Was Tattoo a racist episode?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by The Overlord, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have heard some people say Tattoo was a racist episode, is that a fair or unfair criticism?
     
  2. JB2005

    JB2005 Commodore Commodore

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    IIRC there were several unfortunate inferences about Native Americans...

    Imagine if on TNG it turned out that Ardu'ar or whatever her name was, had also visited Earth 2400 years previously, posing as a man who can perform miracles...and that, that episode had been written by an atheist...

    Now replace Jesus with Sky Spirits and atheist with white people...
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    One of Jesus's miracles was Flint, from TOS Who Mourns for Methuselah coming back from the dead out of his own abilities and Jesus took credit like some sort of show boater.

    He lied.

    Star Trek says that Jesus is a liar.

    Have you never watched Stagate?

    It's a miracle that the closest they ever came to Jesus was Satan.

    I kept waiting for the special episode of Buffy where some one said "Jesus came back after 3 days? Vampires come back after 3 days!"

    Chakotay's tribe is fake.

    Fake gods for fake Indians.

    Now if they had given fake alien gods to a real tribe of native Americans?

    That would be racist.

    Maybe Goddist?

    Kirk killed god.

    And Apollo.

    He was certainly goddist.

    ...

    The guy who wrote who mourns for Methuselah, recently made a movie about a 20,000 year old man who had been Jesus briefly alive in the modern world. It's pretty clear that he wanted to have Kirk meat Jesus in the 60s but was denied or he had the good taste to avoid the inclination.

    "Man of Earth" rocks by the way.
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There is really no good reason for this, if Picard can come from a real culture (French) and a actually exact spot on the Earth's surface (Whatever, France), then Chakotay should have been able too as well.

    And not be a general purpose "indian."

    Kirk killed a small gee god, he didn't kill Big Gee God.

    :)
     
  5. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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  6. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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    The name of the episode is 'Requiem for Methuselah', I think you are confusing 'Who Mourns for Adonias' and this.

    If I had a dime for every time Kirk meets 'God' and Kirk kills 'God' I would be a richer man.

    My favorite quote from GR is when he would talk about the 'aliens built the pyramids' and he would say Bull, WE DID!
     
  7. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Just because Picard came from a real culture does not necessarily mean Chakotay should have. It may well have been decided to make his tribe "fake" to avoid any kind of perception that the writers were being racist or disrespectful of any real-world cultures.

    Besides, at least the writers on Voyager tried to showcase an Earth culture beyond white people. Where are all the Arabs? The Muslims? The (non-Native-American) Indians? The Australians?

    What is a "gee" ?

    Well duh. If you only had ONE dime every time Kirk met "God" and killed "God,: you would obviously be richer.
     
  8. JB2005

    JB2005 Commodore Commodore

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    And arguably they failed on both counts...because the only time the fact Picard is French becomes relevant, is when he surrenders in Encounter at Farpoint...

    And if they're trying to avoid being disrespectful...don't say that Chakotay is a Native American, and then proceed to make a bunch of stuff up about him and call it respectful. If you want to respect him, tell us which tribe he's from, get someone from that tribe to advise the writers or else don't bother...

    I suppose it could have been worse...I half expected the epilogue of the episode to be the senior staff singing "what makes the red-man red"...

    This isn't really an argument, because they tried and failed in this case...so it's just a relief that they didn't take on anyone else...

    it's a "G"

    Touche...
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    King Abdullah II of Jordan was in Investigations.

    Got a walk on in uniform.

    The Royal Islamic Studies centre declared that he was the fourth most important Muslim in the world in 2010.

    He could have asked for lines.

    Represented Islam with zeal and gusto.

    Frakker had an Army that could totally take Burbank without breaking a sweat, behead and mount Berman and Bragas severed heads on pikes outside the front of the sound stage...

    "In theory".
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There are many different flavors of Humanism, not all Humanists are secular humanist.

    Christian humanist myself, and I do love my Star Trek.

    :)
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Worf In the 23rd Century Premium Member

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    Kirk didn't kill Apollo. He just convinced him to move on/commit suicide.
     
  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Assisted suicide?

    (And it was Spock who killed God in V.)

    At the end of Bread and Circuses when the Son Cult took over and there was a new golden age on fake-Earth, as Christianity supplanted the Imperial Roman Empire in a matter of minutes because of Television, I felt bile creep up the back of my throat, because there's Uhura prattling on "People are trying to argue with the message of the new religion but they can't because it makes too much sense."

    So glib.

    Funny aside, The Bible supports Slavery.

