The Nagus

The Nagus is the first episode which features Ferengi culture in a big way, introducing us to Grand Nagus Zek, the overall leader of the Ferengi people who embodies everything that the Ferengis value – principally, greed and business acumen, so Capitalism personified, if you like, and Quark seems to worship him.

nagus

I really can’t stand Zek as a character although I do like the actor, Wallace Shawn – Vizzini from The Princess Bride. I’m sure he is meant to convey some important truths, beyond being a foil for Quark’s character, but he’s just way too annoying for me to notice. Plus I know there is a reference to the Godfather films, but I just don’t get it as I have never seen them. If anybody cares to explain why the Godfather is so popular, feel free. It’s not really on my radar. The nearest I come to watching gangster movies is Bugsy Malone.

Quark’s character development is interesting, as is Rom’s, who reveals himself to be far more devious than his brother had imagined, which thoroughly impresses Quark even though it nearly kills him!

The other interesting development, the sub-plot, is Jake’s friendship with Nog, and the way that Jake and Sisko’s relationship – even at this early juncture – is beginning to grow and change as Jake gets older and starts making his own choices.

I remember my middle son being horrified by Sisko’s apparent racism against Nog, not wanting Jake and Nog to be friends (not to mention the Bajorans’ continued racism against all Cardassians, amongst other examples), but drawing attention to racism and busting race and gender stereotypes is something that Star Trek has always done well. At least until JJ, but that’s another story.

I liked that, when Sisko asks Jadzia for parenting advice, she says “I’ve been a mother three times and a father twice,” but then admits that she was never really very good at it from either side. But then Sisko still takes her advice and chases after Jake to find out why he wasn’t at dinner!

While I was looking for different opinions on this episode, I found this interesting post:
http://andraste.dreamwidth.org/174446.html?thread=1581166&style=light

But then I went off on a bit of a rabbit-trail, totally unrelated to DS9, to investigate the origin and meaning of the poster’s username, Andraste.

Andraste_WoT

It turns out that Andraste was the Roman name of a Celtic goddess, Andred, invoked by the legendary Boudicca of the Iceni in her fight against the Romans in Britain, her name thought to mean ‘invincible’ in the Celtic tongue, and cognate with the Roman goddesses Andarte/ Andarta, Victoria and others.

Andraste
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andraste

In addition, Andraste is the name of a band from Manchester,
who describe themselves as being “Purveyors of Finest Folk Metal” (my favourite kind!)
http://andraste.co.uk/
Check them out on Soundcloud. I really liked their sound until the singing started. Sorry. Nice flute.

andraste

Finally, Andraste is also a character in the videogame DragonAge, which I’m guessing is from whence the poster took the name.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Age

I haven’t really investigated video games very much at all – I’m just a bit too old to have caught it when it all got good. It was all still Commodores and Spectrums, Pacman and Space Invaders when I was young enough to have disposable income and time to spend on such things. But now all my kids are teenagers themselves, I might have another chance to explore. Hit me up with suggestions of good ones to start with!

LLAP!

Babel

I love this episode, it’s so funny. I’m not sure if it was meant to be humorous, but O’Brien and the others’ confusion of language tickles my funny bone. Perhaps I have a ‘warped’ sense of humour, I don’t know. Obviously the sudden aphasia is distressing to the speakers affected by it and to the people they are speaking to, who can’t understand it. But the dialog is just funny.

O’BRIEN: Major, larks true pepper.
KIRA: What?
O’BRIEN: Let birds go further loose maybe. Shout easy play.
KIRA: Chief, you’re not making any sense.
O’BRIEN: Round the turbulent quick. Well, close the reverse harbour. Ankle try sound. Reset gleaming. Dinner to bug.
KIRA: Chief, wait.
O’BRIEN: When?
KIRA: Chief!

babel1

Other than the obvious illness and epidemic (and perhaps biological warfare) there are no major themes in this episode really, although Kira’s kidnapping of Surmak Ren, exposing him to the aphasia virus was a huge breach of ethics. Luckily he is able to miraculously remember the formula and cook up an antidote in double-quick time, but if such a thing were to happen in real life, Kira would have gone to prison for sure.

But what of the aphasia virus itself, as a metaphor? It makes me think of gossip actually – the way one person starts something, perhaps a half-truth or a truth they have no business to share, and all of a sudden it spreads like feathers in the wind with no hope of possible containment, the original creator having no thought of the possible consequences or results of their indiscretion. If only there were an easy remedy. I really hate gossip. I’ve been on the receiving end of it a few times, and I have also once fallen into the trap of doing Dekon Elig*’s dirty work for him, spreading a half-truth that came back to bite me. Dekon himself by that stage was well out of harm’s way. I have never made the same mistake again, and won’t do in a hurry.

The other thing that is lovely about this episode is the touching scene between Jake and Sisko, when Jake becomes aphasic too. I love that the relationship between the actors is so genuine as well – I know that Avery Brooks says that he counts Cirroc Lofton as one of his own children. You can see the tenderness in this scene.

babel2

Oh! One thing of note – Odo says that he is able to catch Quark in his lie about the replicators because he said that Rom fixed them, and Rom is an idiot. Of course, later on it is discovered that although Rom is quite useless when it comes to the things most highly prized by Ferengis, namely commerce, he is in fact a genius when it pertains to engineering. Just a clue there that the writers didn’t have it all planned out and were in fact making it up as they went along. A bit like my life really. 🙂

Anyway, time for a bit of music! I would like to introduce you to a band you may not know, Treacherous Orchestra. A lot of their tracks are wild and crazy (they’re a lot like Salsa Celtica if you know them). But I thought I would share this very gentle track as a background to Jake and Sisko’s tender moment. Enjoy!

* Dekon Elig, the original creator of the virus, along with Surmak Ren.

Archive: My Open Diary Categories

The following were my categories/ interests on the original blog on Open Diary. The posts themselves are lost, but it will give you a flavour of what you might expect from my writing.

Celtica
Chick Flicks
Classical Music
Crunchy Mamas
Dark Skies
Domesticity
Folk Music
Gattaca
Grey’s Anatomy
Heavy Metal
Hebrew Roots of Christianity
Hitchiker’s Guide to the…
Homeschooling
House
Ikea
Israel
Jazz
Jewish
Judaism
Large Families
Martian Chronicles
Matisyahu
Matrix
Messianic Believers
O.A.
Open Diary Addicts
Quantum Leap
Red Dwarf
Reggae
Scandinavia
Sci-Fi
Sliders
Social Networking
Space 1999
Star Trek
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Wars
Stargate
Stargate SG-1
Terry Pratchett
Trekkies
Yahweh/Yahshua
Zippy

I’m adding the few that I think I am likely to use again this time round, which are primarily the science-fiction-related categories. I have also added the category of Doctor Who, because although I loved Classic Who as a child, I had not discovered New Who when I wrote the original blog in 2006. In fact, I didn’t watch any of the new seasons until last year, but now I have discovered it, I am a big fan (as you can see from my ‘current emanation’ avatar, Amelia Pond.