InterTREKtional

11
Mar

Pizza, Cake, and Drugs (A Port in the Storm) Episode Notes

***HERE THERE BE SPOILERS***

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This is your heart, Mon Capitan

Ryan and Becca get emotional this week when Picard is reunited with Riker and Troi. We meet their precocious tween daughter and spend a lot of time ogling the idyllic wilderness. Soji learns about Data. Meanwhile, shit is going down on the Borg cube, and Sister F*ckboy is LIVING for it.

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Who does this remind you of?

Becca was paraphrasing Gloria Steinem on getting married in her 60s and her need to change the institution of marriage first. Her interview with Barbara Walters in 2001 has it in her own words.

Hugh's dying words are a good example of the Almost Dead Guy trope, wherein the dying live just long enough to impart important information to further the plot.

The crew of La Sirena might trust Aggie in the face of countervailing evidence because they buy into the trope of fair hair being characteristic of virtue and heroism.

We talk a bit about how the Zhat Vash could be causing the very apocalypse they're trying to prevent, which may be the result of a time travel Predestination Paradox. There are definitions of causality paradoxes that depend less on fate and predestination than the above citation. We were also using time travel to describe a very old literary device, the classical tragedy: where a character (or people) cause their own fate by trying to avoid it. These tropes are also part of the storytelling apparatus in the finale episode of The Next Generation, All Good Things....

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There are three anomalies, and I caused all of them :( 

Michael Chabon clarifies that Romulans who have forehead ridges are from the Northern hemisphere of Romulus.

We refer to our episode Mind Rape is Still Rape (trigger warning) with regards to Commodore Oh's mind-meld with Dr. Jurati.

Becca was especially pleased with the music composition of this episode and how it tied in the Picard theme and the TNG theme so beautifully. Cudos to Jeff Russo for composing!

Evan Evagora is causing us a to swoon juuuuuust a bit. Hear him in this interview with his New Zealand accent!

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Thirst posting

Many agree with our argument in favor of Equal Opportunity Objectification (of all genders), including feminist bloggers and male celebrities. Academia has a deep and nuanced set of arguments on this topic, helpfully summarized by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy!

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4
Mar

What is the Nature of Your Thirst Emergergency Episode Notes

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(Content Warning: PTSD, addiction, incest, the Holocaust) This week Becca and Ryan take Soji's return as a jumping off point to discuss Fembots, the Pygmalion myth, and Pinocchio. Also (mild spoiler) Hugh is back! Plus, how is Raffi holding up? Join us for our analysis of The Impossible Box. 

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Interact with the Show Runner!

Michael Chabon answers questions about Picard on his Instagram, and the best answers gets re-reported on Trek Movie.

Picard and the Borg

We believe that Picard is suffering from post-traumatic stress distorder, or PTSD, from his time in the Borg collective where he was instrumental as Locutus of Borg in the Battle of Wolf 359, which was devastating to Star Fleet. We saw Picard struggle to see individual borg drones as victims who can be saved in First Contact, exemplified by this scene with Alfre Woodard, who echos the audience's horror at his attitude toward assimilated crewmen.  

One theory we put forward is that Picard's exaggerated arrogance in the Picard series is the result of him being separated from the Enterprise senior crew, who kept him in check and grounded throughout the TNG series and films. This is an example of the Heroes needing friends trope, which is depicted in many properties including Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In that series, we repeatedly see Buffy's heroism and effectiveness suffer when she is separated from her friends, never more so than in the episode "The Wish," which explores an alternate timeline where Buffy never moved to SunnyDale. 

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Fembots and Bikini Machines

For our discussion of fembots and female robots, we read the essay "Fembots: Female Androids in Mainstream Cinema and Beyond," by Marianne Zumberge. We also read The Fembot Mystique by Annalee Newitz at Popular Science, and this review of Ex Machina by Angela Watercutter, which coins the brilliant phrase "The Ex Machina Zone" for a mashup of the Bechdel Test and the Turing Test. We a few other essays and articles which we failed to bookmark and are, as always, indebted to the internet's feminists in general. 

