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Trish
Mon, Apr 26, 2021, 6:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@Jason R.

I have to say that the "absent some extraordinary accomplishment, a life without children is lesser" strikes me as just as problematic a world view as if Picard had been saying, "The lives of the thousand or so people on a starship who are NOT the captain are … lesser." (And I don't think the writers intend for us to think that is what Picard is saying.)

At the risk of igniting some religious debate that has nothing to do with anything, I will go ahead and mention that I am a Catholic who has lived a life of intentional celibacy in order to focus on serving in the kind of professional ministry roles open to laywomen in my Church. Not that celibacy is required for anyone who wishes to provide service, but I felt it was required for ME.

Maybe it's coming from a faith community that talks about every person having a "vocation" and defines multiple possible "states of life" that makes it sound so strange to me for someone to identify one path (in this case, parenthood) that would be best for everyone (or at least for everyone who does not achieve history-book-level greatness), to such an extent that the response to examples of childless people is "adoption is probably a great alternative" (in other words, no matter what, don't be childless).

I wonder, would your life look any different to you if your view were more like, "Not that parenthood is required for anyone who wishes to live a fully meaningful life, but I felt it was required for ME"?

Would my life, and the lives of other childless people, look any different to you?
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Trish
Sun, Apr 25, 2021, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

@Silly

I agree. Insurrection was little more than an extra TV episode. And a "just okay" TV episode, at that.
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Trish
Sat, Apr 24, 2021, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

@Javier

I think the idea of the episodes is that the "traditional value" she embodies is, well, as the title says, "the vengeance factor."

If you think it is harsh that "by the end of the episode she must die," I wonder, what method do you suggest for co-existing with someone who is not willing to co-exist with you, and whose whole focus for more than a lifetime has been on destroying you? There really are only three possible endings for the Yuta character: She kills, she is killed, or she gives up killing. Her "cultural practice" of vengeance killing is not one that can be given deference and respect alongside other cultural practices, because by its very nature it refuses to stand alongside other cultures with deference and respect.

Encounters between vastly different cultures do not always have to be a zero sum game, but it only takes one side in the encounter to decide that they are. Yuta's clan made that decision. The episode seems to be written fairly straightforwardly.

How to apply that to any specific "real world" situation in the twentieth or twenty-first century is not as straightforward as writing a TV episode.
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Trish
Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Dave in MN

Thanks, I am definitely on a good trajectory. I had a years-long battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma the culminated in an autologous stem cell transplant (the kind where they harvest your own stem cells and give them back to you, instead of using donor cells). Although my cancer is in complete remission and I am coming up on the three-year anniversary of the transplant, I still have disabling levels of fatigue. There are good days and bad days, and I have learned to make the most of the former and allow myself to rest on the latter.
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Trish
Tue, Apr 20, 2021, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Mal

I've never given a TED talk (my sister was actually invited once, but she found out they expected her to pay her own way, and she told them some variation on, "Uh, no thank-you; this is what I do for a living.")

But you can find a few videos of me on YouTube as "Retreat Preacher." I keep meaning to get back to making new videos as my health improves after a several-year bad spell, but other things keep elbowing YouTube aside.
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Trish
Tue, Apr 20, 2021, 11:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Brothers

@Mal

(I'm responding to your comment back on April 9, because I have been away from the site for a while.)

Regarding Spiner having to lip synch Stewart perfectly during the password scene, actually, I think there's another possible explanation:

I have read that Spiner could imitate Stewart so flawlessly that he used to play practical jokes like calling Stewart's assistant and ordering him to Stewart's dressing room, where Stewart would be puzzled as to why the assistant was there. I think Spiner may actually be the one saying the line, imitating Stewart's voice. When I listen to it with that possibility in mind, it does sound just ever so slightly "off."
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Trish
Thu, Apr 8, 2021, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

I have always thought that this episode could very easily, with no distortion to either the script or the performance, be interpreted to carry a "message" that I am guessing is not at ALL what the writers were trying to say. (And of course, Trek writers are trying to say something about our here-and-now world with pretty much every episode. Nothing wrong with that as a part of the general format of the series and of the entire Trek franchise; it is what it is.)

