The Fall of Ben Sisko

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Min Zife, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Particularly since the Federation is a post-scarcity, moneyless society, so the family would have no need for financial support. The phrase "deadbeat dad" doesn't even apply.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    That's it in a nutshell. While the reasons are many and varied, the percentage of African-American families in which the father isn't there is extremely high, high enough that it can be said to more common than not.
     
  3. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Bajor is on the edge of the Federation not sure the same rules apply although its not like the Bajorans would let the family of their Emissary starve to death anyway. But I agree on the not existing in a vacuum stuff. Might have been better to kill them if your going to go this route.
     
  4. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Personally, I feel that Sisko's reasoning is very much in character. He's acted like this before, been trough depression before. And people like that, are more likely to get into a depression again. We know that some pretty intense things have happened to Sisko and his family in the 4 year gap. This left the relationship between Ben and Kas strained. He feels responsible for that.

    NOW, THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!

    The last time he was responsible for the wellbeing and safety of his wife and son (Wolf 359) his wife died and he nearly lost his son. He will ALWAYS feel responsible for this. He feels that similair situations happened again (even if we don't know the details). Things ended better this time, both Kas and Rebecca are still fine, but he won't let that happen again. He feels that they are better of without them.

    Is that really the best thing to do? No, ofcourse not. Bad things will happen, no matter what. But when you are in the state of mind Ben is in, it does seem the best thing. People will mostly not understand that, because they have never been actually depressed. I'm not talking about feeling bummed out, but an actual depression. You don't make the right decessions then, you run away from things. Sisko's done that before (taking the assignment at Utopia Planetia after Jennifer died, wanting to look into civilian duty instead of going to DS9, taking Jake and leaving DS9 when Jadzia died).

    No one bitched or complained when all of this happened on the show, and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. Now, DRGIII does something COMPLETELY INTO CHARACTER FOR SISKO, and people are hating. Pretty weird.....
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    You make a very good point. Unless you've suffered depression first hand, or been there for a friend or loved one who's going through it (and even in many cases of the latter), there's a big wall of ignorance - people often don't realize that the whole point of depression is that you can't "snap out of it"
     
  6. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly!!

    I turned 30 a few days ago. I've been struggling with depression since I was 17. I have my good periods, and my bad. I've been to therapy, and anti-depression medication has helped. Thankfully, at the moment I can function without those. But to this day....

    I will have moments when I'm sure my girlfriend will walk out of me, not because she doesn't love me but because she will realize her life will be better without me. That because of me, the quality of her life is diminished. That I feel she would be better of without me, so she can be happier. Because I feel that the person I am on a daily basis hurts her, not because I want to, but just because of who I am.

    People flame DRGIII for writing Sisko this way. I think DRGIII has a better grasp of who Sisko is then most people.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think some people were upset that it represented a regression or a reset of the character, IMO. Everyone knows how Sisko was like when DS9 started, but he had made a journey from darkness into light. Some might not have appreciated Sisko perhaps being worse off now than when he started maybe.
     
  8. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    I can understand that. I also hope that these people can understand that when you've suffered from depression it's very easy to fall back into it. Even worse, a lot of people never fully 'recover' (for a lack of better word) from depression. They always carry it with them. For Sisko to choose to go where he is right now, is very much in-character for him.
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think that's where the disagreement goes. I think some people felt that it was no longer in character for him by the time the series ended. So there's perhaps a great sense of disappointment that they are entitled to feel. I guess it depends on how much people invested in Sisko's journey during the TV series and liked how he was by the time it ended.
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Another thing worth pointing out is that one of the things that seemed to help him the most in the beginning of the series was his relationship with the Prophets, but he's also lost that relationship too now.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It's also important, I think, to bear in mind that this is actually one of the rare situations where the character has more information than the audience.

    Sisko has lived with the Prophets. He has experienced non-linear time. He knows, even if it's subconsciously rather than consciously, that staying with his family means something terrible will happen to them. This is not a religious belief in the sense of modern religious beliefs, where it's all subjective and non-empirical. This is a fact -- the Prophets exist, they experience time from a non-linear perspective, and they showed him how shit would go down, even if his linear mind is no longer able to consciously express it.
     
  12. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't get the sense at all that Sisko knew with absolute certainty that something bad was going to happen to his family, but that he severely feared that something will based on a pattern of unrelated tragedies he felt was getting closer and closer to him. In his final letter to Kassidy, he spoke of things the Prophets told him, but also of their ability to see events in countless other timelines as well.
     
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I took that as him knowing that something would happen with certainty, even if he could not fully comprehend and communicate it consciously.
     
  14. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sisko did retreat to his father's restaurant with his son, but he did not share what was going on with his family. Jake comments in "Image in the Sand" that Ben had not gone out or done anything in a while and hew as only sitting at the piano for long stretches. Joseph, most likely aware of Ben's depression and having experience helping him with it, suggests to Jake they just leave him alone.

    Three months at a piano does not equate to solving the problem to me. It was only after his vision that he started to come out of his depression. It was after this that he started to share with Jake and Joseph what was going on and then eventually bringing Dax into it when she showed up.

    In this context, DRGIII did a good job of capturing Sisko, since he isn't a character to go running to family when there's a problem, even if he is surrounded by them. This time, his family is a part of the problem and his solution is to leave them in the hopes that it keeps them safe.

    I'm not in love with this version of Sisko, but I don't think it's out of character. I agree and hope to see a "getting the band back together" plot, but I'd prefer if it was like Unity, recognizing the changes the characters have gone through, but not intent on "resetting" the characters to where they were prior to the 4-5 year gap between The Soul Key and Rough Beasts of Empire. I'd rather see Kira stay a Vedek, Ro stay in charge of the station, Ezri/Sam/Simon stay on the Aventine, Worf on the Enterprise, etc. but at least unite these characters for a reason and then send them on their ways.
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think Sisko has a lot of faith in the Prophets because of their non-linear existence, but he essentially spoke of things he had been told rather than things he knew for certain. He seemed to be having a lot of trouble trying to describe (even for himself) his time with the Prophets.
     
  16. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, he did. Both Jake and his father knew that Sisko had come home to figure out a way to reopen the wormwhole.
    This what Jake and Joseph actually said in that episode:

    JOSEPH: Look, I'm worried too, but he's got something to work out. Best we leave him alone.

    JAKE: We've left him alone for three months. He said he came here to figure out a way to contact the Prophets, to make things right.

    So he wasn't keeping it a secret from them. Indeed, when he finally did experience a vision, he immediately told them too.
     
  17. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't imply he was keeping why he returned a secret, but, to me, it's clear from the dialogue you quoted that he wasn't being open and forthright with everything going on with him to his father and son. If he was someone who was open with his family, they wouldn't have had to leave him alone for three months, they would have been working with him.

    My take from the episode and especially the dialogue is that Ben preferred to be "alone in a crowd." To me, that's not much different than his time captaining the Robinson. He's around people, but he's not being open with them. Rogeiro obviously knew something was going on with him, but not the specifics.
     
  18. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It seemed that he being perfectly open and forthright with them. He told them why he had come home and what he was hoping to find.
    I believe they simply were giving Sisko space, but they did know what he was he doing. He wasn't hiding anything from them.
     
  19. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Not How things are suppose to work for heroes though. Heroes conquer that stuff on the way to greatness not fall back into it.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I see no particular reason for these novels to adhere to ridiculous notions about how to depict "heroes" rather than realistic depictions of the human soul.