Outsourcing is destroying our future.
A common enough refrain, especially in these tough economic times. It’s easy to blame other countries when you can’t find work.
But just because the economy is bad doesn’t mean the statement is false.
And I can prove it with three words:
Star Trek: TOS
OK, that last word is an acronym. But it still proves the evils of outsourcing.
What are you talking about? I hear you ask. What does Star Trek: The Original Series have to do with outsourcing? you sputter. Wasn’t it filmed in the US, providing local jobs in the entertainment industry? you feel compelled to point out.
I’m talking about the future, so stop letting facts get in the way and listen.
Gene Roddenberry was a genius. He realized, way back in the 60s, that we were headed inevitably and inexorably towards off-shoring, and he correctly predicted the inescapable end result.
Yes, in Star Trek, the Federation outsourced the manufacture of their uniforms to the slave sweatshops of Orion. Oh sure, they did this via shell companies, middlemen, and alien middlemen who wore shells, all to make themselves feel like they weren’t directly bolstering the slave trade and undermining the human textile industry.
But they were all the same.
And that is Roddenberry’s lasting legacy to us: a clarion call to arms, a desperate warning, subtly delivered to avoid the notice of the all-powerful and unforgiving textile outsourcing industrial complex of the 1960s.
He gave us Captain Kirk’s ever-tearing shirt.
Who among the rabid fans watching the series over and over again hasn’t commented, mentally or aloud, “Why do his shirts tear so easily?”
Because they were outsourced, made by slave labor that just didn’t care how embarrassing, personally or politically, a torn shirt at the wrong moment could be.
This also explains the wide availability of cheap Star Trek uniform costumes, especially evident around Halloween: these Orion scum produce even worse quality knock-offs to sell to the general public despite ‘binding’ contracts that explicitly ban that practice.
It wasn’t just the uniforms that were outsourced, by the way. The Federation also outsourced their stardate system. Which explains why fans have been in a constant state of twisting themselves inside out trying to make sense of the seemingly random numbers thrown at us, episode to episode.
That’s because they were seemingly random numbers. The ‘system’ was cooked up by a company run by Horta drunk on rich mineral deposits that submitted the lowest bid. How in the galaxy are a bunch of sentient rocks high on Zirconium and that sleep for eons supposed to have a calendar that would make sense to ephemeral carbon-based life?
In the 80s, Roddenberry realized his subtle message was in danger of becoming lost, so when he made Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, he had the Federation, finally cognizant of its horrible, unethical failing, move uniform production back to Earth. And look at the snazzy maroon jumpsuits we got.
That’s human (a.k.a. American) manufacturing quality for you!
It is not a coincidence that these new uniforms lasted for near on 50 years, with only minor modification. Until the dark days of the Next Gen ‘pajama’ era began.
I don’t want to go there. Who wears stretchy footie pajamas to explore the galaxy??
So there you have it. If we don’t reverse this dangerous trend of outsourcing, the quality of our clothes will continue to degrade to the point that we’ll give up getting dressed and going outside our homes. And when that happens, we won’t need to keep track of what day it is.
And that’s when the Horta will strike.— And now, a word from our sponsor: me! My book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, is out!