Pygmalion is a Greek myth, as well as a play by George Bernard Shaw. The latter was the basis for My Fair Lady, a musical and film. Metropolis, a classic film by Fritz Lang, is available on YouTube

We also discuss the Fembots in Austin Powers and the Cylons in the remake of Battlestar Galactica. There is a fun debate about how the female Cylons may or may not be feminist. Also this one

And let's not forget the Buffybot

 

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Assorted Citations

Scene on Radio: Men is a 12 part series that we HIGHLY recommend listening to. We specifically reference Episode 6: Warriors on how society conditions men to embrace violence and prize character traits that make for pliant soldiers. 

The "Shut Up" Kiss Trope

We reference Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep 

Data has his first dream in the episode "Birthright Part I" on TNG and has his first nightmare in the episode "Phantasms".

A lot of Star Wars fans hated the evolution of the elder Luke Skywalker who had lost his way and needed to redeem himself, including Mark Hamill. (For the record, Ryan completely disagrees with this analysis and thinks his retreat from the galaxy in the face of failure is completely in character, since Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda did the same thing in their old age in the original trilogy. Plus, flawed characters are more interesting to watch. But whatever, fanboys. )

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3
Mar

What is the Nature of Your Thirst Emergency

(Content Warning: PTSD, addiction, incest, the Holocaust.) This week, Becca and Ryan take Soji's return as a jumping off point to discuss Fembots, the Pygmalion myth, and Pinocchio. Also (mild spoiler) Hugh is back! Plus, how is Raffi holding up? Join us for our analysis of The Impossible Box. 

Episode Citations and Notes

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25
Feb

Welcome Back Seven, How We Missed You Episode Notes

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On Free Cloud, crime queens dress like pop queens

Seven of Nine is back in a bomber jacket! We are here to chat Borg, crazy costumes, queering villains, and more space socialism. What happens in Free Cloud stays in Free Cloud, but spoilers lie ahead. Also, more wine. 

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Welcome back, Ryan!

Becca is curious if Ryan ate guinea pig while away on adventures in Argentina, but apparently this is more of a Peruvian dish. There is a Short Trek where H Jon Benjamin eats a tribble, which is basically space guinea pig.

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Do these look delicious?

 

Future Socialism

We speculate that Star Trek's version of socialism is predicated on machines taking the shitty jobs. What is Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Annie Lowrey via The Atlantic provides a good analysis. One element of this Utopian vision is likely predicated on having a Universal Basic Income - check out friend-of-the-pod Owen Poindexter's TEDx talk on the subject. Outside of the Star Trek universe, The Expanse presents another example of what this future may look like.

 

Data's Family and Friends

Ryan gives us a mini-synopsis of the extended universe novel Cold Equations, in which Dr. Noonian Soong is resurrected in B4's body and also incorporates Data's consciousness. From this, we know that Data and Dr. Bruce Maddox became pen pals after the events of The Measure of a Man (but still, fuck that guy). In Inheritance, we meet Data's mother Juliana Tainer, who is probably the earliest in-universe example of an android who passes for human.

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Hi there, Robo-Mom!

 

Shoutout to Director Hanelle Culpepper

Hanelle Culpepper directed a number of Discovery episodes, making history as the first black woman to direct a Star Trek property. She continued on to work on Picard, and we commend her directorial acumen!

 

Still Stuck on the Queer-coded Villains

We meet a new villain in this episode, Bjazl. While being a badass who has the best costumes, she's also another entry in the too-long list of villains who are queer-coded. She is also a representation of another problematic trope - Bury Your Gays - which sees queer characters die disproportionately to their hetero counterparts. Finally, consider Evil is Sexy; she's ticking all the boxes, and not in a good way.

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25
Feb

Welcome Back Seven, How We Missed You

Seven of Nine is back in a bomber jacket! We are here to chat Borg, berets and bedazzled body suits, queering villains, and more space socialism. What happens in Free Cloud stays in Free Cloud, but spoilers lie ahead. Also, more wine. 

