Star Trek: Voyager: Bliss   Rewatch 
January 8, 2018 8:29 AM - Season 5, Episode 14 - Subscribe

"From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake--" [turns over index cards, frowns] "--wait, this one is marked 'TWOK" and this other one says 'First Contact'--how many times have these been used?"

Memory Alpha says two heads are better than one. Isn't that the Borg philosophy, too?:

- The story pitch that initiated the writing of this episode had a botanical basis. Supervising Producer Kenneth Biller explained, "Bill Prady, who pitched and wrote the story [...] had this idea about the pitcher plant, a plant that sends out false pheromones to attract its prey."

- Seven of Nine says that the spaceship eater is the largest organism she has ever seen, at 2,000 kilometers in size. This is orders of magnitude smaller than the protozoan lifeform Voyager entered prior to her presence on the ship. It is also orders of magnitude smaller than other space organisms the Federation has encountered.

- The creature gives a false letter to Janeway that supposedly came from Mark, saying that he had broken off his engagement to another woman. Yet from an actual letter Janeway receives in the fourth season installment "Hunters", Mark was already married to another woman.

"Please state the nature of the medical emergency."
"Your ship is being devoured. I'd say that's an emergency."

- The Doctor and Qatai

"This is a sickbay, not an arsenal."

- The Doctor

"I'm a doctor, not a dragon-slayer."

- The Doctor

Poster's Log:

Yes, this episode is chock-full of, ah, venerable Trek tropes, especially the one alluded to above the cut (which TVTropes calls "Moby Schtick"). Even for this series, we've gone through the too-good-to-be-true way home, the critter who tries brainwashing people into being devoured, Seven vs. Everybody, etc. But what the episode lacks in originality, it makes up for in execution, IMO. There's a neat gradual transition, with a lot of subtext behind it, in how the space monster uses the crew's fantasies about returning to the Alpha Quadrant to blind them to just how unlikely it is, and how extreme their own behavior in shutting down any dissent or resistance to submitting to the creature is. The ad hoc resistance group is fun to watch--my original above-the-cut text had them pulling a rubber mask off the "wormhole", and the space creature snarling "I could have gotten away with it if it weren't for you darn Delta Quadrant kids!"--and Qatai is sufficiently grizzled and crusty to distinguish him from Khan and Picard as a space-Ahab. (W. Morgan Sheppard has had some interesting turns in various roles in the franchise.)

Poster's Log, supplemental: I don't want to spoil the recent Black Mirror episode "USS Callister" if anyone here hasn't seen it yet (it's great, highly recommended), but if there is a spin-off of it [spoilers], I can think of a direction for it that would totally be a Moby Schtick.
posted by Halloween Jack (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
This episode makes me want to read Moby Dick. Just so I have a better understanding of these tropes. I was surprised by the twist where Seven is fooled.
posted by hot_monster at 9:22 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


The MA page notes that Ken Biller considers this a very TOS-ish episode, and that's true. It's a great example of VOY taking a familiar TOS formula and modernizing it, giving it a hair more depth, and keeping it fun. Just really solid execution, as Jack mentioned. I particularly liked the depiction of the creature: clear enough to be impressive in terms of design and art direction, but murky enough to retain some mystery. That's as it should be.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:54 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Particle of the Week: Lots of particles this week, but I'm inclined to give it to neutrinos for sheer number of mentions.
Pointless STO Comparison of the Week: I haven't logged in in awhile, but at last check, tetryon based weapons (such as those used by Qatai) were in vogue again because of the current Tzenkethi content.

Ongoing Counts:
* Maximum Possible Photon Torpedoes: 2.
* Crew: 134, and I feel doubly confident about counting Naomi Wildman after this even if Tuvok doesn't.
* Credulity Straining Alpha Quadrant Contacts: 9.
* Janeway's Big Red Button: 2 aborted self-destructs, 1 successful, 1 game of chicken, 1 ramming speed. I'm not counting this because she was under alien influence.

Notes:
* As with Gravity, I never saw this one before.

Guess when I went back over Voyager after the fact, I wasn't as thorough as normal. I would definitely remember W. Morgan Sheppard - just commented about him in connection with a similarly old episode of Babylon 5 in that rewatch. (Obligatory 'great casting' marks here. I always love seeing that guy.)

