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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 3:57am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Booming
"So basically there are no real solutions anymore, just the vague dwindling hope that capitalism will somehow provide solutions and that leads to nihilism and cynicism."

I know this is off-topic, but I have to comment on this.

I think the biggest problem with the current version of capitalism is that doesn't really feel like capitalism anymore. Look around you. Where is the free enterprise? Where is the good old capitalist spirit that used to motivate people to create great things (for profits)?

We don't really live in a capitalist world anymore. We live in a world that's ruled by megacorporations who've gotten so powerful that they are no longer subject to the ordinary rules of economics. They have the entire world under their command. They can easily kill off (or buy) all their competition while continuing to create substandard products.

America (and the western world) would be in far better shape, if it started to take measures to protect the good ol' American business spirit.

(not saying that capitalism is the only way to run things, of-course. But if a country is already using a capitalistic system, then it should make sure that system is indeed working as intended. Right now, it doesn't.)
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Booming
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 3:22am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Wainscoting
"I'm not saying it was intentional but kind of. I mean essentially everything in media we consume is to some extent no?"
No. :) I find it far more reasonable to view the current media landscape and Star Trek, if you want to see general trends, as post ideology and that is closer related to the end of the cold war. What Fukuyama called the end of history. At the core of the US identity is capitalism, which isn't unrelated to the cold war. There are other fundamental parts of US identity but capitalism during the 20th century became the core value (That is one of the reasons the democratic establishment freaks out about Sanders). Sorry I have to end it here, too much to do (my 10 days of peace are over). it boils down to: one ideaology (kind of won) and now there is really nothing else but the capitalistic society to approach problems and capitalism creates a lot of the problems societies try to solve. So basically there are no real solutions anymore, just the vague dwindling hope that capitalism will somehow provide solutions and that leads to nihilism and cynicism.
Sorry it is extremely simplistic.

"My understanding of the premise of postmodernism is that our mythologies contain dangerous foundational assumptions born of a narrow set of cultural parameters that irrevocably dictate our reality and what we’re able to think. It says that the very concept of ‘reasoning’ is itself the product of Western cultural bias. There is no objective Truth with a capital T etc."
That is not the premise but one of the hypothesis on can derive through the post modernist framework. You could apply it to for example to Chinese society and come to an equally damning judgement. I'm not happy with some aspects of your definition but I guess it will have to do.

" See @Guiding Light higher in the comments for a prime example ;)"
I actually thought that guiding lights comments were more about third wave feminism which for the postmodern thinker is likely just another column in the temple of the current society. Stabilizing power structures by including a higher percentage of women into the capitalistic society. ;)

ENOUGH. I have to work.
Have fun with the vid. :)
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Wainscoting
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 2:25am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Booming
"Do you really believe that the show is constructed around a philosophical framework created in mid 20th century France about how all societal narratives are constructed to reinforce societal power structures? "

I'm not saying it was intentional but kind of. I mean essentially everything in media we consume is to some extent no?

A fair disclaimer: my philosophy is high school level really and even I know the folly of throwing that nebulous P word around, especially without providing an explicit definition. My understanding of the premise of postmodernism is that our mythologies contain dangerous foundational assumptions born of a narrow set of cultural parameters that irrevocably dictate our reality and what we’re able to think. It says that the very concept of ‘reasoning’ is itself the product of Western cultural bias. There is no objective Truth with a capital T etc.

I think it's very useful for pointing out the flaws in power structures and exposing privilege but when unchecked, people descend into moral relativism, irony and nihilism. See @Guiding Light higher in the comments for a prime example ;)

I'm sure I've totally misrepresented postmodern thinkers, so let me just say that I find that nu-trek lacks the sincerity I appreciated in older Star Trek shows. That will do for now.

Thanks for the video! I'll watch it when I get a chance tonight.
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Booming
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 12:54am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Wainscoting
"This new, truly postmodern trek has replaced all that sincerity with irony. We see that intelligent life is disposable, people are vain, self-obsessed and eschew the idea of a duty to the common good, society is destined to remain fragmented with people always finding a way to exploit one other."

