Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Ethergh0sts, Apr 5, 2019.
Trek has always been allegory - the Enteprise or lead ship is allegory for all the countries of our world. If not the UN. If not America. DS9 demonstrates the best of all the Trek shows as it goes into enough depth and the best.
They were created in TNG initially as a shallow, caricatured, one dimensional satire, lampooning the concept of capitalism. Like how "Married with Children" lampooned and satirized working class families. Only TNG didn't do comedy, or very good since Ferengi in TNG were often relegated as comic relief. Even in DS9, but not nearly as often and it was in DS9 where the Ferengi got a lot more depth, which they deserved from the get-go. And in "Move Along Home", the story that breaks free from TNG's treatment of the writing of the Ferengi.
Until the time of this post, it would be interesting to know how many people made a snap observation that the Ferengi were somehow a jab at Jewish people? That's a bit of a stretch.
Which, in reality, wouldn't be oversimplified - to keep the audience from talking a 45 minute nap, some of the real life allegories do get oversimplified or are sometimes lacking sufficient context.
A few direct examples rather than relaying observations or even posting my own beliefs, most of these clips do address your questions. TNG and VOY were politically correct. DS9 was not, but could it have been? But there was plenty of room in the franchise for them all.
It's a hard line to walk to portray individuals or species in a certain way that doesn't give in to stereotypes but also allows for real differences. Around the world, there are real differences between many cultures, and that's ok. That's why it's a timely series in just about any decade we watch it in.
I've gotten to spend some years living in different parts of the world, and I've learned that 2 mistakes we make about others is our presumption that:
- they are just like me
- they are nothing like me
When we allow for uniqueness in others, we can learn a lot along the way. When we assume they're can't be related to in any manner, we write off people and we inevitably become hateful in the process. For DS9 as allegory, I think the show strikes a pretty good balance with this.
As a Weyoun said, "It's such an honor to be sitting with a … security officer."
One of the ongoing problems of Star Trek is that it tends to divide characters, and subsequently species, into heroes, villains and victims. It seldom has time for little people, or at least those that aren't central to the planet/problem of the week format. Everyone we are asked to care about tends to be exceptional in one way or other. Even someone seemingly insignificant as Sito Jaxa became beloved for her sacrifice and courage. It also leads to somewhat wild changes of fate, like Kurn, who goes from squadron commander to council member to Bajoran security officer, or Rom, who goes from Bajoran engineer to Grand Nagus.
That tendency feeds into the often two-dimensional characterizations of races. Klingons are always going to be the Samurai, the Ferengi being more privateers. If we do get a deeper glimpse at "normal people," it is often a parent who doesn't fit in or doesn't quite get what their sons and daughters are doing: Helena and Sergey Rozhenko, Worf's uncouth, but caring, adoptive parents, who don't understand either his position as an officer or the pressures of being a Klingon; Joseph Sisko, who resists seeing himself as part of his son's chosen life; or Richard Bashir, a tinkerer who feels his son squandered easy opportunities.
Well, I'd like to think the courage and sacrifice Sito demonstrated weren't necessarily exceptional, but it's a given that Trek does tend to paint its races with a broad brush.
Some of that is because they are aliens. Also in the future. It's hard to explore little details of a species when it might not feature in the story or you even know what they are because nobody has ever been to these alien worlds. Yet when you do a modern day drama everyone knows what life is like here on earth. You don't need to explain what a plumber is and why he is fixing pipes under your sink and so forth. We know what tv is for and so forth. If a alien says something like, The Rocur trial is taking place on Waq. I need to get my eye pass so I can listen with my friends on Delko's subspace comm. I hop Delko's still don't have those static shock issues like last cycle.
Except even after 7 seasons with them the Bajorans remained pretty monolithic. I'd argue we saw more "evolution" with the Cardassians, though maybe that was necessary given that they started out as an antagonistic race.
While the Bajorans were around they kind of become non-factors, especially compared after season 2 and 3 to the show. I always felt they needed to be brought more into the Dominion War. You needed at some more looks into the political stuff going on down on the planet. By the time they did the final arc it felt to late and I was someone always more interested in how they were basically like the Jewish people after World War II than I was their religion but the religion stuff ended up getting used more.
I'm going to answer the question posed in the thread's title as the actual post is gibberish to me.
First and foremost "political correctness" is a transitory term. With respect to Deep Space 9, well, what was considered politically correct in the 1990s may or not be 20 years after it ended. To the general sense I got from your post, we are more sensitive to culture and identity today, therefore, I am sure it would not hold up perfectly. Deep Space Nine had several instances of cultural sharing such as when Jake took his date to a Klingon restaurant for dinner. Bajorean festivals celebrated.
Can one claim the Ferengi are an anti-Semitic stereotype? I have to say yes due to the many articles regarding that topic online. Then again, one of the authors made the claim that Star Trek is like a Rorschach test whereby folks can see what they want to see (I am not so inclined to give anything that much leeway). Considering Gene Roddenberry"s generation I would say it may not have been intentional but those early TNG depictions are hard to defend against the charge. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the decision to include Ferengis on DS9 was for the purpose of humanizing them and defusing the controversy.
With limited time to tell a story it isn't always easy to delve too much beyond the information or idea that needed to tell the story.
Some of the races shown in Star Trek are far older than that of the Human's. Will Human culture be as diverse as it is today in a thousand years time? How about if we compare cultures today to those of a thousand years ago. Have we grown more diverse or have the various different cultures adopted parts of other cultures over that thousand years as they intermingled?
Are you presenting this as a good thing or a bad thing? From the context, it seems like it's supposed to be an example of a bad thing but I cannot fathom why.
Everything is the product of the time it was made. It's best to be specific when one uses the term, politically correct. One person's political correctness is genuine sensitivity; another person's politically correctness is censorship in disguise. It's a very loaded term.
I agree. The term is very broad. For me I have always been pro PC stuff in real life. I treat everyone I talk to with respect or I try to. Sometimes family spats can get a little more personal but I think anyone can relate to that. I feel it creates a sense of civility even when people don't get along. It's how society I feel functions best. A kind of politeness even with people who might not deserve it if your judging on some karma scale makes everything more bearable.
When it comes to art though I hate it. I don't want everything to be some edgelord wet dream but I don't like telling artist what they can and can't do and if they do something and if the audience doesn't respond then that is just how it goes. The consumers decide with what they buy or watch,read,listen etc. Especially now that we also have ratings systems that sort of let people know what is for adults and stuff that might just be more for kids.
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