GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Children on Serenity - practicable?

POSTED BY: AGENTROUKA
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 16:10
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:34 AM

AGENTROUKA


It's a popular theme in fanfiction - not the kind I read, mind you - and it always confounds me, but I don't want to discuss it in the context of just fic, but rather in general.

Children on Serenity.

I just don't see it.

Babies. Toddlers. Primary school children. Pre-teens.

Sharp edges, steep drops, constant danger of the ship falling apart, buttons to push, ladders upon stairs upon rail-less catwalks.

Not to mention the crime and shooting and enemies and Reavers. Lack of solid education.

Everyone on that ship has an essential job that they can't just abandon to baby-watch 24/7, nor are they exactly flowing in cash in a way that would allow them to hire a nanny. Or a replacement for whoever turned parent.


Considering all that, WHAT is Zoe thinking??

Did she really grow up on a ship just like Serenity, or is she letting her desire for children cloud her mind to reality (and Wash's very reasonable objections)?

I can imagine ships with more settled lifestyles and less dangerous layout, with people who actually have the capacity to raise children - I imagine Zoe grew up on one like that. But Serenity? Just no.

Anyone less completely opposed to the idea than me?


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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 1:32 AM

SUPERFLUOUS


I think if the season were to continue (and we ignored the unfortunate events that occurred in the ‘Serenity’ movie), the prospect of a child or baby on the ship would have been inevitable.
After all, it was an adult show; and regardless of all the OH&S restraints on the ship, it would have added a new dimension to the series: Parenthood. I could just imagine it… ‘Five men, three women, a crazy girl and a baby’. We could ask Tom Selleck to guest star.
In addition it had already been done before on ‘Angel’ anyway with Connor (and Angel wasn’t exactly my first candidate for a father).

What ‘really’ would have been fun was if Jayne somehow got a whore pregnant and was left with the bastard (I’m not being mean with the language - its in the dictionary...really). That would have been a match made in heaven.

(Back to my point) True, it’s not exactly the greatest environment to raise a child in, but who are we to judge. Even in today’s modern times, people chose to bear and raise children through war, starvation and other monstrosities against humanity. As horrible and unimaginable the true world can be, there is never really an adequate time to have children. And if Mal had allowed it, events that followed would have been interesting (for the viewers sake).
BTW, Serenity is a cargo ship too, so it’s plausible to assume that the ship is capable of bearing toddlers.

But when all's said and done, my opinion is that: it’s not the manner of ‘where’ they were raised that’s truly important… but in the manner ‘how’.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 2:25 AM

AGENTROUKA


But even in places that have war, famine and disease, there is generally a physical environment that is "Earth Norm".

Serenity is closer to a jungle gym than that, and while you can carry around an infant in a sling all the time (theoretically), when a baby learns to crawl and walk, the environment really starts to matter.

"Angel", for all the craziness, took place in a city, a big roomy hotel, a home base, while all the action took place elsewhere, with people who had the time to take care of the kid.

Not to mention, it still ended badly.

Serenity, on the other hand, is often enough in the middle of the action, with no conveniently available babysitters at hand.


It's not that I hate babies or think that the show would necessarily suffer from exploring that aspect, but I do think that the lifestyle of the characters and the show itself would have to go a quite dramatic change in order to keep things "honest", without denying all the little practical problems that the ship itself and their lifestyle would pose.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 2:26 AM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Superfluous:
I think if the season were to continue (and we ignored the unfortunate events that occurred in the ‘Serenity’ movie), the prospect of a child or baby on the ship would have been inevitable.
After all, it was an adult show; and regardless of all the OH&S restraints on the ship, it would have added a new dimension to the series: Parenthood. I could just imagine it… ‘Five men, three women, a crazy girl and a baby’. We could ask Tom Selleck to guest star.
In addition it had already been done before on ‘Angel’ anyway with Connor (and Angel wasn’t exactly my first candidate for a father).

What ‘really’ would have been fun was if Jayne somehow got a whore pregnant and was left with the bastard (I’m not being mean with the language - its in the dictionary...really). That would have been a match made in heaven.

(Back to my point) True, it’s not exactly the greatest environment to raise a child in, but who are we to judge. Even in today’s modern times, people chose to bear and raise children through war, starvation and other monstrosities against humanity. As horrible and unimaginable the true world can be, there is never really an adequate time to have children. And if Mal had allowed it, events that followed would have been interesting (for the viewers sake).
BTW, Serenity is a cargo ship too, so it’s plausible to assume that the ship is capable of bearing toddlers.

But when all's said and done, my opinion is that: it’s not the manner of ‘where’ they were raised that’s truly important… but in the manner ‘how’.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:54 AM

SPACEANJL


This was the fun thing Joss set out to explore with Wash and Zoe, though. The impractical nature of the undertaking, given their lifestyle. But a cargo ship that just did legal transport jobs...that could have families aboard. There are probably whole ships run with a family crew (I have a picture of some of the river transports in China here, the ones with the kids all tied to a central post on the deck so they can't fall overboard.)

Incidentally, I am no fan of 'space-spawn'fic. But I can see the potential for some mighty fine rowing over the subject. As you say, the lifestyle would have to change dramatically...

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 8:32 AM

INDIGOSTARBLASTER


Assuming we're talking about the practicality of raising children, as opposed to whether it would make for good TV storytelling...

I'm guessing if someone on the ship were to have a baby and wanted to keep it, they would make it work, one way or another. Babies can be slung, playpens could be scattered throughout the work areas if mom or other caregiver needed to put baby/toddler down for a bit, and any non-grating floor could be fenced in for crawling practice until baby turned into a toddler (a matter of maybe six months).

The unfenced catwalks give me (mom of a 3-year-old) the heebie-jeebies, but I assume they could string cargo net or chicken wire or something against along all of them and teach the child good and early to be careful.

They're all pretty busy people, but I think they have off and on times of busyness, and they might even be able to pick up a nanny just for room and board and the chance to travel the 'Verse for free.

The whole getting-shot-at is also scary, but I guess baby could stay with Inara in her shuttle, ready to take off at moment's notice if the job goes bad.

Just my two cents,



Indigo S.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 8:51 AM

DONCOAT


As the fellow said in Jurassic Park, life will find a way.

Nomadic humans have been traveling with their kids (of all ages) since the dawn of time. There are plenty of ways to manage -- papooses and such-like for infants, barriers on the stairs to block toddlers from dangerous areas... there's always a way.

Pre-BDM, both Book and Inara had little to do during the travel times, and might have been willing to baby-sit. Serenity has some automation, so either Wash or Zoe would be available most of the time.

I like the idea of Inara's shuttle as a safe haven / escape pod during dangerous operations. Though it might take some 'splainin' when Inara's clients find the cookie crumbs and spit-up around the place.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 8:55 AM

NBZ


While I am not a fan of this, it is possible.

But first you have to go back before you can go forward.

Mal and crew travel alot, going where the work takes them. most of the work is dangerous.

They live a futuristic version of what is essentially a bedouin/nomadic lifestyle. Bedouins and Nomads did have kids.

Using them as a template I would assume that a wetnurse/nanny would be used for a few years. The kid is dropped off with some trustworthy folk who give a proper upbringing in a healthsome environment. Not a city environment, but probably a ranch of some sort or other located in a clean countryside like place. There would be payment ofcourse.

A few years later when the kid has reached an age of say 6 or seven, he is returned to the real parents. The kid would already have some life experiences that would be useful, and more importantly, would be healthy.

