Bajorans - yay or nay

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by DevilEyes, Apr 15, 2010.


Bajorans - do you like them or not?

  1. Bajorans are great, a very well developed race/culture, I enjoyed plots that focused on them

  2. Bajorans are dull/annoying, I hated plots that focused on them

  3. They are so-so, I have no strong feelings on the matter

  1. Zameaze

    Zameaze Commodore Commodore

    Apr 26, 2009
    I don't see why you don't just use a dictionary yourself--there are many online.

    In the dictionary you'll find--Martyr: One who makes a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy. In fact, this is its most common meaning in everyday use.

    If you check the synonyms, you'll find that martyr is synonymous with victim.

    This is silly. As I've asked, please stop trying to teach me English.
  2. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

    Aug 15, 2005
    Come to think of it, Kai Winn also provided exceptionally well-done dramatic conflict, despite being a Bajoran. A large reason for that is because she (probably the ony Bajoran in history who this can be said about) never whined to others about how she has been wronged.

    But really they could have stripped away the Bajoran aspects of Winn and still had a similar character who was equally good if not better. Her having a Bajoran identity has absolutely nothing to do with why she is a great character.
  3. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    Regarding the make-up, yes, I have a general problem with all alien make-up on Star Trek that is little more than one or a few prosthetics pasted on someone, but I find Cardassians and Bajorans to be the worst offenders. It's hard to explain, but somehow, even though the Romulans (at least on the original series) and Vulcans had little more to distinguish them from humans than pointy ears and arched eyebrows, I've always found them infinitely more plausible than Bajorans as aliens.

    I think a big part of the reason is because every actor who ever played a Vulcan or Romulan from Leonard Nimoy and Mark Lenard onwards maintained this tradition of selling their otherworldliness beautifully with such distinctive ways of speaking and body language that helped enhance how convincing their alien appearances were.

    Bajorans and Caradassians, on the other hand, were never played well enough for me to suspend my disbelief and accept them as more than people with stupid-looking stuff on their noses and or foreheads. Bajorans just came across humans who were whiny or preachy (and had junk on their nose), while Cardassians just seemed like humans who were really arrogant (and had grey skin, a bunch of scales, and some goofy-looking shape on their forehead).

    The Bajoran make-up is especially ludicrous to alien species that looks exactly identical to humans except some ugly ridges on their noses? Completely implausible from an evolutionary standpoint. At least with their massive forehead make-up changing everything from foreheads, to eyebrows, to noses along with prosthetic teeth, Klingons and Ferengi look a lot more like a different species at least from the neck up, with skulls that clearly evolved differently from those of humans.

    Honestly the only aliens on Star Trek who I thought truly looked completely alien (the way I wish most of them would have) were the one disguised as a kid in "Future Imperfect", the mutes that Lxwaxanna Troi exposed as terrorists (I forget the episode name), Tosk, and oddly enough, The Salt Vampire from "The Man Trap".

    I liked the designs of a lot of Star Trek aliens. I love the look of the the Jemhadar and the Vorta (except for their weirdly-shaped hair), but it's hard for me to not see most alien races on Star Trek as obviously just people in make-up. I think Roger Ebert put it best in his negative review of "Nemesis" when he said he was sick of Star Trek partially because he was sick of seeing aliens that just look like "people with funny foreheads". The one category I think Star Wars trumps Star Trek in is in the quality of their alien designs. The Borg are great because they're simply supposed to be half man/half machine. But as far as I'm concerned these other alien races that are supposed to be a different species than human just because they have some small ridges or scales just don't work with that make-up.
  4. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2009
    basking in the warmth of the Fire Caves
    Wel, it's not my fault if you're not using the language well. Because your definition above doesn't fit any Bajorans I can think of, and certainly not for the race in general, which is why it never occurred to me that you would be using it in that sense. If you can name a few it fits, please tell who. I need names and quotes. Who made "a great show of suffering to arouse sympathy"? And whose sympathy? :shifty:

    Oh, and I'd also love to know: you said that "The Maquis are not martyrs" - so, they were not making a great show of suffering to arouse sympathy? But the Bajorans were? Because, let's see... the Maquis had it so bad, compared to the Bajorans who just had this nice little Occupation that was a walk in the park? Please name all the ways that the Maquis suffered a lot more than the Bajorans? What about B'Elanna, was she a "martyr"? Poor girl, some kids said something about her forehead when she was little, and it scarred her for life, so she's constantly pissed about the fact that, oh horror, she is half-Klingon! Unlike Kira, who has absolutely no reason to be angry at anyone, I mean when has anything bad happened to her? She's so obviously a crybaby while B'Elanna has TRULY suffered. :shifty:

