[META] Aliens on the Looniearth

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 24 19:04:49 PDT 2009

On Mar 25, 12:57 am, Saxon Brenton <saxonbren... at hotmail.com> wrote:

> That said, there are multiple levels of cultural reference that can be
> encoded in these groups.  As a simple example, the Dorfs may originally
> have been a reference to internet trolls, but they also had an Imperial
> Guard, which to my mind adds in aspects of the the Shi'ar Imperial Guard.

Well, I've written quite a bit about the Dorfs so here goes.

The Dorfs date waaay back to the Cosmic Plot Device Caper.  They are
humanoid and they are based on internet trolls and the original poster
even named some universities "of origin" (sinec everybody was a
university student back then).  Their first line of dialogue was IIRC
"We have stolen Spelling Boy's brain.  Resistance is futile.  You will
be assimulated."  So there was some Borg influence there: in fact, I
think the Borg influence is where the name came from: Borg/Dorf.
See?  Later, the Borg analogues became the Cascaders who are
technically also aliens but they were aliens from another newsgroup.

Enter Drizzt.  Drizzt created the whole Dorf society: it had an
Emperor and people apparently rose through the ranks by being rude to
each other.  It was like a bizarro world where polit behavior is
punished and rude behavior is rewarded.  To a certain extent, this
mirrors the troll subculture we see on the net with trolls obviously
admiring each other even as they rip each other new ones.  Anyway, the
Imperial Guard was just that, the Emperor's own private guard, and was
not meant to imply that the Dorfs were Shiar analogues (although they
were in that particular story).

Drizzt isn't here anymore but I got the impression that he was basing
the Dorfs on Skrulls, aliens who actually behaved a lot like Dorfs but
not so much to comic effect.  The Skrulls had an Empress IIRC.  Drizzt
was also a Star Trek fan so there may have been some Klingon
influence.  Jesse Willey ran with the Klingonesque "honourable pirate"
idea and pretty much wrote the Dorfs as if they were Klingons.  I
think it is a minor point because TOS Klingons weren't particularly
honourable either and were pretty much Dorf-like.  (See Trouble With
Tribbles, for example.  The tribbles could smell Klingons which
suggests to me that Klingons don't even bathe.)

Personally, I don't see a contradiction: Skrulls, Klingons, Dorfs,
they all have to maintain a rule of law in order for their society to
function so they all had to move beyond being villains or trolls or
whatever in order to be plausible.  One problem with the Mirror Mirror
Star Trek episode is that a society where people kill each other at
random wouldn't get very far: plausible villains need to see
themselves as not evil but strong, powerful and -yes- righteous.  I
recently posted a list of "Dorfan Proverbs" based on Chinese and
Western proverbs but bizarrofied to suit the Dorfan point of view.
That should clear up the "contradiction".

One more point: there is a contradiction between the original poster's
contention that the Dorfs were from Earth and Drizzt's description of
the Dorfan Homeworld.  This contradiction has never been resolved and
qualifies as an in-joke, say for example a LNH2 scene in which Dorfs
attend a lecture about "The Descent of Dorfs" describing their Earthly
origin and the Dorfs scoff saying "We are not descended from humans!
How ridiculous!"


More information about the racc mailing list