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Jason R.
Fri, Sep 21, 2018, 11:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

Speaking of age of consent laws and Europe, France recently voted down a law that would have set their AOC at *15*. Apparently they have no age of consent still, which is amazing. In Quebec it used to be 14, though no idea if that has changed.

So yeah. Not that a 20 yr old being with a 16 yr old isn't dubious mind you. But it wouldn't be illegal in most places.
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Jason R.
Fri, Sep 21, 2018, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

In Canada age of consent is 16.

I haven't researched this recently but my understanding is that in most first world countries including most States in the USA a 16 year old could legally be with a 20 year old or an 80 year old for that matter.

The sole exception would be in specific instances such as parent/child, brother/sister, or teacher/student.

I think mm is correct and Elliott is wrong.
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 6:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

"But because this scene is there, the trope that normal males are attracted to females, and that this is the only normal way to be is enforced. I am telling you that when you grow up without role models who look like you or who act like you, it's traumatic. "

That is a neurotic reading of the scene. A better explanation is that what is commonplace is considered normal and what is normal is commonly portrayed by default.

If I watch a movie made by Indians in India I would not presume that the portrayal of an Indian marrying another Indian must convey the message that non Indians are aberrant or cannot marry.

As a Jew, I don't consider the ubiquity of Christmas carols or Christmas movies in December to be a statement that I'm abnormal. I consider this to be healthy.
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Jason R.
Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 5:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

For the record, Jason and Jason R. aren't the same. Not that I'm disagreeing with Jason specifically. It just got a bit confusing.

Not sure I see how privilege fits in either. But it's essentially a conversation ender. It signifies the end of any meaningful dialogue.
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Jason R.
Mon, Sep 17, 2018, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

"Sexism is a form of prejudice. Just like racism. It is not racist to note that people of different races might have different skin colours or facial features because that's the definition of race. It is racist to make assumptions about people based on their race. Likewise, it is sexist to make assumptions about people based on their gender. Assuming that Keiko, as a woman, must be with her child where as Miles, a man, doesn't necessarily have to is sexist because it makes assumptions based on nothing more than the fact that Miles and Keiko have different genitalia."

I understand your viewpoint and I imagine many would agree with you that differences between men and women are merely "genitalia" and "plumbing" to use another common metaphor.

My response is first to suggest that there is nothing trivial about genitalia, from which a host of biological realities (from breastfeeding to childbirth to sexual pleasure responses stem) and second, to note that there is alot of research into male and female brains that disputes the common "it's just plumbing" approach to sexual dimorphism. Ironically, this research into male and female brains, comes in the context of transexuality.

The race analogy is a false one because human races are mere social construct whereas sexual dimorphism in humans (and the reality of our biological differences) is not, clearly.

Incidentally, I want to emphasize that nowhere in this episode is there an implication that Keiko *must* watch the children or that it can be no other way because she is a woman. Your comment isn't against that proposition (and if it is, you are debating a straw man). Rather, it seems you object to the notion that default assumptions about people could in any way be informed by their sex in an enlightened society i.e. any society that is not strictly neutral in its attitude toward men and women is bigoted or sexist a priori.

I gotta disagree, strongly.
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Jason R.
Mon, Sep 17, 2018, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

Elliott it seems you define sexism as essentially any difference between male and female gender roles and expectations. That's a view that I'm sure many in 2018 would agree with but let's be clear - you object to any difference between the sexes and how they relate to one another. A non sexist world is one where there is essentially zero difference between men and women.
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 12, 2018, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

Elliott I realize I misread your post as you were making a separate point re: Pocohontas etc....

That said I stand by my claim that racialism we see in Tattoo (not racism) in portraying ethnicities in a monolithic way, is routine in today's film and tv, and Tattoo is just clunky and obvious about it.

And I stand by my point that your accusation of the writers being racist pretty baseless.
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 12, 2018, 1:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

"The attitude of the writers was that without outside influence, this culture would not have developed into an enlightened society. This problem is prevalent in Hollywood, and was especially so in the 90s regarding First Nations. "Dances With Wolves," "Pocahontas," "Fern Gully," oh and "Insurrection" have this exact same problem of presuming that a by lumping a bunch of diverse cultures together and slapping on some superficially positive traits like "respect for the land," they have expressed respect for native peoples."