Not what we expect nowadays, but if the future is going back, maybe it can go further back. A paradign shift is needed as things will be different.

Now to counter this argument, Mal has now encountered atleast three worlds that have been potentially destroyed/extinguished (shadow, Haven and Miranda). Would he still consider land a safer option? would he have any say in the kids of others?

Also who would bear the child? Kaylee has been gutshot. What other damage was done there? Inara a Companion, and Zoe a widow.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 9:38 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
It's a popular theme in fanfiction - not the kind I read, mind you - and it always confounds me, but I don't want to discuss it in the context of just fic, but rather in general.

Children on Serenity.

I just don't see it.

Babies. Toddlers. Primary school children. Pre-teens.

Sharp edges, steep drops, constant danger of the ship falling apart, buttons to push, ladders upon stairs upon rail-less catwalks.

Not to mention the crime and shooting and enemies and Reavers. Lack of solid education.

Everyone on that ship has an essential job that they can't just abandon to baby-watch 24/7, nor are they exactly flowing in cash in a way that would allow them to hire a nanny. Or a replacement for whoever turned parent.


Considering all that, WHAT is Zoe thinking??

Did she really grow up on a ship just like Serenity, or is she letting her desire for children cloud her mind to reality (and Wash's very reasonable objections)?

I can imagine ships with more settled lifestyles and less dangerous layout, with people who actually have the capacity to raise children - I imagine Zoe grew up on one like that. But Serenity? Just no.

Anyone less completely opposed to the idea than me?




Seems to me that biology will always trump common sense. You get that biological clock ticking, and baby is on the way, period. I reckon Zoe would have found a way to make it work. I don't know how, but I'm thinking that the animal urge to procreate would have over-ruled the practical concerns of an environment full of sharp, hard things.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 1:48 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Seems to me that biology will always trump common sense. You get that biological clock ticking, and baby is on the way, period. I reckon Zoe would have found a way to make it work. I don't know how, but I'm thinking that the animal urge to procreate would have over-ruled the practical concerns of an environment full of sharp, hard things.




You mean to say she would have gone against Wash's wishes in making that baby?

Whoa, creepy.

Not that she isn't already a little creepy in that scene (and I say this as someone who loves Zoe madly), all dismissing his logical counter-arguments as if his opinion doesn't matter, but that's an interesting theory you have there! Oy.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 1:57 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


Quote:



What ‘really’ would have been fun was if Jayne somehow got a whore pregnant and was left with the bastard (I’m not being mean with the language - its in the dictionary...really). That would have been a match made in heaven.



__________________________________________________________________


]

There's a fic on Live Journal about this. Not just one but 9 of various ages and mothers.

Children are inevitable when you have lots of sex going on unless you have foolproof birth contol and that hasn't been invented yet.

I just can't imagine Kaylee not having a lot of kids despite being a Mal/Inara shipper.



http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/




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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 2:13 PM

LAMBYTOES


Children on Serenity isn't a bad idea in my opinion.
I mean, I know Serenity isn't exactly the safest palce in the world, but the child could stay in the kitchen, it seems to me that the only really dangerous places for a child would be the cargo bay and the engine room, and possibly the cock-pit.
An education wouldn't be a problem, River and Simon could certainly be capable of teaching a child, i mean, they are geniuses. Plus one of them is always someone on the ship during a job, so they could easily watch a child.
Zoe may not have been thinking rationaly about having a child, but as she said: "I ain't so scared of loosing something, that I ain't gonna to try and have it." She wants a child with Wash, and I don't think that the impractibility of a child growing up on a ship would stop her.

As for who would have the child, Zoe of course. Either she was pregnant before The horrible events of Serenity occured, or she got some DNA and impregnated herself, there is a perfectly capable doctor on board, and Alliance cruisers, with high tech medical facilities, within close proximity for an extended period of time before Serenity left Mr. Universe's planet-type-thing.


No power in the 'verse can stop me.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 2:18 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Seems to me that biology will always trump common sense. You get that biological clock ticking, and baby is on the way, period. I reckon Zoe would have found a way to make it work. I don't know how, but I'm thinking that the animal urge to procreate would have over-ruled the practical concerns of an environment full of sharp, hard things.

That and kids make good Human shields because they struggle less.



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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 2:41 PM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
You mean to say she would have gone against Wash's wishes in making that baby?



No, as in she would have overruled him, and he would have accepted it. Or--"oops, guess I must have forgotten to take my space-aged birth-control pills!"

Quote:

Not that she isn't already a little creepy in that scene (and I say this as someone who loves Zoe madly), all dismissing his logical counter-arguments as if his opinion doesn't matter, but that's an interesting theory you have there! Oy.



If you honestly think that logical arguments are going to silence the biological urge to procreate you have got another think coming. Seriously, people have children in all kinds of crazy and unstable environments and not because they're thinking, "Gee, at least we have earth-norm!" It's because the human drive to procreate is just about the most powerful urge we have. God-given, nature-selected--take your pick. It's like when you're madly in love. You do stupid things, illogical things--even dangerous things. Same deal here. There's a biological/emotional force that's overruling a woman who is otherwise coldly calculating. Would it be practical to have babies aboard Serenity? Probably not. Would it be practicable? I'm guessing Zoe would find a way.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 6:00 PM

ARCADIA


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
If you honestly think that logical arguments are going to silence the biological urge to procreate you have got another think coming.



Well, no, logic isn't going to cancel out a person's urge to have a kid, but lets credit women with some self-control here. The be all and end all of our existance isn't the make babies and most of us are not going to go crazy and trick men into getting us pregnant, as has been implied -- if not stated -- in this thread.

Let us especially credit a woman like Zoe, with her soldier's dicsipline, as someone who is blessed with a measure of restraint. She deeply, deeply respects Wash. Like, seriously folks, Zoe and Wash have a commitment that is based in the upmost love and respect. She wouldn't resort to a dumb, immature, irresponsible "forgot to take my pills" trick in order to get pregnant. I don't think she's the kind of person who would want a baby that way. She's the kind of person who would want her parent to want to have a baby with her, who would want that love and support. Which isn't to say that she would shy away from an unexpected pregnancy either. She wouldn't. But, well, if you can have a baby under the best of circumstances with the love, support, and shared anticipation of your partner, why elect and alternative?

If she was the type of person who would resort to such a cheap trick, then why hasn't she yet? It was implied in HoG that the argument they were having over a child was becoming an old argument, afterall. Still, "forgetting" to take pills to trick Wash into having a baby? Completely ooc for Zoe.

Okay, not that that rant is over, moving on...

Children on Serenity...

For the sake or argument, I am assuming cannon pairings: Mal/Inara, Kaylee/Simon, Zoe/Wash.

As was pointed out earlier, Mal might be inclined to feel that Serenity is just as safe a place as any planet, all things considered. And Kaylee, bless her, is so optimistic that I think she would honestly believe that she could raise a baby on a space ship and everything would be shiny. Zoe, we know, thinks it can be done.

The problem is their assumed partners. We know Wash is squeamish about raising a kid around such violence. Simon, I think, would also object, though since he does not have a job that puts him directly in danger, and nor does Kaylee, that might effect his thinking. I think he and Inara would object more over education. I really don't buy the "River could teach them!" argument. She's a genius, but I don't think she's a teacher. Nor is Simon, at all. Inara, maybe, but would she want to be? And there is something to be said for wanting your kids to grow up around other kids, for the social lessons they can learn that way. Certainly a Companion would be aware of that.

