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- Sun, May 3, 2015, 1:52pm (USA Central)
Far Beyond the Stars
Good episode on a meta level concept that should have been explored more. It's a slow episode of course, but it holds some honest poignant social commentary issues at heart.
It's a logical move to explore racism in this show and I wish they had taken on the challenge even earlier to get a better connection, maybe draw parallels between human historical racism to how the characters perceive one another. We know bajorans have prejudices against Cardassians, vice versa too.
Racism is not dead in fiction or factual universe (replace a human ethnic or skin tone group with an alien like Klingon, Cardassian, or Bajoran, same difference).
For those who say Star Trek was made to rise above such issues, look no further than to Gene Roddenberry's TOS with overt racial commentary as well, (think of the anger and resentment of the Officer in the classic episode "Balance of Terror" against Spock over the Romulan connection to the Vulcans) or something simpler like the part comedic DS9 "Take me out to the Holosuite", which reverse the racial prejudices.
A better ending to this show might have been a common peace reached between everyone and an end to interstellar prejudice (Bajoran vs. Cardassians, Solids vs. Founders, and so on).
Alas, the episode opens doors the writers did not go down, perhaps TV can only reflect our own society up to the point of contention, because we as a society have not solved our own racial issues, merely hide it beneath political correctness and gentler language.
- Sun, May 3, 2015, 5:12am (USA Central)
Loud as a Whisper
I mostly just like watching Howie Seago sign. It's (mostly?) ASL. I'm not sure if the signs I don't recognize are because "I learned sign language from someone with a small vocabulary because her parents were abusive little shits" or because Howie's tweaking ASL to make it "futuristic".
He almost never goes anywhere near the upper half of his face, and that's... weird. Like the sign for "listen" just seemed off to me.
I liked is sign for Ramatis, his planet. It's the ASL letter "r", inside a planet. Clever!
- Sun, May 3, 2015, 2:56am (USA Central)
Sorry, but the child actors sucked (as usual) EXCEPT for the actor playing Picard. I don't really care about his inflection (which I had no problem with anyway).
You have to ignore the silliness in this episode to enjoy it, and I think most Trek fans don't have a problem with that - silliness has been part of Trek since TOS.
- Sun, May 3, 2015, 12:13am (USA Central)
After watching this, I flipped back to Season 2 of Babylon 5. This is almost like an episode of Babylon 5 made around the same time, a certain foreshadowing of the future by the lead characters from a very powerful "mystical alien" power (Vorlon vs. Prophets). I get how the two series have comparisons between each other, because it actually has merit in this area at least.
The Locusts obviously represent the coming Dominion war, going to Cardassia foreshadows the destructive nature that such things will bring to Cardassians, nearly resulting in their destruction.
I wish they could have continued on pushing this path in the series, trying to blend religion, war, and science all together into a cohesive storyline (the next attempt was horrible). Too bad Bajor never joins the federation officially in the show, a major point of contention I would have wished they'd resolved at the end of the Dominion war.
The "non-canon" trek novels however do give me some solace that at least in one version of history Bajor will join the federation.
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 8:00pm (USA Central)
So, where was Kes? If this happened before Seven joined the crew then that means this was during the time when Kes was the nurse. Yet we see Tom running around as Doc's assistant.
Chronologically incorrect. Whether she would have been able to perform the procedure or not, she should haven been there.
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 7:04pm (USA Central)
Tricia: "I think the thing that bothered me most, and this might seem trivial, but it was the first scene with Naomi Wildman's daughter. Harry talked to her, and Janeway patted her on the head... But they basically decided that her life was inconsequential. Yes maybe Naomi's life would have followed the same path, and she would have met the same guy and gotten pregnant at the same time - but what are the odds?"
About the same odds as her getting pregnant with the same child: i.e. zero over infinity. It would be a DIFFERENT PERSON; that daughter we saw at the opening scene was GONE.
Not even history, but WIPED from history entirely; never existed, never would.
