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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old May 7 2014, 06:34 PM   #1
patweb
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The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

The re-introduction of the Romulans is wrapped in a sub plot involving three 20th century humans found aboard a spacecraft near The Neutral Zone.

At one point, they awaken Claire Raymond. She states to the crew that she was a homemaker. To which Data replies, A Homemaker? Must be in construction...

Which got me to thinking. In every case of family aboard The Enterprise, both parents worked for Star Fleet. I can't think of any exceptions.

Also, everyone works. EVERYONE (hell they even put Wesley to work, lol).

What is most surprising. Data has all the knowledge of Star Fleet, can quote people and places far in the past, but was unknowledgeable of the role of a homemaker.

They also go on about how nobody wants for nothing in the 24th century, and everyone pursues their own goals to make humanity better. But where are the scholars, the artists, the philosophers?
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Old May 7 2014, 06:40 PM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

Words can fall in to and out of fashion, sure Data may have vast amounts of knowledge but that doesn't mean he knows everything. And a word which might have fallen out of use for three-hundred years might not have been loaded into his memory, or the word had become lost to time.
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Old May 7 2014, 06:48 PM   #3
Trekker4747
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

"Homemaker" is a pretty out-dated term even in our time. It's unlikely it'll survive to a point in the future where everyone is working and doing things to further humanity and even if there's some who choose to stay home to support and raise the children and house it's unlikely they're called a "homemaker."
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Old May 7 2014, 06:48 PM   #4
Smellincoffee
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

The scholars, artists, and philosophers all seem to be flying Starships.

With the technology they have, what 'housework' remains to be done, other than rearing children? There are no dishes to clean, because replicators vaporize them, and they produce the food. I wouldn't be surprised if children were largely raised by the state in 24th-century Earth, with children sent to nurseries and daycares shortly after birth. Parents would spend their days at work and children at school, presumably. I imagine most families consisted of one child, at least on Earth. In that case, "family" doesn't mean much: do it for a generation or two, and there are no cousins nor siblings for many, so the familial experience is just...sleeping in the same house as your parent(s).
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Old May 7 2014, 06:57 PM   #5
MacLeod
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
"Homemaker" is a pretty out-dated term even in our time. It's unlikely it'll survive to a point in the future where everyone is working and doing things to further humanity and even if there's some who choose to stay home to support and raise the children and house it's unlikely they're called a "homemaker."
And isn't it largely a USA term, whereother parts of the English speaking world might use the term Housewife/husband?
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Old May 7 2014, 07:51 PM   #6
patweb
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

Smellincoffee wrote: View Post
The scholars, artists, and philosophers all seem to be flying Starships.

With the technology they have, what 'housework' remains to be done, other than rearing children? There are no dishes to clean, because replicators vaporize them, and they produce the food. I wouldn't be surprised if children were largely raised by the state in 24th-century Earth, with children sent to nurseries and daycares shortly after birth. Parents would spend their days at work and children at school, presumably. I imagine most families consisted of one child, at least on Earth. In that case, "family" doesn't mean much: do it for a generation or two, and there are no cousins nor siblings for many, so the familial experience is just...sleeping in the same house as your parent(s).

EXACTLY!!! Rearing your own children is accomplished in Crèche's aboard ship. Both parents work... therefore 'homemaker' is redundant.
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Old May 7 2014, 08:41 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

Data is notorious for being a poor search engine: he's always spending extra seconds trying to understand a colloquialism. Or perhaps he is an excessively good search engine instead? Perhaps he studies and cross-compares the sixty thousand essays written on the meaning and etymology of "homemaker" and makes his own mental notes before saying "Ah. Intriguing. An old Earth term-"...

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Old May 7 2014, 08:50 PM   #8
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

Timo wrote: View Post
Data is notorious for being a poor search engine: he's always spending extra seconds trying to understand a colloquialism. Or perhaps he is an excessively good search engine instead? Perhaps he studies and cross-compares the sixty thousand essays written on the meaning and etymology of "homemaker" and makes his own mental notes before saying "Ah. Intriguing. An old Earth term-"...

Timo Saloniemi
I tend to assume the latter, that Data has a fantastic search engine, and just has too many options from which to choose his response.
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Old May 7 2014, 09:35 PM   #9
jimbotron
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

Season 1 loooooved to bash 20th century society, and this episode was no exception. Nothing was spared, even the nuclear family. There are no religions (except silly aliens), there are no politics (except silly aliens), there is no economy (except silly aliens), and humans aren't burdened by silly things like grief, ambition, lust, revenge, and subterfuge. The crew was so naive, even Riker expressed bewilderment at the concept of war in one episode. Roddenberry had his sights set on anything remotely interesting. Instead, the crew came off like children.

