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Wed, Dec 16, 2020, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 1

Star Trek has a very poor record when it comes to its relationship with the African people. But it can be acknowledged that it has made some effort here to correct those wrongs.

Africa is the birthplace of human civilization and for thousands of years Egypt was the crown jewel of humanity. The African man created knowledge and written language. He charted the stars and he explored the world. He built the pyramids and developed medicines and mathematics.

The ancient Africans were the most advanced and spiritual people in the history of the Earth. They created wonder after wonder, such as the pyramids, great temples and cities, science, medicine and the language of hieroglyphs. But how did they attain such inner and outer brilliance?

The ancient Africans were direct descendents of the beings who traveled through the stars and found Earth. Many of these beings are referred to as Gods.

For example, in African mythology Nut (also known as Newet, and Neuth), was the goddess of the sky. Her name translated to mean night was the guardian of the Moon. Nut was said to be covered in stars touching the cardinal points of her body. Her headdress was the hieroglyphic of part of her name, a pot, which may also symbolize the uterus. The ancient Egyptians themselves said that every woman was a nutrit, a little goddess.

Nut and the other Gods taught the original Africans the ways of the universe. They traveled to the stars and often visited the Moon in order to study the Earth from space. From the Moon, these Africans were able to create highly detailed maps of the Earth which enabled them to explore the world by sail.

Star Trek has an obligation to tell the FULL truth, not partial truth.
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Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

I find it kind of ironic that those who didn't like the episode remind me of
B'Elanna herself. Their loathing of the episode and its mystical and spiritual concepts mirror that of B'Elanna's loathing of Klingon culture and beliefs.

It's almost like deep down they're scared of something, some inner truth they're trying to suppress. Maybe one day you'll find yourselves. And on that day, revisit Barge of the Dead. After all, it does sail forever doesn't it?
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Truth Be Told
Sun, Oct 9, 2016, 8:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

Astounding to see, after all these years, all the comments that failed utterly to understand the character-driven nature of this episode (and ultimately of Star Trek). This is a solid episode all around, and like any discussion among fans of "The Tholian Web" will break down into an oil-and-water separation between those who believe that Spock and McCoy's dispute was caused by the phenomenon-of-the-week's sci-fi effects on their minds, and those who grasp that the very point of the episode was that the conflict, and its resolution, came from within them as characters, so this episode (with no doubt some exceptions!) serves as a good litmus test for those who understand Star Trek's messages and those who like the pretty colors it serves up much better.

There is something in a certain common sort of Star Trek fan, as one of the few insightful comments above notes, that has a severe problem with nuance, and tends to obsess over ephemera instead of grasping the enduring strength of the franchise which has given it such lasting appeal. That kind of fan, with few exceptions, will despise this episode.

This sort of Star Trek fan watches "Sword of Kahless" gripping the edge of their seat with both hands, waiting for the Sword of Kahless to be revealed as a reverse tetryon theta wave emitter that's warping the minds of the characters through telepathic hypnosis, and screams in frustration as the near-perfect narrative end of the show - establishing the Sword, like all good Star Trek concepts, as a Rorschach blot - robs them of the umpteenth two-parter about Klingon politics they feel they deserve.

