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Booming
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 4:47am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

that is how a text looks that was written with german autocorrect on a tablet
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Booming
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 4:35am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Omicron
Well, from your perspective my views might seem extreme but your views would certainly seem extreme for many Europeans and the stuff of others you defend even more so. Rahul is for example a right wing extremist but he knows that many are not so he has to frame his views in certain way to make them easier to stomach.

He called mentally deranged a dozen times and worse. He wrote in many posts that leftists are either evil or naive. You defending him tells me all I need to know.

I told you several times already after you called me a communist that I am a liberal socialist, meaning limiting economic freedom while having extensive personal freedooms. My views are actually not far from the center in germany. And I am agnostic, not Atheist.
I'm on vacation at wonderful place with lots of sun and the soothing sound of the waves. Bye.
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Big Poppa the XVII-th
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:13am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Eh. Seen worse, seen (lot) better. 0 stars is overreacting. I'll give it 1,5 stars. 0,5 for T'Pol playing "tough", and 1 for the nice workout my right hand got, watching red-hot bombshell Lakshmi prance around on screen in a ripped-up dress. ;) And imagining being cooped-up in an escape pod with her for 2 days. Yummy.

Yea she's a terrible actress. Who cares with THAT body? Not me, I'm not watching her for her acting. Though I do wish she put that mouth of hers to better use ;) her voice is annoying.
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Jeffery's Tube
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 12:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I love this film. It's a snapshot of what Star Trek might have been. A way that Star Trek might have gone, and then didn't. And none of the other TOS films ever had this much money to spend again. This film had budget (and went way over it), and you can really see all those dollars on the screen. Oh, I know it isn't a good movie, per se. The first time anyone watches it, I can't imagine this being the movie they'd hoped it would be. The movie they'd hoped to see. But the second time. Or the third time. When you already know what it's going to be, and what it's not going to be. What then?

I don't think it can be argued this is a *good* film. But it has merit. And I love it anyway. I do.
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William B
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 9:32pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

I'm just spitballing here, but:

While Kamala does have a "pre-episode" existence, it seems to be primarily education (which she references). She seems to be going through a sort of accelerated puberty, which is interrupted when the Ferengi get her out of her egg. The reason I mentioned the total blank slate thing is that I don't think Kamala should be judged for going after Riker or the miners or Worf, and nor do I think it is a writing mistake, or, at least, if it's a writing mistake, the mistake is a few steps earlier. I like Trish's idea that this is sort of more generally about social determinism, about the extent to which everyone bases aspects of their identity on fitting in with others.

One of the reasons the episode is icky is that Kamala's rapid transformation from, essentially, a floating egg into a marriageable woman takes place over a few hours, which is kind of like adolescence, but also kind of like going from zero to 30 while being, in principle, sexually available. This is where the male fantasy accusations of the episode kind of land and make the story uncomfortable. But we can, perhaps, view it as being a metaphor for what it actually means to go through the stage of being basically *entirely new to sexuality*, of having a nominally adult body but no experience and raging hormones, and then developing into romantic maturity. The rapidity of the process is, again, icky if taken literally, but maybe if we view it as a little more like The Inner Light, or even The Child, where the accelerated process is sort of for narrative benefit, then it's not quite so bad; Kamala is a "blank slate" *romantically*, doesn't yet have a "type," and so on. And we can also generalize away from the particulars of romantic issues into life in general, where children are, to a degree, sheltered, and then become adolescents when they have a possibility of imprinting on different adults or peers, and then become an adult with a, relative to their childhood, more set, less neuroplastic, identity. Yes, of course, in real life most children have had time to form some kind of rudimentary romantic notions of what they might want, and so on, but maybe this is a way to bring together some of the ideas here.

The problem with this read is that it erases what is particular to Kamala (or metamorphs in general). There is no big speech at the episode's end that in fact if you think about it, Kamala is everyone, or whatever. So this idea maybe can't have that much traction. I'm not sure. And the ickiness is, again, because I don't think we actually want the episode to be genuinely about a teenager running around imprinting on people by hitting on Riker; eps like Charlie X and True Q are able to show "teenager is attracted to one of the adults" without having the adults reciprocate the attraction. In fact the ickiness is maybe part of the point, and ties in with what Beverly is saying, but still. It might be that there are different stories being told her simultaneously, and the wires get a little crossed.