Really, I think there would be a great discrepency in terms of how the prospective parents viewed their children's futures and potentials.

Zoe and Wash have the greatest chance of agreeing on what upbringing and education level they are going to provide their child with. They are both working class, educated but not overly so, and would probably aspire to have their children educated to they same level they are, or perhaps slightly higher. If all their kids ended up in flight school, it would suit them just fine.

Simon and Kaylee, Mal and Inara, they are more complicated because of class and educational differences.

We'll start with Simon and Kaylee. One of them is a mechanic with little schooling and the other is a doctor who mounds of it. So, what would they want for their child? College prep education? I think there is a good chance of this. As quick as Kaylee is to defend her "rim-ness", I think she is very aware of the education she didn't have. She knows that she is an intellegent person, that if she had been born on the Core she could have been a doctor, too. Or, if she doesn't, I think Simon would recognize this. Plus, Kaylee - in contrast to Mal - is fascinated by the workings of the higher class. She is charmed by Inara's shuttle. She wants to go shopping on Ariel. She's rim-born, but I don't think she's afraid of moving up by any means. And Simon, through he's going all right as a ship's doctor, I don't think he would really be satisfied by that forever, especially if kids are added to the mix. Honestly, I cannot see Simon and Kaylee raising there kids on a ship past the age of six or so for educational reasons. I think they want their kids to go to college, or at least have the possibility to go to college.

Mal and Inara, I think, would have far more arguments about it. Unlike Kaylee, Mal does have somewhat of a disdain for the higher class. The problem would be that he is with Inara, who was raised on the Core and has nothing short of an expectation that her kids would go to college and/or recieve some sort of higher level educational training, not unlike her own training as a Companion. And Mal, he would really struggle with this because, well, the little education he has has done him just fine. But on the other hand, there is no denying that better education will give his potential offspring a more comfortable life that involves considerably less guns and violence. Honestly, I am not sure what conclusion they would reach, but I don't think they would be on Serenity forever if a baby came into the picture.

As for the much more basic, how would they take care of kids, especially kids who need to constant attention that kids under five need? Well, it would be tough, but I think it is doable on Serenity.

Why?

We've focused a lot on all the danger that Serenity is in constantly, but consider also that there are weeks and weeks between these adventures, during which time Serenity is just... floating. Kaylee and Wash still need to do their jobs, and certainly there are chores that need tending to, but when you think about it, Zoe, Mal, Jayne, Simon, and Inara really have a lot of downtime between jobs (assuming their cargo is not livestock or something else that recquires careful care).

So, let's say that Firefly wasn't canceled and Zoe had a baby. How does it work?

During the time that they travel through the black, Zoe is the primary caregiver of the child. There is such a thing as autopilot, so Wash has a fair amount of time to play daddy, too. When they have a job, Zoe goes out as usual and Wash stays behind on the ship and holds his breath and hopes nothing goes wrong. He would be a single father otherwise.

Not glamourous and no gaurentees that things would work out particuarily well, but it would be a life.

Similiarly, Simon could be the primary parent while Kaylee was working, they would share duties for the most part, and when Simon was working Kaylee would take over. If they were both working at the same time, a situation that could be avoided to some measure but would be sure to crop up from time to time, they could have off the baby to someone who is free for a few hours.

Mal and Inara... well, the same basic model applies, but it will be much complicated by whether or not Inara is still working as a Companion. If she is, there is a problem because when Mal is dirtside for jobs, she is off to work, too. And that just doesn't quite work.

If the all had babies at the same time I am not sure any of the above models would work. I mean, raising one kid between two primary parents and seven or so on-call baby sitters is very different than raising 3+ kids around the same age at the same time under the same circumstances. I think Serenity could survive the addition of one baby, but more than that? I would have serious doubts.

And this is all assuming that, under most circumstances, all members of the crew are not engaged in the action at hand at the same time. And that Book is there, because, heck, if Wash is there, why not Book?

All and all, it would not be the wisest move. It might be done anyway because sometimes people do things anyway, but its not something I would recommend for a long-term parenting plan. I mean, really. Teaching a kid how to walk and all that on Serenity is possible, I am sure, but... well, it still isn't the best option. Especially with all that grating. Maybe if the cargo bay was off limits? And the engine room, too. But that could be hard to enforce, especially if you are the doctor/mechanic couple and your kid would just need to go to those places to get to you sometimes.

Arcadia (aka Greyfable and/or Katie)
www.stillflying.net -- picking up Firefly were Joss left off. We will hold 'til he gets back.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 6:08 PM

CAUSAL


No disrespect, but I think you took my post a little bit too personally. My point was that Zoe, although normally cool, collected, and rational, is clearly determined to have a baby on a smuggling ship. Clearly, her biological drives are a factor here. I am not saying that women go crazy and do whatever it takes to have kids, and I'm more than a little disappointed that that's how you read that. My point is, biologically speaking, the urge to procreate is deeply seated in the human psyche (male and female), and the mere fact that you live on a space ship isn't going to change that one tiny little bit. What will Zoe do? Probably just put her foot down, at which point Wash will cave, because he loves her and can't stand not to give her something she wants so badly. But hey--Zoe's no dupe. I wouldn't put deviousness beyond her. She thinks she's right, and that means she's going to get what she wants, one way or another.

But then again, it's hard to mate with a dead man.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 6:23 PM

ARCADIA


No direspect taken.

Maybe it is my age, but I veiw the idea of Zoe -- or anyone, fictional or otherwise -- resorting to tricking their partner into having a baby by "forgetting" birthcontrol as completely and utterly insane. And taking into account Zoe's character, I just don't believe that its an action Zoe would ever take. I'm a little bit thrown that its even been suggested. But then, I think that comes across in my first post. I hope I didn't overly offend you.

Arcadia (aka Greyfable and/or Katie)
www.stillflying.net -- picking up Firefly were Joss left off. We will hold 'til he gets back.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 6:47 PM

GHOULFISH


I think that if a child was introduced to firefly then it would be a part that only lasted a few episodes - for example for one job Mal is being paid to protect a baby from Alliance BlueSun - Jayne starts bonding with the baby lots of funny parts - Jayne is left heart broken after the Alliance leaves and kid has to go back.

As for Wash and Zoe its impratical - Zoe would be too protective to risk dangering a child in some of the situations they are in. Wash could take care of Wash jr. on the bridge but on a long term schedule the kid will only become annoying (sort of like in ER with that nurse and son) and a lot of "dangerous job plots" would have to be excluded because of risks to the child.

Think of the Serenity Movie plus a kid.
Wash: Im a leaf ... no dont touch that ... hsa a fight over his plactic dinosaurs ... kid hits a switch ... firefly plummets to earth, kid goes throught winsheild.
Wash: I told you not to touch those.
Zoe kills Wash for not taking care of Wash jr. then ditches Mal to open an orphanage. Meanwhile, Simon and River are being eaten by reavers and Joss is wondering where his script went wrong.

Im sorry I just cant see a long term kid in firefly
(this was not a rant - just taking time off writing a 1000 word essay on Antigone and where Creon went wrong)

Its really boring
really really boring

(falls asleep)

wakes up

Yeah and Zoe loves Wash too much to trick him into having a child. She would at least tell him first

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 7:07 PM

KAYLEELOVE


I think Mal and Inara still have a lot of development to go through before we talk of them having kids but it might be the perfect situation for them to soften toward eachother if Zoe or Simon and Kaylee have a baby.