* I'm with the crowd: this is solid.

This is a mishmash of old school tropes: sirens, Lotus Eating, the whole 'only I'm not crazy' thing. It reminds me of TNG's The Game quite a bit in feel, especially with all the creepy smiling and the immediate sidelining of the crew's only AI.

It doesn't feel like a rehash because they do a good job though. The atmosphere is creepy, especially because everybody's so happy. The illusion sequences are deftly surreal - good use of lighting. I actually like the glitches in the letters - they're all about as ridiculous as the Mark thing, and I feel like it adds to the creep factor. Like... Chakotay's not going to be absolved in absentia, much less given a prestigious job, and it escalates to 'the Maquis aren't dead' later.

They pick Seven without relying on her Borg superiority, (a topic of much prior discussion). They use Naomi to good effect - she feels like a real kid, and though it's not the first time, they're now pulling it off in an episode with some action. I like that the inoculating factor is 'don't care about Earth,' and that it doesn't apply to Neelix because he's bought into the Federation in a way that neither Seven nor Naomi particularly have. It's good character work, and it makes the reversal later - Seven believing she's free - a clever enough twist.

Basically, this is another example of what I actually desired from Voyager from the get-go, and it plays to their strengths - as talked about above, this is basically a more modern, slick and capable take on a very TOS idea, which was their comfort zone.

Pleasant surprise for my weekend. (Especially since I couldn't get at DISCO until today - going to have to watch it later.)
posted by mordax at 11:13 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


This is a bit of a derail, but it also seems like maybe the best place for me to ask some questions about the Black Mirror episode from people who are (maybe) on a similar Trekkie wavelength.

I haven't watched the Black Mirror episode because I don't currently have Netflix, but as an old school Trekkie I was very curious and I've read plenty about it. What I've read kind of disturbs me, but I'm curious what other Trekkies who've actually seen it think. I get the feeling that in addition to demonizing a certain kind of toxic male nerd (which is fine) it also kinds of picks on Trek, depicting it as innately sexist and gross, and in the end the tropes of the Abrams NuTrek era are employed to signal a bold new female-friendly era.

Given stuff like DS9 and (especially) Voyager, where the women were at least as strong and interesting as the men, and the much more dudebro, non-progressive tone of the JJ-verse, the takes I'm seeing on the Black Mirror episode strike me as really... problematic. I definitely don't object to seeing a sexist guy get his comeuppance, but I keep reading stuff where people seem to be saying that episode also takes the piss out of stupid, sexist old Trek and in the end everything is Abrams-ized and that's better. If classic Trek is being used a shorthand for sexist dickhead nerds and nuTrek is being used a shorthand for girl power, f that very much. I'd like to know if this episode is something I can go ahead and hate without seeing it, if I'm misinterpreting what people are saying, or what the heck. I probably will see the episode eventually, but for now it's this weird thing that I keep hearing about but not seeing.

(Yes, way too much of my brain is taken up with fussing about Star Trek. But I figured that if anybody could relate, it'd be you lovely folks.)

Anyhow, I do remember liking this episode of Voyager a lot, but it's been too long since I've seen it for me to have anything useful to add.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:48 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I get the feeling that in addition to demonizing a certain kind of toxic male nerd (which is fine) it also kinds of picks on Trek, depicting it as innately sexist and gross, and in the end the tropes of the Abrams NuTrek era are employed to signal a bold new female-friendly era.

Yes to #1, no to #3—there's not enough TO the ending for it to employ actual NuTrek tropes (and what crap TV it would be if it had, too!).

As for #2, I would say that, at the most, it picks on SHATNER as innately sexist and gross, and I suppose the costume designers. But even that might be a reach, because the villain goes beyond routine "Gamergater toxic"—I don't want to spoil too much, but suffice to say that I doubt Shatner, if he saw it, could justifiably say "They wrote this 100% about me, those bastards."

Now, on the other hand, there are several moments in "Callister" where I got the feeling that the writers knew about (or accurately guessed) that the female *cast members* on Trek were frustrated about the producers and writers giving them garbage to work with most of the time, as well as garbage sexist outfits, of course. But even this wasn't the main point of "Callister"—just a point IMO.

