George W. Bush's "The Expanse"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by slappy, May 22, 2003.

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  1. USS Gettysburg

    USS Gettysburg Captain Captain

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    Their mission is to save Earth by whatever means necessary and it was rushed because the Xindi might be building a weapon to destroy Earth. I would move quickly and get to the threat as soon as possible, not ask questions and wait while the next weapon appears from the sky to destroy Earth.
     
  2. John Sullivan

    John Sullivan Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, for the most part it has far more parallels to "LIBERTY 72 - When Battleships Fly." But I did specifically give B&B express written permission to use anything from it once I pulled it out of production. Just about every single element of what I saw last night appeared in some form or fashion in L72-WBF (now being DRASTICALLY rewritten for the Novel version to cut the fat and pull away some of the 9-11 similarities).

    We don't yet know why the Xanadu (or whatever) attacked Earth, but it's very likely to be for the same reasons they were in "When Battleships Fly," because so many of the story elements are the same. But, they could go somewhere completely in Part II. I don't know.

    To cut a very long story down to the chase, there was a bitterly contested civil war going on very similar to Vietnam, where it was more of a very slow war that really wasn't going well for each side because of many reasons. The aliens were intelligent birds who were kind of like the Chinese in that their technology wasn't all that impressive but their numbers were virtually unstoppable. The Xindu/Xindi whatever seem to be a lot like these guys. The remarkable thing was, the Otawians built something very much like those ships we saw in the ENTERPRISE pilot where they were hundreds of thousands of independent modules that combined could turn on a dime and go faster than light. Each module could land independently to form an unstoppable invasion force, and each module had its own weapons and small crew. Like the Chinese - what they hell, they can afford the number of troops it would take to construct a cube that was five miles wide on all sides.

    The civil war was so closely contested in "When Battleships Fly" that they got smart and realized that Earth ships were leaving our star system, and both sides feared that Earth would tip the balance of the long, drawn out war if they got involved. So, a preemptive strike was ordered on Earth, but they did it in a very clever manner. Instead of simply sending a massive invasion force against Earth, which would have gotten themselves into trouble with their neighbors, they approached Jupiter and made a turn into the inner solar system. Passing 8 million miles from Earth, they transmitted a signal that knocked down all of the Earth power grids and wiped out all computers.

    Of course, being the idiots that we are, we didn't have any money, and since all aircraft, spacecraft, and orbiting stations use computers to survive, they either crashed or became cold and lifeless tombs.

    The signal generated by this probe as it made its wide arch around Earth also knocked out half of Mars and half the moon, but because the wide orbit and power it eventually hit all of Earth as the planet turned on its axis. All but for Tokyo. By accident or by design, the moon just happened to block Tokyo from the influence of the beams.

    No one on the ground had known what had happened as they watched airplanes nosedive into the ground, their power go out, and all computers get slicked. No one had photo albums anymore except on computer. No currency existed - it was all on computer. The power grids could soon technically provide power to the people again, but they were reluctant to, not able to figure out without computers how to bill users.

    Then, news made it around the world on shortwave radio that Tokyo was just fine. As a matter of fact, their only catastrophe was in all of the overdue spaceliners who were supposed to have landed in Natarita International. They are stunned at their good fortune, running air raid contingencies correctly guessing that most of Earth would blame Tokyo for the bad fortune of the world.

    One group of people figure out what really happened, and they build the six huge ships to go land on the planet that sent the attack on Earth. They import within their crew 180 "Rangers" on each ship's 350-man (and women) compliment - special forces that normally aren't in a non-military corporation. The world governments have their hands full just trying to attend to the needs of their desparate populations - without computers no one has a clue how to efficiently move cargo or food. The governments can't go to the planet. LIBERTY ENTERPRISES does, and deciedes to send 6 ships there to tell the aliens, in no matter what language it takes, that they expect better treatment in the future.

    The six ships get intercepted by one of these five-mile wide wide cubes, and against thousand of antimatter missiles, five of six ships get whacked. Only one gets through - LIBERTY 72, and they do indeed settle the score on the planet, but they lose 83 people doing it. Five identical ships just like her didn't even make it there.