Episode Notes and Citations

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18
Feb

Ninja Nuns Will Save Us! Episode Notes

Special Guest Host Molly Sanchez (@seriousmolly) fills in for Ryan this week! She and Becca get deep in Planet Vashti - permanent refugee camp for the Romulan diaspora. We ask the tough questions: who’s going to make out with whom, what do all of Captain Rios’s emergency holograms do anyway, and where can Becca get that hat? Also, we meet Space Legolas and some ninja nuns. Strap in!

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Check out Killing My Lobster, a Y2K themed sketch show written by Molly, in San Francisco February 20-29!

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Florida Picard smiles. Florida Picard wears a hat.

Absolute Backstory

Check out this Medium article by T.S. Mendola which also recaps this episode - thanks so much for crediting us for coining Dr. F*ckboy, T.S.!!!

Important Doggo Update

Molly solved the mystery of Captain Archer's dog Porthos! Apparently dogs DO live decades longer in the future (yay!) so this was, indeed, the same dog from Enterprise. Scotty disappears--but doesn't kill!--Porthos in Star Trek (2009), and rescues him in a subsequent comic book. Phew. Confirmed by 
Stack Exchange. 

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Porthos the Beagle: extremely old and not dead.

What's going on with Planet Vashti?

Are we supposed to infer some relationship to Queen Vashti from the Book of Esther? It seems like a stretch, but here's a great article on the feminist overtones of the Purim holiday - Vashti and Esther: A Feminist Perspective by Wendy Amsellem via My Jewish Learning.

The Qowat Milat are a sect of nuns who follow the Way of Absolute Candor. It seems that Absolute Candor is similar but not really the same as Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Nevertheless, if you're a manager, you might consider picking up this book.

Divergent fans might have noticed a similarity between the "Way of Absolute Candor" and the "Candor" faction, who also practiced radical truth-telling, and were pretty much hated by all the other factions for being dicks. 

 

Michael Chabon making Jewish Trek happen

The Wallenberg class ships were intended to rescue the Romulan refugees. This is a reference to Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews during the holocaust. 

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This image is already trending on Twitter.

The Prime Directive vs Savior Captains

Check out The Original Series episode "The Apple" for a worst-case scenario of Kirk interfering with a culture and breaking the Prime Directive in the name of his human savior complex. Via Memory Alpha. 

Here is some more information on broken treaties between the United States and native peoples, similar to the Federation's broken promise to the Romulans. Via the African American Policy Forum.

Literature

The Three Musketeers is a pretty great book by Alexander Dumas. It's in the public domain and you can read it for free on Google Books. The Count of Monte Cristo, which he also wrote and which Molly also discusses, is a much better book. Last we checked it was free or close to it on Kindle. 

Alexander Dumas was black French novelist. You can read about the role of race in his books and his sort of messed up relationship with his white father in this cool article in the Independent. We also recommend this podcast episode about Alexander Dumas from Stuff You Missed in History Class

Check out Molly's friend and author Meg Elison, whose novel The Book of the Unnamed Midwife won the Phillip K. Dick award. 

Dr. Jurati was giving off major Shut Me Up Kiss vibes, which is a trope where women who talk too much get taught to do something for the patriarchy with their face instead of blabbering. via TV Tropes.

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 Geordi can get it

Levar Burton's "Special Talent"

You can hear Levar Burton brag about his special talent (tongue strength? dexterity?) in the episode "Kunta in the House" on the Another Round podcast. 

18
Feb

Ninja Nuns Will Save Us!

Special Guest Host Molly Sanchez (@seriousmolly) fills in for Ryan this week!

*****Spoilers****

She and Becca get deep in Planet Vashti - permanent refugee camp for the Romulan diaspora. We ask the tough questions: who’s going to make out with whom, what do all of Captain Rios’s emergency holograms do anyway, and where can Becca get that hat? Also, we meet Space Legolas and some ninja nuns. Strap in!