And the same goes for everyone and everything else affected by such a monumental event as destroying the Borg queen, hub and conduit, along with Voyager returning; it would make Nero's destruction of Vulcan look like a picnic in terms of lives erased and altered.
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 6:52pm (USA Central)
Voyager was a bad series-premise to begin with (i.e. More "Wizard of Oz" than Star Trek) and "Endgame" was just Dorothy clicking her heels.
Even if Admiral Janeway was senile or something, what about CAPTAIN Janeway so readily breaking the Temporal Prime Directive? By cooperating with this plan, she'd be just as guilty.
A much better plot would have been Captain Janeway refusing her older self's assistance, and saying she was ashamed of what she had become, to want to play God and destroy the timeline for her own purposes.
But then, Janeway never cared much for regulations, since she violated the Prime Directive from square 1, in the pilot episode, by interfering in the Delta Quadrant where she had no authority rather than obeying her priority to the Federation by protecting her ship and her crew. This shows that she felt herself to be above the law, and able to violate orders with impunity if she thought she had a good reason.
This was directly against the philosophy of Star Trek: such as in "The Doomsday Machine," when Spock accepts Decker's assertion of authority under regulations, when on Voyager he'd just give him a Vulcan Neckpinch.
The moral: you can't break the law just because you think you have a good reason.
But that's all Janeway ever did-- however to add insult in injury, in one episode she badmouthed the TOS crew for violating them all the time, snarkily sneering "they'd get kicked out of Starfleet in a second today."
I'm sorry, didn't Spock expressly tell McCoy there was nothing he could do about Decker's taking over under regulations, even at certain death to the ship?
Didn't Kirk sacrifice his own life, and his crew obeyed, to avoid violating his oath in "Bread and Circuses"?
No, the writers of Voyager were just smug and arrogant... and it showed; that's why the franchise went "prequel" with Star Trek: Enterprise... and accordingly, downhill.
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 2:49pm (USA Central)
I really enjoy the scenes of Crusher on her own, especially her conversations with the computer, but the entire concept of the traveler, people's minds making things possible in the physical universe, Wesley doing calculations with his eyes closed, are just absolute twaddle. Pure unadulterated nonsense that was at home in season one, but now that TNG has become consistently good it is beyond me why they chose to resurrect this half baked concept.
God I feel better.
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 1:44pm (USA Central)
It's getting tiring that they keep making Vulcans looks terrible, now being portrayed as bigots for their anti-miscegenation views. Vulcans are/were one of the most beloved aliens on Trek, and Enterprise is just angering long-time Trek fans with this mistreatment. Another reason why fans started to abandon the show in the second season.
The Tholilan ships were cool, but was there ever any follow-up with them? The plot was more entertaining than usual, but no resolution at the end was kind of frustrating.
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:14am (USA Central)
[SPOILER ALERT: The following are the final paragraphs of ”Star Maker”: Chapter XVI ― Epilogue: Back To Earth, where Stapledon connects his thoughts along the work with the times he wrote in (1937).]
“And the future? Black with the rising storm of this world's madness, though shot through with flashes of a new and violent hope, the hope of a sane, a reasonable, a happier world. Between our time and that future, what horror lay in store? [...]
It seemed that in the coming storm all the dearest things must be destroyed. All private happiness, all loving, all creative work in art, science, and philosophy, all intellectual scrutiny and speculative imagination, and all creative social building; all, indeed, that man should normally live for, seemed folly and mockery and mere self-indulgence in the presence of public calamity. But if we failed to preserve them, when would they live again?
How to face such an age? How to muster courage, being capable only of homely virtues? How to do this, yet preserve the mind's integrity, never to let the struggle destroy in one's own heart what one tried to serve in the world, the spirit's integrity?
Two lights for guidance. The first, our little glowing atom of community, with all that it signifies. The second, the cold light of the stars, symbol of the hypercosmical reality, with its crystal ecstasy. Strange that in this light, in which even the dearest love is frostily assessed, and even the possible defeat of our half-waking world is contemplated without remission of praise, the human crisis does not lose but gains significance. Strange that it seems more, not less, urgent to play some part in this struggle, this brief effort of animalcules striving to win for their race some increase of lucidity before the ultimate darkness.
