Kirk’s Comment in Elaan of Troyius

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Spock's Barber, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I want one of those Romulan helmets. :cool:
     
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  2. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's interesting, because it probably goes under "cringeworthy" in that other thread going on in the General forum.

    But, even as such, I always took it as a good natured jab / attempt at humor, and not a truly sexist statement. Kind of like making fun of your Irish buddy for being able to consume a lot of alcohol (I'm Irish, BTW) rather than making a truly offensive or ignorant comment.

    Trek has some of those too, BTW...but this probably wasn't one of them.

    Do you think JML had a tendancy toward this kind of writing?
     
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  3. Steven P Bastien

    Steven P Bastien Captain Captain

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    Old shows are very much a time capsule. That's the thing I find interesting discussing throw away lines. Times change and it is fun to remember how it used to be. Look at those old shows where you see everyone smoking in buildings. An office scene could have 10 people all smoking at their desks, with a cloudy haze hanging in the room. It's unthinkable today and it's easy to forget that this was the norm.

    I once wondered why the show "Chico and the Man" is never seen in reruns on TV. Then I borrowed a DVD of the show from someone and it was clear why. You can't say those racist things any more on TV. The funny thing is that "The Man" (Ed Brown) is a cranky old man making racist remarks about Chico, but he hires him, becomes his friend and actually loves him in the end. The dynamic of the situation is lost if those "bad" remarks are not made. There is a fine line that had to be tread. Too much to one side and you distort reality, and too much to the other you offend people and can't entertain them. With the right balance, you can entertain people and even have a moral to be appreciated.

    Stand up comedians tread this line all the time. Usually something has to be grounded in truth to be funny. If you don't tell it like it is, the jokes fail, but if you tell it too much like it is, you get a tomato in the face.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  4. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I don’t know that much about JML. I like his script/direction contributions to TOS. It’s that just some of the characters act/talk different than usual on occasion using his written words. Spock in That Which Survives kind of irritated me with his caustic remarks to Scotty, Uhura and Radha.
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

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    I think it was fairly typical dialog from shows and films of that era. Star Trek may have been set in the future but it was made in the 1960s. Sometimes that fact becomes glaringly obvious.
     
  6. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I thought it was a good zinger.

    I also like when Kirk suggested they could add more breakables to her room because she didn't like the pillows.

    I thought hitting her was taking her cultural background into consideration as those people, from that small sample, seemed to not respect anything but brutal action, no amount of pleasantry would sway them and could actually be found offensive, which is why she stabbed the "Troyan green pig".
     
  7. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Even Spock chuckled at Kirk’s comment.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Steven P Bastien

    Steven P Bastien Captain Captain

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    He might be thinking about his prospective bride T'Pring who almost got either one of them killed with flawless stone-cold logic, and is about to slip in a zinger of his own.
     
  9. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Spock: “How many Starship captains does it take to screw in a light bulb?” :whistle:
     
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  10. Steven P Bastien

    Steven P Bastien Captain Captain

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    I was thinking, "I'll see your "Elaan" and raise you one "T'Pring", but Spock plays "chess not poker", so that would not be likely.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  11. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    [​IMG]

    I’d like to see if Kirk could get these 3 tough dudes to bust out laughing.
     
  12. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was the 1960's
     
  13. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Captain Captain

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    Just can't get decent headphones these days
     
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  14. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    Only if he used a feather...

    Who wouldn't want to eat off of them? I mean those? I mean those placemats with the Frodis Monkees logo on them? And the more Frodises means the higher rank! Or amount of hairspray... or are those Roling Stone band insignias without the tongue stickin' out? :devil:
     
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  15. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, it was blatantly sexist. Unremarkable when it was filmed though.

    Regardless, I am quite shocked by the number of people who do not see anything wrong with the line.
     
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  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Given the era in which it was filmed, it's pretty much impossible to watch TOS without occasionally stumbling over some casual sexism that hasn't aged well. I don't think we need to bend over backwards to defend or rationalize these instances, nor do I think we need to conclude that Kirk (or Pike) or the 23rd century was meant to be sexist or misogynistic. The character of Kirk is not inherently sexist; he just got saddled with some sexist dialogue from a 1960s screenwriter who didn't know better.

    This is a textbook case of how sometimes you just have to accept the real-world explanation (that the line was written fifty-plus years ago) and not try to make it work or fit somehow. Nowadays we just cringe a little and try to overlook it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  17. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    ...and given the pressure the production crew was under, especially during the 3rd season, maybe the story editor, director or producer just said “We’re behind schedule. Film it as written.”
    :shrug:
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    If it even bothered anyone back then. Many of the lines that make us wince today wouldn't have raised an eyebrow back in 1968 or whenever. You could hear similar lines on most any show. As Longinus just observed, that line was unremarkable back in the day.
     
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  19. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Enh, actually, I think the comment comes pretty early in the episode, and definitely before Petri is stabbed and Kirk becomes the "teacher."

    Spock's half a tool to everyone in that episode, though, including Scotty. And actually I don't think he is really all that snotty to Uhura. But anyway. The wildly varying style that Spock demonstrates in the "Spock-in-command" group of episodes is enough to make one feel as though the inertial dampeners gave out. (By contrast, Scotty is always the same when he's in command.)

    Yeah, one of the little touches that I don't like in Elaan is how Kryton and the other huge dudes accompanying Elaan whip out their weapons the second they're beamed up, and Kirk, Spock and Scotty are all calm and collected about it. I mean - it's not like the Enterprise has ever been taken over before. Who let these armed characters onto a Starfleet vessel brandishing weapons??
     
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  20. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    Same here.
    Sure Kirk was trying to be funny and it was the 60s but its pretty insulting to women if you think about it. Maybe more suited to a locker room than a work environment.
    Still I agree that it does not make Kirk a misogynist
     
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