I'm not a big fan of postmodernist thinking but this is just not correct. Do you really believe that the show is constructed around a philosophical framework created in mid 20th century France about how all societal narratives are constructed to reinforce societal power structures? Is that your point? This sounds like dark web nonsense to me. The show clearly is against xenophobia pro refugee and almost gung-ho. A true postmodernist show could not make such statements or take these positions. Postmodernism is at it's core about questioning unproven beliefs? Also why would a postmodernist narrative be vain or self obsessed? Have you actually read Foucault?! You should also keep in mind that I could take your statement change the postmodernism for capitalism and it would fit far better. But I don't think that the show is actually anti capitalist. It is just a ham-fisted reflection on the present.

Here if you want to begin to understand postmodernist thinking. This video is a good start. (activate subtitles) I fall on Chomsky's side in this debate but Foucault is undoubtedly genius and makes some good points.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wfNl2L0Gf8
(here, if you lack the patience to listen to the entire debate, the part of the debate that is often highlighted)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5wuB_p63YM


@grey cat
"Thoroughly enjoying PIC. 7 or 8 out of 10 episode."
I guess that finally proves that the fans of the show are real visionaries.

" People mostly leave a review if they hate the effect or have some horrible reaction. "
People always say that but so far I haven't come across a single study that indicates that there is even some truth to it.
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spinalatte
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Very campy, yet dark. I did not enjoy this as much as the previous episodes, although Troi's evil twin was a nice surprise. Seven being so bent on revenge, seems quite out of character for her.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 9:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Grey Cat
"Please stop the 'this is not trek' rubbish."

Okay.

How about this:

Picard is a joyless, morally bankrupt, depressing show. It shows us a grim world that (a) I would not like to live in and (b) I've seen the likes of in a dozen other sci fi universes. It resorts to torture porn for the shallowest of reasons, and it has the general maturity of a 14 year-old brat that thinks he is cool because he is doing "adult things".

This show also turns a character that was once loved and admired, into a target of redicule and mockery. He is one man against the world, and the worst part of it is that the show seems to be indicating that he is wrong and "the world" is right. Picard is depicted as a delusional idealist, which is just awful.

I do not find this kind of cr*p to be either entertaining nor insightful. It may be "Star Trek", but it most certainly does not have the same qualities that made me fall in love with the franchise in the first place: The optimism, the intelligence, the open-mindedness, the inspiration to become a better person.

I'm sorry, but ST:Picard does not have these things. In fact, in many ways, it feels like an outright mockery of those qualities (as Jason R. aptly stated).

There. I've said most of what bugs me about this show without saying "It isn't Star Trek" even once. Are you happy now? You can call STP Star Trek if you wish, but it still stinks (and it is also not the kind of show I've signed up for when I became a Trekkie in the first place).
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George Monet
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 9:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Oh and for everyone saying the technological disparity makes sense because we have smart phones but haven't been to the moon on 40 uears, I say use your brains. In reality there is no warp drive. Chemical based liquid fuel rockets are the limit. Getting into space is difficult, expensive and risky. And there is nothing of value out there even when we do expend the incredibly huge amount of resources to do so. We have, barring a complete breakthrough that will upend our knowledge of the universe, reached the limit in space propulsion technology and it is hopelessly inadequate to do anything worthwhile with.

We haven't made progress in space propulsion not because we don't value space exploration but because there is no valuable progress to make. There is nothing more efficient than what we have and nothing of value that we can reach using chemical rockets. Now if Mars or Venus were second Earths that we could actually live on then we'd be colonizing them right now. But they are uninhabitable and have no valuable resources or ruins on them.

Our progress in computational technology and communications comes down to shrinking die sizes. There was room to shrink die sizes and we did so.

The areas of technologic advancement we make are determined more by the ability to make them than by a focus on making them. If exotic particles existed and could be created in useful quantities then we would be exploiting them. If we had an efficient method to reach and harvest asteroids then we would be harvesting asteroids. Resource extraction is a billion/trillion $ per year industry. If expoloiting asteroids were economically feasible it would be happening. There are trillions of dollars to be made by selling warp engines, but they are not possible except in fiction.

In Star Trek, warp drive is possible, exotic particles do exist and are exploited. The hallmark of a good science fiction story is asking, what would the world be like if this one thing were changed? What would the world be like if warp drive were possible? That is Star Trek. So asking why they did not have warp drive but did have a magic space probe is a fair question to ask.

