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Peter G.
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

@ SlackerInc,

No need to argue the episode with me, as I have no right to make claims about its content. My point was more about MacFarlane that about the specifics of the episode anyhow. I stuck my nose in anyhow just because what I read was disquieting as part of a would-be Trek series so I waned to comment on that aspect of it.

If you live in a religious area then from your perspective I can see how the anti-religious view would be a minority position in your daily life. But it's certainly prevalent enough in TV and film (to say nothing of certain geographical areas) that I don't see how a skewering of religion could be seen as 'refreshing.' When Voltaire wrote Candide it was refreshing. At this point it's almost a cliche. That doesn't take away from your right to enjoy such a message, but MacFarlane is hardly taking some kind of chance portraying religion as being ridiculous; on the contrary, he's merely repeating the chorus of his main audience, reaching for low-hanging fruit. In fact, for someone like him to praise religion in any sense would be the risky move as many who like his kind of work would go apes**t if they heard anything other than what they expect.
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Peter G.
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 12:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

@ SlackerInc,

"Personally, I find it refreshing that some atheists/secularists like MacFarlane are willing to dispense with all those niceties and just speak forthrightly."

Refreshing? Have you been living under a rock for 15 years? Or maybe you're from Utah and don't see anti-religious sentiment very often around your parts.

"I find it interesting that all the people getting offended here seem not to acknowledge that (as Riker pointed out) the “pope” was actually portrayed as a man of integrity!"

Again, I haven't seen the episode, but if your definition of "integrity" is that he acknowledged that his religion was a bunch of nonsense then that's a very self-serving definition. A Catholic could just as soon turn around and say that in order to demonstrate integrity you'd have to admit that atheism is a bunch of nonsense. It ought to go both ways, right?

There seems to be some kind of weird premise a lot of Trek fans have that Roddenberry's vision of the future is anti-religious and that enlightened humans are too smart for such superstition. Nothing could be further from the truth, and doing a good viewing of TOS followed by TNG would demonstrate over and over that this isn't the case. Neither is it the case, mind you, that Roddenberry seemed to care to say much of anything about religion in the other direction, so we could perhaps suggest that the series is agnostic about statements of truth in this arena.

I rewatched TNG's Where Silence Has Lease the other day and came across this gem of a quote from Picard, which should dispel any idea that Trek somehow backs a materialist position in regards to existence:

"DATA
I have a question, sir.
(sits)
What is death?

PICARD
You've picked probably the most
difficult of all questions, Data.

There is the beginning of a twinkle in Picard's eyes
again. It is the sort of question that his mind loves.

PICARD
(continuing)
Some explain it by inventing
gods wearing their own form...
and argue that the purpose of the
entire universe is to maintain
themselves in their present form
in an Earth-like garden which
will give them pleasure through
all eternity. And at the other
extreme, assuming that is an
"extreme," are those who prefer
the idea of our blinking into
nothingness with all our
experiences, hopes and dreams only
an illusion.

DATA
Which do you believe?

PICARD
Considering the marvelous
complexity of our universe, its
clockwork perfection, its balances
of this against that... matter,
energy, gravitation, time,
dimension, pattern, I believe
our existence must mean more than
a meaningless illusion. I prefer
to believe that my and your
existence goes beyond Euclidian
and other "practical" measuring
systems... and that, in ways
we cannot yet fathom, our
existence is part of a reality
beyond what we understand now
as reality."