There is ample justification, both within and surrounding this episode, for the actions of each character within it - it just requires an understanding of nuance and an acceptance that there are no easy answers offered here. As Whoopi Goldberg's Guinan once pointed out after Worf's annoyed insistence to her that "Klingons do not laugh", they very much do - Worf is the Klingon who doesn't, the Klingon who feels his life demands he be more Klingon than any Klingon, as illustrated in his story about his vision in this episode. Kor, an updated and expanded version of Colicos's character from the old series, is the Klingon who laughs, at others and at the glory of his own victories, and too much for Worf's taste, feeding into Worf's paranoia that Kor will shatter their society completely if he returns with the Sword. Jadzia views herself, just as the viewer is prone to do, as the sensible bridge between Klingon overreaction and the "real world" - but her own even-handedness flares much too easily into frustrated condescension that stokes the fires of conflict rather than cooling them... and after Worf and Kor have their last squabble, Jadzia needlessly and dismissively shows both her companions the wrong end of a phaser, suggesting that while she was never tempted to seize the Sword as a means to power, the quest for it had become, for her, a way of asserting her own sort of superiority over the genuine, galaxy-altering power of the symbolic to the society in which she, just as Curzon did, stood with one foot in and one foot out, refusing to accept all its implications while daring anyone to tell her she didn't belong (a conflict that first arose in the previous "Blood Oath", which reintroduced Kor and paved the way for this episode, and would only be resolved in the later episode "You Are Cordially Invited", where Worf and Jadzia are wed - two episodes which form a triptych with this episode much as the two other "Kor episodes" form their own).

If you want a microcosm of how enjoying the episode pivots on nuance, put aside the question of the mind-bending powers of the Sword that some viewers felt it necessary to invent for themselves (and that the show's creators disowned as a disappointing fan-created fantasy) and look at the "debate" above about the moment where Worf insists that Kor release the sword and drop to a ledge below. What really happens in the show, pace the claims above? Worf insists that there is a ledge beneath Kor, and if he would just release the Sword, both he and it would be safe. Kor insists that Worf intends to kill him, and refuses to let go. When Jadzia and Worf rescue Kor, he turns, and sees the ledge - Kor admits its existence, but says it would have been no safe refuge; Worf disagrees, too hastily for Kor; Kor angrily accuses Worf of plotting his demise; Worf, enraged at the dishonorable implication, retorts that Kor would rather drag the Sword and its promise for their society to its demise rather than pass it to another.

Was the ledge really too small to support Kor? Did Worf really intend to send Kor to his death so Worf could seize the Sword himself, or do the same to try to keep it from the hands of a man who would misuse it at their people's great expense in a time of need? Or did Worf see the Sword as so important that he simply showed little care for Kor's survival? Or, did Kor turn to find the safe haven Worf promised, and lash out only to defend his own actions a few seconds previous, something perfectly in character for him? What was the truth of the ledge?

It seems unlikely from what we know of Worf (again, from inside OR outside this episode's story) that he would kill any man in such a way, no matter his feelings for him. In the same sense, it seems at least a little likely from what we know of Kor that Kor would exaggerate the threat to himself just to push Worf into a fight or defend his own claim in extremis - or both.

But we DON'T know for sure - and we don't know because the show, quite ON PURPOSE, refuses to SHOW us the ledge. It could very easily have answered this question, soothed the fears of the antsy Worf super-fan or shown us a new, truly nasty angle from which to view Worf... but it does neither, because the very ambiguity of the question is the strength of the episode, and the nature of the Sword as a symbol, not to the Klingons, but in the much more important sense: to us, as the viewer, as a symbol of power and how it bends people - to self-serving fantasies of personal glory, to no less self-serving visions of "selfless" heroism, or to perhaps the most insidious of selfish delusions, that we're better than the rest, the ones above it all even as we stand in the thick of the fight.

So we don't know how big that ledge was, or how wide, or how much weight it would have supported, or whether Worf perceived it accurately, or Kor did, or Jadzia, even. We never will, and that's very much the point.

And since all three of the characters are meant to be our heroes despite their faults, in the end, they all realize the nuance that many of the viewers who comment above couldn't be trusted to grasp: the Sword's keen edge has nearly severed the ties of friendship, trust, and honor that allowed any of them to hold it for the brief moments that each of them did. And so they send the unfeeling artifact (in a brilliant reversal of the original series' episode-ending "beam up" moments of resolution) on its own short journey to the dark night outside, to wherever fate leads it, realizing that while its power may have been too much for them, they have their victory, because they were too much for it as well. It's not the franchise's best episode, nor the series'; it has its weak points, its slow parts, its dusty alien politics and its hokey technobabble - but it's still a good episode, and it does what Star Trek should.
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