If classic Trek is being used a shorthand for sexist dickhead nerds and nuTrek is being used a shorthand for girl power

I hadn't heard this before your comment here, and I'd call it inaccurate—not even an oversimplification, just inaccurate. I imagine people are jumping to JJ Trek just because it happens to follow Old-Skool-Trek in production chronology. I might go so far as to say "somebody started a thinkpiece with an assertion in mind and didn't worry about whether the evidence supported it." Let me put it this way:

1- The sci-fi show that the villain is obsessed with is almost completely a reskinned TOS, but the correlation has little to do with story/thematic Trek tropes. The correlation is actually almost entirely visual, and moreover, some of the design elements (like the posters and cover art) actually suggest something along the lines of Rocky Jones Space Ranger. (Frankly, it feels MOST like an homage to Galaxy Quest, design-wise.) In the opening scene, I thought the subtext was gonna be all about the dark side of Trek-captain hero worship, but the story took some turns. I asserted in the "Callister" FF thread that the episode really isn't ABOUT Star Trek and I stand by that. (I feel like it's more about The Sims than anything else!…or mayyyybe Star Trek Online, at least partly, though I defer to mordax on that one.) If anyone associated with Star Trek could justifiably feel personally attacked by "Callister," it's whichever TOS producer was the sexual predator that tormented Grace Lee Whitney.

2- At no point during the closing scenes did "JJ/Nu-Trek" even enter my mind. The ending felt, to me, a lot more just "generic modern sci-fi." Their outfits are almost Alien-franchise-esque. Which maps, if not perfectly to "girl power," definitely better than JJ Trek.

I'd like to know if this episode is something I can go ahead and hate without seeing it, if I'm misinterpreting what people are saying, or what the heck. I probably will see the episode eventually, but for now it's this weird thing that I keep hearing about but not seeing.

I suspect lots of people writing about "Callister" have only a minimal understanding of Trek, but since it's such a high-profile episode of a big and edgy show, it's spawning a lot of words.

I mean, as someone who's seen every Trek episode (except the last few DISCOs and any of TAS), I would say that throughout the franchise, there's a good amount of both progressive gender stuff and Paleolithic gender stuff. Someone could come up with a very interesting story exploring that imbalance in the franchise, but "Callister" didn't do that.

Yes, way too much of my brain is taken up with fussing about Star Trek. But I figured that if anybody could relate, it'd be you lovely folks.

Hehehehe :)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:28 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Wasn't somebody in the fanfare thread of that episode saying there were lens flares and stuff, at the end? I've definitely heard people saying they got an Abrams-verse vibe off it. I feel like modern sci-fi could actually learn a lot from Trek, in terms of depicting women. The franchise wasn't perfect that way by any means, but it also went places that modern stuff generally doesn't. (And in almost every respect 90s Trek was leaps and bounds ahead of the Abrams stuff.) Sure, TOS has some badly dated ideas mixed in with the progressive elements, but it was still way ahead of its time and the later shows featured plenty of very strong women. Somebody was commenting on the ending of Black Mirror and saying, At last, a sci-fi spaceship with strong women in charge, and I was like, "Voyager was doing that every week, more than 20 years ago!"

I feel like Kirk has been unfairly written off as a sexist douche in modern pop culture. People act like he was some smug fratboy who spent every episode chasing green babes, but the character was a hell of a lot more than that. But that's a whole other discussion, and I feel like I've already said plenty about a Black Mirror episode I haven't seen, in a thread about a whole other episode of a whole other show!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:27 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


It's probably too much of a stretch to map the ending situation to JJTrek or anything else too closely. I mean, if you want to delve into the franchise history, [deep breath] the original Trek pilots ("The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before") had women wearing pants, and a woman ("Number One", who wasn't given a name) actually being in command of the Enterprise for most of the first pilot. Eventually, of course, TOS had its female officers in miniskirts, and Uhura never got to sit in the big chair in 79 episodes and six movies. (She did get to do so in the animated episode "The Lorelei Signal", although I can't find a picture of her actually in the chair.) JJTrek went kind of the opposite direction, with the women in miniskirts (without any rank braid, initially) and Zoe Saldana and Alice Eve in fanservicey underwear scenes; Star Trek Beyond improved this, as with many other aspects.

