FIREFLY UNIVERSE

Would Zoe be a good mother?

POSTED BY: BYTEMITE
UPDATED: Sunday, December 11, 2011 06:00
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/s8puhX
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Friday, June 25, 2010 9:16 AM

BYTEMITE


Yeah, we all know that Zoe wants to be a mother from HoG. So setting aside recent revelations, what do you all think?

She's got the Mama Bear thing down pat. But today, rereading Ella Gregg's recent fic, something struck me that never has before. I think this is something that Agent Rouka had pointed out before, that I never quite got.

"I'm not so afraid of losing something that I won't try to have it."

That's not a good reason to have a kid. I mean, that's CRAZYPANTS, it's really selfish if you think about it. She's practically resolved herself, her child might die, but it's okay because she'd get to be a mother for a while?

I doubt the KID would feel the same way.

Even from this point, she's not putting the needs of her kid ahead of herself. As much as she wants a baby, this makes me wonder if she's actually ready to have one.

*Dodges flames!*


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Friday, June 25, 2010 9:43 AM

PLATONIST


Good topic, Byte. And as a Mom, I tend to agree.

My greatest fear for a Zoe child is that she'll continue to choose her loyalty to Mal and her position as first officer over her child’s well being, like she did with her husband, because having a child on Serenity, with Mal as Captain, is a violent place to raise a child.

Maybe she should honor her dead husband’s wishes and find a safer ship for a while, if she should happen to find herself expecting;)

You have to put your child’s needs above your own, it just doesn’t work any other way. It’s your responsibility and no one else’s.

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Friday, June 25, 2010 9:50 AM

WHOZIT


Yes but I get the feeling she'd be a little over protective.

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Friday, June 25, 2010 9:58 AM

PLATONIST


So is it the same over protectiveness which got her husband skewered?

It’s about making good choices and I just don’t think she’s capable.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 2:07 PM

KATESFRIEND


In defense of Mal, he said he had to take riskier jobs because the Tams were fugies. If they were no longer wanted post BDM, the pressure would be off to take easier jobs.

Also, being planetside didn't look much safer than being in the air. If it were, why would so many people like Inara, Kaylee and Wash prefer it to anything else we didn't get to see yet.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 2:28 PM

BYTEMITE


It's a good argument, except, how did even the good and/or legal jobs Mal and crew got involved in end up? (like the Cow Job to Jiang Yin)

Luck had a mean streak for Serenity. Even if they went legit, someone would want to try to shoot them and take the goods.

Wash seems to think he knows some places planetside that would be safer. It doesn't look like Wash hopped on Serenity right out of getting flight certified, he's been around the verse, he could know somewhere that would have worked for him and Zoe. Also, it's very possible that with Wash's piloting skills, even if they didn't necessarily go planetside, they could have found a berth on like a luxury cruiser or something. This is basically what Wash's dream is in Better Days.

Serenity's supposed safety didn't stop Shepherd Book and Inara from leaving, and they got off in a system known for Reaver raids. It must not be that bad, Serenity's just been kicking around some pretty low down places, possibly because Serenity and crew are a little low down themselves (even without fugitives).

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 4:54 PM

PLATONIST


Mal took risky jobs well before the Tams came on board and Zoe was a Dust Devil, Mal even got beat up in her place.

Mal doesn’t turn down good work, risky or not, he’s not going to change his behavior for Zoe’s kid, nor would she expect him to.

Wash’s former jobs didn’t seem all that dangerous or violent; he must have known a different life was out there.

Mal’s mantra is to keep flying no matter what; I just don’t see that happening with a baby on board.

My question is what would be Zoe’s role on Serenity and who’s going to baby sit her kid if she has a child, now that her husband is gone?

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 8:19 PM

RIVERDANCER


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
"I'm not so afraid of losing something that I won't try to have it."

That's not a good reason to have a kid.


Might not be, but it is excellent foreshadowing. The story structure of that scene, to me, was always more about Wash than a potential child. She couldn't be so afraid of losing her husband that she wouldn't try for marriage. (and, in the way of such things, babies.)
Maybe I'm reading too much into it, with all that literature study infecting my brain, but every time I watch that scene I get a flash of what's being foreshadowed, and I marvel at the cleverness of the misdirection surrounding that shadow.

Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
It's a good argument, except, how did even the good and/or legal jobs Mal and crew got involved in end up? (like the Cow Job to Jiang Yin)


Uh. That... wasn't a legal job. It was explicitly smuggling. The words most commonly associated with that job were "smuggler" "smuggled stock" "black-market (beagles)" and "disreputable men" to name just a few.

Quote:

Originally posted by PLATONIST:
So is it the same over protectiveness which got her husband skewered?


That's just cruel. Cruel and malicious. If Zoe was a real person, she would kick your ass for saying that. If she could have over-protected her way between Wash and that lance, damn right she would have, and you should know that if you paid the slightest bit of attention.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 9:44 PM

AGENTROUKA


Byte, you flatter me immensely for remembering my opinion!


It hasn't changed, either.

I think Zoe could be a great mother - if she changed some things. She has a big capacity to love, a lot of patience and can adjust her tone well to suit the needs of the individual person (see River in Janestown). But only when she's not getting bitter and emo about the war, closing herself off and shying away from making choices.

That moment in HoG shows her at her worst. I see a woman wanting a child for the wrong reasons, unready to make the necessary committments and unable to respect her husbands valid opinion on the matter, so that would have been a brutal disaster.
Seeing her trying to stand up to Mal, question his choices and be comforted by Wash in the beginning of the movie gave me some hope, though. After the movie, she could either get worse and cling to Mal more than ever, or finally find herself and make a life of her own with actual room for the things she wants. I'm, of course, hoping for the latter because Zoe is too awesome to languish in a backward-facing life.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 11:12 PM

SYDNEYDEBS


I don't see Zoe as a mother at all, she's a fighter and a warrior not a mother. Her argument to Wash was rather half hearted, more she didn't like being told no than what she really wanted.

Serenity is no place for a baby and I'm sure she'd see that and would have to leave by her own free will rather than Mal telling her I'd hope.

Cheers, Deb

For all the best Castle news on the net
http://castletv.net/

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Sunday, June 27, 2010 11:55 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by sydneydebs:
I don't see Zoe as a mother at all, she's a fighter and a warrior not a mother.



How is that mutually exclusive?

I agree about Serenity not being the right place, but therehave been plenty of warrior fathers in the past, so the two concepts must obviously be compatible.

She would, of course, need a supporting spouse to provide the more time-consuming hands-on care, but she HAD that in Wash.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 2:58 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Luck had a mean streak for Serenity. Even if they went legit, someone would want to try to shoot them and take the goods.

Wash seems to think he knows some places planetside that would be safer. It doesn't look like Wash hopped on Serenity right out of getting flight certified, he's been around the verse, he could know somewhere that would have worked for him and Zoe. Also, it's very possible that with Wash's piloting skills, even if they didn't necessarily go planetside, they could have found a berth on like a luxury cruiser or something. This is basically what Wash's dream is in Better Days.

Being a good mother means more than prenatal Doctor appointments and Mommy taking her vitamins and eating right for the baby. Being a good mother also means not dying in a hail of bullets. Zoe is all stoic and calm, but she's also crazy, dangerously obsessed with being a warrior -- Wash is the levelheaded one in that marriage. Before Zoe gets pregnant, Wash will push Zoe off that pirate ship. And force her to stop hanging with dangerous criminals. That needs to happen.

Select to view spoiler:


Wash's old friends in Serenity Float Out never said, “Hello, very pregnant Zoe!” Patton Oswalt, writing the comic, is tricking us. We're suppose to assume that woman drawn by Patric Reynolds is Zoe. Does NOT look like Zoe. Would the real Zoe go all alone to the christening of the Jetwash, without even Malcolm Reynolds? No, she would not!

I prefer to believe Wash is a sly dog that knocked up a woman that never goes near criminals. And this mystery woman does not own a gun. She was never a warrior. But if Zoe ever finds out that Wash has an illegitimate daughter, Wash will be dead, dead, dead.... The picture is from Float Out.




The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Monday, June 28, 2010 4:46 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Might not be, but it is excellent foreshadowing. The story structure of that scene, to me, was always more about Wash than a potential child. She couldn't be so afraid of losing her husband that she wouldn't try for marriage. (and, in the way of such things, babies.)
Maybe I'm reading too much into it, with all that literature study infecting my brain, but every time I watch that scene I get a flash of what's being foreshadowed, and I marvel at the cleverness of the misdirection surrounding that shadow.



That's a neat take.

Though technically it would be retroactive foreshadowing, because in the original version of the script for Serenity, Wash lives.


Quote:

Uh. That... wasn't a legal job. It was explicitly smuggling. The words most commonly associated with that job were "smuggler" "smuggled stock" "black-market (beagles)" and "disreputable men" to name just a few.


I said good AND/OR legal. It was a good job. No, it wasn't legal.

I'm pretty sure they had an actual LEGAL job at one point in the series, though it was only mentioned in passing. I don't recall that it ended well either. Can't remember what it was now, so maybe I'm mistaken.

Quote:

That's just cruel. Cruel and malicious. If Zoe was a real person, she would kick your ass for saying that. If she could have over-protected her way between Wash and that lance, damn right she would have, and you should know that if you paid the slightest bit of attention.


That wasn't at all what Platonist was saying. She was saying if Zoe really was overprotective, the Reaver-stake thing wouldn't have been an issue in the first place, because she would have taken her husband and headed for safety, instead of running towards danger. She had a choice to stay behind on Haven and not go to Miranda when she saw the dark road Mal was headed down, and she didn't. She chose danger, she chose to put herself and Wash in danger because where Zoe goes, Wash follows.

Wash is right that Zoe maybe follows Mal's lead a little too much, especially considering how reckless Mal can be, and in this case, it cost Wash his life, and Zoe her husband. I don't think any of us who know what Zoe and Mal have been through and know their relationship could think that Zoe hasn't given Mal enough. She would have been in her rights to walk away.

Either she hangs out with Mal out of warforged habit, or she hangs out with Mal because he is just not doing very well and she's trying to help him. I'd like to believe it's the later. Even still, at some point you have to realize, if someone is as suicidal as Mal is, that you can't take responsibility for their happiness. Following them into suicidal behaviour doesn't help them, it doesn't help anyone.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 5:55 AM

PLATONIST


Two, I'm more than sure that's Zoe.

