Star Trek Wankery

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Shem
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Shem »

The correct answer is "why would I do anything; I still have primary shields."
Eric the .5b wrote: 28 Apr 2021, 13:57
Hugh Akston wrote: 27 Apr 2021, 19:12 How many starfighters even have primary shield generators, much less auxiliaries? I mean the TIE defender was a big deal because it had shields.
The X-Wing had shields. I think the Gunstar did, too. Standard for protagonist fighter craft.
There were a couple other Imperial fighters that had them too; the TIE Avenger, as well as the Star Wing and the Missile Boat. The Star Wing was actually the "first" Imperial starfighter with shields.
Mind, I don't think fighter craft ever showed up in Star Trek until that big battle with the Dominion in DS9. Writers and artists had been sneaking them into supplementary books and whatnot since at least the late 70s, but it was always a weird match for the setting, where targeting anything is easy for top-end militaries and the only concept of evasive maneuvering is "go down and to the left".
Given that they used a fighter pilot-turned helmsman as a macguffin in the last season of DS9, I've always kind of suspected their starfighters are more "jumped-up runabouts," rather than what we think about when we think of fighters. It's really the only thing that made sense to me, since, as you note, the phaser banks in Star Trek would have no trouble whatsoever serving as point defenses that could easily overwhelm a craft too small to carry a decent shield. And since the Defiant was the first ship class in Starfleet purpose-built for fighting (excuse me Starfleet, "escort missions"), adapting runabouts would probably be something they could do quick enough to supply much-needed ships.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Shem wrote: 28 Apr 2021, 21:39Given that they used a fighter pilot-turned helmsman as a macguffin in the last season of DS9, I've always kind of suspected their starfighters are more "jumped-up runabouts," rather than what we think about when we think of fighters.
I can buy it. Runabouts weren't that large, after all.
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Jennifer
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Jennifer »

Crossover thought: on another thread discussing an annoying worrywart article about thrift stores and Kids These Days and capitalism and whatever the fuck else, I mentioned how my own extensive thrift-shopping experience compares to what the article claims, specifically how the clothing pieces I seek out compare to those sought by the fashionable teens and 20-somethings in the article -- short version, there's definitely some differences in my current overall "look" and style compared to "the look" for high school/college-age women (although their tastes, according to the worrywart article, do include a wide array of "vintage" clothing items from the past half-century or more), but in addition to some unique vintage pieces, I also have and seek out some other items which a fashion-conscious young woman my size might want, and could integrate seamlessly into her own wardrobe, because as I noted, "For basics like "solid black pants" or "solid blue long-sleeve button-front shirt," there's not that much style variation between various age groups or time periods anyway."

That's true if you're talking about, like, contemporary American history, especially from the 1960s to now -- if you're looking at a basic pair of long black pants or black/blue jeans, especially worn under an untucked shirt or a jacket long enough to hide any distinctive labels or back-pocket details, plus hide exactly how high or low the waistline is -- provided the pants are all in equally good or bad condition, I doubt the average casual observer could tell much difference between identical-fabric black pants from the 80s, 00s or now, nor between black pants sold in a teenage/20-something store and identical-fabric black pants marketed to older professionals.

I mention this because I was recently watching one of those TNG episodes where Picard was relaxing in casual clothes -- not his red-and-black captain's uniform but that weird "two loose pieces criss-cross in front" shirt which does at least get credit for breaking the rule I just mentioned about how solid-color shirts look pretty much the same across recent decades, but that shirt also looks very impractical, and I don't see how it would offer its wearer ANY advantage over the various "top-half clothing" options available today: button-front/front-fastening shirts, and pullover shirts or tunics of varying lengths and cuts but just the one fabric panel in front (even if that one panel is made of individual cloth pieces sewn together), rather than two loose overlapping panels. (IIRC, you never see any Enterprise personnel try bending over while wearing such a shirt.)

Having Starfleet wear one-piece jumpsuits works on two levels -- the fictional need to make their clothes look "futuristic"/obviously different from ours, but also, on a practical level, it's perfectly feasible that Starfleet or any other 24th-century "our members must wear uniforms" organization could mandate form-fitting one-piece jumpsuits, given that they have mega-advanced computerized replicators that presumably can make you a new, customized, perfect-fit uniform every day. (I don't recall if they ever mentioned: do they wash dirty clothes in Starfleet? Or do they put dirty clothes into a recycling bin and have the replicator make clean new ones?)

