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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old October 23 2013, 07:12 PM   #76
David Brennon
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Defcon wrote: View Post
^Just a little tip: What you are doing (triple posting) is considered spamming on this board and can be a infraction worthy offense.

If you want to answer several people you can use the multi-quote button.
My mistake, thanks for the tip!
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Old October 23 2013, 07:16 PM   #77
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

James Swallow wrote: View Post

It does seem odd when you stop to think about it, that most people in the Star Trek universe tend to enjoy what we (as 21st century folks) might consider "classical" entertainment - Mozart, Beethoven, Dickens, Conan Doyle etc - rather than what might be "classical" to them as 23rd/24th century people.

Apart from Riker's love of jazz, Tom Paris liking cartoons from the 40's and Kirk's references to 70's writers Jacqueline Susann and Harold Robbins, off the top of my head I can't think of I can't think of other examples of more modern (or non-American) "theater or music" in Star Trek.

But why is that? It's a real world reason: Mozart et al are all old enough that people making a TV series won't have to worry about rights issues if they want to put some of it on their show. The same wouldn't apply to The Beatles or U2, for example. That's why Harry Kim's holoprogram in Voyager's "Heroes and Demons" could be Beowulf but not, say, The Lord of the Rings.

I think this, plus the fact that the people writing Star Trek shows were informed by the scope of their own cultural experience (the "distinct middle to upper-middle class white American sensibility" you mention) is one of the reasons why characters in Star Trek (on TV) come off as culturally slanted toward pre-20th century "eurocentric" culture, when realistically they wouldn't be so narrow.

Unless of course, all the records of cool entertainment from our era were destroyed in the Eugenics Wars...
This is a good point, about rights and permissions. I do think though that there's a bit of a cultural bias from the show's writing staff. Granted, most of the episodes were produced pre-wikipedia and pre-google, so simply looking up say "Korean romantic epics" for Harry Kim (I'm assuming he's Korean-American, despite Garrett Wang being Chinese in ancestry) wouldn't have been easy as it is now, nor I suppose would the audience be as familiar, but surely they could've made some effort instead of just tossing him into Beowulf.

Granted, then there's the whole "They seem to think all asians are interchangeable" problem by the writing staff in the TV shows, but that's a different topic.
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Old October 23 2013, 07:24 PM   #78
Christopher
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

They could've averted copyright issues by having the characters be fans of future entertainment works and genres. Well, their past, our future. What bugs me is how there's never any sign of human creativity from later than the year 2000, beyond the occasional holonovel or Jake Sisko's writing. Why is nobody a fan of literature or music from the 22nd century, say?
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Old October 23 2013, 07:28 PM   #79
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Because everyone's sick of World War III epics.
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Old October 23 2013, 07:48 PM   #80
Cara007
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

If Trek is too Eurocentric then what would we call Lord of the Rings?
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Old October 23 2013, 07:56 PM   #81
NightJim
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Because everyone's sick of World War III epics.
Urgh, all those holo novels. Most of them are just yet another front of WW3. Why can't we have something more recent?

I've heard Call of Honour might be about the Dominion War? That sounds like a great step forward!
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Old October 23 2013, 08:18 PM   #82
Christopher
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Cara007 wrote: View Post
If Trek is too Eurocentric then what would we call Lord of the Rings?
That's an oddly random comparison. LotR is a fantasy world that's clearly based in European culture. But ST is franchise that purports to depict a global, multicultural, unified Earth civilization of the future -- so its Eurocentric tendencies cause it to fall short of that aspiration.
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Old October 23 2013, 09:44 PM   #83
JeBuS
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

It's not Anglo-Centric enough.
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Old October 23 2013, 10:28 PM   #84
trash80
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Christopher wrote: View Post
They could've averted copyright issues by having the characters be fans of future entertainment works and genres. Well, their past, our future. What bugs me is how there's never any sign of human creativity from later than the year 2000, beyond the occasional holonovel or Jake Sisko's writing. Why is nobody a fan of literature or music from the 22nd century, say?
Yes i've thought this before, how hard would it have been to make up a band name or an author's name. Or maybe the TV writers were not allowed to?
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Old October 23 2013, 10:48 PM   #85
Christopher
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

trash80 wrote: View Post
Yes i've thought this before, how hard would it have been to make up a band name or an author's name. Or maybe the TV writers were not allowed to?
No reason why they wouldn't be. They made up Dixon Hill and Captain Proton and Janeway's Gothic holonovel, so nothing was stopping them from inventing in-universe works of fiction. They just didn't bother to create any from our own future because it didn't occur to them. (With the occasional rare exception like Flotter and Treevis.)
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Old October 23 2013, 11:02 PM   #86
trash80
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Curious lack of imagination then. Pity i'd have loved to have heard references to that well-known late 23rd century band Everest Moss and their brand of Andorian influenced folk rock.
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Old October 23 2013, 11:28 PM   #87
Elias Vaughn
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

You can't talk about 23rd century music and NOT mention T'Res and the Devotees of P'Jem. Every song was a flawless fusion of logic and freeform jazz!
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Old October 23 2013, 11:29 PM   #88
dansigal
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

There are probably other explanations than just a lack of imagination. My guess would be that writers often think it creates a connection that helps the audience relate to the characters. Oh, this person 300 years in the future likes jazz, I like jazz, humans must still be like we are today.
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Old October 24 2013, 12:02 AM   #89
trash80
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Elias Vaughn in a Mask wrote: View Post
You can't talk about 23rd century music and NOT mention T'Res and the Devotees of P'Jem. Every song was a flawless fusion of logic and freeform jazz!
I must admit i did have their Alpha Centauri concerts of 2287 in my holodeck playlist for awhile.

@ dansigal - yes those connections were good but they could have added a few future pop culture references too surely.
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Old October 24 2013, 12:05 AM   #90
Christopher
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

My frustration at the lack of future pop-culture references in Trek is why I made sure to put a number of them in my original novel Only Superhuman -- ranging from a kids' show called Annie Minute and the Time Trippers to Bollywood-produced "curry Westerns."
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