The Outcast and the limits of metaphors

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Skipper, Jun 12, 2022.

  1. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 28, 2011
    On "The Outcast". It should always be remembered that on TV, especially broadcast TV, there's the story you want to tell and story you get to tell. Unless you're Harlan Ellison and are prepared to raise your middle digit and walk away, you swallow your pride and live to fight another day.

    Here's my take on "Rejoined". You have a relationship between two women, which I'm sure upset a lot of folks in the real world, but nobody on the show bats an eyebrow over that aspect of it. Instead, all the disapproval come out of the fact that their symbiotes were previously involved, a taboo about which most Earth humans would probably say: "Well, that's kind of stupid." But, in the telling of the story it says, by implication, that objecting to the same-sex aspect of it is ,well, kind of stupid too.

    You could make that same point if the other Trill had been male, probably without changing the dialog one bit, but it wouldn't have been made as effectively.
  2. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 17, 2011
    My inclination is the Outcast has succeeded in actually doing what it wanted but in the notability of its failure. We're discussing this episode decades later and its social commentary and relevance (mostly its FAILURES) when we aren't exactly discussing the social relevance of something like those drug-dealing aliens.

    I do think Frakes was correct. He could have cemented his place ala Uhura and Kirk's kiss if they'd taken more risks.

    DS9 also DID get a lot more away with but did so by pandering to the male gaze and subtext. They also got away with it because Berman did not consider it "real' Star Trek.
    McCoy's Disco Collar likes this.
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 28, 2016
    I have to tell you this because it is simply perfect. Yesterday there was a colleague in the office trying to catch up with the story of J.Lo's non-binary child (it also made headlines in Italy). He asks me for clarification because, well, I think I'm officially the "woke" colleague of the office. I try to explain the concept to him in a neutral way as possible. And he comes up with a little rant that "You people (as he points to me) want a sexless world where there are no more differences between males and females !!!" I try to explain to him the difference between biological sex and gender identity, no one want to "cancel" the concept of "male" and "female" but I see that it is useless (and I have a rule not to discuss too much with colleagues about non-working topics).

    Just to say that if they did this episode the same today I'm not sure many would get the message intended by the authors !!
    Indeed, it would be taken as an example by those who want to fight the "LBGTQI + conspiracy".

    "Is this the world you want for your children? Where should you be ashamed to say you are a man or a woman ???"
  4. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 15, 2000
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Spell check just fixed William T Riker, into William Tricker.

    Google says that there is evidence that Riker slept with as many as 14 people.

    I'm wondering if it's part of the first officers job to look for some wobbly alien, and ensure their loyalty to the visiting federation ship with his or her penis?