    In fact, by your logic, wouldn't the Maquis and the Starfleet much better fit your labels of martyrs and bullies, which you said they were not? Starfleet gave colonists' land to the Cardassians despite their wishes and fought against the Maquis - bullies (sorry, but what Cardassians did to Bajor is way too serious to use school ground terms like "bullies" for), the Maquis make a great show of suffering because they had to move from their lands (or, in some cases, for other reasons... say, because they are half-Klingon).
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  5. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

    Aug 15, 2005

    Pretty much every single Bajoran who has ever appeared on the show, other than Winn, has attempted to "make a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy."

    Only I'd object to the word 'great', because their attempt to gain sympathy by whining is pathetic and annoying rather than great.

    Nonetheless, the definition is spot-on, because they were certainly attempting to "make a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy," and that is how the writers wanted them to be perceived.
  6. TerokNor

    TerokNor Captain Captain

    Mar 26, 2010
    This discussing is amusing. One example that their is no "THE truth". Even with fiction everybody constructs the own "reality" of it..some perceiving it one way, others a different way.
    Personally I agree here with DevilEyes. Even I did not vote, that I find the Bajorans that great, I do not see them as always whining or making a show of suffering...and I don´t see them as martyrs. *scratches head* I always thought before someone is called a martyr he or she would have had to die for his or her believes. And not every single Bajorn died in Star I would not use the term martyr for all of them.
    And, no offense meant, I do not think that martyr and victim are the same...yes a martyr is also a victim and a victim can be a martyr... but would you call the old lady that got robbed of her money, who surly is a victim of crime, a martyr of crime? Well, but than... English is not my native language... However in my language both word translated are not the same, they can be used in certain circumestaces as the same word, but not in thats makes them different for me at least.
    Also if I´d imagine I would have grown up under the Occupation and that circumstances I find the Bajorans show quite a strengh to come back to quite normal living in such short time after the Occupation...I mean when DS9 starts the Occupation just has ended...or am I wrong?

  7. Withers

    Withers Captain

    Feb 19, 2010
    On a boat
    Unlike the standalone examples you cite the relationship between the Bajorans and Cardassians was ever evolving as the show progressed. It changed from the Bajorans at the beginning of the show, who were defiant and resistant to Federation help, being fearful of the Cardassians. It changed to show them in league with the Cardassians unknowingly. Then it changed again show a more balanced perspective of the two for a while and then it showed the Cardassians loosing territory to the Klingons. It ended in a complete reversal from the season one in season seven with a member of the Bajoran Militia teaching the Carassians how to be resistance fighters.

    And that's just the over view which leaves out a lot of the other subtleties along the way. This was a dramatically evolving paradigm between the two and to characterize the whole thing as nothing but "Bajoran whining" is a crude way of boiling down a complex and detailed narrative. It would be like boiling down The World According to Garp by saying it was a book about a guy who had some kids and a wife.

    If you think it was too "one sided" thanks to the Occupation being portrayed as bullies versus the bullied, look again; from the Cardassian perspective, the Occupation and genocidal acts committed on Bajor seem reasonable (again, from the Cardassian perspective.) They outright considered themselves to be the superior species.They didn't necessarily want or ask to be they just were in their belief (so saturating was their arrogance.) Listen to Dukat's speech to Sisko in Waltz.

    Historically speaking no one thinks of Native North, Central and South Americans who fought colonizing Europeans as "whiners." No one thinks of American Revolutionary fighters as "whiners." People love the movie Avatar and no one thinks of the blue aliens as "whiners." But since the Bajoran people are spiritual and pray their story gets whitewashed as "excessive whining to get attention?" BS.

  8. Zameaze

    Zameaze Commodore Commodore

    Apr 26, 2009
    The simple answer to this--the Na'vi were written considerably better than were the Bajorans.

