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PoliTreks! Barry DeFord and Shashank Avvaru talk politics, religion, and society around the replicator. Along with special guests, we choose to Boldly Go straight into the social, political, and sometimes spiritual underpinnings at the core of Star Trek. In this podcast, we aim to seek out new perspectives, and discover the ways Trek - past and present - can help us better understand the world as it is, and us as we are. We travel at warp speed through worlds, timelines, and dimensions with one mission: make sense of our reality!


Jun 04
PoliTreks #24: PoliTreks of Star Trek 2009
In this Epsiode, Shashank and Barry take a deep dive into the great Kelvin Universe/JJ-verse/soft-reboot/Fast And Furious In Space movie Star Trek, released in 2009 after almost half a decade of no official Trek TV or cinema. We look at our relationship to the movie, cultural perception then and now, character portrayals (both compelling and uncanny), and how for some of us, brought Trek back into our lives in a big way.

Apr 26
PoliTreks #23: Into Darkness
On this episode, Shashank and Barry look into the perhaps often maligned episode of the Kelvin Universe, Star Trek: Into Darkness. This movie is ambitious and revisits major characters from movies past. We discuss it all, it's social and political relevance and how ST:ID reflects its time period very succinctly.

Apr 17
PoliTreks #22: Civilizations (part 2)
On this episode of PoliTreks, Shashank and Barry discuss three infamous civilizations in the Star Trek Universe: the Q Continuum, The Romulan Star Empire, and The Terran Empire. We look to their connections to societies, religions, and regimes in contemporary and historical contexts.

Mar 08
PoliTreks #21: Civilizations
On this episode, Shashank and Barry discuss the possible human inspirations of the alien races of Star Trek. Much has been covered on this, so our hosts try to think outside of the box, or at least in terms of western paradigms.

Feb 05
PoliTreks #20
On this, our maiden voyage of PoliTreks - A (the new 'season'), we look at Villains of Star Trek. This discussion is merely the beginning as Trek has many great portrayals. We also try to bring to the fire villains who may not get as much attention. The news is spicy with, our thoughts on the now ended government shutdown, a hot-take from Barry on Venezuela that may spark some discussion, and a quick nod to the new season of DSC.

Jan 06
PoliTreks #19: Section 25 - DS9 25th Anniversary Celebration
In the news segment of this episode, Barry and Shashank catch you up on current events from the Trek Lens. The main topic is another part of the Section 25 Series in which Shashank and guest host Jamie McGregor discuss twenty five lessons that they've learned from Deep Space Nine.

Dec 07
PoliTreks #18: A Collaboration with Rev Left Radio

Dec 07
PoliTreks #18.1: RLR Methods Devour Themselves
Being that the episode was coming on 2+ hours in length, and the fact that we could not get both interviews on the show in their entirety, we decided to release both episodes back-to-back in a separate release.

Oct 29
PoliTreks #17: DS9 25th Anniversary Celebration (Part 3)
In this, our return from hiatus, we bring you the 25 things we love about DS9. In hour discussion, we range from small detail to major story-centric themes, and add in socio-political elements that stand out. Because it's hard to shut up about DS9, this is one of our longest episodes yet! Enjoy!

Sep 09
PoliTreks #16: Jay Kuo Interview
In this episode, we talk with Mr. Jay Kuo, a member of Team Takei. He is a man of great creativity and talent and we get a chance to get his insights on communication online as it relates to Star Trek and the real world. That, along with the news and some great listener feedback, this is an episode you won't want to miss!

Aug 11
PoliTreks Supplemental #2: STLV 2018

In this, our second supplemental episode, Shashank and Barry are joined by Jamie McGregor to talk about STLV 2018. This is not merely a recap - here we talk the politics of the Con itself, the actors, the shows, and the people going. We dive into contradictions we see about having the convention itself, and the current political climate as it pertains to the message of Star Trek in the Twenty-First Century.

Jul 14
PoliTreks #15: DS9 Dubious Characters
In this episode, Shashank and Barry continue their DS9 25 Anniversary celebration by deep diving the PoliTreks of some of the most dubious characters of the series. In no, particular order, these characters offer a tonal shift in the Star Trek story as it developed through DS9's seven seasons.