As for Kirk and whether or not he was a pig, there have been a bunch of Tumblr posts contrasting the way that Kirk was originally portrayed (as UH points out above) with the revisionist JJTrek version, although, again, this is throttled way back in STB. The point is made that the revisionist version favors the horndog/jerk view of Kirk which isn't really borne out by going back to TOS and examining the portrayal.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:35 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Sounds like I really oughta see Beyond, if only to do my Trekker duty.

the horndog/jerk view of Kirk which isn't really borne out by going back to TOS and examining the portrayal.

Jerk, no; horndog… I mean, when I rewatched TOS a year or so ago, it was eye-roll-inducing and almost Seinfeldian how reliably he got it on with the new young female one-shot characters, even if there wasn't anything particularly predatory about him. It's not so much that he was chasing skirts as the writers kept throwing skirts at him. (I'm really glad they toned that down for Riker, who was initially meant to be TNG's Kirk-alike. Somebody figured out that it wasn't the '60s anymore.) But I did say ALMOST Seinfeldian; it wasn't an every-episode thing. There's undeniably been some pop-cultural distortion of that character, pre-JJ, that impacted JJ's version. Doubtlessly Zapp Brannigan, as marvelous as he is, is partly to blame.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:49 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


(Yes, way too much of my brain is taken up with fussing about Star Trek. But I figured that if anybody could relate, it'd be you lovely folks.)

Heh. Absolutely.

I agree with Cheeses and Jack, more or less: the protagonist of Callister isn't really Kirk-y, he's a stand-in for your average Sad Puppy fandom guy. Someone who longs for the 'good old days' where the entire universe catered to him, and he wants it back even if it means hurting people. The ending wasn't about JJ Trek, it was just about a woman leading the charge to depose him and win a shiny new universe, IMO.

Anybody who confuses 'shiny' with 'JJTrek' is, as discussed above, just not much of a Star Trek person - the JJ stuff codes as sexually regressive to me compared to TNG-era writing. (I'm still pissed at them about Carol Marcus.)

I can't speak to whether you'll like the story, but I don't think anyone's supposed to imagine that the villain understands the source material so much as yearns for good old days that never really happened that way.

I feel like Kirk has been unfairly written off as a sexist douche in modern pop culture. People act like he was some smug fratboy who spent every episode chasing green babes, but the character was a hell of a lot more than that.

Agreed. Kirk's an old school BMOC type - he's a pretty deep thinker. (Like, 'Kirk vs. Picard' comparisons were generally silly to me because those two have a whole lot more in common than not. They're both smart, athletic, deft politicians, etc. Picard's just the more modern version: less interventionist, more about diplomacy, a lot more reserved.)

Jerk, no; horndog… I mean, when I rewatched TOS a year or so ago, it was eye-roll-inducing and almost Seinfeldian how reliably he got it on with the new young female one-shot characters, even if there wasn't anything particularly predatory about him. It's not so much that he was chasing skirts as the writers kept throwing skirts at him.

It's been awhile, but this matches my recollection - Kirk's generally decent, (especially for the time), he gets a Girl of the Week because that's the trope.
posted by mordax at 9:55 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


(To avoid abusing edit: dude's Charlie X, not Kirk. I trust Charlie Brooker to know the difference after watching so much Black Mirror.)
posted by mordax at 9:58 AM on January 9


'Kirk vs. Picard' comparisons were generally silly to me because those two have a whole lot more in common than not. They're both smart, athletic, deft politicians, etc. Picard's just the more modern version: less interventionist, more about diplomacy, a lot more reserved.

Ya know, this is right on the money. It makes me wish they'd interacted a lot more in Generations.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:02 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


It makes me wish they'd interacted a lot more in Generations.

(WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for that new Star Wars movie, and Generations.)

I'm one of the few who adores Generations, it's probably my favorite of the TNG movies. I feel like it gets the mix right of feeling like a genuine extension of the TV show but with everything bigger. But it's funny, last weekend I was talking with my dad about The Force Awakens (he's a geek too) and how much it bugged me that they brought back Luke Skywalker only to kill him off, and my dad said, "Well, that was what Trek did to Kirk too." And thinking about it, it's hard for me to say why I was so bothered by what happened to Luke, but I was OK with what happened to Kirk. I guess I felt like Luke's path in TFA was kind of BS, that running away for decades like that was just not what Luke would have done. But the same could certainly be said about Kirk, that having to be talked out of being "retired" forever in the Nexus wasn't true to him either! (Although Kirk had the excuse that the Nexus apparently really fucks with your head, and you feel so utterly happy and peaceful in there you never want to leave. Once he got over that, he was telling Picard to never, ever give up command, because that's where you can make a difference... and THAT sounds like Kirk.)

