Man forced to surrender his "offensive Star Trek license plate

Originally published at:


His name is Troller? Wow.
Without the Star Trek frame of reference, which is not obvious as the text on the frame is tiny compared to the plate. Yeah that can ruffle some feathers.

ETA Basically just because you like Star Trek and get it, does not mean everyone likes Star Trek and will get it.


The complainants may have legitimately felt offended, but is that a way to run a government?


I get how it could be offensive without the proper context. Maybe if he was driving a Nissan Cube…


I guess that’s a “No” for my Dr Who-themed ‘XTERMN8’ plate.


Well. . . at least he didn’t have the Dr.-Who-themed plate with “XTRMN-8.”

(EDIT: sonofabitch. . . one minute too late with my nerdy witticisms.)


The biggest issue with trying to appease the perpetually offended is that you will never really make them happy. They just move their focus so that they are able to generate the same level of outrage with more and more innocuous things. Because once you pass below the threshold of things that a “reasonable person” would find offensive, it starts being less about the offending item, and more about demanding an act of submission.
Or that has been my observed experience.
It is the nature of civilized people to not wish to offend others. So it is easy to think that it is just a license plate, or a book, or a painting. Better to submit, and avoid conflict. But at some point, people will realize that the system is being abused, and another act of contrition is always being demanded. So the choice becomes one of reasonable pushback, or continuous penitence.


I get the star trek reference and even then when you try to think of other contexts the plate can be taken in i can’t really defend the plates and say it’s not a problem.


Very well-put.

I’m going to go on a limb here and assume that the people complaining that the plate is offensive to indigenous people were not indigenous themselves and just took this opportunity to appear virtuous on someone else’s behalf.

EDIT: Much like the people flagging this post as inappropriate.



This has to be a Rorschach test of sorts, because I’d never jump to the conclusion it was about anything other than the Borg. Even if I thought it meant something else, I wouldn’t think it would target indigenous people who have more or less assimilated, living in Canada for generations. If it were going to be an attack, I’d think it would target the huge influx of immigrants they have had the last several years. But, again, I think one has to connect a lot of dots that aren’t really there.

If that plate wasn’t on a Cube, then the guy really screwed up a prime opportunity.

And as an aside, on the way to work I saw a little blue care with MAG MSL - which I assumed was Magic Missile, but now I am doubting every thing…


First impression: Greatest license plate of all time.

Second impression: A government agency listened to an indigenous person. This can’t have happened within the U.S.


Here is where I ask that question “is this actually offensive or is someone looking to be offended”.

It’s a license plate. Come on.



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I believe the United Federation of Planets would similarly declare it offensive (and possibly seditious).


I’m kind of conflicted on this one. On the one hand, Star Trek, on the other hand … assimilate could be taken as the high brow version of “we speak american here, you learn it and never speak your native tongue.” Which is pretty damned offensive.

You could show the parallels between “everyone must assimilate into straight, white, hetero, traditional gender views, North American culture” and the Borg … but I’m not sure I would want that on my plate even with that idea in mind.

It wouldn’t have occurred to me to see it any way other than a silly Star Trek plate if this hadn’t come up and I’m at least high level aware of the problems with assimilation. I tend to see this post as revealing a possible weak spot in my own awareness.

Funny enough, Star Trek also has that weak spot. (I can go nerd and reference a few episodes if you want but it’s probably better to just link this which is a pretty good introduction to the problem … written by Dr. Katja Kanzler who is a big enough Star Trek nerd that her doctoral work was on Star Trek.)


when do we reach the moment when every single possible human utterance offends somebody and we just can’t communicate any longer?


Apparently my comment was terribly offensive, although I do not know why.
Lets call that exhibit B.