I didn't see Dances or Fern Gully but in the case of Pocohontas and Insurrection, you're not only flat wrong in your interpretation, the text of those films directly refutes this.

In Pocohontas, for example, there is a line in the headline song: "if the savage one is me, how can there be so much that you don't know". The direct message is that the natives don't need to be enlightened. Your interpretation that they require white people to enlighten them is directly contrary to the text. Indeed, since the whites are portrayed largely as rapacious hoodlums and brigands, this is an especially nonsensical interpretation. I have no earthly clue what movie you were watching.

Please also cite the part in Insurrection where the Baku required "outside influence" to be enlightener. This equally totally contrary to the script.

Even in Tattoo, my revollection is that it was implied that natives were enlightened compared to others on earth - hence their being chosen by the aliens.

"When you treat people as a monolith because of their ethnicity--even when endowing that monolith with "positive" traits--that *is* racism."

More accurately what you're describing is *racialism*. In any event, this is such a common attitude to ascribe monolithic characteristics to ethnic groups as to be barely noteworthy even in 2018. It just tends to be more of a positive thing these days (as in ascribimg positive characteristics, like what we saw in Black Panther for example) that it isn't condemned the same way. Tattoo is in that vein, although a clunkier more inept version of it compared with, say, Black Panther.
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 12, 2018, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

"Now, regarding authorial intent--that the writers of "Tattoo" missed the racial problems isn't just a mark of their failure, it is a symptom of *their* racism. I don't think the authors were being malicious, but the racism is there, and that is a serious problem, because the episode did major damage to Chakotay's character. "

I haven't seen Tattoo in many years (for good reason), but I can't reconcile what I remember with this comment.

It seems to me you are taking a relatively minor aesthetic choice or perhaps a casting choice and extrapolating quite alot about the intent of the writers, declaring with certainty something that is as far from certain as can be.

Scratch that - you are not even speaking to their *intent*, which you concede may not be racist, but seeking to psychoanalyze them in terms of somd alleged inner racism they supposedly have without knowing the slightest thing about them personally. Where do you get off calling a bunch a strangers you never met a bunch of racists?

I realize this kind of remote armchair motive speculation is par for the course in 2018 when reviewing tv and movies from long ago so I can't fault you personally. But it's still depressing that this is kind of the default setting for contemporary criticism.

It reminds me of the people who are certain that Shakespeare must have been "gay" based on the flimsiest of evidence.

Getting back to Tattoo, I will concede that the artistic and casting choices do leave open the potentual for racist implications, but that's such a far cry from what you claim with such certainty and zero real evidence.
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Jason R.
Mon, Sep 10, 2018, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

Even if she were nude, so what? Has any child anywhere in the history of the world suffered harm as a result of seeing a naked woman in a completely non-sexual context? I ask this question in all earnestness, because it seems to me that even in the pearl-clutching days of the 1980s, this can't have been that big a deal to anyone who has ... *lived*, you know, on the planet, with other humans.
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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 6, 2018, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

To be fair to Keogh, there is zero reason to believe anyone else in Starfleet, including Sisko (or Picard) would have fared better. Indeed there isn't even evidence of his "arrogance". What was he supposed to do? Call in an armada to rescue one man? And how was he supposed to know that the Jem'Hadar could ignore Federation shields and resort to kamikazi tactics?

Not to say that you're wrong about the overarching theme of the episode, but in terms of Captain Keogh, let's face it: he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 6, 2018, 10:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

Peter / Chrome,

My memory may be faulty, but Sisko never meets Keogh in the episode. It's Jadzia who comments on his arrogance, not Sisko. She also ribs him about not evacuating the civilians from the Odyssey before going into battle.
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Jason R.
Thu, Sep 6, 2018, 6:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Shades of Gray

Ari you didn't say what happened to Levar Burton in the alternate timeline. Some kind of Reading Rainbow reboot?
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Jason R.
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Oh and can I say that B5 was the first and only scifi show to my knowledge that alluded to the reality of showers and lavatories! And there was a lead character who turned out to be gay, long before this kind of revelation would have been trendy.
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Jason R.
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Matt it's funny you say that because in my view, streaming has really been a game changer in giving some of these old shows a new lease on life.

