Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Praetorian Guard, Jun 19, 2018.
It sure is possible, but do you also admit that there ARE episodes of Star Trek that are apolitical?
I never said DSC had a crusade going, though. Just that some here seem to want to see that Crusade happen. Trek has largely stayed away from that despite being heavily involved in social issues, which is to the franchise's credit.
How about no? If you don't like it, feel free to remove yourself from the conversation, because no one is forcing you to be a part of it. But as long as bigots keep trying to openly spread their bigotry on the forum, I and others are going to say something about it. If you don't like it, or it mildly inconveniences you, tough. Its a hell of a lot less of a burden for you to endure than people who face actual bigotry and discrimination.
The part where you're essentially saying "stop arguing with bigots, because it really cramps my forum time, you guyz." And the part where you cast both sides as equally radical. And the part where you weirdly jumped to the defense of a well known racist poster in the middle of yet another one of his many racist rants about the plight of the put upon white man. So pretty much the whole thing, then.
And yet... here we are. If people didn't protest diverse casting, we wouldn't have to be having this debate. But it's the height of arrogance and privilege (oh noes, there's that pesky word again!) to tell the people arguing in favor of it to shut up because you think they're just as "radical" as the bigots.
You stepped into the middle of something that was specifically referring to another poster's prior actions and made it about whatever your thing is. Which is your right to do on a public discussion forum, but don't get pissed when you defend someone who's a bigot if it causes you some criticism in return.
Looks like we'll have rotating Star Trek series to pad out the year. Disco in the 23rd Century, Picard in the 24th, and the Academy who knows whenever.
All three sound like different premises so I'm glad it won't be the same thing all year round.
I don't think we need a Khan mini-series, but whatever.
Then don't be surprised when people dismiss you and your arguments out of hand for infecting every conversation with your ideology. Again: not everyone wants to make every topic about your beliefs.
Oh, you're such a brave champion of the oppressed! As if you're helping the downtrodden in any way. These sorts of rants are mostly about yourself, not them.
Both of those are lies. I never said or implied anything of the sort. So you're willing to blatantly and casually lie about those around you who disagree about any part of what you believe or say, and cast them as allies of your "enemies". And you're surprised that people don't want to engage with you?
Oh, yes we would. I've seen this act before.
I'll participate in any conversation I wish, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it.
Nothing said all the series were being made at once, only that they were being developed and i'm assuming pitched to CBS to see if they want to create them.
I'd think it would make sense though to have a show in the fall, a show in the winter, a show in the spring. Hopefully that's what they do.
What does anyone else think? New Star Trek shows!
Please no. 2 live action and an animated is fine, but not 4 live action.
My beliefs in this instance are strictly giving minorities better representation in TV and film. Sorry that puts you out.
Yes, I literally said you can participate in any discussion you wish in the very next sentence that you removed from the quote, you drama llama.
As with any of the message/allegory episodes, Trek really only does politics well when the episode ends without a pat easy answer and we're left somewhat unsettled. That's actually why TNG's extreme level of cultural relativism actually worked in its favor ultimately - because even though endless planet of hats were introduced, the crew never dismissed them out of hand - even in cases where we'd find some of their beliefs morally repugnant.
Just some thoughts on "The Inner light": while the main story is Picard's and deals with giving him an opportunity to experience a family, the secondary story is Kamen's. Kamen's people chose his story or a "choose your own adventure" approximation of it to communicate to the larger galaxy. Kamen's story, as experienced by Picard, deals with realizing impending environmental disaster, the validity and value of the scientific method, and the willingness of government/authority to ignore or dispute facts that are inconvient for them.
They are not the main points of the story, but they are present.
The one allegory they were promoting about DSC is one that I don't buy at all. The idea that the Klingons represent Trump Supporters or the Alt-Right. That one sounds like they were really stretching it when they said it. Trump Supporters are united. In fact, Trump himself managed a pretty effective takeover of the Republican Party. The Klingons aren't united, T'Kuvma never gets so far as to unite his entire base, and the stories couldn't be more different. As much as I don't like to say this: it's the Democrats who are divided, not the Republicans. My camp is the one that has to unite, not the other way around.
Nothing else, forced or otherwise, even comes to mind politically or allegorically about Discovery. It's not a heavily political show.
I agree that some relativism and lack of a pat ending can improve some stories because they are less likely to put off those they are trying to convince, are less obvious for those who agree already, and can encourage more thought and deliberation for both sides.
