Spoilers Let’s talk about the destruction of Trek utopia…

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Anters, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I would argue that TNG got a little carried away with the whole "utopian" thing, particularly in its early seasons, and that some fans have taken it even further since then, to the point that any sort of imperfection, human frailty, or "darkness" is seen as a violation of Trek's "utopian" vision, to the extent any new Trek project is judged "not Trek" if it's not as drenched in utopianism as early TNG.

    "But . . . but Trek is about a scarcity-free paradise full of evolved humans, in which there are no terminal diseases, no schoolyard fights, no pushy reporters, no substance abuse, no smoking, no swearing, no broken people, no failures or defeats, and Starfleet is always a shining example of virtue and enlightenment."

    Granted, "drowning" is subjective, and a matter of taste, but insisting (as folks often seem to) that the future has to be 100% "utopia" or "paradise," as opposed to simply new-and improved, strikes me going a bit heavy on the utopia sauce--to say the least!
     
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  2. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I both hear you and also wonder if we’re not being short-sighted. There’s a good possibility that there won’t be any terminal diseases in the centuries ahead, and that we will in fact live young, and forever, connected to an uber-mind and not. If Trek is still around then, it will morph into something that fits in that setting. For me a more important question is more like will that be the case for us all or those who can “afford” it by the arbitrary metrics of the powerful at the time? Right now, the idea that the United States of America can’t afford universal healthcare, for example, when everyone else of note can tells me that it’s not our technology that’s the problem but our perspective.

    The future will be vastly different from today. That’s not up to us. What is up to us is how.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  3. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I hate myself for my thoroughness. This will take longer than the few days I thought.

    I hope everyone understands and will be patient.
     
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  4. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Cool. I agree. I don't think that makes it utopian.

    Personally, I have been studying parenting, family systems and attachment theory for the past 2 years and think that parenting styles has a lot of progress to be made. And, if people apply all that I have learned I would not consider that to be utopia. I would consider it progress and makes me optimistic for the up and coming generations.

    Mileage and all that.
     
  5. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TNG was the best mix of optimism and progress in my opinion. Even though it portrayed evolved humans they still deal with Tasha's death, Picard unable to stop the borg from using him, personal insecurities etc.. and still managed to make it seem like humanity had progressed to a different viewpoint than modern day people. Some aspects people mock about it made it seem more futuristic and hopeful.
     
  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    It's funny given Gene's directive about people not mourning death in the future. Very interesting way that they handled that.

    TNG works the best, in my limited and humble opinion, when they are not used to talk down to 20th century humanity.
     
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  7. SolarisOne

    SolarisOne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Remember in "The Neutral Zone(TNG)" when Picard did talk down to 1990s humans and got schooled in the end when the rich capitalist who bossed him around was the one who understood what the Romulans wanted when Picard and his senior officers didn't?
     
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  9. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Ralph Offenhouse: the hero we need.
     
  10. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You bet your low-mileage pit woofie we do.
     
  11. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Commander Red Shirt

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    I always kind of liked the ST episodes that straight up called out current humans for being a bunch of selfish assholes, but I also assume they're mostly preaching to the choir there.
     
  12. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know that they wouldn't have figured it out. It's just that Offenhouse was closer to them. That's kind of a derogatory (and accurate) statement about the Romulans and contemporary us, while at the same time giving Offenhouse some credit for not being completely useless in his new century. We got to have both a promise of a better future and respect for the worth of all of us in the same episode. I mean, it's not like it was written by a different writer, years later, in response to a previous episode. (That happened later.)
     
  13. Anters

    Anters Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Many would agree, but what counts as 'Star Trek' for you and what in this series isn't Trek?
     
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  14. Bornin1980something

    Bornin1980something Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    What is the later episode you refer to?
     
  15. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The one on DS9 where Quark mocks Jake for not having any money. ...Oh? What’s every Federation citizen been buying stuff with at your bar? Obviously Federation citizens have money outside the Federation. It was just a dig at TNG’s progressivism.

    [soapbox]...By overgrown man-children playing at being tough guys in a world whose problem isn’t there not being enough tough guys. Boohoo, Roddenberry made writing for a TV show challenging for you. Take your millions and do your fucking job. For all the bs about there not being enough money for anything that might help the underprivileged, I’ve got a DAILY trillion dollars being printed out of the ether by the Fed to keep the status quo going. If they can get rid of money in a more efficient and amenable future economy, more power to them.[/soapbox]
     
  16. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Commander Red Shirt

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    Does this mean I'm not getting that sweet $3400 stimulus check that, after inflation, will probably be enough to buy like 3 rolls of toilet paper? I WANT MAH DEATH MONEY
     
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  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    It should be noted that arguments over just how "utopian" Trek ought to be are nothing new, and way predate the new shows and movies. I remember a big debate on the TrekLit boards more than a decade ago about whether child abuse was an appropriate topic for a Trek novel, with some folks arguing strenuously that (a) child abuse would not exist in Roddenberry's "utopian" future and (b) the very topic was inappropriate since Trek is all about hope, optimism, discovery, etc. "I don't want to read about child abuse in a Trek book!"

    Meanwhile, other folks argued that (a) Trek has always dealt with difficult and challenging topics (albeit often in sci-fi drag) and (b) if Trek can't deal with real social issues and problems, what's the point?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
  18. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I don’t understand fans who don’t want to discuss discussable subjects, but if you’re not going to put them in the context of the future setting or, where applicable, the Federation method for addressing them, then what’s the point of using Star Trek as your vehicle for it? Write an original sci-fi piece, or, maybe better yet, a contemporary one.
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Because many treat Trek as just escapism.
     
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  20. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    True, but that doesn't change the nature of Star Trek as a storytelling vehicle or the intentions of the people who write for it. I enjoy sacred classical and gospel music. I am not Christian, nor was I raised Christian. I'm there to listen to the music, but I accept and appreciate that it means significantly more to other people.
     
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