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Old April 16 2010, 04:39 AM   #103
Ferd Burfel
Lieutenant Commander
Location: Augusta, GA.
Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

Sci wrote: View Post
Garm Bel Iblis wrote: View Post
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post

Heh...the Essentialists themselves were a bad caricature that had no intention of giving any kind of substance to those who disagreed with the official Trek line.

That's pretty disappointing that was picked up with the same shallowness.
I was waiting to hear from their media rep Limbaugh or Beck. This is without a doubt the most politicized book in trek lit maybe all of trek. its very disappointing, given IDIC is the underlying philosophy in trek, but this author has taken on the far left loon fringe to represent the Federation
The Federation has always been portrayed as being built on leftist/liberal values and rejecting the values of conservatives and the right wing in Star Trek.

Star Trek is and has always been a liberal, leftist program. Some creators have brought it further left, and some creators have brought it a bit closer to the center, but it has never been a centrist or right-wing franchise.

If you don't like that, I'd suggest you find another franchise.

ProwlAlpha wrote: View Post
I mean Trek is pure Pro-Starfleet and no matter what, Starfleet officers are Heroic, Honorable, and are the futuristic version of Knights, even when some of them are up to no good, they are still almost heroic villains.
Oh, nonsense. Star Trek has very clearly depicted Starfleet, throughout its entire history, as being an institution. And, like any institution, it has depicted Starfleet as being subject to the character flaws of its membership and its leadership. How many times do we have to run into Evil Admirals, or corrupt officers, before people get over this idea that Starfleet = Always Good?

ProwlAlpha wrote: View Post
I agree with about the tone of the book. I got that feel it was almost Anti-Starfleet, especially with Rene Picard's speech at the end of the book. I mean Trek is pure Pro-Starfleet and no matter what, Starfleet officers are Heroic, Honorable, and are the futuristic version of Knights, even when some of them are up to no good, they are still almost heroic villains. Yet, the book is laced with if it wasn't for Starfleet, the Undine War wouldn't have happen, or we are being punished for our sins. All you have to do is replace Undine with terrorist and you got a book about the sins of the US Military,.
I get so tired of this ridiculous argument in real life, and I'm PO'ed to see it applied to Star Trek, too.

Here's the thing:

Saying that the United States Armed Forces and/or the United States government have done bad things, and that those bad things have come back to bite us on the ass, is not the same thing as being anti-Armed Forces or anti-American.

It's acknowledging that bad things have been done and should not be done in the future. Period.

Let's say, for instance, that I acknowledge the fact that the United States government provided financial and material support to the military juntas that ruled Chile and Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s. The U.S. did this in the name of supporting anti-Communist allies in South America. These dictatorships murdered thousands of people -- some Communist terrorists, but many more innocent victims.

This was bad. I don't care what justification you can come up with; it was bad. It was morally wrong, it should not have been done. Period. There were better ways of fighting Communism in South America than supporting mass murderers, but the U.S. didn't take them.

Now, that does not mean that I'm anti-American. I love my country and everything it stands for. That's, in fact, what I hate about that policy of supporting the juntas -- that policy violated every principle that the United States is supposed to stand for.

Same thing here.

Now, I haven't read The Needs of the Many. I can't speak to exactly what you're saying.

But I can tell you this:

If the characters in The Needs of the Many are arguing that bad things that Starfleet has done has caused negative consequences for the Federation -- if, for instance, they are arguing that the U.S.S. Voyager should not have created an anti-Undine weapon during the "Scorpion" two-parter -- that does not make them anti-Starfleet. That makes them anti-that decision. That makes them anti-policy.

I hate the tendency people have to reduce any criticism of a state institution to "You're anti-whatever." It's dishonest and unfair.
I came here to say exactly this.

One can be a patriot and a critic. I tend to think to be a true patriot your must be a critic.

Starfleet has never been portrayed as perfect. Trek is mostly built upon a belief that humanity is mostly evolved and much better than now. But that doesn't mean that individuals don't mess up. Criticizing the military (Starfleet) doesn't make you a bad person, especially if you have cause. Unlike the state of Texas, you can't simply re-write the book and pretend the bad things never happened and skip over things. One of my favorite quotes is "experience brings success, but failure brings experience". Many of the good things that people and nations do come as a result of fixing mistakes or knowing better because of mistakes. Irnoring them makes you ignorant, embracing them and using them to inspire and bring about change is patriotic.

As for the military stuff, I merely think that "stereotype" was done to show the juxtaposition. The character was set up as a stereotypical soldier, but by the end of the interview (if you actually read it all) the reader (and Jake) realize he is a much more complicated and haunted character. Also, living in a city with a military base I have met TONS of soldiers who have talked or acted like this. But as is the case with everyone, when you break it down and talk to them that outer layer peels away and reveals much more complicated people. It's easy to accuse the author of "stereotyping", but not ready the book or simply dismissing everything else used to describe the character is no better. In other words, you are classifying every gruff soldier who speaks with bravado as some kind of negative. That is a stereotype. The irony is thick.

Overall i thought a few interviews were weird and surreal, but many others were excellent. Overall i graded it as "average".

My apologies for any typos or other things, this was the first thing of length i typed on my iPad.
Everything stated above (unless otherwise noted) is my opinion and should be treated as such. You'll automatically fail in your response if you choose to ignore this message. That is all.

Don't just challenge what they think, challenge how they think.
Ferd Burfel is offline   Reply With Quote