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Dusty - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 4:55pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

Excuse the typos...stuck -> stick, minded -> mended, and "what the tractor beam in the picture really was."
Dusty - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 4:50pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

Very interesting, an original idea, impressive use of Continuity that I wish we saw more of on Voyager...but still, what the hell?

The episode had an intriguing first half, with Seven concocting a farfetched but not totally implausible theory about Starfleet directing Janeway to establish a military presence in the Delta Quadrant. As Stephen points out, Chakotay has been betrayed before and I think it's in character for him to be just a little suspicious--enough to ask B'Elanna to delay the mission until he can gather more information.

Everything is going fine so far. It's in the next scene, where Seven then summons Janeway to the lab and tells her a totally different conspiracy theory implicating the Maquis--that this thing completely DERAILS. All of a sudden it's a story about Seven's cortical implant malfunctioning and how her drive to make order out of chaos has her coming up with illogical theories. It's all downhill from there.

What they should have done, IMO, is keep it simple and stuck to the Starfleet theory, have Chaoktay and B'Elanna get suspicious to the point of confronting Janeway, and then sort out the whole thing by convincing Seven she had made a very human mistake: information overload = desperate attempt to make order from chaos = making increasingly illogical connections between disparate facts on less and less evidence. No "cortical implant" technobabble necessary. And above all, they should have thought to explain where the tractor beam in the picture really was and where it came from. (How do you fail to tie up a loose end like that??)

By needlessly complicating the story, they force another contrived resolution and the rift between Chakotay and Janeway is minded before it even happens. It would be almost comical if it didn't represent such a lost opportunity. Two stars for the first half, zero for the second.
$G - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 4:16pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

There are a lot of really good comments here. The only thing I want to add is this:

There's a really good moment between Macet and Picard while watching the tactical overlay of the Phoenix vs. the Card warship and "supply" freighter.

Macet, shocked, asks Picard if his sensors are so advanced they can identify Card registry codes (or something) this far away. Picard admits that, yes, in fact they can. Watch the little pang of defeat on Stewart's face, admitting to a former enemy about this small shift in the balance of power.

Macet is a) probably worried about being busted then and there, but also b) understandably dismayed about Fed technology. Irrelevant of the former, Picard full well knows the implications of the Fed's ID technology. What's worse is that he previously treated it so casually, so benignly, and probably realizes why the Feds aren't entirely blameless in Cardassian paranoia. Hell, look at what Maxwell did, probably using that technology to aid him. Stewart is an absolute pro, wow.

4 stars for me. Excellent episode, maybe the best from S4 so far (narrowly beating "Reunion"). Maybe even better than S3's own cold war gem, "The Defector" too.
William B - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 12:15pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

@Cleopaddera: I generally agree; in TNG at least (I haven't rewatched DS9 lately), I interpret Gowron as decent for the most part. The "problem" is that Gowron acknowledges political necessities in a way that Worf largely doesn't. I like the interpretation of Gowron as Worf's shadow.

I think the worst thing Gowron does in TNG is the implicit threat he offers K'Ehleyr in "Reunion." That is bad, and a sign that Gowron uses intimidation covertly, rather than (say) overt shows of strength. In "Rightful Heir," Gowron is somewhat positioned as a heavy as a skeptic, but...well, he's RIGHT about Kahless not literally being true, and his position is thus validated. I keep meaning to rewatch this episode in particular to suss out Worf's views a little more clearly actually.

I guess the difference between Worf's commitment to honour and Gowron's pragmatism comes about in instances such as Gowron's refusal to grant Worf's family name credibility unless it can benefit him, e.g. However, this puts Gowron at a lower level of "corruption" than K'mpec. More "Tacking" spoilers: Worf finds it difficult to openly acknowledge his personal ambition. I also rather agree about Worf being fractured in "Tacking" -- killing the shadow/ogre "father" to install the "good father" into a job that Martok may not even want can be interpreted as Worf acting out his own issue. Leadership can ONLY fall on people who don't want it, which is why Worf thrusts it onto Martok rather than himself, thus absolving Martok and himself of accusations of self-interest, at least on the surface. Except that Martok is symbolic of the Klingon that Worf wants himself to be, etc.; eventually Martok will have to do something to acknowledge political realities, and then Worf will break with him or grow up. Note that this isn't me saying that Gowron's behaviour in "When It Rains" is just acknowledging political realities, which it isn't, but ironically it's kind of the opposite -- following GLORY to its extremes, the way Worf follows an occasionally narrow conception of HONOUR to its extremes.