I think Luke's death in TFA was more epic and affecting than Kirk's in Generations, but for some reason Luke's death bothers me in ways Kirk's didn't. I guess it felt like Kirk had to die sometime, and it seemed right that he died heroically having one last damn fool adventure. It felt true to who he was. With Luke, it felt like he'd spent decades NOT being true to the character we'd known, and then he had one last moment of nobility and then he died. And I had this feeling like Kirk wasn't DEAD-dead, like Shatner would not let the character go. It turned out to actually be the end, but at the time that feeling of impermanence did blunt the edge a bit. Also, I had major affection for the TNG gang already and it did seem like time to pass the torch, while the new Star Wars kids just don't really click with me and I keep wishing we were getting new movies that were more about the adventures of the original people.

Man, I keep derailing the heck out of this thread with my blathering. Sorry, Bliss!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:15 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


This was an enjoyable, but sort of inconsequential episode for me since it was effectively redundant given it revisiting some ideas they'd already explored about the desire to return and being fooled as well as Seven taking charge. Still, it wasn't bad and would have worked better in lieu of the other letters from home episode for the theme, where that one could then have been converted into having some other hook to it perhaps since the desire to return wasn't as crucial to the concept of revenge in that one as it was here.

Naomi Wildman episodes are always a plus. Her character remains one of my favorite things about the later seasons, not just for her, but for how the character helped better define Neelix and Seven. It was perhaps a bit unfortunate they didn't do more with Neelix here as he could have been on team Seven along with Naomi and the doctor as his "wish fulfillment" could have been more like Naomi's then being like the rest of the crew. He has no strong connection to Earth after all. It's obviously not a big deal, but giving him some added time being competent could have been nice and made this seem less a super-Seven episode.

Trek writers definitely need to branch out more in their classic literature selections. I love Moby Dick, but there's a lot of other great works to choose from.

Not entirely sold on the do no harm to this creature attitude given its destructiveness and alleged lack of sentience according to the doctor. Warning beacons seem ineffective given the creatures movement, but as a message do no harm certainly isn't bad, just could have used some fine tuning perhaps to sell it better for these particular circumstances.

Regarding the Kirk debate, I always took the pop culture view of Kirk to be more an essentialized view of TOS itself, with Kirk just being the representative figure given the attitudes the show overall sort of dealt with. So the debate, for me, over attitudes about Kirk sort of miss the point both ways, with serious Trek fans getting into detailed minutia of conduct that only comes from the kind of engagement with the show casual fans wouldn't have, while casual fans hold to strong overall impressions and some specific memorable moments in determining their understanding of the character/show that lack useful nuance in some areas.

My take is that Cheeses was on the right track regarding Kirk in that he isn't a skirt chaser, but the show was more heavily sexualized than the later series and Kirk himself was treated as something like the ideal Playboy man, one who women would flock to without needing to chase them given his hyper-competence and general virility. He's a male fantasy figure essentially. TOS episodes were much more likely, from my memory, to deal with lust as opposed to the more genteel versions of love and desire in the later series. If not with Kirk, then with those they encounter or other members of the crew.

The feeling is one of sex itself being more significant to the show in that quasi-ideal of the sixties so a bit progressive in being open to it, though obviously more regressive in how they represent that "openness" when it was mostly from a male perspective, where latter series were more regressive when it came to sex itself at times, tying that interest more securely to ideas of lasting bonds rather than something that could be fine for its own sake, while being, varyingly, less sexist in how they treated their characters giving women voice in some regards, though while still often giving in to male gaze sorts of situations and "humor" as well. The general tone in those later shows though was, from what I've seen, less explicitly "about" sex and desire as plot drivers than TOS. (The way TOS was filmed too sort of informs this with it using more old school visual signals of desire, lurid colors, extreme close ups with seductive music playing and so on.)

