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Old September 23 2008, 01:53 PM   #31
BrotherBenny
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

William Leisner wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Still, perhaps Picard was consciously trying to avoid the stereotype of a babbling old man when he failed to bring up his past experiences at every turn?
Just out of curiosity... how many "old" men or women do you actually personally know? Because this stereotype you describe I think is more a creation of television and film than an actual characteristic of real life people.
With all due respect, Bill, that is not a stereotype, it is a fact of life. I have worked in an old folks home and regularly deal with elderly people and I often have to cut them off mid-stream. The sad fact is that many are lonely and do babble whenever a convenient ear arrives and stays for more than thirty seconds.
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Old September 23 2008, 02:06 PM   #32
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

^^Yeah, but that sounds more like a function of loneliness than a function of age.

It's not "babbling," but my father seems to be more fond of reminiscing about the past than he used to be. One of the virtues of age is experience, and in the past, the elderly were respected, even revered, as a source of experience, insight, and living history. It's our society's loss that we dismiss that vast font of experience as mere "babbling."
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Old September 23 2008, 02:54 PM   #33
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

^ I agree. Loneliness would seem to be a better explanation, particularly in the environment Xeris describes.

I know plenty of young people who can't shut up until I hold up a roll of duct tape in a threatening manner.
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Old September 23 2008, 03:31 PM   #34
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
^ I agree. Loneliness would seem to be a better explanation, particularly in the environmnent Xeris describes.

I know plenty of young people who can't shut up until I hold up a roll of duct tape in a threatening manner.
note to self. If I ever meet Dayton, will keep silent and have the air of piss of I don't want to talk which many people have accused me of having
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Old September 23 2008, 03:39 PM   #35
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Loneliness is is probably a key factor, though I'd suggest the level of activity is another one. A man like Picard, who is still busy living his life, I hardly think needs to make a conscious effort to avoid rambling about the old days.
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Old September 23 2008, 04:01 PM   #36
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

OTOH, there's another bunch of people who have a compulsive need to speak about the past: heroes.

Typically, this means "small heroes", people who fear that their feats will be forgotten, or people who doubt the significance of their feats and try to boast on them. To my experience, it's particularly prevalent in certain elements of the military...

In that sense, it wouldn't have been out of place for Picard to keep on dragging up irrelevant connections between the week's adventure and one of his old Stargazer or Pathfinder or Prince Charles ones. That we never quite got this does tell us something specific about Picard's character... The closest he comes to "irrelevant connection" is in "The Wounded" where, while operating close to Cardassian territory, Picard takes the time to bad-mouth the species. Usually, he gives even his worst enemies the benefit of the doubt, but here he jumps at the chance to hatemonger.

Are we perhaps to think that Picard and the Cardassians have more history than that? That Picard's "last time" was preceded by several even nastier encounters? Perhaps Picard in fact played a major role in at least one segment of the UFP-Cardassian war? He'd then be downplaying, understating, being downright civil about the hated enemy - in essence, being more Picard.

(Excluding his attitude towards the Borg, of course. But probably everybody in the 2th century can excuse that.)

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Old September 23 2008, 04:09 PM   #37
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Timo wrote: View Post
OTOH, there's another bunch of people who have a compulsive need to speak about the past: heroes.

Typically, this means "small heroes", people who fear that their feats will be forgotten, or people who doubt the significance of their feats and try to boast on them. To my experience, it's particularly prevalent in certain elements of the military...
In my experience, that's a false stereotype.
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Old September 23 2008, 04:17 PM   #38
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Timo wrote: View Post
The closest he comes to "irrelevant connection" is in "The Wounded" where, while operating close to Cardassian territory, Picard takes the time to bad-mouth the species. Usually, he gives even his worst enemies the benefit of the doubt, but here he jumps at the chance to hatemonger.
Okay, I'm calling shenanigans on you here.

I challenge you to pull up the exact quote from the episode, and explain how you possibly could characterize it as "hatemongering."
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Old September 23 2008, 04:31 PM   #39
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Timo wrote: View Post
In that sense, it wouldn't have been out of place for Picard to keep on dragging up irrelevant connections between the week's adventure and one of his old Stargazer or Pathfinder or Prince Charles ones. That we never quite got this does tell us something specific about Picard's character...
All it tells me is that the scriptwriters had only 42 minutes to tell each story and thus chose to concentrate on what was happening now, only bringing in reminiscences when there was story relevance.

