We’re not Klingon
And today is not a good day to die
by: R. Bruce Thomas
(no major spoilers)
I had no idea what I was going to write about this month and then my wife and I just watched the series finale of Star Trek: Picard. This three-season series focused on Captain Jean-Luc Picard in his latter years and featured characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the series that ran from 1987 to 1994, as the first follow-on TV series to Star Trek (The Original Series) that was on TV from 1966-1969.
Any fan of Star Trek knows that Starfleet is an inclusive universe featuring a diverse cast which, over time, incorporated various other species that were encountered as humans spread out across the galaxy. In the 1967 episode entitled Errand of Mercy, the antagonistic Klingon race first appeared. Being a warring race, Klingons felt that dying in battle over a good cause would be a good death and lead to a cherished afterlife in Stovokor (Klingon Heaven).
The expression used to indicate this willingness to achieve a good death was “Today is a good day to die.” While Klingons on Star Trek popularized the saying in modern culture, the string of words actually has roots going back at least to Crazy Horse, a First Nations fighter in mid-1800's America.
Actor Michael Dorn portrayed the Klingon character Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation and on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well as in four Star Trek movies and the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. Worf is a popular character which makes the fact that he has appeared in more Star Trek episodes than anyone else seem appropriate.
I had to laugh when, in the Picard finale, Worf turned the death-wish catchphrase on its head when he said to Riker “There was a moment today where I was worried we might actually survive.”
And this brings us to motorcycling.
Already this year we have had a couple riders lose their lives in Alberta. All were single-vehicle accidents and all may have been preventable. I'm fairly certain that none of the riders awoke that day and said “Today is a good day to die.”
So, what can the rest of us do? I've previously mentioned that we should try to live according to my favorite Neil Peart riding quote - “whatever happens, it must not be my fault”. I'll follow that with a Yoda quote - “No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Take it easy as you get back into riding this year. Make sure your bike, gear, and body are properly prepared for riding. Take a refresher course. Head to a vacant parking lot and practice emergency maneuvers.
Most of all, get out and ride, safely.