Season 5, Episode 20 “Rules of Acquisition” (DS9) with Cassandra Rose Clarke

Slip on your lobe enhancers because we’re learning the “Rules of Acquisition”!

Author and educator Cassandra Rose Clarke joins the show this week to discuss an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in which Quark gets a lesson in Ferengi inequality. When Grand Nagus Zek wants to expand Alliance trade into the Gamma Quadrant, he picks Quark as his front man. But when Quark picks a female Ferengi posing as a male as his partner, he’ll learn an uncomfortable truth: that females have the lobes for business, too!

The Ferengi went from weird, whip-wielding cavemen to sophisticated and complex players on the global stage and their resulting story potential increased exponentially. Through their seemingly ludicrous society of oppression and obsession with wealth, the writers behind Star Trek were given a foil for the egalitarian and moneyless Federation and a way to comment on modern American sentiment and late-stage capitalism. On this episode, we discuss the stark realities of the Ferengi worldview and Ferengi society, the heroism and courage of a tragic character like Pel, violence as an economic tool, the way that capital beats even the explorers to uncharted territory, the assumed problematic nature of the Ferengi’s portrayal, and the ways in which the federation might deal with “unenlightened” cultures.

We also discuss the all-age appeal of Trek, namedropping the Dominion, How to Succeed in Business by Crossdressing, the perspective of a 900 year lifespan, the “Zeroth Directive”, the LGBTQ+ friendly future of the Federation, anarcho-capitalism hold the “capital”, the transparent aluminum ceiling, ear pills, wingman Dax, gettin’ the yips, and tulaberries. Lots of tulaberries.

All this and Wallace Shawn, too!

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Listen to “Season 5, Episode 20 “Rules of Acquisition” (DS9) with Cassandra Rose Clarke” on Spreaker.

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