Anybody else dislikes Genghis Khan from Savage Curtain

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Ain Jalut, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Ain Jalut

    Ain Jalut Lieutenant

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    Not necessarily the character. The way he looks:

    [​IMG]

    As far as i know that's not how he looks in his well known portraits and he also looks way less imposing thanin let's say Mongol, one of his recent visual biographies. They really went with the tiny scary asian stereotype.
    Genghis from Serge Bodrov's Mongol:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, whenever I hear or read "Genghis Khan" I think of him looking like this-

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What character? "Curtain"'s version of Genghis is a mute henchman. He's not a character, he's a prop. And yes, I dislike that intensely. It's terribly racist. The historical Genghis Khan was one of the most accomplished military and political leaders in the history of the world. He built the largest, most enduring land-based empire the pre-industrial world ever saw. And despite his Western reputation as nothing but a berserk killer, he was actually an accomplished coalition-builder, known for his tolerance and inclusiveness. An accurate version of Genghis would've been the leader of his team, not a lackey to Col. Green, and Kirk and Spock probably wouldn't have stood a chance against him.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But that's missing the mark rather widely. Kirk's adversaries in that game were all supposed to be stereotypes. That was the very thing the Excalbians were hoping to dig out of Kirk's memories, and if they succeeded with Genghis, congratulations to them. Although it's not unexpected, as Kirk isn't a great scholar of history (beyond the 19th century United States, and even there stereotypes abound).

    "Lincoln" isn't a great likeness of Lincoln there, either, nor a halfway accurate portrayal. And he's not supposed to be. Kirk would have seen much more Lincoln fiction than Lincoln documentation in his life, so it's quite a wonder the simulation doesn't actually look like Daniel Day-Lewis or perhaps Robert Marsden...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I wonder what the Excalbians really learned from their staged battle between "good" and "evil". I'm no psychologist, but if I understand the field at all, the experimenter doesn't tell the subject what the test is really about - that would taint the results!

    Let's look at the examples of "evil" pulled from Kirk and Spock's minds.

    Genghis Khan, an example of a nasty, cruel conqueror (in Kirk's mind at least, if not in reality [who can be an expert in all things?]).
    Colonel Green, a fanatic despot from the 21st century.
    Kahless, a leader of the Klingon Empire.
    Zora, a "mad scientist" type.

    And the "good" examples -

    "Honest Abe" Lincoln, a freer of slaves and defender of freedom.
    Surak, a proponent of logic over emotion.

    And then there are Kirk and Spock. Why are they on the "good" side? Why weren't two more illusions of good included? The Excalbian automatically cast Kirk and Spock as "good" guys, yet they claim to not really grasp the distinction between good and evil. Why not side Kirk and Spock with Genghis Khan and Colonel Green against Zora, Kahless, Lincoln, and Surak (or any other combination)?

    Clearly, something else is being investigated in this faux-contest.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Maybe it was really just an Excalbian reality show. If you can call that reality.

    The fact is, it's a pretty lame episode. It's mainly noteworthy for introducing Surak and Kahless, both of whom have been better handled in later works. (Col. Green was mentioned and briefly glimpsed in ENT's final 2-parter, but not heavily featured.)
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the real world reason, of course is because it eliminates the need for two more guest stars which helps the episode come in under budget.
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And would have had a part in the Augments arc, before they re-wrote it and created Arik Soong in his place. They even made a flag for Green. But the only time that flag was ever shown was in "In a Mirror, Darkly".
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    So, you're saying he doesn't look like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Pondwater

    Pondwater Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What do you expect from a perception from a Excalibain (Yarnek) that looks like a pile of... ummm...trash bags.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Except Yarnek took the images of these historical figures from Kirk's and Spock's minds. Clearly both of them have huge gaps in their knowledge of Earth history. (And not just Earth history. It's rather hard to believe that Kirk had never before heard of Surak.)
     
  12. Ain Jalut

    Ain Jalut Lieutenant

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    He was a nasty, tough conqueror who realised at the end of his life that civilisation has some value. A product of his age and all of that but i doubt he was not a nice guy.