    Long story short, I'd expect three things in this Season Three opener, based on the similarities to my own stuff:

    1) We'll find that a policy of internal preemption designed to keep Earth away has resulted in exactly the opposite effect,

    2) There will be a lot of losses on the "Starfleet" side and with their special forces, as they battle the war that no Earth government is in a position to take on, because after the devastating attack, they simply can't.

    3) But, most of the opposition will be on the approach to the inner circle of the opposition. Starfleet will find that SOMEONE is already helping them win their war, having already defeated the inner circle to the point where Archer can approach it to get down to business in finding out why Earth was attacked, and doing what he can to make sure it never happens again.

    I wrote all of this for the first time in 1997, and I was so stunned by 9-11-2001 - more than anyone else to the point that I pulled the film out of production myself. Ironically, the "LIBERTY ENTERPRISES Rangers" had tracked down the leaders who had instigated the attack in a mountain hideout not very much unlike Tora Bora.

    The set-up here is that the species that attacked Earth knew of Earth because six years ago, LIBERTY 65 had accidentally stumbled into the system, and was assumed destroyed there after sending their report of their observations back to Earth. The aliens on this planet had been alarmed that Earth ships had already gone so far away from home, and the preemptive strike was intended to prvent a return. Abridged version of the script where the ship approaches the planet following the loss of its five sister ships, and it notices that aliens involved in the civil war (much as how the Klingons are providing interference in the story here) have used technology much like the Xindi to plow damage onto the planet. This probably belongs in the "Fan Fiction" section but I post it here as a possible answer to many of the questions about this episode that people have asked. The haunting thing about this whole story to me was that the leaders who had attacked Earth were fanatics who had taken a belief system as an excuse to go on the warpath that was little more than a murdering spree.

     
  3. where'sSaavik?

    where'sSaavik? Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Remember to keep this ENT-related folks. Discussing ENT's relation to IRL political and social situations is fine. But if you just want to talk about Bush, Iraq, etc., then TNZ or MISC would be a more appropriate forum.
     
  4. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And how is this different from the "many low-ranking Clinton adoring sheep jump out of nowhere when their sacred, infallible führer seems to get under attack here?"? Don't be so naive as to think that the other side behaves differently than your side. One thing you'll learn as you get older is that both sides are quilty of what they accuse the other side of doing.
     
  5. tafkats

    tafkats Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I hate to argue with you, Worf999 -- because your "location" line shows you have excellent taste in women and I respect that ;) -- but both sides do not necessarily do the same things.

    During the Clinton administration, I never once head a Clinton supporter say "he's our president, so we should support him no matter what." But that's exactly what some of the people who were major Clinton-bashers are now saying about Bush. Now THAT'S a double standard.
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I think you're trying waaaay to hard to read your liberal political views into the show. Stop trying to link Archer to Bush and look at this as if you were watching a cop show. A mass murder takes place, and you receive a tip on who did it. You have your doubts about the reliability of the tip because of the source, but what they tell you coincides with an independant test of the evidence. It also happens to be your only tip. Do you:

    A) Ignore the tip completely and sit with the digit of your choice inserted into your lower instestine because you don't like the source? Or

    B) Arm yourself heavily and go check out the suspect so that you can find out for yourself whether he's guilty or innocent?

    Archer's mission is simple: Check out the Xindi, find out if they did attack the earth, and then respond as appropriate to the situation. He's not going to unload his entire compliment of torpedoes on a world just on the say-so of Future Guy, but it's not like he had any other leads to go on. Maybe once you get over that socialist hypersensitivity that causes you to reflexively take the word of Saddam Hussein--a man who butchered his own people, initiated two separate wars of conquest, refused to abide by the terms of the surrender agreement that he signed for over 12 years, who had Al Qaida training camps operating within his country, who had missles prepared to receive chemical payloads, who launched his illegal SCUDs at American and British troops, etc., etc.--over that of a basically honest guy from Texas, you'll be able to analyze the show a bit more thoroughly.
     
  7. Lady Conqueror

    Lady Conqueror Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But should we then just not use this sort of plot with Trip's character because it just might happen to fit in with some people's stereotypical view of Southerners. How PC do we have to get not to offend someone.

