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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old July 19 2013, 12:18 PM   #16
Bad Thoughts
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

The films by Mel Brooks or Charlie Chaplin were comedies (albeit with a serious undertone) and in such an "environment" that line would clearly have been meant and understood as a joke. If "Patterns of Force" had been a comedic episode like "A Piece of the Action" it would also have been so. But POF hardly qualifies as a comedy!
Some serious works about the Holocaust have, nevertheless, used comedic elements: Art Speigelman's Maus and Jurek Becker's Jakob der Lügner.
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Old July 19 2013, 01:22 PM   #17
1001001
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Bad thoughts: You offer some very thoughtful replies here. But please use the multi-quote function next time. Four posts in a row is bad form.

Thanks.

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Old July 19 2013, 01:26 PM   #18
Mario de Monti
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Apparently some further elaboration is in order:

In Germany, many aspects of our Nazi past are being "taboo-ized" to sometimes ridiculous degrees. For example, imported model kits of German WWII tanks, planes, etc. are being opened by German customs officials and all the swastikas and other Nazi symbols are being cut out of the decal sheets, blackened or the sheets are taken out completely. German kit releases use simplified/fake symbols (like simple crosses instead of swastikas).
Additionally we are being "taught" (by the government, media, etc.) to feel some sort of collective guilt for that part in our history, a guilt that can never be overcome.

So the reason for me to start this thread was to ask the question, if my "problem" with Spock´s remark is due to the fact I´m German (and have the background I just explained) or if non-Germans (without this background) have similar problems with it.

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
the southern US states prior to the civil war. Imagine Kirk and Spock had come to a planet ruled by (white) land/slave owners who brutalize their (black) slaves. Then, to blend in at a slave auction, they would have put on local clothing and Spock´s line to Kirk would have been "You should make a very convincing slave trader". Would you take that as a joke too?
A resident of a Southern state, I can say that southerners don't confront the legacies of slavery, the Civil War, and susbsequent repression the way that other peoples might look at the dark aspects of their own histories. The strong (though not necessarily dominant) presence of Neo-confederalism soft-pedals the nature of slavery in order to give a Romantic image of the Antebellum south or deny the contemporary existence of racism in politics. (Of course, I also know many Southerners who are very thoughtful on these subjects.)
I find that very interesting and it does suggest, that we Germans treat our own past somewhat differently - mainly because of the reasons I outlined above. Thanks
As to why I asked you for your personal opinion earlier: On the one hand you have personal (through your family) experience in this matter (which I don´t) on the other hand you´re not German (I presume) and thus don´t have this German background.

Mario
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Old July 19 2013, 01:30 PM   #19
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

For the record the line "you would make a convincing Nazi" I took it as Kirk in that uniform looks scary and tough, that he would fool them. Not that Kirk is really anything like a Nazi.

We were talking about Hogan's Heroes in the other thread and I remember similar lines being used in that series when the characters went undercover.

I think this is the case of being offended too easily. Being Jewish myself I definitely do not take the actual Holocaust lightly but the episode wasn't about concentration and death camps.

Now as for the episode itself I can take it or leave it. Not really a big fan of the alternative world episodes and I don't think this one said or did anything all that interesting.


T'Girl wrote:
Looking at his comment to Yeoman Rand at the end of The Enemy Within, that the opposite Kirk (who attacked her) had some interesting qualities
Now this line bothers me as it does take attempted rape too lightly and makes a joke of it.
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Old July 19 2013, 01:41 PM   #20
Mario de Monti
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Kinokima wrote: View Post
For the record the line "you would make a convincing Nazi" I took it as Kirk in that uniform looks scary and tough, that he would fool them. Not that Kirk is really anything like a Nazi.
That´s an interesting alternate take on this. Thanks

Kinokima wrote: View Post
We were talking about Hogan's Heroes in the other thread and I remember similar lines being used in that series when the characters went undercover.

I think this is the case of being offended too easily. Being Jewish myself I definitely do not take the actual Holocaust lightly but the episode wasn't about concentration and death camps.
Let me make this clear: I´m not offended in any way by Spock´s remark, the episode or jokes being made about Germans in general or Nazi Germany in particular. I like the Mel Brooks movie and I thoroughly enjoy "Hogan´s Heroes". I just feel, that Spock´s remark didn´t fit into the "mood" of the episode since it clearly wasn´t a comedic one, IMHO.

Mario
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Old July 19 2013, 02:05 PM   #21
Kinokima
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
I just feel, that Spock´s remark didn´t fit into the "mood" of the episode since it clearly wasn´t a comedic one, IMHO.
Although I agree with you that it is not meant to be taking as a comedy episode overall. I felt that line was not meant to be taken seriously.

There is other comedy in the episode. Such as when Kirk is standing on Spock (or is it the other way around, I can't remember) and when Bones enters half dressed.

The episode isn't Hogan's Heroes for sure but it isn't completely super serious either.
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Old July 19 2013, 02:19 PM   #22
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

I always took Spock's joke to mean "Nazi" in the same sense that Seinfeld would later joke about the Soup Nazi: a stern guy who snaps orders and doesn't respect people.

