#610 – Nerdy Rules

Yesterday I participated in our church’s annual golf tournament. I play golf about once a year, usually at this very same tournament. I’m not very good at golf and don’t know if I have the time or money to get much better. While I’m not that good at golf, I do know a lot of its rules and etiquette. Golf has a lot of rules and they are always changing. Golf isn’t alone in its numerous rules; some of our favorite nerdclinations are also ruled by rules.

The Prime Directive

StarTrek_UnitedFederationofPlanets_freedesktopwallpaper_1600

A rule that describes itself as the primary rule is not to be trifled with. The Prime Directive is Starfleet’s most foundational principle. It states that Starfleet personnel will not interfere with the internal matters of other cultures or the development of pre-warp species. The Prime Directive is pretty big time, which makes me wonder why Starfleet personnel are always breaking it. Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Archer and I’m sure Janeway (I’m not as knowledgeable about Voyager as the self professed Christian Nerd should be) violated the Prime Directive all the time. Even J.J. Abrams had his Enterprise crew breaking the Prime Directive. I know when Picard chose to break the Prime Directive it was because he listened to his conscience instead of some obligatory rule. I usually agreed with Picard except when he didn’t let those underwear-clad nymphomaniacs execute Wesley in the episode “Justice”.

The Wizarding World

harry-potter-trial

It seemed like Harry Potter was always getting into trouble. I know he was an adolescent boy and they excel at getting into trouble, but I never got into trouble like Harry. The wizarding world had a lot of rules and regulations about the use of magic. A lot of those rules had to do with the use of magic around muggles as well as the use of magic by underage wizards. Unfortunately for Harry, he was an underage wizard who often used magic in front of muggles. Very often those enforcing the rules were blinded by the rules. The reason and context for Harry breaking the rules were often deemed inconsequential, even when he was saving his life and that of his muggle cousin. Even when he wasn’t defending his life, Harry still liked breaking the rules. Maybe some of Harry’s youthful rebelliousness came back to haunt him in the rebelliousness of his own children.

Gremlins

gizmo

The movie Gremlins scared me so much when I was younger. I wanted to watch the movie because Gizmo is one of the cutest things ever. But having to sit through a town full of green, slimy, havoc-causing gremlins was a little too much. There were only two rules for the Mogwai: don’t get it wet and don’t feed it after midnight. The first rule is pretty self-explanatory but the second is a little ambiguous. Technically it’s always after midnight; did a new clock start once the sun came up? And seeing how dangerous the gremlins were, you’d think the Mogwai would have come with some more thorough rules and regulations. Honestly I don’t think the benefits of owning a Mogwai outweigh the consequences of murderous, anarchist lizards.

Rules are important for golf, nerdclinations and our lives with Jesus. Jesus calls us to be obedient and follow the commands of his father. However, we should never elevate God’s laws and commandments above God himself. If we focus on following God and drawing near to him first, then following the rules will happen naturally.

What other nerdy rules would you like to see broken?

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One Response to “#610 – Nerdy Rules”

  1. Well, Picard had a far higher regard for the Prime Directive than the others; and Janeway’s situation was so unique, I can see why she broke it (I’ll take your word on that – I have only watched the series once and don’t plan any rewatches). The Prime Directive, as with many things Trek, is most interesting considered as a reflection of our culture. In the 1960s, it was seen by Kirk as a rule that got in the way of helping people. By the 1980s, it was seen by Picard as an excuse for not helping people.

    I am overstating the case, but not, I think, excessively. This topic is one that has always bothered me about Trek, exactly because the Directive really tends to fluctuate as the story dictates. Some day I will have to do some systematic thinking about it.

    Have a great weekend!

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