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Nolan
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

@Tanner

I've just decided that social Media played a big part in starting the Third World War in Star Trek's past, and after the nuclear devistation and EMPs, social Media was basically eradicated in the fallout. And because it was seen as a causal factor, humainty just decided to forgo bringing it back in any meaningful way.

That's my fanon anyway.
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Bryan
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Canamar

I laughed when Archer practically needs to be dragged back to Enterprise as he's about to run after Kuroda at the end. Archer is still so concerned with Kuroda's health even though they've already fought three times and the ship is blowing up all around them.
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Chrome
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 9:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Battle

@David

I admit I too thought about your first point about Bok's son for a while too the first time I saw this. But we need to remember that different societies can put different "spins" on the same event. Remember in "The Defector" when a Federation officer (Picard) brought up the massacre of the Norkan outposts, then the Romulan (Admiral Jarok) quickly corrected that the Romulans simply referred to them as the "Norkan Campaigns"? As with the Romulans, I could see the Ferengi having a very different take than Picard with his battle.

As for the Stargazer, well these are Ferengi, right? It was probably sitting in mothballs at some shipyard and the Ferengi were able to bribe/threaten/handsomely pay the quartermaster to let them have it. And maybe it took them nine years to find it.

You're right about the "Trojan Horse" though. That's some idiot plotting, if there ever was any. I haven't seen this one recently, but I'm guessing Picard also ignored a warning from Worf about it. I guess we're supposed to accept that the Federation is so complacent in its peace in the 24th century that it ignores obvious security risks.
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Robert
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 6:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

More important to the future of the world? Yes. Could she walk into most restaurants and get a table without a reservation though? That's the type of thing I imagine Mrs. Troi as able to do.
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Robert
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 6:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Battle

@David - I'm convinced S1 got graded on a curve called "lack of expectations"
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David
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 5:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Battle

Didn't care for this episode. Too many things require too much of a stretch of the imagination. The biggest one is this - if Bok's son was responsible for his own fate by firing on the Stargazer first, then why would Bok be so enraged at Picard for firing back? The motive is lacking. Secondly, how on earth did the Ferengi just happen to stumble across the ship? Starfleet would have gone back to the site to retrieve the vessel, surely, at least so that it wouldn't fall into enemy hands. And even assuming the Ferengi did capture it, why wait 9 years for this showdown with Picard?? And why wasn't the chest that Picard brought aboard Enterprise checked out by security? I guess nobody ever heard of the Trojan horse before. The whole thing was just too contrived.

1.5 out of 4 from me.
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Daniel
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 1:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

Also the teaser where Data refers to his being an expectant parent as analogous to human parents expecting theirs is adorable!
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Daniel
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 1:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

Flying Squirrel I agree with you about the nonsensicalness of having different humans de-evolve (which is a better usage than devolve because that word has come to represent situations in modern vernacular, not the opposite of evolve) into different species that have no correlation with their own.

But I have to say, this episode always entertained me because it didn't try to take itself too seriously. Clearly it was a polarizing episode among us fanboys because of the lack of even feasible science, but it was damn fun. Masks was when the show jumped the shark, but I think it came back down to just plain fun in this one. And yes, it's fundamentally better than "Threshold's" finale.

6.5/10
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Daniel
Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 12:07am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder

Her lips? By First Contact her entire face looks like it's been under a plow.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

"But she is more important than I am"

I don't agree :)

Call me crazy, but I think fans of science fiction like Trek will be more important going forward in the long-term compared to the celebrity of the day. She gets more airtime, but probably isn't thinking much about the future of humanity.
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Tanner
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

Seems silly by today's standards that Voyager could transmit a hologram across the Galaxy and back, but Neelix has to hand-deliver PADD's to each crewman for their letters. Can't the lettrs just be forwarded to each person's device or quarters? What? no textmessages, e-mail or Skype in the 24th century? Even if all PADDs are communal and all user's data is in the network, anyone could get the letter at any time.
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Robert
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

They don't rule the Trill world anymore than Paris Hilton rules America if you want to go that route. But she is more important than I am, and I get the feeling so are joined Trill.
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David
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 10:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

"I honestly thought this was a good episode. It has a solid plot and I like the fact that the crew has to decide between obeying the society's rules or doing what's morally correct." - Agreed. Not nearly as bad as Jammer or the others here make it out to be. I found it entertaining and enjoyable. A few minor gripes - why do the "aliens" look exactly like humans? I can't think of any other race on this show where there don't seem to be any distinctive features at all. If these people are so free, then why the need for clothing? The planet looks warm enough to not need any during the day. The ending was also questionable. Beaming Wesley out would be akin to a foreigner committing an offence in say, Saudi Arabia, or somewhere with a strict penal system, and then having a group of people from his/her country come and break him/her out of prison to avoid prosecution in that country. It's just not on. I give the episode 2.5 out of 4.
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Robert
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