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:13am (USA Central)
”In vain my fatigued, my tortured attention strained to follow the increasingly subtle creations which, according to my dream, the Star Maker conceived. Cosmos after cosmos issued from his fervent imagination [...]
At length, so my dream, my myth, declared, the Star Maker created his ultimate and most subtle cosmos, for which all others were but tentative preparations. [...]
I strained my fainting intelligence to capture something of the form of the ultimate cosmos. With mingled admiration and protest I haltingly glimpsed the final subtleties of world and flesh and spirit, and of the community of those most diverse and individual beings, awakened to full self-knowledge and mutual insight. But as I strove to hear more inwardly into that music of concrete spirits in countless worlds, I caught echoes not merely of joys unspeakable, but of griefs inconsolable. For some of these ultimate beings not only suffered, but suffered in darkness. Though gifted with full power of insight, their power was barren. The vision was withheld from them. They suffered as lesser spirits would never suffer. Such intensity of harsh experience was intolerable to me, the frail spirit of a lowly cosmos. In an agony of horror and pity I despairingly stopped the ears of my mind. In my littleness I cried out against my maker that no glory of the eternal and absolute could redeem such agony in the creatures. Even if the misery that I had glimpsed was in fact but a few dark strands woven into the golden tapestry to enrich it, and all the rest was bliss, yet such desolation of awakened spirits, I cried, ought not, ought never to be. By what diabolical malice, I demanded, were these glorious beings not merely tortured but deprived of the supreme consolation, the ecstasy of contemplation and praise which is the birthright of all fully awakened spirits? There had been a time when I myself, as the communal mind of a lowly cosmos, had looked upon the frustration and sorrow of my little members with equanimity, conscious that the suffering of these drowsy beings was no great price to pay for the lucidity that I myself contributed to reality. But the suffering individuals within the ultimate cosmos, though in comparison with the hosts of happy creatures they were few, were beings, it seemed to me, of my own, cosmical, mental stature, not the frail, shadowy existences that had contributed their dull griefs to my making. And this I could not endure.
Yet obscurely I saw that the ultimate cosmos was nevertheless lovely, and perfectly formed; and that every frustration and agony within it, however cruel to the sufferer, issued finally, without any miscarriage in the enhanced lucidity of the cosmical spirit itself. In this sense at least no individual tragedy was vain.
But to me this mystical and remote perfection was nothing. In pity of the ultimate tortured beings, in human shame and rage, I scorned my birthright of ecstasy in that inhuman perfection, and yearned back to my lowly cosmos, to my own human and floundering world, there to stand shoulder to shoulder with my own half animal kind against the powers of darkness; yes, and against the indifferent, the ruthless, the invincible tyrant whose mere thoughts are sentient and tortured worlds.
Once more? No. I had but reverted in my interpretative dream to the identical moment of illumination, closed by blindness, when I had seemed to spread wing to meet the Star Maker, and was struck down by terrible light. But now I conceived more clearly what it was that had overwhelmed me. I was indeed confronted by the Star Maker, but the Star Maker was now revealed as more than the creative and therefore finite spirit. He now appeared as the eternal and perfect spirit which comprises all things and all times, and contemplates timelessly the infinitely diverse host which it comprises. The illumination which flooded in on me and struck me down to blind worship was a glimmer, so it seemed to me, of the eternal spirit's own all-penetrating experience.
It was with anguish and horror, and yet with acquiescence, even with praise, that I felt or seemed to feel something of the eternal spirit's temper as it apprehended in one intuitive and timeless vision all our lives. Here was no pity, no proffer of salvation, no kindly aid. Or here were all pity and all love, but mastered by a frosty ecstasy. Our broken lives, our loves, our follies, our betrayals, our forlorn and gallant defenses, were one and all calmly anatomized, assessed, and placed. True, they were one and all lived through with complete understanding, with insight and full sympathy, even with passion. But sympathy was not ultimate in the temper of the eternal spirit; contemplation was. Love was not absolute; contemplation was.”
