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Mon, Nov 26, 2018, 7:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

"it's really surprising that any Star Trek fan is so pro-capitalist since the Federation in Star Trek is a nearly pure socialist entity"

I see this argument made a fair bit and if you are making this point in good faith - rather than as some kind of "Ha! Gotcha!" - it deserves a response. Why would a keen conservative also be a keen Star Trek fan?

1. You can enjoy fiction without enjoying every specific bit of it. At least until Discovery, while Star Trek's political and moral messages have always been heavy handed and extremely unsubtle, they are reasonably rare and often confined to the closing minutes of an episode. I don't feel like I am watching a political campaign ad when watching Star Trek.

2. Similarly, it's not a contradiction to like someone's fiction while disagreeing with their politics. For all I know, Ronald Reagan would have written some awful Star Trek episodes (although he talked about sci fi themes a surprising amount for a leading politician), but that wouldn't actually alter my view of his Presidency. Ditto I can think a Star Trek writer's politics are something I would never vote for while enjoying his scripts.

3. I think there is a fair bit of liberals seeing 20th/21st century conservatives in Star Trek villains in a way that no conservative would.

Anyone can caricature ideas they disagree with, but there is this helpful notion - the ideological Turing test - that requires one to describe what your political opponents believe in a way that they would agree describes their own belief. You don't have to agree with that description yourself - you just need to be able to describe what someone else thinks so accurately that they would endorse it.

I don't think many Star Trek writers are even trying to caricature conservatives, but insofar as they do, they would usually fail the ideological Turing test. I don't feel in any way obliged to side with the evil caricatures when they don't remotely reflect my view of the ends and means in the first place! (Or, to separate ends and means, you could even happily agree with a character's verbal argument about tradition or whatever, but when they do something evil you could disagree with that bit.)

4. Perhaps above all, the notion of Star Trek as this post-economics, post-scarcity utopia has always seemed the weakest part of the franchise. Almost every time it is touched upon - which is rare - it comes up against problems like:

"Why is everyone cheering that round of drinks Picard bought everyone if it's free anyway?"
"What do humans do when meeting a society that doesn't practice post-currency economics and actually wants to be paid?" [Jake Sisko's answer was to whine at Rom for his latinum so he could bid in an auction.]
"Who exactly is allocating tables in Ben Sisko's dad's restaurant for free? Who is working in 'turbolift control' on a starship?"

This is before you even consider deeper, but rather obvious, questions like "If 4 million people all want an apartment next to the Royal Opera House, who gets to live there?".

So no, I don't look at Star Trek and think it provides any kind of example of why socialism works.

By the way, nothing I have written above is in any way meant to imply that Star Trek fans should be conservatives, either - it's just a response to the notion it would be in any way surprising that someone could be a card-carrying conservative and a Trekkie.
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Mon, Nov 26, 2018, 2:28am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Outrageous Okona

"In fact, seeing so many complaining so much about the minor faults and lesser details of what are, essentially, wonderful stories about a better future is what has made me all but stop commenting here on Jammer's."

Weird. I don't comment much but I really like getting very different takes on these episodes, and look forward to reading the review and comments here the minute an episode is done. I can't imagine anything more dull to read than people purely being positive about things they liked, and so worried about appearing to "complain" that they turn off their critical faculties. No thanks.
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Sun, Nov 25, 2018, 7:26am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

Every so often you hear about some eccentric woman somewhere in the world falling in love with her chandelier or candlestick or hairdryer and going through a faux marriage ceremony. Not clear how any of this is different - unless you also believe a chandelier programmed to talk back would also be a suitable romantic partner.
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Tom Lyden
Wed, Aug 22, 2018, 7:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: Return of the Anykey

I have been using Anykey keyboards for years. My 7 year old computer's PS-2 Keyboard input port died. I bought a "smart" PS-2 to USB adapter but the programming didn't work on my Anykey keyboard. So I bought a $15.00 PCI 32bit Dual PS2 PS/2 Card and pluged my keyboard into it. It took several weeks for a slow boat from China to deliver it but everything works fine.
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Tom Paris
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 5:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

"No, not a utopia, but there are tangible consequences to having certain technologies. Having repilcators doesn't make humans perfect, but it does eliminate the need for competition over resources."