This is surely not a statement definitively describing a creator, and yet at the same time it calls into question the logic of assuming that a universe so perfectly tuned could be imagined to be merely the random result of a bunch of meaningless stuff. This kind of statement, an acknowledgement of wonder and realizing that what we perceive is certainly not the extent of what there is - this is the heart of Trek. One can disagree until the cows come home about one theory of existence or another, but mockery of a belief system and calling people psychotic for thinking there's something beyond crude matter, well that's what I'd call completely anti-Trek. There's nothing rational about thinking you're so smart that you can slam dunk an entire sphere of inquiry (metaphysics) and call people idiots who think about such things.
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Peter G.
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 12:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

I'm watching this favorite episode once again and had something click into place for me that I never saw before. Garak is first approached by Sisko to develop a plan to bring the Romulans into the war, and the type of plan Sisko requests is that Garak ask an informant to supply proof of Dominion duplicity. Garak appears to agree to try this plan...but does he really? The next piece of news we hear is that, to the shock of everyone, Betazed has fallen to the Dominion

Three days later Garak reports, with unperturbed composure, that all operatives contacted by him were killed by Dominion security within a day of speaking with him. His mention of Dominion efficiency at first suggests that Garak is as cool a customer as they come, sardonic in the face of terrible results, and that's how I always read the scene. However right after this he outlines a new plan he's come up with since the old one had failed, which is to bring Vreenak to the station to show him a forged data crystal. Garak assures Sisko that he can arrange for both the forgery and for the Senator to agree, but only if the invitation comes from Sisko himself. Garak also knew in advance that Sisko would never have the stomach for something that Starfleet would refuse to back, and here comes the kicker: When Sisko mentions that Starfleet would have to approve such a plan Garak immediately reminds him that since Betazed has just fallen Starfleet will no doubt be amenable to such a plan where they might not have been before.

Consider this: Betazed apparently fell so easily because the fleet guarding it happened to be away on training exercises, leaving the planetary system undefended. This is a pretty crazy thing to hear when one stops to think about it. It's a real wtf moment. They literally went off to train and lost a key star system for nothing within a day? That's not just a disaster, it's outrageous. To be honest I'd never given it much thought before. Just how did the Dominion get so lucky as to attack a key system that was normally defended at such a time as the fleet was away? The episode doesn't even address this question, and you'd think that the first thought would be that there was a Founder behind it or something like that, but the writers avoid discussing it altogether for some reason. It only clicked for me now for the first time after having seen this episode umpteen times. Here's the timeline:

-Sisko approaches Garak to bring Romulus into the war.
-Garak mentions that NO ONE wants the Dominion stopped more than him.
-Betazed falls due to the Dominion magically knowing a fleet was momentarily out of position.
-Garak presents a plan to Sisko that Starfleet would never had approved unless they had just lost a key system.

There's no certainty here, but this explanations seems to me to fit better than any other: Garak knew that to approach him Sisko must be desperate. Garak knew of the training exercise, fed the Dominion the information necessary for them to easily capture Betazed, lied to Sisko about having tried to contact agents who then died, and presented to him what had been the real plan all along, knowing that Sisko basically had no choice but to accept. And the reason Garak required Sisko to go along with all this is because Vreenak would never have gone anywhere near Garak or the station unless someone as credible as Sisko invited him. The beauty of it is that Garak's plan had outstanding chances for success since realistically all that he needed to accomplish was (a) getting past security on Vreenak's ship, and (b) keeping Sisko from losing his head during the process. These were both reasonable things for him to expect he could do, and so giving away Betazed - as crazy as it sounds - would have been a safe sacrifice to make with immense potential returns. He had probably already concluded, as Jack and the mutants had, that without a decisive turn of events the war was unwinnable by the Federation, and so from that perspective even if the gambit had been a longshot it would still be better than nothing.

It makes sense, but I'm wondering whether I'm connecting imaginary dots or whether the writers meant to imply this. If so then it was very subtle, but the clue is when Garak conspicuously mentions Betazed to Sisko right after telling him in a nonchalant manner that Sisko's version of the plan had failed.
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Peter G.
Sun, Dec 10, 2017, 9:00am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

@ bleakness,

"I mean too "on the nose". But since it was a satire of modern day Catholocism, than I'm fine with that.
I've noticed something in common with most good sci fi writers have with good comedians: if you are easily offended.. if you are JUST LOOKING to be offended, and then complain when you are offended.. GET OUT"

