Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Anji

    Anji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wow, you people really need a life!
     
  2. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    Again is anyone really against that?

    It's the odd extremes that Roddenberry seemed to take things to about interpersonal relationships, not the general idea that people can get past the obstacles of today. Gene seemed to be in love with aspects of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Which says that once other needs such as the basic needs to survive are taken care of a person is free to become a self-actualized person. Which is really great and something to strive for. One of the things that we keep going 'round about in Season 1 is how our crew pretty much said that verbatim to anyone who would listen. How about instead of all this exposition, we saw people who were just living their lives as an example of people who have a very good shot at self-actualization?

    Where Gene's newer (post-TOS) outlook starts to become unrealistic is that it seems that in his mind by being self-actualized suddenly nothing would affect you ever. No external events seemed like it should bother anyone. And of course there is some truth to this, hypothetically feeling self-actualized a person would generally feel good about his/herself and not generally feel threatened or bothered by other people who are at a different place in their lives or are different personalities, etc.

    However, when you something happens that affects getting one of the lower needs met in the pyramid of needs, it can become harder to feel like a self-actualized person. Those other levels include things not addressed in the predominantly economic/social problems exposition that we hear from Roddenberry's mouthpieces in Season 1. For example love and belonging needs are not met in-and-of-itself by having a society that has no need of money and shares resources and has advanced medicine, etc. That would meet physiological and safety needs. But would have little to do with being loved or fostering a person's self concept/esteem.

    Obviously these all interrelate, but it doesn't necessarily follow from one to other that suddenly no one would have personality conflicts or feel anxiety about a situation or person or place, etc.

    People have different temperaments (which is both a biologically and socially influenced trait), people have different predispositions to things like addiction. These are genetic traits that won't just go away, unless we resort to eugenics and we all know how Trek feels about that.

    I love the idea of the world we see in the TNG-era in general, and I truly believe we as humans really could get to something close to what Trek portrays.

    It's just what became of Roddenberry's own ideas and how staunchly he felt that no major issues on almost any scale (Federation-wide all the way to interpersonal) would be too much to handle for people. Yet ironically he had a therapist in the crew, specifically for people to work through issues to keep bettering themselves and emotionally feeling safe enough to continue on their self-actualization course. So the idea was there, but it was like he couldn't bring himself to think that people might still have some issues.

    We're not perfect, we'll never be. We can be better, perhaps a lot better than we are now. In fact the overly homogenous, "whitewashed" place he was taking it to is almost a reversal of IDIC, because everyone is nearly the same. What happened to celebrating and incorporating diversity?

    Weather he meant to or not, TNG Season 1 is almost the exact opposite of the man who said this in 1971:
    “If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear.”

    Even as recent as 1985 I love this quote from his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony:
    "I believe in humanity. We are an incredible species. We're still just a child creature, we're still being nasty to each other. And all children go through those phases. We're growing up, we're moving into adolescence now. When we grow up – man, we're going to be something!"

    So if you extend his metaphor, by the 24th century humanity is in adulthood. But adults aren't perfect either, they've learned a lot about the world, and hopefully have some more wisdom and common sense than children or teens would.

    So in the end it seems that Roddenberry's best and worst idea was what he made out of his generally very positive and hopeful philosophy of humanity in the future.

    It seems his philosophy really did best when others contributed to it (i.e. Gene Coon in TOS and the team led by Michael Pillar on TNG). Which kind of circles back to IDIC doesn't it? :)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  3. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Agreed. I know season 1 can be pretty preachy and finger-pointing at times, and the cast is pretty whitebread until you get to know them, but I don't attribute that to Roddenberry's ideas about an enlightened humanity. I attribute it to how his ideas were implemented.

    Besides, the first season of most TV series is usually pretty shaky.
     
  4. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    I see what you're saying, however, since Roddenberry himself had such control over S1 [especially], and no network bosses to report to since it was syndicated (just had to keep making the franchise a cash cow for Paramount's head honchos to be happy), one could make the argument that it was a (near) direct expression of what he thought at the time.

    No question about that.
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Pot, meet kettle...again.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given that slavery, forced labor, Human trafficking are present today around the world, and unfortunately aren't even a single day in the past, this would be a fair statement.

    The question remains, what constitutes "better." Which of Roddenberry's ideas would be a improvement over what we are now, and which others would result in a future Humanity that is worse than we are at present. It isn't a package deal, we can pick and choose, divide Roddenberry's various ideas and place them in separate categories.

