Tag Archives: TV

This Week I’m a Babylon 5 SuperFan

My StepDaughter had never seen Babylon 5. What?!? She’d thought she’d seen parts of it, but it turned out she’d gotten it confused with Stargate. WhatTheFrell?!?!? We remedied this situation immediately — we pulled out the pilot movie, The Gathering. She was immediately hooked (no surprise), and in the last week and a half we’ve gone all the way through to Sleeping in Light. Next up: the movies and Crusade.

I wrote an Ezine article on B5 and Social Media that got accepted today; I just put a Babylon 5 post up at Popular Delusions to go with it. Why am I being such a SuperFan, especially when the series is over a decade old, and there is so much else going on in science fiction these days? I can give you three reasons.

One: as someone trying to do the internet marketing thing, the story of how Babylon 5 was made, and the communication lines that Straczynski kept open with the fans, holds a lot of lessons for building a fan base and a personal brand online. jms (as he was known in the newsgroups) constantly kept up with and answered fan question on UseNet, as well a GEnie and CompuServe; things he heard online made their way into the show. He gets credited with creating the first “internet marketing campaign,” before such things even existed. Good stuff.

Two: as a lover of SF, Babylon 5 is simply a smart show. The characters are smart, the human space station and craft are all things that we currently have the technology for, the ships move in space as if they’re really in space. B5’s future is a “real” one; by that I mean that the quarters have bathrooms, the situations have complications, and the answers are never easy. Every action has consequences, and some of them are not pretty — and there’s no “reset” button at the end of the episode either. Consequences continue. Just like real life.

Three: as a quote collector and lover of Good Words, Babylon 5 is a gold mine. There are tons of great quotes and words to live by all over this series, in every season; whether it’s quick one liners (Garibaldi: “You know, if I knew who God was, I’d thank her”) or beautiful thoughts (Delenn’s “Star Stuff” speech), you’ll find an absolute ton of great stuff to think on in this part of the Multiverse. One of these days I’d love to go through the entire series with the pause button and my laptop, and write down all the good stuff to be sent to jms for approval and then published as “Good Words: The Wisdom of Babylon 5.” Whether written chronologically by episode or arranged by character, if nothing else I’d love to own that book. It would sure make quoting things easier!

For example, from Marcus Cole: “You know, I used to think it was awful that Life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if Life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the Universe.” Isn’t that a neat thought? I like it. Just like I like most of the wisdom the charactors spout on Babylon 5. Man, that jms can WRITE!

So I’ll quit now. This should be about enough from me about B5. But the show, the universe, really is that good. I haven’t even mentioned the CGI (incredible for its time), the unique aliens, the incredible space battles, or the truths underlying the whole Earth civil war thread. There is too much — I can’t even sum up. Suffice to say, I highly recommend watching it, beginning to end. Then you’ll love it too. 8-)

25 Things that Prove I’m Weird

In imitation of the “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” FriendFeed meme, but without putting it all there . . . here I go! (In no particular order)