You have missed my point. Something cannot be a satire of something (like Catholicism) unless it actually understands that thing. I assure you that Seth doesn't, and further, that he couldn't care less to understand it. Putting out legitimate grievances with a religion is perfectly valid as an excercise in the intellectual forum. Putting out a 'rebuttal' of a fake version of the thing isn't satire, it's propaganda designed to whip up hatred based on a lie. It's the same tool fascists use to make the population angry. It's true, I am offended. But not at the attack on religion, but rather on the attack on intellectual integrity. A show being associated with Trek and yet undermining all of its values - that's what offends me.
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Peter G.
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 10:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

I'll preface this post by saying that I don't watch this show and haven't seen any episodes since the pilot. However I trust Trek fan's reviews and based on what he says I'd like to chime in with one point. MacFarlane isn't a thinker, and his writing in general isn't ever meant to show two intelligent sides to any topic. Family Guy is an example par excellence of how MacFarlane thrives on creating straw men to mock any world views other than his own, and how the intellectual tenor of the show was to deride without raising anything up. It's indicative of a downward spiral of nihilism, where the only value is to demonstrate that there are no values. Based on Trek fan's description here (and I apologize for dragging you into my post) it sounds right on point for MacFarlane's track record, which in this case sounds like a completely one-sided mudslinging effort designed to once again trounce a straw man and make people who agree with the fake position feel really smart for being so superior to the dumb religious people. Go check out TOS for examples of how local religions are treated with respect regardless of whether the Enterprise crew agrees with them. Creating a ridiculous version of "Christianity" just to throw religion under the bus isn't a debate, it's merely flimsy propaganda. Although I might add, sadly, that this kind of ham-fisted propaganda can be all-too effective. Once again, based purely on what I'm hearing, the Orville sounds like the precise opposite of everything Trek stands for. There's nothing more scurrilous than a hateful message being delivered with a smile, just like a bottle of arsenic with sweet flavoring.
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Peter G.
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 11:19am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Mirror, Mirror

To add to what Trent said, not only is the message idealistic, but within the terms of the episode it can be arrived at through pure logic. Even mirror Spock with his alternate set of values and training is unable to escape the inevitability of the truth of what Kirk says. It's not a matter of opinion or of political system: it's a stone cold fact that no one can change. Violent, oppressive rule will always be self-defeating in the long run. What's amazing about the message is that it's not merely utopian, which tends to imply that a thing *could* happen, but rather it implies that the final collapse of tyranny is an inescapable conclusion that is only a matter of when, not if.
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Peter G.
Fri, Dec 8, 2017, 11:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

@ Skorpa,

I think you're probably right that he episode ends up saying nothing. I'd like to respond to one early comment you made, though:

"Seven wasn't raped. They knocked her out and stole some of her nanoprobes. That would be like someone knocking me out and stealing some of my blood."

I think you may have missed the implication of taking her nanoprobes. In the Borg the nanoprobes are what they use to assimilate and create *new Borg* drones. Think about that for a moment: it's what they use to reproduce. The closest analogy to this wouldn't be knocking you out and taking your blood, it would be knocking you out and *taking your sperm*. And yes, if someone did that I'm quite certain it would qualify as rape in every sense, especially in the sense of it being an assault on someone's sexual organs. It might seem odd to refer to a piece of technology as a sexual organ but in the Borg that's exactly what it is.
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Peter G.
Fri, Dec 8, 2017, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

This is a single episode later than Conspiracy and it's already clear they're setting up for the Borg invasion. I had heard lots of talk that the Borg were originally meant to be insectoid and that the parasites from Conspiracy were a lead-up to that until they decided to go another way. Watching this episode now I've decided there's no way. The parasites had a different MO, a different attitude than a race that would simply remove entire outposts. The queen parasite insisted that they wanted *peaceful coexistence* (i.e. they control humanity) and I believe she meant it. What we see in The Neutral Zone is a whole different animal. These are not the same threat.

