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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 2:41am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

Can anybody please enlighten me as to the *point* of this entire debate on whether objectification is "a scientific term" or not?

Objectification is what it is. And it seems like both sides of this discussion have a pretty good idea what that word means:

Booming: "Objectification or dehumanization is about lessening the humanity of a group or person"
Peter: "It is *not* any old use of metaphor or simile"

Both 100% correct.

So why, again, are we debating the question of scientific definitions? Who the ****-ing cares, whether a word is a "scientific term" or not, when we all agree on its usage? The only thing that matters, is whether a given definition (academic or not) is USEFUL in helping us to understand the concept at hand.
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Sleeper Agent
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 1:31am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

Far from perfect, with some really dragged out scenes in the middle to fill it up. But as some have already pointed out, it's strength lies in its goofyness.

The end, especially, had me laughing several times.

Mr. Lindstrom reporting from the surface to Kirk.
"How's it going?"
"Couldn't be better. Already this morning we had half a dozen domestic quarrels and two genuine knockdown drag-outs. It may not be paradise but it's certainly human."
"Sounds most promising."

or when the computer has been destroyed and Marplon and the robed servants looks upon it as Kirk leaves.
"Let's go see how the others are doing. Marplon can finish up here."

Yeah, they can thank them later XD Let me tell you, had it been Janeway instead of Kirk people would absolutely LOSE it.

1,5 Stars.
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Booming
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 12:32am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@ Jason R.
My bad. You are the combative lawyer. I don't consider most lawyers scientists. There are exceptions like law professors.
I can only repeat what I said to Peter. I'll not take your word for it. Yours is a nonsensical statement. There is no Swiss high council of scientific terms. Nussbaum tried to define the term by seven characteristics. One can apply the term to the discussed situation.

Omicron put it in words far better than mine. Hopefully his analysis made more clear what I wanted to say.
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Springy
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 10:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Family

I really liked this episode.

It was a departure from the standard ST fare, and a well done one. The bucolic, peaceful, sunny beauty of La Barre, Picard's hometown, was such a great contrast to their usual surroundings.

Everything is so . . . down to Earth. Soil, vines, grapes, wine, a child, a marriage, home cooking. Talk of the ocean. Of reclamation. You can almost smell the mud when Picard gets covered with it.

The performances were outstanding.

The Worf stuff was wonderful character development for Worf. The Wes stuff was less significant, but interesting nonetheless.

Roles, relationships, the way we build our lives, the paths we choose and the people along the way - the paths we don't choose, and the people we leave behind.

Just a beautiful little interlude before, like The Enterprise, we're all charged up and on our way.
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Jason R.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 7:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

"So my question is this; what are some good episodes to introduce her (or anybody) to Trek with (of each series) that don't require any background plot or spoil any major twists?"

TOS - City on the Edge of Forever, The Doomsday Machine, Devil in the Dark

TNG - The Measure of a Man, Q Who, Best of Both Worlds 1/2, The Inner Light, Chain of Command 1/2, Darmok, All Good Things 1/2

DS9 is tough because it is so serialized. Voyager and Enterprise are tough because they are so bad....
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Nolan
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 7:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

Okay, wasn't sure where to post this because it's a really broad and general Star Trek franchise question the answers to which might also have spoilers from accross the franchise for any new fans. I chose here because it's probably the last place a new fan would go (unless going chronologically) and therefore the most safe.

Anyways, my cousin's 12 year old daughter said the magic words, that she wants to watch Star Trek, and I get to be her shepherd throught this franchise. Given she has interest in being a doctor (surgeon to be exact) I've already picked out some medical-centric episodes for her (Ethics, The Quickening, Transfigurations) but I'm still not sure those might be good jump on points to know if she'll like the characters etc. Plus I want her to get a taste for the variety of stories Trek has.

So my question is this; what are some good episodes to introduce her (or anybody) to Trek with (of each series) that don't require any background plot or spoil any major twists?

This is a very active and vocal and largely well-spoken group of fans on this site and I look forward to the potential replies.
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Jason R.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 7:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

"Objectification is not a scientific term? Why do you say these things? It seems very illogical. Is it this combative lawyer side of yours that you talked about? We have you and then we have Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and ethics at the university of Chicago who also taught at Brown and Harvard. You think that objectification/dehumanization is not a scientific term, she thinks it is"

I think you may have confused Peter G. with me. But since lawyers are now science experts according to you you'll take my professional word for it that "objectification" in this context isn't a science term.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 6:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

William is correct.