And the answer which the fans of this episode don't want to see is becauss this writer didn't want to write a science fiction episode. They had a very generic story idea which could have bern forced onto any television show or even used as a short independent film. There was nothing Star Trek about this episode or even sci fi about thus episode. The episode wasn't even written well. Character development and drama were both lacking. As another critic ppinted out, Picard's sons character development and drama comes doen to I'm quitting school to play this flute. Picard didn't care because the writer didn't care and that character eas never seen again. The daugter gies from being 3 to suddenly being full grown. She discovers the planet is dying, that her father was lying to her, and then nothing. Thr writer didn't care about the chatacter pr thed setting. No one tries to take any action to sabe the species or themselves, they aren't even slightly worried or troubled. Nor does an impossibly long draught seem to be causing any problems. There is never talk of food shortages or rationing or even problems with water shortages. All the microbes in the soil are pronounced dead but four years later the only problem is the inconvenience of having to wear sunscreen no one puts on anyways.

I will reitetate why this is a bad episode. It is a generic drama story full of characters and events the writer didn't care about. The episode only sort of works thanks to the cheap emotional gimmicks about an old man watching everything he loved flash before his eyes as he passes on and Picard's acting talent.

In his review of Star Wars episode 1, redlettermedia posed this test: "Describe the following Star Wars characters without saying what they looked like, what kind of costume they wore, or what their profession or role on the movie was. The more descriptive they could get, the stronger the chatacter [was developed]."

I would pose the same test for the throwaway chatacters in this episode.
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Wainscoting
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I love that people are mentioning Mass Effect 2! Garrus, Tali, Mordin, Wrex...there were some fantastic characters there. The interesting thing about that game when it came to the story beats is that it frequently gave you the option to align with a humanist, Trekkian view of the world or a cynical, nihilistic one. For instance, on Garrus Vakarian's 'loyalty mission' you discover that Garrus ran a vigilante mercenary group undermining various crime syndicates that was betrayed by a member, resulting in the deaths of all but him. Anyway, you spend some time hunting the traitor down and having discussed his underlying motivations along the way Garrus ultimately asks Shepard to draw the traitor into the open so he can kill him from range. You can either aid in this person's death or at the last second to step into the line of fire and explore the circumstances leading to the betrayal as well as the guilt and suffering it is causing this person. Garrus may be dissuaded from vengeance and is fundamentally changed for the rest of the story. Incidentally, no eyes were horrifically yanked from sockets by metal claws in order to evoke emotional response.

Basically, Mass Effect 2 (specifically in those moments where you aren't shooting thousands of bad guys) did Trek better than this nu-Trek can.

That aside, although Jammer's apathy towards the "What is Star Trek?" question is justly earned, most Trek fans will draw a philosophical line somewhere. It seems undeniable that TNG and DS9 largely emerged from their predecessors shadow because they necessarily supplemented the humanist, modernist core of Star Trek with more postmodern spheres of thought. Yet, while challenging themselves, they remained sincerely devoted to the idea that all sentient beings possess moral value and despite our myriad differences, by embracing a 'sovereignty of reason' we can overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and perhaps in some small way strive meaningfully towards one day solving the epistemological, metaphysical and ontological questions we all share.

This new, truly postmodern trek has replaced all that sincerity with irony. We see that intelligent life is disposable, people are vain, self-obsessed and eschew the idea of a duty to the common good, society is destined to remain fragmented with people always finding a way to exploit one other. In other words, the pursuit of any truth greater than ourselves is simply a futile attempt to escape the historical and cultural discourses that run our lives.

Q: “You just don't get it, do you, Jean-Luc? The trial never ends. We wanted to see if you had the ability to expand your mind and your horizons. And for one brief moment, you did.”

Sorry Q, it seems you were wrong. 'Picard' believes in nothing and says nothing, simply taking pleasure in unravelling all that the character represented in TNG to the pleasure of some and the despair of the rest of us.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Dougie

"If you like Orville, you probably liked ALF."

ALF, of all things? That was pretty out in left field.