But I would also say that there are many Trek stories that come up with a set/pat ending that is appropriate and required for the topic being covered. Right now I can't think of a perfect example, but I would consider "devil in the dark" and "who watches the watchers" to have clear stances/conclusions, but that are correct/right for the story, and I think both episodes are considered to be well done from a morals/meanings perspective.
TLDR: somewhat murky conclusions can be good, but sometimes clear, righteous conclusions are best.
When Discovery's writers said they had Trump and his supporters in mind when working on the Klingon story, they didn't mean that all or even most aspects of Trumpism were being copied. Just that certain aspects of Trump - fear of outsiders/the other, blaming others for your troubles - were being reflected in the story. These troubling perspectives aren't limited to Trumpism - they are representative of many previous generations and groups (1950s-1960s US anti-civil rights reactionaries, Nazies/National Socialists, Stalin's internal purges, the KKK) throughout history. It is just that Trumpism is the most recent and most immediate example, and certainly worth highlighting and opposing most importantly because it is still happening and can be opposed.
In short, I don't think this purported allegory/parallelism is a stretch at all (nor do I think it was an after-the-fact claim), it just wasn't intended to be a full Trump allegory - more like just select aspects. They weren't crafting a whole work to satirize Trump; they were just adding current flavor and relevance and political meaning to their Klingon story.
"Congenitor," for example. The ending is harsh and brutal and the episode fades to the closing credits with a dead woman who committed suicide, Trip being shattered by the news and the relationship between humans and Vissians possibly damaged for generations to come.
You know, when I first saw and responded to the post quoted just below, I snipped out the specific examples, because I honeslty didn't think it was necessary to address them. But it's become increasingly clear that there are posters around here who really do profess to think that it's somehow possible for art and entertainment to isolate themselves from politics; who believe that politics is some narrow and marginal subset of human activity, rather than a pervasive element running through all of it.
(One might as well imagine that you could engage in human behavior, or talk about it, or dramatize it, without implicating economics... or psychology... or ethical philosophy... or any of several other disciplines. You simply can't. All of these intellectual domains are just as pervasive and just as important as politics. It's like saying "show me people doing stuff, but don't make reference to any of those highfalutin' theories about how and why people do stuff.")
(And all this really is on topic, BTW, because how DSC handles this sort of thing under the new regime will have a huge impact on the tone of the show and how it's perceived.)
In service to the larger discourse, in this thread and about Trek more broadly, I'm going to take a sentence or two to point out meaningful political themes in every one of the examples below. Because finding those themes is the foundation of critical analysis; saying "there's nothing there to analyze" is a cheap and easy dodge. If anyone finds any of them particularly interesting, by all means feel free to dive deeper into the discussion!...
WNM is about how power corrupts, and also about dealing with conflicts between personal loyalty and duty to a higher cause. Both are deeply political themes.
As previously noted, DITD is about blowback from colonialism and exploitation of native resources... obviously very politically relevant topics in the Vietnam era, and hardly less so today.
Despite its lighthearted tone, TWT touches on political topics as diverse as the importance of complying with treaty obligations even with distrusted adversaries (detente with the Klingons), the harm that can result from items traded in markets with information inequities (the tribbles, of course), and the ways that gut-level emotional impulses can put larger political principles at risk (Scotty's spirited defense of the Enterprise).
TCM is all about the importance of maintaining diplomatic protocols rather than succumbing to a fight-of-flight impulse.
MM, like many alternate history stories, interrogates notions of political agency, via the conflict between the idea of individuals as shapers of their own destinies (and social constructs), and the idea that individuals are helpless and ultimately interchangeable pawns of larger societal forces.
JTB is about the importance of setting aside personal resentments and the fallacy of guilt-by-association in order to find common ground and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
SOTG is about seeking nonviolent means of conflict resolution even without recourse to recognized legal authority.
TTW is about how legitimately motivated differences in priorities (e.g., between Spock and McCoy, exacerbated by the interphase dementia) can interfere with taking effective collective action even toward shared goals.
I could hardly do better than @Ometiklan above, who noted that TIL "deals with realizing impending environmental disaster, the validity and value of the scientific method, and the willingness of government/authority to ignore or dispute facts that are inconvenient for them."
YE demonstrates (as do many real-life examples) how both the origins and the outcomes of military conflicts are incredibly sensitive to small changes in initial conditions.
