Picard...checking privilege?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by RAMA, May 21, 2020.

  1. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Picard, as a person at the turn of the 25th Century, was a man at the end of his life whose decisions 15 years earlier caught up with him when he decided to do something about it before he died. That's the message. Picard is a personal story. And a personal story is about who someone is. Not what they are. What Picard is arguably changes at the end of the season, but I think who he is stays the same.

    Extra meanings can be added, but I think that's the core message.
     
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  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    So, they look outside and see paradise? It's probably pretty easy to be a saint in paradise.


    This is highly tongue in cheek reference to Sisko's discussion of the problem of Earth.
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    They weren't, because they are not real people. They're fictional characters whose "decisions" were actually the choices of the men who wrote and produced the show.

    I am very tired of people who respond to metatextual analysis of a work of art as perpetuating stereotypes or marginalized depictions by responding that, in-universe, the characters wanted to do those things, as though those characters were real people with agency. You can't excuse a work of fiction for depicting characters in an objectionable way by pretending those characters were real people who made real choices.

    "It's totally okay to depict a woman as utterly submissive and servile to men in my work of fiction if I say that she's an alien who's biologically compelled to do it, guys!" :rolleyes:

    "Guys... it's the people who point out that not everyone is equal who are the real oppressors!"

    Missing. The. Point.
     
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  4. zenophite

    zenophite Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not so sure this is necessarily the problem that it is purported to be. I think many people in relatively safe, secure and prosperous conditions/countries are well aware that this is not the case elsewhere.
     
  5. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Next time Picard thinks of volunteering to give up the enterprise and sacrifice his career to help an enemy, or go on a quest to save all organic life, he really needs to just sit down and check his privilege
     
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  6. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Do hate the whole "privlage" thing... Picard won the genetic lottery.. He was born in france on earth in the 24th century. And he used that to join Starfleet and helped millions. He didn't have a "privlage check" by going out and see how "the other guy" lived.. He knows already, and he exeplifies the federation ideal and tries to help where he can.
     
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  7. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Moderator

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    ITA the privilege portrayed in the Star Trek universe is not racial its speciest. The UFP and especially Starfleet is humancentric through and through.
     
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  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Picard is a good person. But he also has privilege and sometimes it blinds him. He soaked up the Romulan refugees' worship when he was leading the resettlement fleet and then totally abandoned them after leaving Starfleet. He totally betrayed his responsibilities to them after making vast promises -- and then, when he returned, he just expected them to welcome him with open arms and forgive him for abandoning them. That's an act of extreme privilege.
     
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  9. Imaus

    Imaus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Which is odd, I mean, didn't the damn show itself do a turn when Q starts popping up more and more, up to the Borg episode? Some people say that before that, Picard was unduly pompous, pretentious, pampered; then the reality sets in - especially as newer writers/director folks wanted to turn TNG a bit more away from the shining-beacon optimism to face more gritty realities? Where's the hate against Q? Or is it because Q is more 'in place' to lecture Picard, being a god-like entity, while Sisko always seemed more 'Junior'?

    This. Again tied to DS9, they acknowledge Earth is Paradise. Starfleet's best is often put on a microcosm of that Paradise and parade around. It's easy being an Angel in Paradise, but the rest of the universe doesn't work that way, even on other major planets of the Federation (Vulcan is seemingly stagnant again, Andoria is literally dying out due to a disease, Tellar is...Tellar, we have no word on what Alpha Centauri is, so on. I guess Risa is alright?).
     
  10. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I dont remember him soaking up admiration in the show or in the prequel novel either...

    How does Picard owe them more after everything he did? Picard, and frankly the federation itself, did not owe the romulans anything from the beginning.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    The flashback scenes where he literally shows up in a white suit and panama hat?

    How does he not? If Picard is gonna claim that the Federation as a society has a moral obligation to help the Romulans, surely that same obligation extends to him as an individual whether or not the government has agreed to it.

    Well, there are two basic moral impulses in the world: "Fuck you, I got mine" vs. "With great power comes great responsibility." You subscribe to the former. I hope you don't have an uncle named Ben.
     