I have thought about the comparison to Elaan of Troyius. I think what is interesting is that Kirk chooses the Enterprise over Elaan because, if we take the episode seriously, he is already basically "in love with his ship" already, so Elaan's magic tears (eesh) can be defeated. Whereas Picard -- well, he loves duty and nobility, and he does like his ship, but I do think that there is a sense in which what Picard has to choose over Kamala is much more abstract, and colder. Kirk's attachment to the Enterprise, and to his mission in general, is much more visceral; he really just loves being on that ship. Picard is a little more distant in his relationship to what he does, so that his having to give up Kamala is less triumphant.

In any case, I think Peter is right that Kamala does seem to be drawn to Picard, and seems to genuinely *like herself as she is when she's with him*. The cynical read is that this is itself just part of the metamorph package, but I do like to think that there is something in the inherent nobility of Picard's values that is kind of self-evident, a kind of search for meaning which is more sustaining than happiness.
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William B
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 3:04pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@Peter, I think you are correct; the episode is in some ways using Kamala as an empty shell to tell a story about Picard. But it's also important that the story is about Picard reacts to an empty shell, and what he fills it in with.

It is also worth noting that while of course lots of guys just get sexual/romantic attachment to her, Kamala is objectified all over the place by everyone in the story. The Ferengi (including proto-Rom I guess) are of course going to commodify her sexually, but mostly view her in terms of her value as an asset; the basic societal function of her is to be a peace wife. Even Beverly's description of her as a slave is really an incomplete application of her humanism (and feminism, though this is mostly on the meta level, since sexual equality is meant to be solidly established in universe) rather than an ability to engage with who Kamala is. (Though I think Beverly erring on the side of her personhood is more admirable than the Ferengi erring on the side of viewing her as a commodity.)

You are not wrong that Janssen plays it with a certain common baseline. I was thinking about whether I was overstating the point (that's part of why I emphasized the "IMHO" on this particular post even though it's understood). It might be down to her limitations as a performer...though I'm not positive if that's what's going on.

The episode is mostly about showing off Picard's attributes. I think that the subversive (feminist?) level to it is that it's subtly a self-critique of these types of saviour narratives; the surface level mostly emphasizing Picard's sacrifice gives way, when pulling back, to a larger narrative of whether Picard is more than superficially different than the Ferengi or the miners or the guy she's being married to, in terms of objectifying her. Picard's version of Kamala is the most complex one depicted in the episode (more complex than even Beverly's), but it's still about Picard's ideals. Kamala not really being a complete subject might, in this read, be more a criticism of the narrative itself than a statement about the interior lives of people in real life who might be in Kamala's position. But eventually we start to veer pretty far from anything we can say with certainty. I like Stewart's performance (and, honestly, Janssen's in her scenes with Stewart) and the dialogue enough to give this episode possibly more credit than it deserves, but I feel like there are hints here that it's operating on a few levels, even if it's hard to disentangle.
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William B
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 11:57am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

My read is that, within the parameters of the episode, Kamala isn't even herself intrinsically interested in seeking out men to bond with, but doesn't have any inner self or motivations to begin with -- she has knowledge, maybe, but is emotionally a genuine blank slate. So when she throws herself at men, it's because that really *is* what those men, on some level, want. I don't think she can control it, or, rather, I think she has free will *once she becomes the person that she becomes, in reflection of the man she's around*, to act within those parameters. So that she turns into a kind of season 2 guest starring woman throwing herself sultrily at Riker is because that is, at the bottom, Riker's type. Riker has nobler aspirations and can turn her down, but those nobler aspirations are a few layers up from what he basically wants. (Not to get too Freudian, but Riker's losing his mother at a young age is maybe part of it. He really, *really* wants a woman in his life, but is also afraid of becoming attached to one.)

I think in this sense, the Kamala that we see in the second half of the episode who can control herself is because moral fibre, independence and self-sacrifice is a non-negotiable part of what Picard wants in a mate. Even Vash is independent and hard-working, and follows a kind of code.

