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

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

  1. IRW Bloodwing

    IRW Bloodwing Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    You seem to be laboring under the illusion that this is still the 90s, and Trek still has a mass audience.

    Again, you are assuming there is a mass audience out there that does not exist in this day and age. We all were following every little bit of the lead up to the new shows including the "behind the scenes stuff". You would have had to be a blind, deaf, hermit to have missed it all.
     
  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Still means nothing to how a person engages with the work.
     
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  3. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    It does still have a mass audience, all you need to do is see the social engagement online.
     
  4. Grendelsbayne

    Grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not even everyone on this board follows all that stuff and there are still plenty of people out there watching all the different streaming shows without going onto boards like this or looking for bts videos or articles. Just because you may obsessively consume that stuff about your favorite franchises it doesn't mean that everyone does (and just because someone watches Star Trek, it doesn't even mean it's their favorite franchise and they care about looking stuff up ahead of time - plenty of people just watch whatever looks interesting on whatever services they subscribe to and keep watching if they like it.)
     
  5. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not everybody even cares about those things. Sometimes the "behind the scenes stuff" is boring and tells me nothing other than this actor and that producer like to pose together for selfies.
     
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  6. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Cartoon Premium Member

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    Yeah, some people just watch the shows and that's it.
     
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  7. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Since when? :wtf::eek:
     
  8. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Cool. They're shooting in Vancouver for six weeks. How does that help most of us?
     
  9. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One that needs to produce TV drama.

    By leaving said society before failing.

    By living in a society that councils those with PTSD rather than casting them aside.

    It tried, by giving a trite, barely connected to the story to that point speech or two at the end, Discovery style.

    To quote another creator we apparently must now also learn to separate from his work:
    "All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn't your pet -- it's your kid. It grows up and talks back to you."
    - Joss Whedon

    I don't have the CBS All Access streaming numbers, but it seemed to be doing ok with the masses pretty recently...

    https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2876474881/
    https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt1408101/?ref_=bo_se_r_1
    https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt2660888/?ref_=bo_se_r_1
     
  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds like TOS sometimes...:shrug:

    I'm going to argue point for point on this one. PIC isn't for you and that's fine. But, TNG wasn't for me and the more I read about it the less it appeals. It glazes over human nature in a way that is borderline offensive to me. Gene's whole "No conflict rule" and "people don't mourn" soured me further.

    But, I cannot find an aspect of Federation society that makes me scared, the foundation of dystopia, to be there. I do find a lot that needed to change, and grow. And I'm all about change and growth.

    Mileage will vary and IDIC.
     
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  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    1) Darker is often more sophisticated. Sorry, it's just true. People know that they live in complex times and they want more sophistication in their shows to help them process that.

    2) But people also still want more optimistic shows designed to create a sense of reassurance rather than to challenge us. That's why we're getting SNW and why we have LD. That's why TNG and TOS and VOY and ENT are all still available to stream. That's why shows like The Orville exist. A wide variety of tastes, including yours, are being catered to.

    Nine months after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, TOS aired "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," an episode about the crew encountering an alien species whose members experienced racial conflict on the basis of some of them being black on their right side and white on the left and others being white on their right side and black on their left.

    But go on, please regale us with complaints about how DIS is so much less subtle than older ST.

    I agree with you that DIS is less blatant in its political commentary than TOS, but there is a clear similarity between T'Kuvma and Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. All three of them are politicians who ascended to political leadership by appealing to xenophobic, racialized concepts of in-group purity needing to be protected from dangerous "others" from outside the in-group. For T'Kuvma, that mean denouncing Federation multiculturalism as a threat to Klingon supremacy. For Trump, it meant painting Latinos and Muslims as a violent invading force and black communities as degenerate violent hellholes that threatened suburban (white) communities. For Johnson, it meant appealing to anti-Eastern European prejudice and sublimated English nationalism in the context of leaving the European Union. But all three of them built their power on a form of nationalism and upon a rejection of multiculturalism. It is an entirely fair comparison.

    I agree with you here.

    Your feeling is wrong. You objectively did not meet him as a kid.

    Sure! But you did not meet him as a kid and did not watch him grow.

    [​IMG]

    But seriously -- art is art whether you like it or not, and claiming something isn't a work of art because it involves confronting unpleasant subject matter is absolute nonsense.

    Except this is not an area of subjective disagreement! Thad is objectively not different from Will's mom or Troi's dad: He is a character we never meet from the past who is only important because of the emotional impact his absence has on the characters the story is actually about.

    You may want for the character to be more important, but he wasn't. He was, like Will's mom and Deanna's dad before him, a plot device.

    Like most of us, a combination of shows that challenge me and shows that reassure me.

    Kirk routinely showed no pain or significant concern for the deaths of redshirts. It was common for a redshirt to die and then for him to be in a good mood for the episode's happy, upbeat ending. It was such a cliche that the novel Redshirts parodies the lack of concern TOS as a narrative has for its supporting characters' deaths.

    Give me a percentage first.

    Well, I'd say this: I like and respect Mark A. Altman. His work on the ST franchise is great. His podcast is a delight.

    The premise is interesting. Some of the actors are good. And the writing becomes solid C+/B- work after a few episodes in.

    There are, however, scenes where the writing an acting in the early episodes are just painful.

    But. The actors are all very pretty, and I am an easy lay for space opera.