It's funny you've mentioned that show, though. There's a guy a hate-watched it and posted reviews of every single episode (he even ended up liking a handful of them). He turned hate-reviewing into an art form, and I've found his blog to be positively funny. Perhaps you should learn a thing or two form him? If you wanna be all snarky, at least have some style:
http://noiselesschatter.com/alf/
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George Monet
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

This is a terrible Star Trek episode. It would be amazing in a fantasy show but does not work in a sceince fiction setting because the writer flagrantly refused to acknowledge the setting. Many episodes on Star Trek have this exact problem. The writers are not science fiction writers and refuse to acknowledge the setting and the implications of the technology. This problem is especially aggregious in regards to any episode involving medical problems where characters are pronounced irreversibly dead the second they are stabbed or shot despite the fact thar Picard survived being stabbed in the heart during a bar fight 30 years ago. No disease is incurable when you can read and alter DNA the way they have done. No spinal column fracture would render someone paralyzed when you can regrow and reaatach nerves.

Firstly, the magic space probe. They cannot invent warp drive or even a generational sub light speed colony ship but they can build a magic space probe that lasts for over a thousand years, that magically catches up to the Enterprise and is able to send a magic nucleonic beam which magically penetrates the Enterprise's shields and mind controls Picard by making him live out an entire life in 25 minutes?

NONSENSE!!!!!!!!

There is no way they could build such a magic space probe but not invent warp drive or at least build a generational colonybship. Such an assertion by the writer is ludicrous in the extreme. We could build a sublight speed colony ship TODAY if we had to. Do you see why I said thus would work only on a fantasy show?

Secondly, Picard has all his knowledge of being Captain Picard therefore INCLUDING his knowledge of how warp engines work. But never once does he propose building one to save the people? Or what about sending a message to Starfleet by building a subspace transmitter. Now I could understand if they had Picard wringing his hands over violating the Prime Directive, but the writer doesn'tbeven do that. They refuse to acknowledge this is a SCIENCE FICTION show and instead write a completely out of place drama with no payoff. A drama that only takes place because thed writer refuses to acknowledge this is az science fiction show. No, I'm not asking for a deus ex machina techno babble solution to solve the problem of the star dying, but the writer needed to at least pay respect to the setting instead of willfully ignoring it. They needed to be shown trying to create a proto warp drive engine or volony ship. Even if such an effort failed. That would at least be better than the nonsensical bs impossible magic space probe whose only purpose eaa making this not be Star Trek because the writer didn't want to lower themself to writing a science fiction story and instead just wanted to write a generic drama story. Considering the setting the drama story didn't even make sense. If the sun is dying then EVERYONE would be concerned about doing something to live. But no one cared. Everyone was more consigned to dying than the Kryptonians in Man of Steel. Except for launching that magic space probe no one seemed to care about trying to survive.

For me this is a bad episode written by a writer who didn't want to write a science fiction episode. Everything from the magic space probe to the planet dying was just the writer paying the barest lip service to the fact that this is supposed to be a science fiction show and not a fantasy show or drama. It is easy to write a story about someone starting a family, growing old and dying in order to evoke a tearful reaction from the audience and is all this writer did.
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Quincy
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Late To The Party Girl

I didn't like that Raffi scene either. But I don't think she's given up. If she had she'd be in a hookah lounge somewhere vaping whatever she was vaping when Picard first went to see her. I think she believes going with Picard is her only chance to PROVE her conspiracy theory. I believe she believes that if she proves what went down she will be redeemed in the eyes of not just herself but everyone, including her son. Not saying that saves the scene, it's just where I think they're going with her character.
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DANIEL PRATES
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 6:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Trent I agree with your remarks. But actually, I was saying that the first reviews of 'this episode' were all positive (maybe the first few dozens or so), then all the sudden, people started trashing it. Is it because we got to think it over?
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Dave in MN
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Dougie

I don't have a strong opinion on ALF, but when it comes to wisecracking alien sidekicks, I've always been partial to the Flintstones's Great Gazoo.
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Eric Jensen
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 5:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Why would I not live in the Star Trek Picard universe? Romulans just popping in and shooting you! Imagine that. Having lunch and you get killed! This is from the 1st episode.
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Eric Jensen
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 5:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Since we are not talking about the next episode...

I dislike the episode, the latest one, number 5, the one before 6 and the one after 4. Why? I would not want to live in the world where Picard is currently living in now. Star Trek TNG, I would imagine living there. DS9, despite the Dominion war, I could live on planet Earth and lunch at Sisko's. I could live on Voyager's Earth.

Star Trek Picard? I would not want to live in that universe.
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Trent
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 5:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Daniel said: "Funny how the reviews started on a very positive tone, only to veer off towards bad..."