Imagine the following events in a new season of series:

Zoe discovers she's pregnant from before poor Wash's death and/or Simon and Kaylee have an oops baby--could have lots of drama but I think they could work it out, get married, etc. in the long run

Inara takes on babysitting as a part-time job (in the extras, Joss did say Inara was the most educated and she has teaching experience from the academy)

Mal sees how cute Inara and the baby are together

Inara's biological clock starts ticking, thinkin she might like her own as well as gets tired of servicing virgins and "rich men with stamina"

Inara is engaged by an alliance creep just to find the rest of the crew and seeing as Inara's not going to help the alliance capture the crew, she gets thrown out of the companion guild

Rather than be a common whore, she would probably find a career change to daycare more appealing and this would finally open the door to a deeper relationship with Mal that could lead to children of their own

Pretty soon they'll have to trade in the firefly for a bumblebee but I don't think Inara and Mal would ever settle on a planet because they both love freedom so much. I could see Kaylee and Simon settled on a planet but after Serenity's events, they're still on the alliance's wanted list and any child they left with a wet mom would probably abducted and used to try to capture the crew




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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 8:07 PM

DREAMWALKER


I think that it would be kinda cool (although very cliche) if in any possible upcoming series/movie Zoe did wind up pregnant from Wash before he'd died. It would also be highly amusing to see how the crew would react if that would happen. Espeically Mal and Jayne who would probably freak out about the idea of a baby on board the ship.

Wash: This landing is gonna get pretty interesting
Mal: Define "interesting".
Wash: Oh God, of God, we're all going to die?

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 9:03 PM

PLATONIST


Education would be secondary to SAFETY. Children can be educated in many places and ways...tutors, online classes, parent home-based instuction, one room school houses etc. It takes a village after all. Older students can board if necessary. I've NEVER met a parent that didn't want the very best opportunities, for their children, that education can provide, that includes parent gangbangers to elected circut judges. They all beam at the Graduation!


I think safety would be their biggest concern(as it is currently.) Look carefully.
Wash was really starting to question Zoe's blind obedience to her old war sarge ("not so often with death-defying and ducking morals"). He was worried and rightly so, we know the outcome of that scenario. Would he have agreed to a helpless little one? Probaby not. Would Zoe go against his wishes? Not likely. She respects her husband and was herself questioning Mal's motives and decisions by the movie("like that man back there?") Under the circumstances, unless they weren't careful, I don't think there would have been a child in their future. Let's be realistic; they would gotten off, found other work, lived a different life that included raising children in a somewhat safe enviroment.

Simon and Kaylee are a different story, but have the same dilemma. Kaylee is idealisticly naive and Simon is only on Serenity because he's on the run. A child in their life would be a disaster and would be at risk for all kinds of mayhem. Until Simon's warrants are revoked and his name cleared, he won't be thinking of a baby, unless Kaylee is unprotected. If she does become pregnant, and they do have a choice. I think they would choose to leave, also. Simon and Kaylee, the parents, with him as the country doc is one of my future dreams for them.

It is hard to speculate about the Captain and Inara because they are so driven by their passion for each other that they can't make a logical decision to save their lives. I must say though, they both love that ship for the same reason, for the freedom it provides. They have no reason to leave. They did converse on fatherhood...so I don't know. The shuttle could provide a safe haven and Inara isn't crew...so maybe?

Unless Serenity becomes a safer home for grown-ups, I certainly hope there are no children involved.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 10:40 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
What will Zoe do? Probably just put her foot down, at which point Wash will cave, because he loves her and can't stand not to give her something she wants so badly. But hey--Zoe's no dupe. I wouldn't put deviousness beyond her. She thinks she's right, and that means she's going to get what she wants, one way or another.




Except that kind of thing would totally put an end to their marriage.

Conceiving a child, purposefully, against a partner's wishes is such a breach of trust, I can almost liken it to rape.

It's one thing if it happened accidentally, but children are such a huge, life-altering committment, that this isn't a decision where one can simply "put one's foot down" or trick one's partner.

Wash's views are just as legitimate as Zoe's, and no amount of biological craving should make her disconnected from reality enough to disrespect him in such a profound way.

I honestly don't think that any bt the most mentally unstable women would do that.

So if Zoe resorted to that - and I think unless she went completely insane, I don't see her doing that - I think we'd be looking at a story arc of betrayel and its outcomes: love breaking apart, resentment, pain and... custody battles?


Which would be interesting, storytelling-wise, but the ultimate point would be set pretty much against the having of children in that way.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:11 PM

EMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by Superfluous:



__________________________________________________________________







I agree: that is the most wonderful banner I've ever seen!

And after Angel's son was born Joss said he would never work with a baby on the set again...
he could let Zoe get pregnant, but I'm thinking there would have been some kind of tragedy so the whole business of babies on board wouldn't have had to be dealt with.....

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:27 PM

MOJAVE


Not just possible, but probably a better and more secure childhood than many of us had. No other kids to play with, that's a drawback, but the security of always having a parent or two around, a brilliant MD on call 24/7, and the coolest bunch of aunts and uncles ever.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:27 PM

AGENTROUKA


Another thing that makes me wonder...


Some people seem to just assign roles to the crew in raising the baby, regardless of who had the child and why.

What if they didn't want those jobs?

After all, if Zoe and Wash decided (against probability) to have a baby, why would Inara suddenly turn into a teacher or babysitter? Or why would they count on her taking on that job to make the idea practicable? Would River want to do that just because someone else decided to procreate?


Any of the crew are, theoretically, free to leave any time, so the would-be parents, should - in a responsible hypothesis - take care to be able to arrange for all eventuelities independently, without just "burdening" the others (even if they MIGHT freely take on those jobs if asked.)

A child wouldn't be just a decision for the parents themselves, they would be making a change in everyone's lives.

Would it be fair and ehtical for any set of potential parents to - unless it truly is an accident - have a child on Serenity without first discussing all the options with the whole crew? Or at least Mal and anyone directly affected by the changes and/or their expectations?

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:50 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by mojave:
Not just possible, but probably a better and more secure childhood than many of us had. No other kids to play with, that's a drawback, but the security of always having a parent or two around, a brilliant MD on call 24/7, and the coolest bunch of aunts and uncles ever.



More secure, when most of their jobs could end in shootings that could easily leave one of the parents dead at the drop of a hat?

And something tells me that when the parent that's around always pretty busy flying the ship or whatever else their job on Serenity is, well... the no other children issue would become pretty important.


Realistically speaking, I just don't see how it would be better, beside the fannish "Ooh, life on Serenity!" factor.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007 3:51 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Arcadia:
No direspect taken.

Maybe it is my age, but I veiw the idea of Zoe -- or anyone, fictional or otherwise -- resorting to tricking their partner into having a baby by "forgetting" birthcontrol as completely and utterly insane. And taking into account Zoe's character, I just don't believe that its an action Zoe would ever take. I'm a little bit thrown that its even been suggested. But then, I think that comes across in my first post. I hope I didn't overly offend you.



Not at all! (Well, maybe a little, but I'm totally over it now ) For the record, I don't think Zoe will resort to tricks. I'm not saying that she wouldn't if pushed hard enough, but I just don't think that'd happen. She'd make clear to Wash how much she wanted a baby, and eventually I think he'd cave in to give his wife something that would make her all kinds of happy. And I think that Mal knows better than to say "no" to something like that. He's not losing Zoe--she's practically the only person n the 'verse that understands him.