    I think the best way to sleep at night is to accept that the fictional Federation is an imperfect society comprised of imperfect beings who had an understandable mental blindspot that kept them from understanding the severity of the sentient rights violation they were committing, and that the Federation has moved past that horror in part as a direct result of Picard's actions in PIC.

    On the other hand, most Federates did not understand that that's what was happening, because the idea that AIs that were designed not to be sentient could become so en masse was completely alien to Federation experience. They didn't go out looking for sentient beings to enslave; it would be more like if someone told us tomorrow that our cell phones had all become sentient.

    That doesn't excuse what they did, but I do think it precludes them from pure evil.

    And add to that the simple fact that the Federation is a democratic polity that has solved the oppressions of racism, sexism, cisheterosexism, religious bigotry, disease, and classism? I'm sorry, but that's still a remarkable accomplishment even with the EMH abuses.

    No, we didn't. The difference is I don't let the tone of TNG as a work of art get in the way of analyzing what the UFP is actually like if it's doing the stuff TNG depicts it as doing.

    Much earlier in this thread, I wrote the following two paragraphs. I stand by them:

    I think the utopianism of TNG is over-sold. If we go back and watch the show, there is clearly a lot of corruption and shady shit within the Federation -- Pressman and the phase cloak in "The Pegasus," the admiral who tried to get Ensign Ro to do some shady shit in "Ensign Ro," Admiral Satie's witchhunt in "The Drumhead," Maddux trying to turn Data into a slave in "The Measure of a Man," the admiral who tried to steal Lal away in "The Offspring," the Federation allowing entire civilizations to die out in "Pen Pals" and "Homeward," the culture of idolization and hero worship built up around elite squads at Starfleet Academy like Nova Squad and Red Squad in "The First Duty" (and DS9's "Valiant"), the Federation's blithe willingness to engage in a war of genocide against the Borg in "I, Borg" and subsequent episodes where Nechayev ordered Picard to genocide them if he got the chance, the Federation's refusal to do anything substantive to help the Bajorans before they drove off the Cardassians in S6, the Federation's willingness to forcibly relocate a Native American settlement after totally ignore their wishes (and their complete blindness to the idea that those folks could just leave the Federation and accept Cardassian rule), and their general attitude towards the Maquis in S7, their willingness to forcibly relocate the Bak'u in INS -- these things all come to mind as examples of how the Federation was far from pure.

    I think what PIC has done is, it has changed the tone and focus. Instead of focusing on morally righteous heroes who are always powerful enough to do the right thing without suffering negative repercussions for it and for whom moral corruption always comes from without, PIC focuses on Picard and company as morally imperfect political actors embedded in a morally imperfect society, who are trying to do their best and to redeem their society for its bad choices, but who are not themselves always perfect and who do not themselves always have enough power to make the morally correct choices. Instead of reassuring us that in the future, things will be better and we'll mostly make better choices as a society like TNG did, PIC is challenging us to ask if that will really always be the case and to think about how we can make sure that that is the case when we're faced with problems that are more complicated than TNG presented us with.
     
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  12. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's really just the first 2 seasons.

    I find it's often quite less.

    Good to know, thanks. :rolleyes:

    He objectively IS different from Will's mom or Troi's dad. He's a child (a VERY different dynamic regarding death), introduced long after we've come to care about Riker and Troi.

    Ok, but I don't find Picard challenging, just depressing.

    32.356?

    We obviously have different tastes (as this back and forth attests), but this sounds ok. I've officially added it to my ridiculously long list of shows to check out. Thanks.

    Ooooo, I also see Mark A. Altman wrote Free Enterprise. I didn't know that. I love that movie.

    Slavery's a hell of a blind spot.

    Interesting points, but the bolded part is why I think I'm just turned off and depressed by Picard rather than engaged (no pun intended). I don't see that as "challenging", I see it as taking away what I like about Star Trek, what sets it apart from most sci-fi, and making it just like everything else.
     
  13. Coops

    Coops Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Full disclosure, I haven't read all 69 pages of this thread. I honestly thought the 'utopia' of Star Trek pretty much only referred to Earth (as referenced by Sisko) and some planets such as Vulcan (as referenced by every Vulcan ever) because pretty much everywhere else we see across the different shows seems mired in the same problems we face today, war, poverty and oppression.
     
  14. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    First impressions last a while.
     
  15. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Andorians in TOS are described as being passionate and violent so that hardly bodes well for Andoria being a utopia during the 23rd century.
     
  16. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Trust me, you haven't missed anything. Well, not entirely true. Here are some YouTube videos I posted earlier.

    A radio interview with Gene Roddenberry in 1973:


    And a lecture he gave to Wichita University in 1974:


    It's interesting what's in these and what's not in them.
     
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  17. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, the utopian future was in the Federation. No one is saying Ferenginar or episodic planet of the week or Cardassia or the Romulan Empire or wherever were all peachy.
     
  18. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Neither was the Federation. It just got more right than wrong.
     
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  19. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agree to strongly disagree?
     
  20. Grendelsbayne

    Grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Let us also keep in mind that Freecloud, the Fenris Rangers, B'Jayzel, the Zhat vash, etc, are just as much not the Federation as Fereginar or Cardassia. Most of the things people say are 'depressing' in Picard are not related to the Federation.