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Old March 10 2013, 02:50 AM   #1
Australis
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Why Star Trek Is Important

An autistic Dutch student has moved US talk show host Whoopi Goldberg to tears by telling her the story of how she unknowingly changed his life.


Goldberg appeared on the Dutch TV show College Tour yesterday, a TV program where students can ask guests any questions they want. But one audience member managed to catch the actress off guard."You’re always saying that your roles don’t have a big impact and I want to tell you that they have," the young man told Goldberg.
The student went on to tell Goldberg how discovering Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which The View host plays bartender Guinan, altered the course of his life
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/201...dberg-to-tears

I've always said Trek has a positive effect, and this is a great example.
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Old March 10 2013, 03:44 AM   #2
Finn
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

All because MLK Jr. told Nichelle to stay







I chuckled when I saw the screenshot of Guinan they decided to use in the background.
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Old March 10 2013, 04:00 AM   #3
yousirname
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

It's a nice story and all, but there's nothing much to it specific to Trek. Definitely shows how storytelling in general can be impactful, though.
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Old March 10 2013, 09:52 PM   #4
Arpy
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

Seriously, does anyone think Trek is nearly as progressive and inspiring as it has been?
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Old March 10 2013, 10:14 PM   #5
yousirname
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

I tend to think its progressiveness, though real, has been and is overplayed somewhat. Consider The Cage's Number One versus Nurse Chapel, for instance - now what might that have been? Or Turnabout Intruder. And no gays in canon as yet, AFAIK - Frakes shouted down over having a male play Soren in The Outcast, Goldberg having to insist on changing her lines in The Offspring, Andrew Robinson told to stop playing Garak as gay, ditto Dominic Keating.

Which isn't to say Trek's always shirked controversy - the much-vaunted Plato's Stepchildren, (which IIRC, in shooting order, wasn't even the first interracial kiss on Star Trek, never mind all TV), and Data's musings on the possible efficacy of terrorism in The High Ground. But I think a tendency to rest on past laurels has bred a degree of complacency where time and again, morally complex issues are foisted onto abjectly alien species to sugarcoat the intention - when audiences have by and large outgrown the need for such 'coding', except in some cases with regard to religious matters.

As for 'inspiring', well, there were a lot fewer shows and a lot fewer channels back then. My guess is that it was easier to stand out. Just an opinion.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:13 AM   #6
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

yousirname wrote: View Post
'coding'
Like those incredibly subtle dudes from Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:29 AM   #7
yousirname
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

Well, yeah. I mean, obviously that's the least subtle example ever, but still. You know what I mean. And I'm referring mostly to later incarnations in any case.
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Old March 11 2013, 04:28 AM   #8
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

The show did seem to be progressive about broad issues but not progressive about specific, current issues. It said that humanity could come together and get past all of its current failings, but it was not bold enough to push controversial issues before they went mainstream. And when it did it addressed them in an obvious pedantic way, like that environmentalism episode or Stigma. These episodes came out in a time when a majority of the audience already agreed with them, didn't say anything new or unsafe, and usually turned out among the worst episodes in the series.

It's probably best Star Trek didn't have a gay character though. I doubt any of those writers would have been able to write a gay characters and just have it be a part of his life rather than his entire life, and then every single time they did an episode about that character it'd be entirely about his sexual orientation. Especially on Voyager and Enterprise, any gay character would have had no other personality traits than 'The gay guy'.
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Old March 11 2013, 09:59 AM   #9
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

Arpy wrote: View Post
Seriously, does anyone think Trek is nearly as progressive and inspiring as it has been?
"As it has been" or "as it has been famously reputed to have been"?

I'm not sure how "nearly" fits into any of this in an objectively quantifiable manner, either.

Furthermore, Star Trek was inspiring to the degree of being historic, and that is objectively measurable, for example by considering the renaming of the Space Shuttle prototype, as just the first example that comes to mind.

If your question were:
"Was Star Trek as progressive as it has been famously reputed to have been?"
then, the answer would be, clearly:
"No."
Good enough examples of its failing in that regard have already been provided in thread.
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Old March 11 2013, 10:58 AM   #10
yousirname
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Re: Why Star Trek Is Important

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
It's probably best Star Trek didn't have a gay character though. I doubt any of those writers would have been able to write a gay characters and just have it be a part of his life rather than his entire life, and then every single time they did an episode about that character it'd be entirely about his sexual orientation. Especially on Voyager and Enterprise, any gay character would have had no other personality traits than 'The gay guy'.
I imagine if they'd sat down and said 'Let's write a gay dude' that's probably exactly what we'd have gotten, yeah. But from what I know, Andrew Robinson just showed up and started playing Garak that way unprompted. Imagine if they'd kept (what I assume to have been) their original plan for the character, and just rolled with Robinson's interpretation. That might even have been groundbreaking (I wouldn't really know, I'm no expert on TV history).
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