Rule-abiding Ferengi

The Ferengi are an alien species in Star Trek—orbiting around all things pecuniary. They are easily identified by their enormous ears and low brows, and of course with their unmistakable personalities which are motivated only by one thing, profit. In the era that Star Trek takes place, our race, the human race, is no longer driven by wealth, money, and a healthy economy. These things no longer exist in Earth, and are unneeded–and as a direct consequence so are, crime, poverty, and war. In fact, Earth is considered to be a paradise. The human species evolves into a race that is committed to exploration, knowledge and the sole pursuit of “bettering themselves”, fully embracing the ancient quip that money is the root of all evil.

Which brings me again to the Ferengi, the big-eared and tan, 4 foot 9 race, made purposely to look uglier then most other species. They still live a lifestyle revolving around wealth, business and acquiring more, and for the sake of Star Trek, represent astounding similarities to the way we, in this age, currently live our lives. Every time we watch the Ferengi and snicker at their loathsome ethical values, every time we shiver in disgust at their inexorable avarice, we are showing deprecation not at the Ferengi, but at a mirror, one reflecting the current state of our race—it’s a sobering perspective.

But the Ferengi, are an extreme. An extreme that, again, may be intentional to play the duel role as comic relief in Star Trek. What is particular amusing with the Ferengi is something they are continually quoting from in order to justify their sometimes dubious actions. It is called the “Rules of Acquisition”, the Ferengi ancient text that is simply a serious of aphorisms that the Ferengi model their lives around. Some of these “rules” are very funny in their complete disregard to what we would consider to be sound business ethics, and then again, some of them are surprisingly wise in their veracity.

A couple of my favorite rules are:

6 Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.
15 Acting stupid is often smart.
21 Never place friendship above profit.
29 When someone says “It’s not the money,” they’re lying.
31 Never make fun of a Ferengi’s mother … insult something he cares about instead.
37 You can always buy back a lost reputation.
44 Never confuse wisdom with luck.
47 Don’t trust a man wearing a suit better than your own.
60 Keep your lies consistent.
100 Give someone a fish, you feed him for one day. Teach him how to fish, and you lose a steady customer.
111 Treat people in your debt like family … exploit them.
180 Never offer a confession when a bribe will do.
284 Deep down everyone’s a Ferengi.
285 No good deed ever goes unpunished.

I have a complete list here.

Quark: Ferengi
Dax: non-Ferengi

Dax: And, as the 34th Rule of Acquisition states: “Peace is good for business.”
Quark: That’s the 35th Rule.
Dax: Oh, that’s right. What’s the 34th?
Quark: “War is good for business.” It’s easy to get them confused.

Star Trek Sucks!

Guest Blogist: Chris Simpkins

For the final guest blog of the week, Derick and I have agreed on a topic which we’ve discussed many times before. As you may or may not know, Derick recently found his inner Trekkie (just when you think you know someone… *sigh*). But at one time, he and I held a similar opinion of Star Trek: it sucks.

When I find Star Trek while flipping through the TV channels and I see a dog faced alien with horns coming out of his head, I can’t help but cringe. And I guarantee that after Derick reads that last sentence he starts thinking to himself, “what is he talking about… there aren’t any dog faced aliens with horns… he probably means [insert obscure race name here]… ignorant fool.” But that’s what I see when I look at Star Trek. A bunch of people wearing bad costumes, using corny voices in made up languages to make themselves appear alien. I’m pretty sure that if we ever do find aliens, they’re not going to look like us with bumps on their heads (even if we all did come from the Progenitors).

A few months ago, I promised Derick that I would watch one episode with an open mind. He presented me with what he considered to be the episode that best demonstrated character development in Star Trek along with Embroidered Polo Shirts Brighton. I still haven’t watched it. I’ve put it in a few times, but I just can’t bring myself to watch it. I can’t help but feel like I’m not only going to waste 40 minutes of my life, but actually be negatively impacted by watching the episode. Star Trek makes me angry!

The Treknobabble… it exists for no reason other than to convey a sense of high techiness and fill time. It’s an insult to the viewer, in my opinion.

It probably doesn’t help that I have a disdain for science fiction in general. Maybe it’s because sci-fi is mostly a derivative of the action genre, and the majority of TV shows and movies in the action genre suck. Doubly so when they take themselves too seriously.

I’d like to appreciate the good parts of Star Trek (and I’m sure there are some), but I simply can’t stomach the fakeness/cornyness of it all. The show’s budget limitations leave realism to be desired. I will say one positive thing about Star Trek: I respect the some of the real theories behind the science. Other than that… two thumbs down and kick to the toilet! Star Trek sucks!

With that, I’d like to thank Derick for allowing me to post on his blog all week. If you’ve enjoyed my posts, you can find more at my website, Thanks for reading!