@DLPB - I'm not judging, just interested. One guy says they are so similar that it has to be stolen. Another guy says they are nothing alike. Was the air system a major plot point? I haven't seen it in years now.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@ Andy's Friend,

Good point about cultures that revere the heritage of nobility, and it seems in keeping with the way Lwaxana speaks that Betazed might be of that historical tradition. She does, at the very least, make it known that her lineage is more important to her than her diplomatic status. It should be mentioned in this context, as an aside, that certain ambassadors to the Federation, such as Sarek, were apparently appointed for life, which would make their position in that case much more like the permanent status of a noble. Sarek wasn't merely Sarek, but was "Sarek of Vulcan", no doubt a reference to his service to the world he represents.

However there are a couple of points I'd like to make to clarify what I said. First of all, I was speaking only about active, practical power, such as the ability to issue orders or make decrees. I have no doubt at all that Lwaxana receives things like respect and honorifics back home for her noble title, but the question I pose is whether being a noble actually means anything in terms of her ability to, for example, issue threats to the Ferengi, or to even wield power back home. We can't know for sure either way, but I have a hard time believing the Federation would admit a member that actively endorsed a ruling class that had practical power over the lower classes and could order them around. Just from what I've seen from the various Star Trek series, it appears to me that Federation membership has a requirement that a member planet be united and that it be a sort of democracy. That automatically rules out having a noble class with real political powers, since that setup is strictly anti-egalitarian. Given that Federation worlds will also have access to technology such as replicators, I find it doubly unlikely for Federation worlds to have disproportionate power in the hands of few based on familial lineage, since it is scarcity conditions that lead to feudal-style monarchy.

The second point I'd like to make is that while it's true that many Earth cultures as we see them now revere outward signs of a historical tradition, whether that be familial lineage, or even membership in historic institutions like the Knights of Malta or the Knights Templar, the fact that such people are often imbued not only with respect but with tangible power is, I think, an artifact of Earth's past rather than its future. I would like to think that such cabals of privileged people and the power they wield will fade as culture and technology (hopefully) advance in the direction of Star Trek, to the point where we might enjoy a real egalitarian sense of brotherhood and civility in the future. In the sense of there is some mystery and prestige surrounding it I can see why the people of some nations even now hold royalty and nobility in high regard, but to be honest I think it's a romanticized and vestigial remnant of an institution that has historically been all about doing murder to poor people and pillaging the wealth of those less powerful. There is simply nothing good about this when seen from the vantage point of an enlightened culture (not that America is that).

I like the *idea* of your comparison between Earth nobility and joined trills in terms of being a living link to history, but I think that's where the similarity ends. In particular, regarding this quote:

"The joined Trill, as a concept, are an ultra-elite hyper-aristocracy that far surpasses anything we have ever had on Earth"

I see no evidence of this anywhere; certainly not in DS9. Joined Trill appear to be regarded as the lucky ones, and certainly they've 'won' something in life that is coveted, but I'm not sure why you think they are an aristocracy in any sense. Aristocracy literally means "rule of the best", and even if we grant you that they are "the best" Trills (debatable, and I would argue that this is not how Star Trek itself views them, and certainly not how I do) there is no reason to believe they rule the Trill homeworld. And this is my main point. If being an aristocrat does not actually entail ruling or having power then it's just an honorific, much like, frankly, the way people are now called "Sir" in McDonald's as an honorific, or the way all theatre audiences are "ladies and gentlemen." It's a title with no real meaning meant to convey respect. And in any case, as opposed to a title obtained through family lineage, being chosen for Trill joining is supposedly done strictly through merit, so again the comparison seem limited to the fact that they are a living piece of history. That's worth something, to be sure, but it hardly makes anyone a aristocrat that's better than anyone else. Even the notion of that seems antithetical to everyone Picard ever claimed about the Federation (or even Kirk, for that matter).
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Andy's Friend
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

Interesting talk. We can't really know, can we? But if we do what I dislike and use Earth as benchmark, here's my take on Lwaxana, with a quote about something else I wrote in "Cogenitor":

"I actually had a very interesting discussion once about this, trying to describe the differences between what is a Viceroy, and what is a titled noble: ranks, privileges, and such. It boils down to this: a Viceroy represents the Monarch, and rules in his stead. But his power is confined, in space, and in time. Outside his Viceroyalty, he enjoys lesser privileges. After his term has ended, he is what he was before.