(And Prince Charles? I've never heard that proposed as a name for a prior command of Picard's. What's that from?)

The closest he comes to "irrelevant connection" is in "The Wounded" where, while operating close to Cardassian territory, Picard takes the time to bad-mouth the species. Usually, he gives even his worst enemies the benefit of the doubt, but here he jumps at the chance to hatemonger.
"Hatemonger?" That's a little strong. What he actually said was:
Last time I was in this sector, I was on the Stargazer, running at warp speed ahead of a Cardassian warship.... I'd been sent to make preliminary overtures to a truce... I lowered my shields as a gesture of good will. But the Cardassians weren't impressed. They took out most of my weapons and damaged the impulse engines before I could regroup and run.
And I don't recall him saying it with any kind of hostile emotions. He was simply replying to Riker's statement that the Cardassians were "skittish about protecting their borders." It was merely a cautionary tale to his crew, in order to underline the next thing Picard said: "It's not a good idea to stay too long on a Cardassian border without making your intentions known." Reasonable caution is not hate. I could tell you about how the family cat Shadow bit my father pretty badly when he made the mistake of trying to pull a scared and angry Shadow out of his cat carrier after a very stressful time at the vet, but that doesn't mean I "hate" Shadow -- just that, as much as I love him, I'm aware he's not always safe to be around and needs to be treated with caution and respect.

Are we perhaps to think that Picard and the Cardassians have more history than that? That Picard's "last time" was preceded by several even nastier encounters? Perhaps Picard in fact played a major role in at least one segment of the UFP-Cardassian war? He'd then be downplaying, understating, being downright civil about the hated enemy - in essence, being more Picard.
There's no evidence that Picard had any major involvement in the Cardassian wars. If he had, it would've presumably come up in "Chain of Command."

And early TNG made a point of portraying Picard as an explorer first and foremost, a man who used force only with great reluctance and regret. They were going for Jacques Cousteau, not Charles De Gaulle. I can't buy the idea that he was a veteran of a major war.
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Old September 23 2008, 06:43 PM   #40
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

(And Prince Charles? I've never heard that proposed as a name for a prior command of Picard's. What's that from?)
Oh, out of thin air. That is, from my head. And Pathfinder probably is but an extended typo, a brief lapse in Diane Duane's writing process for Intellivore.

"Hatemonger?" That's a little strong.
However, it is a uniquely negative statement coming from Picard. Typically, it would be Riker's role to condemn the Ferengi or the Talarians, or Worf's role to remind us that the only good Romulan is a dead one, and Picard's role to let such racist statements pass without dignifying them with a response, or even throw a disapproving glance at his colleagues.

Yes, Picard's voice and demeanor indicate some sort of amusement rather than anger. And he wouldn't speak like that of the Borg. But he would not speak like that of the Ferengi, either.

There's no evidence that Picard had any major involvement in the Cardassian wars. If he had, it would've presumably come up in "Chain of Command."
Fair enough. Then again, his stellar record with thwarting Romulan plots didn't come up in Nemesis... Although to TNG fans, it was more or less implicit there, in the decision to send him in ("closest ship", my ass!").

And early TNG made a point of portraying Picard as an explorer first and foremost, a man who used force only with great reluctance and regret. They were going for Jacques Cousteau, not Charles De Gaulle. I can't buy the idea that he was a veteran of a major war.
I'm not sure the two portrayals would be exclusive. We know little of Picard's past nature, save for the implication that he was something of a hellraiser originally. Perhaps he only started mellowing after seeing too much blood of all possible colors?

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Old September 23 2008, 06:54 PM   #41
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Timo wrote: View Post
And Pathfinder probably is but an extended typo, a brief lapse in Diane Duane's writing process for Intellivore.
Not at all. Diane quite explicitly described the Pathfinder as a ship that Picard had commanded between the Stargazer and the Enterprise. I considered working in a reference to that ship in TBA, but Intellivore established that the ship had never gone beyond the UFP core worlds, so it was incompatible with my intention to take Picard as far away from UFP affairs and territory as possible.

"Hatemonger?" That's a little strong.
However, it is a uniquely negative statement coming from Picard. Typically, it would be Riker's role to condemn the Ferengi or the Talarians, or Worf's role to remind us that the only good Romulan is a dead one, and Picard's role to let such racist statements pass without dignifying them with a response, or even throw a disapproving glance at his colleagues.
Again, I disagree that it's negative, merely cautionary. Plus you're defining the characters in too limited and stereotyped a way. In fact, I profoundly disagree with your characterization of Riker. As a rule, he was the most passionate xenophile, the one who most enjoyed that which was different and alien and was most open to alternative points of view.