    Wow, that certainly came out of left field. The Bajoran people's story gets whitewashed because they are spiritual and pray?
  9. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    What? The Na'vi got absolutely zero depth, as did everything else about the movie, except the effects. All that movie was was FernGully for adults. Nothing more. The Bajorans were actually multifaceted, rather than this monolithic "victim" entity that the Na'vi were.
  10. Zameaze

    Zameaze Commodore Commodore

    Apr 26, 2009
    Fì-skxawng-ìri tsap’alute sengi oe.
  11. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Dude, name-calling isn't nice, even in a foreign language. And no, I'm not stupid or foolish. They may have had a language, but as CHARACTERS, they were a monolithic block with very little to distinguish them.
  12. Zameaze

    Zameaze Commodore Commodore

    Apr 26, 2009
    I apologize if you took it that way. It really was just a joke.
  13. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2009
    basking in the warmth of the Fire Caves
    Well, now we know whose 'unpopular opinion' is more unpopular! I wonder if the results would be different if the poll was in the General Trek Discussion?

    You find Cardassians and Bajorans to be the worst offenders when it comes to alien races being just humans with a few prostethics? Really? I can see why you'd say that about Bajorans - but really, how are they worse in that respect than the Vorta, or Vulcans, or Ocampa, or (especially) Trill (spots?! really?) or Betazoid? Or Kazon, or various bumpy-headed aliens from VOY whose names I can't remember? (And anyway, I find their noses cute. And the earrings. ;) )

    But Cardassians? :cardie: You do realize that Cardassian makeup is one of the heaviest and most elaborate among Trek's humanoid species? They look as alien as the Klingon or the Ferengi (or non-alien, because, let's face it, all of them look very human-like, they're hardly Tholians or the Horta), only much, much more attractive (IMO).

    First off, I don't know if I misunderstood your statement that they were never "played well enough" - if this means what it seems to mean, than all I can say is, wow, I can't possibly disagree more. :cardie: Bajorans and Cardassians were, for the most part, played absolutely brilliantly by actors like Nana Visitor, Michelle Forbes, Louise Fletcher, Marc Alaimo, Andrew Robinson, Casey Biggs, David Warner, Harris Yulin, Lawrence Pressman and others.

    Bajorans and Cardassians are also, IMO, the most well developed, varied and complex species in Trek. We've certainly seen Cardassians who were not arrogant - was Ghemor arrogant? or Marritza? or or Macet? or Daro? or Lang? or Mila? - and if many of them were arrogant, keep in mind that most of them happened to be military or political establishment, i.e. a skewed sample. And now that you mention, if Cardassians are humans who are really arrogant, than they are not different from most of Trek's Humans. :p

    Bajorans are closer to real-life humans than Trek Humans ever were - but that, for me, is the highest compliment. We have actually seen all sorts of different Bajoran characters from day one. They were never a monolithic caricature of an exaggerated human trait, unlike quite a few other Trek races. And calling all Bajorans "whiny and preachy"... sorry, but that's just silly.

    As for Vulcans and TOS Romulans, I love them, but they weren't really that "other-wordly" and "alien" as you make them out to be. They seemed "exotic" to an average American of the 20th century, but that's about it. They beautiful distinctive ways of speaking and body language made them look just like humans who are very logical, dignified and stoic (and have funky eyebrows and weird pointy ears).

    [Actually, I love Vulcan ears, they are incredibly cute. But making this such a huge 'alien' characteristic is a bit silly.]
  14. Tyjos Azari

    Tyjos Azari Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 4, 2010
    I really just thought of them as another no real feelings towards dislike or like.

    Just another world that got conquered by a military force and exploited [Almost like the Narn when the Centauri Conquered them in B5]
  15. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2009
    basking in the warmth of the Fire Caves
    :guffaw:Wanted to be perceived as what? You mean that the writers wanted them to be perceived as people who have greatly suffered, and that the writers wanted to arouse the viewers' sympathy, and make a great show? In that case, yes, I am sure that this is what they wanted - and they succeeded. :)

    But let's go back to your statement that "Pretty much every single Bajoran who has ever appeared on the show, other than Winn, has attempted to "make a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy." "

    You know what is very annoying? You repeating the same blanket statement every time without proving a shred of evidence. Why don't you list some examples? Names, episodes, quotes??? It's not enough just to whine about Whining Bajorans (TM). :p

    But I'll be nice and do it for you. I'll try to list every single Bajoran in the show, and whether or not they can be said to have "attempted to make a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy". I'll include TNG and VOY to be thorough. For this purpose, I'll allow you a point for any account or display of one's or someone else's suffering done in order to arouse sympathy of the listener, but you get no points if the person didn't have a choice (like, say, a guy with a scar and his vocal cords cut can't cure himself immediately in order not to annoy Navaros).


