Star Trek Canon Database

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Database started: 1999-07-27
Page generated: 2018-06-18

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TNG Season 7, Ep# 170: "Eye of the Beholder"

SCREENPLAY: He is Lieutenant Kwan, a humanoid in his mid-thirties -- part Asian, part Napean. He is clearly agitated and distraught.

(he kills himself)


WORF: These were his quarters.

SCREENPLAY: These are the smaller, windowless quarters. There are Chinese and alien artifacts in evidence, reflecting Kwan's mixed heritage. Everything is neat and orderly.

Culture: more of the writers' blatant racism. Kwan has a "mixed heritage" because of his racial background, so he must surround himself with mixed cultural items, eh? Typical.

The way these writers think, they'd probably be dumbfounded that I have no Chinese cultural artifacts in my possession. After all, I'm Asian, so my "heritage" must be Chinese, right? I should have a combination of Canadian and Chinese cultural artifacts in my possession, and I should be trying to combine the best aspects of Chinese and Canadian culture. Perhaps a Buddha idol with a hockey stick in his hand? Offensive assumptions like this contain two levels of racism:

  1. The assumption that all Asians are Chinese. That's a variation upon the redneck "y'all look alike" garbage that visible minorities constantly must put up with.
  2. The assumption that cultural heritage is genetic. Asian genes mean you have "Asian" values and beliefs. Well I'm Asian, and the things I claim for my culture are things like ice hockey, beer, rock 'n roll music, and pizza, not geisha girls, squid meat, or taoism. I guess that means I don't fit into their neat little packaged view of race and culture.
There was once a time when Star Trek bucked social conventions and made progressive moves against racial stereotyping and ethnic separatism. That time is long gone. Star Trek has gone from socially progressive trend-setter to politically correct trend-follower.

Wayne Poe reminds us of the 1980's chic trend of hanging Samurai swords on the wall over your fireplace. I can only wonder what Federation anthropologists would think upon discovering such swords. They'd probably assume the occupant was Japanese.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 170: "Eye of the Beholder"

DATA: According to Starfleet records, Pierce and the other two persons Counselor Troi identified were killed in an accidental plasma discharge eight years ago. Their bodies were never found.

TROI: I don't believe it was an accident. I think that Pierce found out that the other two were having an affair. He lost control... and killed them both. Afterwards, he probably activated the plasma stream, then threw himself into it.

WORF: The plasma discharge would have obliterated any evidence that it was murder.

GEORDI: I scanned behind the panel Counselor Troi asked me to look at. I didn't find any bone fragments... but I did find traces of cellular residue. It's showing some kind of ... empathic signature.

TROI: It may be that when Lieutenant Pierce was struck by the plasma stream, the  subspace energy present there imprinted his empathic pattern into the residue.

Culture: they carefully describe everything from spirit possessions to ghosts and psychic visions in pseudoscientific terms. I can't help but think of stuff like this when some smart-ass Trekkie tries to tell me that Star Wars isn't "real" science fiction because of the Force. The only difference between Star Wars and Star Trek is that Star Wars is honest about its mystical elements.

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