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Old November 18 2011, 11:43 PM   #76
7thsealord
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

To borrow a phrase, "The Prime Directive Is NOT A Suicide Pact."
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Old November 19 2011, 12:21 AM   #77
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

7THSEALORD - Can you expand upon that?, I would like hear more on that perspective.

Thanks.
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Old November 19 2011, 02:26 AM   #78
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

I am late to the party.

Commodore Stone is made out to be evil, upstream. He wasn't going to ignore Kirk's actions. Discipline him, but quietly. Just no trial. Every other captain would still be served notice - screw up and lose your command.

Loyalty is less valued nowadays (at least in how many people talk) than strict adherence to policies (i.e., have the court martial). But, loyalty is very important.

2. Kirk and the PD are fleshed out in other threads, and if I recall, it is always or almost always a) to undo someone else's damage (Gill) or because the Ent is threatened (Apple, Armageddon). He tampers with Sandoval and Leila's Paradise, but that is a Fed colony, not an independent pre-warp culture. Just sticking up for my favorite hero.
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Old November 19 2011, 10:33 AM   #79
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

Captain Tracy wrote: View Post
7THSEALORD - Can you expand upon that?, I would like hear more on that perspective.

Thanks.
If following the Prime Directive means being passive-aggressive stupid - to the extent of allowing the rest of the Galaxy to ride roughshod over you - then you have a serious problem.

Principles are good, important to both individuals and cultures. But they are not all that is needed - no person or culture has ever survived genuine danger just by being principled or nice. They survive by being smart, or strong, or adaptable, or sometimes just plain lucky. Especially (but not only) in war.
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Old November 19 2011, 06:41 PM   #80
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

7thsealord wrote: View Post
Captain Tracy wrote: View Post
7THSEALORD - Can you expand upon that?, I would like hear more on that perspective.

Thanks.
If following the Prime Directive means being passive-aggressive stupid - to the extent of allowing the rest of the Galaxy to ride roughshod over you - then you have a serious problem.

Principles are good, important to both individuals and cultures. But they are not all that is needed - no person or culture has ever survived genuine danger just by being principled or nice. They survive by being smart, or strong, or adaptable, or sometimes just plain lucky. Especially (but not only) in war.
The point of a principle (the idea that "princes" or rules over others in your worldview) is that you follow it regardless, even if it leads to destruction. Even as a Federation. The collaborating captain (Merrick?) in Bread and Circuses alludes to this - a Captain would rather see his ship destroyed than violate the PD. Kirk doesn't think this way, of course (and neither would I, I believe) - when ship is in danger, you survive first, worry about PD later.

Picard would probably view it more as a "principle" but I'm not a TNG expert.
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Old November 20 2011, 12:54 AM   #81
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

7thsealord wrote: View Post
Captain Tracy wrote: View Post
7THSEALORD - Can you expand upon that?, I would like hear more on that perspective.

Thanks.
If following the Prime Directive means being passive-aggressive stupid - to the extent of allowing the rest of the Galaxy to ride roughshod over you - then you have a serious problem.

Principles are good, important to both individuals and cultures. But they are not all that is needed - no person or culture has ever survived genuine danger just by being principled or nice. They survive by being smart, or strong, or adaptable, or sometimes just plain lucky. Especially (but not only) in war.
7THSEALORD - Another outstandingly lucid post, yet again.

HOWEVER, where I have a philosophical difficulty is that in the vast majority of cases, the difference is that the representatives of the UFP, being in this case its SFC arm, act as INVADERS and AGGRESSORS.

Case-in-Point:

In the episode, 'Specter of the Gun', operating under direct orders from SFC to establish initial contact and establish communications with an Alien culture, who's location is apparently of importance only to the UFP.

Upon reaching a deep-space territorial boarder, a warning buoy establishes contact with the Starship and informs same that their culture/government has no interest in, and will not engage in communications, or having its, until then, peaceful boards violated by invaders.

So what happens?

The Starship drives AROUND the buoy, and invades.

Once that line is crossed, sad to say, the UFP becomes the transgressing invader of the story.

AND SHOULD BE DEALT WITH SUMMARILY.

To often we have seen situations portrayed which in our World would be like:

A guy who flies across the world to your locale airport, drives across town, parks his car in the driveway at your house,...

and when you return home, being blocked out,... you tell him to get off your property, he then punches you in the nose, and, as his boss told him to do park in your driveway, and besides you didn't cut your grass on Saturday like everyone where he comes from.

