Tag Archives: unity

Stargate Infinity vs Stargate Atlantis DVD Commentaries

Along with many of the tie-in books, the SGA DVD commentaries need to be cleaned up, to be socially responsible and to keep up with other fandoms and Stargate Infinity. Yes, Stargate Infinity. The very Stargate Infinity that is supposed to be “just for kids,” but adults can’t seem to learn from.

Stargate Infinity taught against judging others by appearances in many episodes, especially “Phobia,” in which one team member shoots and almost kills someone. She has to stand trial for it and own up to her actions. By contrast, the Stargate Atlantis commentary on “First Contact” and “The Lost Tribe” has remarks about judging a character’s appearance. The commenters later laugh it up when said character, who is part of a peace-making mission, gets shot after a third party causes a disastrous misunderstanding. In Stargate Infinity, the spider-like being survives. In Stargate Atlantis, one can assume the human-hybrid Wraith survives because a different Wraith survived a similar wound in “Travellers” and/or that he was given the Gift of Life.

In real life, actions can’t be so easily undone. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and the comments on camera feed of police interacting with unarmed citizens in increasingly-militarized places come to mind. The message needs to be a clear, consistent, and resounding one of not judging others by their appearances, which Stargate Infinity presents.

As with the books, I gave up on the commentaries. The only others I tried were for “Outsiders” and the comments focused on the Balarians with bad analogies and no accountability for how the Wraith were being genocided. My time is much better spent reading fanfics from people who want peace for everyone, of all races.

The lessons in Stargate Infinity are for everyone, of all ages, and it would do some adults a world of good to do a serious watch/rewatch and to align their actions with the knowledge they claim they already have.

Advertisements

Racist and Speciesist Hierarchies of Animal Analogies in Science Fiction

“We’re just cattle [sic]* to them.” –AU McKay to Sheppard in Stargate Atlantis episode “Vegas”

Just as with Keller talking over Todd in “Infection,” here is another white Westerner on SGA trying to define another galaxy’s culture they hardly know, with us/them whitesplaining, this time while also simultaneously asserting anthropocentric speciesism on Earth. Cows have become what critical theorist scholars refer to as “the absent referent” in comparing inequitable treatment, used as metaphors while also being placed into a human-centered hierarchy imposing categories of “uses” on others. The character McKay himself, in this reality, said baby cows taken from the dairy industry and whose bodies are kept shackled and anemic are “delicious,” in spite of having a sister who does not eat fellow animals. The addition of the qualifier “just” (as in “only” or “merely”) amplifies the colonialist overwriting of Wraith culture as well as tries to further diminish cows in the contrived, human-centered hierarchy. Humans should not be needlessly harming anyone of any species and analogies about harming fellow animals should not exist.

Speciesism correlates positively with racism, sexism, and homophobia and correlates negatively with empathy and open-mindedness. Many anti-Wraith xenophobic people frequently repeat McKay’s speciesist line and they also say that the Wraith race should be genocided. This shows intersectionalism and how oppressions overlap, i.e. racist xenophobia against the fictional Wraith race and speciesism against real-life fellow animal Earthlings. Outgrouping and objectification are toxic! People who recite this quote are never very rational and often make up scenes, too, because needless violence and bigotry have nothing to stand on.

The Wraith haters who cite this quote are looking to enforce both racism and an anthropocentric and speciesist world view: 1) against fellow animal Earthlings, to try to justify continuing to commodify and kill them for palate entertainment and 2) against a scifi race, to uphold a false sense of anthropocentric superiority in the face of a technologically-advanced and physically stronger fictional culture capable of interstellar space flight, to try to justify their genocide (and especially to try to deny to Wraith fans the hints of interracial relationships and mutual respect and affection between humans and the Wraith, as human-hybrids, mentioned in “Common Ground” when John gets the Gift of Life and seen on “The Hive” with Neera and other humans in soft and pretty clothes and Wraithy hair wraps being lovingly touched by the Queen).

The humans-as-cows analogy doesn’t make any sense from the Wraith point of view either. Wraith cannot take lifeforce from any animals other than humans (or fellow Wraith, as human hybrids). There was no evidence of cows in Pegasus, so that would be an anachronism. The Wraith do not artificially breed/inseminate humans, mutilate them, or take milk meant for human babies (Google the video “Dairy is Scary”). If Wraith treated humans the way many humans treat cows, we would literally be in deep crap. Cows are peaceful social mammals and the Wraith do not see most humans as peaceful. The Wraith would rather blow themselves up than to be captured alive by humans. But, many Wraith also work with humans, on individual and hive levels. They give their close human worshippers (a label for any humans associated with the Wraith) the Gift of Life, as they do for their Wraith brothers, as Todd did for John. Several hives fought alongside the New Lanteans against the Asurans, even though New Lanteans were the ones who had compelled the Asurans to attack in the first place. And, Todd’s crew are more willing to do something to help, while most people spouting the cow analogy are less likely to leave fellow animals alone, in spite of being such an easy switch and better for health and the environment too.

Clinging to the false analogy that the human-hybrid Wraith see non-hybrid humans as cows is a self-serving, ineffective attempt to try justify real-life, human-made violence and it is unacceptable. Such analogies only highlight that the human race needs to clean up their collective act to remove needless violence.

(*The word “cattle” gets the notation [sic] because the speciesist term itself denotes and condones placement of others in a human-centered hierarchy, as property/use/commodification, as capital, just as live”stock” does. Fellow animals are someONE not something.)

Kintsukuroi and Characters

Which Wraith and other characters might this concept symbolically apply to?