    And this had to happen to Trip - look at the rest of the cast:

    Travis - his family are on freighters so they couldn't be killed off in an attack on Earth

    Archer - doesn't even seem to have any family left

    T'Pol - Her family would be on Vulcan and besides it wouldn't be logical to go on a vengence mission

    Phlox - Again his family wouldn't be on Earth

    Reed - Maybe but he's too repressed at it is. I'd imagine he would just bury the pain deep down and try to get on with the job, British stiff upper lip style (and folks want to complain about stereo-typing)

    That only leaves Hoshi and Trip and as much as I like Hoshi she seems less likely to go into vengence mode (she seems to not mind dealing with her pent up grief as seen in "Dead Stop" when she went to see Travis after he died). I know she's supposed to be more ass-kicking in Season 3 but I don't think it would come across right if the change occurred due to losing a family member for her.

    So that leaves - wears his heart on his sleeve Trip - and his reactions can come believably from what we've seen of him so far. He's in full, respond without thinking mode at the moment and that may make him seem stereotypically southern but it's also stereotypically Trip as well.

    As long as they balance out his characteristics so he's not a one-dimensional southern stereotype, I don't think they should shy away from storylines which might bring that to mind for some people either.

    And so far I think they and Connor have done a fairly decent job of showing other sides to the engineer.
     
  8. xezt

    xezt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I whole heartedly agree. If ENT has the balls to do a REAL 9-11 analogy, then Earth and a group of fanatical nutjobs would want to wage war on the Klingons, Romulans or someone. Archer would find out that these nutballs have always wanted to wage war on the Romulans, because the Rommies have valubale DILITHIUM CRYSTALS, that are very much needed for warp drive. These fanatics use the Xindi attack to wage war against the Romulans.

    In real life, people have forgotten about the Taliban and Al-Quaeda and swallowed the bull shit propaganda that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    What must it be like to live in so much ignorance?

    Nobody's forgotten about the Taliban, except insofar as they've already been beaten. Have you properly cheered Bush for that? As for Al Qaida, perhaps you were too busy coming up with cliched chants ("No blood for dilithium!") to notice that we found and destroyed two or three Al Qaida training camps just outside of Baghdad. Frankly, to finish them off, we'd have to invade Syria, Saudi Arabia, and France too, but I doubt that the anti-Bush camp would praise him for it if he did.
     
  10. xezt

    xezt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why don't you tell us about it? :rolleyes:


    The war with Iraq has been in planning since the early 1990's by the far right. The September 11th terrorist attacks was just the excuse right wing nutballs needed to justify such a war.
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    It'll be interesting to see how this story arc plays out. When the Enterprise triumphs over the Xindi (as it surely must), will it destroy them completely? What kind of moral implications would such an act have, given the new self-conscious unease about depictions of war and large-scale violence that TV -- in particular, American TV -- has demonstrated in response to modern events?
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I enjoy a good conspiracy theory, being an old X-Files and Millennium fan. That's pitiful.

    Perhaps you would like to explain what you would've done to confirm that Saddam had dismantled his WMD program that wasn't already failing. Once again (since the left, who cheered on Bill Clinton's attack for this very same reason, has such a short political memory), he agreed to dismantle and provide the proof that he had after GWI. He stalled for 12 years, played hide-and-go-seek with the U.N. inspectors (who couldn't even find the SCUDs that were actually fired on us just two days into the war). How many more chances (for Saddam to laugh at you) do you think he deserved?

    Let me reiterate: Saddam was a liar who refused to keep his end of the bargain any way you slice it. Either he was a complete idiot on top of being a liar for not simply handing over the evidence that he had indeed destroyed the WMD program like he promised to, or he was just a very good liar, and the 12 years that your friends in the U.N. goofed around simply gave him the time to hide or export the program. Either way, Bush was entirely justified in upholding the original U.N. resolutions that Saddam's remaining in power was dependant on his complete and unqualified cooperation--if the U.N. weren't simply a drinking club for the dictators and anti-Americans of the world, they would've done it a long time ago themselves (albeit with American troops since we're really the U.N.'s only army).

    With all that we're learning about what was going on in Iraq, it's amazing that the socialist-left has decided to side with Saddam in this conflict. It says something for its bankruptcy of morals or ideas--and don't think the country doesn't get it. In fact, I hope you guys keep this up since it'll keep the evil "far right" in power for another couple of decades.