Although, for what it's worth, pretty much the scenario you suggest did indeed occur in "The Wounded": After Picard made the statement quoted above, Worf very predictably said, "The Cardassians are without honor. They cannot be trusted." Or words to that effect.
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Old September 23 2008, 07:49 PM   #42
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Diane quite explicitly described the Pathfinder as a ship that Picard had commanded between the Stargazer and the Enterprise.
I'm still not quite convinced she didn't simply forget the name of Picard's old ship. It's something no proofreader other than herself could ever catch, after all. And after Duane describes the Pathfinder as the ship where Picard and Ileen Maisel served together, she immediately (on the next page) moves on to describe Storennan Grace as "a short, stony-skinned Centaurrin who had also been on Stargazer with them", underlining mine. The word "also" would be quite out of place unless the two ships were one and the same.

Plus you're defining the characters in too limited and stereotyped a way. In fact, I profoundly disagree with your characterization of Riker. As a rule, he was the most passionate xenophile
Oh, definitely agreed. Riker would be the passionate one, in good and bad - loving and hating. Picard would be the one for moderated, diplomatically bland responses, in good and bad. When Picard got openly passionate and opinionated, it was for something truly exceptional in his life.

I don't think any of the characters showed categorical (or should that be category-free?) xenophobia, really. Soran the villain was made repulsive by his "don't you hate being different?" speech, and some things Pulaski or Maddox said about Data were supposed to be disapproved of, too, but the "main" heroes always had a soft spot for one alien species if they despised another.

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Old September 23 2008, 09:51 PM   #43
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Timo wrote: View Post
Diane quite explicitly described the Pathfinder as a ship that Picard had commanded between the Stargazer and the Enterprise.
I'm still not quite convinced she didn't simply forget the name of Picard's old ship. It's something no proofreader other than herself could ever catch, after all. And after Duane describes the Pathfinder as the ship where Picard and Ileen Maisel served together, she immediately (on the next page) moves on to describe Storennan Grace as "a short, stony-skinned Centaurrin who had also been on Stargazer with them", underlining mine. The word "also" would be quite out of place unless the two ships were one and the same.
You know, I just reviewed the text of Intellivore, and I think you're right. There's one reference to Picard and Maisel's days on the "Pathfinder," and all subsequent references are to their time together on the Stargazer. And as you say, it makes more sense if you substitute Stargazer for Pathfinder on that one page.

And I feel stupid, because I just now figured out that Maisel's complaint that the ship referred to as Pathfinder "never got out of Earth's backyard" was meant to be ironic, a way of indicating that Maisel was so fond of questing outward that even the Stargazer's deep-space tour was too close to home for her.

So it's just as well I didn't reference the Pathfinder in TBA.


Plus you're defining the characters in too limited and stereotyped a way. In fact, I profoundly disagree with your characterization of Riker. As a rule, he was the most passionate xenophile
Oh, definitely agreed. Riker would be the passionate one, in good and bad - loving and hating. Picard would be the one for moderated, diplomatically bland responses, in good and bad. When Picard got openly passionate and opinionated, it was for something truly exceptional in his life.
Uhh, you're cherry-picking my words and twisting the meaning. The key word isn't "passionate," it's "xenophile." My point is that Riker was someone who was drawn to the alien, who rejoiced in diversity. He's the last person who'd be prone to vehement anti-alien sentiment.
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Old September 24 2008, 03:14 AM   #44
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Christopher- To the average Trek fan like me, who hasn't the patience to nit-pick about cannon and details, TBA was a superb read. Easily on par with anything I've ever read from Clarke. Between TBA and Ex Machina, you've made me a regular customer.
I really do hope you get to write more books about the post TMP era. Your take in Ex Machina put the hook in me.
Your vision of the Enterprise D as a spacegoing University Town was a fantastic analogy.
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Old September 24 2008, 03:59 AM   #45
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

arch101 wrote: View Post
Christopher- To the average Trek fan like me, who hasn't the patience to nit-pick about cannon and details, TBA was a superb read. Easily on par with anything I've ever read from Clarke. Between TBA and Ex Machina, you've made me a regular customer.
Wow, high praise indeed! Thank you!
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