The thing about Zoe, as we’ve seen her, is that she WANTS everything, a loving husband, to follow Mal, a child, continued position on Serenity and fighting those fights, quick retirement money, which she can spend on lavish hotel rooms, even if it means taking from others, killing others.

Zoe could have left with Wash anytime, like he asked her to. She knew from experience what life was like with Mal, but she didn’t put Wash’s needs first. Protecting those you love isn’t strapping a gun on your hip and when someone threatens them, you whip it out, it’s making good long term choices, finding a safe place live to celebrate and enjoy life’s offerings, working together to create things over time, etc. Anything else falls short.

I agree with what’s been stated above, Zoe would need to make some changes in her lifestyle, but I think that’s what is somewhat implied in Float Out. It’s a narrative twist.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 7:05 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Wash’s former jobs didn’t seem all that dangerous or violent; he must have known a different life was out there.


Well, one job was dangerous, but he was smart enough and skilled enough that it wasn't really. (Madcap)

Another job suddenly had bad luck manifest in the form of Reavers (No one ever expects the Reavers, so otherwise the job wasn't dangerous), but again Wash was smart and skilled enough that it wasn't a problem.

The last job was pretty safe.

I suspect Wash just doesn't like being shot at. Environmental hazards he's fine with, those are a challenge, and in his mind substantially less risk of dying than people actually wanting to kill him.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 7:16 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Two, I'm more than sure that's Zoe. ...in Float Out. It’s a narrative twist.

I am not as sure as you are.

Select to view spoiler:


I can choose based on where I want the story of Serenity to go to next:
1) Pregnant Zoe is at the christening of the JetWash. That wraps up the story in a nice, neat package. Zoe could responsibly resign as First Officer on Serenity to go raise her daughter in a safe environment. How very dull. I'm not gonna watch that show.
2) Or I can choose to believe that wasn't Zoe at the christening. Now we get some excitement. That woman in the comic was some other black woman with which Wash was two-timing Zoe. This scenario allows for much more fun. Zoe gets to stay on Serenity and have a very dangerous life. Wash gets a daughter, posthumously. Zoe and Zoe2 get to clash and bond over Wash's child. That's a show I wanna watch.

It might be mistaken identification to call that woman in the Float Out comic “Zoe.” Nobody says “Hello Zoe” in the comic. Nobody from the rest of the Serenity crew was standing with Zoe2. We see a curly headed black woman that looks a little similar to Gina Torres. It is not a good enough likeness in a police sketch to positively identify her. (It is understandable to confuse that picture with Gina Torres because on TV Gina is the only black woman with dialogue in every Firefly episode. Also, there is shortage of Chinese people in a Universe that is half Chinese, but I'm not gonna start arguing about who gets hired by lily-white people on shows made in California for Rupert Murdoch. Rupert married Chinese but doesn't have them on his shows. What's up with that creepy old man from FOX? )



The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Monday, June 28, 2010 7:25 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Byte, you flatter me immensely for remembering my opinion!



Hey, eventually something has to penetrate my thick skull. I'd prefer it to be ideas.

...*squicks self*

Quote:

I think Zoe could be a great mother - if she changed some things. She has a big capacity to love, a lot of patience and can adjust her tone well to suit the needs of the individual person (see River in Janestown). But only when she's not getting bitter and emo about the war, closing herself off and shying away from making choices.


Good point! Zoe often helps handle the crew when Mal is being a hump, or uncommunicative, or brooding, or being an idiot (Saffron).

Between her and Inara, it's hard to tell just who is Team Mom. Zoe keeps the ship sane when Mal's not, but Inara supplies the emotional comfort that's the hallmark of the role.

Zoe plus Wash probably would have been great parents, because Wash could fill the emotional needs of the kid. Now I guess Zoe's going to figure that out for herself.

She has potential, but if she's practicing being motherly, explaining to Simon why Captain Daddy punched him for stepping wrong around the topic of Serenity Valley, then saying in all seriousness that she WILL kill him if she has to is probably not the tactic she'd want to use on her own kid.

Quote:

That moment in HoG shows her at her worst. I see a woman wanting a child for the wrong reasons, unready to make the necessary committments and unable to respect her husbands valid opinion on the matter, so that would have been a brutal disaster.


Yup. Even before realizing the whole wrong reasons thing, it would be a disaster to have a baby on Serenity, even with top 3 percent medic on board. There's so much that could go wrong.

Though, to be fair to Zoe in regards to Wash... If Zoe really didn't respect him, she would have gone ahead and stopped birthcontrol already to force the issue. Apparently this is an argument they've been having for a while, so even though in the argument she sounds pretty demanding and final, she's clearly been willing to talk it out with Wash to try to convince him. So at least she wants Wash to be on board with the decision, and is waiting for him to be willing to come around.

Perhaps her demanding, officious "I want this baby, PERIOD" is just the way her soldier self is coming out, the way she happens to be expressing herself at the time, Zoe's character voice. Perhaps it's not so much "I'll do anything to have this baby, and to hell with you"

Quote:

Seeing her trying to stand up to Mal, question his choices and be comforted by Wash in the beginning of the movie gave me some hope, though. After the movie, she could either get worse and cling to Mal more than ever, or finally find herself and make a life of her own with actual room for the things she wants. I'm, of course, hoping for the latter because Zoe is too awesome to languish in a backward-facing life.


Yeah, I think she was starting to come around too. Platonist tells me in the longer movie script, Zoe and Wash reach an agreement. Zoe agrees to leave the ship, Wash agrees they can try for a kid.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 7:44 AM

PLATONIST


Two, I bow to your creativity:) and it would have been a much more interesting storyline, but I have a feeling the narrative is going in a different direction, whether we approve or not.

That’s life in a Joss verse, twists and turns and no one character gets exactly what they want, there is always restitution to pay if you get a smidge of happiness, if you know what I mean…don’t want to add any more spoilers.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 8:11 AM

BYTEMITE


Ooh! Wait. What if any potential Zoe baby was created... With Blue Sun help?

Ties to the main storyline, boo yah!

Heh, probably if they were going to Diabolus Ex Machina the whole shebang, they would've just had Blue Sun bring back Wash somehow, so I'm not sure how realistic it is. But that has some potential, yeah?

I have trouble imagining Wash cheat on Zoe, but he IS a flyboy I guess, they do have a reputation for womanizing at every port.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 8:56 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Ooh! Wait. What if any potential Zoe baby was created... With Blue Sun help?

Ties to the main storyline, boo yah!

Heh, probably if they were going to Diabolus Ex Machina the whole shebang, they would've just had Blue Sun bring back Wash somehow, so I'm not sure how realistic it is. But that has some potential, yeah?

I have trouble imagining Wash cheat on Zoe, but he IS a flyboy I guess, they do have a reputation for womanizing at every port.

I got a story idea. Before Wash meets Zoe, he lives with his girlfriend. Wash breaks up with her because he is not ready for fatherhood. Wash leaves town and takes a job flying for Zoe and Mal. Now for the science fiction part. The heartbroken woman does not have an abortion. She has the fetus put into suspended animation in hope that Wash will come back and be there when the baby is born. [Blue Sun Fertility Clinic will make it possible.]

But when Wash dies the girlfriend goes forward with the much delayed pregnancy. All of Wash's old friends, except Mal and Zoe, know about this girlfriend. Once the baby is born, Zoe wants to raise her. Wash's girlfriend does not want to give up her child to Wash's wife. How's that for strange family dynamics that science fiction makes possible?

Joss Whedon could make an entertaining story from that idea in season 2 of Firefly. Wash is dead yet Alan Tudyk could play him in flashbacks to before he works for Zoe and Mal.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Monday, June 28, 2010 9:56 AM

PLATONIST


Minor spoilers for Float Out



Minor spoilers for Float Out



Minor spoilers for Float Out





Two, I'm getting the distinct impression that you didn't like Float Out.

I thought the ending was a beautiful surprise and a way for the character to have, not only closure, but a possible future, living on in the memories of family and friends.

Do you view it as the end of Wash’s character and no potential for a return, except in stories told in his past life? Just curious.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 10:55 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Minor spoilers for Float Out



Minor spoilers for Float Out



Minor spoilers for Float Out





Two, I'm getting the distinct impression that you didn't like Float Out.

I thought the ending was a beautiful surprise and a way for the character to have not only have closure, but a possible future, living on in the memories of family and friends.

Do you view it as the end of Wash’s character and no potential for a return, except in stories told in his past life? Just curious.

There is hope for Wash returning in the flesh. But I like my happy endings happier than most people do. It is a matter of my immature tastes.

An example from last week: I watched Doctor Who episode The Big Bang. The situation is hopeless, everyone is dead or locked away forever. The episode very cleverly found an escape from the hopeless trap. Doctor Who had River Song's vortex manipulator. “Cheap and nasty time travel. Very bad for you. I'm trying to give it up,” said the Doctor. Firefly could do a Doctor Who: River Tam has cheap and nasty precognition, which doesn't always work. She suspected that Wash would die, wasn't sure, didn't react in time. There will be a way that she reinforces her precognition so that she would/will show up in the nick of time to pull Wash out of his safety harness before he is speared by Reavers. I heard this referred to as hitting the ejector seat button when a story is about to crash into a dead-end.

Select to view spoiler:


Overnight I dreamed up a way to add some character conflict to Float Out: bring on the entire Serenity Crew, including a not pregnant Zoe & Wash's very pregnant ex-girlfriend. Jayne can say the stupid thing, “How does it feel to know Wash has a kid comin', Zoe?” POW! Zoe knocks Jayne to the deck. Float Out tells the same three stories about Wash's legendary piloting skills, but there is another story where the ex- tells Zoe the baby was conceived BEFORE Wash meets Zoe. Zoe and the ex- christen the ship together, one champagne bottle and one bottle of cheap Asian liquor baptize the “Jetwash”. ~THE END~ That story is in the spirit of Firefly. More action, less funereal dirge. Imagine the uncomfortable scene when River, hugging the pregnant woman, says, “Hello, Wash's baby... Meet Wash's wife, Zoe.”