Spock, in the episode, spoke solely of the crystals when he said that line.

This does not, however, change the fact that when we look at this statement within the greater thematic context of the episode, it doesn't look good. We can't fault Spock on this, but we most certainly CAN fault the writers.

The problem here, at any rate, isn't the mere comparison between a person and an object. It's the nature of the comparison. Peter says that it hints at some kind of "inner beauty"? Perhaps. But what kind of inner beauty, exactly, are we talking about here? At no time, not even once, does anybody refer to Eve and co. as actual people in their own right. Everybody, including the women themselves, just expects them to play the traditional role of a housewife (or worse).

So yes, that's a pretty bad case of objectification.

The most maddening thing here is that the writers obviously intended this episode to deliver some kind of woman empowerment message (as Kirk said: "you either believe in yourself or you don't"), but they botched it so badly that it just makes you cringe. This, really, is the worst form of prejudice: The kind that people hand out without even realizing what they are doing.

Definitely one of the worst episodes of TOS.
(the idea that Gene Roddenberry actually thought this episode was a worthy candidate for being the TOS pilot truly boggles the mind)
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Booming
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 4:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@ Peter G.

Objectification is not a scientific term? Why do you say these things? It seems very illogical. Is it this combative lawyer side of yours that you talked about? We have you and then we have Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and ethics at the university of Chicago who also taught at Brown and Harvard. You think that objectification/dehumanization is not a scientific term, she thinks it is. To clarify. If somebody writes a scientific paper about using a word in certain way then it is a scientific term. The question is then how accepted it is in the scientific community in describing a phenomenon. I really don't know what else to tell you. That's like very basic scientific methodology. What you Yanks would call methodology 101.

It is like the fifth time that you accused me of pushing an ideology. So for the fifth time I don't know much about Feminist theory, my field of expertise is in quantitative studies ,statistics and so on. I'm not really interested in Feminist theory. Trish said that she is a feminist so I provided her with a paper which might interest her because it relates to the issue. If she isn't interested in it. No harm done. If you had read the paper you would know that Nussbaum talks about different forms of objectification.
Why does this trigger you so much?

So here it comes again, I was referring to the interpretation Trish made. I never said that it was intended by the character as sexist. In an episode about women being traded for crystals Spock picks up one of those crystal and calls it beautiful even when it is broken. I think that is a very unfortunate comment. That is all I said about the scene in question. I wasn't talking about the episode in general or about Spock being bad. I'm not saying that Gene Roddenberry is bad. I'm just saying that objectifying women in that context leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth. TOS was pretty progressive for it's time in it's portrayal of women so all things considered still pretty sexist from today's viewpoint. I know context is king. You don't have to tell me for a sixth time.

"Now I'm totally open to considering a case where an episode really fails in its attempted message or theme"

Yeah what is the message again?
To quote Jammer:"Given the episode's "payoff" of either choosing a beautiful but useless woman to hang perfunctorily at one's side, or a woman who cooks and cleans, the options seem equally unflattering today."
I mean the miners still get the women. The Enterprise gets the crystals. Shouldn't the miners be punished in a moral sense at least for wanting to participate in sexual slavery? The episode doesn't seem to think so.
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Atomguy
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

Ah, thanks
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Jamie Mann
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

Alas, for me, this was the first truly weak DS9 episode.

Let's start at the beginning.

The first ever new species comes through the wormhole. A potentially significant diplomatic event, not to mention the wealth of technological, biological and general information available just from the ship itself.

Equally, the alien in question is aboard a damaged ship and somewhat antagonistic. So there's a definite risk - both diplomatic and physical - involved in boarding the ship and interacting with the occupant.

Cisco's response? Let's send in a single engineer, with not even a single security guard, high ranking diplomat or even any form of monitoring.

It's a highly contrived setup, specifically designed to bring O'Brien and Tosk together and set things up for the moral dilemma which follows.

So sad to say, I very quickly lost interest...
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Peter G.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 12:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

@ Atomguy,

You're looking for The Inner Light, late S5.
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Atomguy
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

Hey, I'm looking for a review for a TNG episode. It's the one where Picard lives out another life on that one planet and loves the flute afterward. If anyone could tell me the season or episode number, that'd be awesome.
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Peter G.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 11:14am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@ Booming,

I don't think you realize it but your reponse is a dodge to what I said above. That being said:

"the scientific concept of objectification" is not a thing, because objectification is not a scientific term. Further:

" I find it strange though that you cannot see that the episode is about how men control women."

