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KingofMadCows
Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part I

The episode's message was pretty obvious and a bit preachy but it did have some subtle touches that people don't seem to have noticed.

The one aspect of the sanctuary district that few people seemed to have picked out is how a large number of its residents, perhaps even the majority, are mentally ill. There was that one crazy guy that Dax had to deal with, which was pretty obvious and played for laughs but there are hints all over the place that suggest the sanctuary districts are the asylums of the future.

Sisko and Bashir were automatically assumed to be "dims" when they were processed. Bashir talked to Sisko about a schizophrenic he saw on the streets. Many of the people in the background behaved like they had mental illnesses. The ghost leader clearly had some kind of personality disorder and it's suggested that most ghosts have anti-social tendencies.

Clearly, the writers were aware of the huge number of mentally ill people in the homeless population today and how it goes unrecognized by most people.
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KingofMadCows
Tue, Dec 21, 2010, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

They never actually expanded on the no money concept. For all we know, it could just mean that there's no government backed money.

The Federation government provides the basic needs for people like food, water, and shelter, but if you want something more, like your own shuttle craft or holosuite, you'd have to work for a privately owned business.
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Kingofmadcows
Wed, Dec 15, 2010, 5:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

I should also add that the "what is reality" part of the episode is reminiscent of "All Good Things." Remember Q's lesson for Picard in that episode, "For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. *That* is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence."

In a way, the Prophets were teaching Sisko/Benny the same lesson, giving him/them a glimpse into the mysteries of existence. I think that this also illustrates how DS9 focuses more on the social science aspect of science fiction while TNG focuses more on the natural science aspects.
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Kingofmadcows
Wed, Dec 15, 2010, 5:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

I think some people are missing some of the finer details of the episode. This episode does make the obvious statement that racism is bad but it also examines racism in the kind of detail that you don't find on television.

Think about it, Benny Russell basically writes the story of DS9 but DS9 never made a big deal about the fact that Sisko is black. If you just read the DS9 scripts and ignore the parts that describe Sisko's appearance, you won't even know what Sisko's race is since it is never brought up except in this episode and another episode in season 7. The writers could have easily made Sisko Asian or Hispanic or Caucasian or even a woman and it wouldn't make that much of a difference on DS9's story just like how they could have made Picard Italian or Portuguese instead of French and it wouldn't have much effect on TNG.

The fact that Benny Russell was so insistent on making Sisko black even though it would have no impact on the story is an excellent illustration of the mechanism of racism. Racism isn't just about how one groups benefits from the suffering of another group. It's not just about the physical oppression of a group of people. It's about the suppression of ideas. That is the true evil of racism that this episode is trying to show us. It ties everything a person does, everything a person is, to their race so that you can completely dismiss that person's feelings, thoughts, and ideas based on something as superficial as their skin color.

Also, this episode serves to remind us that segregation was not that long ago. There is the notion in society today that segregation and slavery ended a long time ago. There are plenty of people out there who think that slavery ended hundreds of years ago. In reality, institutional racism wasn't really abolished until 1968. When you see an African American with grey hair, then that person lived during a time when black people were beaten by the police and lynched by mobs.
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KingofMadCows
Sun, Sep 26, 2010, 6:56am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Changing Face of Evil

Having the Breen join the Dominion was a great idea. I like how this alliance was foreshadowed by the season 5 episode where Worf and Garak were captured by the Dominion, and we saw a Breen in the Dominion prison camp. Considering how both Bashir and Martok were replaced by Changelings, it is possible that the captured Breen may have been replaced by a Changeling too. Maybe that's how the Dominion got the Breen to join them.
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