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Jason R.
Wed, May 26, 2021, 10:54am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Brahms never threatens Geordi with any repercussions so the question of whether or not he "answers" to her in an official capacity is basically irrelevant to the story.

Brahms was upset that he monkeyed around with her design and told him so.

What is so complicated here? What is difficult to understand?
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Jason R.
Wed, May 26, 2021, 5:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

"39 years stuck, gets himself out. Goes right back in. Why? I feel like I'm missing something obvious here..."

He wasn't trapped in the beast for 39 years. He was hunting it for that long. His predicament was presumably more recent.
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Jason R.
Sat, May 22, 2021, 7:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

Ya in Data's defence:

Night Terrors
Bobw2
The Game
Conspiracy
Allegiance

Am I forgetting any other episodes where the crew goes nuts / gets taken over by hostile aliens?

And in most of them Data saves the day.
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Jason R.
Fri, May 21, 2021, 7:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

"They have no problem accepting the fact that Adira has a worm in their belly and a dual-personality of a host+symbionte, but the notion of them being trans is somehow difficult for them swallow."

That's a feature, not a bug for a contemporary audience. And Discovery is all about validating a contemporary mindset. If they treated it as "no big deal" that would be seen as a kind of erasure. It would be offensive.
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Jason R.
Tue, May 18, 2021, 5:28am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

"Going to add my admiration for the Vidiians"

Agreed. They did what they had to do in a tough situation. And the lungs were better off in someone other than Neelix.
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Jason R.
Mon, May 17, 2021, 7:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

From my Google search if looks like lots of similar artifacts have gone up for auction ($40,000 for Picard's Resican flute?) but the baseball does not show up anywhere.

Agreed it would be a neat thing to have.
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Jason R.
Mon, May 17, 2021, 4:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"@Jason
Don't worry too much. Could the PRC invade the ROC, sure but that would go against everything the PRC does right now in a strategic sense but to you too I would recommend maybe do some public debate. Raise concerns, seek vigilant peace. Sure the PRC does some pretty shitty things but they are not crazy and they are not evil. The West can reason with them. As it did with the Soviet Union. Sure the PRC is fairly strong but a dwarf, a tiny dwarf with old weapons, compared to NATO. They know that."

The PRC is still no match for the USA to be sure - but they don't need to be in their own backyard. And military balance is changing. I realize that Xi Jinping is no fool and I guess from his point of view China is winning the peace so why start a war over Taiwan? But the latter calculation could change if the economic situation gets worse for China or alternatively if China gets so strong militarily and the west so weak that it gets cocky and does something stupid.

The problem with these situations is that one side could be compelled (by pride, hubris, saving face) to escalate the situation. Both sides don't want war and know it would be lunacy, yet unstoppable force could meet immovable object if the right setup occurs. Xi Jinping has said - no its ands or buts - that Taiwan *will* be reunited with the mainland. He can't go back on that. The US has its own lines in the sand.
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Jason R.
Sun, May 16, 2021, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Joe Biden would never launch a nuke to save Taiwan. He's all bluster and the governments of the world know it."

Allowing Taiwan to be conquered would signify the end of the world order that has existed since the end of WW2. It would be a blow to American prestige the likes of which we haven't seen since the Vietnam War.

And let me tell you having visited Taiwan as well, they won't go down without a fight, even without Ametican aid. The death toll would be catastrophic on both sides if China invaded. Chiba would win, but the battle would be brutal.

This is the Thucidydes Trap. It is much bigger than Joe Biden. Xi Jinping's entire plan for China, the thing that motivates his regime is the reversal of the humiliations of the 19th and 20th century, the return of China to greatness - it goes far beyond communism versus capitalism. And he has staked his prestige to the premise that Taiwan will be reunited with the mainland, sooner or later. Which means he will never give it up because he can't.

As I said, Taiwan is a falt line where two major powers, both nuclear armed, are heading for direct confrontation. It's like the Cuban missile crisis, except China can't back down like Russia did. And for the US to let it happens means admitting that the American hegemony is over.
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Jason R.
Sun, May 16, 2021, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"And if I were Taiwanese, yes, I'd be worried."

You don't need to be Taiwanese to worry. On the list of potential flashpoints for the first nuclear war, Taiwan ranks #1 in my mind. If you thinks that is just some local concern you are nuts.
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Jason R.
Sun, May 16, 2021, 6:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"China has been a brutal country for decades. Tianemen Square, for example.

I would never visit or spend money in such a barbaric country, but that's just me."

All I can say is that China isn't going anywhere, whether you visit it or not.

Graham Alison's book on the Thucidydes Trap is worth reading on this subject. The situation in Taiwan scares the hell out of me.
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Jason R.
Sun, May 16, 2021, 5:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Oh Jason... did the Chinese turn you when you "visited Beijing"?
Show us the chopsticks!"

Haha

Let me say that for a little one week trip to Beijing we got to see some really interesting things.

The CCP was having its annual meeting that week. All week we enjoyed the City which was very clean - until the day before we left and suddenly it was like the City became cloaked in smog. It turns out they shut down all the city factories for the week that the party convention is in town and that's why it was so pristine for most of our trip. Good time to visit!

We got to eat at what was allegedly Chairman Mao's favourite restaurant in a cavernous (and empty!) hotel that must have stretched three city blocks. It turns out that communist dictators are not gourmands - who knew?

We found a jewelry store for cats in a shopping mall. Lots of high end retail!