The makers probably thought this episode was going to be so heavy and sad, with all the Ekosian cruelty, that some bits of comic relief were needed.
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Old July 19 2013, 02:59 PM   #23
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Consider: in the 23rd century the connotation of Nazi likely wouldn't carry the same personal resonance as it does for many today. Also Spock mighn't have quite appreciated how his attempt at humour might resonate with a human particularly one as decently knowledgeable of history as Kirk. When we hear Kirk talking to John Gill later we really see Kirk's opinion of Nazism, but evidently Kirk wasn't reactionary enough to go ape-shit over Spock's attempt at humour earlier.
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Old July 19 2013, 03:18 PM   #24
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
I just feel, that Spock´s remark didn´t fit into the "mood" of the episode since it clearly wasn´t a comedic one, IMHO.

Mario
Serious episodes can have comedic moments. McCoy's uniform trouble is also a light moment.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Consider: in the 23rd century the connotation of Nazi likely wouldn't carry the same personal resonance as it does for many today. .
If it was written in the 23rd Century, that might be a fair point. I doubt the writers were going for the "23rd Century connotation" when they wrote it.
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Old July 19 2013, 03:32 PM   #25
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Thank you for your collective input. I guess I´ll watch the episode one more time and pay attention to finding humorous elements.

Still, my original question remains ...
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Old July 19 2013, 03:44 PM   #26
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
Thank you for your collective input. I guess I´ll watch the episode one more time and pay attention to finding humorous elements.

Still, my original question remains ...
About dressing as a "Slave trader"? Is there a specific uniform for a slave trader? Does that uniform invoke certain imagery and history?
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Old July 19 2013, 04:03 PM   #27
Mario de Monti
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
Thank you for your collective input. I guess I´ll watch the episode one more time and pay attention to finding humorous elements.

Still, my original question remains ...
About dressing as a "Slave trader"? Is there a specific uniform for a slave trader? Does that uniform invoke certain imagery and history?
No, not that one, it was just meant as a comparison
I mean the question that I also repeated in post #18:

"... if my "problem" with Spock´s remark is due to the fact I´m German (and have the background I just explained) or if non-Germans (without this background) have similar problems with it."

Mario
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Old July 19 2013, 04:18 PM   #28
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

I'm not German and I wasn't offended.
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Old July 19 2013, 04:18 PM   #29
Geoff Peterson
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
Thank you for your collective input. I guess I´ll watch the episode one more time and pay attention to finding humorous elements.

Still, my original question remains ...
About dressing as a "Slave trader"? Is there a specific uniform for a slave trader? Does that uniform invoke certain imagery and history?
No, not that one, it was just meant as a comparison
I mean the question that I also repeated in post #18:

"... if my "problem" with Spock´s remark is due to the fact I´m German (and have the background I just explained) or if non-Germans (without this background) have similar problems with it."

Mario
Yeah, I think it does. Though I think Spock's comment is about Nazi ideology, not Germans.
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Old July 19 2013, 04:21 PM   #30
Bad Thoughts
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Re: A question regarding "Patterns of Force"

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
Apparently some further elaboration is in order:

In Germany, many aspects of our Nazi past are being "taboo-ized" to sometimes ridiculous degrees. For example, imported model kits of German WWII tanks, planes, etc. are being opened by German customs officials and all the swastikas and other Nazi symbols are being cut out of the decal sheets, blackened or the sheets are taken out completely. German kit releases use simplified/fake symbols (like simple crosses instead of swastikas).
Additionally we are being "taught" (by the government, media, etc.) to feel some sort of collective guilt for that part in our history, a guilt that can never be overcome.
I can't speak to the minutia of German cultural policy. The Federal Government has certainly repressed many symbolic elements of nationalism that served to make Nazism so resonant. I think part of the episode intended to deal with this: it's impossible to have Nazism without the imagery or the xenophobia (an arguable point, of course).

Representing the German past is a fraught subject with strong emotions. Nonetheless, German culture many opportunities to discuss the memories of Nazism and the Holocaust, moreso than, for instance, French imperialism, British rule in Ireland, or even Germany's genocidal war against the Herero. Indeed, the US has a national museum for the Holocaust, but not one for slavery and its legacy. If there is a problem with German memory, it is, IMO, attributable to Adenauer's original formulation--crimes committed in the name of the German people--which made it easy to embrace national guilt, but somewhat easy to evade it on a personal level.





So the reason for me to start this thread was to ask the question, if my "problem" with Spock´s remark is due to the fact I´m German (and have the background I just explained) or if non-Germans (without this background) have similar problems with it.

Mario
For the sake of disclosure, there is an Alsatian side to my family, among whom there is some tendency to romanticism Germanic culture. (They emigrated in the 1850s, thus didn't develop the same sense of Germanness that developed after 1970, or resistance to German nationalism that emerged among Alsatians.

On the other hand, isn't it possible that our differences on the subject of this line may have more to do with differing notions of humor among the various cultures?
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