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Jason R.
Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

@Booming the creation of the hologram and its behaviour was clearly *unintentional*. Rewatch Booby Trap. Not up for debate.

I don't understand why people can't process this fact. Have to keep pointing it out every couple years.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

@Booming we also know what they know: that Geordie never did anything with the hologram and that its creation was just a fluke / comedy of errors from Boobie Trap.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

"@DLPB, Damar is only 3 inches taller than Kira. It is more of a fair fight than one would imagine."

If they were both human it would be pretty ridiculous for Kira to beat down Damar like that no matter how tall she is. But since we have no clue how an average Bajoran female versus Cardassian male would stack up it's basically up in the air.

Incidentally, given that Vulcans were supposed to have 8 times the strength of humans, T'Pal should have been a beast and easily smacked around Archer or any of the other humans which I was laughing about when Archer threatened to put her on her ass or something. That would have gone as well as Sisko's wrestling match even if Vulcan females are 1/2 as strong as the males.

But now I'm getting off track. The really crazy thing is watching Sisko beating up Jem'Hadar genetically engineered super soldiers. Like Uncle Ben beating up Captain America in a fist fight.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 30, 2020, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

@Jack It's specious to claim that absent a "higher power" we are in some kind of moral anarchy- no doubt some religious people love that argument but gimme a break. So if Archer decided to nuke the planet and exterminate the population for kicks unless I subscribed to this higher power I'd be powerless to criticize him?
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 11:25am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

" Doesn't the "wisdom" of the Prime Directive rely on the notion that we humans know exactly the circumstances which decide whether we interfere with another species or not?"

No that is literally the opposite of the Prime Directive.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 5:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Oh the sanctimonious arrogance.

To be fair, one of the eternal failures of Trek has been its inability to engage with the idea of actual "aliens" as in beings from other worlds. We get Klingons and Bajorans with their crinkly foreheads but otherwise human biology and culture and we end up with allegories instead of aliens. Maybe I expect too much from Trek.

That weakness is on full display in this episode so I can't be too hard on PicardisWesleysFather and others who seriously think that slamming aliens from another world with human morality/law is a fantastic idea.

In 2020 I find myself loving these episodes and appreciating the wisdom of the Prime Directive more than ever.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 8:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

"The job of drama isn't to photoshop the way real people behave , and when we express disapproval of the actions of a fictional character we shot not slip into seeing that as indicating a failure on the part of the writer/ director/actor."

This presumes that the medium itself, through its imagery, its writing, its musical cues, its editing... is value neutral and totally objective. This is certainly wrong.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

Fantastic review Elliot. But I am with others in thinking the Borg Queen's temptation of Data was botched. There was one episode in all of Trek that seriously attempted to address the allure of collective consciousness (rather than portray it as unmitigated horror) and that was Voyager's Unity.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

"BLM protestors are wearing masks."

Reaaaaly. So mass gatherings of thousands of people are a-ok as long as people wear masks?

You should have a word with the Provincial and Federal governments here in Canada cause they don't concur. Indeed until recently our own health authorities were discouraging mask use claiming they are not useful.

In Ontario any gatherings are still capped at 10. How about baseball games? Maybe they should open Yankee stadium as long as people are given masks at the door?

And a week before the mass protests there was a huge uproar against people lounging in a park in Toronto. There was no mention of lack of mask use as being the big issue - it was all about the gathering period full stop.

How a pandemic can radically change in a week ayy?
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 4:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

And I forgot to add there are plenty of anti corporatists on the right side as well. It might skew a little left but that's pretty well irrelevant to the "cancel culture" debate and becomes nothing but obfuscation in this context.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Elliott your focus on economics as the central axis of the conservative versus liberal paradigms in the USA is obsolete and not really relevant anymore. The fact is both sides are generally corporatist excepting a few outliers like the Sanders faction.

At a minimum it is irrelevent to this debate. Reminds me of the scifi author Orson Scott Card who claimed to be the real Democrat despite his opposition to gay rights and other highly conservative viewpoints. His playbook was dated as is yours.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 11:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

"3. My impression is that many self-described liberals and leftists "support" cancel culture in various forms, whether it be deplatforming or whatever. I don't have a good sense on what the percentages are here."

In Canada it is pretty well mainstream, or if it isn't almost nobody speaks out against it. At this point I couldn't care less what label you choose for it. It is what it is.