The banker guy was written as an asshole, the country singer as a buffoon, but the lady? She comes off as sympathetic. I wonder if they actually intended for her to come off as whiny and useless, contrasting against the 'perfect' 24th century person who does not feel grief when a loved one is gone.
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Old May 7 2014, 09:42 PM   #10
T'Girl
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

patweb wrote: View Post
The re-introduction of the Romulans is wrapped in a sub plot involving three 20th century humans ...
if anything, the primary story line was the one concerning the 20th century people aboad the Enterprise, with a minor sub plot involving the Romulans.

Data might have had a easier time with housewife or simply wife, when Picard married Miles and Keiko he referred to Keiko as "wife" at the end of the ceremony (iirc).

So that term does persist.

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Old May 7 2014, 10:10 PM   #11
JirinPanthosa
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

I don't see any of that as heralding the end of the nuclear family.

(Insert 'Family values...UNDER ATTACK' graphic here)

This idea that having two working parents makes you less attached to your family is ridiculous. It's not the state who raises the children, it's much more likely people from your local community and retired family members.

Will there be fewer children per family? Absolutely. But that's a natural consequence of odds of survival being much higher. Again, nothing to do with FAMILY VALUES UNDER ATTACK.

There was a survey that said mothers who worked were more likely to be open to having more children than mothers who stayed at home. You know why? Because when both parents work the man knows he has to pitch in equally to child-rearing, so the mothers who work know their husbands will be there to help. Having two working parents makes families closer together, not farther, because that way both parents are constantly making sacrifices to help each other and neither is only staying with the other out of financial dependency or social obligation like it was for most of the history of mankind.

If anything the 24th century Star Trek world promotes family values. Families are posted together on starships because they think it's more important for families to be near each other than to keep the children farther away from danger.

Where are the scholars, artists, philosophers? On Earth, of course, being inspired by the beautiful clean air of Beijing, and the beautiful safe streets of Central Africa.
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Old May 8 2014, 12:27 AM   #12
patweb
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

Another observation from that episode is that STARFLEET's FLAGSHIP has a security officer but ZERO actual security. Anyone can manipulate any device they want without even a simple code. Talk about naïve. Demanding a man off the bridge, how did he get there in the first place? Dumb computer and FIRE WORF.



Also, did anyone ACTUALLY RETIRE from Star Fleet?
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Old May 8 2014, 12:32 AM   #13
Trekker4747
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

patweb wrote: View Post
Another observation from that episode is that STARFLEET's FLAGSHIP has a security officer but ZERO actual security. Anyone can manipulate any device they want without even a simple code. Talk about naïve. Demanding a man off the bridge, how did he get there in the first place? Dumb computer and FIRE WORF.
As Picard said, "We're all more than capable of controlling ourselves." They don't need security on devices or access to the bridge or other sensitive areas because it's assumed everyone on the ship is capable of knowing where they should and should not be. There are times when we see security placed (or told to be) in sensitive areas or to watch guests but usually this is when untrusted alien visitors are on the ship.

Picard had little reason to restrict the movements of the 20th/21st century humans. He assumed they could behave. By and large he was right considering 2/3s of the group were more than capable of controlling themselves.
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Old May 8 2014, 12:35 AM   #14
jimbotron
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

patweb wrote: View Post
Another observation from that episode is that STARFLEET's FLAGSHIP has a security officer but ZERO actual security. Anyone can manipulate any device they want without even a simple code. Talk about naïve. Demanding a man off the bridge, how did he get there in the first place? Dumb computer and FIRE WORF.
He had just gotten the job too. Isn't there a probation period or something?
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Old May 8 2014, 12:40 AM   #15
jimbotron
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Re: The Neutral Zone, end of the Family unit?

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
As Picard said, "We're all more than capable of controlling ourselves." They don't need security on devices or access to the bridge or other sensitive areas because it's assumed everyone on the ship is capable of knowing where they should and should not be. There are times when we see security placed (or told to be) in sensitive areas or to watch guests but usually this is when untrusted alien visitors are on the ship.
Again, more Roddenberry utopian bullshit. Malice doesn't exist in the 24th century, at least not with humans.

Previously in Lonely Among Us, engineer Singh turns up dead. They immediately rule out any member of the crew as the culprit. Under what basis? Oh right, humans are incapable of murder in the 24th century. But then there are aliens in Starfleet too, so not only are humans perfect, but so is every other species that joins Starfleet too.
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