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Old July 20 2009, 12:34 AM   #2193
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Location: Ireland
Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Frazzled wrote: View Post
In return we Voyager lovers will receive .... a higher average rating for season 6 and 7, because you'll be missing the ones you really hate
Never! Never! Never!

Fair Haven (0)

JANEWAY: You have outdone yourself this time. Everything is authentic, except for one tiny detail.
SHMULLY: As I recall, the Captain is quite an aficionado of Irish history.
Having watched Darby O'Gill and the Little People does not make one an aficionado of Irish history. The program seems to be based in the late 19th century, probably between 1870-1900 in which case the episode is missing several important features; the land war, religious tensions, mass emigration, the Home Rule movement and... oh yeah, the fact that the country was still occupied by a foreign power.

The later half of the 19th century was a turbulent time in Irish history and the political fallout from the period sowed the seeds for the eventual creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. I'm not saying that the episode should have focused on these things because the writers clearly wanted the episode to be a light story about a romantic entanglement with a hologram, but if you're going to play so fast and loose with history then you shouldn't be patting yourself on the back for being so accurate.

JANEWAY: She and my uncle had a place not far from here, in County Clare.
JANEWAY: Excuse me, sir. Is the train to Galway running on time?
MICHAEL: It's a steep climb but from the top of the battlement you can see all the way to Dublin.
Time for a geography lesson, take a look at this map of Ireland.

I've circled Co Clare in red, it's in the mid-west region. We know that Fair Haven is a coastal town near Co Clare, so that would place it somewhere in Co Galway or Co Kerry, both of which I've circled in blue. Of those two counties it is more likely that Fair Haven is in Co Galway because Janeway enquired about the train to Galway (presumably referring to the city) and there would never have been a direct train line between Kerry and Galway due to the Shannon estuary, the train would have been heading to Limerick city. Using Google Earth I have calculated that the shortest possible distance between Fair Haven and Co Dublin is 160km, or 100 miles. That must be one bloody high castle!

To some this may seem like a minor nit-pick and I would generally agree, but it is a symbol of a huge problem this episode had for me; they keep on throwing in "Irish" references while hardly seeming to understand what they're talking about. But hey, Dublin is a city in Ireland so that makes it authentic.

And I haven't even begun to discuss the Irish sterotyping contained within the episode. What I liked about Chief O'Brien was that he was a person who happened to be Irish, but every single one of the characters in the Fair Haven program is an Irish stereotype who happens to be a person. You have the mischievous drunk stereotype, the rugged yet sensitive stereotype, the red-haired temptress stereotype... The whole town is populated with overused Irish stereotypes, but I guess that makes it "authentic".

I normally don't let this sort of thing bother me so much, and I generally play along with some of the stereotypes such as the drinking and love of potatoes. But the incessant nature of the stereotyping and the name-dropping in this episode while claiming that the whole thing is authentic is very aggravating to me. I hope you understand why I have to give this episode a zero.

Imagine if Tom had decided to make a holoprogram set in an African American community and he has all the black characters being of lower than average intelligence, they survive on a diet of watermelons and fried chicken and they add "izzle" to the end of every second word. Now imagine he set the program in Mississippi in the 1960s and completely failed to mention anything about the racial tensions and the civil rights movement. Now imagine Janeway walking in and saying "This is very authentic work Tom, and I should know because I'm an expert on African American culture, my nizzle".

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