________________________________________________________________________
Grand High Poobah of the Mythical Land of Iowa, and Keeper of State Secrets

Captain, FFF.net Grammar Police

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007 8:16 AM

INDIGOSTARBLASTER


Hey all:

Really interesting thread. I appeciate reading everyone's POV :)

Re: parents in dangerous situations -- well, people who risk death on Earth do have kids -- soldiers, firefighters, cops, mountain climbers. I don't know any parent who has given up driving after having kids, even though that's got to be pretty much the most dangerous activity the average citizen is likely to undertake. Inara and Kaylee don't regularly put their lives on the line, so I don't think they would consider themselves to be living particularly dangerous lives, and Zoe is career military, so I'm pretty sure she decided long ago there was no insurmountable conflict between her gun-toting job and a family.

Re: Zoe getting pregnant against Wash's wishes -- I don't think she was saying she would, she was shutting off the discussion because she knew she wouldn't be swayed by such an argument. And I don't think it's exactly against Wash's wishes, anyway. I think he'd like to be a dad, it's just that he thinks of this job as a temporary thing, so it would make sense to wait until it's over. If and when he realizes that Zoe is going to be gun-toting, one way or another, for the rest of her career, I think he'll kind of sigh and say, ok, then, why not now. (And post-BDM, this becomes moot anyway.)

Re: involuntary child care -- I agree no one else on Serenity is obliged to babysit, but they're as close as family, so I think they'd all want to, at least some of the time. And as I mentioned in my previous post, I think they could get a nanny or au pair pretty cheap, especially on a border moon where there isn't much work available.

Re: unsafe surroundings -- I understand that farms and ranches are some of the most unsafe places for kids, because of all the equipment and germs and large animals, but I don't think anyone would say that no one should ever raise a child on one. Same would apply to Serenity. And I'm sure a child would learn pretty quick what he/she was allowed to touch and what he/she wasn't.

Re: education -- What with the Cortex and all, I'm sure all the book-learning that might be desired would be available, 24 hours a day, not to mention what the child could learn directly about flying, engine repair, trauma medicine, surgery, the Companion arts, forgery, guns, etc. (Again, not that anyone would be obliged to teach, but can you imagine any of them saying no to a kid who was practically a nephew or niece and was interested?) At some point, the child might be interested in something he/she couldn't learn aboard ship, but that would be years away, around the same time Earth kids start looking into specialized academies or other institutes of higher learning.

Re: socialization -- The idea of a kid being raised without a whole bunch of other kids the same age around strikes us as weird, but I don't think it'd necessarily be damaging. Babies and toddlers don't need other kids yet anyway -- they want grown-up attention -- and by the time the first child was pre-school age and able to play with others, there could well be a sibling around. I remember from the Little House on the Prairie books that the Ingalls sisters spent most of their elementary childhood with no playmates but each other, and they seemed to have turned out alright. Plus, Serenity seems to have semi-regular shipping routes to a number of planets and moons, such as Haven, so maybe there would be regular opportunities to play with others (kind of like playing with cousins you only see at Christmas).

All that said, I'm only talking about whether it would be possible in "real" life. As a TV show, I could see that having a baby/toddler/pre-schooler/etc. kid on board year after year would make for real headaches in filming and plotline (with viewers alternately arguing that "everything has changed with a baby on board and it sucks" and "nothing has changed with a baby on board and that's totally unrealistic"). I think Joss could pull it off, if he wanted to, and I would absolutely love to see how our BDH's would handle the parenting stage of life... but I could also accept how it might not be of interest to Joss or feasible.


Indigo S.

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Monday, April 23, 2007 10:31 AM

ARIANE


I've been following this discussion, quite fascinated by any rumination on where life might take our BDHs. It's been awhile, but I was too interested to resist throwing in my two cents.

Frankly, I was shocked during "Heart of Gold" when I heard Zoe talking about a baby on board (and not just because she said "Period."). Does she not remember that time the ship was chased by Reavers? Or when Niska's big hulking guy came in the cargo bay throwing sharp things? Or a Reaver-victim running around with a scalpel? Or perhaps Badger invading with armed goons? Or the honking great fire and then near-death by asphyxiation? That's without even going into the constant threat of incarceration, which, if there were kids on board, would probably end with them in foster care or something similar.

And surely Zoe doesn't think that the next time Serenity docks on some raging psychopathic crime boss's skyplex, the munchkin can just chill on the bridge and play with the dinosaurs until Mummy and Daddy are finished with their crazy-dangerous rescue mission.

Granted, there's some degree of risk associated with any and every walk of life. Also granted: soldiers and firefighters have kids all the time. But soldiers don't bring their infants to the front line and carry them in baby slings through the trenches.

It's not just that our BDHs lead dangerous lives. It's that the ship itself is not a safe or stable environment. Mal deals with nasty people, and his ship is a tool for crime as well as a home. Everyone on it is in mortal danger quite regularly. At the moment, they are all (with the possible exception of River) autonomous adults who have chosen to live that way. An infant would have no such choice. Also, I think there's a difference between the farm life brand of dangerous, where there are plenty of accidents waiting to happen, and the outlaw brand of dangerous, where people are actively trying to kill you.

Kids would limit the crew's options just as much as fugitives have. How can you justify bringing toddlers within a hundred yards of someone like Niska, or even Badger? Serenity would probably have to go legitimate, and that can't happen until the Tams are completely in the clear. Nor will it happen until Mal decides it's going to, which isn't high on his list of things to do. As has been said, he's not required to change his lifestyle because someone on his crew wants to start a family.

Long story short: I believe the safety issues make it unfeasible to raise kids on Serenity.

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Monday, April 23, 2007 11:14 AM

NBZ


Firefly follows the wild west theme - it was dangerous there, but people still had kids.

Obviously more risk in the black - but the population has to continue somehow. Part of the wild west heritage.

Saying that, I still dislike this type of fic. Actually I seem to not like any fic set too far after the BDM - but I think that is unrelated :)

Ofcourse there is also the question of who has the kids. There is no combination I can see working.

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Monday, April 23, 2007 7:59 PM

AGENTROUKA


Anyone have, say, statistics on the child mortality rate in the wild west (and I mean the wild west). Or war regions, or regions of starvation or in families that carry around their children in their criminal get-away cars?

Because I think that's generally going to be higher than most parents would like.


And even so, the Wild West was a region free for everyone's settling (very relevant native population aside). Serenity is owned by Mal. Any changes that would have to occur to make a baby work, would have to be cleared with Mal first (and that includes just randomly recruiting crew members for baby-sitting/teaching duty) and somehow I don't see him readily switching his life and boat and livelihood around for someone else's kids when he's not even ready to take that step on his own. Changing his life away from crime, I mean.

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Monday, April 23, 2007 11:28 PM

NBZ


Yes, Serenity is Mal's domain (So he has some say), but why would that make him give up crime?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 12:42 AM

AGENTROUKA


Because crime has them regularly shot at, running from the law and taking isolated routes out of the range of help, among other things.

For example, imagine the situation where they were boarded in "Bushwhacked". How easily could the Alliance guy have blackmailed them with sending their child into foster care? What about Jubal Early's invasion? Their own little bandit-fighting jobs, such as in "Our Mrs. Reynolds" or "Heart of Gold"?

Imagine any of the dangerous situations they have been in because of their jobs, and add an infant or toddler to them. In particular if it's Zoe's infant or toddler. Or Kaylee's. It's a huge additional stress factor for everyone involved and that's not even speaking of what it does to the child.

