Could they make the Samaritan Snare today?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by data_lover, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. data_lover

    data_lover Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    so im rewatching some classic tng today and i'm on "samaritan snare" with the pakleds. for those that don't remember who they are...[​IMG]
    Anyhow, the crew are all really condescending, calling them "slow" and what not, do you think this would fly in the age of pc or do you think people would freak out and say it's an affront to those with down syndrome?
     
  2. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    It would probably still be OK, I mean they were aliens so you can get away with a lot of stuff.
     
  3. CaptainStoner

    CaptainStoner Knuckle-dragging TNZ Denizen Admiral

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    We might see more PC reactions today than in 1988, so who knows. And of course the problem with PC is that it doesn't even matter that the Pakleds are in fact manipulating the crew. It's actually a very good episode if one is starting to work in developmental disability, because that's really how it often is. They can be masterful manipulators, and there is the constant problem of staff and people babying them. "Learned helplessness" is what it's called, but it certainly doesn't apply only to developmental people.
    So the content of the episode isn't off. I think the stylistic choice for the Pakleds was less than creative, and more cliche. Of course they have to be humpty-dumpty bumpkins. Fat and stupid. They're not making the audience think very hard with that image, and it is a negative stereotype after all. It is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Pakleds get one over on the crew.
    I'm not sure. I'm on the fence with this one. Star Trek at its best will take a cliche negative stereotype, and turn it on its head. And that wouldn't have worked if they had made the Pakleds look like insects or something.
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It caused a controversy at the time. Yes, they were justifiably accused of making fun of folks with Downs Syndrome and other developmental problems.

    Why do people always imagine that now is so different from then, especially when "then" was something like the day before yesterday? :lol:

    This episode was, for a plethora of reasons, the worst Star Trek story ever committed to film up to that time.
     
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  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Dare I mention that my sequel goes on sale next week?

    Coming soon: "Spock's Brain: Missing Again." :)
     
  6. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Nah, Spock's Brain II: Cranium On The Move!
     
  7. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was pretty tasteless, myself, right up there with "Code of Honor" in the tasteless category. Very poor choice on the part of the producers to OK that script.

    Unfortunate it's part of canon.

    (That said--surprisingly enough I actually came up with a fanfic idea that would "fix" the situation. And also end up really showing the Enterprise crew for the arrogant idiots they were.)
     
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  8. Joeman

    Joeman Captain Captain

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    Interesting. I've watched it many times and always liked the episode (scored it 7.5/10). I thought Code of Honor was much worse (3/10). In fact, there were tons of eps that were worse prior to Snare.

    I don't recall ever even thinking about any comparisons between the Pakleds and people with Downs Syndrome. I guess I just simply saw them as a slow minded alien race. Period.

    People who dig into everything to try and find something offensive drive me crazy. Not that that makes your point any less interesting, but I I just don't look to be offended by everything put in front of me.

    Of course PC is more intense now than it was in 1988. How can anyone say things are the same? Prayer in schools, the whole Christmas thing...way worse now than it was then.
     
  9. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, it's not. However, the manufactured outrage against non-issues like "the whole Christmas thing" is certainly something that has been successfully honed by a few talking heads.

    That said, "anti-PC" ranting was already quite fashionable amongst small-minded folks in the mid 1980s - they had realized, perhaps a bit belatedly, that being blatantly racist or sexist or religiously oppressive was not going down very well politically and socially, so hit upon the notion of painting people who objected to bigotry as simply narrowminded in a mirror-image kind of way. "The tolerant are intolerant of intolerance" was and is the subtext of their rather confused battle cry.
     
  10. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting. I first saw that episode probably back in 1988 when it originally aired, or shortly thereafter. That's 21-22 years ago. And literally until this thread, the potential connection between the Pakleds and people with Down Syndrome or any other sort of developmental disability never even occurred to me. And I seriously doubt any such intention ever even crossed the minds of the Trek writers and producers.
     
  11. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I noticed right away--and I thought it was way out of line even when I was little.
     
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  12. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yup, I'm with you.

    As the great Deanna Troi once said while quoting the great Freud, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
     
  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What they intended is not the point of dispute, since no one knows. But the assertion that this interpretation went unnoticed and unobjected to at the time is not disputable - it did not.
     
  14. Joeman

    Joeman Captain Captain

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    That's interesting, especially since I base my perspective on what I experience personally, and not what others tell me I'm experiencing. Maybe everything I experience is indeed "manufactured". I could be living in a Matrix-like environment. Gives me something to think about.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  15. Joeman

    Joeman Captain Captain

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    edit-double post
     
  16. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    There's a reason Bill Maher's show from around that time was called Politically Incorrect. If anything, things are less "uptight" now. Family Guy would never have flown back then, for example.
     
  17. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Good point.

    So-called "political correctness" probably remains more of an issue in academic politics in the U.S. than it really is in general society.
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    When I wrote the Pakleds, I stressed that they weren't stupid, just possessed of limited verbal skills--and overly reliant on "borrowed" technology they didn't fully understand.

    It never occurred to me to write them as mentally-challenged.
     
  19. data_lover

    data_lover Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    you wrote that? holy crap it's like being at an e-con. straight from the horse's mouth, people! :)
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Nah, I didn't write "Samaritan Snare." I wrote a STAR TREK novella about them, as part of the SEVEN DEADLY SINS anthology. It's coming out any day now.