    Ensign Ro is the first episode that features Bajorans.
    Ro Laren - she tells Picard the story of her father's death, and takes him to see Bajoran refugees, and generally isn't happy about the lovely and benevolent Cardie occupation (at this point, the CURRENT occupation).(How dare she!) I guess that would qualify, as far as you're concerned, as "making a great show of suffering", and it does arouse Picard's sympathy. So, I give you 1 point, despite the fact that she doesn't do it other episodes. 1/1
    Keeve Falor - he isn't trying to arouse Picard's or anyone's sympathy, he basically tells Picard that the Federation are pricks. But I suppose that you would say that he "makes a great show of suffering" for the simple fact that he is actually, you know, mentioning the fact that Bajor is CURRENTLY under Cardassian occupation (how dare he!) I give you 0.5 points. 1.5/2
    Orta - If you thought his vocal synthetizer and his disfigurement were just fashion devices that was supposed to look cool just like his Arafat-like head scarf, it turns out he had actually been tortured, disfigured and had his vocal cords cut... Now, I guess could say that he was making a great show of his suffering... except for the fact that, well, he couldn't help it. And he didn't look for Picard, Picard and Ro found him. Sorry, you get no points. 1.5/3
    Various Bajoran refugees, including the little girl Ro gives the top of her uniform to - man, they were making such a show of their suffering, weren't they? I mean, sure they couldn't help it, but couldn't they just stop existing or something, or turn into shiny happy people?... sorry, no points there. And I'll count them all as just one to not put you at a disadvantage. 1.5/4
    Jas Holza - we didn't actually see him, but Crusher said he was a great dancer. We don't know if he made a show of suffering while he danced with Crusher, but if he did, she certainly didn't remember it. Since he didn't actually appear, I won't count him.

    Sito Jaxa - she definitely wasn't making a show of suffering, she was making a great show of being eager to serve in Starfleet and fulfill her mission to help the Cardassian dissident. Definitely no points. 1.5/5


    Tabor (Nothing Human) - he told Chakotay about his family members who were tortured by Crell Moset, so we can count this as a great show of (his family') suffering to arouse sympathy and get himself excused from assisting with the Moset hologram. You get a point from him. 2.5/6

    Tal Celes - she was trying to get Janeway's sympathy, but she wasn't making a show of suffering, she was making a show of being messy and confused and mildly incompetent, and admitted that she had an advantage in Starfleet for political reasons, for being Bajoran. No points. 2.5/7

    Creepy vedek who "programmed" Tuvok in "Repression": he wasn't trying to get anyone's sympathy, he was trying to control people via mind-control. No points. 2.5/8

    And now we come to DS9... I'm going to start chronologically. Sorry if I left any Bajorans out.

    Kira Nerys - when we meet her in Emissary, she isn't trying to arouse Sisko's or anyone's else's sympathy at all, in fact she's angry and doesn't trust Starfleet and Sisko and is majorly pissed off that they're on DS9. No points so far, 2.5/9. If I run across an occasion in the show where she is making a great show of suffering to arouse someone's sympathy, I'll add a point, but I wouldn't hold my breath, since she generally doesn't give a fuck if she arouses people's sympathies or not.

    Kai Opaka - Opaka doesn't normally talk about suffering on screen, she talks about things like the Prophets, the Orbs, and Sisko's role as the Emissary. 2.5/10

    Tahna Los (Past Prologue) - Tahna is making a great show of being extremist and xenophobic, and he isn't trying to arouse anyone's sympathies, he is trying to blow stuff up. No points. 2.5/11
    Kira talks to Odo and admits she isn't proud of some of the things she has done during the Occupation, but having a heart-to-heart conversation with your best friend about your own sins is not what I'd call a great show of suffering, so you're still at 0 points with her.

    Ibudan (A Man Alone) - Ibudan makes a great show of being dead in order to frame Odo, but he certainly isn't making a show of suffering, he was too busy being a black-marketeer during the Occupation and is too busy being a murderer now. No points. 2.5/12
    The leader of the Bajoran mob - is just being a racist jerk and trying to get Odo lynched. No points. The rest of the mob - same thing in plural. (I'm being generous to you and treating the mob as one entity.) 2.5/13

    Surmak Ren (Babel) - the former assistant to the Bajoran scientist who created the deadly virus, and a selfish jerk. He makes a great show of not giving a crap of what happens to anyone on the station, until Kira beams him to the station and forces him to develop the antidote in order to save his own ass. No points. 2.5/14

    Els Renora (Dax), the Bajoran arbiter. I don't remember this episode very well, but I believe she was just being a judge and wasn't making any shows of suffering. 2.5/15

