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Jason R.
Sat, Dec 7, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

There were flashbacks in TFA that hinted at some kind of origin for Rey that ended up on the garbage pile for TLJ (like most things Abrams set up in that movie).

That said, I can't imagine how Rey having some special origin would improve her character or make Daisy Ridley less dreary.

I'm long past worrying about whether Rey is a "Mary Sue" or not. Suffice it to say she's just not very good and after two movies, we've seen all there is to see at this point from her .
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Jason R.
Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 11:36am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part II

Sebastian, the ship certainly had a computer of its own, likely one capable of pretty well telling him how to do all those things. I didn't presume he reverse engineered all those things - he just asked the computer to do it for him.

Frankly, given the premise of a ship from the 29th century in the Trek universe, it's plainly unrealistic that he wasn't able to accomplish *more* with what he had.
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Jason R.
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 8:15am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"It is probably no coincidence that Crusher is the only active parent on the show, while the only father on the show (Worf) immediately sent his son away which is never really portrayed as wrong. "

Wesley is almost an adult when TNG starts while Alexander is a young child. Apples and oranges.

And Worf sending Alexander away was one of the biggest controversies in the show - hardly something that was just fluffed off as being okay or expected.

But yes, Beverly was bland as heck.
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Jason R.
Mon, Dec 2, 2019, 6:43am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

"The episode was always about sexual assault. If you read any article about it, when the writers came in to clean up the pitch and make it a story, they have gone on record as removing the 'sexual' elements, but it still seems like an allegory so, they changed the wording but the subtext is resoundingly clear (especially with the 'violation' "

I will take your word for it on what the writers intended.

But for those that don't know or don't remember, in the 90s there were several high profile cases where individuals were convicted of terrible crimes (childhood sexual abuse mostly) based on memories recovered in therapy - memories that turned out to be false in all likelihood.

In the Ramona v. Isabella case (1994) out of the UK, one of the falsely accused recovered $500,000 in a civil claim against one such therapist who implanted false memories of abuse in his daughter. There were a string of such civil claims in the years leading up to the airing of this episode (1998).

Given that the episode literally concerns recovered memories solicited by a doctor (acting as a therapist), we could be forgiven for assuming that this was the topic the writers were going for and not the Weinstein variety you allude to.
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Jason R.
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 12:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"Picard, Data and Worf get most of the attention because they are the most interesting characters. And I certainly don't agree with your claim that Geordi or Wesley are more important characters than Crusher or Troi. They are all secondary characters. Heck, I'll argue that Guinan - even if she gets less screen time - is a more important character than Geordi."

I never claimed that Geordi and Wesley were more important than Crusher and Troi. I was simply listing the Male lead characters on one side and the female leads on the other side to show that it was skewed 6:2.

And Guinan is not "more important" than Geordi. Maybe in universe she is - but we are talking about the show and its character makeup. Geordi is a lead character. Guinan is an occasional guest character. No comparison.
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Jason R.
Fri, Nov 29, 2019, 12:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"As for Pulaski, she’s memorable because she’s annoying. I’ll counter your thought experiment with another: how many season 2 comments on this site are complaints about Pulaski? Heck, not too long ago a woman here made an alt to specifically complain about her episodes and especially her treatment of Data. To be blunt, the actress wasn’t very good in TOS and didn’t get along with the TNG cast. I do think she got better and had a good arc - often I even defend her against complaints. But in the end, Crusher had good chemistry with the show and was a team player."

There are probably one or two scenes involving Pulaski where she behaved in a bigoted fashion to Data, pretty much at the beginning of the season after just meeting him.

But by Peak Performance it's apparent that she is very much on his side and has changed her views and I actually think she had good chemistry with Data.

Funny about our discussion on character development - Pulaski's attitude with Data, even over the single season she was on the show, was one of the best most well developed character arcs on the show.

There is just nothing to the complaints against Pulaski.

Speaking as someone who, as a kid, saw Dr. Crusher as the 'real' doctor and Pulaski as an unwanted interloper (mostly restrospectively) I think I can explain this attitude pretty well.

Crusher's shining virtue in the eyes of fans seems to be the fact that she lasted (almost) seven seasons, so she was the regular cast, and she didn't do anything offensive (and I guess being pretty didn't hurt her).

So it basically goes like this - we loved TNG, Crusher was the regular doctor on TNG, so we loved Crusher.

BLEH. I am sure the cast got along swimmingly with McFadden but I stand by my point that the show would have been massively better with a strong dynamic female character than with the mushed pablum that was Crusher.
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Jason R.
Fri, Nov 29, 2019, 11:23am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"Maybe they could’ve done more with Troi and replaced Tasha, but characters like Guinan and Ro Laren make the show feel pretty well-rounded."

Guinan was a guest character that popped up probably in fewer than 10% of episodes. Ro Laron didn't appear until what 5th season? And she was at best a secondary character on par with Laforge maybe.

While it may have felt balanced to a viewer in the 80s and 90s this cannot have been correct.

