What did you think of the Jury Duty Lady?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Joby, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Joby

    Joby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    OK I am not trying or hoping to be offensive, but I'm sure this will likely come across as a mean spirited thread anways. But the "Wearing a Starfleet Uniform in Public" thread had me remembering the "Jury Duty Lady" from several years ago. She is brought up in the thread many times anyway. Remember that woman who showed up to court in a Starfleet uniform and phaser? I could forgive an 18 year old kid or even 21 year old pulling something like that, when your that age it may even seem kinda wheels off hilarious, but she was a grown woman that looked to be in her 40s or 50s. For her it seemed more odd. I remember her telling people she was a commander of a spaceship.

    Again, not trying to be mean, because she very likely is a Trek BBS member here. But what did you guys think of her?

    While I do say power to those who want to dress up in costumes, the jury duty Starfleet officer seemed to be going just too far. No one wears a sports jersey or other costume to jury duty, people dress as adults would, so it seemed bizzare for that woman to do what she did. She really contributed to the negative stereotype of Star Trek fans.

    Did you think it was too much?
     
  2. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ugh. She did a total, complete disservice to sci-fi fans and Star Trek fans in particular. Even if she wasn't even a real fan, just pulling a stunt to get out of jury duty, it was very, VERY embarrassing. People who cannot draw the line between special events where costumes and role-playing are OK (conventions, costume parties, themed charity events, possibly the opening of a Trek movie) and normal life have something very wrong with them.

    Going around in real life in a costume is just...ugh. It sends completely the wrong signal about one's grip on reality, and this in turn reflects on all Trek fans, so I wish people would have respect for their fellow fans if no one else, and behave appropriately when they're not at special events. Unfortunately, the opinion most people get is that it's a problem with Star Trek fans and it just ruins it for all of us who ARE able to draw the line, and end up having to keep quiet so as to be taken seriously in our jobs and lives.
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I've got a Starfleet Academy sticker on my car, but I find that wryly humorous. I wear a UFP baseball cap a lot, but that's along the lines of people wearing caps or t-shirts of their favorite sports team. I also wear my NRA cap, or my 7th Air Force tribute cap as often.

    This lady needed serious psychological care.
     
  4. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I fully agree with Nerys and Forbin.
    In addition to what they said, I find it an extremely sad situation. She seems like a very lonely, sad person who feels the need to go to such dramatic lengths to escape reality and hide in a fantasy world. Yes, we all do this to some degree. I have an active imagination and when I'm in an unpleasant situation I often have my own Star Trek daydream that I play out in my mind. But that's where it ends. I still function in the real world.
    I hope for her sake, and others like her, that she gets whatever help she needs.
     
  5. Mike Have-Not

    Mike Have-Not Captain Captain

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    So much for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination, huh?

    :rolleyes:
     
  6. Yeoman Randi

    Yeoman Randi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree.

    The only problem i have with her is that her wearing the uniform may have attracted more attention to her, rather than to the business at hand, which was a trial. If i were a defendant at trial i would really want the focus of attention to be on the facts presented and not what a jury person was wearing.

    In everyday life, if it makes her happy, who are we to say she shouldnt do it?
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The one time I had jury duty (civil case) one of the members was in full biker regalia. You have to admit the uniform fit her quite well.
     
  8. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain In Memoriam

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    I am old to Star Trek (I watched TOS first run) but new to the Trek world (I've never been to a convention, never worn a costume, never memorized, and very rarely quoted a script ...well, I had a Supergirl outfit I once used on Halloween, that's as close as I come to dressing as an alien... and I did submit the design to DC and they used it as Supergirl's second costume, so ... creative?) ... anyway, the point is that, I thought she explained certain ideals that I do now find most Trek people hold, and I agreed with them.

    Just by way of comparison, the Pennsylvania Dutch are very strict Christians. They are charitable and forgiving to a point that most of us would consider superhuman. They dress in what, like it or not, are basically costumes.

    Hasidim are a bit more mixed, but for the most part are strict Jews. They do more outreach work (not uncommon for Christians to share their faith, but a lot less common for Jews) probably in part because their clothing attracts attention anyway. I'm a Jew, and I have had what to me is the weird experience of having liberal Jews think about Hasidim in much the same way you are describing the Jury Lady. People wear costumes in public for the purpose of drawing attention to ideas they feel those costumes represent.

    Certainly, she was a little odd, but she did stress some of the principles Trek upholds, and made me aware, perhaps for the first time, that such principles existed. Beatlemania happened in my lifetime. There were no principles involved, no ideals upheld. Trekkies and Trekkers are usually described much the same way, but geeky. In fact, the community is filled with a great diversity of creative people who have been wonderful to meet online. I may even go to the Annual Star Trek Woodstock (OK, it's in Fort Henry, that's a bit further upstate) sometime. I have found this a very interesting adventure.

