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Wed, May 12, 2021, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

Life imitates art - the Russians/Klingons are back!

In my write-ups for the TOS episodes "The Enterprise Incident" and "Balance of Terror", I explained how for Star Trek writers over the decades, the Romulans have stood in for China, the Vulcans for Japan, and Klingons are Russia.

[For students of history who love DS9, the Dominion was the Turks ("orientals"), and the worm hole is the Hellespont.]

With "Rightful Heir," we have a TNG episode that almost 30 years ago predicted the Klingons/Russians would try to use cloning to bring back an ancient warrior.

To boldly go, indeed.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

I feel like an alien right now but for me every single Doctor's fantasy aside from one when Janeway sees his speech was cringe/second hand embarrassment inducing. Not funny at all. ** for scenes without fantasy.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

For once I completely agree with Jammer. While there are some logical flaws (why would Captain allowed it, also Chakotey suddenly not thinking that spiritual journeys are real etc), emotionally it was top notch for me. I even teared up at that desperate "What do you want?!" rant. I didn't mind religious/spiritual side of this at all. Considering that I absolutely hated religious plot of DS9 ( along with politics and war lol) that's saying a lot. I think that's because religion was presented here as merely an aid in personal spiritual/psychological journey, instead of restrictive, dogmatic authority that are institutionalised Earth religions, at least most popular ones. This was engaging and effective episode. ****
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Dave in MN

"What's worse is using a cloak of utilitarianism to mask the true intentions to socially engineer a race-based utopia."

The "race-based" utopia thing is - in itself - another mask.

The actual intention here is to simply make the powerful more powerful. The tech and media giants couldn't care less about race. What they are aiming is to socially engineer a world in which they have absolute power.

To reach this goal, they need to build some kind of "us vs them" narrative. It's Propaganda 101. Dictators throughout history always used this trick, and for a good reason: It works. Indeed, it achieves many different goals at the same time:

(1) It provides an excuse for silencing and/or persecuting any individual or group.
(2) It creates an atmosphere where people are discouraged to think for themselves.
(3) By focusing on various "us vs them" issues (racism, religion vs science, left vs right) the masses are distracted from far greater dangers. Like the very fact that these megacorporations are in the process of taking over the world and creating an Orwellian nightmare for all of us.

So basically, the BLM/PC-culture thing is just a convenient excuse to further divide the population. And of-course, as Booming said, this specific agenda also has the added bonus of making these tyrants feel like heroes.

"Religious institutions were fighting the worker movement and for the rich long before Marx wrote Das Kapital."

Classical religious institutions have far more in common with Soviet Russia or Communist China than either side would be willing to admit. The problem in both cases is not the core values, but the absolute power they have over their populations.

As the famous Trek maxim goes: "Absolute Power corrupts absolutely".

At any rate, this doesn't contradict Dave's point about why totalitarian regimes stamp out religions. Let me rephrase his statement in more general terms:

"I think you'd have to be nihilistic to decide that the best course of action is to consolidate and increase governmental power while eroding/ eliminating the rights of individuals.

If there's no reason behind anything, then any action is justified. That's why totalitarian regimes discourage individuals and groups from believing in an absolute source of morality (with the exception of the state)"

This is why communist regimes fear religion as well as any form of spirituality.

This is why theocracies fear competing religious view points.

And this is why the ability to think critically and independently is deemed as dangerous in both.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

A shame they deep sixed Ronald D. Moore by being so glaringly icy with him in the writers room. He left because he knew he was not welcome, even by his old writing partner. Maybe they felt insulted or threatened after the 1st two episodes he did at the beginning of Season 6. He could have whipped this season 7 episode into shape fast.

When you need six writers to pull a story together that is a huge problem, and a sign of interference from the suits. They do it in Hollywood movies all the time. I personally think Robert Beltran is a D*!# and really has some out there obnoxious views, including today, but i do not blame him for having expected more from the writers on this one, and overall. It was UPN for Godsakes.

Leave Klingon Stories to the experts and swallow your pride when you know it is time to bring them in.
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James G
Wed, May 12, 2021, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

Very stylish film. Superbly choreographed, dramatic action scenes. Very clever, very theatrical macabre touches. Powerful special effects. Genuinely superb acting, especially on Patrick Stewart's part. The Shinzon character is powerful and nicely sinister. There's some really clever dialogue, especially between Picard and Shinzon.