Something would have to inevitably change to prevent those situations from happening, a precaution they are quite simply not capable of taking now, or those things would never have happened in the first place.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 1:05 AM

NBZ


I still do not see it as an issue. :)

Simon is a fugitive. It's not a part time thing - nor something that can be waited out. Maybe charges will be dropped but it is not something you can live by. If he has kids (with Kaylee or another), he would still be a fugitive. Will still be on the run. Is there a safer option for him?

Mal has got this world destroyed thing going on. Shadow, his home was destroyed. Haven, which was portrayed like a second home was also destroyed. Then he saw Miranda. Shipside is safer after all that. :)

Zoe was born vesselside. She sees the dangers, also the biological clock is ticking. I doubt she would take it well if Mal told her she couldn't.

Jayne - well he is Jayne. Doubt he will give it much thought. besides here the kid would probably stay oin land unless Serenity takes on more "Crew".

IMO there are a few basic assumption that go into this:

1. Landside is safer.
2. there are safer ways to earn money.

In a flashback in OoG Mal more or less said he wanted to live like a real person, implying there were not too many opportunities landside for him and his type.

Not that I support Firefly having kids in it. Not at all. Just enjoying the scenic discussion

Situationwise - People still have kids in conflict zones. Think Gaza strip, chechnia, or other. Iraq? People get shot at. People die. People still have kids. more danger.

Larger chance of the kid getting all shot up, but I think the crew have their designated bullet catchers. :)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 1:56 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by nbz:

Simon is a fugitive. It's not a part time thing - nor something that can be waited out. Maybe charges will be dropped but it is not something you can live by. If he has kids (with Kaylee or another), he would still be a fugitive. Will still be on the run. Is there a safer option for him?



There is, of course, the option of not having kids?

I doubt, in particular in Simon's case, that kids are anywhere on his "to-do" list for the foreseeable future. Just like romance isn't.

Quote:

Mal has got this world destroyed thing going on. Shadow, his home was destroyed. Haven, which was portrayed like a second home was also destroyed. Then he saw Miranda. Shipside is safer after all that. :)


Hardly. Just like airtravel is safer than car travel, but doesn't appear to be. Usually all passengers die in a plane crash, so if catastropphe strikes, you're dead. But the number of car accidents is much greater than that of plane crashes.

Planet-based destruction is far less likely than the chance of a ship crashing or otherwise causing its passengers' death. Serenity herself nearly got her crew killed in "Out of Gas", already.

Mal likes Serenity because it's a self-determined life. Not because it's safer.

Quote:


Zoe was born vesselside. She sees the dangers, also the biological clock is ticking. I doubt she would take it well if Mal told her she couldn't.



I also doubt she grew up on a ship like Serenity, leading the life they do. I believe that on-ship-raising is definitely possible. But not on Serenity as she is currently run.

And if Mal told her she couldn't, hey only option would be to leave. She can't make him accomodate her own life-altering choices if he's not willing to make those necessary changes. Not taking it well would be her problem, not Mal's.

Quote:



IMO there are a few basic assumption that go into this:

1. Landside is safer.
2. there are safer ways to earn money.



Your basic assumptions seems to be that they must (want to) have kids to begin with, leading the life they do.

If they have no options to accomodate children in their life, the always have the option of simply not having any. Which would be the responsible thing to do.

Quote:


In a flashback in OoG Mal more or less said he wanted to live like a real person, implying there were not too many opportunities landside for him and his type.



I doubt Mal and Zoe tried hard to lead a normal life. It wasn't maybe a year or so after the war and they spent considerable time in an Alliance POW camp. "Live like real people" is probably very specific to them, not necessarily to every former Independent soldier.

Quote:


Not that I support Firefly having kids in it. Not at all. Just enjoying the scenic discussion



Same here. It's a compelling subject. :)

Quote:


Situationwise - People still have kids in conflict zones. Think Gaza strip, chechnia, or other. Iraq? People get shot at. People die. People still have kids. more danger.



I doubt, though, that they are having those kids in their mobile get-away-car of sharp edges. In some regions, they have kids because they don't have birth control. In some regions, I imagine that an ethinic "our oppressed people must survive!" sense of defiance plays a role. In others, simply bcause they want to live a normal life amid the chaos, yes.

But in all those cases, it's not just a handful of people living on the edge, it's an entire people. Lots of them, who are going through the same things, and little alternative to their lives.

Simone and River aside, all of the crew DO have an alternative of choosing a safer lifestyle. It's like living in your car and driving back and forth between criminal jobs that have you shot at when you, theoretically, could hold a steady job. It's fine to choose that freedom when it's just you but it's a different thing to choose it for a child.

Quote:

Larger chance of the kid getting all shot up, but I think the crew have their designated bullet catchers. :)


I sincerely doubt that, considering sweet little Kaylee got well and easily shot. And then later pinned down by Niska's thugs. ;)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 2:07 AM

NBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Your basic assumptions seems to be that they must (want to) have kids to begin with, leading the life they do.



Yup, that is the sticking point. I pretty much agree with your points too.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 2:09 AM

REDHEAD


I've been enjoying this thread and wanted to add my 2 cents.

Children are born in unsafe conditions everywhere. Because the BDS and BDM have our the characters as criminals, I think the criminal lifestyle might be the best analogy to one or more of the characters having children. Look at drug dealers or gang bangers. They often have children. This may not be the best or safest situation but Nature is one heck of a persuader.

Zoe's "I'm not so afraid of losing something that I'm not afraid of trying to have it" is pretty indicative of how many people feel in those situations.

The child (or children--which is more likely) is not going to have some comfortable middle class childhood with a bike in the suburbs but that doesn't preclude the parents from having and loving children in poor situations.

As a note to an earlier post, homeschooled children often do extremely well in college and are often advanced over conventionally educated children. My two sons both started taking college classes in what would have been their 8th grade year. This advanced placement is not unusual.

Having said all that, I agree with the person who said the storyline would be difficult with a child. In order to maintain some semblance of realism, a child should change the character of the show somewhat and that would be difficult but certainly not impossible for a writer of Whedon's abilities. And, one of the things he does best is create characters that change.

Certainly it would be an interesting storyline. God, can I weep that I will never get to see that or any other storyline played out on Firefly ever again? (breaking down in sobs)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 2:15 AM

DESKTOPHIPPIE


*hugs redhead*

There there... there there... there's still hope... we just have to hold the line... there there...





Banners, Avatars, LJ Icons and other fun stuff at www.desktophippie.com

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 3:39 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by redhead:

Children are born in unsafe conditions everywhere. Because the BDS and BDM have our the characters as criminals, I think the criminal lifestyle might be the best analogy to one or more of the characters having children. Look at drug dealers or gang bangers. They often have children. This may not be the best or safest situation but Nature is one heck of a persuader.



Yes, but the question is not whether they are biologically capable or whether some of them might want to. The question is whether it's a responsible choice and practicable long-term without making real changes to their lifestyle.

Also, I don't think that it's usually the "drug dealers and gang bangers" who actually raise those kids. That'd be their girlfriends or wives, I suspect. Nor do they likely take their kids along to their criminal adventures, as would be happening with kids on the ship.

And I just don't think that our common-day drug dealers are what we should be considering when we measure responsibility.

Quote:


Zoe's "I'm not so afraid of losing something that I'm not afraid of trying to have it" is pretty indicative of how many people feel in those situations.



Feel, sure. That's irrational. Thinking, that's the question, though.

