Ferengi Greed and the United States of America

The 34th Rule - Armin Shimerman, David R. George III

Well I am finally back in Australia and I now have some time to actually comment on this book that I finished on the plane flight from Hong Kong to Australia. For some reason the plane flight to Australia seems to take the most out of me despite the plane flight from Europe being that main contributor to my jet lag. Then again, I quite like jet lag simply because I means that I have just been to Europe. Also, I can't say that the annoyance of the flight into Australia has anything to do we me coming back home because I like living in Australia and I like living in Melbourne, particularly since, out of all the cities that I have been to, Melbourne has by far and away the best trams.

As for this book, well, I suspect that it is going to be difficult for people to get their hands on this book these days since it is now out of print and can really only be found on Ebay or in a second hand bookshop (and generally getting books from a second hand bookshop can be a very hit or miss affair). Mind you, I found this book in such a shop and the only reason that I bought it was because it was about Ferengi, and even though it started off quite dry, and I winced at the fact that the book was written (or part written) by an actor (Armin Shimmerman, who plays Quark in Deep Space Nine) it did seem to pick up okay towards the end. I can't say it was engrossing, and I definitely won't say that it is literature, but what it is is simply an extra Deep Space 9 episode for those who want more than the seven seasons worth of episodes that are out there.

The interesting thing about Ferengi is that they are entirely driven by profit, and the whole idea of consumer protection is anathema to them. However, it is strange that this series, which is pretty much produced in America, has the main characters, namely the Federation, look down upon the Ferengi for their motivations, when in reality greed is the predominant motivation for the American culture. In fact, the whole concept of what makes up the Star Trek universe seems to be at odds with the culture that produces it. Maybe, in a way, there is an underlying consciousness within the American culture that sees the pursuit of profit and power to actually be wrong, but are so caught up in the pursuit that they are unable to break away from it. Also, it generally has less to do with making money for the sake of making money and more to do with making money to live a comfortable lifestyle. The reason that the Federation frowns on this is simply because they already have their comfortable lifestyles so they no longer need to pursue wealth for the sake of that lifestyle. However, lifestyle only plays a second fiddle in the Ferengi world as it appears that they seek profit simply for the sake of making profit.

 

I can't say that this will be the last of the Star Trek books that I will read as there are others out there than I wouldn't mind getting my hands on (such as The Battle of Betazed) however, as mentioned, it can be difficult finding them as they all tend to be out of print, and I suspect that they are not writing many more of the books. Further, these books are generally not considered to be canon, though they do try to fit in with the series. However, as mentioned (I think) previously, the one thing that I found annoying with Deep Space Nine is that when they took the final fight against the Dominion, there was no sign of Captain Picard. One wonders why such a well known and experienced member of Starfleet is not at the front lines fighting the war. Maybe it has more to do with not having another actor upstage Benjamin Sisko.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/470316995