As for whether this maps onto women in real life, I think it's a bit complicated. I think that part of what's being explored is the idea of people brought up to view desirability, and being partnered with someone, as being so intrinsically part of their identity that they can't turn it off, and indeed there is nothing there underneath. In real life, it's not "nothing" (and I'm not claiming that real life people can't be expected to control themselves), but within the parameters of the story, I think it is pretty absolute. To the extent that someone is to blame in the real life equivalent, much of the blame rests on the society, parental/guardian figures, and social groups who convince people that their sole worth lies in pleasing others.

The episode tells us more about Picard than anything else, and I think it also is a signal to why Picard is perpetually alone. His nobility is so deeply part of his self-conception that his fantasy has to reject him. What's interesting, and has been observed by a few, is that this is still a kind of self-serving fantasy, that in fact only Picard is a remarkable enough man to want to be rejected. This has been kind of part of his thing since We'll Always Have Paris, and the Casablanca reference in that episode title gives a bit of a clue: the heroism is part of the package of his aloneness, the noble sacrifice of romance for the cause becomes part of what makes the romance(s) burn hot.

It's also, perhaps, the way he copes with Beverly's slavery argument, which is that he can't really believe either that a person can genuinely be an empty shell (because it goes against his deeply held convictions in the essential dignity of sentient life) nor that a person can be sold against their will into slavery (for obvious reasons) nor that he should interfere (because this is a Prime Directive issue and there are many lives hanging in the balance), nor even that she actually *wants* to be matched with whoever her guy is (because that's on some level too easy and so is suspicious), and the resolution which seems most possible is that a brave, dignified individual can make a self-sacrificing choice for the greater good but hold onto a certain spark of freedom within her, while also requiring a sacrifice of Picard to partly assuage his guilt at being the bearer of Kamala into her fate. It is *a* resolution, and I think it's what makes the episode tick, because dramatically it sort of resolves the episode's underlying moral dilemma but it might, itself, be a trick to soothe Picard, and the Picards in the audience -- but it's a trick that we can maybe step outside and see.

All IMHO of course, and it's been a while since I've seen the episode.
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Latex Zebra
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 3:58am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: The Spy Humongous

Lower Decks continues to entertain. Yes some of the trash antics was a little OTT and silly, but it was also funny. The Pakled spy cracked me up. In fact the Pakled's as a whole were a constant source of amusement.
The Redshirt thing was well done as well.
Solid 3.
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Burger
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 1:09am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Enterprise Incident

So the Enterprise was surrounded because it couldn't go forward/back or left/right. What a shame they weren't in SPACE, or they could have gone UP or DOWN! 😉
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Booming
Sun, Sep 19, 2021, 11:22am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Primal Urges

@Ben B.
That is not the point. If parents would hire some butcher son to cut off their children's earlobes, they would end up in prison and the kid would be taken away forever. Doesn't matter if women say that no earlobes makes foreplay more enjoyable or that the guy can run faster because he is more aerodynamic.

" Mutilation is in the eye of the beholder in this case. In some societies like the U.S. or the Philippines, for example, circumcising your child will save them from awkward locker room and bedroom conversations."
What kind of argument is that? First of all, female genital mutilation is fairly accepted in many countries. Doesn't make it right and more specifically circumcision rates in the USA go down quickly. From 85% in 1965 to 57% in 2011 (last data point). On the US west coast circumcised men are probably the ones getting mocked considering that less than 30% are circumcised.
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Ben B.
Sun, Sep 19, 2021, 10:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Primal Urges

Mutilation is in the eye of the beholder in this case. In some societies like the U.S. or the Philippines, for example, circumcising your child will save them from awkward locker room and bedroom conversations.

Also in an overwhelming majority of studies, women preferred a circumcised member over uncircumcised, so there’s that.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523040/
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Booming
Sun, Sep 19, 2021, 8:57am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Primal Urges

In your case it was a medically necessary operation. In most cases it is not. Sure, circumcision is not comparable to female genital mutilation but the foreskin is still a part of a male body that is cut off without consent.
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Jeffery's Tube
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 6:12pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: The Spy Humongous

I am entertained by most episodes of Lower Decks while finding them mildly or only somewhat amusing. One or two of the jokes per episode might get an actual laugh out of me--and that doesn't mean I don't frequently enjoy and approve of the jokes, just that they don't make me actually laugh out loud. I recognize that I'm kind of a "hard nut to crack" when it comes to comedy, though.

