Comments on Jammer's Reviews http://www.jammersreviews.com/comments/ RSS feed for comments posted on Jammer's Reviews en-us Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:46:31 PDT Comment by Domi on DS9 S3: Explorers http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s3/explorers.php Why does Jake change his mind about going on the trip? I thought he had a date. It seemed to be implied that he broke up with his girlfriend, but then it was swept under the rug. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s3/explorers.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:46:31 PDT Domi Comment by Elliott on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php If I may share a little snapshot of my own life to (hopefully) showcase that attitudes are changing for the better : At this moment, I am 26 years old and engaged to a man. My devoutly Catholic parents and I have a fantastic relationship and are tremendously excited about our wedding. Just a few days ago, my fiancé's 82-year-old grandfather (a personal friend of John McCain's no less) asked us when he could expect great-grandchildren. I have never considered my life or experiences to be exceptional, except I would hope, in what I have *accomplished.* Although it's the last thing I'd aspire to, this thread has provided an enlightening revelation that my life is exceptionally normal. Go figure. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:38:28 PDT Elliott Comment by William B on TOS S3: Day of the Dove http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/dove.php A nice spiritual sequel to "Errand of Mercy." In "EoM," the mounting tensions between the Federation and the Klingons were defused by the incorporeal Organians; in this one, the tensions are stoked by an incorporeal being. I guess the question, in analyzing the episode, is what, if anything, the "war monster" entity represents. Two possible answers come to my mind: 1) the semi-literal one: the "war monster" represents human interests who profit from war -- arms dealers, governments who stay in power by manufacturing conflicts, what have you. In fact, there are many industries that do benefit from war. The thing is, the people who benefit from war are very often not the soldiers who are fighting it. Kirk's final speech to Kang -- "Be a good soldier! Don't question orders!" -- suggests this idea: Kirk and Kang, and their respective crews, are convinced by mind control (which maps onto propaganda) which exploits their emotional weaknesses to push them into neverending conflict, which goes from generation to generation, and benefits not the fighters but the masterminds. 2) the very abstract one: the "war monster" represents the human aggressive impulse as a rule. When people get enraged, and when they get trained to fight, eventually fighting and the hatred of one's enemy becomes habitual. Its reason for existing is pretty clear -- as animals, competing for resources, fighting was a matter of survival, and emotional/instinctual charge to fight and continue fighting would help survive. But taken out of its proper context, this can "take over" otherwise rational people entirely, as happens here with the human and Klingon crews, unless they can correctly identify and fight against this impulse. People are responsible for their actions -- but the things carried out by fighters in the frenzy of war are so often so far from what those same people do in peacetime, that it is clear that it is sometimes difficult to keep perspective when in the emotional thrall of combat mentality. The way the creature ramps up aggressive and vengeful impulses, to the point of having Chekov nearly rape the Klingon science officer (!!!), represents this well. I think both levels are suggested by the episode, and it makes it a fine allegory. If peace were completely easy to maintain, there wouldn't be war; it requires effort to fight against internal or external signals that stoke conflict. This works as a sequel to "EoM" because this time Kirk has taken the lesson from the Organians and now applies it to his own life -- he is now able to convince Kang (and himself) to stand down, rather than having to be forced to stand down. The episode does introduce, as Adara points out, the concept of Klingon honour, though a little indirectly. We also get our first picture of female Klingons, and I like that she's a high-ranking officer -- and a science officer, which puts her into direct analogue to Spock. (Funny moment: Kirk and Spock's awkward little glance when Kang says that she is his wife and science officer.) Kang is charismatic and a good match for Kirk -- in terms of strategy and eventually in terms of reasonability. I like how he even uses his own biases against the alien -- they need no incentive to hurt humans! And I like "only a fool fights in a burning house." Execution-wise, I can't escape the general feeling I have from other season three episodes that there's not quite enough material for an hour-long show. I think the choice to show the violence monster energy cloud in the teaser detracts a little, because it becomes abundantly clear from the very first moment that something is affecting people. But I still think it's an effective story. 3 stars -- one of the better and more essential s3 outings. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/dove.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:30:38 PDT William B Comment by William B on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Just wanted to share some solidarity with Elliott, Robert and Dave in NC on this one. It actually MAY be true that genetic engineering may be used to eliminate homosexuality, and certainly may prospective parents, if given that choice right now, would make the choice to have straight children rather than gay children. However, I don't think that's true of all parents at all, and I think it's very likely this will become less and less true. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:57:56 PDT William B Comment by William B on TOS S3: Spectre of the Gun http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/spectre.php Having recently read the first two books of the "Dune" series, I kept thinking about the Bene Gessarit litany against fear at the end of this episode: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing....only I will remain." I agree with Jammer that this episode is more engaging than it seems like it should be; the only obvious "idea" in all this is the way Spock recognizes that the situation they are in is unreal, and that the only way to escape it is to believe they cannot be hurt by it. I think there is something pretty profound in that observation. Obviously in real life, if you get shot, whether you fear it or not, it will hurt you pretty badly. But the way in which they end up in this obviously-a-soundstage Western town, with some shops being just a facade with no interior at all, suggests the unreality of their situation in very stark, obvious terms, like a Brechtian distancing tactic. And yet, they are *still* threatened by it -- because the human mind is so easily fooled even by obvious fabrications, if these fabrications speak to a person on an emotional or instinctual level, or even an intellectual level. Fears, including irrational ones, can become devastating. Propaganda can create entire false realities inside people's heads that then control their actions. It takes tremendous effort to escape from the prison of one's own fears and the lies told by others -- even if one intellectually understands that they are irrational. So on the one hand, I agree with the first commenter Lt. Yarko's succinct observation that Chekov is an idiot. Apparently all it takes is for a pretty woman to bat her eyelashes at him, and he starts believing that he has a real relationship with her and, I guess, that this relationship actually exists even though she thinks he's a historical figure in 19th century Tombstone and that he's got on totally different clothes than the one he has on. Instead of working on how not to die or how to get out of this trap, he expends mental energy flirting with her, agreeing to go to the dance in a week (?) but telling her that marriage is out of the question, too serious! I mean, it seems obvious that this is not a real person, that none of this scenario is real, and that this romantic subplot is totally irrelevant to the more important concerns. But, well.... I think the thing is, humans are much more suggestible than we like to admit, and if placed in a completely bizarre situation that nonetheless "feels" real, and in dealing with a person who seems sentient, it's hard to remember that it's fake, especially for a young and open-minded and friendly and flirtatious person like Chekov. I don't know whether his apparently forgetting that none of this is real for periods of time is "realistic," but I kind of suspect that humans are less focused and more distractible by what their senses are telling them. One of the interesting consequences of the choice of the OK Corral gunfight as the setting for the episode is that the Enterprise crew are cast as the Canton gang, and their opposition the Earps. Quoting Wikipedia here: "According to the Earp version of events, the fight was in self-defense because the Cowboys, armed in violation of local ordinance, aggressively threatened the lawmen, defying a lawful order to hand over their weapons. The Cowboys maintained that they raised their hands, offering no resistance, and were shot in cold blood by the Earps. Sorting out who was telling the truth then and now remains difficult." Popular depiction of the fight, though, in things like John Ford's "My Darling Clementine" (with Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp) and John Sturges' "Gunfight at the OK Corral" (with Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday and Burt Lancaster as Wyatt, and DeForest Kelley as Morgan Earp!) (and "Tombstone," which comes out years after the episode did) sides very heavily with the Earps and Holliday -- symbols of law and order staving off chaos. It takes just a little tweaking for representatives of civilization and order to become tyrants, figures of illegal chaos to become victims of an oppressive system they cannot escape. The choice is particularly interesting because the setting is one in which the Cantons are "trespassers" -- instructed to leave Tombstone, but with no particular way of making their way outside it, which ends up mapping quite well onto the away team, who *want* to escape the conflict but have no way to do so, and this also makes the aliens running the show map very well onto this depiction of the Earps brutally gunning down people for trespassing into their territory. That Kirk spares the life of the Earps at the end is not all that meaningful since they're not real in the first place. But still, the point being made is that the human instinct to kill is alive and well in Kirk, but he can overcome it. This really comes back to the same thing as Spock's helping Kirk, McCoy and Scotty recognize the unreality of what they are facing. The stagey, false Western town of Kirk's imagination is not the *real* Old West, but the imaginary one which lives on in many people, especially Americans, in which the conflict between civilization and freedom is fought out with physical violence. And so it's appropriate that the way to escape the kill-or-be-killed mentality is to escape from that mental framework altogether, by recognizing that *it is not real*. Still pretty silly and slow-paced but I'm somewhat fond of it. 2.5 stars also. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/spectre.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:54:45 PDT William B Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php ^ That was @ Robert Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:18:36 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Hopefully society will progress before I'm 90. lol Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:17:58 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php He clearly got his hands on some un-replicated chocolate iced cream. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:05:18 PDT Robert Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @ Elliot Thanks! I was trying *really* hard not to get too soap-boxy. Also, you may actually be onto something there with Riker's slow bloating process. ;) Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:04:31 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @Dave - I'm really sorry to hear that. I know it's easier said than done (or impossible in some cases), but there are many states that will welcome you. And in the absence of being able to move, things have changed a lot in a short period of time. ::Fingers crossed:: Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:04:21 PDT Robert Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @ Peremensoe Not to be overly personal, but I've thought about maybe adopting one day (once I find the right person to spend my life with), but in my state I would never be allowed to. It really saddens me when I see a majority of people say I'm unfit to care for a child (and especially when they rationalize it away like Andy's Friend). Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:00:53 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Elliott on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Bravo, Dave in NC! I've always been bothered by the idea that straight intercourse can be described in flowery 19th century poetic terms while gay intercourse is, as you put, an aberration. It's all equally gross and beautiful depending on where you're standing. Worth pointing out that Andy's Friend specifically said "obese" people--which is as ridiculous as complaining we don't see people with cancer--a diversity of body types should be shown, but obesity is a product of poor health and poor diet, both of which are antithetical to Federation economics and technology. My issue is that it seems like only the males show a diversity of body types, whereas *all* the women we see have to be petite, busty and generally gorgeous (psst, it's a TV show after all). Now that I think about it, I think everyone in Trek was portrayed as rather fit until Jonathan Frakes started putting on the pounds... Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:59:46 PDT Elliott Comment by Peremensoe on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Dave in NC, thanks for the above. I must admit, I skimmed Andy's Friend's comments and certainly overlooked some key points. The "ethical objection" to adoption by gay couples is striking, for one thing. I have to say, while we all can debate many points of the depicted Trekverse/future culture, it is pretty strongly established that *eugenics* is seen as wicked, in the canonical history and in specific contexts such as Robert points out. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:52:37 PDT Peremensoe Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php "I said the same in my mega-reply. :)" Your comment about Geordi being blind is actually what made me think of this episode. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:52:14 PDT Robert Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @ Robert I said the same in my mega-reply. :) BTW, apologies to Jammer and the visitors to this forum. I know huge posts are irritating to read, but I felt that Andy's friend needed to be addressed point for point. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:49:50 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Actually that entire episode makes a good case against "ideal humans" the way you'd describe it (via designer babies). I choose to believe nobody is overweight in the future because replicated chocolate ice cream has no calories and that nobody is gay in the future because Rick Berman has no balls. But that's just me :P Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:47:24 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php I'll quote from an episode of Star Trek that I think is relevant to this discussion. HANNAH: May I see it? Your visor? LAFORGE: Sure. So, I guess if I had been conceived on your world, I wouldn't even be here now, would I? HANNAH: No. LAFORGE: No, I'd've been terminated as a fertilised cell. HANNAH: It was the wish of our founders that no one had to suffer a life with disabilities. LAFORGE: Who gave them the right to decide whether or not I should be here? Whether or not I might have something to contribute. HANNAH: I don't know what to say. Here you go. How does it work? LAFORGE: Well, the visor scans the electromagnetic spectrum between one hertz and one hundred thousand terahertz, converts it all to usable frequencies and then transmits that information directly to my brain. HANNAH: What about the data conversion rates? How do you avoid a sensory overload? LAFORGE: A bank of pre-processors compresses the data stream into pulses, you see. That way, my visual cortex never. Wait a minute. Wait just a minute. We should be able to send a high-energy pulse through the tractor system. If it's short enough, it shouldn't overload the emitters. The technology is right here. If we could adapt those pulse compression routines and then apply them to the warp power conduits. HANNAH: We'd have to avoid tractor force rebounding, but that shouldn't be hard. LAFORGE: Sure. With a few modifications. Oh, that's perfect. HANNAH: What? LAFORGE: If the answer to all of this is in a visor created for a blind man who never would have existed in your society. No offence intended. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:41:11 PDT Robert Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Andy's friend said: Yes, “seeing a gay person on the bridge of a starship” far in the future could be very meaningful and important to the viewers, and especially to the particular viwer. But the question is actually: would it be realistic, i.e., consistent with the view of humanity in TOS and TNG? I believe it’s short-sighted to focus on gays, or the absence of gays, in Star Trek. There’s a much, much more obvious absence in all the series that is indicative of the much greater issue at hand: that of obese humans. In other words: in Star Trek, what we see in the future is ideal humans. Consider that. Reply: Except Geordi is blind. Counselor Troi loses her powers. Admiral Clayton, Sarek, Picard and Tuvok have incurable illnesses. B'elanna, Troi, and Spock are mixed. Half the TNG cast are social outcasts. Many nationalities and worlds are represented. People from young to old serve in Starfleet. Sisko was a grief-stricken widower. Barclay has a anxiety disorder. Miles has PTSD. Bashir was genetically manipulated by his parents. Admiral Hanson and the admiral in the "Drumhead" were far from svelte. (I suspect limited budgets led them to save the over-sized uniforms for the Bolian extras). So why is the "focusing on the gay issue" "short-sighted"? It seems to me that you are casually dismissive of the big civil rights issue of our time. Andy's Friend said: This poses a much, much more fundamental question than the superficial gay issue; the gay question is interesting, of course, in late 20th/early 21st century contexts, but less significant in the grand scheme of Trek. reply: How can you refer to being inclusive of gay people as "superficial"? Having even one gay character isn't too much to ask, especially of a forward thinking franchise like Trek. The implication that we don't exist is wrong for a lot of reasons. Andy's friend said: Allow me to quote my previous comment on this thread of Dec 28, 2013: "Secondly, about the absence of homosexuals in Star Trek: what if ― just what if ― there are no homosexuals in the 24th century? What I mean is this: I have no doubt that we in Picard's era will be much more "enlightened" (see below) than we are today. Nevertheless, I am convinced that no matter how enlightened, there is a very good probability that, given the possibility to screen and genetically modify embryos, we will make use of that technology. And given that possibility, I believe extremely few people, if any, will be born as, for example, dwarves, or albinos, or blind, or with Down Syndrome, if a simple genetic modification is all it takes to make the embryo "normal". We can all agree that there is nothing wrong with any of these people, but nevertheless, I am convinced that virtually all parents would prefer said small "corrective" genetic modification(s). There is no doubt that it will some day be possible to do this, and all human history shows us that what is possible to do is also done. All we need is to get used to the idea. [...] reply: Get used to the idea that eugenics is ok?! You have no idea how offensive it is for you to say that my life is broken and needs to be fixed! Saying I'm a DNA edit away from "normal" is NOT a compliment. I'm sure you feel what you wrote is very even-minded and logical, but your conclusion that being gay is comparable to having a disease is wrong. Even more offensive is your oh-well attitude toward eugenics. Andy's Friend said: The question is, where does homosexuality stand? I can't help but wonder how many parents, if given the choice, would/will prefer their child to function "within normal parameters"? reply: So I'm abnormal? I'm defined by one characteristic of myself? I know you don't mean to be offensive, which in some ways is even worse. You don't understand what you are saying. Andy's Friend said: We know that genetic manipulation takes place in the Trekverse, and while "enhancement" is prohibited, what do we know of "corrective" procedures? Can genetic manipulation be the reason why virtually every human on Star Trek is so "normal"? Why we never seen any disabled, or even overweight, human of any kind? Can this be why we never encounter homosexuality among humans on Star Trek?" reply: Starfleet, like our military, probably has fitness standards just as we do. Besides, the replicators are probably to the point where they can remove calories/fat without effecting taste too much. The civilians we DO see definitely run the gamut of body-types. Andy's Friend said: And to finish, what follows: "More profoundly, is it thinkable that [...] in enough centuries, we will all be some sort of "perfect" mainstream beings? Or is it thinkable that we will leave such technology, which undoubtedly will be developed, unused?" reply: You should read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Andy's friend said: This is really the main question we should be considering; homosexuality is merely part of a larger question. reply: When Gene R. decided to include Uhura, Chekov, Spock, Chapel and Sulu in the cast, was that part of a larger question? Sometimes, just the act of showing different kinds of people are still people is enough. Andy's Friend said: I’m guessing all of us ― apart from Joshua ― can see no moral wrong in being a homosexual. I’m guessing most of us ― including me ― can see no ethical problem with civil marriages for gays. I’m guessing some of us ― though not me ― can see no ethical problem in gay adoption. reply: Ethical problem with gay adoptions when so many children live in foster care and group homes? Andy's friend said: But *when* a bit of genetic resequencing of an embryo is all it will take to make the future child a person who will not be blind nor deaf, nor have some other physically or mentally crippling genetic disorder [I’m *not* including homosexuality in this category], and who will be able to fall in love and have children with a person of the opposite sex as the most natural [no pun intended] thing on Earth, who will refrain from doing it? I’m guessing not many. reply: You assume it is genetic and NOT epi-genetic, which is a much different beast. I suggest you do some research before you start fantasizing about deleting aspects of society you have a "etchical problem" with. Andy's friend said: To me, there's nothing as beautiful in creation or evolution (your choice) as the ability of two people of the opposite sex who love each other to have a child that is, quite literally, a part of them both. reply: First off, I can still have children. Secondly, If the technology for two males/females to reproduce does develop, doesn't that throw your whole "beauty" argument out the window? Andy's friend said: This is something truly amazing. For no other reason than that, I would feel extremely sorry for being gay, just like I feel extremely sorry for all the people who for one reason or another cannot have a child with the person they love. reply: Spare me your false pity. Just because I can't combine my genetics with someone (at the moment) doesn't mean I need someone to feel sorry for me. Besides, currently there are many ways to conceive a child that CAN involve sibling DNA, etc, if that is your big thing. I Andy's friend said: think adoption is a beautiful thing. I think the capacity to love a child that is not your own is a beautiful thing. But don’t tell me that that is what every straight couple in love dream of. No, we dream of creating new life, unassisted by technology, that is, magically, a part of ourselves and the very man or woman we love. And I believe (though I may be wrong), that this is some sort of longing, and a problem, that at least some homosexuals who truly love each other somehow must feel, at some point. “Ahh, if only we could...” reply: Thanks for filling us gay people in on why straight people like to have kids. Andy's friend says: So please don’t take this the wrong way. But who on Earth would deny their future child the possibility of having a "normal" family, if all it took was a visit to the doctor? reply: I am not an aberration. You make it sound like being gay is Lou Gehrig's disease. Besides, one could argue that since gay poeple are inordinately involved percentage-wise in high culture (music, the arts, architecture, etc) that we serve a vital social and intellectual function. Andy's friend says: I seriously believe that someday in the future, there will be no homosexuality. I seriously believe that in the future, every human being will be near-perfect. And yes, I’m sorry to say this, but there is such a thing as "perfection" to most humans. We all know that, let’s not pretend otherwise. When the technology becomes available, we’ll all have different eye and hair and skin colours, but we’ll all have essentially the same build, etc. No one will chose their child to have short, crooked legs, or be bald, or with a tendency to be fat. We’ll all look essentially alike. Hell, to any alien species out there we probably already do. reply: That will only happen if people decide that tinkering with non-disease related aspects of their children is the right thing to do. The fact that you have decided that I am an aberration and "not normal" is where you need to start over. And frankly, your sort of back-handed endorsement of the process is just the sort of thing that gets the slippery slope started. Andy's friend says: That’s actually something I like about TNG. In TOS it would of course be totally unthinkable to mention homosexuality. But by the time TNG was around, the issue could have been adressed. reply: It doesn't surprise me that you would like this. Andy's friend says: By season 7, we could have seen a gay captain in one of the episodes. In a way, I’m actually glad we didn’t. reply: Of course you are. That whole diversity and inclusion thing was so 1960's, wasn't it? Andy's friend says: I understand Robert’s argument that that would be an important message to the viewers back then, or even today, twenty years later. But I actually believe that doing so would be an undermining of the “ideal human” idea that pervades TOS and TNG. reply: You are wrong. Khan was exiled for this, Julian shouldn't have been in Starfleet. They've established pretty firmly that it's a big no-no in the Trekverse. Andy's friend says: No, some of you may be thinking: “What is this idiot talking about? There is no such thing as an ideal human.” I share that sentiment, but again, please, let’s not fool ourselves. There’s nothing wrong in being very short, and yet we give people growth hormones these days. reply: That shows how little you understand biology. There are physiological MEDICAL reasons why an extremely short stature can be non-advantageous. Doctors don't just hand them to kids that are a little short. Andy's friend says: I’m sure that in the real 24th century, no one will be missing homosexuals in TNG; in fact, they’ll probably praise it for not caving in to that particular social issue of its day, and having been so far-sighted in predicting the human trend for perfecting ourselves as soon as the relevant technologies are becoming available. In that way, we humans aren't really that different from the Borg. reply: Well, they'll definitely be some bored humans, because their art, music, fashion and architecture will probably suck. Andy's friend says: But I may be wrong. Who knows, by the 24th century, maybe we’ll see it as something natural that two male homosexuals, one of whom is some sort of cyborg, have their DNA matched in a laboratory, and then have their scientifically engineered child implanted in the cyborg for gestation. reply: I love how you wax rhapsodic about the "loving process" of ejaculating semen into the vaginal canal, but somehow creating a process where I could reproduce with my partner is deserving of this Borg-analogy-heavy description. Andy's friend says: It could certainly be done, and would merely be another take on our resemblance to the Borg. All I’m saying is, the other way around would make a lot more sense. reply: And that, my friends, is a textbook example of how to campaign for racial purification. Oh, and "Andy's friend", please stop referring to us as "the homosexuals". We generally prefer the adjective gay, because after that comes the word it describes: person. You definitely could use the reminder. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:27:29 PDT Dave in NC Comment by William B on TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty? http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php @Andy's Friend, thanks for the link to that poem. I find it very interesting. My understanding of the poem -- at first blush, and with the textual aid of the interpretation you quoted -- is that Herbert is rhetorically asking "is there in truth no beauty?" to suggest that other poets and artists who can find beauty only in the depictions of false things seem to be missing the beauty that exists in reality, or in truth itself. Can other artists really believe that poetry and beauty is only meaningful when describing things in the imagination, and that the pursuit of truth and reality is some wholly separate endeavour? How I think this relates to this episode is this then: I think that the title question really is, "Is there no beauty to be found in the pursuit of truth?" And the question hangs in the air because Miranda is dedicating her life to finding "truth," by communing with and learning from a Medusan. She is rejecting beauty, or conventional ideas of beauty, entirely, as the other characters, especially Marvick, bursting with unrequited love and the jealousy that accompanies it, but also Kirk and McCoy as well, remind her frequently. The question is whether there is something beautiful -- unconventionally so, but beautiful nonetheless -- in her wholly intellectual/spiritual desire to commune with Kollos. I think that the episode answers "yes" -- but it does leave it open to what extent she will be fulfilled by it, and it points out even here that Spock, as a half-Vulcan, is much more able to connect to Kollos and, perhaps, to derive satisfaction in the pursuit of truth alone, than most humans are. You are definitely right about Vina being a compelling character. I wasn't sure whether to count Edith Keeler as a candidate for "most interesting female character" or not, because, as you say, she's not the central draw of the show so much as the way she plays into it. But I think we're led to see her as remarkable for being a woman ahead of her time in her thinking, but of the wrong era; the consequences of 23rd-century thinking in the 20th century, all that's good in humanity leading to humanity's destruction. Andrea -- well, I don't have as much feeling for Andrea, but I might revisit "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" As for why I have to comment on this one and only season :), well, I was recently commenting on the back half of season two! I wrote comments on much of TNG as well...I have vague ambitions to go back and finish that -- either here or to make my own site -- but it's daunting, even if I have written at least a bit on more than half the episodes. TOS I only really started commenting on about halfway through my rewatch of the show, with one or two exceptions, partly because of the pace with which I'm watching the episodes (I'm watching with my girlfriend, but we have other shows on the go, and so it is slow enough that I can mostly comment on episodes). Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:58:35 PDT William B Comment by Elliott on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @Andy's Friend : I appreciate that you're making every effort to present a genuine argument and are not purposefully promoting a prejudiced view, but your argument is specious. Being gay (or possessing any number of sexual orientations other than what you are calling "normal") has no bearing on one's ability to interact with society. Unlike a mental or physical disability, non-hetero orientations are simply different flavours of human sexuality, akin to race. Being gay also has absolutely no effect on one's ability to raise a family, work, attend social functions, etc. The affinity with race comes in the fact that the difficulties associated with being gay are socially imposed, not empirically determined. "I’m sure that in the real 24th century, no one will be missing homosexuals in TNG..." Um, homosexuals have been a part of every society since the dawn of recorded human history (and most likely long before). Being able to make babies within the confines of one particular socially-imposed monogamous sexual relationship is not what I would call a determining factor in choosing an "ideal human." Making babies is really, really easy. It's the raising them part which requires a bit of effort, don't you think? Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:45:47 PDT Elliott Comment by Peremensoe on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Also, Andy's Friend, I'm sure that we see mostly 'ideal' humans in the shows because we are mostly watching the exceptionally talented and motivated people who chose, and succeeded at, careers in Starfleet. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:23:46 PDT Peremensoe Comment by Peremensoe on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php I agree with Robert, I believe. I think we are closer to engineering babies with same-sex biological parents (with donor eggs and surrogate mothers for the male couples, it can probably be done *this* century), than to eradicating homosexuality. By reasons of both science and culture. I think it will become accepted that gay people are as natural and *desirable* a component of human diversity as any other. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:17:59 PDT Peremensoe Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php "So please don’t take this the wrong way. But who on Earth would deny their future child the possibility of having a "normal" family, if all it took was a visit to the doctor? " I do agree. I just wonder if the trip to the doctor would simply mean that 2 men or 2 women could combine their DNA and create a child that is half daddy and half daddy (heh, I actually wrote this part before I read your ending... to me this would actually make more sense based on current trending morality). "What do you think?" I also think that people TODAY might choose to make their child not gay (if only to spare them some difficulty in life), as it becomes less difficult to be gay... well I don't know. In 100 years will people even think it's worth designing your designer babies around that? I also think that Star Trek (and modern morality) have an unspoken "don't mess with nature" law built in. The Prime Directive seems to lean that way. I think that designing our babies to do anything other than not have horrible diseases will probably be off limits. Obviously time will tell though. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:00:57 PDT Robert Comment by Andy's Friend on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @Joshua: ”There are no gay people in Star Trek because no one chooses perversiont in the future. End of story.” @Robert: "Although I fundamentally disagree with Joshua, I believe its a topic worth of discussion in the context of Star Trek, especially with this episode." @Everyone else: Joshua’s fundamental attitude is of course not worth waisting time on. However, I wholly concur with Robert. However, I disagree on the final outcome. Yes, “seeing a gay person on the bridge of a starship” far in the future could be very meaningful and important to the viewers, and especially to the particular viwer. But the question is actually: would it be realistic, i.e., consistent with the view of humanity in TOS and TNG? I believe it’s short-sighted to focus on gays, or the absence of gays, in Star Trek. There’s a much, much more obvious absence in all the series that is indicative of the much greater issue at hand: that of obese humans. In other words: in Star Trek, what we see in the future is ideal humans. Consider that. This is especially true in TOS and TNG, where every human is more or less an ideal human, in every way, except for a few individuals who turn out to be more or less insane or otherwise "inhuman", such as Bekker in "The Doomsday Machine", or even better, Korby in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?". But see also Satie in "The Drumhead", Marr in "Silicon Avatar", Maxwell in "The Wounded", or Graves in "The Schizoid Man", just to name a few. Apart from such "wounded", "schizoid" people, and the very rare example of Pressman in "The Pegasus", humans on TOS and TNG were virtually always near-ideal: physically "perfect", and morally paragons of virtue, much like Jean-Luc Picard. There are very few shades of grey here. This poses a much, much more fundamental question than the superficial gay issue; the gay question is interesting, of course, in late 20th/early 21st century contexts, but less significant in the grand scheme of Trek. The real question is: why are there never, apart from such clinical cases as the above mentioned, any anormal people in Star Trek, apart from the genetically enhanced in "Space Seed", before DS9 revisits that exact same theme with "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?", and "Statistical Probabilities"? [It’s interesting to note how DS9, which completely subverted what humanity and the Federation had evolved to in the course of TOS and TNG, also subverted their very idea of ideal people.] Allow me to quote my previous comment on this thread of Dec 28, 2013: "Secondly, about the absence of homosexuals in Star Trek: what if ― just what if ― there are no homosexuals in the 24th century? What I mean is this: I have no doubt that we in Picard's era will be much more "enlightened" (see below) than we are today. Nevertheless, I am convinced that no matter how enlightened, there is a very good probability that, given the possibility to screen and genetically modify embryos, we will make use of that technology. And given that possibility, I believe extremely few people, if any, will be born as, for example, dwarves, or albinos, or blind, or with Down Syndrome, if a simple genetic modification is all it takes to make the embryo "normal". We can all agree that there is nothing wrong with any of these people, but nevertheless, I am convinced that virtually all parents would prefer said small "corrective" genetic modification(s). There is no doubt that it will some day be possible to do this, and all human history shows us that what is possible to do is also done. All we need is to get used to the idea. [...] The question is, where does homosexuality stand? I can't help but wonder how many parents, if given the choice, would/will prefer their child to function "within normal parameters"? Did the producers of Star Trek ever contemplate these matters? Why do we virtually never see anyone outside the norm in Star Trek? On TNG, we never even see any overweight humans. (David Ogden Stirs' character in "Half a Life" was an alien. So are the Pakleds. Other than that only a couple of guest stars are slighty chubby). Is this a mere coincidence? What do you think? What will happen when we finally begin to be able to make such precise modifications to our genome? [...] We know that genetic manipulation takes place in the Trekverse, and while "enhancement" is prohibited, what do we know of "corrective" procedures? Can genetic manipulation be the reason why virtually every human on Star Trek is so "normal"? Why we never seen any disabled, or even overweight, human of any kind? Can this be why we never encounter homosexuality among humans on Star Trek?" And to finish, what follows: "More profoundly, is it thinkable that [...] in enough centuries, we will all be some sort of "perfect" mainstream beings? Or is it thinkable that we will leave such technology, which undoubtedly will be developed, unused?" This is really the main question we should be considering; homosexuality is merely part of a larger question. I’m guessing all of us ― apart from Joshua ― can see no moral wrong in being a homosexual. I’m guessing most of us ― including me ― can see no ethical problem with civil marriages for gays. I’m guessing some of us ― though not me ― can see no ethical problem in gay adoption. But *when* a bit of genetic resequencing of an embryo is all it will take to make the future child a person who will not be blind nor deaf, nor have some other physically or mentally crippling genetic disorder [I’m *not* including homosexuality in this category], and who will be able to fall in love and have children with a person of the opposite sex as the most natural [no pun intended] thing on Earth, who will refrain from doing it? I’m guessing not many. To me, there's nothing as beautiful in creation or evolution (your choice) as the ability of two people of the opposite sex who love each other to have a child that is, quite literally, a part of them both. This is something truly amazing. For no other reason than that, I would feel extremely sorry for being gay, just like I feel extremely sorry for all the people who for one reason or another cannot have a child with the person they love. I think adoption is a beautiful thing. I think the capacity to love a child that is not your own is a beautiful thing. But don’t tell me that that is what every straight couple in love dream of. No, we dream of creating new life, unassisted by technology, that is, magically, a part of ourselves and the very man or woman we love. And I believe (though I may be wrong), that this is some sort of longing, and a problem, that at least some homosexuals who truly love each other somehow must feel, at some point. “Ahh, if only we could...” So please don’t take this the wrong way. But who on Earth would deny their future child the possibility of having a "normal" family, if all it took was a visit to the doctor? I seriously believe that someday in the future, there will be no homosexuality. I seriously believe that in the future, every human being will be near-perfect. And yes, I’m sorry to say this, but there is such a thing as "perfection" to most humans. We all know that, let’s not pretend otherwise. When the technology becomes available, we’ll all have different eye and hair and skin colours, but we’ll all have essentially the same build, etc. No one will chose their child to have short, crooked legs, or be bald, or with a tendency to be fat. We’ll all look essentially alike. Hell, to any alien species out there we probably already do. That’s actually something I like about TNG. In TOS it would of course be totally unthinkable to mention homosexuality. But by the time TNG was around, the issue could have been adressed. By season 7, we could have seen a gay captain in one of the episodes. In a way, I’m actually glad we didn’t. I understand Robert’s argument that that would be an important message to the viewers back then, or even today, twenty years later. But I actually believe that doing so would be an undermining of the “ideal human” idea that pervades TOS and TNG. No, some of you may be thinking: “What is this idiot talking about? There is no such thing as an ideal human.” I share that sentiment, but again, please, let’s not fool ourselves. There’s nothing wrong in being very short, and yet we give people growth hormones these days. I’m sure that in the real 24th century, no one will be missing homosexuals in TNG; in fact, they’ll probably praise it for not caving in to that particular social issue of its day, and having been so far-sighted in predicting the human trend for perfecting ourselves as soon as the relevant technologies are becoming available. In that way, we humans aren't really that different from the Borg. But I may be wrong. Who knows, by the 24th century, maybe we’ll see it as something natural that two male homosexuals, one of whom is some sort of cyborg, have their DNA matched in a laboratory, and then have their scientifically engineered child implanted in the cyborg for gestation. It could certainly be done, and would merely be another take on our resemblance to the Borg. All I’m saying is, the other way around would make a lot more sense. What do you think? Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:09:18 PDT Andy's Friend Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Inner Light http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/innerlight.php I would watch Patrick Stewart read the phone book. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/innerlight.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:02:42 PDT Robert Comment by Robert Hill on TNG S5: The Inner Light http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/innerlight.php Not to be a party-pooper here or anything, but the success of this episode lies largely with the acting ability of Patrick Stewart. It was a good piece of melodrama in itself, but take Stewart out of it and replace him with any other member of the crew and it just wouldn't be quite so captivating. I agree that the 30+ years of memories passing by in a real time of 25 minutes, and with that the memories of a life aboard a star ship that live within, was effective and certainly captures the imagination, but I can't help but feel there is a little too much love for cheese here on this board if everybody is tearing up at the mere mention of this episode. I just watched The Wind That Shakes The Barely earlier today! Now that has the power to elicit tears in me! The Inner Light? Not so much. Like I said, it's a good episode elevated by Stewart, but it is not a masterpiece of sci-fi/melodrama at all! Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/innerlight.