That said, Worf gives the Klingon death yell to Gowron when he dies, and there is some respect there. It's not like with Duras. Gowron is being selfish, myopic and insane, but I think that Worf acknowledges that Gowron is not *deliberately* endangering the empire so much as failing to let reason in. On that note, I do think it's worth noting that trying to steal the glory and win the Dominion battle actually has some potential benefits; if it works, not only would it solidify Gowron's personal hold on power, but it also would create a situation in which the Federation and even Romulans are deeply indebted to the Klingon Empire, and also would give the Klingon Empire the spoils of war, which are considerable. It's a foolish gamble to make, but IF IT WORKS it's a more ethical way of using the war to gain power and influence in the quadrant than what the Federation is doing with Section 31 and planning for Federation/Romulan conflicts e.g.
Latex Zebra - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 11:17am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Interestingly enough there is a game starting soon. Manchester City vs Chelsea.

There are 26 broadcasters there and there is an estimated global audience of 650m who will watch.

This is just a league game, no cups or anything involved. That is pretty crazy. Especially as 15 years ago most people outside of England would barely know those teams.
Cleopaddera - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 11:04am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

Could people please provide examples of Gowron acting like a jerk, being dishonorable (before Tacking into the Wind), complete bastard, etc. I have been watching Netflix this past month (medical issues) and I just don't see it.

Everyone points to his rewriting history as an example of corruption. It was a matter of survival. No leader of any country is going to state that a foreign power was responsible for their rise. That's insane, and a death wish.

I sometimes wonder if Gowron functioning as Worf's shadow hasn't set him up to be the depository of negative projection from the audience also, and not just Worf.

And no, Gowron would not intentionally start losing any war to eliminate a rival. I think one problem I carry is that I played Star Trek: Klingon where you get to know Gowron better than you do just watching the shows. Since this storyline was created by the same folks to create the show, I was of the impression that it was canon (Events occurred after Way of the Warrior). So, I was quite shocked by events in When it Rains and Tacking. The fact that there was no lead up to him going insane, and that appears to be what happened, it feels highly contrived. The fact that Worf kills his Shadow is bad news for Worf. He will remain fractured the rest of his life.

I didn't care for these events at the time they first aired but watching episode right after episode really makes it clear that whatever happened to Gowron, it happened off screen. Foul!

Also, Gowron did not kill K'Mpec. It is obvious from the show and script and Ron Moore said he didn't. I do agree that he is insecure. He was never able to build enough support. I can't help but to wonder if he ever stopped to think about the "few rewards and no glory" that the chancellorship offered.

In Rightful Heir, I was astonished with Worf's demanding attitude that things will be his way or there will be another Klingon Civil War.
Latex Zebra - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 9:33am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Oh Robert you just threw yourself on that giant wiggly worm on the end of that hook.

I was just seeing who would bite. I know you weren't being nasty.

It's just a name, though to me it will always be football. Look at Australian Rules Football. The only thing they got right is Australian as they play it with their hands and there don't actually seem to be any rules.

I feel sorry for my Brother as he has moved to the states to try and educate you yanks ;) on the ways of real football, I mean soccer. Teach kids at the moment but he has said the parents are getting more into it on the sidelines.
We're both scared that you guys are going to really get into it. Given the size of America if everyone started liking soccer then the rest of the World is doomed. You'll dominate for years.

You guys stick to BasketBall and American Football please.

Oh and yes the episode was awful. Sports discussion will always be better.
CPUFP - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 7:11am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

This episode also had me thinking about the Lwaxana character.

I usually find her quite entertaining. This is mainly due to the way Majel Barrett plays her, which makes even sub-standard plots like "Manhunt" or "Ménage à Troi" enjoyable. Barrett should really have been given a bigger role!

But in the first half of this episode, I was extremely annoyed by her. Flirting aggressively with a distinguished representative of a planet whose population usually avoids contact to other peoples? Disrupting a meeting for a picnic on the engineering console? I thought that Betazed's society was so hopelessly caught up in its aristocratic decadence that with the right pedigree, even a complete moron who is devoid of any diplomatic skill can become ambassador to the UFP.

During the second half though, I thought about the issue some more and got a different picture of Lwaxana. It's obvious that telepathic/empathic powers are an advantage in all professions where you have to negotiate, since you can sense what the other party is feeling and thinking, regardless of what they are saying explicitly. This was explored with Devinoni Ral in "The Price".

