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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Interesting analogy. I've been called sexist for disliking Janeway (I actually LOVE early Janeway, but strongly dislike where they took the character) and have never understood the sexism charge (especially since Kira is my favorite Trek character and Jadzia/B'Elanna rank so highly on my list). But maybe it's just because there's only one Captain jellybean and if I don't like the way it tastes it implies more than it's worth.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

To prove your point picking through a random season's important guest stars though....

Season 2
1. The titular child is a boy
2. Nagilum presents as male to me, though gender is probably irrelevant
3. Moriarty
4. Okona
5. Riva
6. Ira Graves (like you, I'm not going to count his assistant as a shining example of a female guest star)
7. Many guest stars, but Riker's main Klingon adversary and the Benzite are male
8. JAG Louvois - I, like Chrome, would count her. She presents as an equal to Picard. And the "villian" of the piece is a male cybernetics expert.

But that means it took me 8 episodes to find ONE decent female guest star. And in that same time I arguable found 8 or 9 males ones.

Us saying - "Hey, you missed one we liked!" is hardly an attempt to disprove your overall point. And the fact is that you were talking about your experiences and who you related to. You may not have related to Louvois... and that's totally fine. Some people were just chiming in with their own experiences/impressions.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

@Tara - I actually don't think anybody is disagreeing, but I'm not sure they nit-picking either. Me saying "What about Shelby?" isn't quite the same as saying "What about that female Klingon that Riker serves with." Shelby is, to me, top 5 in like "all of Star Trek" for single episode guest stars as far as memorability goes. She made her mark. That's all! I think other people are just offering up some of their own favorites to spark discussion. I don't think anybody is disagreeing with your post though.

And you did answer the Shelby question, which I missed. You are correct that she isn't the focus of the episode... more like the second half of the B plot (the A plot being the Borg of course and the B plot being Riker's career). I actually didn't see her as an Ambitious/Castrating Bitch... her qualities are quite similar to what we know of young Riker/Picard. People who want to be in the top of Starfleet are ambitious. The fact that sometimes what comes off on men as assertive comes off on women as "bossy" is ridiculous, and I always felt that Riker taking her that way and Picard setting him straight was actually really feminist and really positive.

PICARD: Good. You've covered all the bases. What's your impression of Shelby?
RIKER: She knows her stuff.
PICARD: She has your full confidence?
RIKER: Well, I think she needs supervision. She takes the initiative a little too easily. Sometimes with risks.
PICARD: Sounds a little like a young lieutenant commander I once recruited as a first officer.

...

RIKER: The Captain says Shelby reminds him of the way I used to be. And he's right. She comes in here full of drive and ambition. Impatient, taking risks. I look at her and I wonder whatever happened to those things in me? I liked those things about me. I've lost something.
TROI: You mean you're older, more experienced. A little more seasoned.
RIKER: Seasoned. That's a horrible thing to say to a man.

...

RIKER: And you have a lot to learn, Commander.
SHELBY: Yes, sir.
RIKER: Almost as much as I had to learn when I came aboard as Captain Picard's first officer. A fact he reminded me of when I commented on what a pain in the neck you are.

As somebody that hates the whole "women are bossy/men are leaders" thing... I just always loved the way Riker comes around to her. But back to your point... Shelby was there to a) provide Borg exposition and b) serve Riker's career story. So while I personally found her an awesome kickass female XO... she was not the focus of a story on her own. She's there to teach Riker a lesson. You are right.

Ro, on the other hand, is her own story entirely. And in a lot of ways Vash is too (despite the romantic pairing with the Captain). Although since you mentioned the female pilots from First Duty I will say that Sito Jaxa, who ends up in Lower Decks, is also an awesome female character IMHO. Shame they often needed to make women alien to make them really strong (Kira/Ro/Sito/Dax/K'Ehleyr).
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

I would agree with most of the posts on this topic. The dearth of female action stars is notable for sure. But I'd also call for the inclusion of Shelby. She felt like a proto-Ro/Kira sort of character. They made much of her being a female Riker. I often wonder what would have happened had they left Riker's promotion and given him a big send-off with his own ship in 4x03 (leaving their fates up in the air during "Family") and left Shelby as Picard's XO.

