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Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed [Report This]
Date: 31 Oct 2011 10:36 Title: The Image and the Spirit

For a moment I worried about those kids. Of course, the behaviour of one was disgraceful and disgusting, but at first it seemed like only Hirhul had a problem with that and everyone else just stared at him with 'what's your problem?' look. And I thought, "Oh, my! What kind of society is it going to be?"

But then my faith in them returned, seeing that there was someone who didn't approve of Damon's behaviour. Even if their reasons were a bit different, especially Sorvin's, a disgusting thing is disgusting no matter what kind of reasoning and philosophy is judging it.

Hirhul's approach to expressing his opinion wasn't very diplomatic, but at least he did say something. I feel that if he didn't, he'd regret it more than alienating those kids, with whom he wouldn't want to make friends anyway.

And who knows, maybe she just found some that he would, even if one 'insults' him in the traditional Vulcan way.

Author's Response:

I think that at that age, conformity is unfortunately treated as though it's a virtue.  So until Hirhul stood up and said something, everybody just went with the crowd.  People didn't want to make themselves the outcasts of the group.

But I do think it says something about Federation "values."  They take "don't judge" so far that there are no standards--I mean, think about the parents that weren't involved enough to supervise what their son was doing when the potential for abuse was so obvious, and the holoparlor owners that had no problem with unsupervised teenagers being present.

Some of why the kids turned against Hirhul was that he dared to make a judgment.  He dared to actually speak of right and wrong.  I think that this is where we'll end up as a society in the future, if current trends hold.

But I think once he spoke up, a few of those who were not comfortable with it felt emboldened.  (Which also goes to show Vulcans aren't perfect, since apparently the Vulcan kid was kind of shy, unlike what you usually see with Vulcans!)

As for Hirhul's approach...well, he's 15 years old, so I figured that kind of dramatic stand was what a kid that age might do if moved to it.  Would an adult have done it a little differently?  I'm sure.  But personally, I think that in a society where it's so uncommon and frowned upon for people to express a firm belief, that was a breath of fresh air.

Reviewer: Lady Drace Signed [Report This]
Date: 13 Dec 2009 10:04 Title: The Image and the Spirit

D'aaaawwww. This was just what I needed after reading about poor Tayben. A light hearted ending to brighten up my mood. :o)

But I totally see what you mean about hologram ethics and such. There is good reason why many people frown upon Quark's use of holosuites, because he would have no qualms about arranging for the characters (or even holograms of real people) to behave... shall we say, inappropriately with the players.

I totally get the feeling that this is not usually an acceptable behaviour. Of course, I have no doubt that there are holoprograms for sexual purposes (Quark again can be an excellent reference) but I'm sure that most people understand that there is a form of sanctity of the characters and limits to what you can do with them.

I'm reminded of that episode of TNG, where Barclay had these programs with his shipmates in it. I certainly don't blame them for being violently upset with him. I can hardly even imagine how freaky it must be to see someone interact with 'you' in a way you would never do. Phew!

I loved this, though. :oD Awesome!

Author's Response:

You know...I'm not actually sure how society on 24th-century Earth feels about things like that--at least, not when it comes to actors who have put their image out there (whereas Barclay's crewmates didn't, and Kira didn't either).  The way I write Federation society, I typically approach it as though the secular-progressives of Europe have won the culture wars, and I'm not really sure how many actual restraints there are in society.  Part of what was so offensive to the human children (well, most of them) wasn't just that Hirhul disagreed with what they were doing...but the fact that he dared state outright that it was wrong.  That there IS any higher reason that something could be wrong, and not just "not what I feel like doing."

But to me, it just seems it would be very disrespectful to act like that towards a simulation of a real person.  Now, not to be crude but I'm sure the Federation has porn stars who have put themselves out there for that purpose.  And while I despise that, too, at least those actors/actresses knew what they were signing on for.  These guys, on the other hand, were doing an action flick--not an "action" flick.  They consented to be watched, but not exploited.  But I think a lot of people on Earth don't see it that way.  And that's why Hirhul experiences a fundamental cultural separation from most of these humans. :-/

Reviewer: Lil black dog Signed [Report This]
Date: 05 Jun 2009 02:27 Title: The Image and the Spirit

Wow!  It seems that no matter what century we're in, or what races we are dealing with, teenagers will still be the same - some remarkably mature and well-adjusted, in tune with what's right and what isn't, and will someday prove to be a credit to their generation.

And then there's the rest of them...

You captured very well the problems and issues of being a teenager, no matter what era they live in, and how peer pressure, and a willingness to stand up to it, help to decide a person's path in life.

