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Old January 20 2014, 03:59 AM   #76
JirinPanthosa
Commodore
 
Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Also, it was established in The Chase that a small vessel manned by one person can destroy the entire biosphere of a planet, and in By Inferno's Light that a small vessel manned by one person can supernova a star.

So why don't all wars last about five minutes?
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Old January 20 2014, 04:03 AM   #77
urbandefault
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
To be fair, the whole color-blind casting thing resists glib, one-size-fits all answers. There are legitimate historical reasons to object to "white-washing" non-white characters and to blackface and yellowface and a host of past abuses. Some sensitivity is required here, as well as a willingness to approach matters on a case by case basis.

But, yeah, people can take things too literally sometimes. Taken to an extreme, only Scots could play Macbeth, only Danes could play Hamlet, and only Austrians can play Maria Von Trapp . . . .

Don't laugh! I've seen fans argue in all seriousness that Wonder Woman has to be played by an actress of Greek descent and that Sherlock Holmes has to be played by a Brit and so on, which is being a bit too literal-minded for my tastes.

Actors pretend to be what they aren't. That's basically the job description.
And ...

Yeah, yeah, dude looks like a lady.

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Old January 20 2014, 04:32 AM   #78
Elder Knight
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Laurence Olivier did play Othello in a 1965 film (i.e., quite close to Trek TOS time). He didn't just rely on burnt cork, but had an elaborate facial with body makeup as well. He indulged in some bodybuilding, and adopted a unique voice for the roll.

This was "the greatest actor of his generation" choosing to add one of the greatest theatrical roles to his resume. This would have gotten by without a peep in earlier decades.

However, by then, sensibilities had changed, and there was a lot of controversy. I doubt that any Caucasian performer has assayed that role since. (One studio did use Peter Ustinov as Charlie Chan in 1981, and regretted it!)

Had Star Trek debuted a year or two later, they probably would have had to make accommodations.
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Old January 20 2014, 05:54 AM   #79
BigSnake
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Elder Knight wrote: View Post
Had Star Trek debuted a year or two later, they probably would have had to make accommodations.
Break me a give. It was momentous when the Trek franchise finally put a non-white in the big chair a quarter-century later.

White actors playing nonwhite roles became controversial because it was an expression of racism. Specifically the racist assumption that good God-fearing Americans didn't want dirty Indians and Negroes and what-have-you on their film and television screens. Therefore nonwhite actors were denied work in roles actually portraying their own cultures or were forced to work in ghettoes of largely negative and stereotypical roles. Those barriers began to collapse in the Sixties, but even now we're far from at the end of that process.

White actors do not suffer from any corresponding lack of representation or roles (except to the extent that there is still a paucity of good roles for women). Black actors are not being hired to portray negative stereotypes of whites. White actors are not being confined to portraying witless, expendable sidekicks or criminals or savages. It damages no-one that Idris Elba gets to play Heimdall; this is just another case of certain persons of pallor falsely imagining themselves to be victims of "racism" because other people are finally getting access to privileges they've always tacitly assumed to be rightfully theirs alone.

The idiotic babbling about "political correctness" always has to ignore extremely obvious, simple, plain facts like this.
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Old January 20 2014, 10:08 AM   #80
BobtheGunslinge
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
Can you imagine a production like Dances with Wolves with Hispanic actors playing the parts of the Lakota people because the director though the skin tones were good enough? How weird would that be?
Galaxy Quest had a pretty funny take on this. Tony Shaloub played an actor portraying a character named Chen. Later on he says his real name (the actor's) is Kwan.

Also, Moragan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption: "They call me Red. I guess it's on account of I'm Irish."
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Old January 20 2014, 01:42 PM   #81
Hazel
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

BigJake wrote: View Post
Elder Knight wrote: View Post
Had Star Trek debuted a year or two later, they probably would have had to make accommodations.
Break me a give. It was momentous when the Trek franchise finally put a non-white in the big chair a quarter-century later.

White actors playing nonwhite roles became controversial because it was an expression of racism. Specifically the racist assumption that good God-fearing Americans didn't want dirty Indians and Negroes and what-have-you on their film and television screens. Therefore nonwhite actors were denied work in roles actually portraying their own cultures or were forced to work in ghettoes of largely negative and stereotypical roles. Those barriers began to collapse in the Sixties, but even now we're far from at the end of that process.

White actors do not suffer from any corresponding lack of representation or roles (except to the extent that there is still a paucity of good roles for women). Black actors are not being hired to portray negative stereotypes of whites. White actors are not being confined to portraying witless, expendable sidekicks or criminals or savages. It damages no-one that Idris Elba gets to play Heimdall; this is just another case of certain persons of pallor falsely imagining themselves to be victims of "racism" because other people are finally getting access to privileges they've always tacitly assumed to be rightfully theirs alone.

The idiotic babbling about "political correctness" always has to ignore extremely obvious, simple, plain facts like this.
All of this exactly (I was going to post an explanation myself, but I'm way too fuzzy from a cold to be articulate.)

Also, 'political correctness' is a stupid argument. Without people forcing issues of representation and equal rights, things would never change.
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Old January 20 2014, 09:22 PM   #82
urbandefault
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

"Persons of pallor"? That's a new one.
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Old January 20 2014, 09:46 PM   #83
Shawnster
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

JiNX-01 wrote: View Post
Shawnster wrote: View Post
We, in this barbaric time of the 20th/21st century know to put in stairwells in addition to elevators. Why is there no stairs/ladders access on any of the starship bridges?
There were ladders in Star Trek.

