Are You of the Body?

My fellow Trekkers will recognize the reference in the title. It’s the question that the brainwashed people of Beta III ask each other when anything seems amiss. Until, that is, Captain Kirk and the Men in Tights come calling.


Kirk performs his usual denial-of-service attack on the planet’s controlling computer, causing its avatar to have a bad hair day.


And all, ultimately, is well, despite yet another gross violation of the Prime Directive.

But other than a trip down Memory Alpha, what is my point? I had it here somewhere…

The other day, an acquaintance saw my library. She asked me why I don’t just get an i-Paddle, or whatever the latest gadget is. I had my Samuel T. Cogley, Esq. moment, as I always do when asked such questions. You remember Samuel T. Cogley, right?


He’s the lawyer who defends Kirk in “Court Martial.” He also has physical books, despite having been given a computer with lots of stored files. Like Cogley, I love the feel of a printed book. I love the pages that I can turn at my own speed, not what the machine allows. I love being able to go directly where I wish and to write a comment there. And I love the fact that some evil corporation can’t delete my books when it concludes that I’ve had them too long or haven’t paid enough for them yet.


But as a writer who would very much like it if you’d buy my book, I have to accept that the world has changed. People today want electrowhizbangs. They want things with power switches and screens.

And that’s the essence of freedom. You can choose whatever form of my book you want to read. Er, um, you can choose whatever form you wish for the books that you read. As an author, I just want you reading. It’s good for the business, regardless of the format you select. Yes, you’re free not to read, but don’t expect to remain free for long if you don’t. If you are reading, you escape being a mindless drone.

But perhaps those are enough Star Trek references for one article.

Crossposted on English 301: Reading and Writing.

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