As much as I like Riker, the thought is appealing.
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Robert
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 2:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

I don't actually have a problem with women crying. I don't personally even take crying as a sign of weakness. As a 30 something year old man if my kids ask me (and they have) or anyone else ask me for that matter, when the last time I cried I have no problem telling them (and it was recently).

I personally think being concerned with projecting a macho image is far weaker than crying. That said... my issue isn't that Tasha cried, it's just that she's the security chief. Crying to her captain because she might die on a mission just seemed really off to me. I just felt that a tough military officer wouldn't be crying about THAT. If it had been Crusher or Troi, fine. Or if she was crying about losing someone she loved... but you have this supposedly tough as nails Chief of Security and one of the first things you want to show us about her on a new show is her crying because she's scared of dying on an away mission? Meh... I just didn't care for it.

As for the Riker thing... according to Janeway Riker needs Picard's and Crusher's permission to have sex with aliens :P
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Robert
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 11:47am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"TNG was problematic enough to seem annoyingly anachronistic to me in 1987 - by which I mean it seemed a throwback to an older more gender-stupid era, rather than a throw-forward to 24th century enlightenment."

Just wanted one more comment, on this in particular. TNG was an odd mix of both forward thinking and backwards thinking. It's interesting to think, but a lot of TNG ideas came from the failed ST Phase 2 and Maurice Hurley (who had a lot of power in early TNG) was a sexist bastard if there ever was one.

So I think TNG was a bit funny because having a woman CMO/Security Chief was really progressive but having that Security Chief cry in the penalty box was really regressive. To think that TNG was less than 10 years out from fare like X-Files and Xena though is a little mind blowing.
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Robert
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 11:40am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

Eh, we're coming at how full the glass is from different directions. I'm setting the bar really, really, really low for the average 1960 Hollywood male and then saying Gene was decently above that!

Murphy and C&L were created by WOMEN. And Rick Berman was born 25 years after Gene. Gene Roddenberry was born in the 20s.

I'm not excusing the sexism in Star Trek. I find certain episodes (like Turnabout Intruder) to be unwatchable because of it. But saying that Gene wasn't didn't lean feminist for a man of the 1920s (he was born around the time women were first allowed to vote) is revisionist history under a modern lens.

Uhura was a career military woman. His pilot had a female first officer. TNG had a female security chief and CMO. Yes, there was a lot of sexist crap in there... but stuff like Star Trek helped convince people that women should be equal.

My point is that history (and heroes) is often more complicated than people give it credit for. It's like people today vilifying politicians that, in the 90s, were for civil unions as barbarians. If Americans didn't become comfortable with civil unions they'd never have become comfortable with marriage. It was a process. And Gene was part of the process for sexism as well, on the side of good, not evil.
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Robert
Fri, Jan 20, 2017, 3:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"So... You'll have a hard time convincing me he saw women and men as equals/complements. "

He was a progressive, feminist leaning man in the 60s. But he was still a product of the 60s!
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Robert
Fri, Jan 20, 2017, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

For what it's worth... I too liked Wang and what they seemed to be doing with him in the first season. But after 2 more years of basically nothing happening with him, and Kes being one of the most alien aliens that Trek ever did... I was pissed about this choice.

And I liked Neelix.
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Robert
Fri, Jan 20, 2017, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

Excerpt From "The Influence of Star Trek on Television, Film and Culture" :

"Although NBC executives liked the basic premise of the show, they hated all of the details, particularly the "demonic" Mr. Spock and the too strong, too intellectual female Number One. the network demanded that the cast be changed and the pilot be redone. Rodenberry, in order to keep the show alive, agreed to the network's demands, but, forced to choose between promoting something akin to a feminist agenda and promoting racial tolerance, insisted on keeping the character of Mr. Spock, whom he felt was integral to the meaning of the show."

So yes, behind the scenes stuff went on. He decided to fight one battle because he felt he'd lose both.
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Robert
Thu, Jan 19, 2017, 5:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

There have to be some lines one is not willing to cross. Torture to stop genocide, I'm ok with. Murdering one dickhead ambassador to save your own people, that's ok too. There has to be moral calculus in every action. Genocide though? That's a few steps too far.
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Robert
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Afterimage

@DLPB - "Sisko explains she will now be responsible for everyone's well-being. So, until now, Starfleet saw fit to leave an entire station in the jaws of mental disorder? Bollocks."