But this is a film that never amounts to the sum of its parts. I first watched it in the company of a bottle of Scotch about 17 years ago. I started to zone out, and I've always wondered if that was because of the alcohol or the film. I was entirely sober tonight, and it definitely the film. It really tested my attention span. The action scenes are over-long, over-indulgent and unnecessary and they robbed the film of some of its focus. i don't think the plot was that interesting or coherent.

I didn't like the scene with the buggy. Why everyone was so excited about it I have no idea, it looked much like a 20th century motor vehicle, which is of course exactly what it was. The dive off the cliff into the shuttlecraft really represents the whole film quite nicely - it's all spectacle and style and little substance.

I guess B4 was a nice idea. Great shame to kill off Data at the end, though. He made it through seven TV series and four films. Couldn't they have let him live another ten minutes?

Picard performs his own one man special forces mission again, he does this a few times in the TNG canon and it always comes across as dumb.

Well - finally that's the end of the TNG odyssey I started in 2018. Took me a long time to get round to the last film, but job done now. Bit of a shame that it bows out like that, really.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

And what more is there to say about the third season of Discovery then that Redlettermedia rather made this.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

I sit on a board established by the U.S. government that hears petitioner's claims; the board has the ability to question the petitioners. I asked one of my colleagues how he would react if a petitioner invoked their 5th Amendment rights. My colleague took the Worf position that it would be damning to his case. I took the Picard position that invoking should be treated with neutrality.

Unfortunately, a problem with the 5th Amendment (Federation's Seventh Guarantee) is many people see it Worf's way - so while the person technically doesn't incriminate himself, he in fact makes himself look guilty.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Whom Gods Destroy

ANOTHER episode I swear I haven't seen before! (Like "Plato's Stepchildren" and "The Empath"). So I did some research and came up with an incredible fact:

The BBC banned four episodes of TOS and didn't show them for decades. The three I listed above, plus 1 other. So having watched TOS on the BBC since the early re-runs of the early 70s, and through the 80s, I never got to see those episodes, and never even knew they existed. The BBC used the excuse that these particular episodes contained themes (cruelty, torture, insanity) that were not suitable for the 'childrens show' they considered Trek to be. Even Roddenberry was roped in to trying to get the Beeb to change their mind, to no avail.

Anyway, to this one... I wasn't that impressed, though there were some good 'Journey To Babel' aliens, and the roles of Garth and Marta were well acted. I rather easily guessed that the appearance of Spock with phaser was the shapeshifter Garth, and the torture scenes in the chair were somewhat pathetic. I did like Spock's careful judgement of which Kirk was the 'wrong one' at the end.

The 'Queen to Queen's rank 4' gambit was admirably clever, but - with all due respects to the plot needs - it was poorly thought out. There should have been at least three responses:

'King to Queen's rank 1' (or whatever it was): "All is well, beam us up"
'Knight to Rook's rank 3': "Give a reassuring response but do NOT beam us up - stand by for further instruction"
'Rook to Rook's rank 5': "We are in danger! Intervene but do not endanger the ship"

2 stars only
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Supporting BLM for these people doesn't cost anything, it even gives them meaning. We are not a bunch of isolated rich people who never had a normal conversation with somebody from the working class in our entire lives, NO, we are heroes fighting against racism.
That was so fascinating about Picard. By trying to show refugees and minority oppression they involuntarily showed their real disdain for these people.

Religious institutions were fighting the worker movement and for the rich long before Marx wrote Das Kapital. They changed it somewhat with the encyclica rerum novarum but barely.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Seventh

I think since T'Pol was following the two smugglers blind in a forest on Risa, and possibly due to an earlier firefight from a distance, her setting was on a higher power. She was caught unawares when suddenly faced with the smuggler drawing a weapon at close range, and had no time to change the setting. She fired in self-defense, knowing that the correct form of self defense is to lower the power setting, but there is no time for that. So it was her or him, and she chose herself, a selfish decision that may put a Vulcan in turmoil for a long time.

Also worthy of note is the fact that her PTSD due to a single killing "flunked her out" of the secret service. This makes sense. I am sure training for it, and it actually happening would be very different, and there is no way to predict in advance which a person's psychology will go.

