ELAYNE RIGGS: On the same page

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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10 Responses

  1. Steve Atkins says:

    To use the Star Trek: The Next Generation reference, I have a few favorite episodes. "Chain Of Command," a two-parter in which Picard is captured and tortured by a ruthless Cardassian (played by David Warner), stands out in my mind as one which also has some bearing on your column's subject. There is a stalwart, unflinching dedication to the truth in this episode. i will not touch on the many facets of character and roles they play and the roles they choose to serve. I will limit my point to the focus of the torture scenes. ********SPOILERS (In case anyone reading this has NOT seen this episode)*************************************************… The Cardassian, if you recall, continued to torture Picard beneath four, intensely bright spotlights. He kept trying to force the captain to state that there are three lights, when Picard knew very well that there are four of them. That is what has happened in this country. The nation and it's people, having been beaten down by grief and shock, have been broken down into stating that there are three lights. Descent is met with continued treatment (or actual torture in some cases…such as the men and women who were the subject of John Ostrander's column a few weeks ago), and the disgruntled voices are silenced or they comply and say there are three lights. But, I still hold a small fragment of hope for us, thinking that enough people become like Picard. He stood there, body nearly broken, covered in filthy rags, nervous system pushed beyond its limits for pain and anguish, and chose the right path by defiantly stating "THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!"

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      Steve, it seems to me that episode has less to do with communication — because of course the torturers knew there were four lights, they just wanted to break Picard until he denied the truth — than with, say, the philosophies of Alberto Gonzalez.

      • Steve Atkins says:

        Since when is a constant response of "I don't recall/remember" considered communication? :)Perhaps you are right. I may have made a connection between the Cardassian's blatant attempts to make Picard deny the truth of "Four Lights" and your points about jargon and miscommunication of the current political atmosphere (not that the current administration is much more subtle than Warner's character…HE was at least straightforward in his methods).I apologize or any confusion on my part.

  2. Marilee J. Layman says:

    Who needs vague word phrases? Have you see the commercials that say "They attacked us, we have to stay"? That's not true, of course. Iraq was not involved in the 9/11 attacks. The commercials are still allowed to say it. There was something about it in the WashPost today (they describe one I haven't seen):http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti…(Yikes, Putin has dissolved the Russian government. Wanna bet he plans to be actual dictator?)

  3. Rich Watson says:

    The hardcore Trekkie in me won't let this go… sorry… The Cardassian in "Chain of Command" tells Picard there are five lights, not three.Hi Elayne! Been reading your columns for weeks now and I've been thoroughly enjoying them. "Darmok" is a very profound episode, one of my faves too, and my appreciation for it has deepened now. One thing you didn't mention is how many times Bush in particular mangles the language, either misstating common words/phrases or confusing one thing for another. Did you see the latest – how he accidentally called Australians "Austrians"? Oy!This is a really cool site. Glad you're here on it.

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      Glad you like the site, Rich — from what I hear it's about to get a whole lot better! To give Mush-Mouth the benefit of the doubt, it sounded to me like he slurred "Australians" so it came out sounding like "Austrians," but he did call APEC "OPEC," which gaffe once again reveals (as if it needed to) where his personal priorities lie.

    • Steve Atkins says:

      To be fair, Rich, it was MY quote or misquote. I haven't seen an episode of ST:TNG in quite some time and was trying to quote from memory.