Stargate and the world

Forums Cult Sci Fi Series Stargate SG-1 Stargate and the world

This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Karyyk 11 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #41103

    SadGeezer
    Keymaster

    Am I the only one who’s realised that even though (or perhaps because of) greater involvement of the rest of the world (like the IOA) that Stargate has become even more jingoistic than ever?

    Since I started watching it so many years ago, I always accepted that it’s an American show and as such, takes a US-Centric view of the world (kinda like shows like Dr Who focus on the UK) but over the past few seasons I’ve become gobsmacked by the the level of bile the producers seem to have for most countries.

    Other countries are portrayed as being inept at best, and at worst the devil incarnate (abusing alien technology for their own ends, in a way that the SG portrayal of Americans would never do)

    The IOA are portrayed as being a set of snivelling weasels, constantly backbiting and bickering.

    In the Anubis posession episode, O’Neils treatment of the new Russian atache (telling him he wouldn’t be allowed offworld in a million years) had me rooting for the Russians!

    I daresay this borders on blatent racism! 🙁

    #77476

    Hollydays
    Moderator

    Well…after having to look up what jingoistic meant, lol, I would have to agree that SG-1 would certainately fall into the realm of being
    “Extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism.”

    They must have ran out of Alien baddies i guess…

    The Russian episode really was one of the worst they’ve put out there. I would think the days of ruskie bashing would be over, but many shows seem dertimined to hold onto outdated stereotypes and generalisations. Piss poor writing.

    #77477

    Anonymous

    I guess that’s like all English characters sounding like Noel Cowards elocution teacher. (One reason I love Alien3 – you’ve got scousers and broad Yorkshire accents 😆 )

    #77478

    bonnee
    Participant

    I hated the Stargate movie for that reason (jingoism and expansionism are built into the premise).

    It was almost as if the American’s wanted to take back the chariots of gods premise for themselves (ancient Egypt might have been colonized by aliens, but the American military industrial complex were now going to be the centre of the universe ).

    Take that Nancy boy, or whose crying now?!

    The series simply took over the ball game and ran with it – no wonder its popular with people who don’t really like sci fi.

    #77480

    YOWAYYO
    Member

    [quote=”kai”]
    In the Anubis posession episode, O’Neils treatment of the new Russian atache (telling him he wouldn’t be allowed offworld in a million years) had me rooting for the Russians!

    I daresay this borders on blatent racism! :([/quote]

    Yeah, I thought Jack’s reaction to the Russian came out of nowhere…it seemed odd for his character and the scene really stood out like a sore thumb. I felt bad for the guy.

    The US military is definately portrayed differently in the movie than the series. In the series, the military are part of the “good guys” and always try to do the right thing. I always suspected non-US viewers would get irritated from time to time by the US’s portrayal. As far as the movie goes, the military and government were more sinister, and I wouldn’t have turned my back on that Jack O’Neil. I thought the director was just trying to create a “scientists vs. the military” type friction, becasue the Stargate program was such a great discovery and you knew in the back of your mind that the American authorities were just going to screw it up somehow. I did not percive the movie to be lionizing the US in any sort of way.

    “AMERICA- F*CK YEA!!!”

    #77482

    lexxrobotech
    Moderator

    Heh, I am not a big Stargate fan so I wont comment, however, reading the post “Team America” did pop into mind.

    [b]America… F$%^ Yeah… Come to save the mother F!@#!@# day again…[/b]

    Heh.

    #77484

    Hollydays
    Moderator

    LOL! Team America! That movie ruined movies for me……I always hear in the back of my mind “Got to have a montage…to show the passage of time…”

    #77647

    Nick -Z.
    Member

    [quote]Other countries are portrayed as being inept at best, and at worst the devil incarnate (abusing alien technology for their own ends, in a way that the SG portrayal of Americans would never do)

    The IOA are portrayed as being a set of snivelling weasels, constantly backbiting and bickering.

    In the Anubis posession episode, O’Neils treatment of the new Russian atache (telling him he wouldn’t be allowed offworld in a million years) had me rooting for the Russians!

    I daresay this borders on blatent racism!
    [/quote]

    Yes, as much as I enjoy watching Stargate SG-1, I have noticed the jingoism. I prefer the word “ethnocentric” to desribe it, as it appears to promote American democracy and the American way of life as being superior to all other governments and cultures in the world. While there are still many countries that are lacking in democratic reforms, the United States is NOT superior to all other countries in the world by a long shot. The suggestion that it is superior is ethnocentric propaganda. Anyone that lives in the U.S. today knows that capitalism and wealth trump its democratic ideals in 99 percent of all cases where such ideals are involved. Money is power. The wealthy corporate ruling-class runs the democratic government, not the people. The poor working-class majority has no real voice in U.S. policies, foreign or domestic.

    Furthermore, the suggestion that the U.S. military is benevolent because it represents this “superior” democratic way is absolute nonsense. All we have to do is take a look at the REAL U.S. military, specifically the Air Force, and what it has been doing in the Middle East (Iraq and Afghanistan) and the notion that it is benevolent becomes completely absurd. To be benevolent, a government’s military must have a semblance of honor, but there is nothing honorable about an Air Force that bombs defenseless people like fish in a barrel.