A Duke is a Duke, whether he is 8 years old or 88. He enjoys all the privileges of his rank at any time, anywhere within the realm and the empire, and in the good old days in other kingdoms and empires as well. Until a few years ago when Spain joined the European Union, for example, every Spanish Duke held a diplomatic passport as default. He was seen as an old lineage, an embodiment of history, and a representative of the Kingdom of Spain. He was more than a man."

I believe that, continuing the example, Lwaxana, too, is an old lineage, an embodiement of history, a representative of the World of Betazed. She is more than a woman.

I therefore think that there are strong reasons to believe that what constitutes Lwaxana's power and prestige *on Betazed* is her royal lineage, and not some random status as Ambassador. That status as Ambassador, as Chrome points out, is almost certainly, much like the Spanish Dukes with diplomatic passports by default until a few years ago, most likely only because of that royal prestige.

I imagine most commenters here are American; and therefore, this for you may perhaps be a little more difficult to fully assimilate. Any British, French, Spanish etc. Duke is, above all, a Duke―not a Prime Minister, Ambassador, or whatever. That is only temporary; and, if you ask me, largely irrelevant. Churchill was more than a Prime Minister: he was a Churchill.

In fact, Churchill is a wonderful example of what Chrome and I mean. Is it far-fetched to believe that the little house he was born in contributed considerably to his career?

Say the names: Bedford. Brissac. Béjar. Norfolk. Noailles. Nájera. To most well-educated people in Britain, France, or Spain, this is all one needs to know. I couldn't personally care less about offices: they just come with the name, and they come and go. What matters is the name: for that is intemporal.

If the Betazoids are anything like us, Lwaxana is a Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. Her current office should be completely irrelevant.

Also, we must differentiate between the Federation and the individual homeworlds. This is something William B and I have written extensively about, and also the usual suspects: Paul M., Robert, Yanks, etc. As William noted, the Vulcans are notoriously different from us socially. Paul noted the same for the Trills, which I then much elaborated on.

Peter G. now "can't really imagine there being such a thing as practical nobility on a Federation world." It depends on definitions of nobility. The joined Trill, as a concept, are an ultra-elite hyper-aristocracy that far surpasses anything we have ever had on Earth: beings bound by force of biology to be *better* than non-joined Trill, and by statistical probability to remember the memories of their own ancestors. They are, quite simply, *superior beings.* I call this a practical nobility of the highest order.

And isn't it interesting that we observe a similar reverence for the joined Trill *among the Trill* as for the truly high-born on Earth *in monarchies,* or countries with a long aristocratic tradition?

This is important. I can speak much better about nobility with an Indian, or a Japanese, than with a Canadian or a Chilean, for the latter quite simply have no real idea of what nobility is, of what it means to have noble Houses permeate not only a thousand years of history, but the top levels of society today.

It is a little bit like the Emperor of Japan. He may hold much less power than the President of the United States; but he holds it for life, not four or eight years. And outside the United States, he enjoys much more prestige. Or perhaps it would be better to say: a different kind of prestige. The President of the United States will typically be admired for what he has *achieved.* The Emperor of Japan is simply admired for what he *is.*

I am reminded of a memorable quote by Camacho once (legendary left back for Real Madrid and Spain in the 70s and 80s, and later manager for the club and the Spanish national team. Real Madrid are the most winning football club in the world; they just won their 11th Champions League a month ago):

Camacho, talking about the attitudes of fans towards football clubs, also noted the different "kinds of prestige." He said: "Real Madrid is feared everywhere, and Real Madrid is respected. But Real Madrid is not loved."

I have thought much about this ever since, because it is about much more than football. It is about the feelings we humans feel.

The Emperor of Japan is loved in Japan, just as the King of Thailand is loved in Thailand, in a way no President of the United States has been in the US in a very long time, if ever.

This is what I mean: we must consider how royalty is regarded in their own culture. If the Betazoids are anything like us, Lwaxana is a Daughter of the Fifth House. She may not be the Empress of Japan; but she's likely at least the Duchess of Devonshire. Whatever office she currently holds is largely irrelevant, for it is temporal only. The Sacred Chalice of Rixx is intemporal.

And how can we see this? Precisely because she never refers her title as Ambassador. That, to her, is completely irrelevant. As it would be, I imagine, for most Betazoids. Just like a Duke's identity is not about his office: it is about his heritage.