    Bajorans villagers in The Storyteller- were just being superstitious. Made great show of being afraid from the cloud, but they weren't trying to do anything. I'll count them all as one in order to give you an advantage. 2.5/16

    Mullibok (Progress) - he talked about escaping to the moon from the Cardassians during the Occupation in order to arouse Kira's sympathy, so you get a point. 3.5/17

    the Bajoran criminal who killed Marritza (Duet) - was just being a racist murderer and didn't talk about suffering. No points. 3.5/18
    In the same episode, Kira talked a lot about other people's very real suffering/deaths, and she wasn't trying to arouse anyone's sympathies, she was outraged and wanted to punish a war criminal, than felt compassion and sorrow for Marritza. It was Marritza who made a "great show", as you would say, near the end of the episode, of suffering for being unable to do anything when he was at Gallitep, and wanting to get himself martyred for the future of Cardassia, and he did arouse Kira's sympathies. The result stays the same.

    Neela (In the Hands of the Prophets) - was a religious fanatic, didn't talk about suffering, didn't try to arouse sympathy, did try to kill Bareil. 3.5/19

    Vedek/kai Winn Adami - in her first episode, she is just making a great show of faith in order to get power. But in a later episode, Rapture, she says:
    "Those of you who were in the Resistance, you're all the same. You think you're the only ones who fought the Cardassians, that you saved Bajor single-handedly. Perhaps you forget, Major, the Cardassians arrested any Bajoran found to be teaching the word of the Prophets. I was in a Cardassian prison camp for five years, and I can remember each and every beating I suffered. And while you had your weapons to protect you, all I had was my faith... and my courage. Walk with the Prophets child... I know I will"
    Yeah, that definitely qualifies as making a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy. You hit the jackpot here. :bolian:4.5/20
    But wait... you actually said that every Bajoran did that except Winn? :shifty:

    Vedek Bareil Antos - not only did he not make a great show of suffering, he rarely made a show of anything. A very quiet, understated guy, can't think of an occasion when he whined, even when he was dying. 4.5/21

    Li Nalas - definitely didn't make a great show of suffering, or anything else. In fact, it was everyone else who made a show of his heroism and suffering, he didn't feel he deserve the role they gave him, and wanted to be left alone. No points. 4.5/22
    Jaro Essa - made a great show of patriotism. But no suffering. 4.5/23
    General Krim - made a show of being the antagonist who turns out to be a good guy who just happened not to know the truth and to be on the wrong side, and eventually sees the light. 4.5/24
    Colonel Day Kannu - made a show of being the bad guy who tries to kill Sisko. 4.5/25

    Proka Migdal - made a great show of hating Cardassians but, paradoxically, considering Rugal as his son and wanting him to stay with him. Rugal was the one who did most of the show of suffering, but he is just an honorary Bajoran, so... 4.5/26
    Deela from the Tozhat Resettlement Center - was just someone Garak and Bashir asked information from. The Cardassian orphans were those who made a great show of suffering when they asked if anyone is coming to bring them home. 4.5/27

    Vaatrik Pallra (Necessary Evil) - made a great show of suffering due to her current economic circumstances, in order to arouse Quark's sympathy and get something she wants, and for that you get one point from her. Also made a show of suffering because of her husband's death and alleged affair, in order to arouse Odo's sympathy, but that's not her fault since Odo was questioning her. 5.5/28
    Her associate - made a great show of punching, killing and trying to kill people. 5.5/29
    Kira - made a show of being in a bad situation and aroused Odo's sympathy, but it's not her fault because Odo was questioning her. I'll grant you half a point for Kira in this episode. 6/29
    Vaatrik Pallra's husband - was dead, so didn't make a show of anything. Doesn't count because we didn't see him.
    Random Bajorans - they worked in ore processing, and, according to Odo, some of them died in the mines. There is no evidence that they did it to arouse Odo's sympathy. In fact, it seems that they had no choice. But they were just extras, so I won't count them.
    Random Bajoran children seen in the episode - they were just there, but one might say that they were making a great show of suffering and trying to arouse sympathy, because, well... did they have to be so... chidreny? :shifty:still, I guess they couldn't help it, so that wouldn't carry any points... But don't worry, since they didn't speak and appeared too shortly I won't include them in the count.