    His idea for the optimistic future shown in TOS I though was one of his better ideas, TOS was optimistic through showing that mankind simply survived to that point, that (from the perspective of the 1960's) we weren't going to destroy ourselves, we were going to prosper and grow.

    Staying away from future Earth was also a excellent idea.


    :)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  7. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's the interesting thing about that episode--the sexuality part was a non issue, it was more about a romance-of-the week.

    And yet there was a subtle sexuality issue with Beverly saying, "I can't be attracted to you anymore because you are another woman".

    Beverly's choice was seen as a normal choice--people are normally attracted to the opposite sex right? -Which means Beverly being disappointed that Odan was now a female was normal.

    I saw it as normal too. It's only now, when you re-watch certain episodes do you began to see certain things between the lines.

    The issue being that humans are so open minded, they dont judge by outward appearance and they think little of dating a very different looking alien.

    Up until then, Riker was attracted to very feminine looking women, so when an androgynous person with no figure comes on to him he immediately responds.

    Riker's reaction suggested that future humans concept of attractiveness is not based on outward looks because they evolved out of that.

    Based on his history maybe he should have said, 'sorry, you're not my type'?
     
  8. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Well I don't know how much Roddenberry was involved this episode that aired five months after his death. Up until The Outcast, Riker always had the same sexual tastes as Kirk.

    I believe that we could perhaps evolve past basing attraction on appearance up to a point, but there will always be people who have certain types.

    It depends on: How much of what attracts us to a certain person is cultural/learned? How much is physical? How much is pure biochemistry?

    When we see humans romantically involved with aliens (such as B'Elanna's parents), they're always attractive, human looking aliens. You never see a human with a Tholian or a Nausicaan. We can change, but I don't know that we could change that much.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The character of Minuet in "11001001" and "Future Imperfect" was supposedly Riker's perfect woman, actress Carolyn McCormick (Minuet) and actress Melinda Culea (Soren) have almost identical figures.

    Minuet was more fashionably decked out (dress, make-up and hair), but the two women are surprisingly similar in appearance.

    :)
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    In TOS, Is There In Truth No Beauty? and Metamorphosis touched on the idea of humans paired with alien aliens.
     
  11. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They may have shared a similar body type\figure, but I don't think they look very much alike, otherwise. But it is interesting that both Culea and Dwight Shultz were on the A-Team. What is even more interesting, neither look anything like Troi. :)

    Carolyn McCormick


    Melinda Culea
     
  12. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    In the 24th century there is no need for money, material success or cleavage. We've moved beyond such petty side issues. Besides, serious actresses aren't permitted to possess it in such abundance. Notice how Jennifer Connelly won the Academy award the moment she, ahem....thinned down.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But the Captain of a ship still gets to have four pips on their collar, while their subordinates only get three or less.

    Rank, position, hierarchy, stratification ... power.


    :)
     
  14. Valin

    Valin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just imagined Picard trying to swivel all three chairs at the same time, with Riker and Troi going along for the ride.
     
  15. Valin

    Valin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you look at history it was religion, nationalism, and capitalism (and competition) that helped make us the explorers that reached out to new vistas in the past and probably will continue to do so in the future.
     
  16. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In Measure of a Man, Data comes very close to expressing grief over the death of Tasha. So there's always a glimmer of emotion, chip or no chip, but the vocal inflection and body language isn't quite there.

    What Data has, and a lot of real people don't, though, is a good conscience. He is selfless and always does the right thing. In that respect he's a lot like Spock, despite their overall goal being cross-purposes.
     
  17. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe some of the posters here can't envision a world beyond their own dispossession?

    "If they had asked," Lededje told her,"I might even have told them; I was running away to the Culture because I heard they'd escaped the tyranny of money and individual power, and that all people were equal here, men and women alike, with no riches or poverty to put one person above or beneath another." Surface Detail by Iain Banks page 159.
     
  18. Lt. Uhura-Brown

    Lt. Uhura-Brown Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Time travel.
     
  19. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or maybe that they *can* envision it, it just sounds mega-boring. Either way works. :shrug:
     
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :)

    T'Pring:

    But if you did not free me, it would be the same.
    For you would be gone, and I would have your name and your property, and Stonn would still be there.


    :)