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Old October 15 2008, 05:20 PM   #116
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

RedJack wrote: View Post
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Mr. Thorne:
Who? Geoff works fine. Or redjack. We're all pals here. Seriously.
Sorry...I tend to err on the side of formality on first meeting. My bad!

You paid for it. I don't take it personally. I'll get you next time.
Why do I feel like I've got an arrow cocked and aimed in my direction?

One question, though...when someone else asked about it and he basically said, "It's a Cardassian thing; you wouldn't understand" (I paraphrase), did you see that as a stress reaction on his part, maybe an attempt to deflect a question that would've hurt him too much to answer at that time?
Honestly? Both.

I think Dakal is one of the most interesting characters ever put into the Trek-verse and, since we've largely seen Cardassians only through the lens of their relationship to Bajor or the Dominion, I wanted to dig into his status as an outsider among people who have a very legitimate reason to dislike the sight of him. More than almost anyone else on Titan, Dakal is alone.

Nothing makes you feel more alone than the loss of a loved one coupled with a (self-perceived) inability to properly share the loss with anyone.
There were definitely times I got the feeling--though I may be wrong--that some of the people trying to sideline Dakal did so not just because of his awkwardness, but because somewhere in them, they felt like he didn't belong there, as a Cardassian. Roakn especially...he needed to be whacked upside the head with a tire iron. (Which would probably just sting, in his case.) The fact that not one SINGLE person put him in his place, though, was just as bad.

But to me, it was true to real life. I know that Roddenberry's original vision of the Trek universe wasn't like that, but I believe that people are such that they cannot purge all of their bad tendencies--only become more vigilant against them. And that once one way of expressing them is closed, another one will open that we will have to combat.

And though I don't want to discuss the situation--I definitely know the feeling of experiencing a loss alone. And that was a very poignant part of reading that sequence, indeed.

Or did he really believe he wouldn't be able to explain it in a way that made sense to outsiders? (I ask that because you hear all the time of how it affects people right here in this world when there is no body to bury.)
I think Dakal is working through a lot. Sure, under other circumstances, he would have been able to explain it to her but he was feeling too much at just that moment to be sweet. He had made a deeper connection with Jaza than he'd anticipated and the loss hurt more deeply than Dakal expected. People often lash out under those conditions or withdraw or both.
Yeah, again--I know by having been there.

I think I was wondering if there was something else at work, though. Did I completely hallucinate there being some reference on the show to Cardassians not wanting foreigners to view the bodies of their own? I found myself wondering (IF that reference was correct) if Dakal was feeling that sort of protectiveness for Jaza, and then being shocked that he was reacting so deeply that it was as though he'd lost a fellow Cardassian.

I picture the Caitian culture as being, essentially, the opposite of Cardassian which is why I wanted an attraction between the two characters. If CLB (or anyone else) puts them together as a couple, the cultural clash should be illuminating and funny.

Hsuuri was trying to comfort him according to her cultural beliefs, essentially offering physical pleasure as an offset to emotional pain. My understanding of Cardassian culture is that it is extremely rigid and ritualistic. Caitians would be more into doing the New Orleans or Irish thing- having a party (or sex) to celebrate the lost life. Neither her nor his way is wrong but they will clash. If he had understood what she was saying to him he would likely have ben offended, finding that kind of frivolity obscene in the context of Jaza's apparent death.
I think I would've been hard-pressed not to get the screaming heebie jeebies myself, under those circumstances! An Irish wake, yeah--I could do that, but I would definitely have serious trouble going any further than that under any circumstances with a person I was not married to, let alone those. I mean, I have no problem with other cultures doing what they do, but there are certain things I just cannot bring myself to do, no matter what others are doing.

(I think maybe you're starting to see why I get Dakal...)

While the Cardassian way is unattractive to me, personally, I wanted to show Dakal missing the comfort of and even loving some aspects of a culture we've been shown to be essentially evil for most of its fictional existence.

[snip]

Ultimately I wanted to show that the descendants of Jews (or Gypsies or Slavs or Poles or Homosexuals) and Nazis or Slaves and Slavers can find love and friendship even when the bad times are still fresh in their minds. Dakal's need to find Jaza's body was an expression of his love.

One thing I think everyone who has written Titan stories so far shares is the notion that this is an experiment. None of the characters involved knows how Riker's vision will play out or if it will at all. I feel, personally, that it could just as easily fail as not and there's no guarantee at all of a positive resolution. Maybe these people can't get along. I hope they can but I don't assume they will. Diversity means complexity and that means friction at every level, even while falling in love or trying to grieve.
I really appreciated your taking the time to show Dakal needing the comforts of his home and people. We've really only seen Cardassian culture through its absolute worst representatives except in a few very isolated cases, and I just cannot think that there is nothing good or worthwhile there.

That the funeral rites would be that intricate and formal in their requirements...they are in my version of their culture as well, for reasons I will not elaborate on out of respect for this subforum's rules. (As you can tell from my Halloween-season location status, I have done a LOT of detail-work.)

But I am glad to see that perhaps we were thinking in similar directions.

Regarding that ability to "love outside the box"...that is so sorely lacking in the world today it's disheartening. If anything, I see sectarian lines getting even more pervasive. Sure, we may have PC'ed the hell out of ourselves, but there are subtle ways of showing contempt (and some not so subtle, yet still somehow "acceptable") that seem to emerge in their place. I would like to hope someday the success stories will become more common.

But I have to wonder something, in the case of the Trekiverse. If humanity's drawing together occurred in the face of First Contact...I wonder if there's a legitimate case to be made that it occurred in part because humans were now at liberty to define "in-group"/"out-group" differently? The behavior I'm seeing on the Titan at least to me seems to back up that theory. (And even on the canon series--there are SOOOO many statements of "They're Ferengi, of COURSE they're like that," or analogous statements that wouldn't be tolerated if said about a human subgroup.)

I love Dakal. I hope he survives Destiny.
Uh-oh...PLEASE tell me that's not a spoiler.
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