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Old August 19 2008, 05:31 PM   #46
TerriO
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

I was merely pointing out that the defenses here seemed to be coming primarily from the men, Cicero, not that he was only likeable to men. And wondering how many of those men might be exhibiting a bit of childhood hero worship.

It was the 60s. If you remember them, you weren't there. Still, all you have to do is look around to see people basing perceptions of people on stories they've heard about them. It happens all the time. It's human nature. Not saying there's anything right or wrong about the behavior, just that it exists.

And I've seen enough TOS to know that I find Kirk completely unlikeable. That's why I refused to write the character on more than one occasion. Didn't want my dislike to come out in the prose.

But that doesn't change the fact that others don't share that opinion.

As I said, "likability" is a thoroughly subjective term.

And Jesus Christ. I'd want a man tested for every STD in the book if I knew he had a back catalog like that, Christopher. But for you that's just fine? Whatever floats your boat, buddy. Anyone who knows me knows I'm hardly a prude, but if giving in whenever a woman comes on to you is considered heroic behavior, except in those rare occasions when it might interfere with whatever your duty happens to be, that just....was the 60s. Nowadays, the phrase "easier than 1-2-3" comes to mind.
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Old August 19 2008, 06:03 PM   #47
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

KRAD wrote: View Post
This is probably a good place to mention the article I just turned in to Paul Simpson last week for Star Trek: The Magazine that explodes the myth of Jim Kirk as a maverick, a reputation whose primary basis is on the extraordinary circumstances of The Search for Spock, but has very little evidence to support it outside of situations where his best friend's life was at stake.
I'm amazed that some of these myths continue - but that's part of the reason for running the series of "myth dispelling" articles that we've been doing. David R. George III comprehensively destroyed the Kirk the Womanizer idea, the "emotionless" Spock and the Cowboy Diplomacy set up over the past few months, and KRAD's piece he refers to above admits to Amok Time being an exception.

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Old August 19 2008, 06:17 PM   #48
William Leisner
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

PaulSimpson wrote: View Post
I'm amazed that some of these myths continue
Perhaps because the evidence of the actual episodes contradicts the "dispelling". I mean, how many women do you have to "fall sincerely in love with" -- for an hour -- before you can be called a womanizer, for pity's sake?
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Old August 19 2008, 06:29 PM   #49
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

William Leisner wrote: View Post
PaulSimpson wrote: View Post
I'm amazed that some of these myths continue
Perhaps because the evidence of the actual episodes contradicts the "dispelling". I mean, how many women do you have to "fall sincerely in love with" -- for an hour -- before you can be called a womanizer, for pity's sake?
Before DRG jumps in, I'd say that the dispelling deals exactly with that point, Bill - but wanna write a rebuttal of the rebuttal?

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Old August 19 2008, 06:30 PM   #50
KRAD
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

William Leisner wrote: View Post
how many women do you have to "fall sincerely in love with" -- for an hour
Well, the running theme of the entire third season was people finding their soul mate in 45 minutes or less. Spock with the Romulan Commander, Kirk with Miramanee, McCoy with Natira, etc.
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Old August 19 2008, 06:34 PM   #51
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

With all respect to DRG3, I didn't entirely buy his argument, either. One of my favorite lines from the first season was McCoy's to Areel Shaw in "Court Martial": "All my old friends look like doctors. All Jim's old friends look like you."
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Old August 19 2008, 06:36 PM   #52
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

KRAD wrote: View Post
With all respect to DRG3, I didn't entirely buy his argument, either. One of my favorite lines from the first season was McCoy's to Areel Shaw in "Court Martial": "All my old friends look like doctors. All Jim's old friends look like you."
You know, part of the idea of these articles was to provoke debate... shame it's taken getting on for a year to get there!!
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Old August 19 2008, 06:48 PM   #53
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

TerriO wrote: View Post
And Jesus Christ. I'd want a man tested for every STD in the book if I knew he had a back catalog like that, Christopher. But for you that's just fine?
Come on. I explicitly said I don't think that's just fine, not the way you're insinuating. You're twisting my words just as badly as you're twisting Kirk's behavior.

And please follow the link I posted in my initial response to Andrew. In fact, Kirk had only about four confirmed and three or four likely sexual encounters over the course of 79 episodes, with the rest being flirtations and unconsummated romances. What you're condemning is a fiction, a caricature that isn't supported by solid fact. What I'm defending is the real Jim Kirk who's nothing like that caricature. If he were the kind of man you claim, I'd hold him in contempt too. But he isn't.
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Old August 19 2008, 07:04 PM   #54
William Leisner
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

PaulSimpson wrote: View Post
You know, part of the idea of these articles was to provoke debate... shame it's taken getting on for a year to get there!!
David and I did have a little back-and-forth here at the time.