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 08:55:52 PDT Robert Hill Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php "This is interesting because there was also an episode where Odo linked with a "male" changeling. If we DO accept that changelings have a gender, the Odo was definitely double dipping." Agreed. It was stated (in some ways) that linking is even more intimate than sex. But even if Odo is confused by solid terms I don't the "female" changeling would actually consider herself female or consider her or Odo bi-sexual. That's why I went with pan-sexual... I just think it's about the person, not about an attraction to a gender. In a lot of ways DS9 was very progressive about sexuality. I particularly liked that in "Rejoined" nobody even blinked that Lenara was a woman. It was all about violating the Trill taboo that people were upset with. DS9's progressive take on sexuality was, to me (especially as a product of the time) a natural progression from TNG being willing to dip their toes into such subject matter in this episode. Sadly future Trek series dropped the ball. When I was younger and watching Star Trek I couldn't understand why people were clamoring for a gay character. I mean, I wouldn't have had a problem with it (my parents were pretty conservative, and my father even fairly religious... but they actually never tried to teach us there was anything wrong with being gay, and I had already watched gay characters on Roseanne) but I didn't see the need. I suppose it comes with being a straight white male. With a little more perspective I see the legacy Gene left. A Japanese man, a black woman, a Russian (during the cold war) and even an alien first officer (how nice to think that when we finally meet another species we'll be friends with them). That's a legacy of inclusion. A show that had the first interracial kiss written by a man who's pilot included a female first officer! For all of Gene's faults it's a hell of a legacy and one that I'm proud to be a fan of. With a little more perspective I do see that Rick Berman dropped the ball. It might not have meant much to me as a middle schooler watching Voyager, but to the kid who just realized he was gay it might have meant the world. A quote from Whoopi Goldberg : "She said, 'Well when I was nine years old Star Trek came on,' and she said, 'I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, "Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!"' And she said, 'I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be, and I want to be on Star Trek.'" Now that I'm older I could see what seeing a gay person on the bridge of a starship in an accepting future could have meant to that kid. And I'm sad that Rick Berman decided he couldn't boldly go where no one had gone before. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:47:16 PDT Robert Comment by $G on DS9 S5: Ties of Blood and Water http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s5/ties.php I quite like this one. I was surprised to see its relatively negative reception over at the AV Club (which did a quality retrospective of the series that's nearly on par with this site). There are minor flaws in this episode, such as having one line too many about Kira being all Ghemor has left. We get it. And, maybe not a fault of the episode, but I really feel its earnestness would have benefited from a middle chapter somewhere between "Second Skin" and now. "Ties" suggests Kira and Ghemor probably have had contact, but something more than that would have been welcome. That said, it's a really solid episode with good character work for both Kira and Dukat. The Ghemor plot dovetails nicely into the show's current events, showing how rich and thoughtfully plotted DS9 is on the whole. Dukat's attempts to silence/convince Ghemor to return were satisfyingly treacherous (especially pulling out the daughter bait, at which Ghemor doesn't bite). The scene in Kira's quarters was so well done, played very viscerally by Visitor and Alaimo. It's obvious Kira hates Dukat, but there's something about the scene that just festers (it's the teacup she throws) that gives it the added kick. Some last touches I really enjoyed: -Weyoun having too much fun. He's just with Dukat because it's his job. He's probably seen the man's posturing in a hundred other would-be dictators the Dominion have puppeted over the years. -The Cardassian propaganda machine. Dukat mentioning Ghemor's "conversion" is such a foul PR spin that it's to be expected at this point. Ghemor won't be buried on Cardassian soil, but his name will still sadly be used in the way he hoped to fight against. Honestly, this one is an easy three but gets an extra half star for dangling and treating so many plot and character threads at once - so, 3 1/2 stars! A hidden gem in the pantheon of great DS9 hours. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s5/ties.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:18:18 PDT $G Comment by John on DS9 S2: Paradise http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s2/paradise.php Two main flaws with this episode: No one considers that this "duonetic" field could lose its effect after a certain distance. You can't tell us that her little box buried in the woods affects the entire planet. Either one of the colonists or Sisko/O'Brian would have simply walked as far as it took to get out of the affected area. It simply would have been a better outcome if O'Brian had escaped, walked a few days, gotten aboard the runabout and then used it to locate her field generator. And the ending...I mean really? These colonists may have wanted to call that place "home", but you're telling me that after 10 years isolated in that crappy village, they don't even want to visit the Federation again? If not only to see friends, family, get additional supplies, etc?... Completely unbelievable. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s2/paradise.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 03:16:03 PDT John Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @ Elliot I've never been to a luau, so it should be fun. :) @ Joshua It's sad that you are so judgmental . . . obviously your parents failed to teach you about empathy or respect for your fellow man. Apparently Star Trek didn't help either. I can only hope one day that you'll see that bigotry and fear is no way to live a life. @ Robert/Elliot/bbhor Your discussion of Odo's gender/sexuality is fascinating. My two cents? In the episode where Odo boinked the hideous "female" changeling as the solids do, the dialogue basically stated that linking is the Shapeshifter equivalent of sexual intercourse. This is interesting because there was also an episode where Odo linked with a "male" changeling. If we DO accept that changelings have a gender, the Odo was definitely double dipping. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 01:17:20 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Jack Bauer on ENT S2: Precious Cargo http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s2/precious.php If its any consolation, Brandon Bragga calls this piece of filth the worst episode of Trek ever. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s2/precious.php Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:21:24 PDT Jack Bauer Comment by Jack Bauer on ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/recap.php Yall should watch this documentary on the failing of Enterprise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYGGXRNvR5Q Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/recap.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:58:51 PDT Jack Bauer Comment by Flying Tiger Comics on ENT S1: Dear Doctor http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s1/deardoctor.php Dear Doctor is evil pablum but it would at least have been cool if the race wasn't the Menk but a race that in the later shows had turned into an existential threat, like the Cardassians... Law of unforeseen consequences and all that. But no. Waayyyy too smart for this show and its pathological hatred of not just TOS but also the normal rules of storytelling in prequels. Lucasian in its level of fail. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s1/deardoctor.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:37:52 PDT Flying Tiger Comics Comment by msw188 on TNG S3: The Defector http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s3/defector.php We do see Tomalak briefly in the finale. Are there really no other appearances by him after this? I don't think this one is 4stars for me. I have a minor personal complaint that prevents a highest rating - I've never liked it when stories put the viewer/reader/whatever in the position of one of the protagonists, but then withhold the protagonist's plan for the sake of a surprise later. It would have been tough to make this story work well otherwise, but it still bothers me. See, the episode pretty clearly shows events unfolding from Picard's perspective. As others have noted, the (well-built) tension is derived from our lack of knowledge, dramatically presented as Picard's lack of knowledge. It makes Picard's decision to 'go for it' exciting, because we understand the risks inherent with incomplete knowledge just as Picard does. Except that when the Klingon reveal is made, we realize that no, we didn't actually understand the risks (or lack thereof). This, to me, gives the built-up tension a slightly fake quality, and it disconnects me from the main characters. Despite that rant, the episode is still great in a lot of respects. Mid to low 3.5 stars. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s3/defector.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:37:08 PDT msw188 Comment by msw188 on TNG S6: Schisms http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s6/schisms.php I skipped this one on my recent rewatch (first since initial broadcasts and early reruns) because I had forgotten which episode it was. I did a bit of reading and realized this was the episode with 'the scene' and I watched it today. I bring up my experience because I think it fits with my thoughts on the episode. As a whole, there's not a whole lot going on, and the script isn't anything special. But that one scene in the holodeck really sticks in the memory as something genuinely creepy, if you are willing to suspend disbelief just a bit. I'd have a hard time giving a star-rating to something like this. The scene is a triumph of idea and atmosphere over character; the abductees feel like they could've been practically anybody. The rest of the episode is okay, but nothing great. The Ode to Spot was just lovely, but Geordi's conversation with Data feels like it belongs in an episode where character matters. I'd waver between 2.5 and 3 stars myself. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s6/schisms.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:14:10 PDT msw188 Comment by Victoria G on VOY S6: Muse http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s6/muse.php People may not realize that this episode is taken straight from Greek theater. Many will recognize the chorus and the masks, but there are three types of plot twists that are included. Two were described by Aristotle – the reversal of fortune (Peripeteia) and the moment of recognition (Anagnorisis). Then there is the Deus ex Machina at the end. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s6/muse.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:16:25 PDT Victoria G Comment by Flying Tiger Comics on VOY S7: Flesh and Blood http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s7/flesh.php Any captain who didn't lobotomise the obnoxious, wasteful and irritating picardogram after this little effort should be put up for general court martial herself. Absolutely ridiculous stuff and when you think what this show could have done... Gah. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s7/flesh.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:00:50 PDT Flying Tiger Comics Comment by lynxminx on TOS S1: Miri http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s1/miri.php Actually Jammer, the psychology and brain makeup of children is demonstrably, significantly different of that of adults. Even after 300 years, their society might still differ from what we would expect of adults...though I agree this episode doesn't render the concept in a way that rings true. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s1/miri.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:52:47 PDT lynxminx Comment by Pluto Nash on VOY S5: The Disease http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s5/disease.php I was less interested in "Harry's Story" than the generational ship, particularly its past. What was the world they left like? Is there a specific star or destination they sought out? What experiences did they have to make them so afraid to contact any other civilations? Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s5/disease.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:14:47 PDT Pluto Nash Comment by Peremensoe on DS9 S3: The Abandoned http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s3/abandoned.php (Spoiler for later DS9...) Jem'hadar do have other motives than bloodlust, obedience to the Founders, and need for white. They value the *ideals* of their loyalty and devotion to victory, and respect for a warrior ethic of strength and camaraderie. Thus Omet'iklan is willing to kill Weyoun (presumably against standing Founder orders), for doubting the first, and not to kill Sisko, for upholding the last. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s3/abandoned.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:55:48 PDT Peremensoe Comment by Jammer on DS9 S6: Resurrection http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/resurrection.php The star rating on this episode is indeed too high. It should be lower, and I'm willing to concede that. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/resurrection.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:48:52 PDT Jammer Comment by Veronica on DS9 S3: The Abandoned http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s3/abandoned.php "I, Borg", as noted before, posed a real ethical dilemma as Hugh was altered by his experience on the Enterprise. The Abandoned shows none of those signs. It wasn't a bad episode but I found the words Odo used to convey "humanity" to the boy to be what I call "Star Trek stock spiel". I understand the show has an ethos to protect, but I found it all too heavy-handed in this instance. New here. I've watched all other Star Trek series (TOS and TNG in reruns as a kid, Voyager as it aired, Enterprise a few months ago) except this one. Working my way through DS9 for the first time. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s3/abandoned.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:13:12 PDT Veronica Comment by msw188 on DS9 S6: Resurrection http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/resurrection.php I find it a bit interesting that I agree with basically all of Jammer's complaints about this episode, especially about how slow and ultimately pointless it feels. It also doesn't make a lick of sense to me why the dude feels he HAS to go back, and why Kira doesn't, oh I don't know, ARREST the bad Kira. The result is that I really don't get Jammer's star rating on this one. The few 'nice' moments he mentions feel way too inconsequential to boost the score this high. Also, if Quark was the one who decided to put those flashing lights outside of his bar, he should be shot out of a docking bay. Worst background visual ever. At one point I wondered if they were supposed to be some kind of visual cue that the audience's warning bells were supposed be going off (duh) even though Kira's weren't. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/resurrection.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:12:33 PDT msw188 Comment by NCC-1701-Z on VOY S4: Demon http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s4/demon.php The silver blood thing seems like something out of a Doctor Who episode. Except that even the worst Doctor Who episodes are made almost watchable by the antics of whoever happens to be playing the Doctor in that particular episode. This episode, on the other hand, had boring, flat characters this time around in addition to a boring, flat plot. I think I fell asleep before the very end and never bothered to actually watch the ending. Also, Jammer, this is one of the funniest reviews you've ever done. (My vote for funniest Jammer review still goes to the ENT "Precious Cargo" review.) I guess it can be fun to creatively trash a really bad episode - I think you covered all the major plot holes although I won't be going back to the ep to make sure. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s4/demon.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:08:48 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by msw188 on DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/cordially.php Some friends of mine are watching through DS9. I tried joining them one night a while ago, and one of the episodes I caught was Meridian. I didn't return until the other night, when I caught this episode and the next one. I'm sorry folks, but this episode is pretty bad. There are a couple of good things I can say: 1. Bashir (since when is he Worf's choice for a ceremony like this?) and O'Brien are awesome. Meaney is as good as ever in the role. 2. Some of Martok's lines, while still a bit too cheesy to really resonate with me, have some worthwhile stuff to say. But the bad far outweighs the good here: 1. Alexander is here. 2. Worf and Jadzia don't seem to be a particularly good couple. 