My four year old routinely watches shows that were on the air 10 years or more ago, maybe longer. And why not? It's not like she knows the release date of a relatively recent show like Paw Patrol versus the oroginal Dora the Explorer. She just picks something and either likes it or doesn't. We have only Netflix so that is a major factor.

My wife and I have watched many shows like Breaking Bad, In Treatment, years after they began or concluded. We prefer it this way. Watching a show during its original run is agonizing. I don't know how we did it before. For cord cutting families, I suspect this is increasingly the reality.

Regarding B5 specifically, as much as I love it, the old 90s era CGI effects would be offputting to a new viewer, as much as I have come to enjoy them in retrospect. Unlike, say, a Joss Whedon show like Firefly or Buffy, B5 does not have the snappy dialogue and intense sense if fun out of the starting gate to immediately grab a new viewer.

On the other hand, I will say that the first season (unanimously considered to be the worst by fans) isn't nearly as weak as I once thought. One of the things you appreciate about B5 is that since it was mostly preplanned as a "novel" for television, you don't get the kind of jarring inconsistency or weird characterizations that you see in the first seasons of other longstanding shows (assuming you just disregard the TV movie and start with the true pilot, Midnight on the Firing Line) and retcons almost never occur in B5 with maybe one or two exceptions.

There are some superb episodes of Season 1 that hold up as well as anything in later seasons, and there are things set up that pay off even as late as Season 5. As a Trek fan you also get the bonus of having Walter Koenig in one of the most memorable roles on the show as a splendid recurring villain.

If I had to put my finger on why I have preferred B5 to DS9 over the years, I feel that B5 treated me more like an adult in the end. That may be partly due to the harder scifi edge imported to it by Harlan Ellison, who was a creative consultant. The attempts to keep technology more grounded and less overtly magical. The way that human behaviour and foibles aren't just casually scrubbed clean over 300 years of history. The way the human ships have to use rotating sections to maintain gravity. The way characters are held to account for their mistakes, and not all endings are happy. The way many aliens are... *alien* even down to their ships, which are colorful and varied.

When I try to put my finger on why DS9 has lessened in my eyes with rewatching (and not B5), the best I can say is it feels pretentious now. The Dominion War was supposed to be dark and gritty and real, but it came across to me as a bunch of spaceships and ray guns playing at war. Watching as an adult, it just feels phony. The Star Trek technobabble also bugs me more than it used to - something that reached epidemic levels with Voyager.

B5 suffers from none of these ailments. It's every bit as serious as DS9 and also involves war, but somehow knows what to emphasize and what not to. Its reach rarely exceeds its grasp.
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Jason R.
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 5:46am (UTC -5)
Re: Frequently Asked Questions

"@DLPB-Lol. Watching B5 made me appreciate Trek more, not less. B5 has aged really poorly."

You know it's funny you mention it, because I have been rewatching B5 on DVD and I feel it has aged exceptionally well.

JMS is not a great director and at times the writing could be clunky, but I love the characters today as much as I did back then. Londo and G'Kar are two of my favourite characters in all of scifi.

You know what's really funny? Even the effects seems better today than they were back when I first watched the show. Back when it first aired I thought the CGI looked cheap - like something out of a PC game (Starcon II comes to mind). But now I have a greater appreciation for the effects and ship designs, from the humble Starfury to Vorlon and Shadow battleships and the lovely White Stars. I'd watch a B5 space battle any day over the equivalent in Voyager or even DS9.

Which reminds me, you know what hasn't aged that well for me? DS9. I loved it when I first watched it, and I still love it today, but to me it's faded alot in retrospect. I will have to give somwme thought to why that is, but things I didn't mind back then (alot of tedious romantic subplots, the Ferenghi, Jadzia...) grate on me more.
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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

Can I just say that certain comments by Picard have been taken out of context and used to justify an exaggerated concept of human evolution in the future. I really don't see DS9 as being fundamentally at odds with the values espoused in TNG and certainly not in TOS.

