Discussion in 'Star Trek: Lower Decks' started by Commander Richard, Sep 20, 2023.
^ I knew there was a reason why I didn't take Bernd from EAS seriously.
I was taken back by Bernd's anti-wokeness agenda. I never imagined him to be a right wing idealogue.
Just checked out the EAS review itself. Wow. I guess I should give Bernd some points, he's now admitting he's outright anti-woke as opposed to previously he'd start statements off with "I don't mean to dwell on race and gender, but..." I guess that's progress?
And damn, he seems absolutely befuddled over what the appeal could be to impersonating Mark Twain. I guess humor really is a difficult concept.
Mark Twain is an acquired taste.
Samuel Clemmons on the other hand...
Who is Bernd? Why does his opinion matter?
Ex scienta astra site owner, who has been praised for his obsessive technical detailing of ships, props and other things.
However, his opinion carries little weight to me, but that happened far before this thread or whatever worries around political opinions.
I don’t get the Twain humor either. Perhaps it’s cultural and I would find it funny it was Goethe or Shakespeare? Jessie Gender found the Twain sequences an absolute riot.
As is my custom I'm joining after watching the episode and only reading a couple of pages back. If I'm repeating what other's have posted, sorry.
It's amazing how this stupid little animated Star Trek comedy does every damn thing so right. (Insert well earned dig at Very Short Treks here.) It sends up every preposterous thing about Star Trek while being the ultimate love letter.
This episode might be in my top 5 LD. 1) It's a Tendi episode so that helps. And everything with T'lyn makes me laugh.
DAMN IT! Why did I laugh uncontrollably EVERY time Mariner got stabbed? Especially the last one!
Yup! It's an OK episode but it introduces a new Federation ship, so WIN.
(Why am I even going to engage with this? Can we be nice? Is this something we can even talk about? Aaahhhhhh here we go.)
Well, if you're going to do a "feminist agenda" then this is how you do it. The women characters were "empowered" (the quotes are because LD in particular never has a problem with strong female characters that also don't feel like they're being Written to Be Strong Female Characters). But the men folk (OK, given the Boimler Rutheford story just typing those words made me giggle) also had a strong storyline. And in the best traditions of LD their story was totally preposterous and yet advanced a Star Trek ideal. They were morons but they weren't INCOMPETENT morons. (Really, were they doing dueling Mark Twain impersonations or did both of them watch Val Kilmer in Tombstone a lot?) And they weren't any more stupid or ridiculous than the women. ("THE WOMEN!")
OTOH - When did Orion become a matriarchal society? Is this an Enterprise thing? I feel like I might have missed some Orion backstory that wasn't in The Cage / Journey to Babel / The Pirates of Orion (OR-ee-on). (TAS!) If it's following up, then there's that. But otherwise there was a conscious change to say "That nonsense that Horny Gene wrote back in the 60's about Green Animal Women? Uhhhh, let's go another direction." And that's probably OK too. Except that they kept the "rapacious (in a pirate-y sense) and enslaving" part of Orion society only now it's the men who are locked up? That's different. Is it better? Or the same? I'm sure there are people who would have turned off the TV if they had leaned into that balance of power suggested by The Cage that were fine with this. Really, aren't we supposed to think - in an over the top LD fashion - that this is awful either way?
Yes, there was the ref that Tendi made about her "belly dancing outfit". I know that Star Trek Continues did an Orion episode that did NOT flip that script. It's painful to say but there are parts of Star Trek that I just don't know.
But to say that it wasn't a directional change isn't helpful either. I can't speak for Schneider. From what little I've read other than the largely helpful databank he's assembled tends to put him in the Robert Meyer Burnett camp of "They don't GET Star Trek!!!" for me. Maybe it's worse. But it's not helpful either for people to say "You crazy right winger! We didn't change anything! You precious snowflake!"
Anyway. Angels fear to tread and all that.
No, it's really not. It shows a lack of willingness to engage with people as people, and just highlight opinions.
The Orion captain in "Bound" did say that it was the women who enslave the men, but there's no reason we should take him at his word. That one guy could have been a slave, but there's no real proof that all Orion men are like that.
Indeed, when Big Show was on ENT, did his character seem like a slave? I thought not.
I didn’t get the Twain humor either. I’m American and though born and raised a Yankee, I went to a Southern university that still held a cotillion every year and my first job was at a local history museum in Virginia where an elderly visitor asking after our Civil War exhibit introduced me to the term “War of Northern Agression,” so I feel like I ought to get the cultural context.