Deanna is a typical son or daughter. Fortunately, we humans can be completely irreverent at times, and even mock that prestige we simply take for granted. That doesn't mean it isn't there.

Deanna's attitude towards her mother is also a bit like when we criticize our own country. I may criticize my country as much as I please. But if you begin critizing my country, be sure to tread very, very carefully...

As to Homm, if we follow human benchmarks, he's a manservant. Not much to discuss there, is there?

But as Chrome points out, the series itself never clarifies any of this; my take on it is only if we use human standards as guiding light. So anything goes, and the more outlandish your theories, the better ;)
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DLPB
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

The similarities of the episodes are too clear - especially the part about the air system spreading it. Please reserve judgement for when you have seen both.
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Robert
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@William - Yes, Half a Life and Dark Page

Haven is not that good overall, but for S1 it's pretty ok I guess.

I also think she fits better on DS9.

And I think she's an aristocrat in an age where money money and power get you nothing. Imagine a descendant of royalty in an age where such means little. But she is an ambassador, so maybe a figurehead like role?
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Daniel
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Dark Page

Wow you guys all take this very seriously. I do the same thing but I don't attempt to look under the surface as much because it's a TV show, and TV no matter how good is a weak comparative to film IMHO.

I think this ep was definitely better than the what-were-they-smoking Phantasms which I just skipped. But I can't help agreeing with some of the other commenters that when they finally chose to develop Lwaxana, we got a somewhat dull she lost her kid movie. If they were going to do that, they should have gone further with it like having Troi have to go through time and get Kestra so her mother can truly move on by saying good bye, which is what I missed most when my brother died. But this episode didn't move me emotionally like some have commented.

I think Lwaxana is at her best when she is played for comic relief. Cost of Living I thought was superior to this episode in giving Lwaxana depth, as well as superior to the one with David Ogden Stiers with the resolution. It didn't need crutches like dead family members or false love relationships (she really fell that hard for him in a matter of days? Cmon). It was just her and her relationship to a child and their different perspectives.

I think this episode probably had lofty goals, but in the end it was a little dramatic/simplistic for me. And I agree with the others about season 7. I just did a marathon, and while I could watch one ep after the other even my dislikes in the other seasons, I had to skip some in season 7. Nobody wants to hear about LaForge's mother who's not even real. But hey I guess that's maybe why it got cancelled when it did. There are some gems like Homeward but mostly it's like Dark Page, just dark and worse than that dark and boring.

IMHO

3/10
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@ Chrome, it's just my take on it. I base my guess on the fact of Deanna's scoffing at her mother's references to royal station, on the fact that I can't really imagine there being such a thing as practical nobility on a Federation world, the fact that Lwaxana perpetually embellishes and exaggerates everything, and on the fact that we only ever hear Federation personnel refer to her as an ambassador rather than as "your highness" or any honorific like that. It appears, at the very least, that her prestige according to the Federation comes from her diplomatic status and not from her being a royal person. We do see royal people on Star Trek from time to time, and they're always referred to by their royal honorifics. The lack of such in Lwaxana's case may mean that it's not a title Betazed itself pushes to be respected.
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Chrome
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 4:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@Peter G.

I honestly don't think the show ever clarifies whether her power is based on royal status or not. I had always assumed she got the position of diplomat because she both has royal heritage (and thus reverence) among her people and also had a human husband who was well-connected.

So there might be multiple character interpretations. I'm open to any sources that might explain this better.
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Nolan
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

I have nothing to add to this discussion, but I just wanted to say thank heavens for this comment section, it's gotten me through a really dull group presentation class.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@ Chrome/Picard,

I'm not sure but I think we're agreeing with each other. There's no questions that Lwaxana has real and substantial [political] power. It's my contention, at any rate, that her power isn't based on her royal status but rather on her diplomatic status, and that she just likes to put on airs that her royal lineage is somehow relevant to her status.
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Chrome
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

And now I've written Picard one too many times. Sorry, I promise I'm not him. :)
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Picard
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

No, however much Troi resents her mother's boasting, Lwaxana is a political figure for Betazoid. She's represents Betazoid at Pacifica Conference, according to her introductory episode, "Manhunt". She's also is appointed to the trade delegation of Betazed for conference we hear of in "Menage à Troi".

These aren't boasts, they're facts presented by the show. Lwaxana makes herself to be greater than these posts because of her history, but whatever the case with her royal status, she holds Betazoid political power.
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