partments, literature departments, writers-rnand artists- and poets-in-residence,rnand so forth. Outside the universities,rnwhat passes as popular culture manifestsrnitself in television, films, journalism,rnpublishing, music, museums, galleries,rnand amusement parks, all of which arernbureaucratic and professionalized inrnform, most of which are directly or indirectlyrndependent on the state, and all ofrnwhich claim to provide for the people arnculture that is so superior to what thernpeople can produce for themselves thatrnthey don’t need to worry about producingrntheir own.rnMoreover, the incessant message ofrnthis culture is a thematic developmentrnof the conceit Mr. Lichtenstein revealed.rnMy personal favorite example of it isrnStar Trek, though any number of otherrntelevision series also illustrate the pattern.rnStar Trek, however, has been plasteredrnon the screens of American livingrnrooms for some 30 years, and despite thernvapidity of its plots and characters thernshow seems destined to attain at least asrnmuch immortality as paleolithic cavernpaintings. Week after week during thosern30 years, the crew of the starship “Enterprise”rnhas bustled back and forth aboutrnthe universe violating its own laws forbiddingrninterference in other planets’rnbusiness and performing deeds of liberatedrnderring-do. Usually the cosmic conundrumsrnit encounters and speedilyrnresolves are transparent allegorical representationsrnof whatever social crisisrnpreoccupies the real cultural elite at thernmoment. In the 1960’s, racial discriminationrnwas a favorite target of the series,rnlater variegated by the iniquities of war,rnecological catastrophe, sexism, and thernpsychological problems of children whornare disciplined by their parents. Thernconstant butt of Star Trek jokes are thernobsolete customs and sometimes obnoxiousrnbeliefs and habits of 20thcenturyrnman, who is nothing more thanrna metaphor for Mr. Lichtenstein’s Mainernand Montana, and the typical and predictablern”irony” the series inevitably presentsrnis that the monstrous aliens and androidsrnwho populate its east are morernmorally responsible beings than thernbackward humans of either our own timernor the progressive and emancipatedrnworld of the future.rnThe public orthodoxy of the worldrnof Star Trek is virtually identical to thatrnsappy and syrupy credo concocted byrnIs Race the Problem?rnIs the illusion of equality destroying America?rnAn American Renaissance conference, May 28-30rnWhat is the role of race in our nation’s greatestrnproblems — crime, poverty, illegitimacy, immigration, culturalrndecay? The current taboo against honest discussionrnof race makes the search for real solutions impossible.rnPlease join us in Atlanta on Memorial Day weekend (Mayrn28-30) for a conference on the real American dilemma.rnSpeakers will include America’s most original thinkersrnon race: Samuel Francis (contributing editor. Chronicles),rnProf. Michael Levin (City College of New York) JosephrnSobran (syndicated columnist), Jared Taylor (author),rnFr. Ronald Tacelli, S. J. (Boston College).rnFor information, write or call: American Renaissance,rnBox 1674, Louisville, KY 40201 (502) 637-9324rnFrancis Fukuyama in his ill-advised “endrnof history” thesis, though the TV series isrnbetter science fiction. The planet Earthrnand much of the inhabited universe havernbeen unified under a mysterious, omnipotent,rnbut benevolent “Federation,”rnand there seem to be no wars, no politicalrnor social conflicts, and no wants inrnthis warp-speed utopia unified by GlobalrnDemocratic Capitalism gone galactic.rnIndeed, what else does the human racernin the Star Trek cosmos have to do butrnstick its nose into the affairs of otherrnspecies? They can zip about the galaxvrnat velocities faster than light and “beam”rnthemselves from one place to anotherrninstantaneously, and there never seemsrnto be any question of food, clothing,rnmoney, disease, aging, or even of careerrnadvancement in this placid paradise.rnHaving resolved all conceivable materialrnproblems of the human race, the onlyrnwoes that remain for them in the worldrnof Star Trek are those perennially inventedrnby the cultural elite, of which thernEnterprise’s crew is an equally transparentrnrepresentation, and, of course, armedrnwith energy weapons and beameruppers,rnthe elite alwavs solves thesernproblems as quickly and as happily as itrndiscovers them.rnStar Trek represents what the culturalrnelite thinks America and the worldrnshould and would be like if only thernPhilistines would get out of the way andrnlet the Federation (i.e.. Leviathan) spendrntheir money as it wants, and the enduringrnpopularity of the series suggests thatrnno small number of viewers at least unconsciouslyrnshare this vision or have absorbedrnits premises. That, of course, isrnwhat comes of surrendering the productionrnand even the meaning of “popularrnculture” to the elite. Long ago, sometimernbetween the sketching of the paleolithicrncave paintings and the beginningrnof real history in 1965 when the NEArnwas foisted upon us, there used to be arnreal popular culture in America, notrnonly in Maine and Montana but even inrnmetropolitan areas like New York andrnBoston. In that veiled and lost epoch,rnmany Americans played musical instrumentsrninstead of buying recordings producedrnby European musicians andrnJapanese corporations, wrote poetry forrnthemselves instead of puzzling over thinrnvolumes of crippled and bitter verserncranked out by whatever lesbian poetessin-rnresidence New York publishing housesrnhave decided to make a celebrity for arnweek, and acted in and sometimes evenrn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn