Just finished Season One with "The Neutral Zone", and there's one line that has me conflicted.
Picard: We've eliminated hunger, want. The need for possessions. We've grown out of our infancy.
....Does this mean I should return my BluRay set since I wanted it and now possess it? It feels weird buying something and having it call me infant-minded for wanting to own it.
I think you're reading way too deeply into it. By "eliminating want" Picard means that humans no longer always want more and more and more at the cost of their own financial security or at the cost of other's financial security.
Everyone gets exactly what they need to live and can do exactly whatever it is what they want to do. There's no longer a "want" for more because you can always have everything you need almost literally at the press of a button.
There's no longer rich people wanting to be richer.
There's no longer middle-class people wanting to be rich.
Moreover there's no longer countless millions living in squalor or on the streets wanting simply shelter and food.
It's an interesting exchange between Picard and Offenhaus and I really wish we had gotten much more on the 20th century people AND from the Romulan sub-plot. Really I think both stories could warrant their own complete episodes. It'd have also been interesting to see how the later, more serious and solid, seasons would have handled these 20th century humans.
Offenhaus also makes a pretty solid point when Picard recants the claim that Offenhaus' riches were for "control over his destiny." Picard says, "That kind of control is an illusion." Offenhaus quite correctly points out that his money DID buy him control over his future since money was enough to undo his own death and allow him to be revived in the distant future.
It's also interesting that he points out how much he paid for this procedure, Sonny also seems to suggest it cost almost his entire net-worth (preventing it from going to his exes) yet the woman survivor doesn't seem like she's from a very wealthy lifestyle. (Further supported by the fact that her husband seemed flighty with their money.) So obviously the procedure was cheap enough for a middle-class man to afford.
I will say this episode goes a bit
far when it comes to "20th Century Human Bashing." There's times when Riker almost seems amused by these people but he resorts to bad-mouthing us when they're out of the room, wondering aloud how humans made it out of the 21st century.
I realize how they're so much more advanced than us not only technologically or culturally but today we're much more advanced than our 17th century counterparts, more civilized in countless ways and certainly better off in many ways. But we would hardly call them barbaric savages who nearly ruined humanity. (Even accepting the Eugenic Wars and WW3 in the 20th/21st centuries in Trek's history.) Riker, and Picard, should accept humans "are what they are" and couldn't change overnight. Bad-mouthing certainly the much "less civilized" 20th century humans could make a level
of sense. But, sheesh, guys. Humanity wasn't going to change itself overnight.
I know some EU stuff touched on what happened to Offenhaus (eventually becoming an Ambassador to the Ferengi) and somewhat to the woman, but I don't think much on Sonny. I sort of like to think his music and style was accepted pretty well given how it was likely something very different than what people listen to "presently."
The interaction between Sonny and Data was fun and I do like how Offenhaus was able to read the Romulans so "easily." But he does act like a bit of a gigantic idiot. He's told he's on a starship, light years away from Earth and he keeps demanding a communications device somehow obtusely in the belief his lawfirm and bank have survived four hundred years
worth of changes to society. He also says that whatever is going on on the ship "must seem important" to Picard but Picard couldn't really understand how much Offenhaus has to protect.
Shut up, Ralph. You claim to be aware of the situation. This must not include the idea that you're on a space ship (what you considered a military craft) light years from Earth and that the man you're talking to is responsible for not only YOUR life but over 1000 others. When the man in charge tells you you're in a dangerous situation while in a huge piece of metal floating billions of miles from Earth you BELIEVE HIM!
I also think it's funny the woman thinks she can tell the computer, "Johnny, he's four." when researching her family history and the computer's going to know exactly
who she's talking about based on such scant information.