And O'Brien was seeing Counselor Telnorri after his experiences in "Hard Time". And we he complained about him Julian's response implied that there were multiple other counselors on DS9.

"O'BRIEN: What for? All Telnorri ever wants to do is sit and listen to me tell stories of what it was like to be in an Argrathi prison. How often did they beat me? Was I distressed by the lack of toilet facilities? If you ask me, he's the one with the problem.

BASHIR: You can talk to a different counsellor. Someone you might like better."

Just like Troi wasn't the only counselor on ENT-D there sure as hell weren't ZERO counselors aboard DS9 in the middle of a war!! This was a very, very strange episode for some of the things it tried to imply.
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Robert
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 1:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

@Dave - Kim's roommate died in Caretaker. RIP :-(
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Robert
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 1:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

@DLPB - Lot of logic leaps there.

1. The Dominion is not typically show to be genocidal. Oppressive, ruthless murderers sure... but genocidal is a stretch.

2. Sloan killed himself. Bashir was not trying to kill Sloan. Yes, there was a risk he might damage him but risking damaging a man committing genocide to stop said genocide is probably a moral calculus that is acceptable.

But more importantly, it's an abhorrent idea that it's a leftist concept that one should be better than the evil, horrible enemy one is trying to defeat. If you have a problem with that idea Star Trek is not for you.

This is not a discussion about ends justifying the means and if we should waterboard a terrorist to extract potentially useful information. This is more like... should we release a virus that would kill everyone in the middle east to stop radical Islamic terrorism.

I shudder to think that anyone watching Star Trek could agree with Section 31. And I say this as a person who often has no problem with the gray actions taken by our heroes and often wishes they would go a drop further.
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Robert
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 1:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@JohnC - Glad you're enjoying VOY so far. Early VOY is actually my favorite VOY. It's not as good as later VOY in a lot of ways, but what it was trying to do with the premise and the characters was more interesting than what it ended up doing. Look forward to your thoughts!

Welcome aboard!
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Robert
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 2:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

"He was too good an assassin for her to expect to successfully avoid his attempt(s). Going after him was by far the safer course, all things being equal, although the only thing I'll say is it would have been good to bring backup. "

Makes a certain amount of sense. I think O'Brien at the least, deserved the right to go with her (and his son).
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Robert
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

To steer the ship back to the right place though... those of you who don't love this episode... are you generally Kira fans like me that didn't like the dark light (pun intended) that this episode painted her in? Or do you generally not care for her?
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Robert
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 12:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

@Jammer - Apologies!

But since I got the last word in before teacher yelled at us I win the argument right? :P

I will promptly check out your parody blog post which I apparently missed somehow!
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Robert
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

@Yanks - One problem with the whole "proof" thing is that where one person sees racism, another may not.

I may say his history of fighting integration in rentals shows racism, you may say he was trying to appease his racist white tenants. You know what I mean? That said, there is other evidence.

You may think O'Donnell was lying in his 1991 book with quotes like “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys wearing yarmulkes… Those are the only kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else…Besides that, I tell you something else. I think that’s guy’s lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks.” It's in the book. I obviously don't have any audio clip to accompany it, but I have no reason to assume it's a lie. And in 1997 he was interviewed for Playboy by author Mark Bowden and he confirmed that the O’Donnell book was “probably true.” But Trump admitting to things the rest of us think is offensive is not unusual either. He's a reality TV character, not a person.

I personally consider his crusade against the legitimacy of the first black President to be racist. Your mileage may vary. I feel his quotes about Judge Curiel being unable to properly judge a case against him because he's Mexican to be racist. YMMV. Even a large percentage of Republican politicians believe the pussy grabbing quote to be indefensible sexism. I hope your mileage does not vary.

"He doesn't have a birth certificate, or if he does, there's something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now, somebody told me -- and I have no idea if this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be -- that where it says 'religion,' it might have 'Muslim.' And if you're a Muslim, you don't change your religion, by the way"

The most horrible thing he could imagine the President hiding on his birth certificate is that he's a Muslim? Really?