Very well done!  I enjoyed this immensely.

Author's Response:

Thank you...I'm very glad you enjoyed it! :-)

While I obviously didn't have THIS particular experience, I definitely drew on a lot of things I observed and experienced at that age.

Reviewer: SLWatson Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 May 2009 17:41 Title: The Image and the Spirit

I know I commented on this on the TrekBBS, but I'll give it another -- an excellent look at a society that is entirely too disposable, through the eyes of someone who is well-equipped to see the problems with this. And the 'Scots' thing still makes me giggle. :D

Author's Response:

Thanks. :-)  There is SOME truth to the Scots thing...but not entirely. ;-)

And glad you (still) like it!

Reviewer: Gibraltar Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 May 2009 06:54 Title: The Image and the Spirit

Oh, yeah, I can totally see teenagers abusing the hell out of holodecks for all sorts of otherwise taboo purposes.

Kudos to Hirhul for standing his ground.  This was a terrific look at human society through an alien's eyes, and it turns the Federation's whole relativistic morality ethos on it's ear.

Well done!

Author's Response:

Thankfully this one wasn't a fully interactive program...I kinda suspect there's a rating system in place that might not allow certain things to be done with the interactive ones (at least, not without a parental consent form...I do imagine that in the 24th century, there are some VERY permissive parents).  But this is one of the ways that teenagers get around the restrictions, and I suspect there's not a very serious effort to prevent it.

And I am very glad you understood what Hirhul was trying to do. :-)

I guess I've always been of the opinion that even those who claim tolerance are often just intolerant in a different way.  We just have to all recognize that those traits are human (or in the Trekiverse, common to all sentient beings) and that we have not and never will purge them.  Only then can we deal with each other in a truly tolerant way.  I hate to say it, but Picard is often my example of what happens when the intolerant/hypocritical behavior grows up.

Reviewer: Mistral Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 Apr 2009 23:20 Title: The Image and the Spirit

I liked this, was proud to have inspired the idea, and found it an interesting play on typical human reactions vs Cardassian religious reactions. That he was complimented later went a long way towards portraying the humans as something other than one-dimensional. Good job!

Author's Response:

Thanks.  And your inspiration meant a lot. :-)

You know, one thing I deliberately left vague: I don't know whether or not Selina was a religious believer, or if she just had a personal problem with what was going on.  I would say that even if she's not a believer, she might simply admire the fact that he stood up for what he believed.

He may have shot down his chances for schoowide popularity, but I think he got a couple of good friends out of this.  So in the end--I think he came out ahead. :-)

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 Apr 2009 16:57 Title: The Image and the Spirit

A glorious tale Nerys. First off, it met the TrekBBS challenge remit in contending with entertainment, and no doubt the holodeck technology and application thereof is an aspect of entertainment in the Trek universe.

The aspect from Hiral's [sp] point of view is fascinating on different points. The prolific use of replicators and holodecks would be mind boggling to a refugee. So I really dug his attitudes and opinions in regards its use. they made sense from where he was coming from.

The topic matter itself is actually probably a valid point in how the technology might be used/abused and the 'danger' it could pose for minors etc. Of course, there is also the violence aspect that could also be tackled. Age restrictions on holoprograms would no doubt be more complex and controversial than films and computer games in our own world and time.

Some really intriguing stuff here. From the limited use of the universal translator so that children develop language skills, to the holodeck and replicator technology, to the use of historical crimes/wars being used as entertainment. Many parallels to our own world and time and many debates and lessons to be teased out from.

So hats off! Great read and a fascinating insight into the young Cardassians life. Thanks indeed to Mistral if his question helped to put this idea in your head.

Author's Response:

I was also thinking of what it would be like for the holonovel stars.  I mean, think of what obsessed fans would do.  Creepy creepy creepy ICK.

I had kind of made the assumption that there was some sort of rating system already in place with the violence, though I'm not entirely sure how.  That's part of why I went with "stylized violence" like The Matrix or Crouching Tiger, rather than something like Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan.  But you're right, that would be VERY complex.

Of course, not all the rating restrictions in the world can stop what Damon did--hitting the "pause" button in a provocative place.  And in that...Hirhul expressed a view that to a lot of the human kids, looks like a primitive throwback in a lot of ways.  And for it to be TAKEN that way was a real shock to Hirhul. :-(

(Oh, and the thing about the translator thing...I dunno if you've seen Mehmet Burakgazi yet, in The Thirteenth Order, but that's part of what created the almost Cardassian-sounding English that he and some other DMZ borderworlders speak.)

Glad you enjoyed! :-)

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