It's also logical that in a society where such powers are the norm, negotiations would be very different, since the other party can sense the same things about you. There would be two options to deal with this:
a) You leave diplomatic double-talk and ambiguity aside, put your cards on the table and openly confront the conflicts at hand.
b) You intentionally twist your own thoughts in order to make them harder to read for the other party. If you're only dealing with an empath and not a telepath, you could use techniques like thinking of pleasant experiences or you could use mood-altering drugs so that they could not sense your true feelings.

Lwaxana apparently relies on option a). In all her dealings, be it professionally or privately, she's usually completely open about her intentions and bluntly states her opinion about anything (much to the chagrin of her daughter). But this does not mean that she is oblivious to the effect of her actions on others. Actually, I think that she often used this behavior intentionally on non-telepathic/empathic persons in order to throw them off guard, since they are not used to such behavior, especially from a high-ranking diplomat. I think that she often does this to "test" the other person, in that she puts them in a somewhat extreme social situation and watches how they react. As a full telepath, she can also read the other person's cognitive response to her actions and see how it corresponds to their explicit response in actions and words.

We also know that her apparently un-diplomatic behavior is not a sign of stupidity, since Lwaxana can be pretty manipulative if it serves her interests, like she did with the Ferengi in "Ménage à Troi" or when she invited Picard for dinner in "Manhunt".

So in the end, this episode made me appreciate Lwaxana's character much more, since what on the surface seems like the actions of an oblivious buffoon is actually a pretty smart method for quickly getting a profile of people's thoughts and behavior - something which should definetely come in handy when working as an ambassador.
CPUFP - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 6:12am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

William B and Robert:
Thank you for your thoughts.

I think that maybe they just started developing these powers long after they already had created a spoken language. Since the powers don't seem to be distributed equally among the Betazoids (ranging from empathy to full telepathy including all three types Robert mentioned), it would make sense that they shouldn't rely exclusively on this form of communication.
zzybaloobah - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 3:54am (USA Central)
Re: BSG S2: Resistance

Yeah, Boomer is a tragic figure -- or at least I want to believe she is. The human Boomer is a tragic figure, but what's going on under the skin? Isn't that Boomer as well? If she's obeying the voices in her head -- they're her voices.
We only see the human side of her -- but there's clearly a Cylon side underneath, that, with few exceptions, is in charge.

Tigh blew a real opportunity to actually learn something about the Cylons. He went in all "bad cop" -- I think Sharon would have responded much better to some "good cop".

And Starbuck can play pro-level pyramid. Give me a break, is there nothing Superwoman can't do?

zzybaloobah - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 3:22am (USA Central)
Re: BSG S2: Valley of Darkness

The Cylon Centurions -- lights and sound effects -- are reworked versions of the original BSG Cylons -- which predate KITT....
The original Cylons had regular guns (or rather, energy weapons), not built-in armament.

Dimpy - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 2:51am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

I want to add to my statement:

Kolrami walked away, so he did not win.
Data states "In the strictest sense, I did not win"

Therefore Kolrami and Data did not lose either, hence a DRAW or TIE.

Then Data says "I busted him up".
This statement is only to appease the crowd. Data did not "bust him up" he simply cheated.

A human can do this. Imagine I'm playing chess with a grandmaster. Most likely - I would lose. But, if I walked away from the board after the first move, they may say I lose by default.

However, by walking away, I did not lose because I claim I was never checkmated.

Kolrami = Sore Player
Data = Cheater

P.S. - If - in the strictest sense Data did not win, Data is claiming he sorta won.

P.S.S. - If the Borg appeared outside, Data would have to leave the game. Kolrami = Winner
Dimpy - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 2:30am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

Personally, I think the game was a tie, the celebration was stupid.

If you play chess, on the hard setting, against a computer, the way to always tie is turn of the machine?

So troll guy tells Worf to turn off Data with the switch on his body.

Data loses?

Dimpy - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 2:19am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians


Sisko ruins kids life.

The real resolution is joint custody. Spend time with both sets of parents.
Mark - Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 12:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...


I think that's what a lot of people don't get about soccer. The very quick and intricate passing and movement that goes on, along with the high skill level is what keeps people watching. It's also very competitive and intense, and when a goal goes in, its through great buildup and great skill.