Even Season 1 of TNG, when Rodenberry was still in charge, had a character (Tasha Yar) from a planet every bit as violent and destructive as the worst of the past. This was a human colony let me remind you.

I disagree with Elliott's claim that a post scarcity society would largely eliminate the violence that plagues our current society - and I'm not even sure that's what Rodenberry had in mind frankly.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 9:54am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

Tim, in defence of the episode, we can presume that the computer processes information at such a high rate of speed that even at 1/1000 its normal speed (or whatever the rate of time in that area) its response time would still be essentially instantaneous from the point of view of anyone using it.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 5:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part II

On the subject of the Cardassians, there are some interesting traits that may help explain Garak's behaviour. As Peter mentioned, Garak may have done what he did for the sake of love and devotion to his father, Tain, but not out of loyalty to the state.

Filial devotion is one of the defining traits of Cardassians, as we saw through the Dukat character, not just through exposition but actions.

He sacrificed his career for the sake of his daughter (even if he needed a push from Kira) and even before he made that decision, he justified his attempt to murder her as being for the sake of his legitimate family. He's kind of the exception that proves the rule - even this supremely self-centred unprincipaled individual was bound to respect the power of family, even if that impulse was usually perverted to serve his own goals sooner or later.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

Given how meticulously JMS planned Babylon 5, it wouldn't surprise me if the White Star was part of the material he shared with Paramount.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 14, 2018, 6:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Child's Play

"A few hundred or thousand people (however many are on the starship) are certainly not big enough to be considered an entire civilization. They shouldn't be scared of the Borg at all."

In the very first episode the Borg appeared, they attacked the Enterprise, which was one ship.
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Jason R.
Mon, Aug 13, 2018, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part II

"Another thing cosmopolitan about TOS that the subsequent series lost was the allure of the exotic; strange new worlds were portrayed as exactly that: strange and new. There was never a sense of comparing or asking who's more enlightened or better between them and the Enterprise. More of the allure is to see the new culture and go "wow, look at that", and leave judgement aside. The only times the crew took issue was when the new cultures would take decidedly aggressive action against the Enterprise, in which case Kirk would have to set them straight (such as in A Taste of Armageddon). "

Could you pleaae give some examples of this? I can't recall a single TOS episode that left "judgment aside" or just looked at a strange culture without judgment. By my recollection, 90% of the episodes were Kirk judging an inferior alien culture with 10% being a superior culture (or super being) passing judgment on the crew (with Spock occasionally doing so).
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 7, 2018, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part I

Elliott, the colonists' reasons for refusing resettling on a different world were discussed in Journey's End. I think that aspect of the story was explained pretty well, and was at least understandable in the context of Native American history and spiritual beliefs.

But the problem with the Maquis is that none of these reasons should apply to the non NA human colonists, who have no historical or spritual context justifying their decision to stay put. Indeed, why don't they just leave?

This is where that fuzziness in the setup for The Maquis becomes maddening. Is this a continuation of the Journey's End story or some kind of retconn? The story plays fast and loose so that the answer isn't totally clear - perhaps intentionally to cover up its narrative flaws.
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Dr. Dunc
Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

@Luke - ah I see now! Thank you for the generous response.

I myself am currently in the midst of a series rewatch. Given that I find it work enough to simply read the review and browse all comments after each episode viewing (and I’m a decades-old confirmed Trekker), I am astounded and impressed at the voluminous output of people like yourselves; hence I can well appreciate the need for a break. I also feel your pain regarding these season 2 doldrums, but seeing as all *I* need do is watch the damned things, I’m soldiering through :). May Sisko grow his goatee ASAP!!!

Thanks again.
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Dr. Dunc
Mon, Jul 16, 2018, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

Ok Luke, having read and enjoyed many of your comments (along with those of everyone else, on this magnificent accomplishment of a site by Jammer), I’m finally going to bite: wtf is ‘WTF HAIR’ and what do each of the subsequent two numbers signify? Thank you!
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