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Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate dream has touch of 'Star Trek' remake

I'm a little bummed out by the Star Trek remake. It's a pretty film, and it was fun to see the gang again, but the story disappoints. Naturally, this brings me to the topic of Gov. Charlie Crist.

To recap the film: Nasty Tattooed Guy comes back in time and alters the universe. Kirk grows up a delinquent; Spock is in charge of the Enterprise and has a thing goin' with Uhura; the whole danged planet of Vulcan gets blowed up real good. I got your "logic" right here, Vulcans.

Despite an utter lack of intellectual discipline, judgment or maturity, Kirk somehow gets to be pres — I mean, captain — does a lot of jumping around and sloganeering, and fixes everything by busting up the bad guy's WPD (weapon of planetary destruction), which — dare I say it? — drops like a rock. Ta da! Life is simple! Roll credits.

Sheesh! Give me the old Kirk, learning that he needed both his "good" and "evil" sides, and who was forced to sacrifice The Woman He Loved to save history. Give me Jean-Luc Picard, even, whose brain got fried into post-traumatic stress syndrome by the alien Borg, and had to get shocked out of his Capt. Ahab act by Alfrie Woodard.

But I digress. The topic is the governor of Florida. Charlie Crist occupied the command chair just long enough to decide that he actually wants to serve in the Federation Senate instead, where he can spend his days cheerfully not paying attention to committees, attending cocktail parties and going harrumph.

It was never Crist's thing to boldly explore strange new worlds and embrace their complex ambiguity. Life was simple, whether it was his first big idea as a legislator (chain gangs for prisoners) or a quick fix for property taxes that didn't fix anything, or his own insouciant version of "bring it on" by saying "good riddance" to State Farm when it pulled out of the state.

He was at his best as Florida's attorney general. Like the pre-hooker version of Eliot Spitzer, he used his office as a champion for consumers and utility customers. He did the right thing, and if it was for politics, who cared?

But being attorney general is simpler than being governor. It is easier to tell Good Guys from Bad Guys, even when the Bad Guys don't have tattooed faces.

The Republican High Command has already embraced Crist as the next U.S. senator. Democrats are basically extras wearing red shirts, which, as any fan knows, means they get killed. His Republican rival is Marco Rubio, now cast as Spock in Act I, brilliant, logical, and second fiddle.

So Capt. Kirk is running his Senate campaign from the bridge while the Economy Monster looms in the viewscreen, little-noticed. The Doomsday Hurricane Device is somewhere out there in the quadrant and sooner or later we gotta do something about the Planet of the Inequitable Tax Structure. Meanwhile the university system has run out of legislators to hire and its orbit is degrading, and Scotty is yelling, "Cap'n! She can't take much more!"

But Uhura isn't opening any hailing frequencies because she is figuring how she can be captain and Spock is quoting from Starfleet Conservative Regulations like that's gonna stop Kirk, and Chekov and Sulu have decided what the heck, they'd like to run for new jobs, too.

The Nasty Tattooed Guy appears on the screen and says, "I demand to speak to your leader." But he has to wait for an answer.

Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate dream has touch of 'Star Trek' remake 05/13/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 14, 2009 11:50am]

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