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Sun, Sep 16, 2012, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Imaginary Friend

@TH - "I'm curious if there is any historical precedent for non-working family to be brought along on an exploring vessel."

grumpy_otter answered: "Yes. The British Navy permitted wives on board through the 19th century." etc.

I'd like to add that the Portuguese and Spanish noblemen routinely did the same in the 16th and 17th centuries while crossing the Atlantic in the Spanish case or on the outbound journey for India and the homebound journey for Portugal in the former. While not strictly exploring vessels during that period, especially the 6-month journey of the Portuguese Carreira da India could be compared to the voyages of the Enterprise: months at a time without sight of land, freakish storms, pirates, Dutch and English privateers... it isn't all that different from space anomalies and your Klingon/Romulan/etc. encounters.

In fact particularly the Portuguese East Indiamen were very comparable to the Enterprise: they were huge ships with 500-600 people aboard, and sometimes more, who performed theatre plays, concerts, and all sorts of other entertainment while en route - much alike the "moving small town" as Captain Tripps above puts it, talking about the Enterprise.

While not ignoring the large complements of marines they almost always carried, the Iberian ships to America and the Orient, because of the Spanish and Portuguesa colonies there, also always carried numerous civilians with them, who would settle in the colonies or serve there for a period of years. This was totally unlike the ships of the Dutch and English East India companies in the first half of the 17th c., which were sleeker and heavilier armed vessels solely for fighting and trade purposes - the Klingon and Romulan military ships of their day, so to speak.

The presence of noble ladies and their children aboard the Portuguese East Indiamen is part of the Portuguese litterature from the 16th and 17th centuries: several stories of noble ladies and children who chose to go down with their husbands and fathers (or vice versa) during enemy attacks, shipwrecks, etc. rather than be rescued, and tales of long treks along foreign shores following a shipwreck exist. Particularly famous in the story of the wreck of the São João in March 1552: Manuel de Sousa de Sepulveda, his wife and three young children, and some two hundred other Portuguese survivors walked from the Natal coast to Lourenço Marques in Mozambique, where some twenty survivors arrived in May the following year - Manuel, his wife and children all having died along the way.

If you study the history books you'll find many such stories of men, women and children lost at sea, or following shipwreck, since the 16th century. So, with no disrespect, Yarkos statement above that "Back then, there was little danger of floating around on the sea" is simply not true. And the dangers of having women and children on board were many and unexpected: in 1562, a Portuguese sailor, his ship lying at anchor in Mozambique Island, decided to go swimming around the ships in port to catch a glimpse of the ladies on the veranda in the aftercastle. He lost an arm and a leg to the sharks.

Back to Star Trek: of course the families of the crews of such vessels as the Enterprise would be aboard in Roddenberry's 24th century. How can anyone doubt that?
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Sat, Apr 7, 2012, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I thought Admiral Janeway's attitude in this episode was entirely consistent with the character we've seen for the rest of the series. A little more extreme, perhaps, but not much.

To me, Janeway was always the single worst thing about Voyager. She was a raving megalomaniac who made decisions according to her own whims, which affected the lives of (often several) other characters, and to hell with said other people, if they were unhappy with said decisions.

Said abuse of authority and command immaturity weren't nearly the worst of it, however. The really painful thing, was the fact that if Janeway's moral deficiency was ever brought up with female fans of the show, the gender card was immediately reached for, and as a male critic, you would consistently be labelled a misogynist.

It makes me wish that Janeway *had* been male, because then it might have demonstrated that, no; her gender doesn't have anything to do with it. Abuse of authority is abuse of authority, whether the person who commits said abuse is male or female.

For those who perhaps read this and think that I desperately need to get a life for being so adamantly upset about a fictional character eleven years after the fact, yes, you're also probably right.
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Sat, Apr 7, 2012, 1:34am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

The tie in novel for Insurrection, was actually a lot more solid than the movie. A cousin bought me a copy for Christmas the year after the release. I was very surprised, and it demonstrated that there were perhaps elements of the script which got lost in translation.
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