Another thing I'd forgotten all about is that Commander Tebok tells Picard that there had been no contact with the Romulans for decades because "matters more urgent caused our absence", and that in their absence they'd been negligent and allowed both the Borg attack as well as the Federation expansion. What in the world could have been going on for the Romulans between TOS and now? Civil war? Rebellion? War with another race (the Klingons)? It's an awfully curious tidbit to throw in that never gets any explanation that I know of. It's funny to even have Tebok say it because I don't think any audience members would have ever had the thought that the Romulans were conspicuously absent. There were TOS S3 eps with them, and now one in TNG S1, so it's not like there was an unexplained hiatus. But they decided to state that there had been one anyhow, and left it at that. Weird.
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Peter G.
Tue, Dec 5, 2017, 9:01am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

I can hardly believe I'm saying this, but I think I've realized that this episode is meant to be a possible criticism of the perfection of the TNG crew and Federation society. Armus says that a society of beings wanting to perfect themselves and eliminate their worse parts literally did so, by shedding their evil instincts and becoming beauteous things. When I heard this it occurred to me that this is exactly the manifesto of TNG's world, much more so than TOS ever claimed. In TOS no one claims to be perfect, and although Earth's values have advanced and peace is considered a virtue, individually people still have foibles and don't pretend to be perfect. On TNG, though, their pretensions of being nobler creatures are much more pronounced, and Skin of Evil seems to me to strike directly at the heart of that: if you renounce all the darker sides of humanity and try to shed them, they *will not* disappear, but will end up simply being shunted somewhere else, possibly somewhere unexpected. And the more repressed and ignored these darker parts are, the stronger they'll actually be, especially when they unexpectedly appear and boil to the surface.

I think this is a surprisingly disturbing episode despite having essentially no story, and despite the fact that Yar's passing is fairly unremarkable. In a funny way Armus reminds me of The Incredible Hulk, insofar as he's pure unadulterated pain and rage with no possibility of reasoning with it, and the only possibility of survival is to avoid or escape him. In both cases, despite the threat level, you end up pitying them rather than wishing them ill, because they just can't help it and are only the way they are because they're victims of circumstances beyond their control.
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Peter G.
Mon, Dec 4, 2017, 11:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

I agree with you, Trek fan. This episode can be ridiculed for its simplicity, and yet that's why it's great. The makeup is ridiculous - and yet that's the exact reason it's brilliant, because so is the racism being portrayed. The characters seem so extreme, and yet that's only because they are so convinced they're right. And the arguments seem to go in circles forever and go nowhere - which is exactly where circular logic goes. Both of them are even given rather convincing sounding things to say about each other, and the point is that in the end none of it matters. They can be as right as they like in each of their points and yet in the end their hatred is wrong no matter how right they are. The destroyed world is the only conclusion that could possibly come from people so resolute in being correct about another's misdeeds. This note, that being kind and forgiving is more important than being right, ends up transcending the racism theme and can speak to any number of egoistic problems people have where they put their own concept of correctness over and above the point of view of others. The proof is in the pudding: take a look at U.S. politics today. This episode is must-watch TV now more than ever. We've regressed since this first aired.
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Peter G.
Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 9:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Things Past

@ Joey Lock,

I agree with you that Kira's attitude could come off as somewhat holier than thou, but I don't think that's what they're going for, and having just quickly watched the scene again I'm not really sure that's even what it looks like. When I read your comment my recollection agreed with your assessment, but now that I look at it again with this in mind I feel like maybe you (and I, too) read into the scene something we expected to see rather than what's really there. We see it as a mirror to the end of "Necessary Evil" but this one is different. If I had to name the feeling Kira's showing in this scene it would be sadness, rather than judgement or condescension. What she actually says is that she and others had held Odo so highly that he was practically perfect, and now she realizes he isn't and that image is shattered. If you want to read carefully into that what's really happening is the idol of him that she'd constructed is tumbling, and she's sad to be losing the memory of it; it's a growing pain for her. Odo's remark is that this leaves him as being just himself, not some perfect person. Her sadness can even be read as a kind of happiness in that she's more like him than she thought...for better or for worse. Insofar as she doesn't like certain aspects of herself now she can see some of herself in him, which of course causes her pause. Not because she condemns him, but because she realizes he shares her weaknesses and she no longer has that unreal version of him to cling to. Without giving spoilers, it's probably this scene and Odo's humbling realization (and hers) that allow what comes in future seasons to happen.

