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    How Lower Decks Always Finds The Comedy In Star Trek’s Darkest Moments

    This author has always admired the Ferengi on “Star Trek,” at least when they were written as dignified and principled characters. Quark (Armin Shimerman) on “Deep Space Nine” is one of the show’s best characters, as he is intelligent, shrewd, and willing to stand up for what he believes in. Being a Ferengi, however, Quark just happens to believe in the opposite of what “Star Trek” typically stands for. The Ferengi’s worship of money informs every aspect of their lives. They charge people to come into their homes. Their holiest book is a list of 285 aphorisms devoted to acquisition. Even their afterlife involves an entry fee. 

    Throughout “Deep Space Nine,” Quark, and other Ferengi, were willing to lie, cheat, and steal to acquire more wealth. They exploited their workers, skimmed wages, and overcharged for shoddy goods. When one sees, however, that Ferengi are doing this as a matter of honor and not to be conniving, an element of respect enters the equation. I don’t like what Quark did, but I admire that he abided strongly and vocally to his personal devotion to money. Integrity is all. 

    So it does make sense that the Ferengi war memorial would be less about the fallen soldiers or the murdered civilians and more about the waste of money. A Ferengi wouldn’t necessarily be moved by the death of a long-ago fallen soldier. When Ferengi die, they are cremated, pieces of them are sealed in containers, and the containers are sold at bars and restaurants. A corpse is just a trinket to purchase. The money itself is the important thing. 

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