Episode Notes and Citations

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11
Feb

Who Wants To Vape Snakeleaf With Us?

Picard Episode 3 InterTREKtional coming right up ***SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS***

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Picard enlists his frenemy Raffi, bad-boy Captain Rios, and our fav Dr. Anges Jurati to finally engage in his space adventure. Dr. F*ckboy seems to only exist in a state of sexy-danger-flirting, even with his sister...? Soji plays Tarot-Cataan with a Romulan-ex-Borg mythologist, as Chateau Picard gets a surprise visit. Join us as we discuss all this and more!

 

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11
Feb

Who Wants to Vape Snakeleaf with Us? Episode Notes

***SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS*** Picard enlists his frenemy Raffi, bad-boy Captain Rios, and our fav Dr. Anges Jurati to finally engage in his space adventure. Dr. F*ckboy seems to only exist in a state of sexy-danger-flirting, even with his sister...? Soji plays Tarot-Cataan with a Romulan-ex-Borg mythologist, as Chateu Picard gets invaded by goons. Join us as we discuss all this and more!

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Costumes! 

We love the 14-years-ago Starfleet uniforms. Hear, hear! to costume designer Christine Clark and concept artist Greg Hopwood. P.S. Greg has seen our instagram page (squeeee!) and also worked on Birds of Prey.

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Look! They're so great!

 

The Paradox of Tolerance

In 1945 Philosopher Karl Popper wrote in The Open Society and Its Enemies:

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.—In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right to not tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal. 

Much more recently, this comic went all around the internet, and we like Skepchick's take.

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The Tragic Sense of Life

The Tragic Sense of Life is the book of philosophy Captain Rios is reading when we meet him.

“The truth is that reason is the enemy of life.” Regarded as Spain’s most influential thinker, Miguel de Unamuno was a prolific writer of novels, essays, poetry, and plays. Tragic Sense of Life, published in 1912, was his most important philosophical work and is now generally considered one of the great existential texts of the 20th century—as provocative a work in its own right as anything written during the post-war period by Sartre, Camus, or Heidegger. In it Unamuno rejects the life of reason for one of intense passion, faith, and love, establishing Don Quixote as the great role model for contemporary man. — Amazon description

You can get it for free via Project Gutenberg. Or pay $0.99 to get it on Kindle (definitely not an affiliate link... yet?)

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This page was important enough to get screen time

 

This week on, We watch TNG so you don't have to:

That episode where Picard goes back to Chateau Picard and immediately gets a job offer -- check the privilege! It's called Family. Also, Jean-Luc and his brother mud wrestle in it.

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Oh, brothers.

 

Lost Connections

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions is a very insightful book which Becca highly recommends. It outlines 9 causes of Depression, only one of which is biological, and really expanded her understanding of her own mental illness. 

 

There you are, Hugh!

Now that Hugh's back, it's a great time to (re)listen to our episode The Borgeousie.

 

Killjoys (again)

Becca references one of her favorite shows, Killjoys. In this case, she's postulating that Freecloud (where our heroes are headed at the end of this episode) is akin to Killjoys's Utopia which the character John Jacobis describes thusly, "Sex, drugs, meds, and tech. Everything illegal and freaky... is for sale in Utopia."

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Is this what Freecloud looks like?

 

Socialism in the Military

We talk about the US military being an example of socialism. Here are a few people who agree with that take!

The US Military Is a Socialist Organization via The Nation

Military Life is Socialism and I Love It via Military.com

Troops of the Uniform Unite! The Military Is a Socialist Paradise! via The Daily Beast

 

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He finally said it!

 

4
Feb

Good Morning, Plastic People!

Robots have to work on a holiday, and honestly that's kind of BS. Picard argues with his Romulan housemates, and his doctor. Soji hangs with Dr. F*ckboy and helps cute new trill Dr. Naáshala Kunamadéstifee fasten her belt. Dr. Agnes Jurati drinks Earl Grey. Hot. Spoilers abound. Spoilers abound. 

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