Did they rebuild themselves or did they have help?

What was the way they repaired themselves?

Of course, they were always beautiful, but how might they have come out stronger than before, in talents, abilities, and knowledge?

Todd, John x Todd, Michael…?

Do you have any OCs like this?

How might Wraith culture and the Pegasus galaxy look after the civil war and Wraith-Lantean war are over? Can things be made whole again, even stronger than before, after many years, with new alliances and galactic peace?

Did Bug Shep’s ATA Gene Still Work?

Follow-up from musings about Michael possibly having given himself ATA gene capabilities

There was also Bug Shep.

I can’t recall it being mentioned that John ever lost his ability to use Ancient tech as the proportion of Iratus bug DNA took over his human DNA. Granted, he seemed to be turning into a being more like Michael’s larger bipedal Iratus bugs, not Wraith, those Iratus bug markers would have still been there.

Bug Shep makes me think more that Michael did find a way to make the ATA gene work for those with Iratus bug heritage, which includes the Wraith.

Also, side thought… like Michael, Bug Shep was also attracted to Teyla. 🙂

(Too bad this question can’t currently be posted on any Stargate forums, lest the xenophobes derail the threads once more in their near mod-less states. A lot of Wraith fans, John fans, Michael x Teyla, and John x Teyla fans have interest in the topic of shared heritages and resulting abilities. I did screen the episode transcript and could not find anything saying John’s ATA gene had been affected.)

Why Vincent Should Have Returned in a Future SGA Season

In “Travellers,” Vincent gets to go free after restoring Larrin’s lifeforce. Before leaving the room and the ship, Vincent turns around and gets a clear look at John to know exactly who he is. (John’s hair is pretty easy to identify in a galaxy without much hair gel.)

What adventure could come of the encounter in the future?

Vincent is a potential Todd 2.0, a new Wraith ally now that the two of them kept a bargain. John let Vincent go and Vincent went on his way without doubling back and trying to take the ship.

This sows seeds for future alliances, especially if Todd and the New Lanteans can help the Wraith so that their energy needs can be met in a new way. The more Wraith who trust the New Lanteans in bargains, the better. Such an alliance would also be satisfying, because it would be the fruition of good deeds being rewarded.

Even if Vincent would not have negotiated with the New Lanteans directly, seeing him in Todd’s alliance, as a Commander in a hive affiliated with Todd’s, would be fun. And, John would give them plenty to talk about. 😀

Ever wonder what future generations will think of your works?

Some writers wonder about how their works will stand over time and what aspects of society they take for granted are that people in the future will find laughable or even repellent.

Most of the time, from the pages of the people waxing philosophical about this, one can see that they are 1) not following any blogs of progressive younger people or trying to understand the issues young people face and 2) not in touch with many younger people in general. It shows, because when they and their audience insult younger peoples’ acts of virtue, there are no younger people following to challenge said posts.

Young people are the future, so wondering about a future audience (or feigning to wonder) makes little sense if one already does not care what young people value today.

What themes are on the minds of progressive young people? That mindset is what the future audience is going to embody. Freedom of gender expression. Switching to zero waste and biodegradable items. Cruelty-free living, vegan/fair trade. Tackling violence in school systems. Ending police brutality. These are just some examples.

Those forward-thinking values, which are mistakenly treated as inconsequential to some from older generations, are going to be of increasing importance to younger generations who grapple with growing population density and environmental degradation that past generations handed them. And, they will be passing these preferences for nonviolence on to their children and grand-children who will further advance still more nonviolent preferences. Each generation allows the next to dream bigger and better, more inclusive and more peaceful.

The future is already here. Diversify your subscriptions to include voices of progressive people younger than you, including especially those from different backgrounds than you.

PS: To try to stay up-to-date, whatever violence younger generations want to leave behind them, don’t rebel or try to condone the status quo by offering so-called right ways to do wrong things, as that only draws more attention to the archaic concepts. Search engine algorithms will know it is yesterday’s old news and not rank it very highly. Unless deliberately trying to show how life was in the historical follies of the era, when in doubt, leave it out.

Lack of Diverse Scientists in SGA Shows Lack of Commitment to Nonviolent Solutions

How does it go unquestioned that the Atlantis expedition can send a slew of military personnel and weapons of all kinds, even fully-staffed starships, to respond to the Wraith with violence, yet so few scientists to try to find ways to help the Wraith?

Moreover, SGC is a global organization. So, why is only *one* doctor working with Todd and his delegation on such an important project involving science? Why are there not dozens of doctors and scientists from China, Israel, Japan, UK and USA? A simple Google search shows these nations, for example, have a lot of funding in genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc. and I listed them alphabetically to not give any preference.

Jennifer is smart, but one person is not enough for diversity of expertise, idea generation, specialty, and mistake-finding. She only focused tunnel-vision on the work Carson started and Michael continued, but not other solutions, even those not involving altering Wraith bodies, such as how ships sustain Wraith during hibernation and extending that or Legacyverse making humans not age during feeding. Plus, the work has to be solid, else the Wraith going first would die from the treatment and then Pegasus humans would also continue to die.

Moreover, Jennifer isn’t focused on the retrovirus full time. Offworld visits to various villages take up a lot of her time.

The same goes for the Asurans. Why not dozens of programmers from around the world, such as India and Russia, to work to remove the attack code the Ancients put in and the Asurans wanted out anyhow (but the New Lanteans had reactivated)?

SGC needs a rebalance, in both priorities and staffing! More non-violent scientists, please, and bring them in from the entire globe, not just a small number white Westerners for part-time science theater.