The physics in Float Out had some problems that writer Patton Oswalt could have fixed trivially. You probably know that when a pair of cars or pair of ocean-going freighters crash together at 30 mph, both vehicles are wreaked. One of the freighters may sink. Oswalt had two spaceships crash together at 3000 mph. Or 300. Or 30. That will kill everyone. But if Oswalt had Wash dropping a shipping container that weighs 40 tons like it was space torpedo, that would have got Wash out alive without straining credibility. Wash's container of cargo is destroyed, not his ship.

And the champagne bottle in outer space? It looks cool in a comic book but it's wildly impractical. If it was a real spaceship christening, the bottle would be broken on the inside of the ship, where there's air & gravity. Spacemen would never break the bottle in the vacuum and put shards of glass into orbit. It is like breaking glass in your own driveway. Nobody sensible would do that to their own rubber tires.



There is always extreme tension between having a happy ending in science fiction TV and not breaking the laws of physics or human behavior. Most stories throw away real physics / behavior and go all Harry Potter. Or the stories just decide not to have a happy ending, i.e. Battlestar Galactica. I prefer the Firefly approach where the heroes always recover from their wounds before the next episode. Again, I've childish tastes in sci-fi -- I want stories where death is not a permanent condition and heartbreak can be overcome.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Friday, December 2, 2011 7:04 AM

BROWNCOATMIDWESTERNER


An old quote.

If you wait to have kids until you are ready, you'll never have kids.



And two words...

Sarah Connor.

Zoe Washburne would be a bit like T2 Sarah Connor, and a fantastic mother in a rough world.

She would know how to protect her child, and would know about risks, which ones are worth taking, and which ones should not be. She is independent enough not to be a helicopter mother, and would inherently well qualified to instill discipline in the child.

It would be hard as a single mother, without Wash, but Mal was raised on a ranch on Shadow by a single mom, and a bunch of ranch hands... The crew of Serenity would be involved in raising the child as close as a family unit.

Mal would be a father figure, whether he liked it or not, that is just the loyalty he inspires, as well as the authority of being the captain, even if not strictly the child's biological father. That might make an interesting dichotomy.

Jayne would be an influence to have to consistently counter. An example of what not to do.

Simon would perhaps be a good science and technical teacher. Kaylee would probably love to play with a little child at every opportunity. Inara without going into details about her occupation would also be a very qualified teacher of the humanities, art, and music. Book would have made a great mentor, also.

River's reaction to a child would be interesting to see. She'd in some ways identify with a somewhat child-like view, in other ways she'd be able to read the child in ways the child might not even know how to express. (imagine being able to know exactly why an infant is crying... and not having to guess.) and in other ways River being puzzled by the occasional irrationality and illogical nature of a child's mind. Also River having to deal with not being the youngest or most vulnerable person on the crew... like a pseudo big sister having to make room for a new sibling.

Zoe may transition to motherhood by taking fewer bold risks, and life would change with a rugrat on board ship... but change is the only constant of life anyway.

"Machines just got workin's, and they speak to me."

"What you plan and what actually happens ain't exactly ever been similar."

"Somethin' about that is just down-right unsettlin'."

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Friday, December 2, 2011 9:38 AM

WISHIMAY

"Well, so long Earth...Thanks for the air... and what-not" -Philip J. Fry


I agree with preety much everything you just said

I will add that the same warrior aspect in an intelligent woman translates into a protective nature, usually. I'd definately let her babysit my kid.

Hello, Midwesterner, mee too. Well, technically. Southern Indiana is considered midwest. I consider it the Middle of Confusion.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 4:59 PM

BYTEMITE


Hmm.

In most cases, I think it might end up being:

Quote:

If you wait to have kids until you are ready, you'll have a few surprises.


I dunno. I think the crew of Serenity helping Zoe raise her kid might actually be a bad idea. Oh, for sure they'd want to help, and they'd mean well. But I don't think it'd work out.

As you said, it's up to Zoe to recognize what is a good idea and a bad idea. She talks about being raised shipside, clearly she had a disciplined and maybe military upbringing, but I'm not really sure that worked out for her. She might want to consider what kind of life she wants to offer her child, and not just fall back on what's familiar.


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Monday, December 5, 2011 7:07 AM

BROWNCOATMIDWESTERNER


She also said that she isn't so afraid of a thing that she is willing to go without it. Procreation is a basic drive inherent in people, and she showed that it was on her mind. She also isn't fresh out of school age, so she doesn't have decades of time to figure it out.

Where else would she raise a child?
On a backwards moon somewhere like Triumph? how is that better than living on a spaceship that can get you to where work can be found?
On an alliance-governed planet nearer the core? Not gorram likely.

IF she settled down in the world somewhere, what would she do for a living to support the child? She has skills to do the work she's doing, and I can't see that shiong-tsan sha-sho waiting tables in a local greasy spoon, or serving drinks in a bar.

She's in the life she wants, and she wants a child, too. Maybe not ideal child rearing environment, but I can think of worse. Obviously the risk of death is something that is not new to her. I think settling down and doing near-nothing would be worse than death for Zoe, and probably a few others on the crew.

And if she did decide to stay in the world, it would probably be after a big enough score to set her up for life. Maybe if they could get that Lassiter sold, and could afford one of them private floating islands for herself.

Her chances are as good while sticking with the captain as anything else, and it would have to be a powerful force to get her to leave his side. Inara had enough trouble leaving her own self, and that was just after a few months, and she came back.

"Once you're in Serenity, you never leave. You learn to live there."

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Monday, December 5, 2011 8:07 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Procreation is a basic drive inherent in people


No. No it is not.

But I'll ignore the hetero-centric viewpoint for a moment to address the rest of the post.

Quote:

Where else would she raise a child?


She LIKED Wash's idea of him taking a job on a luxury cruiser in Better Days. Granted, without Wash being around to pilot the thing, that really isn't all that open as an option anymore, but clearly she has considered alternatives already. And if she can find one option that she might compromise on -or prefer? - to Serenity, she might find others.

I seriously doubt she or Mal are going to spend the rest of their living days on Serenity. I might question their sanity and their emotional stability. I do NOT question their intelligence or their will to live.

Quote:

I think settling down and doing near-nothing would be worse than death for Zoe, and probably a few others on the crew.


Except they all have indicated in canon stories that they would do so if they felt they had the option.

Quote:

"Once you're in Serenity, you never leave. You learn to live there."


That line was never intended to suggest that Serenity is a particularly good place to live. That was the name of a horrific battlefield, remember?

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Monday, December 5, 2011 11:48 AM

BROWNCOATMIDWESTERNER


Heterocentric? I didn't realize we were going that direction.

Procreation is a strictly cooperative, hetero (as in different genders) sexual (as in half-DNA re-combinant reproduction) biological function, and it IS a biological drive. That isn't an opinion, that is science, and just flat truth.

Without a biological drive to reproduce ingrained in people as a rule, (which Pax diminishes and eliminates, evidently) humans DIE OUT, as a civilization and as a species. Maybe there are individual people who are exceptions, but Zoe wouldn't be one, by her comments which define this discussion.

Humans are not asexual self-replicating organisms, and same-sex pairings biologically can't reproduce... so having, as in CREATING a CHILD is distinctly "heterocentric."

If you are going to call my points heterocentric under a negative connotation, I have to wonder if your opposing view is coloring your take on whether she should have children at all, let alone where and under what conditions.

More than that... Zoe is a heterosexual woman, as a character. It isn't just implied or inferred.

Out Of Gas seems to suggest that at least Mal is fine with living out his days doing what he is doing, and going his own way. And going down with the ship if that is what is what it takes.

Maybe Zoe would leave... but it would not be an easy choice, and she stayed on board even after Wash's death... on a boat where Wash died in the pilot's chair. On a boat she wasn't exactly enamored with the first time she saw it, and after the Operative offered the support to patch her up, Zoe even said she was still tore up plenty but was positive enough about the ship to still say that she'll fly true. Serenity was most definitely more of a home than probably anywhere else in the 'verse she could go. There is a powerful will to stay there after all of that, and whimsy isn't going to cause her to leave. And someplace that is 'home', is where you do raise children, if you do raise children.

If that doesn't become an occasion to stay in the world, or find another ship, or do something else... I am not sure what else would. Most of the rest of the crew would turn over before Zoe would strike out on her own without Wash or Mal, to fare for herself completely alone, or more drastically, without anyone's help raising a child. Nothing suggests that she has a close group of family or friends outside of Mal and the crew of Serenity, and her personality isn't exactly warm and fuzzy, suggesting that she doesn't make new casual friends easily.

Even her military background was as part of a unit group, not solely on her own for everything. She is/was a soldier, not a spy.

The quote about learning to live in Serenty isn't about it being desirable to do so, it is about overcoming and accepting what changes the nature of one's life permanently, such as the horrors of war, and adapting to it, and making it work afterward, and making the best of the new normal.

I would say becoming a parent would be one of those permanent changes, and most of the time, for the better, and almost never for the easier.

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Monday, December 5, 2011 4:33 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Maybe there are individual people who are exceptions, but Zoe wouldn't be one, by her comments which define this discussion.


Fair enough, but to not procreate is not death, and also to say it is a drive for everyone IS generalizing, and untrue.

There are plenty of nonsexuals out there (they use the term asexual, but I dislike it for the reasons you give), I'm one of them.

Quote:

I have to wonder if your opposing view is coloring your take on whether she should have children at all, let alone where and under what conditions.


You shouldn't speculate about the motives of people you don't know. I'm fine with her having children and people having children. I don't particularly like kids, nor like stories about kids, but it's none of my business whether other people decide to procreate or not. I have no say, particularly in Zoe's case. It's been all but decided, I can deal with that storyline and event.

I was contesting you calling it a universal thing. There isn't just one way to live this life, though there are more dangerous, tragic, and unfortunate ways to live this life. I'd hope the crew of Serenity don't have to live that, though this is a Joss Whedon story we're talking about.

My issue with Zoe is about whether she's objective and emotionally whole enough to assess the dangers of her own life. When she has that conversation with Wash in Heart of Gold, she's not. I concede it might have been the heat of the moment, she was having an argument and not being entirely rational at the moment.

She shows a better sense of objective reality and responsibility later, in the comic books and movie.

