Sunday, 30 April 2017

i am locutus of borg—resistance is futile

Via Gizmodo’s io9, we learn that a committed Star Trek fan’s vehicle insurance policy has been revoked after receiving complaints that his personalised vanity plates “ASIMIL8” is offensive to aboriginal peoples—despite the fact that it is clearly a reference to the cybernetic, Borg collective being framed by the other Borg catch-phrases “We are the Borg” and “Resistance is Futile.”
At first it might seem that people are being too sensitive, trigger-happy but Canada and the area of Manitoba in particular where the driver (also suspiciously named “Troller”) lives is particularly fraught with a history of indigenous people being forced to give up their culture and way of life and assimilate to the ways of European settlers and could despite the owner’s intent be interpreted as a political dog-whistle.  Canada is also embracing immigration, and those not familiar with the franchise might also be getting mixed messages.  It is better, I think, to err on the side of no offense given nor taken.  What do you think? I certainly hope there’s no broader movement afoot to misappropriate the Borg as a symbol of intolerance—I am confident that the Star Trek community wouldn’t allow that.