Suffice it to say, defeating these people is literally the only political objective I care about anymore. They're to me what Trump is to that NYT commenter who said she'd vote for Joe Biden if he raped her.

I oppose any cause they support on principle.

Elliott may call this petulant (and he's not wrong) but I don't waste time finding common ground with people who think I don't have the right to speak my mind.

I will make one additional point. Elliott claims that the recent protests are "affecting policy". I challenge strenuously that assertion. Moreover, I put it to him that there's very little evidence that BLM is even interested in "policy" in the sense of actual reform of the police. The vast majority of the political messaging I have seen appears to focus on "systemic racism" in the most general terms and I'm sorry, "defund the police" is a slogan not a policy.

So even if you agree that I'm petulant it doesn't change the fact that there's little evidence that this movement has any real plan for serious reform. Intelligent people like Elliott can ascribe to them whatever rational policies he thinks they ought to support, but people like Elliott aren't behind the wheel or if they are they are grappling with about 100 others for control and they are going to lose that struggle.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

By the way Peter addressing the point you made about DS9 requiring more focus than TNG that's a result of not just the serialized structure but also the interdependent nature of the big cast, which is both a blessing and a curse.

For what it's worth my own viewing habits mirror yours. I can watch a TNG episode like Disaster or Sins of the Father or Peak Performance three times a week and never get tired of them. DS9 does require more work to enjoy.

Voyager is more in the TNG mold and is easily accessible except for the minor snag that it kind of sucks so there is that :)
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Valinor since Elliott made the claim we were discussing and then seemed to suggest that I was using an incorrect definition, I asked him to provide the correct one.

But I agree this is played out. Just when I thought I was out they pulled me back in.

Frankly I was hoping I'd get more pushback on my Voyager rankings from Elliott since he's such an apologist for that series.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Elliott you are the one who asserted that "the left" believed in x and not y.

I will leave it to you to define "left" in the context of your own positive assertions and respond if warranted.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Elliott you need to read carefully what I am writing because my point is exceedingly narrow.

You made a series of "the left doesn't care about x, it cares about y" assertions. You didn't bother to define "the left" so I presumed you were using a fairly colloquial understanding of the word.

I made the very narrow point that clearly a very significant number of people who are most certainly "left" do care about the things you described, such as corporate logos, racist films etc... and that the media is replete with such examples.

I am not interested in debating the merits of such beliefs in of themselves. I am simply pointing out that while BLM, for example, certainly cares about police violence, they *also* clearly, unequivocally, care about a host of issues including ones similar to what you dismissed as not being the concern of "the left". The same is true of many similar groups.

That you may personally not consider something like a corporate logo to be as important as police reform, for example, may be true but is also irrelevant.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 10:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Elliott I am not going to go down the No True Scotsman rabbithole with you.

It is abundantly clear to anyone who reads the news, follows social media, or has stepped foot on a university campus, that there are legions of left leaning individuals who certainly care about corporate logos appropriating native images, tv shows with racist messages and other similar things.

But as I said I have no interest in pointing out examples to you so you can declare them not the true "left" or dismiss them as all being disingenuous opportunists or fake news or whatever.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

"There are bushels of straw men on this thread."

Respectfully Elliott, there is mountainous evidence that the left cares about all these and similar things quite deeply and aggressively.

You are certainly entitled to an opinion, but not to your own facts. You are unequivocally wrong.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

The irony is the "police" dog isn't even really a cop despite his uniform. As prior critics have pointed out, Ryder's outfit is private, not public. So the dog isn't so much police as private security. Which I guess makes the Paw Patrol mercenaries like Blackwater?
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

"Paw Patrol wasn't actually cancelled. The world is not *that* crazy... yet."

That was the one thing I wanted cancelled :(
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 4:18am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

Ya Peter I was being pretty sloppy forgetting people left and right. Haha Morn I guess I should have included him since I did give TNG points for Homm and Spot.

Funny though that in the end the numerical averages weren't nearly as meaningful as I thought they'd be. The big takeaway though is that DS9 had *tons* of important side characters like Garek, Dukat, Weyoun, D'Mar etc.... and you can't even compare these to even the very prolific side characters on Voyager and TNG like Guinan or Q or Borg Queen because the DS9 group has wayyyyyy more screen time. D'Mar alone probably had more screen time than Q and Guinan combined.

But I will concede that DS9's focus could be a detriment at times. Yes you'd see folks like Weyoun a ton but also Rom and Leeta.