I find it strange that you think I cannot see what the episode is about, since my comment is about Spock's remark, not about the episode. Or are you saying that any character who says any thing "represents" the episode in its entirety? And even if they occasionally do, and even if we do take Spock's comment to be a redux of the episode's themes, I find it even stranger that you automatically jump to it being negative towards women.

Let's recap: the episode is about how a gross guy is selling women. The fact that he's gross should already be a giveaway. Then we find out that there's a dirty secret, which is that they're being seen as physical objects and sold as such. And this is supposed to be a bad thing. Worse, we're shown that even decent men are affected by that exterior show, which opens up the question of the temptation to objectify women. But then it goes even deeper and suggests there may be a mutually agreeable way to get past the nasty side of the marriages and find some way for them to be good, and then we can look at Spock's comment in that context (taking for granted I'm remembering it correctly!). It's an episode doing the opposite of objectifying women - it's about how doing that is a trap that is harmful for all involved. So to take Spock's comment within that context and assume he's objectifying women, on the grounds that the episode is "about how men control women", is really off-base.

Now I'm totally open to considering a case where an episode really fails in its attempted message or theme, or was bungled in some way, but this episode is *not* about how bad men are, with Spock being yet another example of it.
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Booming
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@ Peter G
Again I haven't seen the scene and was just writing about Trish's interpretation. Trish writes that she made the connection when Spock makes the comment the crystal.

I doubt that you have any deeper understanding of the scientific concept of objectification and I will not discuss it with you because I too have only a very superficial understanding of the term. I find it strange though that you cannot see that the episode is about how men control women. I quote from Jammer:"he plot centers around some dilithium miners who agree to purchase these women from Mudd in exchange for dilithium crystals the Enterprise needs."
In the episode women are literally for sale. They are objects to be used by men. I could continue but I don't want to.

Following up on you inability or unwillingness to see how any of this could relate power structures, control and to your accusations of me having a feminist bias. Well, we know on what side of these debates you always fall on. I find it therefore questionable who has the bone to pick here.
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Peter G.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 10:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@ William B,

That's a good point. I was at any rate responding to Trish's idea that Spock and/or the writers were knowingly making a metaphoric comparison and I've been taking that at face value. It's entirely possible Spock would intend a nuanced overview (which he has done on occasion), but it's true that we don't even necessarily need to assume he's doing that.
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William B
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

I am confused. Is there any indication that *Spock, in universe*, was deliberately making any comparison between the crystals and the women? I thought that Spock was genuinely just literally talking about the crystals. Unless I'm mistaken, any subtext (problematic or not) is on the part of the writers, drawing thematic parallels between scenes, rather than the character of Spock himself being conscious of this metaphor.
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Peter G.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 9:35am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@ Booming,

I think you had a very skewed idea of what objectification is. It is *not* any old use of metaphor or simile. "You are radiant like the sun" is a simile, and does not lead us to "He's comparing her to a bunch of lifeless gasses!" One may say things like "you're a swan", which should not lead us to "he's comparing her to aquatic fowl with minimal IQ!" And likewise "like this crystal, you may be broken but are still beautiful" cannot be taken to mean "we may as well stuff her into the ship's engine."

Having a feminist bone to pick is seemingly affecting your judgement on what things mean. There is literally no conceivable possibility that in this context Spock is "lessening the humanity of a group or person", or "controlling people", with the small proviso that in-universe he does in fact think humans are inferior to Vulcans.
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Tara
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 9:11am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

Kim, bitterly describing his homecoming: “Admiral McIntyre even wanted me to marry his daughter.” What a stupid anachronism. Since our gloomy, guilt-wracked and obsessed Kim was probably not much fun, the implication is that a 24th century leader has the same worldview - ‘gotta get my girl married off to the nearest bachelor!’ - as Elizabeth Bennet’s mother.

Equally annoying was the Tessa character, a much-younger woman who followed Chakotay into his obsession and his life of crime.... with the knowledge that altering the timeline would erase her lover from her life, and might erase her existence entirely. Such self-abnegation - why? What were the writers thinking - “Chakotay needs a random romance”? The role of “outsider that provides the main characters with a reason to give exposition” should have gone to a mercenary or hired engineer or pretty much anyone but the character they created.

