Tag Archives: Star Trek

Trekkie licence plate sparks Indigenous anger

Pulled from use after Indigenous activists protest

The plate holder says, “WE ARE THE BORG” and “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.”

Is the word assimilate offensive? At issue is a legal battle that has just been launched that pits the right of a Star Trek fan to have it on his licence plate against Indigenous groups opposed to the word.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nick Troller, a Winnipeg man whose licence plate — ASIMIL8 — was rescinded by the provincial government for being offensive to Indigenous people.

“It’s another case that pits the Charter freedom of expression against the new, phoney right not to be offended,” said JCCF President John Carpay, a former Alberta Wildrose party candidate. Carpay said he can understand why the plate might offend someone, but the word still shouldn’t be censored. “There’s a difference between words that are inherently offensive regardless of how you use them, such as vulgarities, obscenities, four-letter words, versus words like ‘war’ or ‘assimilate,’ which can have positive or negative connotations,” he said.

Troller said the licence plate is clearly a reference to the Borg, a fictional race from Star Trek that forcibly assimilates other cultures. The plate holder says, “WE ARE THE BORG” and “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.”

“The word ‘assimilate’ is just a word — it is neither good nor bad. We assimilate nutrients into our bodies in order to live,” Troller said in his affidavit.

But Indigenous activists say Canadians should do more to understand why the word could be considered offensive.

Anishinaabe Nation member and University of Manitoba assistant professor Niigaan Sinclair called free speech a “bogus argument” and said that Indigenous people are having “a very understandable reaction.”

“If Indigenous peoples feel triggered by a licence plate or a sports logo, or the name of a historical figure on a building, Canadians would be best served to listen to why Indigenous peoples are triggered, and show some care and sensitivity when they express themselves,” he said.

“You can’t just say whatever you want to say without any worries of consequence or responsibility.”

Troller used the licence plate for two years before the provincial Crown corporation rescinded it in April, following two complaints from Indigenous people.

“The Borg uses these phrases and the word ‘assimilate’ as a core part of their dialogue,” he said in his affidavit. “The meaning of the word … has not changed between the time that I obtained the plate and the time MPI ordered me to surrender it.”

Sinclair said that’s the problem. Many Canadians aren’t aware of the struggles Indigenous people have faced in the past, which protects them from considering others’ feelings, he said.

“Canadians don’t know their own past — or they only know parts of it — and they particularly have not been trained well to understand the complexities that Indigenous peoples have experienced,” he said.

The word “assimilate” is a grim reminder of past pain inflicted on Indigenous communities, said Ry Moran, director of the Winnipeg-based National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

“For basically the entirety of this country’s history, Indigenous peoples have been forcibly assimilated through really extremely destructive means and ways,” Moran said. “Words like that, meant or not, have an actual impact on many people.”

Sinclair encouraged Canadians to reflect on whether their speech was “responsible.” “We live in a time period where we’re waking up to the violence and genocide of the past, particularly in this country, where Canadians have never had the opportunity to understand that, and Indigenous people are living in the intergenerational effects of that violence,” he said.

“It’s a very privileged position to ignore history …. Those of us in the Indigenous community, we live and breathe history every day.”

Star Trek Discovery to premiere in fall

ST : Discovery will debut on September 24th.

We’ve been waiting a long time for a premiere date for ST : Discovery.  It was announced in today’s Montreal Gazette that Discovery will debut September 24th 8:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. CT on both CTV and Space. The season will then run on Space in two parts: September 24 to November 5 and then resuming in January.

I hopped over to the Space website, but the dates for the second part of the season are not specified-it just says it will restart in January 2018.

There is a teaser and a poster on the site.

The Wait Is Over—Star Trek: Discovery Finally Has A Release Date

Starfleet’s finest captains materialize on dramatic Canadian Star Trek™ stamps

You can order on line En français ici
Bold explorers are shadowed by the menacing villains they faced
Pour lire en fracçais, cliquez ici.

OTTAWA, April 28, 2017 /CNW/ – Canada Post today issued a set of seven Star Trek stamps that celebrate each of Starfleet’s finest leaders, dramatically depicting them with the most cunning of the adversaries they confronted on their voyages.

Five stamps are dedicated to the exploits of James T. Kirk (Montréal-born actor William Shatner), Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula).

Two additional stamps feature the intrepid shuttlecraft Galileo, which was often deployed for missions too dangerous for the U.S.S. Enterprise, and the ominous Borg cube, which has been specially enhanced with holographic foil and embossing.

A sequel to last year’s 50th anniversary collection, these seven stamps feature:

  • 2017 Star Trek stamps (CNW Group/Canada Post)

    Admiral James T. Kirk with Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan™, 1982)

  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard with Locutus of Borg (Star Trek: The Next Generation™, 1987-1994)
  • Captain Benjamin Sisko with Dukat (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine™, 1993-1999)
  • Captain Kathryn Janeway with the Borg Queen (Star Trek: Voyager™, 1995-2001)
  • Captain Jonathan Archer with Commander Dolim (Star Trek: Enterprise™, 2001-2005)
  • The classic shuttlecraft Galileo (first appearance in Star Trek, 1966)
  • The Borg cube (first appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1989)

About the stamps
Designed by Signals Design Group and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group, the five stamps featuring Starfleet heroes measure 24 mm by 30 mm and are available in booklets of 10, as a pane of five stamps, and as an uncut press sheet. The shuttlecraft stamp, measuring 24 mm by 20 mm, is available as a coil of 50 stamps. All seven stamps, including the uniquely-shaped Borg cube, which measures 67 mm by 62 mm and is enhanced with holographic foil and embossing, are available ready-to-mail in a prestige booklet. The Official First Day Covers – all cancelled in Vulcan, Alberta, except Kirk’s, which is cancelled in Montréal, Quebec – are available only as a set of seven.