― In Chapter XV ― The Maker And His Works: 3. The Ultimate Cosmos And The Eternal Spirit
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:12am (USA Central)
[Does the following sound familiar?]
”In his maturity the Star Maker conceived many strange forms of time. For instance, some of the later creations were designed with two or more temporal dimensions, and the lives of the creatures were temporal sequences in one or other dimension of the temporal "area" or "volume." These beings experienced their cosmos in a very odd manner. Living for a brief period along one dimension, each perceived at every moment of its life a simultaneous vista which, though of course fragmentary and obscure, was actually a view of a whole unique "transverse" cosmical evolution in the other dimension.
In one inconceivably complex cosmos, whenever a creature was faced with several possible courses of action, it took them all, thereby creating many distinct temporal dimensions and distinct histories of the cosmos. Since in every evolutionary sequence of the cosmos there were very many creatures, and each was constantly faced with many possible courses, and the combinations of all their courses were innumerable, an infinity of distinct universes exfoliated from every moment of every temporal sequence in this cosmos.
In some creations each being had sensory perception of the whole physical cosmos from many spatial points of view, or even from every possible point of view. In the latter case, of course, the perception of every mind was identical in spatial range, but it varied from mind to mind in respect of penetration or insight. This depended on the mental caliber and disposition of particular minds. Sometimes these beings had not only omnipresent perception but omnipresent volition. They could take action in every region of space, though with varying precision and vigor according to their mental caliber. In a manner they were disembodied spirits, striving over the physical cosmos like chess-players, or like Greek gods over the Trojan Plain.”
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:11am (USA Central)
”According to the myth that my mind conceived when the supreme moment of my cosmical experience had passed, the Star Maker at length entered into a state of rapt meditation in which his own nature suffered a revolutionary change. [...]
[...] his attitude to his creatures was very different from what it had been for any other cosmos. For he was neither cold to them nor yet simply in love with them. In love with them, indeed, he still was; but he had seemingly outgrown all desire to save them from the consequences of their finitude and from the cruel impact of the environment. He loved them without pity. For he saw that their distinctive virtue lay in their finitude, their minute particularity, their tortured balance between dullness and lucidity; and that to save them from these would be to annihilate them.”
― In Chapter XV ― The Maker And His Works: 2. Mature Creating
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:10am (USA Central)
”It seemed to me that the Star, my Maker, must surely stoop to meet me and raise me and enfold me in his radiance. For it seemed to me that I, the spirit of so many worlds, the flower of so many ages, was the Church Cosmical, fit at last to be the bride of God. But instead I was blinded and seared and struck down by terrible light.
It was not only physical effulgence that struck me down in that supreme moment of my life. In that moment I guessed what mood it was of the infinite spirit that had in fact made the cosmos, and constantly supported it, watching its tortured growth. And it was that discovery which felled me.
For I had been confronted not by welcoming and kindly love, but by a very different spirit. And at once I knew that the Star Maker had made me not to be his bride, nor yet his treasured child, but for some other end.
It seemed to me that he gazed down on me from the height of his divinity with the aloof though passionate attention of an artist judging his finished work; calmly rejoicing in its achievement, but recognizing at last the irrevocable flaws in its initial conception, and already lusting for fresh creation.
In my agony I cried out against my ruthless maker. I cried out that, after all, the creature was nobler than the creator; for the creature loved and craved love, even from the star that was the Star Maker; but the creator, the Star Maker, neither loved nor had need of love.
But no sooner had I, in my blinded misery, cried out, than I was struck dumb with shame. For suddenly it was clear to me that virtue in the creator is not the same as virtue in the creature. For the creator, if he should love his creature, would be loving only a part of himself; but the creature, praising the creator, praises an infinity beyond himself. I saw that the virtue of the creature was to love and to worship, but the virtue of the creator was to create, and to be the infinite, the unrealizable and incomprehensible goal of worshipping creatures.