    Now, having beaten the subject to death and not having a single one of my arguments substantially refuted outside of a weak, "It's a conspiracy!" cry, I'm going back to other threads to discuss that other great socialist fantasy: Star Trek. ;)
     
  13. its_a_clock

    its_a_clock Commodore Commodore

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    Man, I really hate it when Americans forget that what is considered 'liberal' in their pseudo-capitalist, soon to be police state is considered 'conservative' in the rest of the Western world. :rolleyes:
     
  14. John Sullivan

    John Sullivan Commodore Commodore

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    Not all too sure exactly what Hoshi's translation of that would be, but The Prez has heard from me already about some of what you just said. One good thing about being in Florida is I run a web site ( http://www.lukemccoy.net - haven't updated it in forever, though ) about a talk show host who happens to be in with the Florida governor ... and thus a backdoor to the President. Here's the gist of what I said.

    IN MY OPINION ... in a nation where "precedent" sets up the future of the court interpretations for just about anything in the good ol' U.S.A. this "Department of Homeland Security" is a terrible idea.

    I applaud the loopholes closing with the Border Patrol, INS, and other things related closely or less closely related to the Coast Guard. That is just a matter of getting rid of scammers running some Union get-up to milk a system for as long as they can.

    I do not applaud that we are soon to be a nation where we are to be a nation where we are presumed to be guilty until proven innocent.

    Back to the "precedent" thing. I have no doubt in my mind that George W. Bush and his cast of well intentioned cast of characters are doing the ethical, moral, and scrupulous thing with this attempt to prevent the next 9-11.

    But some day, there will be a "President Hillary," or someone just like her, whose Attorney General will quote the things like the Cuban detention camps, the police actions, the checkpoints, and just about everything else as an escuse, justified by "precedent," to do unimaginable things just for the hell of it.

    BY THE WAY ... just got back from Atlanta where my Art Director just updated the "Encyclopedia" section of the LIBERTY 72 website. Man, she does some kick-ass work!
     
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    My apologies. I will henceforth refer to them as socialists and communists, if you prefer.
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'll agree with you there. My concern is not so much what the DoHS will do during Bush's administration, but what it's going to mushroom into, in the fashion of all government bureaucracies, ten or twenty years down the line. Of course, I think the IRS, the EPA, the NEA, and a host of other acronyms should be dismantled on the same basis.
     
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    No, the same Janeane Garofalo that said she'd go to the White House and personally congratulate President Bush if any WMD were found. None found so far.

    "Nobody's forgotten about the Taliban, except insofar as they've already been beaten. Have you properly cheered Bush for that?"

    Why cheer him for that? The Taliban are back with a vengeance in Afghanistan. Of course, FAUX NEWS will not be reporting this so you may have missed it.
     
  18. its_a_clock

    its_a_clock Commodore Commodore

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    Is that supposed to be an insult?
     
  19. StevenMullen

    StevenMullen Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    If Enterprise supports the idea that a preemptive strike to protect Earth is ok and/or the show goes along the Bush administration ideas, i'll quit this series instantly, no matter how good production or stories or anything gets.
    If it happens it'll be one of the saddest days in my life, since i've loved Star Trek for it's messages (beside of the fun of course)since i can remember.
    :(
    i can't beleive this
     
  20. Miss Thang

    Miss Thang Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nope. Not at all. I don't think the issue is really offending people, but rather using easy, trite, expected connotations between place and character traits instead of coming up with something original. It's not just about viwers' stereotypes, but also how those stereotypes are created--by rehashing portrayals, uncritically accepting other people's work and reprocessing it because it's familiar and people "get" immediately that "this equals Southern; OK, I can deal with this without putting too much thought into it."

    I don't think that's a PC issue at all. It's more a matter of good writing, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not offended that Trip's the one they picked to go through this tragedy. I think he's a good choice, given, as you point out, that he tends to wear his heart on his sleeve, and I hope we get to see his character grow and change in response to Elizabeth's murder. Cumulatively, though, it seems that there's a lazy dependence on Southern stereotypes in the creation of Trip's character that we don't get with Archer. I'd rather not see the Southern thing be a writer's crutch.