Quote:

Out Of Gas seems to suggest that at least Mal is fine with living out his days doing what he is doing, and going his own way. And going down with the ship if that is what is what it takes.


It is NOT necessarily his PREFERRED option. I'd really have to recommend you read the supplemental material if you haven't. It'd be interesting what you might make of it.

Quote:

There is a powerful will to stay there after all of that, and whimsy isn't going to cause her to leave.


I don't believe the safety of her child is whimsy.

Quote:

I am not sure what else would.


It's always seemed to me that reason Zoe sticks around is because Mal's life is such a mess. She stays at the end of the movie because they're still patching up the ship, and themselves, emotionally. But if Simon and Kaylee and River and Mal all start to move on, then what's to stop Zoe as well? She has her own life and mind separate from being Mal's soldier.

Quote:

friends outside of Mal and the crew of Serenity, and her personality isn't exactly warm and fuzzy, suggesting that she doesn't make new casual friends easily.


None of these necessarily prevent her from trying to be a single mother. Also, you ought to see her interaction with Wash's old friends.

Quote:

The quote about learning to live in Serenty isn't about it being desirable to do so, it is about overcoming and accepting what changes the nature of one's life permanently, such as the horrors of war, and adapting to it, and making it work afterward, and making the best of the new normal.


I don't think it's about making the best of anything. Simon expresses astonishment at Mal for believing that being shot at, Kaylee injured, nearly being boarded by Feds and having to do a desperate run around to sell some salvage for some change that'll barely keep them running is a GOOD DAY.

I'm not really sure it's that healthy. It's actually kind of fatalistic and self-defeating.

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Monday, December 5, 2011 8:10 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I have to side with MidWesterner in that humanity has an innate drive to procreate. Of course there are exceptions to this as with anything, but I don't think the statement "humanity has an inherant drive to procreate" is in any way inflamatory or weird or incorrect, I think you are overreacting a tiny bit Byte a chara.

I see both points here, MidWesterner says that Zoe could raise the child on the ship with the Serenity family, which I love reading stories about, stories with a kid on Serenity are sooooooo much fun, my favorite being Extra Cargo by Miss Guenever. I also understand what Byte is saying about how when a woman has a baby she does whatever is best for that child, that child becomes her number one priority, as it should be, so in that light it is possible for Zoe to move somewhere else, though I hope that she still sees Mal and crew a lot because they are her family and they'd be the child's extended family. From a personal standpoint I prefer stories where everyone is together at least most of the time, but the other is understandable too.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Monday, December 5, 2011 8:14 PM

BYTEMITE


I was mostly bugged by the implication that if I don't make some babies or whatever that I'm as alive and human as the people who were afflicted by the Pax. Protip: pretty sure the non-Reavers died of thirst and starvation LONG before they died from not gettin' any sugar candy.

Simply put, humanity doesn't ALL have the drive to procreate, ergo, it is not universal or necessarily inherent, but rather a product of environment, opportunity, upbringing, chemical balance, and interest.

But anyway, MidWesterner is right in that my personal life is not the point of this discussion, regardless of whether or not I'm miffed by those comments.

I think they might get back together for one last job EVENTUALLY, after they've had enough time apart to develop the part of them that is not "one half of Mal and Zoe" and "stuck in the war with no way out."

After that job, they might retire to roughly the same world and hang out after work or on weekends. Until then, I think that time is crucial to both their development and also Zoe's chance to raise her child as fitting.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7:39 AM

BROWNCOATMIDWESTERNER


To clarify...

I wasn't trying to bring your personal life to this thread, and you are entirely entitled to your own opinions.

My reference to the Pax was that it was mentioned by the researcher that they stopped procreating, tacitly identifying that as one of the biological drives that Pax over-rode. If it wasn't an issue, it wouldn't have been mentioned as an anomaly.

It had no context to you, at least I didn't intend to imply it. I am sorry if you inferred it.

But calling my comments hetero-centric in a negative connotation aroused my suspicion that your evaluation of Zoe's situation could be clouded by your own choices, not what we know about Zoe Washburne. I don't much care what your choices are, as long as you aren't trying to visit my intentions, either.

But a discussion about Zoe is about Zoe, not about your choices, or my choices.

BTW a biological drive doesn't need to be entirely without exception to still be very much true to fact. Extension of the species is a biological drive with ANY life form, and is part of the scientific DEFINITION of a life form. A choice to over-ride that biological drive is only possible in a sentient being where cognitive reason can over-ride innate behavior.

Over-riding a biological drive does not disprove said drive. Someone can fast, and decide not to eat, despite the drive for sustenance. Someone can hold their breath, despite the drive to aspirate. Someone can isolate themselves socially despite the drive to be social organisms, which humans are. Someone can choose to abstain from sexuality, despite the drive to procreate.

Zoe Washburne hasn't had children, but obviously made a comment about it being on her mind. The biological "clock" is a euphemism for the drive she is feeling the effects of.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 8:21 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

But calling my comments hetero-centric in a negative connotation aroused my suspicion that your evaluation of Zoe's situation could be clouded by your own choices, not what we know about Zoe Washburne. I don't much care what your choices are, as long as you aren't trying to visit my intentions, either.


Nah. I was just pointing out that the comment could be (and was) taken the wrong way by someone who is not straight, and therefore not able to conceive with their preferred partner (or lack thereof). I don't think you were even THINKING about that, which is why I called it "hetero-centric," as in the comment was made without an awareness of the non-hetero situation.

Quote:

Someone can choose to abstain from sexuality, despite the drive to procreate.



You still aren't quite accurate. In some people, either because of chemicals, hormones, fetal development, they actually LACK a libido. And then this is also still not quite accurate with homosexuality, because while they might pair up, obviously they can't procreate.

Because it's entirely optional and sometimes not even present, it's not at all remotely on the same level as the drive to eat, or sleep, or drink, or eliminate, or breathe. I wouldn't even call it a drive, I'd call it an inclination.

The difference between the pacified Pax victims versus the aggressive Reavers, well, it's kind of a dopamine and HPA axis thing. While, yes, I'm sure that Joss made his word choice for impact, Dr. Caron was also describing symptoms.

Quote:

Zoe Washburne hasn't had children, but obviously made a comment about it being on her mind. The biological "clock" is a euphemism for the drive she is feeling the effects of.


Okay. I never said she wasn't, and that's not what the conversation was about. The conversation was about her emotional stability in regards to her ability to properly care for the (inevitable) child and make objective choices for her child's welfare.

Ah, look. I posted this conversation not because I wanted people to agree with me about whether or not Zoe is fit at the moment for motherhood (she may or may not be, it depends on her choices), but because I was interested in what people thought. I'm not really arguing one way or another whether she'll leave.

Though I do think that it's unfeasible to have octogenarian Firefly. Eventually, they're all going to have to find something else.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 8:46 AM

BROWNCOATMIDWESTERNER


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Fair enough, but to not procreate is not death, and also to say it is a drive for everyone IS generalizing, and untrue.
There are plenty of nonsexuals out there (they use the term asexual, but I dislike it for the reasons you give), I'm one of them.



Actually, in a macro sense... organisms that don't procreate... DO die. I spoke on biological drives already, lets move on to the next point.

Quote:

You shouldn't speculate about the motives of people you don't know. I'm fine with her having children and people having children. I don't particularly like kids, nor like stories about kids, but it's none of my business whether other people decide to procreate or not. I have no say, particularly in Zoe's case. It's been all but decided, I can deal with that storyline and event.


I agree about visiting people's intentions, and I am sorry if I intruded on your motives. I also spoke about that in a previous post.

Quote:

There isn't just one way to live this life, though there are more dangerous, tragic, and unfortunate ways to live this life. I'd hope the crew of Serenity don't have to live that, though this is a Joss Whedon story we're talking about.


Kaylee once told Simon: "What must you think of those who choose it? [this life]"

The point is that there are more than one way to live, it isn't just in an isolated colony, or living the high life on the core worlds... Living the life that the Serenity crew leads, is one option, and I don't live that way... but I can see some appeal in it, as well as some danger.

Being tied down to a house and a work place "in the world" rather than out in the black, has it's own issues, and even non-monetary costs.

Part of me can see how life on Serenity with a crew that look out for each other, which one can argue is a form of familial love, is a better life than some live by more traditional means.

Quote:

My issue with Zoe is about whether she's objective and emotionally whole enough to assess the dangers of her own life. When she has that conversation with Wash in Heart of Gold, she's not. I concede it might have been the heat of the moment, she was having an argument and not being entirely rational at the moment.

She shows a better sense of objective reality and responsibility later, in the comic books and movie.



I think she is more in tune with assessing danger, and knowing what is possible through dangerous situations than most.

Your opinion that she's not suited when she made those comments, I disagree with, and that is the pin-point of where I was wondering if you are ascribing your own thoughts as those of Zoe Washburne.

Wash was trying to be the counter-point, and his points were valid... but Zoe realized that there is more to it than circumstance, and that circumstances occur no matter where you are, or what you are doing. If you wait for circumstances to be just right, life will pass you by while you wait. She knows the fear of death, and is in touch with mortality. She knows about circumstance, and survival. What she has gotten past, is FEAR of those things.

Quote:

Quote:

Out Of Gas seems to suggest that at least Mal is fine with living out his days doing what he is doing, and going his own way. And going down with the ship if that is what is what it takes.


It is NOT necessarily his PREFERRED option. I'd really have to recommend you read the supplemental material if you haven't. It'd be interesting what you might make of it.



Of course going down with the ship is ABSOLUTELY not Plan A. But it sure seemed like making sure that the shuttles weren't over-loaded, and that the others had the best chances of survival was on his mind... and that leaving serenity, possibly permanently as she was on the drift... was not something he felt the need to do, and that he had no where else he'd rather go, even to save his own life. That doesn't lead me to believe that he is just pining as he prepares for a quiet stationary retirement somewhere.

Quote:

Quote:

There is a powerful will to stay there after all of that, and whimsy isn't going to cause her to leave.


I don't believe the safety of her child is whimsy.

Quote:

I am not sure what else would.


