Ferengi

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Physiology

Ferengis are slight for humanoid races, rarely passing 5 feet in stature. Primary facial features are their ridged nose, razor-sharp fangs, and highly sensitive ears, but their main deviation from ordinary humanoid physiology is the four-lobed design of the brain, whose unusual patterns prevent telepaths such as the Betazoids from reading their mind. Ears The other uniquely Ferengi characteristic is the large ears that are receptive to touch. Their homeworld of Ferenginar has a thin atmosphere, and in time the Ferengi ears grew larger to better receive sound waves. The lobes are receptive to touch, and fondling them, termed oo-mox, is pleasurable to most males. The ears also have fine hairs on them, which with age grows to be lengthy and even shaggy. Hearing is undoubtedly the finest tuned sense of a Ferengi, and the ears unmistakably symbolize their innate "Ferenginess". One who has the "lobes" for something is marked out as gifted. Eating habits Ferengis delight in worms and various insects, preferably alive and squirming. Their small and sharp teeth make them efficient eaters. When young Ferengis need to sharpen dull teeth they use latinum tooth-sharpeners or chew-sticks.


Society

The Ferengi society is the culmination of the worst of capitalism and chauvinism combined. Though reasonably advanced in technology, they live for the accumulation of profit alone, whatever the means of acquiring it. Their whole race lives by the proclamations declared by the provisions inside The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, a compilation of the proven methods to earning profit. After all, ROA no. 18 puts it: A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all. Never mind leaving all the rest to lie in the gutter when you're through stepping on them, ROA no.212 states quite explicitly: Employees are the rungs on the ladder to success. Don't hesitate to step on them. In fact quite a few of the Rules of Acquisition endorses such disregard for sentiment or compassion when it comes to making profit. As ROA No. 21 warns: Never place friendship above profit.

Capitalism aside, Ferengis are a sexist society to the core. The Ferengi male views his female as property not to be shared nor exposed to the public. Females are not allowed an article clothing, earning of profit, traveling, looking or speaking to strangers, or even quoting from the sacred Rules of Acquisition. Another demeaning practice females are subjected to is chewing food for the males. This inbred sexism is sanctioned in rule no.94: Females and finances don't mix and no.139: Wives serve, brothers inherit. Even so, a Ferengi regards his mother with affection, often taking comfort in laying his head in her lap and defending her honor against the taunts of mean-spirited playmates.

Small nuclear families consisting of the father, mother, and children makes up the family structure of Ferengi society. Grandparents and cousins do not live within the same household. The father figure is the sole bread-earner, so his position is supreme in the house. Quark the Deep Space Nine bartender has an exceptionally unique mother. Ferengi marriages are male-oriented, with a string of Latinum Dances, Bridal Auctions, and of course the scantily clad bride to mark the event.

The total enslavement of the female population seems to come quite natural to the males, and they even attribute their family harmony to such a culture. However, affirmative action seems to have come into vogue even in Ferenginar. Grand Nagus Zek revised the Ferengi Bill of Opportunities to include female Ferengis. Understandably, Ferengi culture is still adapting to the sweeping winds of change.

In government, the Ferengis are as openly corrupt as they are in daily life. The Tower of Commerce on Ferenginar, tallest building within the Ferengi Alliance, is the bastion of profit-taking and scheming. Going up the tower in an elevator will cost seven slips of latinum. Talking to the front desk will mean another slip. Standing, sitting, coming, going, the Tower absolutely swallows latinum with unparalleled voracity. Housed within the Tower of Commerce is the headquarters of the Ferengi Commerce Association (FCA), the most powerful single organization within the Alliance. It is the terror of the land, as is has jurisdiction over every aspect of a Ferengi's profit and property. Every Ferengi must submit a yearly statement listing all the profits earned that year. Most Ferengis conveniently "forget" to put a few items on the list, and that is where the Ferengi IRS personnel come in. Registered Liquidators are sent in to investigate charges of misreported profits, and if evidence is found, or the bribe insufficient, all the property and holdings will be summarily liquidated.