That said, this episode "got" me several times--more than any other episode this season so far. The Pakled homeworld being called "Pakled Planet." The slug that swallowed Tendi screaming for no damn reason. "This is a STARship, not a FRIENDship." And of course, the Pakled spy casually floating by in space in the viewport in the background while Ransom and co. are frantically looking for him.

This one's my favorite of the season so far. Humor's highly individualized, of course, but to me, this one was actually funny. Just sayin'.
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TeeBone
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 5:15pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Let's do some math:
Chance of Voyager coming across a Clingon ship traveling from the Alpha Quadrant:
1 in 1,000,000
Chance that the same ship is following a prophecy that perfectly fits in with the life situation of the only Clingon crew member:
Priceless
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Bok R'Mor
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 12:57pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: The Spy Humongous

Slapstick nonsense with some real heart - as usual. The mostly touching friendship and camaraderie between and among Tendi, Mariner, Rutherford and Boimler continues to work successfully amidst the madcap, well, cartoonishness of the rest of the show. The Tendi/Boimler angle this week was nice, and I liked how Tendi is genuinely excited by the (very Trekkian) science and exploration opportunities afforded her on the Cerritos. Tendi is the standout character for me.

As so often with LD, however, the problem is not its Trekkian heart, but its jarring execution. The achingly contemporary language that will age by next year, or the tedious *bleeping* swearing - particularly excessive in this episode - which still seems out of place in Trek, and the constant puerile double entendres that aren't even funny. Then we have simple silliness in the service of an attempt at visual comedy, such as the idea that there's a souvenir shop on a Starfleet ship. Absurd.

Nevertheless, the humour *can* work: I smirked at 'the Redshirts - we're invincible' speech (obvious, but worth it), and the idea of a Pakled spy, who then floats past the viewscreen having mistaken an airlock for (yes, puerile again) a toilet. And Freeman being mistaken for Janeway.

All in all, not bad. I'll watch next week.
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Joseph B
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 1:40am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: The Spy Humongous

I actually laughed several times during this ep. The Pakleds always crack me up; and Boimler‘s antics with the BEM near the end were easy triggers. Bonus laughs every time “Captain Janeway” was mentioned.

But the highlight of the ep for me was seeing the good ole’ bridge of the Enterprise D again! It looked fantastic! I don’t suppose we could have a show centered on that? Nah …
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Matt B
Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 1:36am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

After rewatching this (might be only the 3rd time, and definitely been at least ten years since I saw it, and not many times after I saw it in theaters), it was actually more enjoyable than I remembered! I actually may put it above Generations, especially with that weird diversion into the Nexus. Its not a great movie, but its not as bad as STI:TMP and probably a little better than STV.
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Booming
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 5:31am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/39d22a86-5f1b-49b6-8c8b-6afacf58c3fc
I feel like somebody just performed a jedi mind trick on me?!
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Jeffery's Tube
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 2:04am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: An Embarrassment of Dooplers

I noticed Mariner had her sleeves rolled up too, and yes, I think it's a nice bit of attention to detail. Also, the Cerritos crew's dress uniforms were slightly different from the Titan-style dress uniforms we saw in the TNG movies and DS9, which were also seen in this episode. So even for the dress uniforms, they're sticking to two different uniforms depending on the class of ship. More consistency and attention to detail.

I have no idea about the white shoes being a reference to the goof with Bashir's tennis shows (they didn't think his feet would be seen in the shot--oops!), but seeing as how they're only worn by the blue Sciences division, I'd certainly believe it, haha. I'd just figured it was because they look better with the blue uniforms than black boots, but maybe wouldn't look good with red or yellow uniforms.
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Booming
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 1:19am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I want to add that Picard had a problem with captain picard day because he doesn't like (to be around) children. There are several scenes where he accepts praise for deeds/things he finds praiseworthy like playing the flute or his archeological collection.

