Continuing the discussion from On “Kirk drift,” the strange mass cultural misremembering of Captain Kirk:
I was hoping for more information as to the how and why of how this happened, but it was tantalisingly out of reach, always hovering on the edge of my peripheral vision. My personal theory about how “Kirk Drift” happened was that we Trekkies were somewhat at fault: a classic nerd strategy is to show off how smart you are by belittling something you used to love. Many a friend back in the 1980s joked that TOS Kirk was fighting for “the American way”, and how hackneyed he was. Without the Internet and episodes only on when some station would show them in syndication, these holier-than-thou nerds were free to poo-poo his supposed womanising, his brashness, and so on, as we couldn’t just “roll the tape”. They weren’t even available on VHS until later, and by that time, the legend had sunk in.
Now, why do I bring this up? Well, because I think the factor that led to Kirk Drift was that it happened under the radar. No Snopes back then, and it was a subculture. By the time Trek was mainstream again, and people invented the term Trekker to avoid the stigma of Trekkie, the legends had become anchored. I feel it was the hardcore fans who kicked it off, not the non-geeks belittling the show, as they did not care.