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Old March 27 2013, 07:44 PM   #2016
kirk55555's Avatar
Location: Washington State, USA
Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Christopher wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I think it is probably both. Its pointless to the story, but I guess trying to call attention to gay characters counts as a point.
You're not getting what I'm saying, so let me spell it out even more bluntly. It wasn't "trying to call attention to gay characters." It was doing exactly the opposite of that: treating them simply as normal characters, to write them the same way one would write anyone else -- which means occasionally involving them in romantic storylines. It wasn't the authors making a big deal out of their gayness -- it's just you. That's why I asked if you'd think it was calling attention to heterosexuality if the story had been exactly the same except for one of the characters being female. You admitted that you wouldn't. Which means you have a double standard. Don't blame the authors for that.
What do you mean, double standard? I said I'd call out any plot line like this that I felt was pointless, regardless of who is involved. I hate all romance in Star Trek books anyway (not couples neccessarily, I'm fine with the big guys if its done well, I just don't like it when romantic stuff is a part of the story). If Vale started mooning over some random guy and it was taking the story nowhere and just wasting pages, I'd call it out the same way I've talked about Keru/the ensign. The difference is that, while they would both pointless to the story, Vale/a random person would just be a pointless subplot. The Keru stuff feels like a pointless subplot with the ulterior motive of trying to show "diversity" at the expense of the story.

Christopher wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
It did feel like thats the main reason they were there, even beyond the potential romance with each other. What did we get about either character? One was the boyfriend of a extra who got killed in First Contact, and he's a friend of Nurse Ogawa.
Ranul Keru is a character whom Andy Mangels & Mike Martin established in TNG: Section 31: Rogue and revisited in Worlds of Deep Space Nine -- Trill: Rejoined before bringing him into the Titan series. He was given a lot of development over the course of their books, driven mainly by the fact that he lost his spouse to the Borg and was changed by that tragedy, as anyone would be. He left his post as a stellar cartographer, taking a sabbatical to tend the symbiont pools on Trill and try to find himself, and then returned to Starfleet but transferred to security. As I recall it, Keru's arc in Taking Wing was mainly about how he was still coping with that loss in a variety of ways, including being uncomfortable with the cyborg crewmember Torvig and being saddled with unwelcome romantic attentions. It wasn't about him "being gay" any more than it was about him being a biped. That's just part of his description, not the point of the story. The story was about how a widower copes with unwanted romantic overtures. The emotions involved there are the same for everyone, regardless of the sexes of the people involved.
I can accept the fact that the character himself may have had a point at one time. i was not told I'd have to read the entire Mangels & Martin bibliography to understand parts of the Titan series. They probably should have put a note about that somewhere Regardless of how he was in those books, I base what I think off of this book. If he wasn't doing anything strictly secruity, he was obsessed with his dead partner or the ensign was wanting to get together with him. It just felt like it was their just to call attention to the fact they are gay. It was brought up everytime Keru was around. He had no character in this book besides being the gay security cheif who was sad about his partner dying. He really served no purpose besides that. He either needed more pages to develop/explain him better, or just have been a background character.

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I mean, they weren't going to be main characters. Keru was basically filling in until Tuvok showed up...
Christopher wrote: View Post
Completely untrue. Keru continues to be a main character as Titan's security chief, alongside Tuvok as its tactical officer. Most Trek series combine the two responsibilities (the former focused on events within the ship, the latter on events outside it) under a single character's purview, but the developers of Titan chose to separate them. And as stated, Mangels & Martin established Keru as a recurring character in their works before TTN began.
I can admit to being wrong about him being a placeholder (after all, I've only read two Titan books and didn't remember either of them very well before I started rereading them) but its just the impression book 1 gave me. Seperating those positions seems uneccesary, but whatever. I wouldn't be annoyed by Keru if he had done anything besides stuff any security officer could have done, or be around just for diversity. He could change my opinion of him easily in other books, if he wakes up and actually does something beside just being one of the few token gay characters. I like several of the newer characters in this book, like Vale and the Titan's designer. I like several gay characters in other media, so regardless of what you seem to insinuate, the fact that the characters are gay isn't a problem to me, and its not causing a double standard. The problem is that they're used just to be the gay guys, and have no other purpose, in book 1. Either of the characters can come back from that, its just how book 1 went.

I think that because thats what I think happened in the book, not because of some prejudice against gay characters. Its not like I read Batwoman and think her relationship with the police officer is pointless, or read Astonishing X-Men and say Northstar/Kyle is just there for diversity. Their relationships actually add something to the characters and/or story (and both are interesting characters, although I'd say I like Batwoman better). I've never read anything with them and thought that their sexual preferance was the reason they were in the story or that it was the only thing they were contributing, unlike Keru and the ensign in the first Titan book.

I'm not trying to insult the authors of the Titan books. I thought most of the book was decent, and honestly the Keru stuff may just be a side effect of Titan wanting to bash its diversity into my skull every few pages, and not because the authors were specifically writing Keru and the ensign to push a specific gay diversity thing. God knows the book wasn't shuting up about the Titan's diversity in general. I'm not trying to anger anyone (even if the insinuation that Keru/the ensign being gay is the reason I think they're only there for diversity is pretty insulting to me and probably warrents me getting angry), I was just giving my impression of the book. I wasn't aware that the Titan books are beyond reproach. I believe that everything in a book is fair game for critisism. If the Keru/ensign stuff hadn't seemed to be there just to be there, if it had even just been merely pointless and not brought up so much, I wouldn't even have mentioned it. The fact that they are gay, to me, does not mean that stuff with them can't be critisized. I treat them like I treat every character, regardless of orientation.

Sci wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
What did we get about either character? One was the boyfriend of a extra who got killed in First Contact, and he's a friend of Nurse Ogawa. The other was freaked out by the doctor, and thought Keru was attractive. That is all either of them added to the story, minus one or two action scenes with Keru that could have used any security officer. It would have been pointless regardless of their genders, but the fact that almost every scene they were in was about them being gay
No. It was not about them being gay. It was, as Christopher said, about a widower learning to move on from the loss of his spouse, with the question of how he felt about a potential suitor being just one facet of his character arc. That that suitor happened to be male was not the focus of the arc, and I'm sorry that you can't seem to stop fixating on it.

(Side-note: Really, Keru's arc in Taking Wing is similar to Sisko's arc in "Emissary," or to the story of him meeting Kassidy Yates later in the series. Was Sisko's arc in "Emissary" only about him being straight? Was the Sisko/Kassidy arc only about them being straight?)

and not advancing either the story
What does that mean? "The" story? There are multiple stories being told in Taking Wing, and one of them is how a widower learns to move on with his life.
I'm not fixating on anything. I'd say that maybe I'm not the one fixating on something. I mentioned it in a larger post about the book. Other people keep harping on it, like I'm not allowed to critisize a subplot about gay characters because any critisizm is bad if the thing in question involves gay people, and you're evil/prejudiced if you think stuff like that is done badly.
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