The headline for this story over at CBR.com reads, “Star Trek Fan Sues After License Plate Revoked for Being ‘Inappropriate’.” As a Trek fan myself, yours truly would have run with “Star Trek Fan Sues After License Plate Revoked for Being ‘Stupid’.”
In s story that most would assume originated south of the Canada/U.S. border, the unironically named Nick Torller, apparently having found the more traditional go-to vanity license plate NCC1701 already registered to a Manitoba driver, opted instead for a plate reading ASIMIL8 in 2015. Troller framed this with a license plate frame including the messages "We are the Borg" and "Resistance is futile” in a paean to the ST universe badasses.
Apparently, some folks recently hired at Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) have not seen Star Trek: The Next Generation – unfortunate that, as ST:TNG is quite possibly one of the greatest drama series ever produced on U.S. tv – and revoked Troller’s application for the ASIMIL8 plate when he tried to reapply in 2017.
At MPI, the license plate was seen as a provocation to Canada’s native citizens, and MPI VP Ward Keith went so far as to issue a harsh, heads-will-roll statement after the application for the plate was denied. “We are considering serious disciplinary action for those who were involved and contributed to approving a plate that is so obviously inappropriate … This is a very serious lack of judgment for those who were involved in doing the research and/or approving the plate for issue.”
Except CFLpass believes that Troller, despite the unfortunate moniker, had no Borg-like malevolence toward any of his fellow citizens. We’d guess he’s just some Trek geek with a bad sense of humor and unawareness that his stretch of a joke would be lost on most. To put it in terms that Troller might understand:
And why? Because it’s a bad joke, dude. Seriously, what’s Troller going to do next? Get a bumper sticker which reads “Your cultural and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own”? Just off the top of CFLbets’ head, several better ideas come to mind. How about SPOCK, PROSPER, Q-WHO, KIRKRLZ, JTKirk, KHAAAAN, NCC1254 (number of Captain Georgiou’s USS Shenzhou in Star Trek Discovery), WERBORG, DEFIANT, ENGAGE or MKEITSO?
So why has this story returned to sci-fi news land? Responding in a way that most would assume originated south of the Canada/U.S. border, Troller has decided to *sue the MPI* for, incredibly enough, “violat[ing] his freedom of expression.”
CFLpass wonders if Troller and representation are expecting a tribunal complete with Federation arbiter, a la the classic “Measure of a Man” -- although we’re fairly certain Jean-Luc Picard wouldn’t touch this game with a 10-lightyear long pole...