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  #11  
Old 06-19-2010, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kevin View Post
Good observations!
Thanks. I forgot 'Star Trek : The Undiscovered Country', which was written before Roddenberry died and hit the theaters shortly after his death and gave us a terrorist conspiracy to engulf the galaxy in war.

I think another reason we overlook all of this as references to terrorism is the fact that the iconography of the issue has changed drastically. Before 9/11 terrorists where depicted as what they allways have been: ruthless criminals or guerilla fighters with a political agenda. The message was usually that while their cause may be just or at least humanly understandable, their actions where appalling and intollerable and all legal methods provided by the justice system must be used to stop their actions, not their cause. They must be brought to justice and/or the negotiation table.
With the propaganda going on after 9/11 this iconography changed a lot. From there onwards terrorists where shown as monstrous fanatic unhuman beasts, automatons, who never eat, never drink, never sleep, never laugh or smile, who never doubt or question, who seek no joy nor peace nor dream of a better future, who have no families, no friends, who trust no one and who have no other goal then slaughtering innocent people for no other reason then hate. From there on war and torture where the method to stop terrorists and innocent casualties where acceptable. Due process was shown as a foolish thing of the past and moral principles as an obstacle to overcome if one wants to live. The terrorists actions became blurred with their cause and their cause was of no concern anymore.

Also the perspective changed. Untill 9/11 the hero and with him the audience where usually caught between the lines of the terrorists and the faction they fought against. The audience was neutral to the conflict, merely geting caught in the crossfire, like in the TNG Episode 'Starship Mine' of season six, where Picard, concealing his true identity, must stop terrorists.

Nowadays though the hero and the audience are the very target of the terrorists.

And finally the depiction of terrorism nowadays usually involves torture and the ticking-time-bomb-dilemma, moral and ethical corruption of the hero and psychological scars and trauma. This trend goes on in BSG, Stargate Atlantis and most recently Stargate Universe. But this has more to do with the involvement of the US in two wars and with the critical reception of war since Vietnam then with terrorism per se. Like the second and especially the third season of Enterprise where actually more about WMD's and the Iraq-War then about terrorism.

Also, HDTV and digital filming made much darker sets possible.

Last edited by Botany Bay : 06-19-2010 at 11:31 AM.
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  #12  
Old 06-19-2010, 01:02 PM
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Found some clips about Star Trek on terrorism from "The High Ground":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS6Vc...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX_0763FOjA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19d5yZOERAc
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2010, 01:39 PM
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Terrorists.


I have no use for them, save for being fertilizer in the ground.
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  #14  
Old 06-19-2010, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Botany Bay View Post
Like the second and especially the third season of Enterprise where actually more about WMD's and the Iraq-War then about terrorism.
Ah, the typical ENT bashing, it was all neocon propaganda.

If you had actually watched the entire third season (the Xindi arc appears in the 3rd season, not the 2nd one as you claim) you might have noticed that Archer talks with the reasonable Xindi species after he has discovered that they are just puppets and that humans and Xindi have a common enemy.

And concerning Archer's torturing, well, if my family/country/planet was threatened I wouldn't hesitate to torture and kill either.
I am no moral relativist and believe in good and evil. Commuists, nazis, neocons, autocrats and Al-Qaeda folks are evil while democrats and people who help the poor are good. You gotta fight against evil folks or be defeated by them ... or follow the current trend of not solving existing conflicts by being PC and tolerant and so on. I say screw tolerance, nobody needs to tolerate his enemy.
Back to Archer and his torture. Archer, this German police officer from Frankfurt (you might remember this case, he threatened to torture a kidnapper and reported himself afterwards) or Batman (not really Batman but rather his conscience Lucious Fox) in Dark Knight are all aware that their instance of breaking the rule is an exception and has to remain the exception.
That's a big difference to the scumbags who use torture regularly and institutionally.

ENT as well as the Dark Knight dealt with post 9/11 questions without being left or right. So perhaps you hated ENT's 3rd season because it wasn't leftish?


Quote:
Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
Terrorists.


I have no use for them, save for being fertilizer in the ground.
What about the terrorists who founded the US aka founding fathers? One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
Don't get me wrong, I don't condone the 9/11 criminals, on the contrary mass murderers are mass murderers. This case is crystal clear, these terrorists suck.
But if you take a look at Palestine or Northern Irish terrorists the waters become a bit muddy.
Or take dissidents in a tolaritarian regime, they are labeled terrorists by the ruling nazis/communists/autocrats. This case is crystal clear, these terrorists rule.

So I think that the term terrorist is too broad to be useful.
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  #15  
Old 06-19-2010, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Ah, the typical ENT bashing, it was all neocon propaganda.
[...]
ENT as well as the Dark Knight dealt with post 9/11 questions without being left or right. So perhaps you hated ENT's 3rd season because it wasn't leftish?
Nope. I was annoyed by it for many reasons. One being, that I was never a big fan of serialized story arcs that stretch over more then two or three episodes (same reason BSG lost me after a couple of episodes and so did Lost... it lost me). Second reason being that I never bought the whole WMD story. Thus seeing it being played to death on ENT was more then just a distraction and thats all the Xindi story ever was - Raiders of the lost WMDs.