Does it really? Can you replicate relationships, the love of someone you desire? What about land, and ownership of it? If want a large plot of land overlooking Golden Gate Bridge, can I replicate that? What about social status - power, fame, success, employment. You can't replicate the position of captain of the Enterprise. In one TNG episode Picard in an alternate timeline viewed himself as a "loser" because he hadn't risen to the lofty heights of captain. And you can't even replicate all material things, which is why Picard occasionally runs off with Vash to chase after archeological relics.

As far as I can tell, we only strive after material resources in order to get more intangible ones. Being able to replicate pots of gold and infinite plates of tiramisu isn't going to stop us wanting finite things, and competing over them.
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Mon, Aug 6, 2018, 1:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

As presented, this doesn't seem to be a disease, but rather a naturally occurring, species-wide genetic change.

So "cure" isn't even the appropriate word for what is being discussed. Gene modification is. Basically GMO-ing a race.

That would certainly seem to violate the Prime Directive.
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Sun, Jul 1, 2018, 6:35am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

When we first see the Enterprise bridge, it looks like Romulan attack because Romulans are present, Riker is on the floor and the semi circle behind Picard's seat had a massive disrupter or phaser blast. The first two are explained but was the damage to the bridge ever explained?
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Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Oh, one final though: it's disappointing that we didn't get a final reaction to Kira's foolish attempt to seek vengeance from Chief O'Brien. It would have been nice for him to say something to her, or even just give her a disapproving head shake, to let her know that she had let him and his family down through her recklessness. He should have been given the chance to tell Kira that it would take a lot of time for him to come to terms with her actions, and the fact that she nearly got his unborn baby killed, and that he might have a hard time trusting her again in the future. Instead we get a useless, though pretty, belly-angle shot of the Defiant flying away from the planet.
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Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

I just watched this episode, and I read the review and most of the comments below. I don't want to address any specific people who have posted, but instead discuss why I didn't like the episode. I will surely get flack from certain people for being "misogynistic" or "sexist," but I don't care what any of you think of me, haha.

The episode was all in all pretty good, in my opinion, up until the final act. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of it, and the idea of Kira's violent past coming back to haunt her. She was a terrorist afterall, and as such, she and her fellow terrorists probably deserves some comeuppance. That being said, I love Kira as a character! I usually enjoy her hot-headed, fire-brand attitude. She's tough and she takes no crap from anyone! Nana Visitor plays the part very well.

However, this episode was a terrible place to showcase her rebellious nature. The fact that she deliberately and remorselessly endangers the life of an innocent unborn child, that isn't even her own child, makes her come off as ridiculously irrational and thoughtless. For her to go charging off after a "villain," while nearly at term in a pregnancy, is completely unrealistic and is an example of a poorly written script.

If anything, Kira should have been most concerned with protecting the child within her, as per her natural motherly instincts, as well as guided by the fact that she would be letting down her good friends, the O'Briens,' if the child was harmed. Earlier in the episode, Miles says to her, "You're caring for someone else now." To which she responds, "Yes, you're right." So the character specifically admits that caring for the baby is her top priority, not some half-cocked chance for revenge.

Someone posting above said to give Kira a break. No! She cannot be let off the hook for endangering the O'Briens' baby! It's completely unconscionable and stupid! This has nothing to do with sexism. If the character was male, and he was in charge of caring for a baby, and suddenly carried the baby off into battle for dubious reasons, I would be just as hard on that character, too!