'Twould be ridiculous for our own modern military or any other uniform-wearing organization to mandate one-piece suits* that are also expected to fit well, because with current mass-production technology, it's fairly easy to mass-produce individual shirts and pants in sufficient variety that the majority of people -- those who are not statistical outliers, size-wise -- can mix and match to find a combination that fits well. But it would be a lot harder and more expensive to mass-produce well-fitting one-piece suits with today's technology, so "uniform" organizations don't mandate them. (*Yes, things like flight suits for Navy fighter pilots are one-piece, but fighter pilots are a much smaller population, who come in a much smaller range of sizes -- and besides, the flight suits are often baggy and "ill-fitting" anyway.)

However, today's mass-production technology is more than capable of making those weird Star Trek floppy-front shirts with the two panels crossing in front. The reason no clothing manufacturers have bothered to do this is because there is absolutely no reason anybody would want to wear such a shirt over the currently available options ... unless they're characters in a science fiction show whose designers are desperate for ways to make their clothes stand out from what the viewing audience sees in everyday life.
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Jennifer wrote: 01 May 2021, 11:51I mention this because I was recently watching one of those TNG episodes where Picard was relaxing in casual clothes -- not his red-and-black captain's uniform but that weird "two loose pieces criss-cross in front" shirt
Do you remember the episode? They've managed to cover almost every episode on Fashion It So.
Jennifer wrote: 01 May 2021, 11:51Having Starfleet wear one-piece jumpsuits works on two levels -- the fictional need to make their clothes look "futuristic"/obviously different from ours, but also, on a practical level, it's perfectly feasible that Starfleet or any other 24th-century "our members must wear uniforms" organization could mandate form-fitting one-piece jumpsuits
Well, one wrinkle is that, even back during the goofy spandex season, they sorta weren't supposed to be one-piece garments, according to the show notes. They were just supposed to use invisible fastenings, tightening systems, etc. with mechanisms that weren't obvious to us primitive folks. This installment, covering "Ensign Ro", shows that the top comes off like a jacket (though we never see how, precisely, she unfastens it).
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Jennifer
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

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Eric the .5b wrote: 01 May 2021, 23:09
Jennifer wrote: 01 May 2021, 11:51I mention this because I was recently watching one of those TNG episodes where Picard was relaxing in casual clothes -- not his red-and-black captain's uniform but that weird "two loose pieces criss-cross in front" shirt
Do you remember the episode?
Not that specific one, but Picard wore a dark green version of that shirt when he visited his brother.
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Jennifer wrote: 01 May 2021, 23:52
Eric the .5b wrote: 01 May 2021, 23:09
Jennifer wrote: 01 May 2021, 11:51I mention this because I was recently watching one of those TNG episodes where Picard was relaxing in casual clothes -- not his red-and-black captain's uniform but that weird "two loose pieces criss-cross in front" shirt
Do you remember the episode?
Not that specific one, but Picard wore a dark green version of that shirt when he visited his brother.
Probably "Captain's Holiday", because they link it in the review of "Family".
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Shem
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

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I've always been less interested in Starfleet clothes, and more interested in how everyone's "casual clothes" make them look like a 1930s era clerk whose life hit the skids.
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Jennifer
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Jennifer »

Taking the ball even further: now I'm wondering about clothing in general -- specifically, how clothes today look or are different from clothes of yore, and also -- how different will clothing look in the future? Or have we reached a sort of "style plateau" wherein a lot of the clothes you have right now could still be worn 100 or 200 years from now without calling undue attention to the wearer?

There's two basic types of changes possible: "style/fashion" changes and "technology/ability" changes. The first type changes based entirely on people's opinions: are mini, midi or maxi skirts "in" this season? If a jacket has lapels, how wide or narrow would they be? Should a garment be all the same color, or should it have different colors, and if so, what should they be and how should they be arranged? When those change from year to year, it's not because of any changes in our tech, or the type of clothing we're able to easily make.

But there are many other clothing changes that are entirely due to technology. Many of those "techno-advancements" have been established tech since long before any of us were born, so we take them for granted and usually don't even think of them as "high-tech": mass-produced items such as zippers and buttons mean that a lot of our clothes today, especially fitted clothes, would have been hyper-difficult if not impossible for a tailor in the medieval era to copy perfectly.