So the only guy that is actually justified in this story would be you in beating the tar out of the INVADING TRESPASSER.

So for the guy who is illegally on your property to then start mouthing off about his Foreign Governments Constitution, after he has invaded you, beat you up, and told you to wash your dirty dishes, and take down that ugly velvet Elvis painting in your living room, is just too much.


Watch that teaser of 'Specter', and see yourself as the folks living out in deep space, not wanting, asking, or NEEDING anything to do with the UFP, and have the right and power to defend themselves against such violators of THEIR RIGHTS.

So,... while I totaly agree with your post, it is provided WE are not the ones FIRST Trespassing, and then becoming the Invading Villian.

and if one trespasses and then acts against those he trespassed against,.. he is but a CRIMINAL.

Dr. Zaus to Taylor: YOU are the infection.

Anyway, that is the part I cannot get around.
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Old November 20 2011, 12:58 AM   #82
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

plynch wrote: View Post
I am late to the party.
Hey there PLYNCH. Welcome to the party LOL!

Tonight we are serving UFP:SFC Morality and Ethics under glass. LOL!
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Old November 20 2011, 12:33 PM   #83
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

Simple observation: ANY discussion of Kirk has the potential to slide over into the whole Prime Directive thing, which is undoubtedly a popular subject around here anyhow.

Sorry, Cap'n T, I find your 'Spectre Of The Gun' analogy to be bizarre and almost incomprehensible. As best I recall (and it isn't like this is an episode I enjoy watching repeatedly), Kirk did not actually punch anyone in the nose nor did he wave anybody's Constitution in anybody else's face. I do recall that the Melkotians eventually chose to talk wth Kirk and, after hearing what he had to say, said they were willing to talk further with the Federation.

If Kirk was the guy who was illegally parked, then the Melkotians are the nutjobs who responded by trying to murder him on sight - without even pretending to hear him out first - and calling it a justifiable execution. Only when the whole execution thing fell apart did the Melkotians actually try hearing him out. OTOH, maybe this whole shebang was merely the Melkotian way of screening visitors. Be assured that anyone who gets through all that probably has something important to say.

Counter-analogy. I don't know if this was the actual case, but see nothing against it as an explanation either. Would certainly explain why SFC was so hell-bent on establishing communications no matter what.

Suppose a previously uncommunicative (and possibly unknown) alien race suddenly and arbitrarily imposes a "No-Go Zone" in a specific volume of space previously thought of as unclaimed and/or only used by you. This causes problems. Maybe this annexation blocks important trade routes, or interferes with Star Fleet movements to/from a particular frontier, or whatever.

They don't respond to any messages from you, and you don't know anyone else they might talk to who could act as a go-between. So, do you suffer in noble and principled silence, or do you respond with immediate all-out war, or do you send in someone to at least try and open polite dialogue with these guys?

Don't answer straight away.

Last edited by 7thsealord; November 20 2011 at 02:41 PM.
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Old November 20 2011, 01:00 PM   #84
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

plynch wrote: View Post
7thsealord wrote: View Post
Captain Tracy wrote: View Post
7THSEALORD - Can you expand upon that?, I would like hear more on that perspective.

Thanks.
If following the Prime Directive means being passive-aggressive stupid - to the extent of allowing the rest of the Galaxy to ride roughshod over you - then you have a serious problem.

Principles are good, important to both individuals and cultures. But they are not all that is needed - no person or culture has ever survived genuine danger just by being principled or nice. They survive by being smart, or strong, or adaptable, or sometimes just plain lucky. Especially (but not only) in war.
The point of a principle (the idea that "princes" or rules over others in your worldview) is that you follow it regardless, even if it leads to destruction. Even as a Federation. The collaborating captain (Merrick?) in Bread and Circuses alludes to this - a Captain would rather see his ship destroyed than violate the PD. Kirk doesn't think this way, of course (and neither would I, I believe) - when ship is in danger, you survive first, worry about PD later.

Picard would probably view it more as a "principle" but I'm not a TNG expert.
One thing I keep in mind is this - 'No matter how perfect a principle, creed, law or system might be; its original intent can still be horribly f####d up by over-rigid interpretation and/or sheer smegheadedness.'