Because the first few episodes had lots of neat little scenes where we got to explore future Earth, or watch Picard chew scenery. And because we didn't know where the show was going, we gave it some rope and had faith in it. But with the last few episodes, one gets the feeling that this is "Discovery" all over again, the show less interested in politics, philosophy and Picard, more in shocks, violent twists and its Big Mystery Reveals. The narrative strategies of both shows now suddenly seem the same.

IMO it will take a genius twist to reconfigure this episode and regain naysayer goodwill. We know at least one more episode is spent with Picard hiding with Riker on Earth, but what happens on the Borg cube this week and next, is anyone's guess.
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Trent
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Dom said: "is Orville heavily serialized? Is it possible to jump in and watch Sanctuary without having seen the previous seasons?"

You might want to watch "Deflectors" in preparation for it, but otherwise it's pretty standalone. Season 2 of Orville is real strong, especially the back half, and Jammer dropped a few 4 stars reviews here and there. The episode Dave mentions - "Sanctuary" - captured the old-school feel of the Federation well IMO.
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Dave in MN
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 12:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Dom

If you've seen the third episode, I'd say you can watch it without needing to know everything else that's happened in the meantime.

Twice in the episode, they briefly mention a previous big event that is a spoilerfor a previous episode. But if you aren't heavily invested already, it probably won't matter much. You might not even remember those passing references.

I'd say watch it.
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Nothing but the Tears
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 12:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Long-time visitor of the site, first comment. Also, I love that Jammer's still reviewing to this day.

I loved the pilot. I thought episodes 2-4 were okay. I though this last one was terrible.

So much has already been said so I’m just leaving some of my thoughts about this episode as well as the show so far.

In my view, the show’s biggest issue by far is its writing. It manages to produce individual moments or exchanges that are great (e.g. Seven and Picard talking about how much of their humanity remains) but often feels meandering or confused to me (which carries over to dialog at times). I love serialized shows as well as shorter seasons but the creators really have to nail it. There’s also the issue of introducing interesting characters such as Dahj or Maddox but never allowing them to grow beyond being plot devices.

The torture scene, in my opinion, was unnecessary. Seven finding Icheb dead or dying, with clear signs of his mistreatment, as well as her reaction, is enough for me to understand how it impacts her and becomes a motivation for her. It really doesn’t take more than that. Based on the reactions of friends and family, I’m also concerned it could serve to drive away viewers, especially if they’ve been on the fence.

To wrap things up, I’m planning to watch the rest of the season. I’m not happy about where we are and I’m not overly optimistic but I still think there’s potential. Plus, if nothing else, I just love watching Patrick Stewart (even though I wasn’t impressed by him here, unfortunately).
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Hank
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Booming: Yeah, bad choice of words, that wasn't my intention, more a comment on his (apparent) self-identification.

And you are exactly right, Picard is, like Discovery was, utterly confused in what it wants to tell its audience - because in truth, it doesn't want to tell us anything, it ticks boxes because it is there to make money, completely muddling any points it could make.
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E. Kristjansson
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 11:33am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

I'm really disappointed with this show. If I want to watch some overly complicated plot, along with torture scenes and foul language. I'll just watch the latest opuses from Tarantino or Scorcese.

It is not what I expect from Star Trek :)
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Dave in MN
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 11:07am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I rewatched "Sanctuary" from season 2 of The Orville last night.

It amazes me how Orville can take some of these same story elements (intergalactic politics, diaspora, cultural relativism, the ethics of diplomacy) and create something both Trekkish AND new AND subtly subversive .... while STP takes 5 episodes to cover the same ground and it's not effective or interesting or insightful or very plausible.

Anyone who doubts me should watch "Sanctuary" immediately. It is possible to discuss these subjects in an adult way that also scratches that Trek itch in the best way.

In the least, it's a good palate cleanser for after watching STP.
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Dave in MN
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

BTW, thanks for confirming The Orville is a better show than DS9, Haha.
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Dave in MN
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 10:55am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Dougie

You still think I'm using sock accounts?

*sigh*

Man, it's gotta suck coping with conspiratorial delusion.
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Dave in MN
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 10:28am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Dougie

You couldn't finish DS9? You think Picard is a better show and you enjoy it upon rewatch? Unique preferences. Hmmmm.

In the future, I'll disregard your "Snoreville" insults.
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