The fact is though that you're never going to convince people to watch something that they have already made up their mind about. It goes along with everything else in America really. Take things at face value and run with it and then act like your opinion of something that you only really know bits and pieces about is a valid one.
eastwest101 - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 10:46pm (USA Central)
Re: ANDR S1: Its Hour Come 'Round At Last

I know they are building towards something so its pretty difficult to judge this rather noisy messy effort, that was actually a bit of a chore to watch - despite it being very action/battle oriented - I had seen it done before and since (and done a bit better).
Robert - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 11:21am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

I will say that I think soccer has a lot of strategy and tactics, it's just more subtle and difficult to follow and focuses on defense a lot of the time.

Anybody else think this conversation is more entertaining than the episode?
Robert - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 11:11am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

@Zebra - That rant wasn't meant to seem angry FYI. Just frustrated because Brits roll their eyes when Americans say soccer... but it's actually their fault :)
Robert - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 11:08am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

"Americans, don't have the patience for Football, I refuse to call it soccer when American’s version of football is played mainly with peoples hands, in my experience. "

/rant begin/

You know it's called Football because the PEOPLE are on foot right? As in to contrast it from the sports the Brits played on horseback.....

As far as why we call it soccer... Americans did NOT decide to change the name of an international sport just to be ethnocentric dicks and invent their own. The entire mixup is England's fault and has very little to do with us.

From around 1400 (first historical mention of football in England) to about 1800 MANY games carried the name football. The first football game to gain real traction was invented at Rugby school. Rugby School football became popular throughout the UK in the 1850s and 1860s and had spread to Scotland by 1857.

Association Football (soccer), first played in Dec 1863 was a sport popular with the British elite, most specifically college students. British college students had the habit of shortening things and adding -er to them (Rugby -> Rugger) and started called Association Football Asoccer. So in 1863 you had Rugger and Soccer (since both games were football, the British school kids used the FIRST word to derive the colloquial names).

The first game of American Football was played in 1869 (6 years after the first soccer game) by Princeton and Rutgers. Since this was our football and the other 2 were popularly called Rugger/Rugby Football and Soccer/Association Football, we just plainly called our version Football. And rightly so. Since it was played on FOOT and derived from the many, many footballs out there already.

In the 1880s soccer spread to the British lower class and became insanely popular. They didn't like the hoity toity university names and ignored soccer to call it Football. The first record of Association Football being called Football instead of Soccer is in 1881, 18 years after the Oxford kids started calling it Soccer and 12 years after American Football was being called Football.

But, go ahead and assume that our refusal to change OUR sport's name after the Brit's decided to change THEIRS so that they could have the name back is America being stupid if that's what you need to do.

Oh and US, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, and Australia all still widely use soccer because they all made their own Football while the Brits were still figuring out what to call theirs. And FIFA was formed in Paris in 1904... 35 years after the first American Football game. But yep, we should have just given them the name back. Because their game hits the ball with their foot. Even though that has nothing to do with it.

/rant over/
Latex Zebra - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 10:48am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Americans, don't have the patience for Football, I refuse to call it soccer when American’s version of football is played mainly with peoples hands, in my experience. Likewise with cricket.
American’s tend to favour sports that are constant and something is always happening. For me as a Brit I can enjoy the passing and movement on the pitch as much as I do seeing a goal go in.
I do love American Throwball though. I was a pioneering fan of the Heathrow Jets, one of the first teams in the UK, and used to watch them virtually every weekend. I’ll quite happily stay up and watch the Superbowl as well.
Can’t stand Rugby though, nor Cricket. The former is quite annoying as I live in the shadow of Twickenham Stadium! I do wonder about fans of American Football, who love the strategies and tactics, would handle Test cricket. Slow as you like but tactically very clever.

Anyway the point is, people love different sports, some none at all. Football, as in the proper version played with your feet is the most watched sport in the World. It doesn’t make it the best. Just the most popular.
Dave in NC - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 8:11am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Disclaimer: I grew up in New England, so I was basically weaned on the Red Sox. My team allegiance dissipated with adulthood. I haven't watched a big league game in I-don't-know-how-long but I still read the stats in the paper when I can. Old habits die hard.

That admission made, I must admit I've never had one passionate argument/debate about spectator sports because that whole world doesn't really speak to me on any level.

I've never really understand the vicarious connection people seem to have with people they don't know succeeding at something trivial.

The "hometown team" people are rooting for? They are made up of overpaid people with no roots or ties to the hometown other than a giant paycheck.

That merchandise and those stadium tickets they sell? By design the pricing gouges people (especially children).