Jun 18
PoliTreks #14: On Toxic Fandom in Politics and Star Trek
In this episode, Barry and Shashank discuss, at length, toxic fandoms in the Star Trek Community, and in other communities.

Jun 01
PoliTreks #13: Teaching Trek
In News, Shashank and Barry do their best to stay measured while discussing the case of the 1500 children lost by ICE. Shashank shares a couple of odd poll numbers about some world leaders and Barry reacts. Shashank gives us an update on how his newly adopted puppy, General Zod, is doing.

May 12
PoliTreks #12: DebateTrek - Is Edward Jellico Good?
For our main topic, we have one question: IS EDWARD JELLICO GOOD? In the debut episode of DebateTreks, co-host Barry DeFord takes on TrekRanks host Jim Moorhouse in an epic war of words over the topic of Edward Jellico.

Apr 23
PoliTreks #11: Infinite PoliTreks, Infinite Diversity
In this week's episode, Shashank and Barry sit down for a wonderful chat with Ryder Wilhelm, and Dan Deevy (the founder of Gaaays in Spaaace!) on the experience of being a member of the LGBTQ+ Community within Trek Fandom. This discussion is both entertaining and illuminating and we are sure you will enjoy it!

Apr 08
PoliTreks #10: Section 25 - DS9 Celebration (Part 1)
Section 25 is a series of Politreks episodes celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Mar 23
PoliTreks #9: The PoliTreks of The Wrath Of Khan
Revenge politics, nasty tactics of the righteous, and space guerilla warfare! Shashank and Barry continue their 'PoliTreks Of' Series this time with a perennial favorite, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Join us for a rousing discussion of what political messages come from this movie and what it's real-world contexts and underpinnings can tell us about our society.

Mar 09
PoliTreks #8: The PoliTreks of The Motion Picture
On our eighth episode of PoliTreks, Shashank and Barry delve deep into the political underpinnings of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in the first of our series - 'The PoliTreks Of'.

Feb 16
PoliTreks #7: An Interview With Manu Saadia
For Episode 7, Shashank and Barry get the distinguished pleasure to speak with Manu Saadia, author of 'Trekonomics'. This is the essential book on the discussion of what a 24th Century economy would really look like, socially, politically, and, of course, economically.

Feb 01
PoliTreks #6: Environmentalism in Star Trek IV
In this episode, Shashank and Barry discuss the implications of the now 30+ year-old movie to our environmental situation today, how to approach the different challenges we face, and some the things that both Shashank and Barry have applied to their own life with regard to being stewards of the environment.

Jan 17
PoliTreks #5: Spies in our Starciety (Part 3)
In this, our final part in the Spies In Our Starcity series, Shashank and Barry take a look at the spy as an individual. This time they turn their focus on the venerable Garak!

Dec 20
PoliTreks #4: Spies in our Starciety (Part 2)
In Part 2 of our "Spies In Our Starcity" three-part series, Shashank and Barry talk about Section 31, linking it to historic and contemporary spy agencies. Using DS9 Episodes "Inter Arma Enim" and "Extreme Measures", we compare the CIA, Gestapo, CSUS, ISI methods, make-up, and tactics.

Dec 13
PoliTreks Supplemental #1: WE INTERRUPT THIS PODCAST
The line has been drawn. The sides have been chosen. Shashank and Barry interrupt their regularly scheduled podcast to gush, debate, discuss, speculate about the bombshell announcement that Quentin Tarantino is developing a Star Trek movie. Apple pies, tacos, Kill Bill references and a Tarantinoesque movie pitch all collide in this 30-minute showdown!

Dec 03
PoliTreks #3: Spies in our Starciety (Part 1)
In episode 3 of PoliTreks, Shashank and Barry tackle a perennial theme in Star Trek: spies! This first part of a three-part series, we use the TNG episode 'Face of the Enemy' from season 6 to explore the plight of the reluctant spy - those who have been brought unwillingly into the world of espionage.

Nov 19
PoliTreks #2: A Case for the Traveler
On the second episode of PoliTreks, Shashank states a convincing case for The Traveler, while Barry comes to realize that maybe, just maybe, Shashank may be onto something!

Nov 12
PoliTreks #1: Heroes
The first episode of our brand new podcast series, PoliTreks is here! Hosts Barry and Shashank examine the triumphs and failures of heroes in Star Trek and parallels in our real lives.

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