Yes -- "un-future-y." Rachel Maddow actually says things like that, and there are people out there -- and out there, they are -- who consider it charming.
At the end of her MSNBC show Monday, Maddow chatted with sidekick and pop culture reporter Kent Jones about "Star Trek" actor George Takei ("Mr. Sulu") and his partner becoming the first gay couple to compete on "The Newlywed Game."
As might be expected of likeminded liberals, both Maddow and Jones had trouble envisioning Takei as married, same-sex or otherwise --
MADDOW: I have to say, the idea of Mr. Sulu being married is so un-Sulu to me. I mean, I'm really happy that he's married as George Takei, but I think of him as Mr. Sulu and Mr. Sulu could not be married.
JONES: Everyone does. I have a hard time thinking of any of the people on "Star Trek" as married though, right? Spock ...?
MADDOW: It's very un-future-y.
For those unacquainted with the cloying form of discourse known as Maddowspeak, allow me to translate. Based on innumerable cringes I've endured watching Maddow's TV show over the last year, I believe Maddow is saying that marriage represents the antithesis of the future, of hope and possibility. Put another way, what's the point of walking down the aisle if there's no future in it?
Consider the context in which Maddow makes this observation -- in left-wing media celebration of a cultural milestone, that of a gay married couple appearing on a game show. Earlier in the segment, Jones cited a new poll finding that 92 percent of respondents in Iowa say same-sex marriage "had no effect on them whatsoever, none."
But when Maddow described marriage as "very un-future-y", she was referring to marriage overall, not the straight or same-sex versions. And if Maddow's claim is true, it begs the question -- why all the sturm und drang from advocates of gay marriage if marriage itself is a dead end?
I can't speak for Mr. Takei or his partner, but I'll hazard a guess that they don't agree with Maddow's pessimistic assessment -- as shown by their actions. Nor, for that matter, are most Americans inclined to agree, seeing how the prospect of any given person in the US getting married by age 40 is more than 80 percent, according to federal data released in June.
Imagine a married person accompanied by his or her spouse endorsing Maddow's observation at a dinner party with other couples. Is it much of a stretch to envision the spouse of said person giving him or her a kick under the table?
I was never much of a "Star Trek" fan but watched enough episodes to acquire passing familiarity with it. A possible scenario for the show comes to mind. Capt. Kirk is assigned the mission of colonizing a planet that might become a lifeboat for humanity if Earth is rendered uninhabitable.
The only hospitable planet is many light-years away, making future visits uncertain. Those volunteering to colonize the planet are told they may never see Earth again, given the vast distance involved. Without assurance of future contact from home, the colony could perish unless its initial inhabitants increase their number.
If you are Capt. Kirk, who are you hoping will volunteer for this mission? Those also willing to marry, and to raise children. Otherwise, this outpost has no future.