It's always seemed to me that reason Zoe sticks around is because Mal's life is such a mess. She stays at the end of the movie because they're still patching up the ship, and themselves, emotionally. But if Simon and Kaylee and River and Mal all start to move on, then what's to stop Zoe as well? She has her own life and mind separate from being Mal's soldier.



No, safety of a child is not whimsy... but a child might not be any more safe on a world somewhere, without a support structure of friends that are as close as family.

I am not so sure that departing from her Serenity family for the sake of a child to be raised planet-side, but otherwise alone, is a favorable trade-off. Maybe slightly safer in circumstance... but not necessarily in experience.

Quote:

Quote:

friends outside of Mal and the crew of Serenity, and her personality isn't exactly warm and fuzzy, suggesting that she doesn't make new casual friends easily.


None of these necessarily prevent her from trying to be a single mother. Also, you ought to see her interaction with Wash's old friends.



Most single mothers that I have ever seen, are most sensitive about being completely without a net of family and friends, and having to support a child by working a job away from that child, and leaving the child with someone else. I don't know why Zoe would leave that support structure that she already has on Serenity. But it isn't impossible.

Quote:

Quote:

The quote about learning to live in Serenty isn't about it being desirable to do so, it is about overcoming and accepting what changes the nature of one's life permanently, such as the horrors of war, and adapting to it, and making it work afterward, and making the best of the new normal.


I don't think it's about making the best of anything. Simon expresses astonishment at Mal for believing that being shot at, Kaylee injured, nearly being boarded by Feds and having to do a desperate run around to sell some salvage for some change that'll barely keep them running is a GOOD DAY.

I'm not really sure it's that healthy. It's actually kind of fatalistic and self-defeating.




It isn't fatalistic, nor self defeating. It is REAL, and it is survivalistic. The battle of Serenity is a marker in her and Mal's lives that changed them fundamentally, and not in a good way. It was up-close in the face of death, and it was also the defeat of what they had sacrificed for. Very likely it was the place and circumstance where Mal lost his faith. Early in the battle, he was shown to kiss the cross around his neck. His views on God afterward are clear.

Mal, and Zoe both know how bad it can get short of actually dying themselves. Not having died, they have to live with that experience afterward. They had to re-build their lives from that horror, and that defeat, which might actually be harder than just having died on that field.

That life-changing experience IS the Serenity that you never ever leave. You learn to live there, accept that experience, and move-on in that new normal and make the best of survival afterward. The best of survival afterward, is the ship Serenity, and keeping her flying, analogous to their own survival.

Even with the horror of Kaylee's near death, and the difficulty of making a living on fringes, and escaping real trouble with comparatively only a scratch... is Survival. It is the essence of *Keep Flying*... and compared to the depths of defeat and near death... It IS a good day.

Malcolm Reynolds has that perspective on life and death. Simon Tam did not at that point, although his experiences on Serenity were teaching him in a personal way about his and his sister's life and death... not just the life and death of a patient on a table. Doctors have to de-personalize death. A veteran cannot de-personalize death, and has a distinctly different take on survival than someone who hasn't been through that crucible.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 9:18 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Actually, in a macro sense... organisms that don't procreate... DO die. I spoke on biological drives already, lets move on to the next point.


Yeah. They also eventually die if they DO procreate. The concepts are not correlated, unrelated, one has little to no impact on the other. Macro scale.

I'm willing to move on if you are.

Quote:

Being tied down to a house and a work place "in the world" rather than out in the black, has it's own issues, and even non-monetary costs.


True. On the other hand, there's also much safer options for spaceships lifestyles than a fifty year old Firefly that's been taken apart and put back together half a dozen times, and there's also safer jobs than what they do. Though, I admit having fugitives aboard does limit their options a little.

Quote:

which one can argue is a form of familial love, is a better life than some live by more traditional means.



Hmm. I don't disagree, but I might wonder if all of the crew would necessarily think that way. Some of them had a very traditional upbringing, and in Zoe's case (she was raised shipside) as much as anyone else, you do what you know.

That was a part of the argument between her and Wash over kids, two very different backgrounds.

Quote:

I think she is more in tune with assessing danger, and knowing what is possible through dangerous situations than most.


I think she's more likely to dismiss dangerous situations as "not dangerous." It's fairly common among veterans. Imagine Simon (or Wash's) reaction to a situation versus Zoe's reaction to a situation. One of the two is more desensitized to violence and danger.

Quote:

I disagree with, and that is the pin-point of where I was wondering if you are ascribing your own thoughts as those of Zoe Washburne.


Hey. What did I say about motives? We were going to leave that behind. What I am has NOTHING TO DO with the conversation we're having.

Quote:

Zoe realized that there is more to it than circumstance, and that circumstances occur no matter where you are, or what you are doing. If you wait for circumstances to be just right, life will pass you by while you wait.


True.

Quote:

She knows the fear of death, and is in touch with mortality. She knows about circumstance, and survival. What she has gotten past, is FEAR of those things.


Um. Not Good?

Consider this for a second. She is going to be a mother. The continuing life of her child is going to be foremost on her mind.

What does "not being afraid of death" imply? Her dying? The child dying? That's really, REALLY bad.

That's why when she was having that conversation with Wash, she was not showing sound judgment or reasoning.

She gets better later, and post movie, she might be emotionally ready. We'll have to see how it goes and what she does. Though I've seen some post movie stuff that brings up other concerns for me as well - she seems to consciously be trying to be safer, but on the other hand, she has some troubling expectations for her kid.

Quote:

Of course going down with the ship is ABSOLUTELY not Plan A.


Okay.

Quote:

But it sure seemed like making sure that the shuttles weren't over-loaded, and that the others had the best chances of survival was on his mind... and that leaving serenity, possibly permanently as she was on the drift... was not something he felt the need to do, and that he had no where else he'd rather go, even to save his own life.


He didn't have another option. There was nothing around they could go to before life support ran out. They were in the middle of nowhere in space. He figured they were all dead, he just wasn't saying it (except to Inara).

Quote:

That doesn't lead me to believe that he is just pining as he prepares for a quiet stationary retirement somewhere.


Like I said, you should read some of the supplemental material, it could go either way.

Quote:

No, safety of a child is not whimsy... but a child might not be any more safe on a world somewhere, without a support structure of friends that are as close as family.

I am not so sure that departing from her Serenity family for the sake of a child to be raised planet-side, but otherwise alone, is a favorable trade-off. Maybe slightly safer in circumstance... but not necessarily in experience.



The question is, would the risk be worth it in Zoe's eyes? Keep in mind, she just lost her husband, she might be rethinking the safety of Serenity herself.

Quote:

Most single mothers that I have ever seen, are most sensitive about being completely without a net of family and friends, and having to support a child by working a job away from that child, and leaving the child with someone else. I don't know why Zoe would leave that support structure that she already has on Serenity. But it isn't impossible.


I can agree with that.

Quote:

That life-changing experience IS the Serenity that you never ever leave. You learn to live there, accept that experience, and move-on in that new normal and make the best of survival afterward. The best of survival afterward, is the ship Serenity, and keeping her flying, analogous to their own survival.


But this, I don't. There's a reason Joss chose to name Serenity after the battlefield. That does not suggest to me that Serenity the ship is Mal or Zoe's escape from Serenity the battlefield. They're stuck in a violent lifestyle after the war. They're still IN the war, really. Mal says "war's over, we're all just folk now," and I don't really believe him.

That's how I interpret that line.

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A veteran cannot de-personalize death, and has a distinctly different take on survival than someone who hasn't been through that crucible.


True. But there are good and bad ways that a person can deal with it. Mal and Zoe aren't even TRYING to deal with it. They're trying to bury it and run away from it, and it comes back to bite them in their life choices and the dangers of their work. The danger of their work isn't nonexistent, but it's acceptable to them because of how they changed - which is unhealthy. It's courting death.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 10:06 AM

BROWNCOATMIDWESTERNER


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Originally posted by Bytemite:
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Actually, in a macro sense... organisms that don't procreate... DO die. I spoke on biological drives already, lets move on to the next point.


Yeah. They also eventually die if they DO procreate. The concepts are not correlated, unrelated, one has little to no impact on the other. Macro scale.

I'm willing to move on if you are.



Not quite yet, evidently, as you keep bringing up erroneous information.

You are still thinking on an individual level. Everything I have been talking about is the nature of biology on a MACRO scale, not individual.

An individual exception as a medical disorder, such as lack of libido due to brain chemistry, an infertility disorder, is an exception to the RULE of a biological drive, and a species perpetuating itself.

An exception is just an exception, it doesn't deny the existence of the rule at large.

The encyclopedic definition of biological life:
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Life, living matter and, as such, matter that shows certain attributes that include responsiveness, growth, metabolism, energy transformation, and reproduction.


Life is about more than one generation, inherently. Without a macro drive for reproduction, everything living is bound for quick extinction.


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Being tied down to a house and a work place "in the world" rather than out in the black, has it's own issues, and even non-monetary costs.


True. On the other hand, there's also much safer options for spaceships lifestyles than a fifty year old Firefly that's been taken apart and put back together half a dozen times, and there's also safer jobs than what they do. Though, I admit having fugitives aboard does limit their options a little.



I didn't say they would always have the same ship, or that the whole crew would stay on board until their dying day... It just seems like some of the characters are in the life that suits them, and I would include Zoe and Mal. It would take a lot for them to depart from that life, and I am not sure a child would be that impetus, rather than raising that child in the environment that they currently enjoy.

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I think she is more in tune with assessing danger, and knowing what is possible through dangerous situations than most.


I think she's more likely to dismiss dangerous situations as "not dangerous." It's fairly common among veterans. Imagine Simon (or Wash's) reaction to a situation versus Zoe's reaction to a situation. One of the two is more desensitized to violence and danger.



I don't think so. I think she knows exactly what danger she is capable of handling, where there might be traps, and what situations are un-tenable.

You don't survive a war by being a bad judge of strategy and tactics, or sizing up situations carelessly.

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I disagree with, and that is the pin-point of where I was wondering if you are ascribing your own thoughts as those of Zoe Washburne.


Hey. What did I say about motives? We were going to leave that behind. What I am has NOTHING TO DO with the conversation we're having.



I was just identifying the LOCATION of my previous point of contention, and identifying it as my ONLY previous point of contention. It was edification, not accusation.

You seem to be quick to take this quite personally.