    But no, I'm still not wearing a costume or calling myself Captain Barbara. ... I'd consider Major Barbara if there were Majors in Starfleet... (George Bernard Shaw...) but not Captain... and I just remembered that that's a reference to the Salvation Army, another case of people who dress up to advertise their beliefs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  9. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I cringe as a science fiction fan. We get enough shite as it is.

    I hear her reasons for it and they're okay (she's promoting principles she believes in, in a forum they, if not Trek, matters in) and it's not as though she needed to be wearing something else but chose not to - Jury Duty's dress as you like.

    But she also wore the phaser and tricorder I think. Now if it were me, if I chose to wear some Trek-wear, I'd maybe wear the pin at most - some hint of what I'm trying to say. The uniform on its own I could forgive her (not everyone's as subtle as me), but the uniform and the plastic gadgets makes me wonder how detached she is from her surroundings.
     
  10. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Agreed, with two points.

    First. The vast majority (probably all) who frequent this BBS live in countries that espouse personal freedoms providing that they do not infringe on the rights of others. She is not infringing on the rights of anyone, regardless of whether or not any of us would do the same thing.

    Second. Mike Have-Not is absolutley correct in his question, and Yeoman Randi is absolutely correct in her response. One of the main ideals of Star Trek is IDIC. I thought by now that tolerance would be more widely accepted, especially by those who follow ST.
     
  11. Piper

    Piper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    All I know is if I was in the dock I wouldn't want to see someone like that as one of the 12 being asked to judge me.
     
  12. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So... I can go to Jury Service in my gorilla outfit? ACE!
     
  13. Delta1

    Delta1 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sury, why not? I mean ... "IDIC," right? Supposedly that's not just something Roddenberry inserted into a script to drum up sales for Lincoln Enterprises, it's a fully fleshed-out philosophical and ethical system that, as Trekkers, we must abide by. And the core precept of that system is to excuse any silly thing another Trekker does.

    That's my contribution to the infinite diversity.
     
  14. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The First Amendment only covers whether the government can or cannot forbid a particular form of expression. It also means that unless she is ruled incompetent, we cannot make her change her clothes by force. But those freedoms we have do NOT keep us from expressing our displeasure and disgust with her actions; we have every right to do so.
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think IDIC discounts the possibilitty that some people may have psychological problems that need addressing by a proffessional.
     
  16. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Certainly everybody has a right to wear pretty much what they want - to jury duty or elsewhere.

    But I have a right to think, "Jeez, what a nut."

    Wearing something ridiculously inappropriate to a serious occasion such as jury duty - a Trek uniform, biker leathers, a cheerleader costume, bunny ears - would indicate to me one of two things: The wearer has no respect for the occasion or the wearer is at least slightly nutty.

    If this woman sincerely believed that a Star Trek uniform was appropriate, she's a nut. Sorry, but that is how it really and truly strikes me. If this woman did it to get out of jury duty or to make a joke out of jury duty, she should have been ashamed of herself. I expect she wasn't, but she should have been.

    And I agree with Arpy that including a tricorder and a phaser elevates it to an entirely new level of either oddness or lack-of-respect-for-the-institution-ness.
     
  17. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I couldn't believe it when my attempt at a Vulcan mind meld failed as well. And where's my warp drive >: (
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stop pressuring me, I told you that I'm working on it! I have most of it built, but I'm finding it a real bugger to acquire dilithium in its crystalline form.

    What I'd say has already been said better by the likes of Nerys Ghemor and Justine, but I'll add that it is because of people like her that I have to add "Yeah, but..." every time I mention that I'm a Star Trek fan. Considering how loony I act at the best of times it is normally better for me not to bring it up at all.
     
  19. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks, "Godfrey."
     
  20. blockaderunner

    blockaderunner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You know, I like how some Trek fans unearth that little nugget "IDIC" to make their point, only to make themselves as detached from reality as this woman we are talking about if they think it will win them the argument.

    While IDIC is a wonderful thought, like many things like Freedom of Speech, it has to have limits. How would you like it if a topless dancer reported to jury duty in her uniform? Or what if I reported for jury duty having not bathed or changed my clothes for a week? Heaven knows I've wanted to. But I shower and change daily because I know the world doesn't revolve around me and would take issue.

    Right or wrong, she was a distraction at the trial. And wether it was her intention or not (and how could it not), she brought all the intention to herself. Talk about selfish. IDIC goes both ways, you know. It's not like a Muslim wearing a turban or a Native American wearing feathers and beads in public. Those have been a part of their cultures for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and have been seen throughout history. While she's wearing the costume of of a 40 year old science fiction franchise. IDIC is not an excuse for someone to flaunt their break from reality.