As I found out much later, Enterprise delivered an "apology" for that with its Vulcan Arc (The Forge / Awakening / Kir'Shara).

However, my whole point was, that the picture of terrorism changed so much, that we easily overlook the many references of TNG to the topic of terrorism and assymetric warfare. TNG used the old iconography that just doesnt fit the new one which got shaped by the propaganda of the last 9 years. The effects of said propaganda are wearing of now, but slowly.

Last edited by Botany Bay : 06-19-2010 at 03:43 PM.
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  #16  
Old 06-19-2010, 03:51 PM
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What did you not buy about an attack on Earth? It has happened several times and it is in fact the most often used threat in Trek movies (1,4,8,10,11).
As you throw this propaganda word around so often I have to give you some of your own medicine and assume that you believe some typical leftish propaganda: there are no real bad guys, nobody could threaten the very existence of somebody else, we just gotta try to understand these poor, underpriviliged souls who join Al-Qaeda ... sorry but I don't give a damn about mass murderers. Al Qaeda ain't the same as some local political conflict.

Aha, now it is not direct influence propaganda but indirect influence via the iconography which is shaped by propaganda.
Ever read Tolkien? He explicitly stated in his Lord of the Rings that this is not an allegory, that it has nothing to do with WWII, that Sauron is not Hitler and so on. But whether he wanted it or not, he was influenced by his times, we all are.
The question in Tolkien's case is not whether his iconography matches WWII anyhow but whether he can tell us something interesting about evil and he can. Sauron has one eye, he has one ring and this monoism is a good depection of evil.

But I am digressing, back to ENT. Ignore the darkness in it and simply focus upon the mere story essentials. Archer talked with the reasonable Xindi and convinced them that humans are not the real threat. Now what for f**k's sake does this have to do with neoconservatism? It virtually offers a different solution to the Al Qaeda issue than the one the neocons offered. Convince them that the US is not the enemy or that there are no 80 or whatever virgins in paradise because they have all been f**ed already by the previous suicide bombers.

But I can't convince you that ENT hasn't sprung out of the mind of DoubleU himself so feel free to continue to play this pathetic good liberal TNG vs. bad conservative ENT game.

By the way, the Vulcan arc has nothing to do with the Xindi arc. Just sayin'.

Last edited by horatio : 06-19-2010 at 03:58 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-19-2010, 05:05 PM
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So I think that the term terrorist is too broad to be useful.
I agree with this statement to a point.

Yes, I guess it depends on what side of the fence you're on as to whether someone is a terrorist or a hero. The victimized side (or the side that considers such actions unlawful and any other negative adjective you can throw on there) will see the actions of another as potentially "terrorist", while those who carry out the action claim to have some form of justification for said action....be it religious, monetary, or political.

After 9/11, the definition of terrorism was about to be broadened beyond just the typical "Infidellllllllll......Diiieeee for AlllaaaaaahhhhhhhhH!!!!!.......BOOM!" or "Kick the Brits outta Brittaaaaiiiiinnnnnnnnn!!!!!......BOOM!" to include home invasion, robbery, attempted murder, domestic abuse, etc.

On the one hand, it would've completely upended the urgency of definition when it comes to terrorism as we generally know it. To a smaller degree, it would be like saying: "The sky is falling!" Terrorism, as it's been known to be, has almost always had some end of conveying some kind of message: A warning to a government, a call for the release of a prisoner that is important to their cause, a cry for wide media coverage to show the world what seems to be going on with them.

On the other hand, just think if such criminal activity as I mentioned above ( home invasion, robbery, attempted murder, domestic abuse, gang violence against innocents, especially thug and gangsta activity) were handled as terrorist acts....(to me, thugs and gangstas ARE domestic terrorists, but the only message those frackers wish to convey is that they think they're in control of some street or city)... Perhaps the punishments would be more severe...even resulting in the execution of such criminals, so as to serve as a warning to others who would dare engage in those crimes.
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  #18  
Old 06-20-2010, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
if my family/country/planet was threatened I wouldn't hesitate to torture and kill either.

I say screw tolerance, nobody needs to tolerate his enemy.
Unless your Spock and decide you don't want to save the person who destroyed you're entire planet and was threatening another deliberately, of course.

Quote:
What about the terrorists who founded the US aka founding fathers? One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
Don't get me wrong, I don't condone the 9/11 criminals, on the contrary mass murderers are mass murderers. This case is crystal clear, these terrorists suck.

But if you take a look at Palestine or Northern Irish terrorists the waters become a bit muddy.