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She knows the fear of death, and is in touch with mortality. She knows about circumstance, and survival. What she has gotten past, is FEAR of those things.


Um. Not Good?

Consider this for a second. She is going to be a mother. The continuing life of her child is going to be foremost on her mind.

What does "not being afraid of death" imply? Her dying? The child dying? That's really, REALLY bad.

That's why when she was having that conversation with Wash, she was not showing sound judgment or reasoning.

She gets better later, and post movie, she might be emotionally ready. We'll have to see how it goes and what she does. Though I've seen some post movie stuff that brings up other concerns for me as well - she seems to consciously be trying to be safer, but on the other hand, she has some troubling expectations for her kid.



The continuing life of her crew and herself are already foremost on her mind. FEAR that debilitates is not tactically advised. Knowing death, and fearing it analogous to respecting it and actively, tactically avoid it, which she does expertly, is one thing.

What most people think of as a fear of death, to the point of panic, and inability to judge a situation quickly and effectively is how most people who have not FACED death, do... and that is far more vulnerable, and is definitely NOT Zoe. I think that clear-headedness in the face of danger makes her a more effective protector, not a more reckless person, nor a more panicky person.

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But it sure seemed like making sure that the shuttles weren't over-loaded, and that the others had the best chances of survival was on his mind... and that leaving serenity, possibly permanently as she was on the drift... was not something he felt the need to do, and that he had no where else he'd rather go, even to save his own life.


He didn't have another option. There was nothing around they could go to before life support ran out. They were in the middle of nowhere in space. He figured they were all dead, he just wasn't saying it (except to Inara).



He gave them the best chance to survive, and be found. He didn't jeopardize it with his own oxygen load, and he was fully prepared that even if the others were found, the time it would take to get back would mean he might not survive. The shuttles were going further than Serenity, and Mal was as self sacrificing as ever.

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The question is, would the risk be worth it in Zoe's eyes? Keep in mind, she just lost her husband, she might be rethinking the safety of Serenity herself.



Perhaps, but as I mentioned... even after the Miranda incident... and after the death of her husband in that very cockpit... she's still there. That would have been a window for her to leave.

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That life-changing experience IS the Serenity that you never ever leave. You learn to live there, accept that experience, and move-on in that new normal and make the best of survival afterward. The best of survival afterward, is the ship Serenity, and keeping her flying, analogous to their own survival.


But this, I don't[agree with]. There's a reason Joss chose to name Serenity after the battlefield. That does not suggest to me that Serenity the ship is Mal or Zoe's escape from Serenity the battlefield. They're stuck in a violent lifestyle after the war. They're still IN the war, really. Mal says "war's over, we're all just folk now," and I don't really believe him.

That's how I interpret that line.



What about my previous comment suggested that Zoe and Mal ever escape Serenity? Everyone on the rim is stuck in a potentially violent lifestyle after the war, if they stay far enough away from the alliance so not to be oppressed by it.

What you say, and what I said are not disparate, philosophically. But rest assured, Mal and Zoe are happier to keep flying than they were during the week they spent starving on the battle-field. Their life now is much more satisfying and livable than that war was, even if the echoes of the war never fully quiet.

And Mal is right... the war is over, and they're all just folk. And what he is doing is not fighting a war, and that is something 'new' that Inara had not seen onboard ship. They don't escape that part of their past, but that doesn't mean they continue to live like active duty soldiers.

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A veteran cannot de-personalize death, and has a distinctly different take on survival than someone who hasn't been through that crucible.


True. But there are good and bad ways that a person can deal with it. Mal and Zoe aren't even TRYING to deal with it. They're trying to bury it and run away from it, and it comes back to bite them in their life choices and the dangers of their work. The danger of their work isn't nonexistent, but it's acceptable to them because of how they changed - which is unhealthy. It's courting death.




Life on the rim is rough for everybody. The miners get debilitating diseases, the indentured mudders get trodden on... colonists on other moons have supply issues left and right... and petty little tyrants who oppress anyone they can, and take what they want with near impunity.

Life aboard ship is fairly calm in the black some of the time... in the world is where they get into the most trouble.

Death is a fact of life, especially on the rim, no getting around it. It wouldn't be any less safe if they were trying to trade solely on the ground, without a ship.

It is acceptable, because this is how it is.

What is "trying to deal with it?" Why would they still be talking about what is past? Can it help put food on the table, or cargo in the hold? They court death because death is there, and they might be better equipped than most to keep slipping past whomever is carrying their particular bullet, because of their experience, and their ability to face what happens, and not cower from it in fear. People without experience dealing with death, and knowing how to survive tend to panic, shut down, or give up, or give in to a government that wants control.

What is it that the broadcast intro has Book saying.... A ship can get you work... A gun can help you keep it.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 11:28 AM

BYTEMITE


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Life, living matter and, as such, matter that shows certain attributes that include responsiveness, growth, metabolism, energy transformation, and reproduction.



Life is about more than one generation, inherently. Without a macro drive for reproduction, everything living is bound for quick extinction.



You have to remember that our conception of life is rather anthropocentric (also individualistic). There may be organisms out there who are effectively immortal. There may be a species of automatons out there with artificial intelligence and sapience that were made by a squishy creator race. There might be colony organisms that are constantly dying off, but because their cells are always dividing, they're effectively immortal. There might be a hive mind species where the loss of an individual is no more a concern than the loss of a cell. We may someday repair the flaw in transcriptase that causes humans to age.

And lastly, on a chemical level, matter is conserved. You die, but your components are broken down and remade into something else.

So basically, scientists themselves have no idea how to define life. They argue over it quite a bit.

Opposition: I give you viruses. And from a fictional perspective, elves.

Discuss.

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It just seems like some of the characters are in the life that suits them, and I would include Zoe and Mal. It would take a lot for them to depart from that life


Like a bullet.

Sorry.

I dunno. I just think that there's a such thing as unacceptable risk. We might have fun watching things constantly get worse on a television show or in a movie, but ultimately I can't really agree their lives suit them because I really think they're going to get themselves killed at the rate they're going.

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I think she knows exactly what danger she is capable of handling, where there might be traps, and what situations are un-tenable.

You don't survive a war by being a bad judge of strategy and tactics, or sizing up situations carelessly.



You don't survive civilian life by constantly seeing it as (or making it into) a battle situation, either.

There's alternatives, really.

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Knowing death, and fearing it analogous to respecting it and actively, tactically avoid it, which she does expertly, is one thing.


But they haven't. Two of their crew have died, because they've gotten into situations that were too dangerous to expect survival.

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I think that clear-headedness in the face of danger makes her a more effective protector, not a more reckless person, nor a more panicky person.


Perhaps. But it also makes her more inclined to walk into a situation, sure she'll survive, then to avoid it entirely.

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The shuttles were going further than Serenity


But still not really close enough to anywhere they could land or be picked up. They all knew they were probably going to die. The shuttles don't have a system to regenerate carbon dioxide back into oxygen. They have a store of oxygen on board, and fuel, but they're only short range shuttles and would run out as well. At best, if they hadn't gone back to Serenity, Mal gave them an extra day to live. And as it explicitly said in the episode, that still wasn't enough time for them to reach any kind of safety.

The other ship happening to be out there was lucky, and not something any of them expected.

Mal stayed behind for all those reasons you said, but again, that doesn't suggest it's because he'd rather go down with his ship than anything else. He simply didn't have any other options.

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she's still there. That would have been a window for her to leave.


And as I said, she was helping them fix the ship and get emotionally back on their feet. We don't know that she'll stay.

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But rest assured, Mal and Zoe are happier to keep flying than they were during the week they spent starving on the battle-field.


That's not exactly a high bar, which is kind of my point. Yeah, of course it's better than dying from sepsis and amputating limbs and eating maggots. Is it the best life they could be living? Probably not. Is it a healthy life? probably not. Could they try for something more? Yes, Zoe did, though she might have not gone far enough. Are they so damaged that they can't see the opportunity for a better life in front of them, let alone chose it? I think so.

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And what he is doing is not fighting a war, and that is something 'new' that Inara had not seen onboard ship. They don't escape that part of their past, but that doesn't mean they continue to live like active duty soldiers.


They're pretty much explicitly breaking alliance law and ducking alliance soldiers and law enforcement in order to be defiant against the alliance. I don't really know what else you could call it.

Also, Zoe became a Dust Devil after the war was over. It basically meant she picked up a gun after she got out of prison camp and kept right on shooting. Only she started attacking non-military targets too.

Presumably she started following Mal again after he came around or showed up or whatever because unlike the chain of command in the Dust Devils, he wasn't ordering attacks on civilians. But it's still a form of fighting.

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What is "trying to deal with it?" Why would they still be talking about what is past? Can it help put food on the table, or cargo in the hold? They court death because death is there, and they might be better equipped than most to keep slipping past whomever is carrying their particular bullet, because of their experience, and their ability to face what happens, and not cower from it in fear.


It's more than just there. They go actively seeking it out and cultivating danger. They deliberately make choices to keep their lives hard. Even after getting a big take, Mal will spend it all on an engine upgrade, rather than give people their cut of the money and go their separate ways to live their lives on easy street. Those choices led directly to the crew being in a hard way at the beginning of the movie, which led them to an inescapable situation where two of their crew members died, and a number of their friends and contacts too.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 2:03 PM

BROWNCOATMIDWESTERNER


Reavers could have hit them at almost any time, and likely done a whole lot more damage than killing Wash, if they came up unexpectedly. Zoe talked about the order in which the Reavers operate, if they're very, very lucky.

Reavers could have hit them if they lived in a settlement, like the one they were robbing at the beginning of the movie. The broad wave in the bar said that the whole settlement was wiped out, except for some people that MAL put in the vault, because he had the presence of mind to react quickly, and not freeze up.

The Operative is responsible for Book's death, and everyone at Haven, and every one of their contacts. They protected River, as they would protect any of their crew, a child of a crew-member included. They went back for Simon and River like "Big Damn Heroes", before that, too.

And Mal made it clear that the issue that was burning up River Tam's brain, and bringing an operative up against them, was worth dying for, several times, and gave them an out before they left Haven. Zoe was appalled at turning their "home" into an abomination... to make a suicide run, then. If she had a kid in tow, she very well may have stayed behind on Haven rather than making that run.