    The actions of the U.S. Air Force in the M.E. today are not the actions of a benevolent democracy, they are the actions of imperialistic, totalitarian mass-murderers.

    [quote]“Extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism.”

    They must have ran out of Alien baddies i guess…

    The Russian episode really was one of the worst they’ve put out there. I would think the days of ruskie bashing would be over, but many shows seem dertimined to hold onto outdated stereotypes and generalisations. Piss poor writing.
    [/quote]

    I think it is safe to say that Stargate SG-1 doubles as a form of propaganda-lite along with providing entertainment. Behind all the science-fiction and war there is the ongoing perpetuation of the myth that the U.S. government and its military can never do any wrong. Certainly, while watching it, to avoid being programmed and deceived by such an ethnocentric bias, one has to keep the salt-shaker ready on the side. I suspect, however, that while most objective adult Americans with a college education may be able to see through the propaganda-lite, many young kids do not and get pumped up with (American) pride every time SG-1 beats the bad guys. I can’t help but wonder how many of those kids have already made friends with local military recruiters promising more than they can ever deliver for signing on the dotted line.

    O’Neil’s character, from all that i gather from the series, has never trusted Russians. I guess we’re suppose to think that he’s one of those extremely hard-nosed military types that can’t make the change, but it doesn’t really sit well with the rest of his amiable character. Definitely too closed-minded. In this case, it was probably nothing more than a plot-device used to get the Russian guy to warm up to Jackson enough so that Jackson would accompany him to his room, where the Anubis transmigration occurs.

    [quote]The US military is definately portrayed differently in the movie than the series. In the series, the military are part of the “good guys” and always try to do the right thing. I always suspected non-US viewers would get irritated from time to time by the US’s portrayal. As far as the movie goes, the military and government were more sinister, and I wouldn’t have turned my back on that Jack O’Neil[/quote]

    Yes, the sinister form of the U.S. miltary and O’Neil in the movie were much more realistic than the series. That’s why I suspect that the series doubles as propaganda-lite, making the military look much more affable and tolerable than it is in reality. It’s almost as if the government made some kind of investment in the series with the idea that it could pay off by luring more recruits into its offices. I have to wonder how many SG-1 fans took that step and how many have been duped into fighting this endless “war on terror” for the corporate oil tyrants.

    While the series O’Neil obviously works well with Richard Dean Anderson, when contrasted with the movie O’Neil and the loss of his son from that vicious accident with the gun, there’s some big disconnect in the realistic portrayal of the character. Given the background of the character, Kurt Russel’s attitude is much more realistic to form, while Anderson’s light-hearted joking attitude is less realistic or true to form. Observing Anderson’s routine attitude in the series, it’s hard to believe that he has lost a son to an accident and a wife to divorce. Those kind of experiences usually leave a man much more damaged than O’Neil’s character appears to display.

    Sorry for the long comment, but unfortunately, SG-1 has been one of the only enjoyable, accessible and affordable science-fiction serials as of late (with the conclusion of Star Trek Vgr and DS9) and as a big fan, I’ve given it considerable thought.

    Right now, I’m watching season 10 on DVD and I have to say, all jingoism aside, it’s been quite entertaining. If ya’ll get the chance, check out the episode “The Road Not Taken” for an interesting look at a parallel USA that has taken that one undesirable step further into an absolute dictatorship.

    #77654

    alnexi
    Member

    OK – I had never watched SG1 – until now, when I acquired the Season 1. I watched the pilot and first two episodes… So far it looks like a rather naïve propaganda for elementary school. It is our duty to bring enlightenment, democracy and civilization to all those poor, primitive and oh so grateful aliens out there… Urrrgh. Please tell me it will get better!

    #77655

    alnexi
    Member

    P.S. – Nick-Z, you really should have a blog. Maybe it would make you to post more often 🙂 .

    #77659

    Nick -Z.
    Member

    Alnexi,

    Yes, it gets better, but imo, it doesn’t really pick up well until the second season, after the NID gets involved, and there’s more intrigue.

    I missed many episodes of the first season so I can’t say for sure, but from what I have seen, the best episodes are the ones that either have nothing to do with the war with the Jaffa and Go’uld or are only indirectly involved.

    Imo, the best episodes were,[b] Thor’s Hammer, The Torment of Tantalus, Enigma, and There But for the Grace of God Go I. [/b]

    Btw, in season 8, when “General” O’Neil is in command of the SGC, during an international crisis in “Full Alert”, his attitude towards the Russians he deals with (A General and the Russian President) is quite a bit more reasonable. Apparently, his ability to trust Russians changes to deal with the situation. Not quite as bad at diplomacy as we thought.

    #77839

    Karyyk

    [quote=alnexi]OK – I had never watched SG1 – until now, when I acquired the Season 1. I watched the pilot and first two episodes… So far it looks like a rather naïve propaganda for elementary school. It is our duty to bring enlightenment, democracy and civilization to all those poor, primitive and oh so grateful aliens out there… Urrrgh. Please tell me it will get better![/quote]

    It looks like that a bit until it becomes quite clear that they’re nowhere nears as advanced as they think they are. That’s one of the things I kind of liked about Stargate, that basically you had the humans just get thrust into this advanced universe where everything was more or less over their heads in a lot of ways.

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