Rootbeer and the Federation

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Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester.

July 18, 1969: Entering the Gravity of the Moon

Fifty years ago Apollo 11 entered the gravity well of the Moon from the gravity well of the Earth.  Three-quarters of the

Fifty Years of Mary Jo Kopechne Being Unavailable for Comment

Half a century with no Earthly justice done.  Here is Ted Kennedy’s non-mea culpa, notable for how little of the details of


  1. Garak is my all time fave fictional character. Andrew J Robinson and Armin were both amazing actors whocould make their characters seem alien, yet still have their own charm. Man i love that show.

  2. Ditto.

    Actually how I first ran into Nate! Some search or other for Garak tripped on to his page, and even though it wasn’t what I was looking for, it was interesting…. gads, that was a long time ago….

  3. lol ah that takes me back.

    SFDebris did do an analysis of the character that I was happy with. 😉

    I’d love to see one on Nog too. It’s amazing to track his character growth from 2bit hoodlum to Starfleet Officer and decorated war hero. In more ways than one, DS9 was ahead of its time.

  4. Thanks for the You Tube video, Nate. It provided a good analysis of the character Garak. What shall we call him? A noble state supremacist? An honorable liar and murderer? Maybe Garak, an alien Cardassian, is what happens to well-meaning, well-intended humans who once had virtue but sacrifice that virtue by replacing God with the State. They cannot conceive that in spite of all they have willingly sacrificed and lost, instead of honor, nobility and virtue, all they get are ashes with a soul lost into eternity. The taste isn’t bitter. That (like saltiness or sourness or sickening sweetness) could be accepted. Rather, the taste is powdered dryness – nothing left, not even the State which one once deified. The Never Ending Sacrifice indeed, instead of the once and for all sacrifice of Christ the Lord.

  5. Cardassia is basically USSR style Russia crossed with Japan, in space; Garak is a patriot with nothing else.

    It’s fascinating because he’s charming, obviously intelligent, clever, highly amusing– and then does something that means walking through a moral wall you don’t even realize is THERE because it’s so basic, or he changes direction to avoid one of *his* moral walls that he wouldn’t even think about questioning, much less violating.

    There’s stuff he’ll do that’s admirable, but any sane, practical person would have to seriously consider shooting him immediately. And make sure he’s dead. Maybe vaporize the body, just to be sure…..

  6. I think DS9 had some unintentional parables given that it was the Bajorans with actual gods (lovecraftian gods sure) who pushed out the Cardassians who were always portrayed as very atheist, calling back to mind Picard’s taunt to Gul Madred: “Her belly may be full, but her spirit will be empty.”

    @Foxfier is right in that Garak was a true alien who really knew of no higher value but his homeland. The catch was always trying to figure out what he considered to be in the best interest of that homeland. (and he seemed to take no delight in pointless actions – meaningless torture and murder legitimately disturbed him) Indeed I would dare say he is the definition of a sane and practical person – a little too sane and practical (hence why he so often would shoot first).

    It does make you wonder what else we may find out there in space, and are the differences so vast for our sake… or theirs…

  7. Very true, Don. In fact it was that promise of a stronger, better portrayal later in the character’s arc that the DS9 producers used to convince Casey Biggs to stick with the show as he was rumored to be wanting to leave it early on (when he was playing a simple drunkard). I find it also ironic that Damar was such an admirer of Dukat, yet in the end he surpassed the Gul he once respected. (After Nog, Damar is probably my other favorite character arc.)

    That the Cardassians also had to be liberated by one of the people they once oppressed (not to mention that Kira was very strong in her faith) only strengthened the imagery.

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