Quote:


The child (or children--which is more likely) is not going to have some comfortable middle class childhood with a bike in the suburbs but that doesn't preclude the parents from having and loving children in poor situations.



There's poor and then there is recklessly dangerous. I have trouble thinking of the latter as truly loving.

Quote:

As a note to an earlier post, homeschooled children often do extremely well in college and are often advanced over conventionally educated children. My two sons both started taking college classes in what would have been their 8th grade year. This advanced placement is not unusual.


Those who actually DO go to college, I don't doubt it. I have a friend who was homeschooled much to her advantage. But I'm fairly certain that there are those whose homeschooling works to their disadvantage who end up never seeing the inside of a college and who therefor don't figure into such statistics.

But - without forcing it on Inara or Simon or River - how would Zoe and Wash pull off such an education for their children?


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 3:59 AM

CERES


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Anyone have, say, statistics on the child mortality rate in the wild west (and I mean the wild west). Or war regions, or regions of starvation or in families that carry around their children in their criminal get-away cars?

Because I think that's generally going to be higher than most parents would like.


And even so, the Wild West was a region free for everyone's settling (very relevant native population aside). Serenity is owned by Mal. Any changes that would have to occur to make a baby work, would have to be cleared with Mal first (and that includes just randomly recruiting crew members for baby-sitting/teaching duty) and somehow I don't see him readily switching his life and boat and livelihood around for someone else's kids when he's not even ready to take that step on his own. Changing his life away from crime, I mean.



No statistics but I did find this from the University of Michigan - But the graves themselves reveal the high rate of death among the very young, shocking to modern sensibilities. In the 19th century, the overall percentage of burials in Horse Prairie involving children under 10 years old was just below 50 percent. There was no decade in the century when the proportion fell below 45 percent.

Up until the end of the 20th century the chances of children dying young would have made people more likely to have them not less, but that wouldn't necessarily follow through to the Firefly 'verse. It's been interesting reading all the different points of view.

...........................


You can question the meaning of life on a floaty
island of your own for a while.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 5:16 AM

REDHEAD


Quote:

originally posted by AgentRouka
Yes, but the question is not whether they are biologically capable or whether some of them might want to. The question is whether it's a responsible choice and practicable long-term without making real changes to their lifestyle.



Ahh, we are answering different questions.

The question I thought I was answering is would people in that situation be likely to have children not whether it is responsible.

We could get into a whole discussion on whether it is a responsible choice to have children at all even in our easy American world… But I have this horrible difficulty separating the characters from real people... and real people, in their situation--- young, healthy and becoming more and more sexually active (you go, Kaylee, girl ;) are likely to have children. This would make changes in their lifestyle but, judging from my experience (none with gangbangers but I have grown up in and live in Humboldt Co, CA -Pot capital of the US), not as much as you might expect.


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Also, I don't think that it's usually the "drug dealers and gang bangers" who actually raise those kids. That'd be their girlfriends or wives, I suspect.



As a feminist and a observer of actual pot culture, I would have to say, “what makes you think women aren’t drug dealers?” And those women are mothers (some excellent mothers and extremely loving), wives, and girlfriends (pretty fine women all around in many cases!) They grow it. They sell it. And sometimes they get arrested and sometimes they get shot. I’m not saying that they are being “responsible” just human and since Zoe (and the rest) seem darn human to me I’m betting the ship would have pitterpatters sooner or later.

Oh, and as a homeschooling mama I had to set this misperception right:

Quote:

originally posted by AgentRouka
Those who actually DO go to college, I don't doubt it. I have a friend who was homeschooled much to her advantage. But I'm fairly certain that there are those whose homeschooling works to their disadvantage who end up never seeing the inside of a college and who therefor don't figure into such statistics.



Of course not all homeschoolers go to college but according to a survey of 7500 adults who had been homeschooled, conducted by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, Over 74% of home-educated adults ages 18–24 have taken college-level courses, compared to 46% of the general United States population.

Who would homeschool the mythical kid(s)? Anyone could (well, maybe not Jayne for readin’ and ‘ritin’! :0 ) It doesn’t take any huge amount of skill and lots of kids are homeschooled using the internet. With all those settlers heading out to the border planets (and taking their children), I’d bet there was a mighty large choice of homeschooling options on the cortex.

Yes, Serenity would not be a good place for having children but neither are the border planets and, frankly, nor is much of this beautiful but dangerous world you and I live in. Nonetheless, people constantly choose or accidently have children every day. And as the mother of 3 incredibly wonderful sons, THANK GOODNESS!

PS DESKTOPHIPPIE Right, Thanks for reminding me to keep up the faith. I despair occasionally.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 6:49 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by redhead:

The question I thought I was answering is would people in that situation be likely to have children not whether it is responsible.



Of course some people would be likely to do questionable things. That's not worth a discussion.

We're talking about the crew of Serenity, though. The show is interesting because it examines the fabric of complex choices, not because it celebrates gut-reactions.

I don't see a child being just... taken for granted without some major dramatic back and forth with regard to their lifestyle, and I think this would be the justified form of approaching the subject, rather than just going "People are raising kids in bad places all the time, let's try". Because that would take any and all impact out of possible bad consequences because they would have been easily predictable miles away.

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We could get into a whole discussion on whether it is a responsible choice to have children at all even in our easy American world…



It's a grey area, yes. Having children is always a selfish choice, but there are degrees of what is acceptable and degrees of what is not. There's a reason there are child social services in the world and I don't think a sweeping argument like "When is it ever the right time?" makes that go away.

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But I have this horrible difficulty separating the characters from real people... and real people, in their situation--- young, healthy and becoming more and more sexually active (you go, Kaylee, girl ;) are likely to have children.



Big distinction between sex and reproduction these days. Birth control. Having children is a choice 99% of the time, íf anything like responsibility is involved.

The question is whether they are likely to want children, and want them on Serenity. Both partners involved. Regarding canon pairings, the likelihood of that is very low.


Quote:

As a feminist and a observer of actual pot culture, I would have to say, “what makes you think women aren’t drug dealers?”


I apologize for saying "wives and girlfriends" instead of "not-as-criminal parent", because certainly women can be criminals, too.


Quote:

And those women are mothers (some excellent mothers and extremely loving), wives, and girlfriends (pretty fine women all around in many cases!) They grow it. They sell it. And sometimes they get arrested and sometimes they get shot. I’m not saying that they are being “responsible” just human and since Zoe (and the rest) seem darn human to me I’m betting the ship would have pitterpatters sooner or later.


And I think Mal would have said no to that and asked Zoe to engage her brain (see my further paragraph above).

And, well, genocide is also quite a "human" thing to do, considering it's done by humans to humans. So is cheating and murder and stealing and substance abuse and forcing one's opinion on others Alliance-style. Human doesn't mean anything.
The show is unlikely to show any of those things (aside from the occasional murder, how funny) without casting some value judgment, and in the context of the show "human" is not a justification for anything. Choices matter. Choices and consequences.

Quote:


Of course not all homeschoolers go to college but according to a survey of 7500 adults who had been homeschooled, conducted by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, Over 74% of home-educated adults ages 18–24 have taken college-level courses, compared to 46% of the general United States population.



I just wanted to set right that I did NOT mean to imply that homeschooling is not a good option!

I did not state it well enough, but I know that LOTS of homeschooled students receive a much better education than some kids in public schools.

But there's also the fact that my friend was taking college-level courses just to round off her highschool education, not because she had heard it all before and was now going to college. Classes her parents paid for, which had nothing to do with how good her education was and everything with what her parents could afford.