3. The crew is inept - how do things get done when security officers join parties, and/or miss their shifts? 4. I still don't like Brooks' acting. 5. The most potentially interesting scenes are kept offscreen: 5a) Odo and Kira 5b) Jadzia's final meeting with the Klingon lady 5c) O'Brien and Bashir attacking Worf I could probably go on, but I'm sure anyone reading this gets the idea. Contrast this bullshit with the O'Brien wedding (Data's Day). For one thing, it wasn't the entire focus of the episode. For another, even not knowing Keiko at all before that, there was a definite feeling of wanting the wedding to succeed. I'm not certain that Worf+Jadzia will be good for either of them, so I can't decide if I want this wedding to succeed or not. Also, the TNG episode gave us the single best Data-face ever. It's a bit unfair to use that in a comparison with this episode, but I'm doing it anyways. Maybe most importantly, the predictability of the standard 'wedding-drama' is used playfully in Data's Day - Geordi has to make it clear to Data that, despite Keiko's protestations, Data should be ready to proceed with the wedding. After all, that's how these scripts play out. The script has a tongue-in-cheek feel that makes it fun even if it's unsurprising at the end. Meanwhile, this script's predictability just makes it dull. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/cordially.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:04:10 PDT msw188 Comment by Peremensoe on DS9 S4: Paradise Lost http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s4/paradise.php I just watched both parts again. I too feel they are of equal quality--or, more precisely, form a coherent whole story of quality. This is *not* like the cliffhanger two-parters for which the second halves were written separately. "Homefront" definitely contains clues to Leyton's real plan; for example, he says he's had weapons stockpiled... for *just such* an unprecedented security deployment. Also, Sisko does tell people about his changeling encounter, at some point off screen. He declines to tell Dad at first, not wanting to scare him and not sure yet how he himself is going to proceed. But by the end both Dad and Odo clearly know that there are changelings, plural, on Earth. Not that there's really much useful intelligence there. The claim of "four" may or may not be true, and in any event Starfleet already knew there was one, and if the Dominion can land one they obviously could have landed a bunch. Changelings can 'eat' if they want to. Finally, a note on direction. Remember the (great) scene where the Red Squad cadet proudly explains the sabotage operation--and thus Sisko learns the full, awful dimensions of Leyton's plot? The crushing fact of treason by his own CO, who he had learned from and respected? And then the *next* scene is so dark--literally dark, as he and Odo grapple with the betrayal. The light of "paradise," so bright in the early, sunlit outdoor scenes, has fallen into shadows. Four stars. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s4/paradise.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:55:23 PDT Peremensoe Comment by NCC-1701-Z on TNG S5: Cause and Effect http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/cause.php I love how in each iteration, Beverly's glass breaks every single time no matter what she does. Classic episode, especially with Picard shouting "ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP!" over and over again. 4 popcorns. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/cause.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:06:43 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php "On another note, now that I think of it, Odo can be seen as a kind of transgender/no gender character. One who chooses his sexuality... or does he? hmm " I choose to think Odo and Dax are nearly pansexual (and Dax is genderless). Jadzia obviously has a gender, but the Dax symbiont cannot possibly have a gender as we understand it and seems to be capable of romantic relationships outside the consideration of gender (a trait that Jadzia Dax has demonstrated to have obtained via joining most likely). There was no element of bi-sexuality in her attraction to Lenara Khan, it was much more gender blind/pansexual. As to Odo? He only exhibits sexual attraction towards women, but I don't think he selected his gender anymore than Data did. Odo's is modeled after his "father" Dr. Moya and Data's is modeled after his "father" as well. I would assume that both of them would be capable of attraction to their same gender, since the entire great link is well, practically the same organism? "ODO: To differentiate yourself from the others. FOUNDER: I don't. ODO: But you are a separate being, aren't you? FOUNDER: In a sense. ODO: When you return to the Link, what will happen to the entity I'm talking to right now? FOUNDER: The drop becomes the ocean." That basically means that, to my understanding, they should all be the same gender (or lack there of). And unless something in them programs them to like humanoid females, I'd imagine that, should the right man come along, Odo could be attracted to him. (I'm SURE there has got to be some Odo/Garak fan-fic somewhere). Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:15:55 PDT Robert Comment by Elliott on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php I was pleased that DS9 was willing, at least, to address the topic of fluid sexuality (Dax in "Rejoined," Odo in "Chimera, Quark, God help us all, in "Profit and Lace"). I was far less impressed by the silliness in, say "Body and Soul," or, God couldn't help us if he were real, "Bound." SIgh, and of course the Abrams' flicks are just dripping with "not-gays" (see RedLetterMedia). Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:11:26 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @Robert : 2 words : Rick Berman Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:05:04 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php If there is a hell, I'd imagine it's a lot like South Park's depiction as a never-ending luau replete with the sexually, intellectually, spiritually, interrogatively, communally, conversationally, historically, physically and socially interesting lot of humanity (aka "the sinners"). Joshua, I'm sure Jammer would agree that your comment was not censured because you have a radical opinion, but because you used a hateful slur. @ Dave in NC--see you at the luau! (you, too, Joshua) Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:04:07 PDT Elliott Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php "Although I fundamentally disagree with Joshua, I believe its a topic worth of discussion in the context of Star Trek, especially with this episode." The lack of gay characters in Trek is certainly worth discussing. In the context of a 20th century TV show that was ground breaking in it's exploration of other kinds of diversity. DS9 for example had exactly 1 white male on the show (characters of course, not actors). And he wasn't even an American. For a franchise that had the first interracial kiss and people from different colors and countries flying on a starship together 40 years ago, it is notable that they never really boldly went there with a gay character. So yes, it's totally a valid discussion to speak on why there were no gay characters written into Star Trek by the writers of our time. It is NOT a valid discussion to speak on if there will be no gay people in the future. That there is troll bait. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:03:59 PDT Robert Comment by bhbor on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php This is what I never get about religious people. One would think that if Dave's soul is doomed, why would you care feeling so satisfied in your correctness? Let him burn if that is the will of the universe, which in all its wonders and complexities has awarded Earth (and I suspect, in your ONE religion) as being the center for moral correctness... for some reason. The fact that there aren't gay characters in Star Trek (although the topic is broached in a handful of episodes across all the series) says more about our societies present view of sexuality than it does about the future. Although I fundamentally disagree with Joshua, I believe its a topic worth of discussion in the context of Star Trek, especially with this episode. On another note, now that I think of it, Odo can be seen as a kind of transgender/no gender character. One who chooses his sexuality... or does he? hmm Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:32:21 PDT bhbor Comment by Time_Travelling_Robert_From_Yesterday on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php ::Points to "Don't Feed The Trollz" sign:: ::Slaps his present self in the head:: ::Slingshots back around the sun:: Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:17:26 PDT Time_Travelling_Robert_From_Yesterday Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php "Dave in NC isn't the only one who should be worried for his soul" Agreed. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:13:16 PDT Robert Comment by Joshua on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Vulcans don't even have emotions, so I don't see how that applies here. Diversity is not a virtue. Dave in NC isn't the only one who should be worried for his soul, i hope you know that promoting sin is almost as bad as doing the act. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:59:42 PDT Joshua Comment by bhbor on TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s3/watches.php I was really surprised by the low rating on this episode since it is easily my favorite in TNG. People have made fine points back and forth about the consistency of atheism within the Federation here, and I don't really have the time to dig into that at the moment except to say that Sisko's role as Emissary in DS9 never, in my opinion, converted him from an atheist Star-Fleet commander into a believer. It seems that he maintains that the Prophets are some kind of 4th dimensional worm-hole aliens, incredibly intelligent but ignorant in their own way about corporeal life and certainly never regards them as gods. It is very interesting to ponder how such incredibly powerful entities could be so flawed in regard to their understanding of our universe. In this stage, Sisko's role is to define and defend "humanity" ie-corporeal beings by engaging in debate rhetoric was one of the most fascinating aspects of this show. In regard to "Who Watches the Watchers", I found Patrick Stewart's interaction with the proto-Vulcan leader absolutely spellbinding. The musical score was perfect when Picard asked her to 'touch his face...flesh and blood', it gives me goosebumps every time I watch it. Picard's eventual answer to the question, "I wonder if we will ever travel the stars?" ... "of that I have no doubt" carries with it such a profound spirituality in itself, which I feel most true scientists today hold dear. Science is bad mouthed as a kind of religion in itself, but true explorers willingly except their own ignorance about the complexities of the universe through the profoundly limited lens of human perception, and carry on a question for knowledge despite the enormity of life's complexities. Within this, religion was, and always has been a poor explanation for the wonders of life. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s3/watches.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:43:14 PDT bhbor Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php IDIC Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:36:10 PDT Robert Comment by Joshua on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php I'm sorry to see the gay agenda is alive and well on here. I expected most of you to have drunk the kool aid, but i was surprised Jammer would censor my comments when he talks about freedom of speech so much. There are no gay people in Star Trek because no one chooses perversiont in the future. End of story. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:20:25 PDT Joshua Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: The Dogs of War http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/dogs.php I think that in earlier seasons of DS9 they had those kinds of TNGish round table discussions (like the discussion in Playing God about destroying the proto universe), but in later seasons (especially in the middle of the war) they just had less time for those kinds of scenes and so they did away with a lot of them. A lot of S2/S3 episodes had pieces like that when it was needed (Blood Oath, The Maquis, The Abandoned, and Life Support to name a few... even some later episodes like Children of Time had them). I don't usually feel like it was detrimental to the episode to not have it either, but sometimes it was. The real issues were things that took place in the war like Odo/Sisko not resigning on the spot when the Federation ordered him to not stop the genocide of the founders, or nobody blinking when he poisoned a planet or everyone going back to being buddies with Odo the day after he betrayed them. The show often tried to tackle some themes that were greyer than they were willing to handle. But I think it was rare. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/dogs.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:53:35 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: The Dogs of War http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/dogs.php @Elliott - On my own pondering of greyness... First to your point about giving voice to opposing points of view. 1) Tuvix - This was as grey an episode/theme set as it got, and Captain Janeway's final action should have been very controversial... but literally everyone agreed with her (except maybe the doctor, but he barely even morally objected, he just couldn't do the procedure without consent). 2) For The Uniform - Sisko poetically poisons a planet in such a way that humans cannot live there but Cardassians can, some might say poetic justice (including me) since they can switch with the Cardassians who the Maquis poisoned earlier, but the closest we got to an objection is Worf hesitating to push the torpedoes for a second. And he didn't clear it with Starfleet. These are grey episodes and themes, but on TNG Dr. Crusher would have been forcefully making her case, and possibly a few others. That said, I don't know that it makes DS9 intellectually stilted and sophomoric or that it failed to host grey content. I feel like what was grey about DS9 (in a refreshing way) was that we were not always supposed to agree with our heroes. Take "Hippocratic Oath". I THINK the episode intended for us to agree with Bashir, but I'm not sure. And even if it did, that sort of makes O'Brien the villain of the piece. The successfully grey pieces were the characters. Some had their dark sides added better than others (Sisko/Kira's dark sides were explored MUCH better than Odo's in my opinion) but they all felt more like real people in some ways than the TNG crew. They had rough edges. Where it did fail is that when dealing with questionable content you often want somebody objecting (it can be horrifying as in Tuvix when something like that is going down and nobody objects). But I don't know that it happened on DS9 as often as you think it did. That was handled better in TNG though. VOY I usually felt like the characters were too broken by their dictator to disagree with her.... Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/dogs.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:37:35 PDT Robert Comment by AEMom on TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s6/chain1.php Jellico talks about liking a certain degree of formaility but I was quick to notice that in every single interaction with the crew, he always calls them by their first names. To me, this was very disrepectful and went a long way to increasing the crew's dislike of him. But full credit to him for getting Troi back in standard uniform. Too bad they didn't follow suit with Seven in Voyager and put her in a standard science uniform. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s6/chain1.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:32:28 PDT AEMom Comment by Elliott on DS9 S7: The Dogs of War http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/dogs.php @M.P. "In the comment section about a show which successfully hosted grey content; most of you are simplifying extremely complex issues into black and white." I'd take exception to the "successfully hosted grey content" portion, but I agree with your conclusion here. " I see many repeat names (Elliot[t] being the most prolific, I believe) commenting on every episode the same diatribe. 'DS9 sucks because the Federation isn't being portrayed as a Roddenberry utopia.'" No mention of the "insanely ironic" here? That you have reduced criticism of this show (or at least mine) to a repetitive (yet somehow also prolific) "diatribe" about Roddeberrian Utopia. This episode's comment thread alone has 8 postings from me (not including this one) spanning almost four years' time--does it really take that much writing to say I'm a DS9-hater? Please. If you don't want to read my comments, that's entirely your prerogative, but please don't snidely dismiss what you've obviously chosen not to bother to understand. That DS9 didn't "fit with" or chose to undermine the TOS/TNG Federation vision is not a subject with which I take issue, it's the *how.* And the *how* differs (usually) from episode to episode, thus meriting a specific response. Because you've already chosen to corral any criticism of the DS9 ethos into a "well, it's not what Roddenberry would have wanted" camp, you see any comments to that effect as being repetitive, when they are not. I would speculate that this belief is bolstered by your claim that DS9 "successfully hosted grey content," which I find at least partly erroneous. DS9 certainly liked to host grey content, but it very often failed to actually give voice to points of view which contribute to those real-world dilemmas such situations allegorised, making its philosophical content often woefully one-sided and intellectually stilted in some New Age, college sophomore-level mediocrity. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/dogs.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:58:33 PDT Elliott Comment by Yanks on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php How did we get on economies again? :-) Especially reviewing this episode? Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:04:59 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on ENT S4: Observer Effect http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/observer.php Sean, Could you please explain? Thanks. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/observer.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:39:13 PDT Yanks Comment by Polly on TNG S7: Journey's End http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s7/journeys.php This episode illustrates what seems to be a common mainstream American misconception, which is that entire foreign cultures exist purely to help some middle class white American male to to get his act together. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s7/journeys.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:25:22 PDT Polly Comment by Flying Tiger Comics on VOY S6: Spirit Folk http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s6/spiritfolk.php I'm rewatching Voyager and recently passed this episode. I didn't hate it, but the massive number of wasted episodes is heart breaking. Voyager should have bitten the bullet and said no holodeck eps. It would have made it better. Imagine if they used the Equinox crew thingy- and people got addicted to it like an electronic narcotic? The show starts pretty strong and it has a restrained gothic horror edge with its multiple Frankenstein tropes- Borg, Vidiians and such- but man did it blow it all on the jog to Endgame. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s6/spiritfolk.php Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:13:38 PDT Flying Tiger Comics Comment by M.P. on DS9 S7: The Dogs of War http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/dogs.php Oh good Lord. It is insanely ironic. In the comment section about a show which successfully hosted grey content; most of you are simplifying extremely complex issues into black and white. This is the simplest way to say it. Neither socialism nor capitalism is "right." Both have good and bad points. Both are highly grey. Right is relative. Anyway, about the actual show. It is fine if you do not like DS9 based soley on it not fitting in with an idealized-Roddenberry vision. Saying that is also fine, to a point. But I see many repeat names (Elliot being the most prolific, I believe) commenting on every episode the same diatribe. "DS9 sucks because the Federation isn't being portrayed as a Roddenberry utopia." We get it. We get why you don't like it. Hammering that into every episode's comment section is ultimately self-defeating. You just come across as a whiny DS9-hater chest-thumping for the sake of being heard. Most of you are better than that; your intelligence shows it. So at least step up your game and give us something else if you must keep commenting about the same subject. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/dogs.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:10:02 PDT M.P. Comment by bhbor on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php If Star Trek teaches us anything its to embrace diversity - that, and simple metaphors are a great way to explain away complex technobabble. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:56:30 PDT bhbor Comment by bhbor on ENT S4: Observer Effect http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/observer.php I don't feel like going back and forth on the details of this one, I was just impressed by Scott Bacula's acting in the final debate with the reanimated corpses of Trip and Hoshi. His quiet sadness rang true. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/observer.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:29:59 PDT bhbor Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @ Joshua I'm a gay dude, and trust me when I tell you it's not a choice. If it were, I'd be straight. lol Although . . . I have to agree with Elliot, I suspect that you already know that better than anyone. @ Robert & Elliot & Sonya & Andy's Friend & everyone else besides Joshua: Thanks for being open-minded and inclusive. Trek fans really are the best people! Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:21:35 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Dave in NC on DS9 S6: Profit and Lace http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/lace.php Oh, and way for the writers to regress Quark back to his Terok Nor days: I really was shocked when he sexually harassed his employee and at the very end it turned out she was into "oo-mox". Just awful. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/lace.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:11:22 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Dave in NC on DS9 S6: Profit and Lace http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/lace.php This is even more horrible than the DS9 Risa installment. Painfully unfunny jokes abound in this implausible P.O.S. episode. I've read that Armin Shimerman had huge problems with this script and refused to do some of what they had asked of him. I shudder to think how this could be any worse. I hated how Quark became a tired female cliche once Bashir was done with him. Aren't we past these types of cinematic "farces"? This painting of women/transgendered people in a bad light is SO pigheaded. Why was Star Trek sending such boneheaded messages this late in the game? Couple that with some of the lamest Ferengi dialogue ever, a saccharine soundtrack and some very lackluster acting performances and what do you get? A very stinky turd. 0 Stars Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/lace.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:08:59 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Dave in NC on TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty? http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php @ Andy's Friend That is a good poem. Thanks for sharing. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:57:19 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Andy's Friend on TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty? http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php @William B.: About your opening question: I did a quick search, and this is what I found: Jordan (I) from "The Temple" (1633), by George Herbert (1593-1633) "Who says that fictions only and false hair Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty? Is all good structure in a winding stair? May no lines pass, except they do their duty Not to a true, but painted chair? Is it no verse, except enchanted groves And sudden arbours shadow coarse-spun lines? Must purling streams refresh a lover's loves? Must all be veil'd, while he that reads, divines, Catching the sense at two removes? Shepherds are honest people; let them sing; Riddle who list, for me, and pull for prime; I envy no man's nightingale or spring; Nor let them punish me with loss of rhyme, Who plainly say, my God, my King. [from eNotes.com:] "Herbert's "Jordan (I)" is very difficult to understand because understanding the poem depends completely upon understanding the allusions that pepper the poem, the allusions that are scattered throughout. Remembering that Herbert was a devout Christian Anglican and minister, after resigning his parliamentary career, it is easier to understand the first and central allusion in the title: Jordan. There are two "Jordan" poems and both discuss writing poetry. "Jordan" is thought by most critics to allude to the Jordan River that is important to the people of Israel in the Old and New Testaments. In the Old, the people of Israel cross the Jordan to get to the "promised land," and, in the New, Jesus is baptized in the Jordan at the beginning of his ministry. The general opinion, then, is that Herbert is setting up a poem about the divinely inspired potential of poetry as being regenerative and as giving renewal, if, that is, poetry could stop being what he saw it as presently being, which was that poetry was false. "Who says that fictions only and false hair Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?" In the first stanza, Herbert contrasts the Jordan allusion--the potential for poetry to give spiritual renewal--to poetry that is fictitious, false and artificial. There is debate about some of his allusions in this stanza but he seems to be invoking images of sonnets to loved ones who have artificial beauty (false hair) and images of poems that praise this falseness; he seems to be lamenting this falseness in persons and in poetry: "Is there in truth no beauty?" He seems to criticize the structure of poetry, compare it to a winding, circular staircase and suggesting poetic structure is overly complicated. He seems to suggest that in poetry reality is embellished, that it can't be plain reality: "Not to a true, but painted chair?" It is clear now how allusion is present in every line and through the allusions in the second stanza, Herbert seems to be criticizing poetic conventions and cliches. Many critics take "enchanted groves" as an allusion to the convention of pastoral poetry that praises the rural lives of shepherds and shepherdesses. Herbert seems to see this as part of the falseness of poetic convention and cliched lines, like "purling streams refresh a lover's loves." Ironically, since Herbert is considered a metaphysical poet, the last two lines seem to criticize the conceits of metaphysical poems, which make unusual comparisons between two things to arrive at one truth. The third stanza alludes, again, to pastorals and to the second stanza itself. He is suggesting that while pastoral poems may go too far from reality, shepherds are themselves "honest people" who should sing as they like. Yet, he says that he rejects poems with riddles to solve and cliched phrases, like "nightingale or spring." The last two lines seem ambiguous to critics. Some say they allude to Herbert who wants to write plain, straightforward poetry. This explanation seems unlikely to other critics who suggest Herbert is further criticizing poets who drop rhyming and write in plain lines without rhyme: "Who plainly say, my God, my King." This latter opinion makes a good deal of sense as it accords with the syntax of the three lines: envy no man, let them, who. It also accords with what we know of Herbert's poems, which speak honest truth but surely do not do it in a plain and straightforward way." It's past midnight here in Scandinavia as I'm writing this and I'm frankly tired, and as I said I haven't seen the episode for years, so I won't even try to say anything meaningful, and just leave the interpretation up to you. What do you make of the poem, and how does it relate to the episode, in your opinion? Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:48:20 PDT Andy's Friend Comment by Andy's Friend on TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty? http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php [...and why did you have to comment on the one and only season of all Star Trek I don't have on DVD?!... :) I haven't seen this one in quite a while (about five-six years), so I'm sorry, but I am at a loss for anything to say about this particular episode. I remember it as one of the better or best of the season, along with "All Our Yesterdays", but that's unfortunately all. However, Edith Keeler doesn't necessarily strike as the best one-off female character from TOS. As I don't have S3 on DVD I can't even remember "The Enterprise Incident" nor the Romulan commander you mention; I personally think more of Vina from "The Menagerie" and Andrea from "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", and, for very personal reasons, Droxine from "The Cloud Minders", my earliest Star Trek memory, when I was six years old, and the very episode that made me an overnight fan of Star Trek. Keeler is of course memorable, but that is also because the episode is very much so, too; but I personally find Vina's and Andrea's situations far more interesting. I'm not talking about acting skills or lines of dialogue, but the sheer weight of the situation; I've always had a great deal of sympathy both for Vina and Andrea. Needless to say, "The Menagerie" and "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" are two of my favorite TOS episodes. But "Is There In Truth No Beauty?" is one of the few from S3 I can actually vaguely remember, and favourably at that, so I'm guessing I'd give it three stars just like you would.] Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:18:03 PDT Andy's Friend Comment by Andy's Friend on TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty? http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php John Adams to Thomas Jefferson September the 2nd, 1813 "Now, my Friend, who are the άριστοι [aristocrats]? Philosophy may Answer "The Wise and Good." But the World, Mankind, have by their practice always answered, "the rich the beautiful and well born." And Philosophers themselves in marrying their Children prefer the rich the handsome and the well descended to the wise and good. What chance have Talents and Virtues in competition, with Wealth and Birth? and Beauty? [...] The five Pillars of Aristocracy, are Beauty Wealth, Birth, Genius and Virtues. Any one of the three first, can at any time over bear any one or both of the two last. Let me ask again, what a Wave of publick Opinion, in favour of Birth has been spread over the Globe, by Abraham, by Hercules, by Mahomet, by Guelphs, Ghibellines, Bourbons, and a miserable Scottish Chief Steuart? By Zingis by, by, by, a million others? And what a Wave will be spread by Napoleon and by Washington? Their remotest Cousins will be sought and will be proud, and will avail themselves of their descent. Call this Principle, Prejudice, Folly Ignorance, Baseness, Slavery, Stupidity, Adulation, Superstition or what you will. I will not contradict you. But the Fact, in natural, moral, political and domestic History I cannot deny or dispute or question. And is this great Fact in the natural History of Man? This unalterable Principle of Morals, Philosophy, Policy domestic felicity, and dayly Experience from the Creation; to be overlooked, forgotten neglected, or hypocritically waived out of Sight; by a Legislator? By a professed Writer upon civil Government, and upon Constitutions of civil Government? You may laugh at the introduction of Beauty, among the Pillars of Aristocracy. But Madame Barry says Le veritable Royauté est la B[e]autee [true royalty is beauty], and there is not a more certain Truth. Beauty, Grace, Figure, Attitude, Movement, have in innumerable Instances prevailed over Wealth, Birth, Talents Virtues and every thing else, in Men of the highest rank, greatest Power, and sometimes, the most exalted Genius, greatest Fame, and highest Merit." I could not agree more. Your opening question is an excellent one, William. All I can answer is that there is, in Truth, beauty. And that there is, in truth, Beauty. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:25:13 PDT Andy's Friend Comment by Peremensoe on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-films/wrathofkhan.php bhbor, you should check out the book series (by Patrick O'Brian) that movie was based on. The movie (which was great, as far as it went) used portions of a few volumes--the two named in yhe title, plus a couple others--but there are TWENTY books (plus an uncompleted one) in all! Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-films/wrathofkhan.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:10:30 PDT Peremensoe Comment by William B on TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty? http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php Here's a little ambiguity: what is the question that the title is actually asking? Is it, "Is there no beauty in the the truth, i.e., is the truth ugly?", or "Is there, in reality, no beauty at all?"? In Ode to a Grecian Urn, Keats says that truth is beauty and beauty is truth -- that is all. In the episode proper, the point is raised that it's a bias that humans have, going back to the Greeks, that beauty and goodness are intertwined. I think the episode might well be ponderous as Jammer suggests -- but I find it very interesting, being basically a series of reflections on the relationship, if any, between those core concepts of truth, beauty and goodness. Dr. Miranda Jones, whose name refers to Prospero's daughter in The Tempest, is a beautiful woman who chooses to communicate with a hideously ugly, but intellectually superior, alien Kollos of the Medusans. At different times, she is romantically courted by several human men -- Garvick, most notably, but also to a degree Kirk, as well as McCoy who also lusts after her. (For his part, Scotty seems way more interested in Garvick, in a dynamic that almost plays like a proto-Geordi/Leah Brahms relationship with lots of discomfort.) Kollos is an alien so different from humans that human conceptions of consciousness and values seem not to function around him; he is a being of pure abstraction. In other episodes, like in "Metamorphosis" or "Return to Tomorrow," beings that are significantly different from corporeal humans are revealed to be able to connect to humans on a personal level, even so, especially once they take on the form of flesh. But with Kollos, even his brief period of possessing Spock leads only to a momentary connection before he passes back into his box forever. He is remote. Here's how I read Miranda, then. Like many professionals and intellectuals, Miranda feels that she has to choose between a career of scientific and intellectual study and a life involving the heart and body. Both Kirk and Garvick suggest that she will ultimately be unfulfilled by a life bonding with Kollos, but the possibility that she might reasonably be able to do both -- to have human relationships with humans, and to practice the type of mental discipline required to understand Kollos and his abstract, intellectual being, and translate his knowledge to the rest of humanity -- is basically out of the question. With Kollos, Miranda can access "truths," about engineering in particular, that humans mostly don't have access to. But in exchange she loses touch with human notions of living. I think that this is a *particularly* resonant story idea with respect to women; there have been long strides since the sixties, but I think that it's still much harder for women to have both career and marriage, probably because of the emotional/caretaking role women are expected to have in a relationship, skills which don't always match up easily with the intellectual and energy demands of a hardcore academic/research career. Miranda is choosing the pursuit of truth over the pursuit of beauty, and she has a bunch of men whose entire *job* it is to seek out new life and so on telling her she should give beauty another shot and, hopefully, give up this silly truth thing. Kollos is deeply, deeply ugly. Beauty is associated pretty clearly with humanity -- but more to the point, *human* conceptions of beauty are incredibly biased to humanity, but it's also a bias that humans are going to have difficulty getting over. On some level, our moral judgments are based at least a little bit on aesthetics, on what seems right, and on what looks natural and normal. When dealing with something really genuinely alien, really totally out of the range of normal experience, is it possible to be open-minded enough to accept that "ugliness" without judgment? I think the episode's sort of scattershot approach to examining these themes makes a little more sense when we zoom out and see how elements introduced in one part of the story come out on another. The theme of jealousy, for example, first manifests in Garvick's human murderous jealousy at the fact that Miranda is being taken away from him by Kollos. Then in the second half of the story, after Spock has connected with Kollos and may die at any moment, it's Miranda's more subtle, and less obviously destructive, jealousy of Spock's intellectual ability to commune with Kollos that forms the basis of the main conflict. Jealousy, we learn, can take many forms. And Kirk insists that Miranda's jealousy is a kind of ugliness much worse than Kollos', and in so doing once again links goodness and beauty in a more metaphoric way -- but it's a link that also jolts her out of her shaky commitment to saving Spock, partly, I think, because Kirk has managed to find a truth about her which is itself ugly. The truth is associated with ugliness throughout the episode, including, at the end, *moral* ugliness, but taking glimpses at that truth is ultimately what saves the day, whether it's Spock carefully melding with Kollos to bring the ship back into the galaxy, Miranda accepting her human limitations that she can't fly a space ship, and Miranda noting and forgiving herself for her jealousy of Spock so that she can get over it enough to help him with all her effort and self. That Miranda is blind and also psychic has certain mythological connotations (check out, for example, the TV Tropes page for Blind Seer), and her blindness is what cuts her off from human notions of beauty even as her telepathy (...is this the only pure human who's telepathic? I guess Riker had some degree of telepathic contact with Troi for like twenty seconds in "Encounter at Farpoint") puts her into close contact with the uncomfortable, ugly truths of the psyches of all around her. She's a lot like Tam Elbrum from TNG's "Tin Man," who also finds himself drawn to a strange alien as an alternative to the overstimulation of the minds of those around him. The whole thing is poignant -- she shuts herself off to "beauty," which is to say, human notions of what is "good" and "right" in an effort to become a pure academic, studying "truth" in form with Kollos. But even there, she's got human limitations, and she knows that her bonding with Kollos will never be as complete as Spock's. That she stays committed to her intellectual connection with Kollos even while knowing that it'll be incomplete is a minor tragedy, while also in a sense uplifting -- she's a professional woman who is not swayed from her goal, and I actually wonder if she's the best, most interesting one-off female character in the Original Series, with Edith Keeler and the Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident" as the main competitors. Miranda is an interesting mirror for Spock, who also finds himself cut off from humanity and compensates for it with intellectualism and even a strong rejection of human notions; but like Miranda, he's still human enough to have human biases and human "ugliness" within him, which keeps him apart from his fully Vulcan side. I think the episode doesn't necessarily plumb the depths of the Spock/Miranda parallels as far as they go, but there is something special about these two. Miranda reflects the no doubt large amount of Trek fanbase who basically *want* to be Spock, want to be Vulcans, and yet find their human frailties get in the way; for her to be able to accept that, yes, she finds herself jealous of Spock for being born (half-)Vulcan, but that she will still devote herself entirely to saving him, is an impressive demonstration of the redemptive power of forgiving oneself for being imperfect yet still trying one's best. And I think that's a lesson that Spock, so intent on denying his human side much of the time (though by this point in the series he's a little more cool with it, I think) can learn. I think the episode is still a little strange, and somewhat low-key. But I like it quite a bit, and find it moving in an odd way. I would probably go for 3 stars. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tos/s3/beauty.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:27:08 PDT William B Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php And I REALLY hope Elliott is right! :) Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:24:04 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Interesting arguments you both make! And Andy's Friend, I wasn't so much concerned with your salary, but merely worried for a world in which all human lives (including those in developing countries making all this stuff) are treated with the dignity that people where you live are treated. I've been to Scandinavia, those people are well served by their governments... at least that is my perception. I live in NYC, and I assure you I paid more for my crappier house than my grandparents paid for theirs, even factoring in inflation. And it took me 2 salaries to do it instead of 1... as such I also pay obscene amounts for childcare. Over here there are people that overdo on the luxuries, but from where I sit even cutting out on luxuries would not make day to day costs any better. It's my perception that this is generally true in large US cities, though it may only be where I sit! As to going back to Trek, I will end with... I hope you're right, because Gene's vision is a place I'd like to live someday. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:23:40 PDT Robert Comment by Elliott on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php @Joshua : When you're ready to come out of the closet, the Jammer community will be here for you. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:57:40 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php @Robert : Your "false reality" argument is not to be ignored, but you missed something crucial here; the actual cost of producing an iphone or similar gadget is much lower than the retail price would suggest. Thus, while we certainly have to stop taking advantage of cheap (and especially slave) labour, if we both paid those workers a decent salary *and* stopped paying the cats at the top of the food chain exorbitant and undeserved salaries, the net result would be a society which most closely resembles what AndysFriend is describing goes on in Scandinavia. Here in America (and especially here in San Francisco where nearby Silicon Valley is the Ur of most said gadgets), the tech-folk and business elite live very much like the average Northern European middle class family because the US' economic model is so outdated, purchasing power depends on extreme economic disparity. But like in most things, this is no longer the 20th century and the US is no longer the trend-setter. I just hope we catch up soon. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:55:24 PDT Elliott Comment by Andy's Friend on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php @Robert: I didn't read your last comment, as I was answering you. So here's my reply to that :) The truth is that the main reason for the depth of the economic crisis in Southern Europe these days (apart from absolute inepcy by their various governments for decades) is exactly because hundreds of millions in developing countries have begun to close in our Western living standards. Of course this has its price; however, it won't be Scandinavia who will pay it, as these countries have the most educated and flexible workforces and labour systems in the world; there will always be room for investments here. Nay, the ones paying the price are essentially, and very severely so, the Southern Europeans, who are stuck in the middle: their workforce isn't qualified enough, but is too expensive compared to many others around the developing world. So we're witnessing, and will continue to do so for several decades, a gradual levelling in the world. Nothing odd about that; and because it's gradual, systems will eventually adapt. In Northern Europe, we're witnessing a gradual but fundamental change to a wholly tertiary sector- oriented economy: the highly skilled Northern European worker loses his job to two Southern or Eastern Europeans, and then one of these loses his job to five Chinese - and then these get a salary raise and motivate further investment in Northern Europe (and elsewhere). Recently, Chinese Suzlon placed their wind energy laboratories in Scandinavia - quite simply because this is where the cutting edge knowledge in the field is. And this is how Europe and North America must compete in the future; we can't compete on salaries. It's a gradual process, but eventually things will level. I'm not worried at all for my salary; it's more the unskilled Southern Europeans or Americans with four kids I feel sorry for. But then again, if their not being able to afford shiny fancy gadgets means more chinese families can have a decent standard of living, I can't say I truly feel sorry for them either. But this is a rather difficult debate, because there is of course a difference between not being able to buy shiny gadgets to your kids and not being able to buy them food at the end of the month. I suggest we go back to discussing Trek :) Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:46:22 PDT Andy's Friend Comment by Andy's Friend on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php @Robert: Sorry, Robert, but that is simply not true. Our grandparents spent far larger sums on the very necessities of life than we do today. Please investigate relative costs compared to income. This can actually still be seen today: Southern Europeans for instance spend a *far* larger amount of their income on fixed expenditure - rent, mortgages, utilities, food, etc. - than Northern Europeans, who have a far higher real income; that's why many in Northern Europe can afford say, holidays overseas three times a year, which very few in Southern Europe can. But as a whole, the Western middle class has a *much higher* purchasing power today than it had a hundred years ago. Although I agree with your "quality of food" argument: there's no denying that a hundred years ago, foodstuffs were of a higher quality than today's mass-produced, semi-synthetic swill. They contained higher levels of natural toxins, but that's nothing a proper handling of the ingredients won't take care of. Today, you have to go to the countryside, or pay premium prices in specialist stores in the urban centres, to buy the real thing. But I have a feeling that that is about to change as well. Again, here in Scandinavia people have begun spending less on gadgets and appliances and more on premium foodstuffs as a percentage of income, simply to get a richer experience in life - while in Southern Europe people still have to spend ridiculous percentages of their income on everyday, low-quality supermarket food products. Some places are just closer to the post-scarcity world of Trek than others. May I ask where you live, by the way? It's always nice to talk to people around the world; I actually think people should mention where they're from, because sometimes it helps to explain our very different outlooks. Living in Scandinavia, I see nothing outlandish at all in the "Utopian" TNG universe, for instance: it's the natural evolution of what's happening here. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:01:24 PDT Andy's Friend Comment by E on DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin... http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s5/withoutsin.php This episode surely doesn't deserve the hate. Yes, it is an obvious throw-away episode. As such, it's a pretty big waste of time that steers too far from the sci-fi genera, but it's not -terrible-. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s5/withoutsin.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:42:56 PDT E Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Think about it like this, if we paid the Chinese workers who built your gadgets what the minimum wage in Scandinavia is your historian salary would be lucky to be able to buy a calculator, let alone a smart phone. The cheap luxury goods thing you site is a false reality and the floor can come crashing down from under us at any time. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:34:55 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php @Andy's Friend - "Today, every middle-class and lower middle-class family in the Western world spends money on things that 60-80 years ago would be considered excessive if not extreme self-indulgence ― and quite often considerable sums at that." To offer a counterpoint. Luxury has gotten cheaper but necessity has gotten more expensive. Lower middle class people can often afford luxury items but a 3 bedroom house in a decent area and healthy foods on a regular basis are unaffordable. But that smart phone and flat screen are cheaper than ever. ::shrug:: We can't truly be approaching TNG levels of post scarcity when we can't afford the luxurious retirements, size of houses and quality of food that our grandparents had (whilst feeding 3x the number of children). And our cheap gadgets, coats and shoes will run out when China decides that sweat shops are bad. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:31:50 PDT Robert Comment by E on DS9 S6: Profit and Lace http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/lace.php I remember very distinctly not finding it funny, whatsoever, when Elmer Fudd fell for Bugs Bunny in drag. It actually made me angry. Skip ahead a few decades, and this was a whole new level of awful. I'm embarrassed for everyone even remotely associated with that episode. Zero stars indeed. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/lace.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:31:08 PDT E Comment by Andy's Friend on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php @M.O.: Thank you very much for your reply. Your comment deserves further explanation, I think. So here we go: First of all, I think it important to bear in mind our own cultural context. I’m a Southern European, today living in Scandinavia. However, I have also lived in India. Furthermore, I am a historian, and particularly interested in “longue durée” issues ― analyses across decades and centuries. All this of course colours my perception of the world. And because of all this, I have a very good grasp, for instance, of the various speeds at which our societies and mentalities are developing in various different parts of the world. Now, please read the full paragraph, and read it in context. I was describing how Western mentalities have developed in the course of the past 350 years, and extrapolating to another 350 years in the future. I described social issues such as crime and punishment, gender issues, race, sexuality, and so on. The trend is undeniable. I then touched upon the issue of money. Here’s the paragraph again, this time with asterisks to emphasise what you should consider: “Today we *more and more often* see people giving up perfectly good ― and well-paid ― ”respectable” jobs to embark on quests of ”self-realization”, usually involving some sort of artistic expression or spiritual journey. Money, *for an ever-increasing* part of the population *in the most advanced countries in the world*, isn’t really important anymore. Improving oneself is. *The seeds of TNG are already here: it’s already happening.*” I fail to see how you can dispute any of this. I am not saying that people in the Western world don’t care about money anymore. I am saying that *more and more people* in the most socially advanced societies on Earth ― places like Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, & Switzerland, the social avantgarde of the world, or the future of tomorrow, if you will ― are realizing that money isn’t all that important. As little as 60-80 years ago, to give another “longue durée” case, your average, European middle class familiy would seriously consider any significant expenditure before spending their hard-earned money. And what might such significant expenditures be? A new suit, or a new dress, or a new pair of shoes. The very fundamental things, which were of a higher quality then than they are today, and much more expensive, in relative terms. This is not no mention serious expenditure such as say, a new dining set of table and chairs for the dining room. Today, every middle-class and lower middle-class family in the Western world spends money on things that 60-80 years ago would be considered excessive if not extreme self-indulgence ― and quite often considerable sums at that. 60-80 years ago, the question was thus *whether* and *when* to buy a new pair of shoes, and whether buying a new surcoat for the winter was really necessary. Today, the question is *which* and *how many* gadgets to buy. What I am thus trying to illustrate is that money isn’t really that important anymore: many more people than ever previously take it for granted, and many more people than ever before spend it without thinking twice. We haven’t come to a replicator society yet, but we’re definitely closer than we were at the beginning of the 20th century. And in the most developed societies on Earth, people have begun to realize that earning more money is less important than spending your time with your family and friends and doing the things you enjoy in life. More and more people I know decline a promotion, for instance, because the salary increase quite simply isn’t worth the extra time you’ll have to deduct from the activities that truly matter to you. These people don’t strive to earn more money to buy bigger cars and TVs, they strive to spend more time doing what they enjoy. Similarly, more and more people agree to less hours of work and a salary decrease in order to be able to spend more time doing just that ― what they enjoy in life besides their work. All this would be unimaginable as recently as 60-80 years ago, when money was a more important driving factor in society than it is today. Hence my final phrase in that quote: “The seeds of TNG are already here: it’s already happening.” This is an undeniable trend. I fail to see how you can deny this. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:49:06 PDT Andy's Friend Comment by Robert on ENT S4: Home http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/home.php @bhbor - It WAS on his mind. "ARCHER: You want to know why I'm out here? I figured this is the last place I'd run into anyone who'd want to shake my hand or take my picture or tell me I'm an inspiration to their children. If they knew what I'd done. ERIKA: You did what any captain would have done. ARCHER: Does that include torture? Or marooning a ship full of innocent people? Because I don't remember reading those chapters in the handbook." The question is just if it was worth it to go back for them. I mean, we get the feeling Enterprise has been at Earth awhile and we aren't sure what direction they went. By the time we sent one of the only 2 Earth ships after them, it could take months to find them and their journey home was only 3 years. Not to mention they likely found the journey easier once the expanse was blown away. I do agree that Archer would want to, I'm just not sure it makes sense for Starfleet to do it. Of course you never know when the people you pissed off might come after you. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/home.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:35:25 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php ::Hangs up the "Don't Feed The Trollz" sign:: ::Walks away quietly:: Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:28:41 PDT Robert Comment by Joshua on TNG S5: The Outcast http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php [Comment deleted by Jammer] Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s5/outcast.php Tue, 16 Sep 2014 05:48:27 PDT Joshua Comment by Steven Schwarz on ENT S3: Azati Prime http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s3/azati.php I do not have a lot to say about this particular episode, but I would like to agree with the statement mentioned above about Reed. The character, and therefore the actor portraying him, is extremely irritating. He comes off as prissy, whiny, boorish, stuck in his ways. Not a pleasant experience to watch him. Major Hayes is a well trained military officer, I think if he wasn't, Reed would have been stripped of rank and demoted to crewman if Reed would have been in Hayes squad. I have no qualm with Mr Keating, but he is not really at his best when written as such a pompous person, and he is irksome to watch. Also please remember on these message boards, to keep colloquialisms out of our prose. A previous poster used the term 'jacked off'. This is an extremely offensive term in my English speaking country. It amounts to meaning more than the 'n' word, more like the 'k' word, or the 'c' word when describing women. How would you like it if while reading these posts, you suddenly saw a f*** c*** on the b***. (asterisks mine). Now, do you see my point? Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s3/azati.php Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:40:02 PDT Steven Schwarz Comment by Steven Schwarz on ENT S3: Azati Prime http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s3/azati.php I do not have a lot to say about this particular episode, but I would like to agree with the statement mentioned above about Reed. The character, and therefore the actor portraying him, is extremely irritating. He comes off as prissy, whiny, boorish, stuck in his ways. Not a pleasant experience to watch him. Major Hayes is a well trained military officer, I think if he wasn't, Reed would have been stripped of rank and demoted to crewman if Reed would have been in Hayes squad. I have no qualm with Mr Keating, but he is not really at his best when written as such a pompous person, and he is irksome to watch. Also please remember on these message boards, to keep colloquialisms out of our prose. A previous poster used the term 'jacked off'. This is an extremely offensive term in my English speaking country. It amounts to meaning more than the 'n' word, more like the 'k' word, or the 'c' word when describing women. How would you like it if while reading these posts, you suddenly saw a f*** c*** on the b***. (asterisks mine). Now, do you see my point? Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s3/azati.php Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:37:29 PDT Steven Schwarz Comment by M.P. on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php @Andy's Friend: You made very interesting points. While I don't necessarily agree with all of them; they were still well made and thought-provoking. However, there is one thing you said which is completely incorrect. "Money, for an ever-increasing part of the population in the most advanced countries in the world, isn’t really important anymore." Yeah, about that. Unless you are talking about the extremely-small percentage that is "super-rich;" money is still the most important thing concerning modern life. The huge percentage that is poor are quite obviously heavily concerned with it. The dying middle class is either concerned to not become poor or hastening their own demise with reckless spending. Even the upper-class rich still obsess over money because they know they can lose it easily; not to mention creating an inheritance. I don't know one person that has given up a well-paying job for "self-improvement" and not regretted it to their core. Money is still the core of our society and will continue to be until we overcome our limitation of resources. I respect your opinions but this part reads more like a teenager's concept of the "adult world." Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/ar-558.php Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:49:51 PDT M.P. Comment by navamske on VOY S3: Future's End, Part II http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s3/future2.php @Robert "But if the Enterprise [crew] wasn't exiled on Vulcan when the probe reached Earth it would have been really, really bad. In some ways, Khan saved Earth!" Yes, that's an excellent point, and it applies to the Jar Jar Abramsverse too. I can't see that there was anything about Nero's incursion to the past, creating an alternate timeline, that would keep the whale probe from showing up on schedule. It was a unique set of circumstances -- including Spock's reeducation after having died -- that allowed the crew to give the probe what it wanted, circumstances that aren't likely to occur in the new timeline. Old Spock should be telling Fake Spock, "You guys had better haul ass back to the twentieth century and pick up a couple of whales if you know what's good for you." Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s3/future2.php Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:28:41 PDT navamske Comment by tpel on VOY S4: Hunters http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s4/hunters.php I don't hate Neelix, but I do think he handled the situation with Tuvok's letter poorly. He's got to know that a letter from his family would prompt an emotional reaction, and that Tuvok would want to deal with that on his own time, and in private. By hovering, Neelix really was intruding. Now, if he had left him alone, but called him "Grandpa" at breakfast the next morning, that would have been funny :-) Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s4/hunters.php Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:14:34 PDT tpel Comment by bhbor on ENT S4: Home http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/home.php It bothers me that Archer never set out to rectify his decision to strand the alien vessel from "Damage" after Earth was safe. One would think, considering the unethical gravity of his decision to steal the alien warp-coil, that it would have been on the back of his mind (if he survived the Xindi arc) to make that one wrong, right. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s4/home.php Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:04:27 PDT bhbor Comment by Liam on TNG S2: The Royale http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s2/royale.php I don't know, I've always had a soft spot for this episode. I like the mystery aspect and the idea that aliens used a trashy novel as the blueprint for creating a suitable environment for the astronaut. There's more going on here plot wise than the standard holodeck gone awry or time travel period piece episode. Comments http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s2/royale.php Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:43:11 PDT Liam