TM & © 2017 CBS Studios inc. © 2017 Paramount Pictures Corp. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

To order on line, click here
En français ici

New Star Trek coins from Canadian Mint

Last year the Canadian Mint issued several beautiful coloured coins in honour of Star Trek’s anniversary. This year, they have added two more to the series: Five Captains, and The Borg.

GLOWS IN THE DARK! In daylight, colour over engraving recreates the portraits of the legendary captains; when viewed in the dark, your coin reveals a glowing image of U.S.S. Enterprise in flight, along with the iconic Delta Shield Insignia. Click here to see both images.
The field includes an outstanding amount of detailed engraving that provides a rare close-up of the exterior of a Borg cube vessel. Against this engraved background, a colourful scene finds a Borg cube locking onto the U.S.S. Enterprise with its green tractor beam.   Click here for more detailed image and more information.

Author Andrew Fazekas, our Guest Speaker April 9

Andrew Fazekas, AKA The Night Sky Guy, will be our guest speaker at the 9th of April meeting of MonSFFA.

Andrew is the author of Star Trek: The Official Guide to the Universe, a gorgeous National Geographic Publication. He has promised to bring a few copies for sale and signing at the list price of 30$.

Andrew Fazekas, The Night Sky Guy, is a science writer, broadcaster, and lecturer who shares his passion for the wonders of the universe through all media. He is a columnist for National Geographic where he authors the popular online weekly StarStruck column, and is also a syndicated space news contributor on radio and TV networks (you may have seen him on CTV news on Sunday mornings)  and is an active member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada who has over 30 years of skywatching experience .

Andrew’s Website:  http://thenightskyguy.com/

Read Jeremy Berlin’s interview with Andrew here:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/star-trek-science-space-astronomy-technology-fazekas/

The Night Sky Guy at MonSFFA Meeting

Andrew Fazekas, AKA The Night Sky Guy, will be our guest speaker at the 9th of April meeting of MonSFFA.

Andrew is the author of Star trek: The Official Guide to the Universe, a gorgeous National Geographic Publication. He has promised to bring a few copies for sale and signing at the list price of 30$.

Andrew Fazekas, aka The Night Sky Guy, is a science writer, broadcaster, and lecturer who shares his passion for the wonders of the universe through all media. He is a columnist for National Geographic where he authors the popular online weekly StarStruck column, and is also a syndicated space news contributor on radio and TV networks, and is an active member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada who has over 30 years of skywatching experience .

Andrew’s Website:  http://thenightskyguy.com/

Read Jeremy Berlin’s interview with Andrew here:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/star-trek-science-space-astronomy-technology-fazekas/

Lawrence Montaigne, 1931-2017

http://www.startrek.com/article/remembering-lawrence-montaigne-1931-2017

StarTrek.com is saddened to report the passing of Lawrence Montaigne, the veteran actor who played the Romulan, Decius, in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Balance of Terror” in 1966 and returned a year later to portray Stonn, a Vulcan, in “Amok Time.” The actor died on Friday, March 17, at the age of 86.

His film and TV credits are extensive, his favourite role being that of the Canadian prisoner of war in The Great Escape. See the article in IMDB.

Axanar: It’s settled!

Read the entire article, which is VERY interesting and has many ramifications for fandom here.

Table of Contents for the article on Axamonitor:

These are the bits I thought would most interest our membership, following the discussion we had at one of our meetings.

With its January 31, 2017, copyright infringement trial just 11 days away, Axanar producer Alec Peters settled with plaintiffs CBS and Paramount Pictures.

Sources connected to CBS told AxaMonitor that Peters is allowed under the settlement to make two 15-minute films that must adhere to the fan film guidelines announced by CBS in June 2016.

The settlement allowed Axanar to keep Prelude available on YouTube, commercial-free. It can also be exhibited at fan conventions, film festivals and non-commercial events. It cannot ever be shown at official Star Trek conventions.

So, bottom line:  Fan films are supposed to be made by fans!

Judge Denies Axanar Its Fair Use Defense

From the Axamonitor website, with thanks to File 770 for pointing me to the latest developments.

While a Federal judge denied summary judgment January 4, 2017, to both sides in the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit, he dealt a major blow to the defendants’ hope to use fair use as a defense in the case.

Going to Trial

The 15-page decision moved the case forward to its scheduled January 31 trial date, striking out a central part of the defendants’ case. While Klausner found Axanar was indeed substantially similar to Star Trek using an extrinsic test, despite the defense’s protestations to the contrary, he left to the jury the intrinsic, or subjective, decision over whether the “total concept and feel of [Axanar and Star Trek works were] substantially similar.”1)

‘Objectively Infringing’

The extrinsic test Klausner used examines “specific expressive elements: the plot, themes, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters, and sequence of events in the two works to determine if articulable similarities exist.“2)

« Defendants intentionally use elements from the Star Trek Copyrighted Works to create works that stay true to Star Trek canon down to excruciating details. Defendants even touted that ‘Axanar feels like Star Trek.’ »Judge R. Gary Klausner

Here, Klausner wrote, the “Defendants [producer Alec Peters and Axanar Productions] intentionally use elements from the Star Trek Copyrighted Works to create works that stay true to Star Trek canon down to excruciating details. Defendants even touted that ‘Axanar feels like Star Trek.’”3)

Read the rest of the article:

http://axamonitor.com/doku.php?id=fair_use_denied