Or take dissidents in a tolaritarian regime, they are labeled terrorists by the ruling nazis/communists/autocrats. This case is crystal clear, these terrorists rule.

So I think that the term terrorist is too broad to be useful.
This is part of the problem to a great degree - definition and perception of who or what actually 'is' a terrorist.

To the British in the 1700s the revolutionary American colonists could easily be termed as such in todays terms, yet from the Colonists side they were merely taking a stand against their distant rulers.

For every relatively clear case - there is a distinctly muddy one.
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  #19  
Old 06-20-2010, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
What did you not buy about an attack on Earth? [...]
But I can't convince you that ENT hasn't sprung out of the mind of DoubleU himself so feel free to continue to play this pathetic good liberal TNG vs. bad conservative ENT game.

By the way, the Vulcan arc has nothing to do with the Xindi arc. Just sayin'.
I was talking about culture, iconography and how politics shape both and are inevietably reflected and present in popular culture. I speculated why the author of the linked article was right about TNG and terrorism and why people 'fail' to see it to be true: TNG spend indeed a great deal of episodes on the subject. So, what happened? Why do we nowadays look at TNG and overlook the references to terrorism? I speculated that we might not see it as references to terrorism because we dont recognize the iconography anymore, because the picture of terrorism changed. Thats all. And when iconography changes so drastically then it usually is the result of propaganda.

Concerning your ENT vs. TNG remarks: I never said TNG was 'liberal' as in Democratic Party or as in leftwing-pacifism. Dont know where you pull that from. I merely indicated that every Trek is a reflection of its own time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4OjyyRQbwY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVgmpr8C5EY&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgo3x...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s11BXEMBi1A

By the way,we didnt talk about TOS and terrorism yet:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAIA33URHtU

Last edited by Botany Bay : 06-20-2010 at 03:42 AM.
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  #20  
Old 06-20-2010, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
I agree with this statement to a point.

Yes, I guess it depends on what side of the fence you're on as to whether someone is a terrorist or a hero. The victimized side (or the side that considers such actions unlawful and any other negative adjective you can throw on there) will see the actions of another as potentially "terrorist", while those who carry out the action claim to have some form of justification for said action....be it religious, monetary, or political.

After 9/11, the definition of terrorism was about to be broadened beyond just the typical "Infidellllllllll......Diiieeee for AlllaaaaaahhhhhhhhH!!!!!.......BOOM!" or "Kick the Brits outta Brittaaaaiiiiinnnnnnnnn!!!!!......BOOM!" to include home invasion, robbery, attempted murder, domestic abuse, etc.

On the one hand, it would've completely upended the urgency of definition when it comes to terrorism as we generally know it. To a smaller degree, it would be like saying: "The sky is falling!" Terrorism, as it's been known to be, has almost always had some end of conveying some kind of message: A warning to a government, a call for the release of a prisoner that is important to their cause, a cry for wide media coverage to show the world what seems to be going on with them.

On the other hand, just think if such criminal activity as I mentioned above ( home invasion, robbery, attempted murder, domestic abuse, gang violence against innocents, especially thug and gangsta activity) were handled as terrorist acts....(to me, thugs and gangstas ARE domestic terrorists, but the only message those frackers wish to convey is that they think they're in control of some street or city)... Perhaps the punishments would be more severe...even resulting in the execution of such criminals, so as to serve as a warning to others who would dare engage in those crimes.
I don't know, death penalty (resp. lifelong imprisonment in those states were death penalty isn't used or banned or whatever) for theft or robbery seems a bit harsh to me.
Don't forget that there is the very personal from of theft and robbery as well as the more anonymous form of white-collar theft which can have much graver effects (think about something like the Enron accounting scam, stock prices fall, shareholders lose part of their wealth, employees lose their jobs).
But back to terrorism, if one takes the work literally it implies that there isn't merely some form of physical violence but also terror, i.e. psychological violence. I think that's what you are hinting at when you refer to crimes like home invasion (I remember that burglars broke into the house of my parents when I was a kid and the terror of feeling unsafe in their own house was much worse for them than having been robber of a few hundred bucks) or gang violence. Or take rape, here the terror is much greater than the physical violence. Or to take 9/11, the direct violence was the mass murder and the terror for US citizens was feeling unsafe not just at home like in the case of burglary but everywhere.
I agree that this "extra violence" in form of terror should lead to some extra punishment.

I think that in this context the word terror becomes meaningful again. It also helps to distinguish the "good" from the "evil" terrorists, evil terrorists are simply the ones who use more terror.
To pick the example from the ambiguous cases which are local conflicts over the control of land and the specific history between Ireland & GB resp. Israel & Palestine ignored, a key difference between Northern Irish and Palestine fighters is that the former have mainly targeted public institutions while the latter have mainly attacked civil citizens. Furthermore the IRA wants the Brits to go home while Hamas wants to drive the Jews into the sea. So there is more terror in the methods of the Palestinians and that's why their fight is more questionable.
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