Am I the only one who feels that Prin is the real victim in this whole thing, too? Okay, sure, he assassinated a bunch of people, but those people deserved it based on the lives they had led, and the choices they had made, during the occupation. As Prin discusses, Kira (and likely the others too) showed no remorse for their terrorist murders of various Cardassians.

When Prin explains that 26 Cardassians were killed in the explosion, including innocent civilians like himself, Kira is remorseless and believes that a laundryman is just as guilty as a soldier. Ridiculous! While Prin actually cares about innocent civilians, and goes out of his way to protect others not involved in the Shakaar resistance cell attacks when he assassinates them, Kira is the opposite. She's basically repeating the old, racist saying: "The only good Indian is a dead Indian," or "the only good German is a dead German." Instead of "Indian," or "German," though, she replaces those with "Cardassian."

We have no way to know who those 26 Cardassians were, except that Prin tells us that most were innocent members of the Gul's family. Does that include children? Probably, and that makes Kira and her cohorts even more the true villains of this episode. As one poster above stated, Kira deserved to die for what she had done. Yes, she does! Killing innocents, especially children, despite it being a time of war, is still a crime against humanity. While the episode tries to make Prin out to be the villain, he comes off as pitiable, and is really but a psychologically damaged and misunderstood victim of the Bajoran terrorists' crimes against "humanity."
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Tommy Charles
Thu, Apr 26, 2018, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

Nick P,

I know you will probably never read this...but it's stated quite clearly in DS9 that the Romulans gave the Fed permission to use cloaking tech in the Defiant so they could use it as a forward scout against the Dominion.

In the beginning, they were to keep a Romulan crew member on board at all times but they relented on this and let it be Star Fleet crew only.
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Sat, Apr 21, 2018, 9:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

I agree with Peter G. This episode is very prudish. The captain thinks that she has the right to control Harry's sexuality, even though he's an adult.

But the most disturbing part is how unfair this was to Kim. It's no secret that Garrett Wang was deeply frustrated by his character's treatment on Voyager (see: Straight Talk with Voyager’s Garrett Wang on He was never given a promotion.

This is one of the most egregious examples of a double standard.

Janeway almost states that double standard explicitly : It wouldn't have been so bad for Tom to do this, but Harry? Unacceptable.

I suspect that the writers were unconsciously influenced by racial stereotypes against Asians:

As Wikipedia explains : ""Mainstream America, for the most part, gets uncomfortable with seeing an East Asian man portrayed in a sexual light." Asian men are often portrayed as feminine or sexless in American media."

That was a deplorable episode. There's no reason why Tal should not have joined Voyager and stayed on as Harry's companion.
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Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 1:11am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

Wow... hate for immigrants (or Jews... I can't really figure that out) is alive and well on these boards... fascinating. The aliens here don't claim ownership of Bajor. Their religious stories say there is a place they are destined to go, to help a suffering people. TO HELP. A lot of you are forgetting that part of the story.

This is what's so good about DS9.. not afraid to have an unhappy ending... and both sides had a point. Bajor couldn't support them if an emergency happened... and maybe the aliens could have helped Bajor.

And they weren't tossed out of Bajor and then returned. They just had a vision or religious belief of where they should go. In the end even the leader admitted Bajor was not katana (or whatever)

Very good episode.
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Mon, Apr 9, 2018, 7:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

Those of you who were hoping for a new Star Trek show got your wish.

Star Trek: Special Effects Aroma But OMG The Plot Holes
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Mon, Apr 9, 2018, 5:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

I always hated this episode. I mean, it had some interesting parts. Like seeing monster Worf, I guess.

But the premise seems...beneath Star Trek.

This isn't sci-fi, it's fantasy. Things need to at least be plausible.
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Sun, Apr 8, 2018, 1:07am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

What always annoyed me about this two-parter is why in the hell would Picard and Data go the planet? Isn't this exactly what Star Fleet Intelligence is for? Why would they risk the life of a captain and Data?