Let's look at the main cast (excluding one-season characters like Tasha or Pulaski)

Picard
Data
Riker
Worf
Geordi
Wesley

Troi
Crusher

Let's be honest, between just Picard and Data you are probably already sucking up 50% of the narrative oxygen on the show over 7 seasons. I would be surprised if the female leads even got the 25% share suggested by their 2/8 proportion in the main cast.

In no conceivable way can this be called "balanced".

That said funny enough I don't think the whole talking about romance thing is valid. I am certain that Crusher and Troi almost never talked about romance during the run of the show.

What did they talk about then? I could scarcely tell you because their storylines were so uniformly weak and forgettable, their performances so unmemorable that you could barely say - even though since they were certainly lead characters and certainly on screen regularly, they had to be talking about *something*.

Here is a neat experiment to do in your head. Ask yourself how many conversations stand out in your mind involving Pulaski and how many stand out re: Troi or Crusher. I am amazed to discover that despite Pulaski being on the show just 1/6 as long as Crusher and 1/7 Troi I can easily list as many or more Pulaski memorable moments (none involving romance) as either of the other two.
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Jason R.
Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 5:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

"It’s annoying to be bogged down in debating minutiae -"

Whoooo boy did you pick the wrong forum and the wrong fandom haha.

I think it's true that oppressors always fear the tables being turned and becoming the oppressed - which is probably the intended response in the audience when watching an episode like Angel One. It's like a double whammy to see oppression and a kind of perversion of the natural order (and you see it) rolled into one.

But if I can say something nice about this otherwise dull, tedious episode, it's the portrayal of Riker. He's not threatened by matriarchy in the slightest. And why would he be? He was born in a society where he's not oppressing anyone - so the society he visits is little more than an intriguing curiosity, a nice change of pace. Having Riker and the others react with hostility or fear in the face of this society would be an anachronism - like Sisko getting upset about the Vic Fontaine simulation.
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Jason R.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 6:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

It is such a crying shame they swapped out Pulawski after Season 2. Even in Season 2 with the weaker scripts she was vastly better than Crusher or Troi. She actually had real gravitas and presence. I loved her scenes with Data and Worf. Who knows what they would have done with her in Season 3 but I think it would have improved the show alot and actually yielded a female character to rival Riker or Worf in popularity. Sighhhhh instead we got Dr. Crusher for 4 more seasons ...
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Jason R.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 11:59am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

We can probably agree that if science fiction and fantasy are vemm diagrams there is probably an overlapping "neutral zone" (to borrow a Trek metaphor) where you'll find most Marvel movies, Star Wars and some Trek series on the sf side and maybe something like the Shattered Earth books or... boy I am having trouble thinking of fantasy genre examples that would be on the F side of the neutral zone - but you get my drift.

But Peter is correct that Trek always at least attempted to ground its ideas in real science. Trek was never hard sf to be sure, but to flippantly compare it to Saturday morning serials or to just throw up your hands and shovel it into the fantasy box wholesale is really unfortunate.
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Jason R.
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 9:29am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

That was my thought Top Hat, that someone was equating "fantasy" with "fiction".

There isn't a doubt that some overlap is going to occur between fantasy and science fiction and in some cases the line becomes blurry if not non-existent.

But conceptually and stylistically, they are separate genres. There is a good reason why many of a generation of NASA scientists, astrophysicists and others who went on to real science careers attribute their professional inspiration to Star Trek and not, say, Lord of the Rings.

Real engineers were inspired to develop real technologies like cell phones by Trek communicators but not by, say a Palantir.
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Jason R.
Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 11:44am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

"Take for example Picard's initial assertion that Starfleet is prepared for whatever is out there. This is admittedly out of character for Picard and outright silly."

You are misquoting Picard.

What he says is:

"How can we be prepared for that which we do not know? But I do know we are ready to encounter it."

Picard never claimed to be *prepared*; he claimed they were *ready*.

In this context, giving Picard the full benefit of the doubt, I'd say that readiness suggests that whatever the dangers, mankind belongs out there, that the project of exploration is worthy and wise. It is a rebuke of Q's original assertion from EAF that mankind had gone too far and should retreat.

It is not an assertion of infallibility or a denial of certain risk, but simply the claim that exploration, whatever its risk, is worthwhile.

The encounter with the Borg in Q Who us the first time that assertion of readiness ever came into real question, possibly in the entire Trek canon. The Borg can't be reasoned with and they can't be tricked or defeated through conventional means. They cannot be overcome by the usual magical plot contrivances of a 45 minute episode. They are utterly implacable .

As I see it, until Q Who mankind was the Mary Sue of the galaxy even when encountering seemingly superior beings (like Q). Q Who was the first splash of cold water on that notion.

Until, sigh, Voyager.......
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Jason R.
Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 8:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

George my hypothesis is that in an initial encounter the Borg do not bother making a full defence. Their priority is to assess the potential of the other ship, not to destroy it. In effect, they just stand there and let the other ship do its worst. If that results in the destruction of a cube, that's an acceptable outcome for them - lesson learned. For them a single ship is expendable.

As for beaming over bombs to the borg ship - has a Federation captain ever done such a thing in a first contact scenario? Not exactly the Trek ethos...