If the whole outer rim of the 'verse is rough... and there is always an Operative, or a Rance Burgess, or some other thing acting the threat, would you not prefer to stick with people who will go to the mat for you, and your child?

And she said, she isn't so afraid of those circumstances so not to have the child she wants some day.

And being on the drift with a busted ship doesn't do anybody any good for getting their share of the next job. Expenses before profits. That may seem callous to the people wanting to get paid... but a repeat of the situation from "Out of Gas" would be a bad thing... and you have to buy parts when you can, before they break. Kaylee waited on that part for months, before it broke, and put everyone's life at risk. People can get by eating a little less and conserving a little more. IF the ship breaks again, it is a much more fundamental problem.

I am not sure we're ever going to convince each other... but the discussion makes for an interesting day.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 2:16 PM

BYTEMITE


Well, some quick points. Blue Sun is in a part of the system far from the core. Reavers have only been confirmed to hit planets in the Blue Sun system and one time in the Georgia system (nearest to the Blue Sun system), around Whitefall. The other three systems so far are pretty safe, excepting the usual humanity and riff raff.

The Operative is responsible, yes, but choices they made put them on that path. Things could have easily been averted. They were actually rich not once but TWICE between the series and and the movie, well enough they could have retired and bought their own moons. In that case a busted ship doesn't really come up, but Mal decided to go for a bunch of improvements and remodeling instead, and the other time they had less of a choice but they still ended up having to lose it all. So except for Book and Inara they were all still on the ship when things went downhill, and it conceivably could have gone another way.

Though to be fair Book and Inara weren't on the ship, but dragged into it anyway by mere association. But then again, the rest of the crew might not have been IN the bar to have River see the subliminal message and reveal herself if they'd played their cards right.

It's a tragedy. And good dramatic tension. And a tragedy.

But yeah, it has been good talking. Sorry if I was a little too confrontational earlier.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 2:54 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Still seeing both sides of the Zoe debate, is it better to raise a child on Serenity or off it? I think that the only thing that would potentially prepel Zoe to settle on a planet is the fact that Wash died. If Wash was still alive I have no doubt that they would have stayed, at least for a while, on Serenity. But with Wash['s death Zoe may feel a sense of needing to plan a safe life for her child, safer than Serenity life. If Wash hadn't died I'd be siding completely with MidWesterner, but Wash's death would give Zoe pause to evaluate what would be safest for the child in her womb. I can see her choosing either way of life for child rearing at the point of post BDM.

Byte a chara, I don't understand why you're taking this biological drive thing so seriously, you are being very sensative about it, uncommonly sensative, especially since its a scientific concept and doesn't imply anything about you personally.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 8:23 PM

EBFIDDLER


I was interested in joining this discussion, about twenty posts or so earlier, before it got quite so contentious!

I agree with much of what Browncoatmidwesterner has written, and find the Bytemite has made some valid points as well. (I'm so gosh darn agreeable. You can see that I absolutely stink at debates.)

I think Zoe would make a good mother. I think that while some people are "natural" parents, many people do not find the parenting side of themselves until they are faced with it. That is, they become a parent and learn how to parent at the same time. Elements of character that they displayed pre-child can be seen in their parenting style. Zoe has a number of characteristics that would be very positive for parenting, among them warmth of heart (we saw that with Wash), a sense of humor (very dry, but definitely present), self-discipline (does she ever), loyalty to family (very strong loyalty). I can see her doing a very good job at it.

Would raising a child on Serenity be dangerous? I ask: relative to what? It's not inherently more dangerous than raising a child on any spaceship, and we know Zoe herself was born (and most likely raised) "vesselside." Why would she think raising a child on a spaceship to be unacceptable? I grant that if Serenity's crew were to continue to engage in risky, dangerous work (stealing for Niska, anyone?), then, yes, things could be dangerous and unsuitable for raising a family. But as Inara pointed out (also in Train Job), not all their work is illegal. It's just that the bulk of their routine shipments were not detailed on the show, but mentioned in passing only. (Possibly because "Space Truck" makes for less exciting television than "Thrilling Heroics.") I'd also argue that Mal's sense of responsibility for the people of his crew is very high, and that would include Zoe's baby if she were to have one. He would modify his choice of work in order to protect his most vulnerable crew member. I think it's also worth keeping in mind that, Mal already tried the experiment of leaving his family behind on a supposedly "safe" planet while he went off and did something risky (fight in a war), and he lost EVERYTHING--Shadow was destroyed. Zoe knows this, and (in the absence of Wash) Mal's argument that no planet is safe, and at least on Serenity they can defend and help each other, would carry some weight with Zoe.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 9:31 PM

PLATONIST


Okay, not siding with anyone, just bringing up some dissonance I have about Zoe's impending parenthood.

The logistics of Zoe having an infant/baby/ child on Serenity without Wash’s support has never seemed very realistic to me, although I think she will be a fine mother, and yes, I know they have a family thing going.

But, Zoe's role on the ship has always been clearly defined, she's a fighter, she's Mal's chosen back-up. My question has always been who watches the baby while Zoe's out working? Do they hire Super Nanny, if something happens to Zoe (she's in a dangerous line of work) are there designated members of the crew who adopt the baby? Will Zoe continue to watch Mal’s back at the expense of leaving her child parentless?

If Mal thought Zoe’s relationship with Wash caused loyalty conflict, how will he feel about a vulnerable baby when considering jobs he needs to do to keep flying? Mal relies a lot on Zoe for actions that aren’t conducive for her to be the resident Mommy on the ship, they’re not married, nor is it his child, she still takes orders from him, it’s her job…I dunno, it’s an awkward situation at best, now, if Zoe was Captain of her own ship…

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 4:43 AM

EBFIDDLER


I would have to agree with Platonist, IF the status quo were maintained. If Zoe were to continue as fighter, primarily; if Mal never grew past the point he was at when he and Wash clashed over Zoe's loyalty; if Zoe were to be considered in isolation, a single mother, widowed with no family. In that case, yes, it's very hard to see a baby (anybody's baby) fitting into life aboard Serenity.

But I hold that a fundamental element of the Firefly ’Verse is that there is a capacity for change. I think Joss Whedon showed that himself, in his willingness to kill characters off and to introduce new elements. Situations can change, and characters can evolve.

We could argue til the cows come home about whether these changes would tend toward a situation suitable for raising a child aboard Serenity, or against such. We'll never know what Joss intended in this regard, although we can guess not, simply because the realities of TV production make it difficult to portray small children characters. I do think the elements are there to make it possible (I'm not saying likely, and I'm not saying Joss would have done it this way) for the situation to evolve such that a child aboard Serenity might not be impossible. Zoe is not just a fighter, she is the ship's first officer. A first officer's job is not inherently incompatible with parenting. She's Mal's back-up, but back-up for what? It depends on what kinds of work he chooses. Does it have to involve shooting? Maybe not. Yes, single parenting is difficult, but the view in the U.S. tends to be slanted towards viewing the parent/child unit in isolation. In isolation, yes one parent vs two parents is a steep ratio. But in many parts of the world, raising a child is an activity engaged in by an extended family, and extended family minus one vs extended family with that one is not so steep a ratio. It's possible to see Zoe as being in a very good situation on Serenity regarding extended family, vs what she would be planetside among strangers.

Anyway, the way I view it, that's what fanfiction is for: take the same canon starting point and let different authors take it different directions ("nine people seeing nine different things," anyone?). One will have it evolve so that Zoe has a child and stays aboard Serenity and the crew acts as her extended family as they take safer jobs with less risk. So long as the evolution to that point makes sense, it won't bother me as a reader. Another author will have it evolve so that Zoe cannot have a child aboard Serenity, the crew takes riskier jobs, perhaps they even break up or die: this is fine too, again so long as the author reaches that darker place in a way that makes sense.

I think the answer to Bytemite's original question depends entirely on which elements of canon one decides to emphasize.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 5:48 AM

BYTEMITE


EB:

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I was interested in joining this discussion, about twenty posts or so earlier, before it got quite so contentious!


>_> Sorry.

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I think Zoe would make a good mother.


Actually, I agree based on that definition. But she might make some choices that I would consider to be a mistake, because I think they might carry with them greater risk of a negative outcome. I also question some of her stated expectations about the kid in the comic books. But neither of those make someone a bad mother, that just means someone makes questionable choices. If it turns out all right, I don't have any grounds to stand on. If it doesn't turn out all right, I'd probably feel sympathetic.

I'm hoping that the new comic coming out might shed some light on precisely what it is she decides to do. Right now we have the movie, which suggests she stays, and the current comic books, which might suggest she goes.

On the other hand, Zoe could always try asking the resident psychic what SHE thinks is safe. Provided River wasn't speaking River-ese, whatever choice Zoe makes based on River's input would presumably be the best possible outcome.

Though it's possible that might not be saying much, because for River the best possible outcome might be "some people die" versus "everyone dies." I suspect that might be what happened with Wash and Book.

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It's not inherently more dangerous than raising a child on any spaceship, and we know Zoe herself was born (and most likely raised) "vesselside."


Well... Wash has also worked a lot of jobs on ships, and seems to think that Serenity has been less safe than many of those due to management. His viewpoint is also valid, and worth considering.

However, it's also possible he made up that objection because he didn't want his biological kid having two daddies: Papa Wash and Papa Mal.

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Why would she think raising a child on a spaceship to be unacceptable?


It would be interesting to know more about Zoe's upbringing, because considering the way she is, well, I'm not so sure that the war is Zoe's only traumatic experience, or even THE traumatic experience. Something in Zoe's past made her pretty scary during the war too.

I don't think it's IMPOSSIBLE to raise a kid in the Firefly verse vesselside. I'm just not sure it's a good idea on Serenity, and I'm also not sure that Zoe is really the model of a good and loving upbringing vesselside.

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But as Inara pointed out (also in Train Job), not all their work is illegal. It's just that the bulk of their routine shipments were not detailed on the show, but mentioned in passing only. ...Mal's argument that no planet is safe, and at least on Serenity they can defend and help each other, would carry some weight with Zoe.


True. I suppose it's ultimately kind of a balance.