And so there came upon me a strange peace and a strange joy.
Looking into the future, I saw without sorrow, rather with quiet interest, my own decline and fall. [...]
Still probing the future, from the moment of my supreme unwithered maturity, I saw my death, the final breaking of those telepathic contacts on which my being depended. Thereafter the few surviving worlds lived on in absolute isolation, and in that barbarian condition which men call civilized. Then in world after world the basic skills of material civilization began to fail [...]”
― In Chapter XIII ― The Beginning And The End: 3. The Supreme Moment And After
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:09am (USA Central)
”The emotional attitude of the worlds had also changed. The fervor for the establishment of cosmical Utopia had vanished, and with it the fervor for the completion of the spirit's adventure by the fulfilment of knowledge and creative capacity.
Now that extermination seemed inevitable within a comparatively short time, there was an increasing will to meet fate with religious peace. The desire to realize the far cosmical goal, formerly the supreme motive of all awakened worlds, now seemed to be extravagant, even impious. How should the little creatures, the awakened worlds, reach out to knowledge of the whole cosmos, and of the divine. Instead they must play their own part in the drama, and appreciate their own tragic end with godlike detachment and relish.”
― In Chapter XI ― Stars And Vermin: 2. Disaster In Our Galaxy
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:07am (USA Central)
”For us it was heartrending to watch the agony of these worlds. Never did the newly enlightened beings lose their vision of true community and of the spiritual life; but though the vision haunted them, the power to realize it in the detail of action was lost. Moreover, there were times when the change of heart that they had suffered seemed to them actually a change for the worse. Formerly all individuals had been perfectly disciplined to the common will, and perfectly happy in executing that will without the heart-searchings of individual responsibility. But now individuals were mere individuals; and all were tormented by mutual suspicion and by violent propensities for self-seeking.
[...] But in most of these worlds no such escape was possible. Either chaos persisted till racial decline set in, and the world sank to the human, the sub-human, the merely animal states; or else, in a few cases only, the discrepancy between the ideal and the actual was so distressing that the whole race committed suicide.
We could not long endure the spectacle of scores of worlds falling into psychological ruin. Yet the Sub-Galactics who had caused these strange events, and continued to use their power to clarify and so destroy these minds, watched their handiwork unflinchingly. Pity they felt, pity such as we feel for a child that has broken its toy; but no indignation against fate.”
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:06am (USA Central)
”Still more strange, the doomed worlds themselves, though in telepathic communication with the sub-galaxy, made no appeal for help. Victims and spectators alike studied the situation with quiet interest, even with a sort of bright exultation not wholly unlike amusement.
From our lowlier plane this detachment, this seeming levity, at first appeared less angelic than inhuman. Here was a whole world of sensitive and intelligent beings in the full tide of eager life and communal activity. Here were lovers newly come together, scientists in the midst of profound research, artists intent on new delicacies of apprehension, workers in a thousand practical social undertakings of which man has no conception, here in fact was all the rich diversity of personal lives that go to make up a highly developed world in action. And each of these individual minds participated in the communal mind of all; each experienced not only as a private individual but as the very spirit of his race.
Yet these calm beings faced the destruction of their world with no more distress seemingly than one of us would feel at the prospect of resigning his part in some interesting game. And in the minds of the spectators of this impending tragedy we observed no agony of compassion, but only such commiseration, tinged with humor, as we might feel for some distinguished tennis-player who was knocked out in the first round of a tournament by some trivial accident such as a sprained ankle.
With difficulty we came to understand the source of this strange equanimity. Spectators and victims alike were so absorbed in cosmological research, so conscious of the richness and potentiality of the cosmos, and above all so possessed by spiritual contemplation, that the destruction was seen, even by the victims themselves, from the point of view which men would call divine. Their gay exaltation and their seeming frivolity were rooted in the fact that to them the personal life, and even the life and death of individual worlds, appeared chiefly as vital themes contributing to the life of the cosmos. From the cosmical point of view the disaster was after all a very small though poignant matter.”