Regarding Guinan, her failure to provide a more urgent warning is strange. The best explanation I can come up with is much like my original point - once they were there, they needed to learn their lesson. That wouldn't happen if they were convinced to hightail it and run at the outset.
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Jason R.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 11:42am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

"Care to explain that last remark, Jason?

Because I don't recall Booming ever telling us his/her gender."

Someone corrected me last time when I referred to her as a he.

"I'm also wondering what - exactly - you are so happy about here. First time for *what*, exactly?"

I am usually the one getting corrected for assuming things re pronouns. It was my first chance to correct someone else for a change :)

(I'm curious now, what did you think I meant??)
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Jason R.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:55am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

"But here, Booming hasn't done anything wrong.

So leave the guy alone, will ya?"

Booming's not a guy.

Booyah. First time for everything.
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Jason R.
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 6:39am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

Booming I have got to agree with Omicron that it doesn't much matter either way in this context. But maybe it's the lawyer in me but I just can't let it pass when people say things that make no sense to me.

Let me confess I just don't know what "scientific" means in this context. Science is a methodology whereby one studies the universe through hypothesis and experimentation.

I honestly don't see how that relates meaningfully to a term that is essentially metaphorical - nobody literally "objectifies" anybody so what we are talking about is how a person treats or relates to another person *like an object* rather than a person.

Again, how would that metaphorical description of some human behaviour relate to "science" in this context?

I mean I guess you could somehow say that it relates to the study of human societies through anthropology or something. You could design experiments I suppose to test some hypothesis about sonething called "objectification" in human societies. By that logic you could say "asshole" is a scientific term too :) Almost any metaphorical description of human behaviour would be.

Are you saying because some smart person at Harvard used the term that makes it "scientific"? Did she actually claim this was a science term? If so would you mind providing a quote from her so we can understand what you are talking about?

I mean as Omicron asks: why are we even arguing over this? You know I don't deny that men objectifying women is a real thing....
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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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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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Jason R.
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 7:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

"Kai Winn was played by Louise Fletcher, who won an Academy Award in 1975 for her role as as the tyrannical Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Oh my god I never realized that! Cool.
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Jason R.
Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 8:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: By Inferno's Light

It does seem odd that a changeling would commit suicide even to destroy an enemy fleet. The changelings always valued their own lives pretty highly. They don't seem like the suicide bomber types.

Plus if blowing up a star is a thing.... well why don't they do it more often? Kind of renders the Tox Utat rather pointless doesn't it?

And spoiler: isn't it nice of Ziyal to forgive her dad for trying to blow her up AND BAJOR!!!!!! a few episodes later. Forget the occupation, how about attempted mega genocide!

In conclusion, did they really think this whole blowing up the Bajoran sun thing through when they wrote this episode?
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 5:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

"I could make similar arguments at least about King( a whoremonger and homophobe). Kennedy is a little bit more difficult because what did he actually achieve what people will remember in say 200 years. Not blowing up the planet?"

There are FBI wiretaps that allegedly show MLK witnessing and cheering on a rape. From what I understand the recordings are real but still sealed. But eventually they will be released. If the descriptions are accurate then even in the pre Metoo era that would be a big blow to his reputation.

I would hope that there is a middle ground to be reached between throwing his personal stature due to his achievements in the garbage and sweeping the revelations under the rug.

Perhaps with MLK it's academic at this point because his historical stature is so established that he can't truly be expunged even if we wanted to (and some will demand it). I just detest this impulse to black and white thinking about these figures where you can't admire the good in a villain or admonish the bad in a hero.

I also don't care for the tendency to tear down great historical figures for altogether unseemly motivations. I doubt Mohammed's critics (or MLK's for that matter) have historical accuracy as their prime motivator.
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 11:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

"Tiger Woods is immaterial to this discussion. He is a celebrity who whacks balls around; he has no pretensions to moral stature. The men I name are famous for supposed moral stature."

I didn't use him as an example of moral stature. I used him as an example of how when men achieve heroic status (for whatever reason) it increases exponentially the opportunity to engage in the misbehaviour these men are accused of.

It may be that depraved men are drawn to the limelight or it may be that being in the limelight is corrupting.
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 29, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

@Rebecca there's no shortage of people criticizing these men as you yourself demonstrate.
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Jason R.
Mon, Oct 28, 2019, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

Certainly in men there is a strong correlation between greatness and the kind of misbehaviour these men were accused of. It's the Tiger Woods syndrome.

I think it's foolish to pretend that such men were saints or to deny obvious personal failings but conversely, equally ludicrous to dismiss their accomplishments on account of personal failings.

There are allegedly some very nasty revelations about MLK that will no doubt see the light when certain FBI recordings become unsealed in a few years.

Personally, I don't see myself summarily tossing aside his contributions to civil rights even if the allegations turns out to be 100% true.
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Jason R.
Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 5:16am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

" I stated that it is silly to think that a baseball card, or any gift for that matter, will alleviate the depression that comes from a looming conflict such as war. "

Ever heard the saying "it's the thought that counts"?
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