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  12. zenophite

    zenophite Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That was the Klingon's assessment of the status quo in the late 23rd century anyway.....

    If we follow this line of thinking it'll soon be the case that the Prime Directive is nothing but a mechanism of repression explicitly created by the elite classes to maintain power and eventually exploit them at the time of their chosing...or something...
     
  13. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Picard did everything he could reasonably do, and transported a hell of a lot of them already. The federation betrayed him and itself not the other way around. It doesnt make any sense to put everything on Picard to do more, more, more.

    The federation and romulans screw up the rescue and he gets blamed
     
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  14. zenophite

    zenophite Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't feel there was anything to that scene that said anything other than he was on the planet to visit some people he had become close to and was looking forward to seeing.

    And what are the practical limits of that obligation? Is one expected to forgo their own welfare for such an ideal?

    Forgive me but that seems to be an overly simplistic way to look at the issues raised here...just like anytime something nuanced and complex is boiled down to a "you're either with us or against us" sort of choice.

    Few people will forgo their own welfare to benefit a complete stranger - and in my opinion rightly so.
     
  15. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just more clickbait. Totally missing the point that Starfleet is basically the military. It's not a bunch of friends flying around in space having fun. That means Picard didn't do things just to fulfil the ego of Picard but he did things that he was ordered to or was seen as necessary to carry out a mission. When they fly off at the end it isn't to avoid dealing with the ramifications. It's because they got to move onto the next problem or the next mission.

    Jason
     
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  16. zenophite

    zenophite Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then aren't you essentially advocating that it doesn't really matter how they are portrayed because they are nothing but a male fantasy and therefore inconsequential? Why should anyone feel threatened if that's the case?

    The basic conceit when we watch these shows is that somehow they are being portrayed as "real people" - a core elelment of getting absorbed into a story.

    I don't think there is any excuse to be made because I simply don't see what was so objectionable about the characters based on the arbitrary 'stereotypes' listed. Why would anyone interpret having a profession in 'caregiving' as something to be ashamed of for example?

    What I notice is this undercurrent of bias where any woman who does in fact willingly hold traditional roles and so forth simply must be characterized as either self-deluded at best or at worst under in thrall of some abusive male. Isn't making those assumptions the exercise of a sort of intellectual privilege?

    Sarcasm? Really?

    Clever punctuation doesn't really do much to support an argument.

    I would say the point is that those characters were written by men within a social and historical context. In some cases they were written as aliens to service a particular story. You find their characterization as objectionable for your own reasons and I do not find them objectionable for my own reasons. There is no universally applicable truth to understand or take away from it.
     
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  17. Serveaux

    Serveaux American Premium Member

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    It's a good article that hits the mark in most instances. I thought a lot about all this as I was watching the first four or five episodes of Picard unfold.

    No, it's not accidental IMO that Picard beams down to the Romulan refuge camp looking like a plantation owner or something out of the Raj. Costumers get points for holding back from putting him in a pith helmet. :D

    I also thought that a lot of this got lost as the last part of the season came together - Picard never does really face and reckon with the full extent of his arrogance and what it cost people that he (rather grandly) assumed a paternal role toward (often uninvited). He's too busy suddenly being right and listened to again - most notably by the female admiral who was so justifiably dismissive of him earlier in the story - and being heroic in the face of a very static space armada (yawn).

    And, uh, yeah - the OP interpolated "white" there, where it's not brought up in the article. Nonetheless, the observations made in the piece have relevance to the current day in terms of white and male and economic privilege, among other kinds.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  18. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Also, Data aspires to be human, and has been created male, so he would tend towards a traditionalist, patriarchal, attitude to his child.
     
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  19. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have to admit though, I really hated the part in QPid when Crusher and Troi do the old "break a pot on someone's head" routine.
    I don't think anyone would claim they got it right all the time. ;)
     
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  20. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In reality the breaking the pot is actually the most realistic thing except maybe Picard with a sword since he was into fencing. I mean they usually fight with phasers. I doubt any of these Starfleet people would be trained or know how to fight with those kinds of weapons so shortly after arriving. Well Worf as well because Klingons like swords.


    Jason