Although I suspect that if the characters could see past the fourth wall and knew that JOSS WHEDON was writing their lives, they'd ask her to take the baby and run before something really sadistic happened to both of them.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 5:49 AM

BYTEMITE


Riona: Just because something is a traditional/majority view, or because it seems right, doesn't mean it is factual.

The statement "ALL people have a drive to procreate" is not scientific fact. You can't have a universal or inherent anything if there are exceptions. If a universal statement is made, and exceptions are found, that universal statement becomes false.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syllogism

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A categorical syllogism consists of three parts: the major premise, the minor premise and the conclusion.

Each part is a categorical proposition, and each categorical proposition contains two categorical terms.[4] In Aristotle, each of the premises is in the form "All A are B," "Some A are B", "No A are B" or "Some A are not B", where "A" is one term and "B" is another. "All A are B," and "No A are B" are termed universal propositions; "Some A are B" and "Some A are not B" are termed particular propositions. More modern logicians allow some variation. Each of the premises has one term in common with the conclusion: in a major premise, this is the major term (i.e., the predicate of the conclusion); in a minor premise, it is the minor term (the subject) of the conclusion. For example:

Major premise: All men are mortal.
Minor premise: All Greeks are men.
Conclusion: All Greeks are mortal.



The unfortunate implication of the statement "All humans have the drive to procreate" is:

Major premise: All humans have the drive to procreate.
Minor premise: Bytemite does not have the drive to procreate.
Conclusion: Bytemite is not human.

According to Logical Conjunction, if a conclusion is false, then one or both of the premises is false. The premise about me I know is true. So that leaves the major premise.

If Midwesterner had said "Most humans have the drive to procreate", we would not be having a problem here. I recognize Midwesterner did NOT intend this, but I'm trying to explain why the statement is contentious. Ultimately I'd like to see that premise abandoned because it is not necessary for this discussion. Whether or not Zoe chooses to procreate has nothing to do with a conversation about whether or not all humans have the drive to procreate.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 6:11 AM

BYTEMITE


Platonist: Depending on whether or not Inara stays and what exactly that exchange between them means,

Quote:

My question has always been who watches the baby while Zoe's out working? Do they hire Super Nanny, if something happens to Zoe (she's in a dangerous line of work) are there designated members of the crew who adopt the baby? Will Zoe continue to watch Mal’s back at the expense of leaving her child parentless?


I imagine it'd be Inara who'll end up watching the baby, because I imagine after something like Miranda (assuming she stays), she's going to end up wanting to be a lot closer to the crew and not going off on her own so much. So she'll be around, with not much to do but worry about them while they're off on a job, so she might as well.

Plus, it's not like she doesn't already watch after "the kids" (River, Kaylee, and Simon) while the other crew are off doing something dangerous as it is.

Of course, this would probably lead to another Mal and Inara huge argument, but even after that, she'd still step up.

And if Zoe were to fall, I guess it would be between Simon and Kaylee if they showed themselves to be a responsible and stable relationship, or Mal and Inara. Zoe wouldn't have any qualms like I have about Mal's judgment, and she'd think it's pretty funny watching Mal sputtering about being paired up with Inara like that, but on the other hand Zoe might have some reasonable concerns about how much the two of them fight.

Good points though.

And as always, I like the Zoe with her own ship idea.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 6:23 AM

BROWNCOATMIDWESTERNER


You are taking your simple logic far too literally.

All life forms have a drive to procreate, it is a definition of life. Even if you don't have a child, your CELLS DIVIDE. If they didn't you would die very quickly.

Potentially, not all of your cells divide before they die off. That still doesn't disprove that biological cells replicate as a rule, and are inherently driven by the fact that they are alive, to divide by mitosis, if they survive long enough to do so.

Just as the cells in your body multiply, a group of like organisms, what science calls a species, procreates. Some asexually, like Mitosis, some sexually with two DNA sources for a distinct genetic offspring.

A species would die off very quickly if the members of that species didn't reproduce, as a rule. A biological drive exists to compel a species to continue beyond one generation.

Over-riding those drives on a species-wide, eco-system wide scale... brings extinction. The people on Miranda are an example of that. The Reavers will likely make themselves extinct for other reasons associated with violence and cannibalism. Mal told the Operative that he had no idea how true it was that innocent people were dying in the air. I take that to mean, both a reference to Wash particularly... and also to the reavers, who were once innocent citizens on Miranda themselves, who were victimized by the parliament thinking they could make people better by manipulation.

Manipulation that disrupted the natural course of life, unbalanced it, and destroyed it, whether killing those citizens directly by shutting them down, or turning them into monsters that will kill others and themselves, or will need to be put down. That is why the 'verse needed to know what happened.

Sidebar: I have been libertarian (constitutional-conservative/federalist-in-the-Jeffersonian-sense) and in favor of small government for a long time. Well before Firefly. and Mal's speech to his crew on Miranda, is one of the best concise examples of libertarianism, EVER. I have no material to support my theory, but I think the libertarian anti-big-government sentiment threaded throughout Firefly was instrumental in getting it cancelled, and quickly. Hollywood is Liberal, not Libertarian./sidebar


One person, or a small minority in the population of a species. doesn't have a statistical impact on the propagation of the species, so exceptions for ANY reason, aren't significant to the species as a whole. We are all just dust in the wind, dude.

That is why your logic problem doesn't work, and doesn't really matter. The premise of your logic problem isn't accurate, as it doesn't allow for exception, where nature in reality has exceptions than can be identified, but don't statistically impact the species, nor changes the definition of the species, or biology as a whole.

Just because you feel a certain way, does not negate the obvious, demonstrable, provable in biology and sociology, and readily apparent drive to procreate in Humans, as well as any other species. Humans just happen to be sentient enough to control or even defy their urges, if they decide to, and are complex organisms.

With any complex organisms, errors can occur. Medicine calls them disorders, diseases, deformities, or mutations. I have some medical issues my own self. Again, it is a classification, and an edification, not a value-judgement or accusation.

Those exceptions don't disprove the rules of the human genome, nor the template of what a human consists of. Physiology is not a perfect template, and we aren't all perfect and un-injured clones of an ideal genome.

Major Premise: All life forms have a difinitive drive to procreate their species.
Supposition: Humans are alive.
Deduction: Humans have a drive to procreate their species.
Supposition: A particular human does not have the drive to procreate
Effect: A particular human does not procreate, but most others of the species do. The species as a whole is not drastically diminished.
Deduction: There are individual exceptions to the major premise as a rule, but individuals do not greatly impact the species as a whole, and do not disprove the major premise, nor the first deduction.



Well, my days of not caring about other people's opinions of me is certainly coming to a middle.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 6:49 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Well, my days of not caring about other people's opinions of me is certainly coming to a middle.


What are you talking about? This has nothing to do with my opinion of you. I don't even know you. I've never seen you around here before now.

Quote:

Even if you don't have a child, your CELLS DIVIDE. If they didn't you would die very quickly.


That's really not how cells in a multicellular organism work. A cell that does not stop dividing in a multicellular organism is called "cancer." Or "stem cells." Or "bacteria" (we're not exactly homogenously human).

Also, you're the one who said "All humans have the drive to procreate" and then you also said "procreation is making babies" and "humans aren't asexual."

Quote:

Procreation is a strictly cooperative, hetero (as in different genders) sexual (as in half-DNA re-combinant reproduction) biological function, and it IS a biological drive. That isn't an opinion, that is science, and just flat truth.

Without a biological drive to reproduce ingrained in people as a rule, (which Pax diminishes and eliminates, evidently) humans DIE OUT, as a civilization and as a species. Maybe there are individual people who are exceptions, but Zoe wouldn't be one, by her comments which define this discussion.

Humans are not asexual self-replicating organisms, and same-sex pairings biologically can't reproduce... so having, as in CREATING a CHILD is distinctly "heterocentric."



(Each paragraph has a sentence that is false. The first paragraph has two. The second paragraph might also have two, depending on whether certain technology has been tested successfully)

It's not an argument about whether cells divide or whether species replace deaths to avoid extinction. It's an argument about whether All humans have a drive to procreate (make BABIES), and you knew full well when you first said it that you weren't talking about on a cellular level, and you weren't talking about on a species level.

The Pax didn't stop their CELLS from dividing. The Pax didn't kill off the entire human species, just the ones on Miranda. And the Pax is certainly not MY issue.

Much appreciated if you'd stop bringing the Pax up, because that's particularly offensive.

Quote:

Just because you feel a certain way, does not negate the obvious, demonstrable, provable in biology and sociology, and readily apparent drive to procreate in Humans, as well as any other species.


Uh. YES. According to the definition of "procreate" you were using at first, it DOES. Unless, by your contention, I am not HUMAN. And maybe neuron cells aren't alive (they don't divide at all), and maybe homosexual mallard drakes are not DUCKS.

All you have to say is "MOST humans have the drive to procreate (as in MAKE BABIES)" and it would be correct and no one would have any problem with it.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 7:21 AM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Who's going to watch the baby? Well it depends on who River is with today. If she's with the job pullers then I'm not sure, maybe Kaylee or Inara, but if she's on the ship and someone is looking after her there ... still Kaylee and Inara, and Simon too of course. Since Inara may or may not continue companioning we can assume it will be either Simon or Kaylee. If someone is looking after River aboard ship they can take care of the baby and River can help too. If River is with others pulling a job then the same people will still be aboardship so they'll look after the baby. Also one can run errands with a baby in toe. One can run errands while looking after River too, I think that would happen more post BDM since I suspect that the list of people after the Tams will be at least a little shorter. The more things River gets to do, errands with Kaylee and Simon, jobs with Mal and Jayne when she's lucid enough and wants to, the better. Its important for her to have lots of interesting things to do. But this thread isn't about her, sorry for the sidetrack.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 8:02 AM

EBFIDDLER


Who's going to watch the baby? I completely agree with Riona here. A ship filled with responsible adults, not all of whom are engaged in the same work Zoe is at any given time? This is a parent's dream. No need to hire supernanny, not when your extended family is available. Also, kids learn from being taken around on the parents' daily business. Zoe would carry her tot in a frontpack or backpack, on routine business both around the ship and planetside. She would not take the child along on the kind of business involving weapons! Having a baby doesn't mean you are confined to your house.
Child-proofing Serenity, on the other hand...

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