We also have artificial fibers and fabrics which might not look all that different from various natural fibers, but they feel very different when you wear them: fibers with unnatural ability to repel humidity, hoard body heat, keep out the cold, keep out the wet, keep away biting insects, expand and contract without losing their shape, etc.

In my own lifetime, there have been a few obvious and visible upgrades in clothing technology: I was a teenager when the first sneakers with LED lights in the soles came on the market. And certain decorative flourishes like rhinestones or sequins bedecking a garment: such things have existed longer than I have, but there have clearly been some manufacturing changes to make such items far cheaper and more accessible than they used to be: you can get sparkling sequin-bedazzled jewel-encrusted T-shirts in the children's section of Walmart nowadays, whereas such fabrics used to only be found in stores that sold evening gowns and similarly expensive "fancy dress-up" clothes. Ditto for shoes and sandals decorated with jewels. (If such things had been affordable for kids when I was a little girl, I'd've been NUTS for them.)

But so far, those types of changes have only really been adopted for clothes for children (or teenagers/very young adults), or for parties/clubbing/special occasions: little kids will often wear shoes that light up like a rave party every time they take a step, but you're not likely to find such shoes in professional adult workplaces. Nor are you likely to find such adults wearing clothes with embedded lights, shining sequins or sparking rhinestones, outside of contexts like "tacky-sweater Christmas parties" and such. None of the "visible" technological or manufacturing changes in my lifetime have been adopted for mainstream adult professional or casual clothing, outside of things like "A pair of jeans which used to be 100% denim cotton now might be 97% denim and 3% spandex to make them more comfortable." But again, this is not the sort of change that is readily visible.
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Both fashion and technology add up to a lot of change over time. After all, this is the origin of the common Western necktie, the kerchiefs that Croatian mercenaries wore during the Thirty Years War.

Image

The French thought that looked cool, which kicked off the whole evolution of cravats and ties. Fast forward to today, and you have the silk necktie in department stores. To some European from 1500, it's a bizarre garment made out of a ridiculously luxurious and expensive material.

For all the squawking, that sort of cultural appropriation isn't going to go away. Hell, you don't even need a troop of snazzy Croatian mercenaries hanging around your city anymore to start it. Some Croatian kid streaming (or Chinese kid or Ethiopian or Martian colonist...) could kick off some fad that spreads and sticks and evolves for centuries.
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Shem wrote: 02 May 2021, 11:15 I've always been less interested in Starfleet clothes, and more interested in how everyone's "casual clothes" make them look like a 1930s era clerk whose life hit the skids.
Eh?

One could say a lot about those mall-rummaged clothes, but that's not what I'd come up with.
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Jennifer
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

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Eric the .5b wrote: 02 May 2021, 16:24 Some Croatian kid streaming (or Chinese kid or Ethiopian or Martian colonist...) could kick off some fad that spreads and sticks and evolves for centuries.
Sure, but what I'm kinda curious about (not that there's much chance of being able to answer now) is, how long will it take before ordinary everyday adult clothes -- whether workplace or casual, but not special occasion/dress-up -- include something which would be either impossible, or at least impossibly expensive for most, today? For that matter, excluding Gore-Tex, spandex and other high-tech fabrics with various distinct comfort-qualities not found in nature, how long before ordinary adult clothes routinely include features that would've been impossible or impossibly expensive in 1970? Anything with light-up LEDs or fiber optic strands would qualify -- but as I said, so far we've only seen that used for kids' clothes, or party/costume wear.
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Polyester fabric went from nonexistent to popular to unfashionable in under thirty years.
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Or, put another way, it's not really feasible to predict fashion over any real timespan. It's too unpredictable. It's like trying to extrapolate skirt length over decades--it doesn't work that way.

About the only things you can guess are:

1) No, the future won't look like the work of the one fashion designer you hired/the lot of mall cast-off garments your costumers got cheap/etc. The real future will look back at those outfits and see the decade of production. That's unavoidable, so go with the impression you want to give viewers of the present.
2) No, everyone won't suddenly dress markedly differently in a very short timespan. See all the B movies over the decades that went over-enthusiastic on costumes despite being set 10-30 years in the future without an apocalypse. I'm particularly thinking of that 1993 miniseries Wild Palms, which put all the professionally-dressed men of the far-off year 2007 in goofy early-1800s suit collars. (One of the many little things that threw me out of the story while watching it.)
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Mind, I did like the little costuming detail in Babylon 5 where human characters never wore anything with lapels. Military or civilian, man or woman, no lapels or ties. Just not a thing in Earth fashion and clearly the case for some time, as it was true of formal wear, too.