Im other words: Be flexible, because no matter how much you will kid yourself otherwise, exceptions exist for pretty much everything.

'Not killing' can also be considered a principle (Kirk's "I shall not kill - today..." speech is one of his best, IMO). There are people who are determined not to kill no matter what, and I do respect them for that.
But, for me, if it was ever a choice (Ghod forbid) between saving a loved one or taking the life of the person trying to harm them ..... I would do what was necessary - and daresay I would lose very little sleep about it afterwards.

Honesty is another admirable principle, but how rigidly do most of us follow that? Me, I have always held that Honesty Is Not Invariably The Best Policy. There are times when telling the entire unadorned truth benefits no one, and may even cause more harm than good. Believe me, I know this well from a personal family experience that I will not discuss here.

In short, there are times when you just have to say "#### The Rules. In this case, they are WRONG."
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Old November 20 2011, 01:26 PM   #85
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

This week I was reading a Best of Peter David TREK reprint comic which contained a three-part adventure co-written by Billy Mumy. It's a fairly obvious homage to some of the LOST IN SPACE characters, though here they are mostly blue-skinned aliens. At a key moment they express shock and disbelief at Kirk and the ENTERPRISE crew when Kirk reluctantly explains the Prime Directive on occasion prevents entire world populations from being saved by themselves....
Charon would likely be the best case of this, even if they had reached it time. And of course the PRIVATE LITTLE WAR planet.....
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Old November 20 2011, 08:42 PM   #86
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

7thsealord wrote: View Post
plynch wrote: View Post
7thsealord wrote: View Post

If following the Prime Directive means being passive-aggressive stupid - to the extent of allowing the rest of the Galaxy to ride roughshod over you - then you have a serious problem.

Principles are good, important to both individuals and cultures. But they are not all that is needed - no person or culture has ever survived genuine danger just by being principled or nice. They survive by being smart, or strong, or adaptable, or sometimes just plain lucky. Especially (but not only) in war.
The point of a principle (the idea that "princes" or rules over others in your worldview) is that you follow it regardless, even if it leads to destruction. Even as a Federation. The collaborating captain (Merrick?) in Bread and Circuses alludes to this - a Captain would rather see his ship destroyed than violate the PD. Kirk doesn't think this way, of course (and neither would I, I believe) - when ship is in danger, you survive first, worry about PD later.

Picard would probably view it more as a "principle" but I'm not a TNG expert.
One thing I keep in mind is this - 'No matter how perfect a principle, creed, law or system might be; its original intent can still be horribly f####d up by over-rigid interpretation and/or sheer smegheadedness.'

Im other words: Be flexible, because no matter how much you will kid yourself otherwise, exceptions exist for pretty much everything.

'Not killing' can also be considered a principle (Kirk's "I shall not kill - today..." speech is one of his best, IMO). There are people who are determined not to kill no matter what, and I do respect them for that.
But, for me, if it was ever a choice (Ghod forbid) between saving a loved one or taking the life of the person trying to harm them ..... I would do what was necessary - and daresay I would lose very little sleep about it afterwards.

Honesty is another admirable principle, but how rigidly do most of us follow that? Me, I have always held that Honesty Is Not Invariably The Best Policy. There are times when telling the entire unadorned truth benefits no one, and may even cause more harm than good. Believe me, I know this well from a personal family experience that I will not discuss here.

In short, there are times when you just have to say "#### The Rules. In this case, they are WRONG."
There are, of course, those who would disagree. Some might admire someone going down, because of sticking to some principle. The quarterback of Yale missed his Rhodes scholarship interview because "team" came first. He might have said, "Screw the principle of "team first," I need to do this for me."

Of course when you choose not to follow a rule, you're choosing a different one. Kirk chooses survival of Enterprise over noninterference. Frankly, I have no problem with that. But they shouldn't tout the PD as holy writ if survival trumps it.

What was the originak topic, by the way?
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Old November 20 2011, 10:17 PM   #87
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

7thsealord wrote: View Post
In short, there are times when you just have to say "#### The Rules. In this case, they are WRONG."
7THSEALORD - Please excuse any difficulties you may have experienced with the 'Driveway' analogy; it was set up as a composite example, of all the actions and attitudes - being in direct conflict with their espoused virtues - demonstrated repeatedly when the Enterprise was, yet again, in the role of Trespassing Invader.