The inadvertent possible "message"?

"If there were a way for people with non-majority sexual orientations, gender identities, etc. to be made truly like everyone else, they would be happier."

As I said, I know that's not what they are trying to say. But Soren sure seems a lot happier with that whole conflict out of her system.
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Trish
Thu, Apr 8, 2021, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Dave in MN

It sounds as if you conflating different legal concepts.

The reason an employer can't fire someone because of their religion (other than a religious organization from a position in which religious behavior is intrinsic to the function) is not because of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but because of anti-discrimination laws, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. That law spells out what "consequences" may not be meted out on the basis of religion.

"Freedom of speech," on the other hand, is not protected against the actions of private employers, non-governmental websites, your social contacts, etc. because there is no law that lays out any such protections. The Constitution protects freedom of speech, as well as the freedoms of religion, the press, assembly, and petition of the government, against the actions of the government. No one else, just the government. This does not make these freedoms non-existent, but it does narrow the parameters of what it means. Those narrow parameters are not "BS," just the legal reality.

So yes, there can be consequences for your speech. As long as it's not the government meting out those consequences, the legal phrase "freedom of speech" does not apply.

A pretty basic distinction, but one that many Americans get confused about, especially in the heat of passionate debate.

You are free to speak. Others are free to speak, too, including by expressing disapproval of your speech. They are also free to take whatever actions they wish in response to that speech as long as there is not some law that forbids the action they have chosen.
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Trish
Thu, Apr 8, 2021, 12:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

@Silly

I agree, the death of Hutch seemed gratuitous, and the other characters really didn't react to it in any way that made sense to me. I remember when I first saw the episode, I felt an odd kind of guilt at having bought into the characters' sense of him as annoying and kind of pathetic, and laughing behind his back at Data's mimicry. For just one moment, I felt as if I had been mocking a dead man, as if such things could be retroactive.

It was almost like something I remember hearing two boys from my high school say to each other in the cafeteria the day we'd all been told of the death of a fellow student: "Remember him? We laughed about how pale he looked, and we didn't know it was because he was sick. Just think, we made fun of him, and now he's DEAD."

The Trek regulars, however, went on with their adventure of the week as if they had stopped noticing the corpse in the room, a corpse that had been the host of the party just a short time before. It seemed inhuman, somehow.

I liked the rest of the show, but that detail has always felt awkward to me.
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Trish
Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

@Peter G.

Perhaps!

Or it could be that because she is a professional in a field with strict ethical codes, she might be more cautious than a typical person in "the service."

Then too, I had forgotten that in "The Price," she didn't seem to feel there was anything wrong with having an affair with a negotiator for an opposing power, until she found herself in a conflict of interest. Maybe that made her more gun-shy. Not enough to keep her from doing it again, but enough to feel guilty about it.
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Trish
Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

Man, I know that this site gets periodic flare-ups of tangential arguments (some of which have gone on for years), but I'm not sure I've seen such a display of what-about-ism in a long time.

Saying that one country did something wrong is not saying that it's the ONLY country that ever did anything wrong.

Saying that another country (also) did something wrong is not a defense of any wrong one's own country may have done.

If believing both of those principles makes me "woke," so be it.

Now, back to Trek:

How come Troi feels so guilty about being "unprofessional"? It's not as if she was providing therapy to the man she was having a dead-end fling with. Not that I personally approve of dead-end flings, but, well, it's not as if Captain Kirk hadn't set a pretty clear precedent. I'm surprised that we're supposed to think that such things are a big deal in the Trekverse.
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Trish
Thu, Mar 25, 2021, 12:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sarek

I like the idea of "memory leakage," in part because this idea goes in the right direction when you think of how the two slaps came to be in their respective scripts. Of course, at the time "Journey to Babel" was written, TNG didn't even exist, but when "Sarek" was written, the writers had access to everything in the TOS episodes. There would have been no reason for the TOS episode to have envisioned the character Sarek projecting his emotions telepathically, but every reason for writers who wanted to portray Sarek doing so to mine the character's past appearances for material.