Any particular sartorial evolutionary logic that justifies that? Nah, just a little visual distinction with no explanation. And over hundreds of years, something that could happen.

(Also gave foreshadowing about the one human character who shows up in a cravat.)
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

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We live in a highly 'democratic' era wrt to clothing styles: Ostentatious clothing as a mark of social rank is considered gauche. This is not to say that brand snobbery does not exist, merely that people frown on flamboyant or heavily decorated clothing. Nobody would show up for work dressed like Liberace.

This could change, but there is also the weight of world cuture: Xi Jinping wears suits similar to those worn by the leaders of most european countries, despite China's rich history of silks and brocades. Even Elizabeth II wears clothes that would look normal in an Ohio mall. (Except for the hats, maybe.) Before the 20th century, local areas could develop their own clothing styles which could be accepted first by their neighbors and later spread out. Now the audience is worldwide and nobody wants to be the 'odd man out.'
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

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Having now raised the issue of impractical Star Trek clothing, I cannot un-see how very impractical other in-universe garments are. Last night I caught parts of two episodes -- the one with Data's daughter Lal, and the one where Q loses his powers and turns to the Enterprise for protection -- again, both wearing clothes that we're perfectly capable of making today, but nobody bothers because the only possible reason to dress that way is "To look different from how people in the late 20th or early 21st centuries actually dressed."

Can't find any good full-length photos of Lal, but here is one giving a good view of the top half of her outfit: she is wearing what look like a standard pullover top -- the collar/neckline is unusually "shapeless" by our standards, but even so, that shirt would not raise any eyebrows if you wore it on the street today -- but over her top she has these weird wide quasi-suspenders the same lavender color as her skirt. From the way they are cut, I'm dang-near certain those fake suspenders did not stay in place by themselves, but must have had snaps or Velcro tabs or something else to actually attach them to the shirt underneath; they clearly are not "functional" suspenders, nor do they even fit well enough to stay in place on their own.

Then when Q appeared naked on the Enterprise bridge, and the crewmembers gave him a civilian set of clothes to wear ... again, I can't find a full-body photo, but here is one showing the top half: a gray one-piece jumpsuit (or perhaps a two-piece that looks like a one-piece thanks to futuristic fastening technologies), with an extremely low, wide neckline dipping a couple inches below nipple-length, then beneath that he wore a green pullover top indistinguishable from any you could buy today. The top is unremarkable, but the gray jumpsuit with the ridiculously low neckline definitely falls under the "You could make this ... but why would you?" category.
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Aresen wrote: 02 May 2021, 18:40 We live in a highly 'democratic' era wrt to clothing styles: Ostentatious clothing as a mark of social rank is considered gauche. This is not to say that brand snobbery does not exist, merely that people frown on flamboyant or heavily decorated clothing. Nobody would show up for work dressed like Liberace.
In general form. Rich people and our rulers wear the same general forms of clothing that we do, but they definitely wear more expensive versions. Both of which are interesting points.

I forget which series it was, but one of those computer tech book lines with public domain illustrations on the covers used pictures of people in medieval and later work uniforms. The logistics explained this as because he was a little sad that most people wear so much less variety of clothing at work, nowadays. I think that's an interesting point, though it might be overstated.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

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Jennifer wrote: 04 May 2021, 11:47. The top is unremarkable, but the gray jumpsuit with the ridiculously low neckline definitely falls under the "You could make this ... but why would you?" category.
Oh the other hand, given how they sourced a lot of that clothing, the answer was very possibly, "Someone mistakenly thought something not too different from that would sell."

It doesn't even look that conceptually strange. It's trousers, jacket, and shirt, except the trousers and jacket are a onesie. (Lal's outfit is clearly meant to suggest a old-fashioned girl's smock over a shirt, and it looks late-80s as Hell. I wouldn't be surprised if it had little visual modification by the costumers.)

You could fanwank, based on the difference between these outfits and dress uniforms, that sleek clothing is seen as informal in the Federation by the TNG era and that only Serious Business outfits and literal costumes are made to look like separate pieces. I'm not sure that carries on to all the human clothing in DS9, mind.

Now I want to see if there was anything like a setting bible for the TNG costumers...
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Re: Star Trek Wankery

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