Good episode marred by the usual bafflingly thoughtless script choices.
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Brian S
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 4:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

This episode makes me cringe so hard. From the hammed up awful acting of actors playing Watters, Shepard and especially Peldon, to the directorial choices of Vejar such as showing the console screens PROJECTING on to the cadet's faces (wtf) - I felt bad for all involved.
Every once in a while when I do a series rewatch, I approach this one thinking "ok it can't be THAT bad". Mistake.
Then I promise myself I'll never watch it again.
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Booming
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 3:04am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@ Peter G.
It's of course impossible to say what was in the heads of writers. I have a problem with the objectification.

@Trish
I have to watch the episode again but still as Peter and you admit it is objectification.
In the 60s it is was quite common to objectify women (it is still pretty common today) and objectification is normally about dehumanizing. You said that you are a feminist. Objectification or dehumanization is about lessening the humanity of a group or person. It is a way of controlling people. One could of course argue, as you do, that it is objectification but objectification in the most positive form, still using beauty as the dominant attribute clearly shows the bias of the time.

We shouldn't forget what Spock says: "beautiful even when burned and broken." Let's take a step back and really see this as basic a possible.
A man is holding an object and compares this object to a group of women who are in a sense burned and broken by another man and the most important feature that still remains for the commenting man is:" These women are still beautiful". It is true that it is a powerful material but he fails to mention that.

Being a feminist maybe you know this paper already but I thought I post it anyway. I haven't read completely though but I know some of Nussbaum's work and found her arguments always interesting and often illuminating.
https://www.mit.edu/~shaslang/mprg/nussbaumO.pdf
And here the faaaar shorter (not really) summery on wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectification
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Sleeper Agent
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 1:07am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Good Shepherd

@Jo Jo Meastro (Aug, 2013)

Your comment summarize my thoughts exactly.

A nice 3-solid-stars-story.
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Daya
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 12:24am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

The setup was good. If the ending hadn't been so deflating, we would have remembered this as a better episode. For example, maybe they have an exception to the law that says children younger than 4 years of age are not punishable; and Picard argues that the intent of the exception applies to Wesley.

= = = =

* Edo sarcasm towards Picard's pontification was well done.

* They clearly build very modern buildings, so the Edo probably work. Maybe it was Edo Sunday.

* Maybe the Lysians (S05E14) are the Edo God. They both have the same ship, no direct weapons, and do not communicate well.

* If it had been TOS, Kirk would have argued that God is breaking his own laws (killing the Edos? trespassing?) and the God would have blown up in a self-referential logic loop.

* When ST:TNG first aired, I heard about this episode from a friend. My friend made it seem as if all episodes had raunchy planets -- and being a teenager, I was immediately interested. 30 years later, I have finally seen the episode that got me interested in TNG. Humph!
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Proteus
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 12:16am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

Oh yeah. I forgot the delicious irony of the fragile prey - not EVEN the prey, but a HOLOGRAM of the fragile prey - spouting back to the fierce master hunter his own inane ideology.

Hiro 2 listened so carefully and thoughtfully that for a moment I thought he would hear how inane the cant sounded, have an epiphany that his #1 had been right to see the need to revamp their culture, and shoot Pretty Boy to prevent more killing.

But no. I guess supremacists will be supremacists. If only they could have transported that nutty Dukat over from Alpha, maybe the supremacists would have won.
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Proteus
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 11:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

These episodes were hilariously ridiculous - and ridiculously hilarious. Every over-the-top inane meme you could imagine, from reptilian aliens in Nazi uniforms to a surrealistically pan-historical holodeck free-for-all to drunk Klingons led by a Talaxian with pointy teeth.

Psychedelic Star Trek Soup.

WITH non-comic bonuses like recent character developments continued in period drag, meditations on how cultures atrophy and devolve, one incisive speech about the arrogant pretense of superiority (by the Hirogen to Pretty Boy Nazi), and the purest distillation I can recall hearing of the corrosive poison in ideologies of racial or cultural exceptionalism and social Darwinism (in the speech Pretty Boy used to reinforce what Hiro 2 already believed and inspire him to continue the holy mission).

Make Hirogen great again!

All of that - AND Seven singing torch songs. And wearing bobby sox!

What more could we ask of free entertainment, I ask you?
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