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Old February 12 2014, 08:09 AM   #109
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Star Trek Continues: Episode 2 "Lolani"...

Maurice wrote: View Post
RCAM wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post

I actually have a minor quibble with Kirk's argument comparing McKennah with Lolani to Zaminhon: he makes the case that Lolani is just as smart and able...but the issue is not brains and potential here. Lolani could be dumb as a stump and STILL deserve to be treated like any other person. I take his point, but I think it could have been made better.
He actually addresses that. The line is:

"And what about Lolani? She's as learned and capable as any Starfleet officer. Animals do not thirst for knowledge and strive to better themselves. She's consumed a wealth of learning as you've consumed your food, Zaminhon. She's not a slave -- she's a woman. And even without the knowledge, education, beauty, talent -- she is still a woman... with a fundamental right to be free."

At the beginning of the dialogue, he sets up all the qualities she possesses that Zaminhon claims she doesn't, then ends with: "even if she didn't have those things, she's a woman with a right to be free."

At least, that's the only way the line makes sense to me. He's just said she has knowledge, and he obviously thinks she's beautiful, so he isn't asserting that Lolani lacks those things. He's laying out a hypothetical scenario where she's "dumb as a stump" and ugly -- and making the point that she'd still be entitled to freedom.
Ah, you're right. Somehow that latter line didn't stick with me for some reason.
I suspect that the episode might be an answer to Cogenitor, in which Charles' discovery of his/her/its intelligence become a central issue to whether asylum would be granted.

As per the issue we previously discussed: after a second viewing, I am more troubled than before. The episode goes out of its way to highlight the alienness of those who abuse Lolani, particularly in rape scene. Indeed, there is a long history in film of using rape scenes to stoke xenophobia. I believe that this plays into the central theme of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, wherein the moral decay of the empire (to which Mignogna's Kirk refers) is caused by opening up and conceding to foreign influences. (If Lolani had really read the book, she really ought to have been insulted. Roman slavery was a complex institution, and some were able to become professionals and property owners in spite of their enslavement, and once freed, could have significant lives. Gibbon claims that slavery was only really a problem because slaves introduced foreign influence, particularly after manumission.) I don't find the looseness with which citizenship and sovereignty issues to point to simple errors. It seems to me that the narrative was shoehorned in a particular direction.
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