    I don't think Reed's that repressed. He's the one accepting his fate in "Shuttlepod One," while Trip's in annoyed denial. Reed's the one telling Trip it's OK to admit to feelings of sadness in "Expanse" in response to Trip's claim that his sister's death doesn't count any more than any of the other 7 million deaths. Reed very much does experience emotion; knowing what to do with those emotions seems to be the problem sometimes. Trip frequently suppresses his emotions--or tries to. They work themselves out, though, often in the form of anger (i.e. lashing out at Reed in "Shuttlepod One," lashing out at Reed in "Expanse"). I don't think Reed would bury it deep down; I don't think he could.

    Now whether Reed'd be suitable for killing off his family, or some of them, I think there's possibility there. He has a younger sister, too. He has an extended family he's close to, and parents we've actually met. The Xindi could've easily attacked Malaysia and zapped his parents, or England (presumably) and zapped Uncle Archie, Aunt Sherry, and the rest of the aunties, or wherever Madeline is; he was expressing feelings of, at best, ambivalence toward his family just a few episodes ago, so there's definite possibility for emotional upheaval there. Reed's job is to protect others; I can see him getting a bad case of revenge-lust in response to the murder of some of his family, especially if it were driven by guilt over not having seen or gotten along with them and regret that there's now no opportunity to patch things up.

    I agree that it's not a problem if there's a balance. I don't think "respond without thinking" mode is stereotypically Southern at all--although it is indeed typically Trip==and I don't think that's what they were going for in this specific situation. I just wonder if they've thought through the implications of the places they have their characters come from, or if they just picked them for their convenient codes.

    So far we have two characters from definite places--Trip's from the South, Malcolm's from England. But Archer's "from" California, and that doesn't seem to work into how he's presented. That leads me to think that place as a key element of character formation isn't something that was really delved into as the characters were created. Travis is a boomer, so he's not "from" a place, he's from a ship. But that only ever figures into his character and the man he's become when they specifically deal with the ship he came from, like in "Horizon," or in that scene with Trip in the sweet spot in "Broken Bow" (and once on the bridge, when Archer called upon his freighter-derived expertise, and in an early first season episode on which Mayweather thought they should stay out of a situation. Otherwise, nothing much.) Where the hell is Hoshi from, anyway? Japan? And we know this from the food she obsessively recooked in "Singularity"?

    Trip, on the other hand, is dripping "Southern" coding all over the place--the food he likes, the places he went as a kid, etc. etc. etc. Reed, too, but to a lesser extent--the accent, the disposition, the food he gets for brekkie with Trip and Archer.

    What I'm getting at is that Trip and Reed are partly written by default because of where they come from, or that's what I'm getting from what I've seen. Other characters who are "from" places that are less culturally codified aren't so defined by those places--not because that's how things work in reality, but because, as I'm thinking at the moment, the writers don't have extant models to play with; those characters' regional origins can even seem incidental from time to time, and I suspect it's because they're not so constructed by those places as Trip and Reed are. If indeed, for example, Hoshi's Japanese-ness were to become a greater focus, would we be re-fed old Japanese stereotypes. She hasn't really been fleshed out yet. Is that because there's no regional hook from which to hang her?

    All that said, I don't think this is a problem only TPTB have. Virtually all television drama and comedy writing and much film writing (at least in the US) is guilty of using easy, pat stereotypes in place of new takes on what it means to be from such-and-such a place. Trip and Reed are so easily recognizable as Southern and British because we've seen so many easily identifiable Southern and British characters before.

    Here's another example: how many Cajuns have you met in your lifetime? But from what you've seen (and maybe you haven't seen them in Oz) in movies and TV, describe what a TV/movie Cajun is. Erudite? Sophisticated? Worldly? Prolly not. Probably more something like earthy, provincial, foolish, childlike, animal-like, backwater. And that perception comes from rehashed, unoriginal popular culture, from writers building on what they've seen others do because it's easy and because they can assume their audiences will get the codes.

    It's not PC to ask that writers put greater thought into the characters they create. I know they're not writing Middlemarch week to week, and that the conditions under which TV's produced aren't really conducive to great theoretical interrogations of region, place, and identity (that's what PBS is for ;) ). I just think the characters would be that much more interesting if more thought were put into where they're coming from--literally and figuratively.

    And let me just add gratuitously that James T. Kirk definitely was not the stereotypical Iowan. :p
     
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