Check the scene out again, I don't think she's questioning his morality. She's realizing he's not perfect, and she's right, and is coming to terms with that. She never should have thought it in the first place - it was a childish vice of hers to try to make things so simple. Over the course of 5 seasons she's had a lot of childish notions busted, but this is the time it's finally her notions about him. Think back to Crossfire and how clueless she was to what he was going through. Back then Kira couldn't imagine Odo could ever have problems or fail at anything; she said in that episode that he was so solid, always reliable. It was like a kid talking to a parent. When kids grow up they realize parents aren't perfect, sometimes deeply flawed. Realizing that doesn't mean one condemns the parents; it's the childishness being washed away.
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 10:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Chrome,

I agree that TNG S1 is underrated in terms of what it offered at the time. I'm rewatching it now and some of the episodes that are theoretically not so good are still enjoyable to watch. Is Code of Honor a good episode? No. But I watched it and wasn't bored or annoyed. In hindsight that's quite an achievement! A lot of it has to do with the youthful enthusiasm of the show in general, the charisma of some of the cast, and the obvious sense of wonder the S1 was going for that even exceeded what they achieved on the point in other seasons. And the music in S1 is entirely unlike the rest of the series, with episodes often having entirely original scores that set the tone for the episode almost as much as the script.

Other episodes that Jammer has rated rather poorly, such as Angel One and Too Short a Season I actually found rather enjoyable, despite not being that memorable in the grand scheme of Trek. By contrast, if we want to observe what's really dated, The Arsenal of Freedom, which is an action-packed effects hour, seems now to be stilted and not that interesting because the drone's movements look foolish and the drama is based too much on the action. The charms of S1 are timeless, but episodes like Arsenal show that trying to get by on effects and action can only go so far, and this I fear is the danger in how they're running Discovery. How many charms does the show have that will stand the test of time and make you want to watch it again in 30 years? When No One Has Gone Before is awesome, as Jason R. mentioned. No show made now would make that episode's quality fade with obsolescence.
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Peter G.
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 10:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Brian1,

I think you're absolutely right. I would personally put TOS up there with the greats, though, with only maybe a half-dozen of its episodes being legitimately tedious to watch.
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Peter G.
Mon, Nov 27, 2017, 1:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

@ William B,

"But I don't really think the episode leverages Tuvix' feelings and the crew's reaction to him against Tuvix the character."

It's about the balance of what we're shown. Let's say half the crew felt badly for Tuvix and the other were repulsed by his raction, but we're only shown the half that were repulsed in the episode. Regardless of what the crew 'actually felt' what we're shown would make it seem like being repulsed is the 'correct' position to take, since the moral fibre of the crew is supposed to be a given. The fact that some hypothetical other crew members might have felt differently matters little if we're not shown that side of it; it may as well not exist. In this episode we're shown only two sides of it: the Doctor refuses to cooperate, while the rest of the crew is either silent or else seems to actively find his position repulsive. The Doctor's side *is* in there, but it's also brushed aside with little difficulty and frankly not taken very seriously, which is quite common for when he levies objections in episodes that the Captain casually dismisses. He really is treated like a piece of technology some of the time. But the episode seems to dismiss his position as being "just the opinion of the annoying holodeck doctor" as opposed to "the ship's computer, programmed with Starfleet morals and laws, has made a claim that this action would be unethical." That issue is never taken seriously and the bottom line in the episode comes down to Janeway making a strident pronouncement and no one else's say mattering. On TOS there would without a doubt have been a hearing featuring the entire senior staff before taking an action of this sort. On TNG there would have been an Observation Lounge meeting to discuss. On DS9 Dax would have ripped Sisko a new one for making a choice like this all by himself. But here the killing of a man begging for his life seems to be just another day at the office, a simple decision for Janeway to make just like so many others.
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Peter G.
Mon, Nov 27, 2017, 1:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Yanks,

"I would propose that there are no more "continuity problems" here than in any other trek incarnation. ... probably less. "Convenience" is part of SCI-FI... not just trek. How many times throughout trek does a crew happen upon something for the sole purpose of an episode? ... or a movie?"