I do think that once you do have the information from both episodes, it could be argued that if a Vulcan would lose telepathic control of his emotions due to neurological decay, he might also lose it momentarily when "incapacitated" by a heart condition, especially at moments when he is slipping in and out of consciousness.(Good thing Vulcans aren't telekinetic. If they were, a Vulcan ICU would have equipment flying all over the place like the scene in Plato's Stepchildren when Parmen's delirium is translated into physical chaos.)

I actually think the writers may not have thought it all the way through, because I suspect if they had, they would have been so proud of the idea that they would not have been able to resist throwing in at least one line somewhere that would explicitly point out to the viewer that Sarek's memory of Amanda's conflict with Spock was overflowing to the crew of the Enterprise-D, and was picked up by the two people whose relationship was most similar. If they did, it was a masterful touch, and I'm sorry they overestimated my (and apparently most other viewers') perceptiveness, given that it took me over three decades to appreciate it. Even if it was just a little homage to the TOS episode, I am a little sorry how long it took me.

But as with most things, once seen, it cannot be unseen. You'll never convince me now that it was just a coincidence. I think they did it on purpose.
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Trish
Wed, Mar 24, 2021, 11:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Devil in the Dark

@Tidd

As I recall, a miner mentions that he DID shoot the "monster," but he was using a "type 1" phaser, which was not powerful enough to have an effect. The starship personnel had type 2 phasers, so they could at least carve a piece off the creature.
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Trish
Tue, Mar 23, 2021, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sarek

Sometimes, I get a surprise when after decades of familiarity, I suddenly understand some detail of one of these episodes in a way I never did before. In this episode, that was the moment when Crusher the Elder slaps Crusher the Younger.

The last time Trek showed us a mother slapping her son out of the blue was back in TOS, during the episode during which we were first introduced to Sarek (then in the prime of Vulcan life) , Journey to Babel. I remember Amanda's unexpected slap of Spock making me sit up straight on the couch.

I think it's more than a coincidence that the event replays in this episode that introduces us to the old man Sarek has become.

I wonder, could the writers have been hinting that Sarek may have been leaking some emotional vibes during Journey to Babel, too, perhaps because of his medical problems? I certainly don't think we were supposed to believe that Amanda routinely smacked around an adult Spock.
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Trish
Tue, Mar 23, 2021, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Menage a Troi

Well, Dave, think of it this way:

Some things don't produce a good equivalence. I've always thought that the haunted candle thing with Beverly came much closer to seduction than coercion, so I'm okay with "sometimes a haunted candle is just a haunted candle." But I just can't find a way to be okay with "Sometimes rape is just rape."
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Trish
Wed, Feb 3, 2021, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

Say what you like about the space hippie music. This episode is worthwhile, if for nothing else, for the piece of advice that makes a great life motto:

Be incorrect (occasionally).
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Trish
Sun, Jan 31, 2021, 9:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: The Passenger

I happened to tune in right at what was supposed to be the climax of this episode. I was struck by how incredibly slow the pacing was, almost as if it were being run at half speed. Was the script too short or something?

I'm sure it was supposed to heighten the drama, but to me, it just makes it look as if the actors are immersed in molasses.
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Trish
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

@Jason R.

I believe Eskimo is referring to the line when Tracey tells Kirk that the "animals" happen to look like "us." Because of course, "we" are all white.

At least Sulu had been left aboard ship, so he wasn't saying right in front someone who looked more like "them."
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Trish
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 4:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Corbomite Maneuver

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Agreed!
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Trish
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Expanse

@Brendan

Perhaps mechanical odometers were before your time. They DID count backwards when you went in reverse. In fact, that's a plot point in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

It was also a standard tactic in "road ralleys" in which part of the score was based on coming as close as possible to the mileage of the planned route.
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Trish
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

Every time I see this episode, I wonder how the events of this episode could have failed to create a major interstellar incident bringing the Federation and the Romulan Empire to the brink (or beyond) of war. Reset Button, poof, no prob.

Regarding the ongoing argument about Marina Sirtis, I think it is unfortunately common for Trek fans to judge the skill of the performers based solely on what they see of them on Star Trek, as if that's any actor's only gig, and sometimes even as if the actor were in fact the character being played. (The logic goes, "If you play a character that's written as a source of warm fuzzy platitudes, then you must be a lightweight who can't think of anything more profound to say.")

I do not see how anyone who has seen Marina Sirtis's performance as the widow of an Iranian businessman in the "L.A. Woman" episode of The Closer could deny that Sirtis has a range at least a fair bit beyond, "Captain, he's hiding something."
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Trish
Tue, Dec 22, 2020, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

The current West Point cheating scandal gives a sense of how far off this episode was in the proportionality of the consequences. Getting to finish your time at the Academy on "probation" with the plan for you to still graduate into a career as an officer (assuming that you don't end up instead living on an interdimensional plain with the Traveler) is what you get for cheating on a freshman calculus exam.

Engaging in a forbidden maneuver that gets your wingmate killed? Mere expulsion would be a gift. Try prison.
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Trish
Sun, Dec 13, 2020, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

Not just an episode from Classic Trek, but a truly classic Trek episode.

Some thoughts this time around:

First, I found William B's comments years ago very interesting, especially the suggestion that this keeps people from imagining Vulcans as Space Aryans engaged in selective breeding of their own species.

In the James Blish short story collection based on the TOS episodes, there is a line i remember reading but that I do not ever remember having seen when watching the episode. I'm not sure if it was edited out in reruns or if it was cut from the original script. It is the end of Kirk's response to Spock's question about how Kirk supposes Vulcans select their mates. Instead of stopping after saying that he assumed it was done "logically," in Blish's version Kirk adds, "Eugenically, perhaps." I seem to remember hearing that some differences between Blish and the episodes as aired exist because Blish was given early drafts of the scripts before they were shot. I can imagine a long discussion about that one phrase, not unlike William B's observation, but ultimately leading to it being cut as raising too scary of an issue less than two decades after the Third Reich, in connection with a character and a race intended to be more unambiguously admirable than the throwback Khan.

Second, I love what this episode does with the murky relationship between Spock and Christine Chapel. In some episodes, Chapel looks like a silly schoolgirl with a crush on a man who is way out of her league because he is not really a "man." Here, however, we see that somewhere VERY deep down, Spock acknowledges that her interest is not entirely unrequited. Their respective "natures" dictate a relationship that can only hover on the edge of eros. I cannot escape the sense that things might have come out differently for them if … well, if things had been different. That is more poignant than a mere one-sided crush.

I've always thought that the Abrams reboot should have given Spock a relationship with her, rather than with Uhura.

Third, I appreciated the writer's effort to make T'Pau's speech sound formal, traditional, and vaguely religious, but I have always found her repeated use of "thee" as the subject of sentences distracting. Is the Universal Translator calibrated incorrectly to translate her archaic speech? The nominative case is "thou"; "thee" is the objective case. Yeah, I know, professional editors can be SO picky!

And fourth, if you haven't read the Trek novel "Mind Meld," I recommend it, if only for the opportunity to see a Vulcan wedding where things go according to plan.
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Trish
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 9:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

"I let down everyone: the team, my mom, you (Picard) …"

Uh, Wesley, how about Josh? You know, the friend who DIED because of this foolish stunt? Shouldn't the late Josh have been #1 on your list of people you "let down"?

For such a supposedly brilliant prodigy, you're a pretty dumb guy, Wes.
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Trish
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 7:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Court Martial

"All of my old friends look like doctors. All of his look like you."

Because, of course, the two are mutually exclusive.

Ah, the 1960s!
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