    Dr Mora Pol - has other things to worry about and normally doesn't talk about suffering. But later in The Begotten, he does tell Odo that it wasn't easy for him to work and take care of Odo, either, and it seems that he wants to finally arouse some sympathy in Odo and get his forgiveness... OK, I'll give you half a point. 6.5/30

    The Intendant - definitely isn't interesting in suffering (except in providing it to others if they disobey her) and she is interesting in arousing, but not sympathy. 6.5/31

    Kubus Oak - the old collaborator made a great show of suffering in exile on Cardassia, in order to arouse Kira's sympathy. Finally, another full point. 7.5/32
    Prylar Bek - he hanged himself, does suicide count as a great show of suffering? Eh... probably not. 7.5/33

    Leeta - as a Dabo girl, she always made a great show of being happy and cheerful. Definitely no points. 7.5/34
    Mardah - another Dabo girl. See above. 7.5/35

    Shakaar Edon - was too busy fighting against Winn, becoming the Prime Minister, and courting Kira, to do any suffering. 7.5/36
    Lenaris Holem - was too busy being in a standoff, realizing that he's on the wrong side and switching his support to Shakaar. 7.5/37
    Furel - he lost his arm and didn't want a replacement from the Feds, but that was out of great show of religion, rather than a great show of suffering. 7.5/38
    Lupaza - not unless getting murdered counts as a great show of suffering. 7.5/39
    The Darkness and the Light (episode in which Lupaza and Furel were murdered) - a few Bajorans were killed in this episode, but the only person who made a great show of suffering was Silaran Prin, a Cardassian, telling Kira a tale of what she did to him and how he suffered and how it made him a serial killer, which you don't really need to do to someone you're about to kill, unless you want to arouse sympathy and make your victim see that you're justified in your revenge.
    Kira herself is being unforgiving and asking for nobody's help or sympathy. I was way too generous in allowing you half a point from her earlier...

    Korena Sisko, Jake's wife in the alternate timeline in The Visitor - seems happy. I didn't notice any suffering in her marriage to Jake. 7.5/40

    Tora Ziyal - arouses a lot of sympathy in people around her, but never made a great show of suffering, not even after years in the Breen camp. 7.5/40.5

    Akorem Laan - was more interested in being the Emissary and re-introducing the caste system to Bajor than in doing any suffering. 7.5/41.5
    Porta - too busy with loving the caste system and murdering people who don't love it. 7.5./42.5
    2 people who asked Sisko to give them a blessing for marriage - that's all they did. 7.5/44.5

    Belar (Things Past) - was a part of the Resistance, and like most of them, was less interested in shows of suffering and more interesting in blowing stuff up, especially blowing Cardassians up. 7.5/45.5

    Vedek Yassim - made a great show of opposing Bajor's non-alignment pact with Dominion, by committing suicide. Does that qualify as "great show of suffering" (spiritually, because of the pact) in order to arouse "sympathy" (to get people to oppose the Dominion)? Well, at least she's one person who fits the real definition of martyr! OK, I'll give you half a point to make you happy. 8/45.5

    The rest of the Dominion Occupation arc - Kira is being a kickass resistance fighter again, Leeta and Ziyal busy with the resistance, too...
    The only person who makes a great show of suffering is Dukat after he goes insane, though it's probably not to arouse anyone's sympathy but rather because he's, well, gone insane.

    Mirror Bareil - are you serious? 8/46.5

    Kira Meru - is just confused and lost and never makes a great show of suffering through all that's happening to her (kidnapped by Cardassians, insulted by Basso Tromac, sexually assaulted by a random Cardassian as a part of a ruse, blackmailed by the health of her children, emotionally manipulated by Dukat [who's making a great show of being generous and protecting-the-poor-Bajoran-woman (TM) in order to arouse her gratitude, sympathy and other feelings] facing her "friend"' disapproval, almost blown up by the resistance...) and only shows that she's suffering for being apart from her family when she's on her own. It did arouse Nerys' sympathy, but Meru didn't know it, so... no points. 8/47.5
    Other comfort women - had to make a great show of being cheerful and ready to do whatever the Cardassians want, since their lives and the lives of their families depended on it. But OK, they were extras so I won't count them.
    Kira Nerys - makes a great show of telling the Cardassian legate to fuck himself; you might perhaps say that she's making a great show of being hurt by the truth about her mother, but she's just being angry, outraged. judgmental and not trying to get anyone's sympathy.
    Kira Taban - no, he was definitely not trying to make a show of suffering in that holovideo. He also died in another episodes' flashback, but I think we can't hold it against him as a move intended to arouse sympathy, since he couldn't help it. 8/48.5
    Halb Deier - was interesting in blowing people up, rather than in shows of suffering or arousing sympathy. 8/49.5
    Basso Tromac - he wasn't suffering at all, I'm sure he'd tell you himself that he had it really good! He was fucking enjoying his position and, while he must have realized that he was just Bajoran scum to the Cardassians, at least he was able to revel in his power over other Bajorans and could get a kick out of mistreating them. 8/50.5