Now, why would they send a Vulcan with PTSD to face the same mission that gave her the PTSD? I think when they repressed her memory, they probably classified the reports as well, meaning two decades later the decision makers had no access to the information that would have prevented this from happening. I think the Vulcans were just being their efficient logical selves - who is the closest Vulcan trained to apprehend? T'Pol, ex-secret-service, is currently only 3 days away.

I liked this episode. These are the kinds of dilemmas that Star Trek is made for. It is odd, though, that Archer chooses to be a "good soldier following orders" here, whereas usually he plays truant gullible God. May be he suddenly grew up a lot after saying sorry a few times in the previous episode. :)
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Dave in MN
Wed, May 12, 2021, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I think you'd have to be nihilistic to decide that the best course of action is to consolidate and increase governmental power while eroding/ eliminating the rights of individuals. What's worse is using a cloak of utilitarianism to mask the true intentions to socially engineer a race-based utopia.

If there's no reason behind anything, then any action is justified. That's part of the reason Communist countries did their best to stamp out religions.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 12, 2021, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"The rich people living in gated communities in California are Marxists."

It's probably more accurate to say that the rich people living in gated communities are often amoral in regard to how money is made, and pandering to a social movement of any stripe would be acceptable if it brought in the bottom line. That the far-left BLM movement is in vogue in powerful circles seems to me to make it obvious that people will try to cash in on that. It doesn't make them Marxists; quite the opposite, in fact, since they are the very type of people co-opting public discourse for personal benefit.

That being said:

"Nihilism and Marxism are completely incompatible"

I think Rahul's point is perhaps less that Marxism is put forward as a kind of nihilism, but rather that on a psychological level the same motive spurring people on to Marxist paradigms can also lead to a nihilistic outlook; or perhaps that too long spent in a headspace of resentment will lead to a decline in the positive energies of life, which is perhaps equivalent to becoming nihilistic. At any rate, I don't think Rahul was suggestion that nihilism is some sort of philosophy spelled out through Marxist. That indeed wouldn't make any sense.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 10:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

The rich people living in gated communities in California are Marxists.
Marxism equals Nihilism.

(For anybody wondering yeah Nihilism and Marxism are completely incompatible; like post-modern Marxism it makes no sense. You can either be a post-modernist or a Marxist but you cannot be both. That's as nonsensical as calling something religious atheism)
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

To respond to “Eventual Zen” and elaborating on some prior thoughts —

I don’t think it can be said categorically that Trek was always left-leaning. I certainly didn’t get that impression from classic Trek episodes like I do nu Trek. TOS was progressive with the diverse main cast. It was pioneering and ahead of its day, but in this particular respect, that’s not left-leaning. While TOS provided that utopian, hopeful future that won over many fans, people back then realized that such a future would not arise out of socialism (and certainly not communism). Now, if you’re a young fan watching DSC or PIC, I doubt you’d find that sense of hope etc. as these 2 shows are largely dystopian, nihilistic, which is more representative of an outcome from socialism / communism.

Classic Trek doesn’t come across as preachy to me. But I realize this is subjective. What I would say is it can be heavy-handed which is largely a function of oversimplifying a situation (1 race on a planet with 2 or 3 key people the decision-makers etc.) But that is also a conceit sometimes needed to tell a story for a 1-hour TV show.

So when I said nu-Trek is more interested in pushing a left-leaning agenda, here’s what I mean. Instead of pushing diversity and inclusion like classic Trek, it has a warped sense of “diversity” — one that is not inclusive. Who is the biggest villain in DSC? It’s not MAGA Klingons or the wicked witch of the west or AI wanting to destroy the whole fucking universe. It’s the straight white male.

I like to check out (not necessarily read) what new articles are published on the Star Trek official website — mostly fan takes on episodes etc. What I noticed is that just about every one who writes has a bio with “he/him” or “she/her”. And then when I looked up some of their tweets, they tend to support BLM, a Marxist movement. I also checked out some writers and actors—pretty much the same thing. So it is clear enough to me that the powers that be with Trek today are very much left-leaning and that BLM garbage is manifesting itself in the episodes. In fact, I sometimes felt in watching DSC, that the show runners are trying to make up for all the suffering blacks, women, gays have met with at the hands of the straight white male. OK, maybe that last sentence of mine was a bit tongue-in-cheek / hyperbole but that’s what BLM is all about.

