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What I Was Doing: And Why It’s Captain Janeway’s Fault

Having not really updated this site in several months, returning to writing things on the internet requires a little explanation. I was doing things, you see. Some of those things involved staring at a screen, but not typing words onto it. I have watched many spectacles, including but not limited to the entire second season of Orange Is The New Black. (Oh my god the artistry of that series is just brilliant, between the phenomenal writing and the characters who ranged from adorable to ‘I really want you to die’,) but more on that another time. Right now, I’m talking Janeway.

There’s a lot of fetishization of Janeway for being a kindly, calm, controlled maternal sort of figure. A female leader with a talent for complicated coiffures and proper protocol. A stickler for the rules. I really didn’t think I was going to like Janeway. Then I watched a little more and realized she’s actually somewhat unhinged and about as diplomatic as thermite.

Janeway in her natural habitat contemplating something certifiably insane.

Janeway in her natural habitat contemplating something certifiably insane.

Here’s the brilliance of Janeway: she really doesn’t care what you think. At all. At first she seems like a super empathetic cookie bearing maternal type, but that all sort of goes by the wayside the minute she does, well, anything at all.

Janeway does whatever the hell Janeway wants. Usually that involves piloting the ship into obvious danger, or telling advanced hostile civilizations to go fuck themselves. She’s not afraid to make enemies and if someone doesn’t agree with her decisions, they are kindly invited to take a nice long drink of shut the hell up.

My favorite example of this is an episode which begins with Janeway pondering her position as captain, spying a space anomaly and ordering Voyager to blast a way inside it. Why? Because she thinks there might be a power source inside which would allow her to replicate some decent coffee. Priorities.
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