    Bajoran pah-wraiths worshipper who tries to assassinate Sisko - makes a great show of being a religious fanatic. 8/51.5

    Fala (Covenant) - makes a great show of being obsessed with his faith and losing the will to live once he is disillusioned. Would you count suicide as a great show of suffering? Eh... probably not. 8/52.5
    Mika, Benyan, Brin, the midwife, the rest of the cultists - make a great show of being brainwashed cult members, until they turn on Dukat in an unbelievably fast turnaround. 8/56.5 (still not counting the extras)
    the baby - doesn't really do anything except getting born, so I won't count it.

    Mirror Leeta - makes a great show of girl-on-girl action. Suffering? Are you kidding me? 8/57.5

    Solbor - well, he got killed, but it wasn't his intention, so... 8/58.5

    To summarize:

    ...out of 58.5 Bajorans I've counted (without the extras) in 3 Trek series, only 8 can be said by any stretch of the imagination to have attempted to "make a great show of suffering to arouse (someone's) sympathy" - and I've been generous and included any kind of suffering and any potential source of sympathy...

    and Winn is one of those 8.

    I'd say that is a very poor result for you. But you could try to make your own list and prove otherwise.

    ;) :whistle::razz:
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  16. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2008
    Indiana, USA
    Too Much, you know I am a big fan of yours, but you've said this sort of thing before about Cardassians, and I just do not get it. (I don't agree at all with your assessment of Bajorans either, but I do at least understand it.)

    My favorite alien species are the Vulcans and the Romulans - love 'em, love 'em, love 'em - and of course a lot of wonderful actors played those roles. Nobody will ever replace Nimoy and Lenard for me.

    But no matter: I think Cardassian makeup was absolutely brilliant - of the recurring species, it was the best, I think. Non-human enough to make the Cardassians look alien but (unlike the Klingon makeup, which was almost a mask) subtle enough that you could still see enough of the actors' real faces so that they could still...well, act. And some truly outstanding actors played Cardassians - DevilEyes has listed many of these. When you talk about how they were "never played well enough," I honest to God do not have the slightest idea where you're coming from. Sorry, my friend.
  17. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    Well thank you for being gracious in your disagreement. :) D.E. and Kate, I think you're both misinterpreting me a bit. I actually admire a lot of performances by actors playing Cardassians, particularly David Warner, Harris Yulin, and Casey Biggs. I think Andrew Robinson and Mark Alaimo's performances and characters were quite one-note and overrated, but that's a discussion for another thread.

    My point was not that none of the Cardassian characters were interesting or played's that they were not convincing to me as 'aliens', both because of the way they looked and the way they were played/written. As I said, from an evolutionary perspective their physical features just seemed too implausible. I can imagine an alien's ears/eyebrows simply forming differently the way that different species have different skulls and body hair (compare humans and animals) and the trill spots are just like freckles, but those weird shapes on the Cardassian necks and foreheads just look too contrived to me.

    As for the behaviour of the Cardassians, I admit that to simply call all of them arrogant is a little too broad. I think a better description would be that they're 'charismatic'. And that's all well and good, but what's 'alien' about it? The Vulcans and Romulans, by contrast, have this incredibly modulated vocal pattern...their words seem so carefully chosen and there's such a distinctive cadence to it that I think makes them sound convincingly otherworldly. Again, I think it's something that was pioneered my Leonard Nimoy and Mark Lenard and beautifully emulated by actors like Stephen McHattie in the 24th century shows.

    "Whiny and preachy" probably isn't the best way of articulating what I think about Bajorans, either. It is the first idea that comes to my head when I think back on how most of the characters have come across to me, but considering the examples that D.E. has provided, I think it would be more accurate to adjust that to 'overbearing'.

    They're just extremely forceful about their beliefs and again, this is something that I find makes them appear to resemble a certain kind of irritating human rather than a truly 'alien' civilization. We've all seen humans that talk the way Bajorans or Cardassians talk, but who talks the way Romulans and Vulcans talk?