The cultural references to the character of Kirk as a stand in for the TOS era doesn't seem too far amiss in a general and often humorously intended way since it does kind of fit the fantasy even if not precisely the facts. It's interesting talking about comparing Kirk to the later captains like Picard or Janeway since what you choose to focus on could make them seem more or less alike depending on how you weight the attributes and what you see as defining each character.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:41 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I think Luke's death in TFA was more epic and affecting than Kirk's in Generations, but for some reason Luke's death bothers me in ways Kirk's didn't. I guess it felt like Kirk had to die sometime, and it seemed right that he died heroically having one last damn fool adventure. It felt true to who he was. With Luke, it felt like he'd spent decades NOT being true to the character we'd known, and then he had one last moment of nobility and then he died.

This is among the more sensible criticisms of TLJ that I've encountered. It gets to, I think, the root of why this film is so divisive: it's not so much the butthurt GamerGater vote-stuffing as it is the fact that Star Wars is vast enough to mean different things to different people, whereas Trek is basically shiny and semi-philosophical techno-utopianism (notwithstanding JJ's ill-advised and poorly-executed efforts to expand the franchise's horizons by dragging it into the dirt and smearing it around with other empty Hollywood committee cheese—and what is that, a quadruple mixed metaphor?). As you suggest, there's a limit to what we can reasonably expect of Kirk's capabilities. And while I thought TLJ was really good, the Luke/Kylo arc is perhaps not the direction I would have taken it had I been in charge, especially if Disney told me that they were turning the sequel back over to JJ.

It's interesting talking about comparing Kirk to the later captains like Picard or Janeway since what you choose to focus on could make them seem more or less alike depending on how you weight the attributes and what you see as defining each character.

I was thinking about this too, and it occurred to me that such comparisons have a critical flaw: changes in Federation culture and social mores between the 2260s/2280s and the 2360s/2370s would have to be factored in to that discussion, and canonically, we're given very little to go on about what those changes might have been. Instead, we have to infer most of it, which gets you somewhere—e.g. how did Starfleet officers become such lumpy, old-fashioned pigs between DISCO and TOS? ;)—but not far enough to be able to be particularly definitive.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:52 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Kirk himself was treated as something like the ideal Playboy man, one who women would flock to without needing to chase them given his hyper-competence and general virility.

Well, I think of the "Playboy man" as a kind of leering skirt-chaser, whatever his other qualities, but I never got the feeling Kirk was actually out to bed every woman in sight or even that he was that interested in casual flings. It was more like he was a serial monogamist but every time he met somebody special she'd die or something. Sure, that was the writers keeping him unattached so he could have romances with new guest stars, but he never struck me as a guy with a girl in every spaceport. I think his romances were almost all supposed to be these great loves, but maybe there were so many episodes about them it gave the impression he was just kind of a player. That moment in the first reboot movie where he's running out after a one-nighter with a green lady didn't ring true to me at all. Roddenberry himself may have been kind of a horndog Playboy guy, but I don't feel like Kirk was really.

it's not so much the butthurt GamerGater vote-stuffing as it is the fact that Star Wars is vast enough to mean different things to different people,

I've certainly had an issue with the strawman that if you don't like the SW sequels it means you must be sexist, like being a sexist is the only reason anybody might not like these movies. My problems with the sequels had zero to do with the increased role of women, and everything to do with how they treated the original trilogy characters. I liked Rogue One the best of the sequels, because it was pretty much its own thing and at least there was nothing in it that made me say, "Jesus Christ, that character would never do that!"

(I recently fled the Last Jedi thread after I crabbed too much about this movie everybody else loved and people got sick of me, so I'll have to try and resist the urge to just bring my crabbing over here. You've all been far too patient with me as is, including not calling me out on mixing up The Last Jedi and Force Awakens back there.)

I love Moby Dick, but there's a lot of other great works to choose from.

Oh, they've done lots of books! The whole franchise was kind of inspired by Horatio Hornblower, for example. On a few occasions my girlfriend has made a big stink about how that TNG episode with Planet Scotland was a big ripoff of an Anne Rice book.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:07 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Well, I think of the "Playboy man" as a kind of leering skirt-chaser, whatever his other qualities

I don't blame you for that, I was more speaking of their "ideal" as the man women chase after due to their obvious masculine attractions. It's the make believe aspiration the mag pretended to cater to even as the readership had little commonality with that fantasy.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:27 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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