― In Olaf Stapledon, ”Star Maker” (1937), Chapter IX ― The Community Of Worlds: 5. The Tragedy Of The Perverts
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 11:05am (USA Central)
I invite you to read some excerpts from Olaf Stapledon's ”Star Maker” (1937), one of the greatest, and most philosophical works of sience-fiction ever, which I strongly recommend to the more philosophical-minded of you.
In his hugely ambitious work, Stapledon contemplates creation, the cosmos, the nature of creatures and the created, and their various attitudes when facing the end of their world and their species, across a myriad of worlds and a myriad of universes.
And in the end, he connects the fates of other species in other worlds with ”the rising storm of this world's madness”, as he correctly perceived our own world in 1937.
All the following excerpts are directly related to the philosophical question of ”Dear Doctor”, save one, which I have included for reasons that should be obvious.
Allow me to finish this introduction with a quote from another hugely important work, which I and others have recommended elsewhere here: Stanisław Lem’s ”Solaris” (1961):
“The fate of a single man can be rich with significance, that of a few hundred less so, but the history of thousands and millions of men does not mean anything at all, in any adequate sense of the word.”
When do words―and worlds―lose their meaning? How should we contemplate other peoples’ fates? How shall we contemplate our own?
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 6:58am (USA Central)
Let He Who Is Without Sin...
Mark, you rewatched this episode? ... lol
- Sat, May 2, 2015, 2:21am (USA Central)
Definitely one of my favorite Voyager episodes (these almost always inevitably end up being ones about the Doctor). I even remember thinking back when I watched it during the first airing, before the anti-crew was revealed to be a simulation at the end of the cold opening, "are they doing a mirror universe episode?"
One thing I did always wonder after finishing the whole episode was why the android EMH in the simulation had the same yellow eyes as the Soong-type models. When I thought it was a mirror universe, I figured Starfleet had just forcefully reverse engineered Data (after all, a mirror Picard would never have objected to Maddox's proposal), but as a Kyrian simulation it didn't make much sense as they'd have no knowledge of Terran android technology.
- Fri, May 1, 2015, 8:00pm (USA Central)
So, where are Tuvok, Vorik and that betazoid guy hidden? They weren't on the shuttles, because both shuttles jumped through the worhhole and out of Voyager's reach. They weren't in transporter suspension, because that turned out to be a decoy. They couldn't have been on Voyager, because they would have been found.
I guess the only other explanation is that they hid on a shuttle that used a shield modulation that the Devore couldn't detect. I know it doesn't matter, because no one really cares where Tuvok and the other Voyager telepaths are, but still...
- Fri, May 1, 2015, 7:08pm (USA Central)
Let He Who Is Without Sin...
Forgotten about this little debate for a little while. Only came back to it because I've been re watching some of these episodes lately
@Yanks Stop trying to get another debate going. You know nothing about the sport obviously so just keep it to yourself from now on.
That's a good boy.
- Fri, May 1, 2015, 12:54pm (USA Central)
Whew, thanks Robert :) Now I don't have to write a response -- that pretty much covers it.
I think Gowron is a somewhat well-meaning, pragmatic politician, who frequently gets blinded by his own personal glory -- which has been the biggest sin of TNG-era Klingons since "Heart of Glory." I think he abstractly wants to help Worf out, and is pretty disgusted with how Duras has turned the tables on the House of Mogh the way he has, but he's not about to stick his neck out. His worst behaviour is in DS9, but (spoilers for DS9) it's worth noting that the Klingons aren't entirely wrong about the Cardassians being a threat, or that the Changelings may have infiltrated their ranks; and at the end of season seven I don't think he is *consciously* sabotaging everything in a quest for personal glory, so much as too rigid in his thinking to accept that that is his real primary motivation. Rightful Heir is actually probably the episode that shows off Gowron in the best light -- pragmatic, skeptical, caring about the Empire, a man of some faith who is also no fool. Probably this or By Inferno's Light is the episode which leaves me with the overall most positive impression of the guy.