    So, apart form the person in charge, I wonder what really would have changed?
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Worf In the 23rd Century Premium Member

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    Did "God" die in STV? I know he got blowed up real good, but did that kill him?
     
  14. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, not according to the Q-Zone trilogy of Novels.

    Those must have been antipersonnel cannons Spock was firing, since half the continent wasn't cleaved into space, used for picking off civilian protesters and babies.

    God was weak sauce.

    Or he was just shied off by a prod.

    But...

    Those were Klingons.

    They wouldn't have left, till they had killed it.

    For "Sport" You understand?

    Imagine having sex on a carpet made from God's stripped hide?

    And if they left.

    They came back.
     
  15. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

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    Not racist, but miguided.

    I've watched enough Star Trek to realize that Star Trek writers are not that... um... well-read.

    They have a very limited cultural source where they draw their inspiration, their parallels, their morality plays, their everything from.

    Basically, Star Trek writers are too stuck in the western understanding and perception of the world. Too stuck with the narrative of the progress of the west=progress of the human race.

    This view of the world doesn't realize that all cultures are in change. And that Europe and european based world is not something inherent to it, but it formed over time.

    I mean, it only takes as much as to go to Northern or Eastern Europe to realize that there is also such a thing as magical white people. To Voyager writers this might sound like something alien and non-european - www.youtube.com/watch?v=huQ_OcKwGwA

    Only it's as much as part of Europe like their Shakespeare, Marseilles and Earl Grey.

    But since the Voyager writers are too stuck with the cultural source of america - western protestants, unaware of their ethnic past, and accepting the grand narrative of "hellenism, christianity, civilization" as their own, suddenly meeting the other who still have their own ethnic culture untied to the grand narrative of progress of humanity - and that's why they can't understand native americans.

    To explain it, I give you chakotised versions of other characters.

    Janeway – the celtic druid, who worships various irish female deities and is a general symbol of empowering matriarchy.
    Tom Paris – the viking warrior-witch, who casts runes and chants crazy stuff.
    Harry Kim - a korean shaman, who practises tuvan throat-singing to speak with the spirits of nature.
    B'Elanna Torres - a klingon-aztec priestess, who channels between the realm of the dead and the realm of the living.
    Seven - a valkyrie, Odin's personal servant, who takes the souls of the dead to Valhalla.
    Tuvok - a voodoo vulcan.

    Everyone's ancestors were tribal and animistic in some period or another. And some european nations still hold up a connection with that past in music and culture. So it's not something that is inherent to native americans alone.

    Though it can be said that europeans restored their connection with their past recently during national romanticism and America was born before that, so that's why America builds it's national identity on a more grand narrative of humanity, since medieval and early modern age Europe from where America departed also had a grand humanity identity, rather than ethnic or national. Not saying it's a good or a bad thing, just describing how I see it.

    They meant well. I appreciate Voyager that it meant well. But it just didn't know enough. Didn't understand enough.
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    None of those people would have made it into the Academy.

    If you believe in God they won't let you in.

    Sure, there's backward cultures like the Bajorans who have only just been introduced to modern civility, who can be forgiven clinging to their blankeys and fairy stories, which is why they were so stupid to be faked out into thinking that wormhole aliens were gods... They probably worshipped the Cardassians as gods for a bit before that became not so much fun... So yeah, "Aliens" aren't held to human, or even Vulcan Standards.

    My point is.

    Humans should know better.

    If they don't know better.

    They're insane.

    To whit they fail the most cursory of psyche tests in the admission panel to Star Fleet Ademy well before it's that 5 kman thunderdome throwdown we saw Wesly get cornholed on..

    Unless God/s is/are real.

    Unless magic is real.

    Niether of which are, inside the fictional constraints of Gene Roddenberry's structured Universe.

    How do you sanely answer a question like...

    "Do you have a make believe friend?"

    (So, yeah, people of actual faith are forced to lie to get into starfleet academy.)
     
  17. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Roddenberry was one and Trek PURPORTS to be, but as a Christian, I find lots of Trek rather spiritual and interesting from that POV - as well as just being darn entertaining stuff, of course!
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Same here, watching people venture out into God's cosmos is a spritual experience.

    :)
     
  19. TigerOfDarkness

    TigerOfDarkness Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not really a religious person and am aware that Roddenberry wasn't but the characters in TOS often show signs of some beliefs. IMHO particularly McCoy and of course, there's Uhura's remarks at the end of Bread And Circuses.
     
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Chakotay isn't man of faith.

    he met his gods.

    He has proof.

    Once you have proof.

    God is just this guy you know.

    However.

    Chakotay is like Spider-Man.

    He was an asshole until his father died and then he vowed to be a better man over his grave.