Sorry man, but yes, the majority of posters here seem to acknowledge that there is much material either left out or on the cutting room floor. I've never seen a single episode of TNG or DS9 that left me scratching my head going "Wait, what? How did that happen? Did I miss something?" Voyager rarely produced that reaction but it did on occasion, mostly due to technobabble replacing plotting in a clunky fashion. In DSC my jaw was gaping during pretty much every episode, sometimes multiple scenes in a row where what I was seeing made little to no sense. Just watching Into the Forest I Go alone elicited more confusion and failure to understand the story than did the entire series of TNG. There's really no comparison. You can love or hate the show, but it's pretty clear to me that the frequent continuity issues and lack of connecting logic leaves most of the episodes dangling in the air where you're not sure what the meaning of any of it was. Jammer himself seems to have suspended judgement as to what the cause of this may be, whether it's 'waiting to surprise us with an answer', having no clue, or having made blatant errors, or some combination of the three. I don't think we're all crazy here, this show has some messy elements to it.
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Peter G.
Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 8:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

@ William B,

I agree that showing Tuvix as having compassion for his 'killers' is an interesting note for them to have hit. Overall, I might add, this is in my top ten episodes of Voyager, and so I have the utmost appreciation for some of the detailing and how the episode made me feel. I think the episode had some good writing, good direction, and very good acting. It was also one of the few episodes that allowed Kes to have a real issue to deal with that was interesting.

That being said, I do think the writer/director didn't think through the implications of what they were writing. They may have been going for edgy, but one of my chief complaints about Voyager in general is that the moral tone of the show is inconsistent and basically comes down to each writer of the week making up their own version of what's right and wrong - often resulting in Janeway looking schizophrenic. I think this episode is an example of that, where an otherwise good piece of writing makes sense only in a vacuum but not in the general context of Trek or...frankly, even any world I'd want to live in.

When you say that begging for his life makes Tuvix look undignified, you're exactly right. And it's his desperation that gives him the stink of wrongness to the crew (at least that's what it plays like to me). But that's the whole problem! A desperate, scared person will inevitably look more undignified than someone who feels they're in a safe position - even in the position of looking like a hero in a dangerous situation. But Tuvix isn't in a dangerous situation, he's simply slated to be removed. Recall those colonists in DS9's "Children of Time" who fear, not so much death, but never having existed in the first place (especially the Klingons) and having their entire existence removed so that others could have an existence instead. That episode at least took the moral quandry seriously enough to weight both sides as worthy. But here Tuvix isn't given the same consideration and so he becomes desperate...a normal response. Could he have behaved more like a Picard or a Socrates? Maybe, but that shouldn't really affect our feelings about whether he should die; perhaps only our feelings about how amazingly stoic he was. Just think about the implications of holding someone's desperation to live as a strike *against* them in a situation where they're going to be killed. Not to be overly morbid, but think about fascist regimes like the USSR or Nazi Germany, and how many of the victims there must have dealt with impending doom - desperation and fear were probably common. And yet it would be seen as the height of callousness to dismiss them as having had undignified deaths when they could have been more stiff-lipped about it. Generally that's not how we discuss victims; we rarely if at all mention how well or poorly they dealt with it, and tend instead to focus on the perpetrators of their demise. But here we see just one victim up close and personal and get to see his pleas in all their pathetic details, and of course some part of us recoils from that ugly scene when it would be more comfortable to see a serene acceptance of death. But that lack of comfort - the disgust in the crew's eyes - is exactly the issue being brought to the fore, and to whit the proper reaction to that ought to be "what the hell are we doing" rather than "ugh, I wish he'd stop complaining already." That's how I see it, anyhow.
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Peter G.
Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 7:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

@ Ruth,

You make some good points about the possibility that Tuvix may not be an absolutely perfect person. However:

"But he was a worse PERSON. Janeway said Tuvok and Neelix would have gone through with it in his position, and Tuvix, who'd know, doesn't argue."