The Naked Time





In Wrath of Kahn, Kirk used ladders to get to engineering.
And neither of those reached the bridge, which I did specify.
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Old January 20 2014, 09:58 PM   #84
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Political correctness was never about giving people equal rights, it's about censorship of language that is equal rights issues adjacent. In my experience, exposure to political correctness has led people to become more racist rather than less racist, and made them more resistant to actual social changes.

You're absolutely right that there are great inequities in the availability of roles today, and I agree that's a good reason not to give minority roles to white actors. (Besides the fact that the white guy who plays an Asian in Broken Blossoms by squinting looks really stupid doing so). But outside of a historical context where those cultural wounds are still so fresh, wouldn't you want to cast the actor who would carry the role best regardless of whether their demographic background is identical to that of the character?

This is an issue because of the social and income inequities of today. If a hundred years from now, the average black man has the same income and the same opportunities as the average white man, I doubt anybody will care about the race of individual casting decisions anymore.
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Old January 20 2014, 10:09 PM   #85
JD5000
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

BigJake wrote: View Post
Elder Knight wrote: View Post
Had Star Trek debuted a year or two later, they probably would have had to make accommodations.
Break me a give. It was momentous when the Trek franchise finally put a non-white in the big chair a quarter-century later.

White actors playing nonwhite roles became controversial because it was an expression of racism. Specifically the racist assumption that good God-fearing Americans didn't want dirty Indians and Negroes and what-have-you on their film and television screens. Therefore nonwhite actors were denied work in roles actually portraying their own cultures or were forced to work in ghettoes of largely negative and stereotypical roles. Those barriers began to collapse in the Sixties, but even now we're far from at the end of that process.

White actors do not suffer from any corresponding lack of representation or roles (except to the extent that there is still a paucity of good roles for women). Black actors are not being hired to portray negative stereotypes of whites. White actors are not being confined to portraying witless, expendable sidekicks or criminals or savages. It damages no-one that Idris Elba gets to play Heimdall; this is just another case of certain persons of pallor falsely imagining themselves to be victims of "racism" because other people are finally getting access to privileges they've always tacitly assumed to be rightfully theirs alone.

The idiotic babbling about "political correctness" always has to ignore extremely obvious, simple, plain facts like this.
Very well said, up until the last sentence.
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Old January 20 2014, 10:47 PM   #86
BigSnake
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
In my experience, exposure to political correctness
Agreed with Hazel that this is just a foolish term. It basically attempts to lump together justified censure of racism with unjustified overreach. (Hence my reference to "idiotic babbling" which JD5000 didn't care for, which is fair and I withdraw that -- it's just that this is a sufficiently irritating and aggressively clueless trope that my patience with it is really really thin.)

has led people to become more racist rather than less racist, and made them more resistant to actual social changes.
This I do not buy at all. More racist than when lynching was common practice and there were laws on the books against miscegenation? This is a standard excuse that bigots will advance for the persistence of their bigotry, which they know is shameful and is thus easier to blame on outside influences -- but it's a mistake to believe it. The truth is the reverse: what really moves the needle away from racism in practice is confronting and shaming it, not tiptoeing around it for fear of "political correctness."

But outside of a historical context where those cultural wounds are still so fresh, wouldn't you want to cast the actor who would carry the role best regardless of whether their demographic background is identical to that of the character?
The nice thing about casting actors from minorities for minority-specific roles is that they also usually happen to be best qualified to sell the role, and for non-specific roles it shouldn't matter and will be nice when it actually doesn't.
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Old January 20 2014, 11:18 PM   #87
Sam_I_Am
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Did Neelix, Kes, Spock, Kira, Odo etc learn English (or Standard) or was their speech constantly being translated? What about when they didn't wear a combadge?
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Old January 20 2014, 11:25 PM   #88
USS Triumphant
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Being politically correct within one's self and speech is just polite.

Enforcing your own standards for political correctness on others that aren't your responsibility (you can still choose your friends and guide your children) is unreasonable.

Now, another imponderable, for me: How do you allow a man who has had his mind copied into the Borg Collective just resume command of the Federation flagship?
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Old January 20 2014, 11:43 PM   #89
Hazel
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Well, it's not very polite to use language which is demeaning, offensive or prejudiced to others when there are plenty of other good words either. (I know you're not saying that, I'm just pointing out politeness goes both way)

Blaming 'political correctness' is just a way to build a strawman argument against getting rid of discriminatory language and behaviour. Despite what anti-'PC' folk say, no-one is actually going up to people who say 'manhole' instead of 'personhole'* and poppping them in the mouth. They're just saying slurs against sex, race and other factors are harmful.

*I've seen anti-PC people say that this kind of word-policing goes on. Never seen it myself, but even if one person is being ridiculous abut a word, why brand other all the people in a movement?
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Old January 20 2014, 11:54 PM   #90
USS Triumphant
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Hazel wrote: View Post
Despite what anti-'PC' folk say, no-one is actually going up to people who say 'manhole' instead of 'personhole'* and poppping them in the mouth.
I try to be polite and reasonably PC for my own part, but I have to say, I'd be pretty tempted to kick someone who said 'personhole' right in their personhole.
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