I mean it was zany, I got that, but it didn’t strike me as especially funny. However, I am not much of a role player and my husband, who is an avid player and GM, did seem to find the idea of hashing things out while playing a role fond and believable so maybe a background in role playing adds to the humor?
It is definitely a NERD BRO thing.
Which Boimler & Rutherford project in spades when they are alone together.
I love the bit where the Chalnoth captain is fascinated with the bonsai, and immediately eats it.
Did not really care for the Twain stuff. That got old real quick.
Okay, briefly commenting that this is...deeply distressing to learn of him.
That was the entire point. They pretend not to be.
So his character was only pretending to have sold his own wife as a slave?
She was the one in charge, so she would have been the one to sell her self.
It was scam.
This was very helpful, thank you!
As one of the Vulcans from "wej Duj" said: "She is totally out of control."
I mean, I didn't take it to be that this was true of all Orions. The male Orions in the dungeon seemed to be looked down upon by other male Orions -- I took them to be the equivalent of drug addicts that other Orions pity, not as being an example of what normal Orion men's lives look like. I mean, Nyal (spelling?) outright says he only turned to the " 'mones" as a way to cope with being dumped by D'Erika.
I'm pretty sure it's as simple as that.
I really like that idea. It opens up the possibility that most of Orion society is not like that, but that they allow the pirating subculture to endure and maintain a level of privilege in a way they otherwise wouldn't. Sort of the equivalent of guys from the streets who are honest folk themselves but (foolishly) venerate the Mafia.
I don't think he believed it was sentient. I think he just thought it was beautiful and so he wanted to eat it.
I can't get over the absurdity of calling this a "feminist agenda."
It was ENT that established that at least some Orion women use pheromones to control the minds of men. LD is just trying to reconcile two disparate depictions of Orions -- one in which there's extreme sexual dimorphism and women use their sexuality to control men, and one in which Orions have normal levels of sexual dimorphism, aren't sex-obsessed, and don't do gendered mind control -- that have both previously existed in ST.
Like, yeah, okay, we get the implication that Orion is a matriarchal society, but: 1) again, it was ENT which introduced that idea, not LD, and 2) LD is depicting the Orions as aliens, not as a society that should necessarily be emulated in all things. Depiction is not endorsement.
Like, the only "feminist" thing about it, really, was the gag about how "he looks so radiant" and "the bride carrying the groom across the threshold." But that's an incredibly minor thing -- it's just using an alien lens to ask us about to think about the power dynamics of calling women "radiant" when they get married and husbands carrying their wives across thresholds. It's extremely quick, the episode doesn't dwell on it, it's mostly played for laughs, and there's no implication there that any of that applies to the Federation.
The only reason to get upset at that is if you really don't like the idea of questioning the power dynamics of real-life Western society.
Which is what I love about LD. It can laugh at ST and itself while still loving both.
ENT S4 "Bound"
featured a group of Orion women who are given to Captain Archer as a "gift" by a male Orion captain as part of a trade negotiation prelude. The men in the episode are seduced by the women and one by one become obsessed with them, eventually leading to the revelation that Orion females use pheromones and sex to control men and that the Orion women are trying to use their control over Archer and the other men to take over the ship. They are thwarted when Trip, who is immune to their pheromones because of his Telepathic True Love Link (TM) to T'Pol, points a phase pistol at them and puts them under arrest.
(Why neither T'Pol nor Hoshi could not have done this is an exercise left for the viewer. What impact the Orion women's pheromones would have on gay men, asexual men, gender nonbinary people, transgender people, bisexual or pansexual women, or lesbian women, is also an exercise left for the viewer.)
I should add that, to be very clear, "Bound" is a very misogynistic episode. Essentially, it asks us to enjoy sexually objectifying women, and then depicts women's sexuality as a dangerous, threatening thing. The Orions become dangerous Jezebels who threaten to upend the "natural order" (implicitly, patriarchy).
LD is just following up on that idea, retconning it so that only some but not all Orion women are capable of mind-controlling men with their pheromones, and essentially using that retcon to try to reconcile ENT's depiction of female mind-controlling Orions with the rest of ST's depiction of Orions.
I think it's safe to say you're not supposed to come away from "Something Borrowed, Something Green" thinking that aspect of Orion culture is fine and dandy.
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