That's easy to say, since Janeway never announced to Neelix that she was going to summarily execute him. It's also one thing to volunteer for a suicide mission, but quite another to dictate to someone else they are going to sacrifice themselves. I find the scenario very chilling that morality in the Federation should dictate that the government dictates who lives and who dies. An individual, like Spock, might decide to value the needs of the many, but it's not for authority figures to tell innocent people they must die for someone else. That is a very dark road to go down, and it reads to me as fascism (we do this "for the people").

Now, it may well be the case that Neelix might have chosen to sacrifice himself, and that Tuvix diverges from him in this sense. We really don't know, but even if it's so, this makes him a BAD person? Is being good predicated strictly on willingness to follow an order to arbitrarily die? It's not like there was a dangerous mission and someone needed to go do the risky task. Everyone was safe on the ship, no danger; just that they had a choice to kill one person to 'create' two. The fact that the crew had memories of Tuvok and Neelix should have nothing to do with the moral dilemma: do you kill one person in order to create two lives? And this is all assuming that Tuvix has some distinct personality traits that neither Tuvok nor Neelix had. We could guess all day about that, but the episode seems to suggest that his traits are an amalgam of those of the other two, and if he didn't want to die then that must have come from either Tuvok or Neelix. If he has the 'weakness', then so does one of them, in which case trying to paint him as morally inferior wouldn't even be accurate. But putting that side, even if it someone WAS accurate (and btw who is the arbiter of whether someone is 'good' or not??) does being morally weak mean a person is less deserving of living? That, too, is a very dark road worthy of a dystopia.

In the final analysis we can't determine much about Tuvox for sure. But one thing we do know for certain is that he wasn't alive for very long. Maybe it's worth considering whether someone who's already lived a good many years should have someone else die so they can have more years, or whether the new being who's barely been given a chance to live can have a turn. Bottom line, the episode didn't give a darn about Tuvix, his rights, or his wants. The moment Janeway decides he'll die the director of the show all but painted him as a villain and the entire crew abandoned him - this was totally unbelievable, by the way. No matter how much they wanted their friends back I cannot believe that zero people on a Starfleet vessel would find this unacceptable. It's a very bleak episode from the standpoint of what it says about these people.

I'd call this one the most outrageous thing to ever happen on the series, perhaps next to making an alliance with the Borg.

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Peter G.
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 1:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

@ William B,

All of what you said is on-point, and I'd like to add one more thing too, which may sound like beating on a dead horse. The whole issue of using questionable knowledge, as you put it, may have been a centerpiece of the episode rather than a side point, but going along with that, the objection of the Bajoran could have become the primary issue once Janeway decided in favor of using the questionable knowledge. Can you imagine, five years into the Voyage, if a Bajoran former-Maquis felt so strongly about this that he tried to resign, and Janeway did threaten to put him in the Brig over it? That could create a resurgence of the Maquis-vs-Federation issue without it just being an excavation of old issues. It would create a new issue, which is - what happens if a Maquis no longer wants to participate with the Starfleet officers? Is he/she still under Janeway's protection, or is her cooperation with them conditional on their doing exactly what she says all the time? It could have made for a great Chakotay-Janeway scene to have her about to come down on a 'rebel' and have Chakotay threaten to band all of the ex-Maquis with that person and go on strike or something. Using a weekly plot point to go after a core issue on the ship is what this series should have been about, but instead it was the opposite; usually relationship issues on the ship were only used to serve the weekly episode and then forgotten.
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Yanks,