One thing that is apparent though is the weakness of Voyager's main cast. I would say I was really cheating a bit giving Janeway 3 stars (I am a fan of hers, even though I suspect that is much more controversial than the 3 star rating suggests) and you can just see how low their ratings are. Seven is the only really unambiguously great character. I guess an argument could be made to give Doctor 4 stars but my personal dislike for what he became forced me to 3 star him (I guess that balances out my upgrade of Janeway)
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

Just for the heck of it I will do Voyager too:

(Shit I also forgot Barclay *** and O'Brien *** on my TNG list)

Voyager Tier 1:

Janeway ***
Seven ****
Chakotay **
Torrez **
Paris **
Tuvok **
Kim *
Neelix *
Kes *
Doctor ***

AVG: 2.1 stars

Voyager Tier 2:

Naomi Wildman *
Icheb **
Borg Queen **
Seska ***
Cullah **
Q **
Chaotica ***

AVG: 2.142 stars
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

Shoot I forgot Sloan ***, Cassidy ** and Brunt *
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

@William you got me thinking, what if I actually list and attempt to quantify the characters? I am going to compare TNG to DS9 to see if my thesis holds up.

Tier 1 will be the main cast. Tier 2 will be any secondary character appearing in 3 episodes or more not counting two-parters. I will exclude one season wonders like Pulaski, Tasha and Ezri. I will also assign a Star rating for each character according to my estimation of the quality of the actor and the overall writing for the character as well as my impression of the popularity of the character.

4 stars is legendary / classic character. 3 stars is well regarded but not universally beloved. 2 stars is middling to average with both boosters and detractors. 1 star is mostly derided with few supporters.

TNG Tier 1:

Picard ****
Riker ***
Data ****
Worf ***
Geordie **
Troi *
Crusher *
Wesley *
Ro ***

AVG: 2.222 stars

TNG Tier 2:

Guinan ****
Q ****
Lwaxana *
Mr. Homm ***
Lore **
Keiko *
Alexander *
Spot ****

AVG: 2.285 stars (Spot excluded)

DS9 Tier 1:

Sisko ***
Kira ***
Odo ***
O'Brien ***
Worf ***
Bashir **
Dax *
Quark ***
Jake **

AVG: 2.555 stars

DS9 Tier 2:

Rom *
Leeta *
Zial **
Nog ***
Garek ****
Dukat ****
Wynn ***
Weyoun ****
Founder ***
D'Mar ***
Martok ***
B'arial *
Keiko *

AVG: 2.538 stars

Looking at the above it is apparent to me that for the main cast, DS9 has more talent spread out more evenly in the main cast. When it comes to the secondary cast though, the average star rating doesn't do DS9 justice because of the sheer difference in quantity of secondary characters. There is just no comparison - DS9's secondary roster is just stacked with talent and plays an outsized role in the storytelling, whereas TNG concentrates almost exclusively on the main cast. This may be partly due to the serialized nature of the storytelling to be fair. But for me it's such a big asset for DS9 that paid off even before the story departed from episodic storytelling into full on arcs.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

Just saw this episode again and even after all these years Emissary holds up as the best Trek pilot by far. Avery Brooks's acting is eccentric at times, but never boring. I just can't help but like this guy, "Aaaaoooo!" notwithstanding.

I always laugh at Odo's line "and here I thought I wasn't going to like him" after Sisko finishes extorting Quark. Or Sisko telling Dukat he's welcome to visit anytime he's homesick and then flinching as Dukat leaves the room. Just splendid.

It's these little character moments that pay huge dividends as the series progresses. And I get choked up every time I watch his "I exist here" scene at the end of Sisko's meeting with the Prophets.

One thing you realize is that DS9 has such a huge advantage over other Trek shows because of the quality of the secondary characters. No series including TNG was so stacked with talent in the middle of the "lineup" (to borrow a baseball metaphor) like Armin Shimmerman, Camille Saviola, Marc Alamo, Andrew Robinson...

Even the weaker characters (Bashir, Dax) are made better by their chemistry with the rest of the cast (Bashir / Garak, Dax / Sisko). In TNG you had singular performances by Stewart or Spiner but seldom so much great chemistry with recurring guest characters (Guinan and Mr. Homm excepted)

I guess, to extend the baseball metaphor, TNG felt like a handful of superstars carrying everyone while with DS9 it was a real team effort.
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