Several times the highways were shut down randomly. Nearly missed our flight.

City buses have two ticket takers for some reason, one at the back and one at the front. On a bus to the mountains an old man got into a fracas with one of them, something to do with his ID? Too bad we don't speak Chinese. But the stop announcements include English on the electronic monitors thank god for that - a legacy of the Olympics.

A lady in a shoe store laughed at the shabbiness of my shoes.

Anyway, not a country I would visit now given the recent hostage taking of Canadian citizens. But glad I got to visit for a little while.
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Jason R.
Sat, May 15, 2021, 8:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Paul he only used the word three times in this review, which frankly, is showing some restraint on his part given the writing in this series.
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Jason R.
Fri, May 14, 2021, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"So starting maybe 30 years ago they relaxed their anti-capitalist laws, allowing for designated economic zones, in order to compete on the world market using various advantages they had at their disposal. Many people say that this was a gradual going under of them being communist, and maybe that's true in a limited way, but what I think they realized is that they could remain totalitarian in every *meaningful* way and not manacle themselves in the categories where they need to compete. Unlike the USSR, they needed to establish real parity in market strength and not pretend that being a shut-in can work (like NK does). And yet for all that it's not like they relinquished political power."

I'm sorry but this seems like you are suggesting that to save their totalitarian dreams they basically relaxed or abandoned totalitarianism. I thought the essence of totalitarianism was the state taking control of *all* aspects of society. But if your people have relative economic freedom and can even have private property, can travel as they please, can live relatively independently, how can that properly be totalitarian anymore?
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Jason R.
Fri, May 14, 2021, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"My scientific opinion is that there actually never was a totalitarian state."

This could be said about virtually anything. No human society can exemplify perfectly any one system. Even Oceania in 1984 wouldn't qualify under your definition as the majority of the populace was free more or less to do their own thing - only the party elite really lived in what could be described as totalitarian in a strict sense.

But of course when we say a government is "autocratic" or "totalitarian" we must be speaking in broad strokes and we are by necessity generalizing.

But getting back to China my sense is that if they are totalitarian it definitely Diet or Lite version.
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Jason R.
Fri, May 14, 2021, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Who would vote for a totalitarian regime if they had a choice?"

Haha is that supposed to be a rhetorical question? The only doubt is if it's a slim majority or a large one who would.
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Jason R.
Fri, May 14, 2021, 8:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

"Sisko was wrong."

Was he though? He didn't accuse Picard of being a traitor or a murderer. He simply stated the fact that they had met in battle. Sisko's tone, to be sure, was accusatory, but that just makes Sisko human in sitting in the same room with the man who without question killed his wife. That Picard feels guilt for this also makes him human.

I am with you that this was one of the best scenes in the series and one of the most powerful in Trek. It's stuff like this that makes Emissary by far the best series premiere in any Trek series.
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Jason R.
Thu, May 13, 2021, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Peter G. Just a question: how do you distinguish totalitarian societies from garden-variety autocracy?
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Jason R.
Thu, May 13, 2021, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Are you seriously claiming that present China is not totalitarian? Come on now..."

It does seem to have some totalitarian elements, especially with the social credit system. But it doesn't seem anything like a true totalitarian country a la North Korea.

As someone who was basically banished to the styx during Mao's purges I don't really get a totalitarian ideologue vibe from Xi Jinping. He seems to be more interested in restoring Chinese greatness and avenging past humiliations rather than creating a communist totalitarian utopia.

At least from the short time I spent in Beijing it seemed to me to be a pretty cosmopolitan society with people doing their own thing. But that's Beijing to be fair and I wasn't there long.
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Jason R.
Thu, May 13, 2021, 7:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

I wouldn't call the Dominion totalitarian. We see in various episodes that Dominion vassals like the Karima are more or less free to go about their business. That does not suggest a totalitarian structure.

Frankly, I am not sure they map well onto any particular regime in history but I confess I don't know much about the Ottoman Turks.
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Jason R.
Thu, May 13, 2021, 5:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"So basically, the BLM/PC-culture thing is just a convenient excuse to further divide the population. "

I truly hope you are correct.

I personally don't fear robber barons the way I fear true believers. And the true believers who really are free of hypocrisy - they are the worst of all.
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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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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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Jason R.
Fri, Apr 30, 2021, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

@Tid Netflix has been known to carry cut versions of tv shows. I remember when I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer there were scenes I could remember from some episodes that weren't there and sure enough I was not crazy, they had been cut.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 29, 2021, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

"Janeway brings up the danger of reactivating the cube when meeting with Riley, and says that she is highly skeptical of her plan but she (politely) says that will give the matter some more thought. When she and Chakotay are alone she brings up the same objection you did:


JANEWAY: Not only would it mean imposing a choice on thousands of people who had no voice in the decision, but it would also be taking a terrible risk. Helping to create a new collective. Who knows what the repercussions might be?"

This ethical dilemma should have been the focus of the episode, not a side issue addressed in one line.

Moreover, I don't like the idea of the ex drones controlling Chakotay as in mind control; the episode should have tied this in to the loss of individuality theme and made it clear that being joined with them even for a short time essentially "assimilated" Chakotay causing his motives to align with theirs.
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Jason R.
Tue, Apr 27, 2021, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@Booming true. But that also assumes her 41 year old eggs are still viable. And rich or not, egg extraction is painful and time consuming so just going to the well over and over until you find a good one is pretty grueling.
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