There's also that her mother devoted herself to her children's education as a housewife.

I'll freely admit that I don't have an overview of the general homeschooling population but my guess is that the majority is at least financially comfortable, in order to afford the time and devotion of educating their children themselves with all the necessary supplies and not needing to have two parents working full-time.

Wash and Zoe may be on board a lot of the time (or Kaylee, whoever she may wish to procreate with, God knows it must be the furthest thing from Simon's mind) but they do have jobs to do nor a lot of money to spare. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but I don't think it'd necessarily be great just because it's homeschooling and they are the good guys.

But education is really not my major sticking point. Safety is.


Quote:


Yes, Serenity would not be a good place for having children but neither are the border planets and, frankly, nor is much of this beautiful but dangerous world you and I live in. Nonetheless, people constantly choose or accidently have children every day. And as the mother of 3 incredibly wonderful sons, THANK GOODNESS!



I maintain that there is a huge difference between a place that is poor and a place that is actively endangered by regular violence and policve intervention. And between living in a place where a lot of the population share certain circumstances and choosing the more dangerous option.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 7:30 AM

REDHEAD



I’m not sure that as a fan I would want to view the results of a child on Serenity but I can’t picture the conversation in which (pre-BDM) Zoe asks Mal if she can get pregnant. (post-BDM the point is moot –(pause for whimper)). Zoe is extremely loyal and reluctant to do something that would displease him but it appears in War Stories she married Wash without Mal’s permission and decided to take whatever response he dished out. She’ld do the same with a pregnancy.

Sooo that leaves how Mal would respond once he found out she was pregnant. And I just don’t know. On the one hand, the idea of an 8 month pregnant Zoe in a fire fight seems likely to leave him a wee disconcerted. (He was pretty shook up when Petaline gives birth). But on the other hand, could he just say, “Gorramit, What the hell were you thinkin’ of? I’m gonna have to throw you and Wash off on Persephone. I’ll just get a new right hand man. How ‘bout you, Jayne, cause I never worry about you backstabbin’ me.” Hmm, Zoe’s loyalty and trustworthiness would be nearly impossible to replace.

So, I guess what it really would have come down to was Wash--just like Minear and Whedon wrote in Heart of Gold. Zoe’s ready but Wash isn’t and I agree that Zoe would be unlikely to choose getting pregnant without his being alright with that. (A part of me wonders though, any woman that would lie to her husband about whether she had talked to ‘the boss’ about a plan might well be willing to face “ritual suicide, lamby toes” in order to get what she wants. That doesn’t reflect well on her but she ain’t a saint.”)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 11:18 AM

ARIANE


I really can't see Zoe doing anything devious to concieve a child. There's a huge difference between trying to spare hubby's feelings and throwing a humongous, life-altering change in his lap without his consent.

As for asking for Mal's permission... well, no she wouldn't. This is her life. But neither would she foist her lifestyle decisions on him. If she and Wash were going to try for a baby, she would probably tell Mal about it. As a courtesy, if nothing else, seeing as a pregnant woman or baby on board is going to severely affect his plans. There might follow some squabbling as to the feasability of raising a kid on Serenity. We have Wash's word that he thinks it's a bad idea. I'm fairly certain Mal would agree with him. In the end, I think Zoe and Wash would leave the ship.

And maybe Mal wouldn't have his right hand man anymore, and he'd have to watch his own back. He might not like it, but that's not a reason to endanger an infant.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 1:49 PM

INDIGOSTARBLASTER


Keep in mind that the BDMs do not go out seeking bullet-ridden jobs, and that the camera doesn't show us the nice tame ones (wobbly-headed geisha dolls, etc.). From their point of view, the majority of their work is probably really uneventful, so that the times the danger actually comes on board with them are few. And consider, after all, that Kaylee isn't much more than a kid, and has really no ability to protect herself in a fight; but none of them seems to think that she shouldn't be on board.

I don't think that it's out of the question that Zoe would get pregnant (well, would have gotten...) and they would all decide to try things out for a while with a baby on board, on account of Zoe and Mal's friendship and how Serenity is her home as much as it is his. They'd probably do more ferrying with the shuttle and keep Serenity in orbit, or maybe keep someone out in orbit in the shuttle with the baby, whenever they thought it might be a little riskier. And maybe it wouldn't work out; but I think they'd still try.

Indigo S.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 5:29 PM

ARIANE


Kaylee and River are the closest thing the ship has to children/innocents, it's true. And maybe Kaylee isn't much use in a gunfight, but she has her own set of skills which contribute to keeping the crew safe. And she's not nearly as helpless as a toddler would be. But what I think is the the fundamental difference between her and a potential kid is this: Kaylee accepted the work, knowing at least some of the risks. She can leave if it gets too hot for her. A mini-BDH would be in danger because that's where a parent decided to put them.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 7:57 PM

AGENTROUKA


It may not be every job that has them in mortal danger, but it does happen with a steady regularity of every couple of weeks/months. That's, I think, quite enough, whether they seek that danger or whether is just happens to find them that often.

And while I myself call Kaylee both childlike and childish at times, it's a bit much to equate her with a baby/toddler/pre-schooler or any actual child. She has a set character, she has choices and while she may freeze up in danger, she has the resourcefulness of her age. And when you tell her to shut up and solve a problem (in a loving way) she is capable of doing it even in the face of imminent death. Try doing that with a two-year-old. Or six-year-old.



Whether or not they tried things with a baby on board (probably not lasting long) would pretty largely have depended on Wash (be he in the picture). I can see Mal agreeing to try, if Zoe went about it in a diplomatic way and warned him ahead of time and such, but I think he'd want a back-up plan. Not a case of "Oh, it's not working out, let's now try to look for an alternative life".

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:58 AM

INDIGOSTARBLASTER


Well, of course, Kaylee isn't as helpless as an infant would be. I just meant that, from the perspective of the adults (Mal and Zoe), she is a kid; and they would have second thoughts about letting her stay on board, notwithstanding her skills, if they really thought it was all that dangerous. Granted, they may be just deluding themselves -- "Ok, that bounty hunter got on board _this_ time, but the chances of that happening again are one in... a very large number" -- but the same thinking would apply if they were to start having kids.

It just occurred to me that this is especially so if Serenity is pretty much the only home they're all willing to have. Zoe wouldn't even step foot on an Alliance planet, and the border planets seem pretty dangerous to me. There was that mining planet with the gas that rotted your bones from The Train Job, and the lawlessness plaguing the Our Mrs Reynolds planet and the Heart of Gold planet. The family would face environmental or criminal elements (or both) on every border planet that they could likely settle on. So any children they'd have would still be in danger, with the added danger of having a fixed location, should Zoe by chance make some enemies (which she would be almost certain to do, protecting the innocent from the powerful and the like).

Interesting topic, anyway :)



Indigo S.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007 4:10 PM

REDHEAD


I was just reading Serenity:the official visual companion and saw where Whedon says "By the way there's a strong possibility that everybody would return for a sequel."

Whoa, that brings Wash and Zoe back into the post BDM world. Somehow I feel that, in that world, the Mal that could speak of love, would be open to a baby on the ship. Somehow if Wash was returned (only I can't come up with a non-cheesy way for him to return) it seems like everyone would be kinda cheering for Life and... babies.

But it doesn't seem much like BDM2 is likely....(lingering sad sigh).

To paraphrase Kaylee: Whedon's Firefly is just so lush. I want to take a bite out of it all over, you know?

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