Then there's stuff like saying in 2000 “Well, you’ve got David Duke just joined — a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party.” and then in 2015 when asked to repudiate him “Sure, I would do that, if it made you feel better. I don’t know anything about him. Somebody told me yesterday, whoever he is, he did endorse me. Actually I don’t think it was an endorsement. He said I was absolutely the best of all of the candidates.”

Which I almost find worse in some ways because he was playing stupid in an attempt to let the thing blow over so that he could hopefully not have to repudiate the KKK because he wanted their racist votes. (please note I'm not comparing Trump's views to the KKK... only that he was slow to denounce Duke because it was less important to him than the votes).

I think it was racist when he tweeted "#JebBush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife." YMMV (but I hope not)

I could keep going (for a long while actually... I've barely even touched anti-Muslim sentiment, how he has difficulty dismissing a woman's opinions without referencing her appearance/gender or the episode where he may or may not have raped his ex wife in her own words (which admittedly is maybe not sexist and just violent? I'm not sure).

And are the quotes about his daughter's appearance sexist or creepy?

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Robert
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 11:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

@Yanks - "It's amazing that he was none of this before he ran against Hillary.... all while being in the public eye for over 30 years. "

The amount of racist and/or sexist things Trump said in the last 30 years could fill a book. Did you think that we all thought the guy who's catch-phrase is "you're fired" was a saint? We just cared less when he was a cut-throat businessman than when he was leading the free world.

@Jason - Well at least there are 2 of us!
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Robert
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 8:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

This is fascinating....

I think that DLPB is right (minus the email stuff). Not everyone who voted for Trump is a misogynist, Hillary's focus of making the election about "why Trump is bad" instead of "why I am good" obviously failed, and in general this episode was written in a way that made Kira look terrible (although I wouldn't have put it how he did). This one always rubs me the wrong way, especially given she's pregnant with someone else's kid. And I say this in part because Kira is my favorite character.

That said... I can't post all that without qualifying it with Trump IS an evil sexist, racist, hotheaded awful bigot who we should all be collectively ashamed of. But that doesn't change the fact that it clearly fell short of being a good argument for electing Clinton.
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Robert
Wed, Jan 11, 2017, 1:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

@Jammer - In all fairness DS9 did grow the humor naturally out of the characterization of the Ferengi as a species from TNG. It's just that it was so shallow there that even adding depth to it didn't always make it worth anything :)
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Robert
Tue, Jan 10, 2017, 8:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

"Why is Rom in this story?"

Even for those who don't find Rom humorous there is a depth to the DS9 cast that made the station feel like a home in a way that VOY never accomplished, and part of it was the 15 or so side characters that made the place there home.

Rom, Nog, Keiko, Garak, Martok, Morn, Leeta, Vic and more all imbued the station with a feeling that you were going to see a familiar face around every corner... not just a random red-shirt.
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Robert
Mon, Jan 9, 2017, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

@Dave - There was a random Klingon ship from Kirk's time in the Delta Quadrant.... probably a Ferengi ship floating around there somewhere too :P
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Robert
Mon, Jan 9, 2017, 1:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

@Quarkissnyder - In the first episode where we really explore the Jem'Hadar programming we're actually introduced to both halves of this answer in a very subtle way. In "Abandoned" Odo desperately wants the boy he finds to be more than his genetic programming the way that Odo is... but finds that he is wrong. We later see pretty significant hints that Odo has a hard time overcoming his own programming as well (starting with abandoning a ship in crisis because he's compelled to go to the Omarian Nebula), so it makes sense that he wants this to be true despite everyone telling him the boy is just a killing machine.

ODO: Major, about the boy. You were right.

We could just leave it at that and assume it was the writer's original intention.... BUT, in the same episode we're also introduced to some hope. Ketracel White. If no Jem'Hadar could overcome his programming would they need to be born addicted to a drug that only the founders can provide? Around a season later, in Hippocratic Oath we find a bunch of Jem'Hadar that want to be free of the white.

Instinct is powerful. It's hard to say.... let a spider crawl across the back of your neck without feeling squeamish about it. But we can. Tiger's have been taught to let people place their heads in the mouths without eating us. Heck, some guy even had a pet alligator, which really shouldn't be possible. The Jem'Hadar are heavily programmed to obey the Vorta and revere the Founders..... but if the programming was perfect there would be no need for Ketracel White.
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