    To be fair, a good point was made about Leeta. She was cool. That's probably why she was the only Bajoran I liked from start to finish on DS9. The only thing Bajoran about her was her make-up and earring. She didn't seem much like the rest of them. I stand by my statements about the Bajoran looks. To me they just look like humans who have funny earrings and stuff on their noses that looks really fake. :p
  18. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I personally think that there's an explanation for all of it, though. To begin with, an apparent cross between reptilian and mammalian characteristics is not unprecedented, even in Earth history. The therapsids--our pre-mammalian ancestors--were exactly such creatures, some of whom indeed had hair and scales simultaneously. Even the Cardassian vole bears a striking resemblance to Earth's ancient therapsids...though I must say, the cynodont is much more attractive in artists' depictions of it than any Cardassian vole.

    Some therapsids were getting close to bearing live young...they even had what are called "milk lines" to nurse their young. Had our evolution gone a slightly different direction...had we remained therapsids in terms of metabolism and retention of scales even while evolving more fully towards live birth, we could have ended up very much like Cardassians in that respect. Therefore I dismiss any criticisms that Cardassians should not have a blend of reptilian and mammalian characteristics, that that counts against their realism. They're neither...they're therapsids.

    As to the eye ridges, it is my strong suspicion based on Garak's remarks that Cardassian eyes are much more light-sensitive than our own. This is one of two reasons (I will cover the second later) that the evolutionary trade-off for Cardassians to gain eye ridges even with the concomitant loss of peripheral vision made sense: they gain clarity from it.

    However, there's another issue that comes into play with that loss of peripheral vision. We know that Cardassian hearing is inferior to humanity--and therefore likely to most Alpha Quadrant species that hear and that speak as their primary means of communication (this I conjecture given that it is much more common in Trekdom to hear of species stronger, faster, or with superior senses to humans than the other way around). So if they lost peripheral vision yet they are hard-of-hearing by human standards...and therefore evolutionarily disadvantaged in terms of detecting threats approaching from other stands to reason that another omnidirectional sense is in play.

    Now this is my biggest leap, but I still think there is at least canon evidence of precedent on Cardassia Prime, even if not evidence that what applies to one should apply to the other. We know from stated fact that one of the reasons a Cardassian vole infestation aboard a ship or space station is so difficult to get rid of is that the vole has the ability to sense electricity and get into high-voltage areas where humanoids are not able to follow without having to shut down power to entire areas. The logical extension of this is that the Cardassian vole has a bioelectric sense; the reason in nature for such a thing to evolve is to be an omnidirectional threat detector (or prey detector, either way).

    One thing I notice about the vole is the fact that they share the inverted teardrop ridge on their foreheads. I personally suspect this to be a bioelectric node--raised for the gathering of nerve-endings there, but within a protective shield of bone because without that...well, getting hit there could be VERY bad news. (As to the second node on the chest, it is my personal suspicion that's where the Cardassian heart is: reason--the bioelectric sense as I envision it "norms out" its readings by also having a read on one's own metabolism and filtering that out. Whether that secondary node functions on "homo sapiens cardassiensis" I have my doubts.

    But my thought is that the existence of such a sense would allow them to get away with weaker hearing AND with the loss of peripheral vision of the eye ridges.

    The ear and neck ridges are much more simplistic and less intertwined in their explanations...the neck ridges, I think, were simply there to take a bit of the strain off of the spinal column as they evolved to walk upright (I think they are made of strong cartilage, and offer a bit of support). As to the ear ridges...I think they might simply be there to shield the strong muscles of a predator's jaw.

    So as far as I'm concerned, all of it makes perfect sense on the Cardassians.

    Explaining some of the other Trek races...that's a much different story! ;)
  19. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    That's really interesting speculation. :)
  20. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

    Aug 15, 2005
    That would take a lot of time and self-torture, but pretty much every single time a Bajoran opens his or her mouth is an example, especially in Season 1 and 2.

    A good example of Bajoran whining is 95-100% of Kira's dialogue in Emissary, and ditto for Duet.

    If you really need more examples then let me know and I'll delve deeper to appease you. The examples are abundant.

    I'm not familiar with the other examples you provided so I cannot comment on them, but as for the quoted text...

    That has absolutely nothing to do with why I hate Bajorans. Why I hate Bajorans is because the showrunners provided zero reason to care about them. Rather, they presupposed that the audience should care about them 'just because.' That is insufficient.

    At the same time, the showrunners provided lots of reasons not to care about them. Primarily, Trek is supposed to be entertainment. Hearing characters I don't care about whine incessantly about how woeful their experiences are is the anti-thesis of entertainment.