So when you have Trek being run by a group of people harbouring Marxist ideals in today’s world, of course you’re going to get this dystopian, nihilistic Trek. But that’s also Hollywood these days.

All that being said, while DSC is trying to tick boxes like having the 1st non-binary actor/character, I think it was sensible to have a non-binary be a trill. And even with the different value system today's Trek powers that be have from most people, they were still able to come up with “Forget Me Not” — an episode I greatly enjoyed.
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Dave in MN
Wed, May 12, 2021, 9:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

It's funny, I have no issue with LGBT people presented in a complicated nuanced way. As wolfstar once put it, "gay characters can be the hero OR the villian".

IHowever, I gotta agree with Booming that Picard does a TERRIBLE job at presenting alternative lifestyles in a fair manner. Every LGBT character is addicted to substances, mentally unbalanced, damaged and violent.

Homophobic viewers watching PIC ends up having their stereotyped opinions validated, and that's a true shame.

Sadly, I don't find it surprising that the "woke" people involved in the production actually aren't. These same people are Tweeting about how blacks are too poor and dumb to use a goverment issued I.D to vote.

The reality is a bunch of bigots are running nu-Trek.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 8:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Oh season 2 stuff, I get it.
We visit all the old characters and they are all bitter drunkards.
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Jason R.
Wed, May 12, 2021, 8:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Booming trust me they are bitter drunks.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

" Everyone in the new shows is a bitter drunk or psycho not just LGBT"
The three heterosexuals couples on Picard are pretty well adjusted. Riker and Troi + + Picard's housekeepers + Raffi's son and his Vulcan wife.
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Jason R.
Wed, May 12, 2021, 6:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Oh well, still much better than ST Picard where all LGBT people are bitter drunks or psychos."

Now now let's be fair. Everyone in the new shows is a bitter drunk or psycho not just LGBT. Or a used up has-been - can't forget about those.
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 4:36am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

In these scenes it is no longer the character Picard but the actor himself.

This scene was only in the movie because Stewart demanded it (he loves fast cars)

this is also the anti Picard
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 3:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"I agree that Discovery and Picard mostly don't feel like classic trek, but wasn't trek always left-leaning? Even in TOS the crew were diverse and there were moral messages about racism, sexism, and war. I mean it was always preachy. "

The difference is that Old Trek preached for timeless progressive values which transcend present day politics. Advocating diversity and preaching against racism does not have to be a political thing, you know. In Classic Trek it usually wasn't.

Nu Trek, on the other hand, is seldom interested in values or morals of any kind. It is too busy conforming to the present day political expectations and playing it safe. Its view on (say) diversity is no different (for good and for ill) then any other TV show. And it never EVER challenges the status quo or poses difficult questions about the society we live in.

See the difference?

"They kind of did that in the movies already."

i don't recall anything of the sort. Can you elaborate a bit more?
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Wed, May 12, 2021, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

It's kind of sad that they didn't do anything interesting with their gay couple or their trans person. Everything there was so surface level. It felt more like "look! We have LGBT people now." Make us understand the specific struggles of gay couples, just showing us "look how normal they are." is not a statement anymore. Show us the problems trans people face.

Oh well, still much better than ST Picard where all LGBT people are bitter drunks or psychos.
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Tue, May 11, 2021, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

Interesting seeing the discussion since i last saw this show. This episode continues to be well liked. I guess I'm the only one. I really just cannot get past how bad the central performance is. I suppose the other characters and main plot can carry the show well enough. But to have the "centric" character turning in such an amateurish performance doesn't cut it
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Dave in MN
Tue, May 11, 2021, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@ Nolan

That emotional encitement also comes from one's own side (and I would posit is just as strong-if not stronger- a motivator for a lack of receptivity to even-handed debate).

As we see in the current day, everything is framed ss a stark binary with "good" and "bad" actors. The ends justify the means because one's goals are noble. Compromising is viewed as weakness. Forging one's own path is viewed as heresy and a betrayal.

There's no nuance when a philosophy becomes dogma and every issue is a political purity test.

To extend this point to Trek: Dogmatic programming isn't fun to watch, it's just propaganda with a bigger budget.

This anti-dramatic effect is magnified when the fear of offending anyone eliminates the kind of narrative choices that would make for compelling viewing.

Catering to an audience with such strict dogmatic demands definitely makes for simplistic un-Trek-like television.
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