Noticing that we've had discussions on the size of starfleet and Odo's volume, I thought I might start a thread on general in-universe stuff. In short, what happens when you think just a bit too hard about trek. See, I like to try and make sense of the universe, even if the production team often didn't.
First subject that came to mind, it has been mentioned a lot lately, the colour of Cardassian Spoons, as in the head feature not cutlery. Specifically, do Cardassian females have blue spoons or is this make up. Now, from what I've seen it is inconsistent which made me think, what if it was the Cardassian equivalent of blusher. From what I gather of human blusher, it is there to imitate rosy cheeks which is a desirable thing. What if a blue spoon is a desirable feature on Cardassians? Some may have a naturally blue spoon, but others, in order to look better, may put blue on their spoon. There may also be Female Cardassians who have decided to be more practical and eschew make-up, hence no or very little blue in the spoon. Does this make sense or have I just said spoon too often.
I googled “female cardassians” and found this site
which says that there are two female Cardassians in Trek who don’t have blue spoons: one a girl called Asha from a DS9 episode (mislabelled on the site as Voyager) I don’t remember and a Bajoran/Cardassian hybrid whose name I won’t mention for spoiler reasons but if you’ve seen DS9 before you know who I mean. All the other female Cardassians seem to have blue spoons, even Seska in Voyager once her true identity is revealed and changes out of her Bajoran appearance back to her Cardassian one.
You could use this information to support either hypothesis you’ve put forward: either it’s a genetic thing which adults have and children and hybrids haven’t, or it’s makeup which Cardassian women put on and children aren’t expected to wear (Seska’s adoption of the blue spoon 70,000 light years from home using whatever substitute makeup she could find among the Kazon might then be her reasserting her Cardassian-ness culturally and aesthetically to complement the reassertion of her physical Cardassian-ness).
There’s a further complication in that in season four, Garak is seen with a blue spoon at one point. What are we to make of that, do you think?
Possibly Garak is experimenting with the cardassian equivalent of Guyliner. On cardassia it would bee seen as a needless extravagance but he might be doing what guys here do to draw attention to their eyes.
It is the opposite, a blue spoon can be unfasionable, in the same way that sun tans go in and out of style. Normally all cardassians cover their blue spoons with make up but some women prefer teh natural look. It would be an interesting twist for cardassian males to be societally pressured to make themselves up in public. "Well naturally as a woman I can go out without make up on but if a male does it I wonder if he's fallen on hard times"
So I thought I'd have a go at another one. No, not how the economy of the future works (Although I have been trying to come up with a plausible way it could, watch this space) Instead I thought I would look at another issue.
It was actually one raised by themark and a good point. Why would the Ferengi, a profit driven society not utilise 50% of their population to make even more profit? First, we should acknowledge how far trek has come that they didn't just put the blame on religion. In season 1 TNG we would probably have had an explanation that the great money god Bonk declared that females must never make profit so our protagonists could casually laugh at how awful religion is. They didn't. So, to that end, and beyond a kind of cultural worship of commerce we don't see a Ferengi religion, I may have come up with an explanation without using religion.
Using aliens as a metaphor for aspects of humanity is standard trek fare. Looking back at our own cultures and one that sadly creeps in repeatedly is the idea of women as property. Women were often traded for peace treaties, money (Dowries) and influence. If the Ferengi culture became the money-obsessed one we see while women were at the very least treated as a commodity if not as actual property (And by the treatment of women in ferengi culture we see is anything to go by then that fits rather well) then suggesting that a woman makes profit to a ferengi would be like suggesting a ship or a precious gem could make profit, sure they can be sold and bought, possibly even increase in value but you don't let a diamond start its own business.
So yes, there is a plausible reason why the Ferengi don't let women participate in business, and it is pretty horrible.
Interesting stuff. Why do the males consider the females property, do you think? How did that start?
[ Click to expand ]
[ Click to hide ]
On the topic of religion, the Ferengi do believe in the Divine Treasury, which is sort of a Ferengi heaven that they can only access if they've earned a lot of profit. Given females aren't allowed to make profit I guess they're not allowed in and are believed to go somewhere else when they die.
Yeah, female Ferengi aren't so much treated as 2nd class citizens, but as almost a different species.
Interestingly, the Rules of Acquisition are clearly held with as much reverence as a religious text in our cultural history, (or, to take a secular example, Mao's 'Little Red Book'), which just goes to show you don't need anything officially labelled as religion, or indeed a god(s), in order for societies to wrap themselves up in rules and sacred traditions.
Thanks for the Star Trek VI commentary, great fun. Gave a few thinking too hard thoughts as well.
First, regarding the President's sunglasses. My first thought was that, if he isn't human it may be something to do with the spectrum of light he can see, but a second thought is that he is dyslexic. From what I have read many Dyslexics find black text on a white background harder to read. For this reason in may work we actually print test papers on coloured paper. The other solution I have heard used is coloured glasses.
Second, On the subject of the Galley, Andy pretty much beat me to it in the Borgcast but to try and add a bit. As andy said, the "Replicators" in TOS and Movie era are quite a bit behind the TNG equivelant. They are more like food 3D printers, essentially re-arranging protiens to form a rough equivelant of a meal. Great for a long-haul mission where it means your food is effectively re-cycled (Try not to think too hard about that) which should mean your supply of base protiens goes much further. It probably also means the food is less palatable. The range is also limited (We see this in Charlie X where Kirk is telling staff that they have to make the standard meatloaf taste like thanksgiving turkey. So, if you want anything tasty then either, as andy suggests, synthesizie the basic ingredients and improve with cookery, or potentially cook from ingredients brought along. That fits with the ships of the nelson era where the crews often ate better at the start of a voyage as they had all the fresh food, live animals etc, but as the voyage went on they had to eat their salt beef and ships biscuit.
As for space, I think it is actually in the plans, I'd have to dig out my Mr Scott's guide but it does mention a galley, partly for the crew to cook for pleasure as much as the full scale catering we see in VI. Remember this ship also has an arbouretum that has been present since before the refit so potentially growing vegetables is something they could do as well. I think Mr Scott's guide mentions the addition of a galley as one of th ethings they could do thanks to various other space saving measures they made in the refit.
Roughly repeating a lot of Andy's points but worth mentioning anyway.