Most of their stadiums are built on the taxpayer dime and are never paid off. It's only a couple of decades before the owners start crying for ANOTHER newer, flashier arena. They tout economic benefits that never seem to materialize. They threaten to move the team. The sports-fan voting bloc freaks out and the government folds. Repeat cycle.

The reason I said sports doesn't matter in the grand scheme? That's because pro-sports usually involve doing things TO A BALL.

The final irony? Most of those fans would be better off to get off the couch and join an amateur league.

Yeah, I don't get the passion.

PS- Is there anything more irritating than listening to a bunch of people talk about a sport (players, management, refs) when you don't watch it and don't care about it? I know it's just my personal bias, but talk about a colossal waste of time & energy.
Robert - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 7:10am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

"In "Moonlight", Sisko pulls the Bush/Reagan defense. He is justified in faking WMDs, baby incubators, Gulf of Tonkins and what not, he thinks, because the enemy is even worse. The episode endorses the behaviour we see in the real world by making real the fantastical existential threat which those in the real world use to bolster their similar lies."

I said it above and I'll say it again. Apples and Oranges. Sisko did not lie to the Federation to get them to join the war. He lied to what is essentially an enemy of the Federation to get them to declare war on another enemy of the Federation.

I don't care if it was all lies, that's just good business sense. It'd be like if we could have gotten Japan and Germany to declare war on each other in the middle of WW2. I don't care what we had to fabricate to do so, that would have been AWESOME.

The Romulans are literally complicit in Dominion attacks coming out of their space. We aren't even lying to our allies. We're lying to our enemies to trick them into fighting each other. This episode is only "grey" and "dark" because of the twist that Garak had planned to murder the guy all along. Sisko ends up an accomplice to murder. If he had accepted the FAAAAAAAAAAKE the episode would have barely tipped into off white.

Using spy tactics to make your enemies go to war with each other is barely even morally questionable.....

As to us being complicit in the creation of Facism, I agree with DLPB. It's a bit shallow. The few world powers can be "butterfly effected" into causing anything. Because actions have a complex series of consequences. Coming out of "The Great War", which people of the time believed was the war to end all wars, appeasement seemed like a good idea because another world war was unfathomable. Until the stupid end they really thought they could prevent it. Hindsight is 20/20.

And as to American Imperialism in the Philippines.... to call it genocide in a paragraph underneath the one where you talk about Hitler is about as horribly over exaggerating as you can get. War crimes? Sure. America has had a dark spots to it's history, no denying that(including the Native Americans). But genocide? Nah.

As to Britain and India... I really don't know about about their histories to tell you that you're exaggerating, but if it's anything like your version of American history....
Robert - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 6:44am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

@Mark - I don't disagree with you (you'll note I said I enjoyed the Superbowl for it's commercials). I probably like the World Cup better, but it may just be because it's fun to smack talk my Brazilian, British and Italian friends (completely baseless of course, the Americans should be better than we are).

I do get why Americans prefer American football in a lot of ways, but it shocks me that we are so uninterested in this global contest of athleticism. I disagree that there's anything in soccer that would hold a Klingon's interest (though to be fair, boxing may be too lame for a Klingon). With the level of athletic talent and the money America is usually willing to spend on world sporting events I really do think Americans would like soccer more if we made a concerted effort to be better at it.

Also, a lot of sports is in the way it's sold. A really good announcer can make a game way more exciting (the same way you noted a game can be more exciting played live). I think soccer in particular is fun played live because of the ridiculous level of passion of the fans. I imagine that's quite infectious (I've never been, but I could see that).

I still don't really care much about sports either way, but I'll be enjoying my junk food and commercials on Sunday. I hope there's a good game (because there have been a few really good ones in the last few years). But if not I'll still have fun. I also look forward to the next World Cup.
Adam - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 4:39am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Maneuvers

Why on earth didn't they beam Seska aboard?
dlpb - Fri, Jan 30, 2015, 3:16am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

, a conflict in which the West were complicit in the creation of fascism

Ah, here we go. More apologist nonsense. You can't go through life blaming every evil that comes along on the big bad West. I will agree that punishing Germany too long and in a silly way resulted in people of Germany uprising and voting Hitler... but that's the shallow way of looking at it. Hitler really did sort out the problems caused to the everyday people, while the governing parties of Germany ignored their electorate. THAT is the reason he came to power - along with the West (like Chamberlain) ignoring his threat and believing flowers would help.

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