It *is* true that Gowron doesn't have the authority to reinstate the Mogh family name in Redemption Part I, and it's also true as Robert says that he refused to promise Worf to do so even in exchange for favours. But he certainly had other options. If he really wanted to, he could have gone before the Council and loudly announced that new information has come to light that Worf's discommendation was false, or whatever. It would have been political suicide, but in the interests of The Truth he might well have made an effort to turn the Council around and recognize Worf. I don't blame him for not making Worf's honour the hill he will die on when the Empire is going toward civil war, though.
- Fri, May 1, 2015, 12:30pm (USA Central)
Oh boy, aren't we just putting the whole world to rights here! LOL!
Don't conflate the Right with the Religious Right. The latter is a subset of the former, and I'd say it's a pretty small subset, albeit disproportionately vocal and certainly well organized. I'm pretty right-leaning, although--if I HAD to put a label on myself--more Libertarian than anything else, but I'm also a staunch atheist and anti-theist. Plus, hostility toward atheists is not the preserve of the Right, but cuts across the entire political horseshoe.
Nor should you seek to rationalize the behavior, choices, and priorities of many on the Religious Right. They're incomprehensible to most rational people, even though I understand their motivation, which--in my view, as I explained previously--is kneejerk reactionary paroxism.
As far as the "pushback against modernity," you're confining it merely to technological advances. It's so much more though. Ironically, the terrorist scumbags who look, dress, and smell like creatures that crawled out of a cave this morning for the first time--as they're essaying to emulate their silly "prophet"--have no qualms about using modern weaponry. They clean their teeth with miswak and wipe their ass with sand, in keeping with Muhammad's example, but they have cell phones and R.P.G.s. What a joke...
On a more serious note, I'm one of those people who wish it was the 1930s (minus the Great Depression) or the 1950s. I also sometimes contemplate leaving everything to volunteer at an elephant sanctuary in Africa or something... But I keep schtum about it. The most annoying are those who forever decry modernity and progress but would NEVER give up their electronic devices, the refrigerator, the phone, the automobile, etc. Eff off.
16 years, huh? Yeah, DO let us know how it turns out... - maybe with smoke signals ;)
Take care, buddy...
- Fri, May 1, 2015, 12:18pm (USA Central)
Something about this episode strongly reminded me of child/teen-related episodes of TOS. "Charlie X," "Miri, "The Children Shall Lead," and "The Squire of Gothos," all came to mind. Most of these storylines also dealt with aliens allied with children. Perhaps that's why I felt like I had seen all this before.
None of these episodes are among the best episodes of TOS, but at least TOS had the common sense to portray youngsters as beloning on colonies, planets, or what have you -- as something other than regular passengers on board a starship that is on duty and not merely a traveling space liner.
If Rodenberry had originally wanted the Enterprise to be a small town in space, I'm glad that idea of shipboard families was voted down. It would probably have made TOS feel like a 1960s sci-fi version of The Love Boat. Without getting into the whole "is Starfleet military or not?" debate, it is obvious that the ship faces extreme danger in just about every episode. It seems irresponsible to carry children on board unless they are in the process of being rescued or something like that. Adults can make a choice of undertaking dangerous missions that could bring them into contact with possibly hostile aliens or simply the threat of a Romulan warbird or previously unknown destructive energy field at any given time. Those adults also have the benefit of Starfleet training. To drag along their young children, who can't give their consent to facing danger and who have had no training at Starfleet Academy is NOT AT ALL like riding in car. (Not unless the car in question is being driven in some hyper-dangerous place like the world of Mad Max.)
While I don't have a problem with the quality of the child actors, including in this episode, their presence never seems to make for a great story. In this one in particular, it seems to be the umpteenth time that Picard talks his way into an understanding and grudging peace between curious human explorers and previously-unknown aliens of the energy-based rather than physical variety. Substitute a different captain and that too forms the plot of probably half a dozen TOS episodes.
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