Furthermore, Picard is unwilling to influence possibly huge parts of a culture, not because of false modesty/humility but because of the fact that he has a very limited understanding of the culture and certainly cannot predict how they will react to him literally playing god. For example because of the Sodom and Gomorrah story homosexuals are thrown off buildings 2600 years later. Probably not what the early Jews intended when they came up with that story. Who knows what would happen with the interpretations of "The Picard"

I'm reading a fantastic book right now called "the Afghanistan Papers" (which should be mandatory reading for the next 100 years in the USA, maybe everywhere where people dream of invasions) and it shows how easy it is to screw up when your understanding of a culture is limited.
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Bok R'Mor
Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 1:04am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: An Embarrassment of Dooplers

@Jeffrey's Tube

Yes! I found the skant joke quite clever and nicely unexpected too.

Also noticed that when Mariner put on her white dress uniform, her sleeves were rolled up (as always with her). While presumably an obvious breach of dress uniform protocol, it was a nice touch in-keeping with the character (that or they simply re-coloured an existing arm template... although given the attention to detail in LD I'll go with the former).

Isn't the white footwear on the Cerritos (which continued while they had the dress uniforms on, incidentally) meant to be a reference to the white footwear inadvertantly seen on Bashir in TNG's 'Birthright'?
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Jeffery's Tube
Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 6:10pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: An Embarrassment of Dooplers

Speaking of uniform humor as we have been over the last few episodes, the "skant" jokes got a huge laugh out of me. "Nobody wears those anymore!" I really wish Mariner and Boimler had put them on after all, haha.

Also the Ceti Alpha IV/V joke was pretty great. If I hadn't just recently re-watched Wrath of Khan I'm not sure I would have caught it, but it still would have been a humorous exchange to hear. The writers of this show REALLY love Star Trek. There's never any question of that, to me.
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Bok R'Mor
Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 2:52pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S5: Gravity

Really enjoyed this. The premise of being stranded on an inhospitable desert planet trapped on the other side of a wormhole-like anomaly with a time distortion was inventive enough for me, but obviously the Tuvok-Noss relationship was what made the episode.

I've always been a massive fan of Tim Russ' (for me) consistently perfect portrayal of Vulcan rigour, but he truly outdoes himself here. Utterly outstanding. Lori Petty does an excellent job as well - and that final farewell scene in the transporter room is astoundingly well-played by both. There's that one moment, when Noss reaches out only to retract her hand in sudden realisation, that is sublime in how much it says with so little. Perfect.

I have two very minor criticisms about the rest of the episode that I cannot shake. Firstly, Paris comes across as thoroughly obnoxious in browbeating Tuvok into confessing the feelings that Paris states Tuvok has. It becomes one long invasive, distasteful harangue of Tuvok - let Tuvok have his privacy, good God!

Secondly, it seemed a little unethical to me that Voyager didn't attempt in any way to rescue the other stranded aliens. Of course, they'd been repeatedly attacking Tuvok, Noss and the Doctor - but at the same time they're all abandoned to be crushed to death with nary a qualm. It just felt wrong.

That side, a great episode with an engaging plot, intriguing characterisation and a very moving ending. I was afraid the writers would kill Noss off, and I was pleasantly relieved they didn't indulge in such lazy, forced tragedy cliché. The actual ending was all the more memorable and meaningful for being so bittersweet and, well, logical. Top work from Russ, Petty and all involved!
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Booming
Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 2:46am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

@Eventual Zen
The more I think about it the more likely that seems. But only at the more basic levels. On university level we probably would still need human professor because if a robot could do that better then why even have students anymore? At that point humans would probably live WALL E-style.
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William B
Tue, Sep 14, 2021, 9:56pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

@Trish,

Thanks for bringing up "Bread and Circuses." It's an interesting case too because they all were very dismissive of Sun worship as a primitive thing that people should have outgrown by the Roman era, but they were still respectful of it, so that it's evidence Kirk would accept religious belief even if he thought it was backward, if he didn't see it as actively harmful, or imposed on externally. (And then of course they did feel differently about it being the Son.)
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