. If I were Captain, I'd sleep in guest quarters all the time and convert the ready room to a minibar for the bridge officers. And I'd let the First Officer sit in my chair and wear my uniform from time to time. And maybe I'd put on a ski mask, kidnap him during the night and force him to undergo plastic surgery in order to resemble me. Then I'd look shocked the next morning and blame it on the Romulans. What can I say? I just don't like being tortured.

2. Having to be strong all the time

All your Captains on Star Trek have to be strong-willed, incredibly brave, hardy, very clever and practically immune to serious injury. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's a darn big responsibility. I don't want to have to be strong-willed and brave all the time! When the chips are down and everyone's panicking around me, I don't want to have to always be the one to slap them about! I want my fair share of panicking! I want to run around screaming waving my arms! I want to hide under my desk with a saucepan on my head! At least let me suck my thumb while I'm thinking of an escape route! I graduated from the Academy by being a loser know-it-all, thank you very much. Quite frankly, if I've got to either brave a battlefield and fight my way tooth and nail to safety, or get captured and spend a few weeks lazing around in a POW camp, then maybe I should start eating cold porridge for every meal to get my digestive system used to it.

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