    Large, yes, but it splinterred into smaller states fairly quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  13. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Oh absolutely! Party on, dude :D
     
  14. Infern0

    Infern0 Captain Captain

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    First thing i thought of :rommie::bolian:
     
  15. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    "Team Evil" isn't really a Team Evil as long as Hitler and Khan aren't invited. :P
     
  16. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    So did Alexander the Great's, but he's not considered evil.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But those smaller states endured for centuries and preserved a lot of what the Mongol Empire had initiated. Collectively, they certainly lasted longer than most of the remnants of Alexander's empire.

    Heck, it's ethnocentric to classify Genghis as "evil" in the first place. Basically the only difference between him and Alexander the Great is that Genghis was far more successful. They were both equally ruthless to their enemies and equally benevolent and tolerant toward those who accepted their rule. Genghis united his own people's warring factions and made peace among them. Like most great rulers from history, he has both good and evil in his ledger.

    As for Khan Noonien Singh, we already know from "Space Seed" that Kirk didn't consider him to be unambiguously evil. Kirk called him "the best of the tyrants and the most dangerous," and Scott and McCoy pointed out that he committed no massacres and launched no wars unless he was attacked.

    Although, granted, this episode could've been an effective way to bring back Ricardo Montalban for a second guest appearance, if there had been enough continuity in the production staff from the first to the third season for anyone to think of it. It could've been interesting to see him in place of Col. Green here. Maybe with Green bumped down to the henchman role in place of their so-called "Genghis."
     
  18. Ain Jalut

    Ain Jalut Lieutenant

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    Being handsome by western standards, he was an egomanaical mass murdererlike the rest.

    Outside of their original territory maybe you can make a case for the Golden Horde and it's successor states but everywhere else mongolian culture was swallowed up by assimilation. It's not like Crim was a center of culture during the tartar period.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because the Excalbians chiefly want to learn why Kirk considers himself "good"?

    I mean, that's where they got the concept in the first place. Kirk has this image of himself, and the talking rocks want to deconstruct this intriguing concept by asking Kirk to provide examples of "not good", as well as further examples of "good". For all we know, they also get the idea of "fair play" from Kirk's mind, and thus decide on equally sized teams.

    As pointed out, Khan was Kirk's hero. "Space Seed" need not have changed that much, and perhaps even Spock learned to appreciate the man after this episode. Khan basically embodies Kirk's own virtues of strength, manliness and fair play, merely taking them to the next level.

    The gold standards of evil change with time. Quite possibly, Green out-did Hitler by a wide margin... OTOH, it's difficult to out-do Genghis since, as pointed out, his conquests and atrocities compete very well with those of later leaders in both relative terms (taking into account e.g. changes in Earth population, morals and speed of transportation) and absolute ones. To accompany Genghis, one needs a specialist in some narrower field of evil, hence Green and the rest.

    Not at all. A slaughterer is a slaughterer.

    What would be ethnocentric would be to label Alexander the Great as "not evil", but nobody is doing that in the episode.

    People killed in the name of Lincoln and Surak, too, and even specifically under orders from Lincoln although possibly not from Surak. But since Kirk is a professional killer himself, his definition of good cannot include "does not kill", in which case it's all the more fitting that both the "good" and "evil" side feature killers. Thanks to this, things like numbers and motivations and excuses come to play, and Genghis Khan clearly loses to the other leaders in that contest.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Right. The only reason the West has traditionally held up Alexander as a hero and Genghis as a villain is because Alexander was "one of us" and Genghis was not. In Asia, Genghis tends to be held up as a culture hero much the way Alexander is in the West.

    Fiction is about good and evil. History rarely is. Most rulers, most nations, are responsible for both good acts and evil acts. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, yet he kept slaves. America spread the principles of democracy and justice, but built the nation through territorial conquest and genocide. Mao Zedong led the revolution to free China from horrible oppression and corruption, but ended up committing even worse oppression and establishing a system that had no mechanism for preventing corruption.

    Really, that should've been the lesson for Kirk to teach the Excalbians -- that good and evil are not permanent alignments or inborn character traits, but choices that every individual, every culture, faces. The Kirk of the first couple of seasons would've made a speech about how we all have the capacity for both good and evil within us, that it's not a battle of one faction versus another but a battle we wage within ourselves everyday to prevail over our darker natures. Which is a lesson that Surak could've certainly gotten behind.