Perhaps the clearest way to express my personal view would be to simply say it this way:

If a body has chosen to operate as an

Imperialist/Expansionist manner,... then at least be an

HONEST Imperialist/Expansionist.


I can find no honor or merit, in such acts which attempt to justify their actions by hiding behind some sort of negotiable morality, variable code-of-ethics, and adjustable set of principles and vacillating honesty.

If one is an Imperialist/Expansionist, then do so as

Genghis Khan,... he was honest about it, and then the 'rules' are never in conflict.

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Old November 20 2011, 11:53 PM   #88
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

Captain Tracy wrote: View Post
7thsealord wrote: View Post
In short, there are times when you just have to say "#### The Rules. In this case, they are WRONG."
7THSEALORD - Please excuse any difficulties you may have experienced with the 'Driveway' analogy; it was set up as a composite example, of all the actions and attitudes - being in direct conflict with their espoused virtues - demonstrated repeatedly when the Enterprise was, yet again, in the role of Trespassing Invader.

Perhaps the clearest way to express my personal view would be to simply say it this way:

If a body has chosen to operate as an

Imperialist/Expansionist manner,... then at least be an

HONEST Imperialist/Expansionist.


I can find no honor or merit, in such acts which attempt to justify their actions by hiding behind some sort of negotiable morality, variable code-of-ethics, and adjustable set of principles and vacillating honesty.

If one is an Imperialist/Expansionist, then do so as

Genghis Khan,... he was honest about it, and then the 'rules' are never in conflict.

Pardon me, Cap'n T, but I was thinking in terms of following higher codes of morals and ethics that specific rules may not cover. Not shedding all pretense of restraint because it is convenient. Refer my previous two posts.

"Interferance Is Wrong." Nice, easy, simple, no thinking required.. But simple EXISTANCE could (and does) very easily lead to interference in other cultures. On that basis, should the entire United Federation of Planets commit mass suicide? Or maybe it would be enough for all members to just give up entirely on starflight, retire to their respective star systems, and take up navel-gazing instead?

Seen where that last often leads in Trek (and a few other SF shows I can think of) - "superior" races who spend their time saying how superior they are and, when it comes to actually DOING something, are total a##h###s.

Last edited by 7thsealord; November 21 2011 at 12:19 AM.
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Old November 21 2011, 01:55 AM   #89
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

7thsealord wrote: View Post
"Interferance Is Wrong." Nice, easy, simple, no thinking required.. But simple EXISTANCE could (and does) very easily lead to interference in other cultures.

On that basis, should the entire United Federation of Planets commit mass suicide? Or maybe it would be enough for all members to just give up entirely on starflight, retire to their respective star systems, and take up navel-gazing instead?

Seen where that last often leads in Trek (and a few other SF shows I can think of) - "superior" races who spend their time saying how superior they are and, when it comes to actually DOING something, are total a##h###s.
7THSEALORD - No, the UFP:SFC should not retire or commit suicide.

However, THEY SHOULD, at the moment(s) they choose to become Trespassing Invaders - again cite: Specter of the Gun - they should have done so HONESTLY, and perhaps painted a War-Bird on the secondary hull of the ENTERPRISE, torn up the Bill of Rights, and had the entire crew paste on 'Ming the Merciless" moustaches.

At least it would have been Honest.

Also, I want to point out that once a civil and free democratic society adopts and operates under the inverted-morale philosophy of:

"OUR MEANS ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE END"

,.. is no longer free, civil, or a Democracy.
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Old November 21 2011, 02:31 AM   #90
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

*Sigh* If you refer to one of my previous posts, you may note that I present a very different interpretation of events in 'Spectre Of The Gun'. I also think I make a fair-ish case for certain eps ('The Apple" , 'Return Of The Archons') not being full-on PD violations, since there were things involved that could deliberately BRING DOWN frackin' starships.

In general, I attribute a lot of .... stuff that happened in TOS to lazy/rushed writing, and trying to satisfactorily squeeze all of it into the exact same continuity hasn't happened yet, nor is it ever likely to. All things considered, it may have been much better if the PD was originally phrased (and maintained) as a SOP rather than a Biblical Commandment, but there ya go.

I choose to take the Federation at face value - a very optimistic vision of the future. If people wish to label it Expansionist Imperialist or socialist or a metaphor for sex or whatever, that is fine - but it doesn't do a thing for me.
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