It's TV, I know.
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Wed, Apr 4, 2018, 9:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

Great episode, but I feel that the 'advanced alien draws us in' trope is a bit overused. But to be fair, this was the early '90s.

But I could have sworn there was another alien that draws them to the center of the galaxy in a different episode of TNG. That one looked more like a cloud alien.

I like how they hinted that Broccoli retained some of the extra smarts. I like to think that his time on Voyager was this thing reasserting itself.
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Mon, Apr 2, 2018, 4:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

This was a pretty piss-poor finale to a mixed-bag of a first season.

The setup makes no sense. Why didn't they just use their foo foo magic jump drive to plant a bomb in the Klingon home world a long time ago? They couldn't pay some Orion pirates for the intel on where the Klingon planets are?


1 stars from me. I'll watch season 2 only if it explores the Romulans.

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Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 1:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

Great episode. Reminds me of the "Men Against Fire" Black Mirror episode. Great acting by Beltran in this one too.
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Tom Eklund
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

"Great episode! As with every Voyager episode (and I literally mean EVERY Voyager episode), it is riddled with plot holes if you look closely enough, but if this is your issue, you might as well throw out the entire series and move on.

Oblivion is a winner for its emotional content and deep, thought-provoking material about the nature of our own existence and some of the big questions surrounding our finite nature."

I second that. Very well written, sir!
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Sat, Jan 13, 2018, 10:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

In this day and age of endless remakes and reboots, this is one TNG episode they should turn into a movie.
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Mon, Jan 1, 2018, 1:15am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

Fault look above should read "default look".
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Mon, Jan 1, 2018, 1:14am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

A number of people above ask why neither Eris nor the Jem Hadar appear to recognise Odo as a founder.

But they show no special ability to realise someone is a changeling in any other episodes. Even Odo can't seem to tell who other founders are just to look at them and talk to them.

The humanoid appearance the female changeling and others take on does look like him, but the Search Part II says that is then matching up to him. Other episodes establish that his look is the best job he can do of looking like a humanoid, not some kind of fault look for his species. So why didn't they acknowledge him as a founder in any way? Because no founder they had ever encountered looked like that.
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Thu, Dec 28, 2017, 9:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Who Mourns for Morn?

It would have been a great in joke if Morn had spoken a lot in the Mirror Universe episodes. Maybe in our universe he "never shuts up" but the viewer never heard from him while in the Mirror Universe he's known to be quiet but he gets loads of on screen lines.
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Thu, Dec 28, 2017, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

If I was Dax I'd be very suspicious. You, Sisko and others discuss how much a pain the Romulans are. Then in his office you go through a whole role play with him on how to bring them into the war, a role play in which it becomes crystal clear that something needs to happen before the Romulans will change their stance. A few days go by, and by an apparent remarkable coincidence an assassination that seems likely to bring the Romulans into the war happens, and instead of reacting like everyone else Sisko mysteriously storms off wordlessly on hearing the news. Hmm...

On a separate note, even if the Senator had been taken in by the recording, how could the plan ever have involved Tolar staying alive? Garak obviously planned to kill him all along but what did Sisko plan to do?
"He believed it, Tolar. You're free to go... Obviously don't tell anyone. The entire future of the war depends on you keeping quiet. Even if we win, the Romulans will go apeshit and attack us if they ever find out. You're not the kind of person to do anything unscrupulous and blurt it out are you? The sort who is reckless after a few drinks?"
"Course I'm not! See you!"
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Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 6:37am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

I don't understand how anyone can consider this episode (or TNG's Who Watches the Watchers?) a remotely convincing critique of religion.

I find it very plausible that primitive people could worship people with far more advanced technology (e.g. look up the cargo cult). But unless one is arguing that Jesus or Mohammed or Moses was using technology from the far future, I can't see the relevance to the actual religious beliefs that people on Earth have.

I enjoyed this episode and WWTW but I think anyone who comes away from them thinking they've seen a critique of religion is seeing what they want to see and hasn't thought it through.
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