BOBW embodies (literally) the tension between the drive for technological improvement and expansion, which has driven Western society for 500 years, and the ideals of personal autonomy on which that society professes to be built.
C'mon, this one is literally all about communication problems in diplomacy. That's nothing but politics, right there on the surface.
ST:TMP is about the danger that results when the drive to discover and understand new things (as exemplified by V'ger) gets distorted and corrupted into an irrational (quasi)religious quest for Truth.
STII:TWOK is about the unanticipated consequences of attempted nation-building without sufficient oversight. And about how basic scientific research inspires destructive military imaginations. And about how skilled leadership can be undermined by personal passions such as the desire for revenge. Among other things.
STIII:TSFS is about how bureaucratic inertia can blind institutions to important human needs.
ST:FC is about time-traveling robot zombies conquering Earth, for heaven's sake! Isn't that obvious?
(But seriously, it's also about historical turning points, the importance of science even in times of political crisis, and how crucial it is for humanity to move beyond Earth's gravity well if we want our civilization to survive. Every one of those themes is steeped in politics.)
So! How's that? I'm not saying all of those political themes are equally interesting, equally important, or equally well-served... and certainly many of them are arguable (but then what about politics isn't?)... but they're undeniably there. And that's just off the top of my head.
Nope, it's not. First, positing oneself as the rational middle ground between two opposing extremes is the classic "fallacy of the excluded middle." Second, history is replete with examples of times when siding with a supposedly "radical" point of view was vindicated as right and just from a subsequent perspective.
And third, there's nothing particularly "radical" anyway about wanting to see demographic representation in art that at least roughly mirrors the actual real-world population. The inability to see figures one can identify with situated in a positive context is stigmatizing, with real, damaging effects on both individuals and society. If you doubt this, you need look to nothing more "radical" than the classic Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education (1954)... the context there was classrooms rather than television screens, but the logic is the same.
So, really, to say you're against discrimination but "don't care" about the composition of the casts of the shows you watch just indicates that you belong to a demographic that has never experienced a lack of representation. IOW, it's a signifier of privilege.
Yes, you wish. But that doesn't make it so.
The political content of any given story (in or out of Trek) absolutely is a factor in assessing the quality of the work as a whole, no different than (e.g.) plot coherence, acting, or cinematography. How could it be otherwise? For heaven's sake, seen through that lens Gone with the Wind is just a story about ill-fated romance and making it through tough times.
When it's no longer a problem, I'm sure people will stop talking about it. You hardly ever hear people discussing (say) child labor or women's suffrage any more, because (at least in the U.S.) we've solved those problems. Those we haven't, though, are still worth people's time and attention.
As an aside, I've always been aggravated by the phrase "get your panties in a bunch," and I can't help noticing it's used almost exclusively by relatively conservative males. It's a pretty obvious way of trying to gain rhetorical advantage not through any substantive argument, but instead through feminizing and "sissifying" your opponent. It's a demeaning turn of phrase, unworthy of an honest interlocutor.
@Belz..., you seem to be the one who shifted the goal posts from talking about "both sides" to just talking about about two opposing groups of radicals. "On both sides" and "at the two extremes" are in no way synonymous. Treating them as synonymous is an equivocation fallacy.
Another lie. You're just chock full of those, aren't you? And seriously, is that the best you can do? You can't even put an actual argument together.
What? If I'm talking about the middle, how am I excluding it? That's the most ridiculous misuse of a fallacy I've seen in years! That is hilarious.
It's happened, yeah. So what? Extremists are more often wrong than right.
Not when you word it like that, but that's not what we're dealing with here. That'd be like a KKK member saying that they just want a healthy and crime-free community. Sure, when you say it like that, it sounds noble.
Absolute nonsense. I don't care if a show has 80% black people or 80% white people in it. Apparently this somehow is a bad position to take. Do you think every show should have the exact proportion of black people in the US in it, and gays, and trans, and so on? If not, then what's your point?
You don't know me, and you don't know _if_ I have privilege or where it comes from if I do. You're making a LOT of assumptions based on nothing but your political beliefs. And that's the problem with the far-left just as it's the problem with the far-right; unjustified generalisations and facile platitudes. What? Is that a black man disagreeing with me? That must be internalised racism.
Maybe it would be, but that's not what I did. That I say there _are_ radicals on both sides doesn't mean they are the same, equal, or equally radical, dangerous or obnoxious. That's information YOU added, presumably because you can't see more nuance than that.
Separate names with a comma.