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  • Mrs Chakotay 3:25 pm on December 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , deceit, friendship, Jennifer Lien, Julian Bashir, Kes, ,   

    The Passenger 

    This is another one of the early, experimental episodes featuring aliens we never see again, and the story is unrelated to the overall mythology or anything else in the series.

    In summary: A ship arrives in distress, carrying a dying man – a prisoner who has committed atrocities in the name of science to find a way to prolong his own life. Somehow, although his body is confirmed dead, it seems he has found a way to transfer his consciousness into another body.

    To cut a long story short, it is eventually revealed that Vantika’s consciousness has been transferred to Dr Bashir and he proceeds to commandeer a ship and cause all sorts of trouble. I am rather fond of Siddig El Fadil but this sequence was a bit of really bad acting which made the episode unbelievable, which is a bit of a shame. I think he improves over the course of the series.

    [I thought it would be really easy to find a clip of Bashir acting badly, but I couldn’t find one and I don’t know how to do it myself… so in lieu of what I really wanted, here’s Bashir’s personnel file:]

    Compare this though with Jennifer Lien’s command performance in Star Trek Voyager in the episode Warlord where she is taken over by the consciousness of Tieran, a notorious murderous, villanous tyrant who has survived many lifetimes by body-jumping (it’s a very similar story in fact).

    Again, I thought it would be easy to find the clip that I wanted, but this is the next best thing, with a nice tune as well 🙂

    She was such an amazing actress, it is so, so sad that she has lost her way, getting into trouble and getting arrested firstly for domestic violence a few years ago (apparently the father has custody of the child) and then this year for ramming a police car and then later for indecent exposure in September – all signs seem to point towards mental illness of some kind, and I really hope she gets help and recovers, but I don’t know how likely that is in the US system.

    So, real life application? Just that people are not always what or who they seem to be, and even sometimes people you think you know and can trust turn out to be different that we thought. how well can a man ever really know another man? (Or woman, obviously.)

    Perhaps I’m cynical because I have experienced betrayal, lies and deceit more than once from people I least expected to behave that way. ‘Trust no-one’ seems a good motto until you realise that it’s no way to live. Relationships, friendships, are really what make life worth living, and if you never allow yourself to be vulnerable, you miss out on life itself. So don’t hide yourself away, folks. Go and get out there again, make new friends.

    LLAP.

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  • Mrs Chakotay 6:06 pm on December 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , boundaries, , , friendship, ,   

    Captive Pursuit 

    Ah, Tosk. A species designed and bred to be prey, for the entertainment of a hunting species, to the extent that he does not even have his own name, he just identifies as Tosk, his very identity is prey. (There’s an echo of this in Voyager’s Hirogen and their holographic prey who rise up against them.)

    I remember writing about this episode, but I don’t remember who I would have originally cast as Tosk, the hunters, Sisko, or O’Brien who is the hero of this story.

    tosk

    Right now I think that Tosk is me. I’m not really being pursued. No-one is after me. It’s just a feeling. But it is a recurring theme in my dreams, being on the run. I think it’s just a result of general anxiety really. I can’t pinpoint a specific worry.

    But somehow, I seem to have attracted (or been spotted by) a string of manipulative, controlling women who used me and caused a lot of trouble.

    The fact that it happened so many times made me begin to wonder why – I am not a pushover, I am not an easy target. I do not view myself as a victim. And I don’t think I am a bad judge of character. Actually, the first time I was taken in because I had no idea – the person in question was a real charmer, a complete snake.

    But I wised up real quick, and I knew from the outset with the others that there was something not quite right. But still they kept spotting me. I think it was because I’m a basically nice person and probably more tolerant than most. But they were always surprised when I turned around and said “No” because when they make a mark, they think they can do anything!

    I have found that drawing boundaries is really important, those type of people will push and push to see just how much they can get away with. And often, they’re subtle and cunning and you don’t realise you’re being pushed until you’re already well outside your comfort zone – like the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling water.

    It becomes necessary, for those of us who are essentially as ‘harmless as doves’ to also be as ‘wise as serpents’, because that’s just what they are.

    wise serpent

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 8:09 pm on December 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , friendship, Kohn-Ma, Maquis, ,   

    Past Prologue 

    tahnalos

    This episode introduces the character of Elim Garak, one of my favourite DS9 personalities, with all his complexity and ‘layers’, as Shrek (or was it Donkey?) might say, and brings back the Duras sisters Lursa and Betor, with both Dr Bashir and Kira Nerys needing to decide which side they are on. (Also a nice early appearance of Vaughn Armstong – Admiral Forrest from Enterprise – as Gul Danar.)

    I was reading through the transcript of Past Prologue (and watching again), and wondering who on earth I might have seen as Tahna Los or the Kohn-Ma back in 2006-8 when I wrote the original blog on Open Diary.

    The Cardassians are the big bad enemy, and they’re easy to cast – the government (you might also see me refer to it as the ‘Babylon system’), politicians, or organised religion, in short authorities and authoritarians of all kinds.

    In general, I would tend to side with the rebels and the Maquis, but the ‘splinter group’, Kohn-Ma, seemed to be something else. They’re not just fighting for the freedom of Bajor, they’re fighting for the sake of fighting, killing Cardassians because they’re Cardassians even after the occupation is over. Kira works hard to offer the rebels forgiveness (amnesty) and repatriation, even going about Sisko’s head to accomplish it.

    So where is the line between lawful rebellion and terrorism? Well the obvious feature is attacking civilians. Terrorists tend to view civilians as legitimate targets, saying there *are* no civilians. Tahna Los didn’t care who got hurt in pursuit of his goal.

    I can’t see any obvious parallels between the Kohn-Ma and my life., and I can’t really see anybody who quite fits the character of Tahna Los But there is an additional theme in Past Prologue – that of deception and betrayal, and sadly that is something I do know quite a bit about.

    Ultimately, Tahna Los and the Kohn Ma double-cross Kira, having no intention of renouncing terrorism, and having no interest in repatriation, and he bare-face lies in Kira’s face.

    One of the reasons we relocated to the Wormhole was a series of friendships in a group that went very sour, with a lot of lies told, and levels upon levels of deception and prevarication, to the extent that my family’s safety was threatened, with a couple of the worst offenders displaying characteristics of seriously damaged people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    But there was one betrayal in amongst all of this which far outweighed any other, that of my best friend, the one person I though I could trust, and so I know that, when I originally wrote about it, I would have been angry and bitter and vengeful. Perhaps I would have cast her as Tahna Los. But now I don’t feel any of that, except in the occasional emotional echo. I just feel sad about the loss of a friend.

     
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