As for rebutting the rebuttal... why not; how hard could it be?
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Old August 19 2008, 07:09 PM   #55
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

William Leisner wrote: View Post
PaulSimpson wrote: View Post
You know, part of the idea of these articles was to provoke debate... shame it's taken getting on for a year to get there!!
David and I did have a little back-and-forth here at the time.

As for rebutting the rebuttal... why not; how hard could it be?
We currently have a half page given over to the Letters. It's hitting a whole page this issue because of the Experience closing... Some mass debate would be great...!!
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Old August 19 2008, 07:26 PM   #56
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

TerriO wrote: View Post
I was merely pointing out that the defenses here seemed to be coming primarily from the men, Cicero, not that he was only likeable to men. And wondering how many of those men might be exhibiting a bit of childhood hero worship. (...) And Jesus Christ. I'd want a man tested for every STD in the book if I knew he had a back catalog like that, Christopher. (...) Nowadays, the phrase "easier than 1-2-3" comes to mind.
Well, I am male, but I'm a child of the eighties and never liked TOS anyway, so Kirk is certainly not a childhood hero, or a character I care for generally. But I have no problem, in vacuo, with a character who is sexually active or otherwise exhibits a hedonistic tendency, as long as it doesn't interfere with his or her responsibilities. Nor do I subscribe to Moral Majority talking points about the sexually active being 'unclean', or deficient in character for enjoying the physical company of other consenting adults.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old August 19 2008, 07:50 PM   #57
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

Jim Kirk never pushed himself on an unwilling or reluctant woman; in fact, it was more often the reverse. The only times he tried anything of the sort were in the line of duty, such as trying to seduce Kelinda or distract Miranda Jones. In the first case, he totally struck out and walked away with a bruised ego, but Kelinda then took considerable pleasure in making out with every warm-blooded male she could get her hands on. In the second case, Miranda caught onto his rather blatant ruse and he got essentially nowhere.

If anything, painting Kirk as an exploiter of women is an insult to the women, because it reduces them to passive victims when in fact many or most of them were the ones taking the initiative, going after him because they desired him or had other agendas of their own that they were serving.

The only exceptions were in the second season. Technically, he was taking advantage of Marlena Moreau by pretending to be her lover when actually he wasn't, but that could again be interpreted as doing his duty (requiring him to keep his true identity hidden). And he really shouldn't have slept with Drusilla the slave girl no matter how aggressively she offered herself; as a slave, she had no actual ability to give consent. Frankly I think he was out of character there -- too much Roddenberrian self-indulgence in that one. (Although Kirk did at least try to show respect for her wishes and freedom of choice at first, so he gets a point for that, but points off for not following through.) But there were plenty of other '60s action heroes who would've done the same, and far more often than Kirk ever did. Okay, by today's standards, some of his behavior was inappropriate. But as '60s TV heroes go, he was a paragon of sensitivity.
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Old August 19 2008, 08:03 PM   #58
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

KRAD wrote: View Post
This is probably a good place to mention the article I just turned in to Paul Simpson last week for Star Trek: The Magazine that explodes the myth of Jim Kirk as a maverick, a reputation whose primary basis is on the extraordinary circumstances of The Search for Spock, but has very little evidence to support it outside of situations where his best friend's life was at stake.
I haven't read the article (obviously), but does it address the fact that Kirk's reputation as a maverick, like his reputation as a womaniser, is a canonical one?

I don't mean in a "supported by the evidence" sense, but rather in a "stated by the characters" sense. Inaccurate and/or simplistic though they may be, the reputations themselves exist in that universe.

Both of them get a mention in "Trials and Tribble-ations" ("the man was a menace," according to Dulmer and Lucsly, while Sisko notes that he "had quite the reputation as a ladies' man"), and since Star Trek VI has been mentioned, Chang said he had "a history of violating the chain of command whenever it suited him."

Simplistic interpretations of public figures happen all the time, so I'm not saying those people are correct, but I thought it was worth noting that this perception of Kirk isn't limited to those who haven't met him.
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Old August 19 2008, 08:13 PM   #59
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

That's an interesting point. Since we are only privy to select adventures of these characters, mere glimpses into the fictive universe when we get right down to it, perhaps those who reside there know something that we don't? Might have Kirk acquired these reputations off-screen, as it were, either at the Academy or coming up the ranks, only to mellow (or rein himself in) with the responsibility of captaining a starship?

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Old August 19 2008, 09:15 PM   #60
ClayinCA
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Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

TerriO wrote: View Post
I've seen enough TOS to know that I find Kirk completely unlikeable. That's why I refused to write the character on more than one occasion. Didn't want my dislike to come out in the prose.
I remember being at a Shore Leave years and years ago when (I think it was) Ann Crispin mentioned that she'd never liked Kirk very much. I was astounded, because it never came through in any of her books.
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