What he's saying is that there are dropped threads and continuity problems between the episodes. If they aren't continuity errors then at the very least they failed to produce the connective tissue that could explain certain things like how they can detect the cloak at all. All we heard is "something, something, gravity" which is fine as a hand-wave away but doesn't tell us why this supposedly unbeatable tech has a weakness no one has mentioned until conveniently the Discovery just happens to notice it.
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Peter G.
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Skorch,

No one asked him to leave, he threatened to leave. No one here has tried to chase anyone away.
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Peter G.
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 2:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

@ Andrew,

I agree with you that the episode would have been much stronger had Sorella's attitude really come out of an actual attitude problem from Jadzia. As it was I think no matter how Jadzia behaved she would have treated her the same way. I get the "you're not a Klingon" angle, but for Jadzia to have to be humbled it wasn't enough to just say that she should have to beg to be accepted into a Klingon house and not make assumptions. It should have also involved a humbling of the Jadzia/Curzon character of feeling like they're entitled to whatever they want. There's something in common, in a way, between the Curzon persona and between Kor, in that they both feel above others in some way and that they should be considered as privileged in some way. I would have liked Sorella's attitude to come directly out of "you are not Curzon" and for Jadzia to really be put in her place and have to stand for herself, rather than as 'new-Curzon'. The episode didn't really go there and instead what we got was Jadzia basically having to grovel because marriage is important and she should do whatever it takes to make it work. That's an ok message, but it barely even told that message. We end up with a kind of mishmash where some of it is Jadzia not sure if she wants to settle down, and some of it where she's proud but has no good reason to keep hoisting up that pride over what she wants. The scene with Sisko is excellent but it's not enough to really give us the story that should have been here. I like this one, but it comes short of really giving us what we should have gotten about Jadzia's character weaknesses.
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Peter G.
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 1:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Omicron,

When I feel like I have criticisms to make of a piece I usually make it my business to see it - not to enjoy it, which I expect I won't - but so I'll have the authority to make an authoritative statement of my experience. I'm not saying you should do this, but it's what I do. I've disliked most of DSC so far, but still happy I saw it. If you don't want to, fine, but my suggestion? If you're going to keep harping on the show then just ignore people calling you out on it, or else...I dunno, stop harping on the show. Going into meta-discussion about how you're discussing things is tedious. If commenting on shows you haven't seen is your thing then just don't respond when people object to that and stick to your area of interest - discussing Trek, I hope.
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Peter G.
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 12:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ OmicronThetaDeltaPhi,

I say the following under the assumption that you believe you're making these posts in good faith attempts to reach out to others, rather than to intentionally derail discussion. The last comment I made in regard to you was to try to offer something in defense of your posts about DSC, which frankly didn't bother me although I could see why they bothered others. To be sure they were trollish but they were still on the topic of Trek so even though they were irrelevant to the episodes in question they were still relevant to Trek as a whole and so I read them with some level of interest.

But then you said this just now:

"I *will* remain here for as long as it takes to explain myself clearly (which, given the kind of responses I've gotten so far, will probably take quite a awhile...). But during that time, I'm refraining from participating in the actual Trek-related discussions. "

This all but says in plain English that you intend to only discuss off-topic matters from now on and to continue to do so no matter what anyone says. Is this really how you want to contribute to this forum? It really would make you a troll, full stop. I assume as of now this isn't what you want, so I'm bringing to your attention that this is what it would be. I won't be one to try to chase you away or argue with you about this, but do a reality-check for a moment and decide if this is really what you want.

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Peter G.
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 10:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Ed & Trent,

Or what if the Klingons are just genetically predisposed to want to fight? That would make them pitiable in a way, because at such a time that fighting was no longer an option they'd have to chaff permanently at not being able to do the thing they want to. I guess they'd have to develop violent sports to compensate and make a culture out of them.

Consider the Jem'hadar for instance. Given how they were created, it would seem to be a sad existence to think of one of them being forced to be a store clerk or to do data entry for a living. Maybe the Klingons have a problem of this sort.
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Peter G.
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 11:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@ Trent,

I don't agree with all of your points, but I like how you think.
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