  1. At the age of 4, the pastor called my parents to come get me from Sunday School, and suggested that I not come back. (Know anyone else expelled from Sunday School? Glad they didn’t send transcripts when we moved!)
  2. I once went to Girl Scout camp for the weekend, and my family moved. (They kept the same phone number, though, which is why they had to come get me when I got back.)
  3. For high school graduation, I got luggage.
  4. I didn’t start college until I was 22. I ran out of money after a year and a half, and never did get that English degree.
  5. Our pets include four cats and two corn snakes. Past pets have included rats, hamsters, mice, parakeets, and fish (gold and tropical).
  6. We have 1 1/2 rooms of books in the house. A library (floor to ceiling shelves) plus a wall of shelves in the bedroom.
  7. Both my last serious relationship and my current spouse had a relationship with the same person before they got together with me.
  8. There are 5 computers, 2 PDAs and 2 cell phones in this house (3 people). You can often find us all in the living room, each on their own laptop.
  9. I went to 6 grade schools in 7 years. (We moved a LOT.)
  10. We have a Video Wall; there are over 600 movies at last count. Our favorite type of movie? “Previously Viewed.” (Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself!)
  11. I don’t possess a drivers’ license, and don’t drive. Being at the wheel of 1,000 pounds of moving destruction scares the crud out of me. (So do the other drivers!)
  12. We own the complete sets of Star Trek Classic, Babylon 5, Firefly, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Godzilla movies, and James Bond movies, among others.
  13. I’m into divination: cards, dice, runes, basic numerology and astrology mainly, but have played with others.
  14. I own every song “Weird Al” Yankovic has put on disc. (I may not own the compilation albums; but I do have copies of “Polkamon” and “School Cafeteria!”) I’m particularly proud of my vinyl copy of “Peter and the Wolf.”
  15. I think office supply stores are as much fun as Toys R Us.
  16. I’m a wanna be hippie, and my mother saw that early; she once told me I was born in the wrong decade.
  17. I have three younger brothers, all of whom are leading perfectly normal family lives and have good careers. They don’t talk to me any more.
  18. I’m a Doctor Who fanatic, and have seen episodes from all 10 Doctors. (Favorites: Tom Baker, Paul McGann, and David Tennant, not necessarily in that order.) Also keeping up w/ Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. And I own two modern Sonic Screwdrivers (One is a flashlight). Why oh why does the classic replica cost $250???
  19. Despite being over 40, some of my favorite music is recent; I like Disturbd, Rammstein, System of a Down, Blink 182, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and stuff like that. My “classic” music can go from Styx to Adam Ant. My shuffle feature brings up some interesting combinations.
  20. I’m diabetic; or at least I was when I last saw a doctor. I’ve lost 50 pounds since then . . .
  21. I’m an Oregonian, but I’ve never seen Crater Lake, and I’m not all that fond of salmon. (Heresy!)
  22. We own every Muppet movie, and are working on owning every original Muppet Show episode.
  23. When watching Ivanhoe or Robin Hood, I always boo the Normans and root for the Saxons. I named my cat Harold after the “last true king of England” and always refer to William “the Conqueror” as “William the Bastard.”
  24. I hate shoes, and only wear them outside the house. I think socks are for cutting off toe freedom, and only wear them when it’s really cold.
  25. I don’t sleep well. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night, and often don’t get back to sleep until nearly sunrise. Which is why this list was written at 4 am. 8-)

I Learned all my Life Skills from SF TV — and Helping End the ‘Great Content No Readers’ Epidemic

MiLady has found a bunch of 80s scifi TV, and we’ve spent the last week watching Buck Rogers. Now we’ve moved on to something she remembers and I don’t — though it looks familiar — called Voyagers. And I’m beginning to have an inkling of why I have a small problem with the real world.

There’s an application in FaceBook called Flair, where you can send your friends button pictures. I found one a while back that said, “I Learned all my Life Skills from Disney Movies.” I liked that button, but knew it wasn’t quite right; now I know what it should have said: “I Learned all my Life Skills from SF TV.”

Some of the beliefs I have that have gotten me in the most trouble came from TV. People are basically honest; troubles can be solved by talking about them until reason is agreed to by all parties; a friend wouldn’t con you; good people don’t change. It always worked for Buck Rogers and Captain Kirk! But walk out that front door, and Real Life hits you in the face — hard. People (as a herd, as faceless strangers on the street) suck. They’ll say anything to get what they want, and leave you hanging at the first opportunity. They’re rude and always angry, and more than willing to take it out on you.

I like my own little world much better than the real one. In my world, I get to interact with persons, not people — persons who read your words and consider them before replying. People who use their soapboxes to say things that are interesting and engaging and funny and thoughtful. It may be my own little world, but it’s OK — they know me there. I think I’ll stay. 8-)

Subject Change: I just read about a nifty idea over on Chuck Westbrook’s blog: a blogger’s reading club! Sign up to his RSS feed to get more info, but the basic idea is getting a bunch of people together and they all read the same ‘undiscovered’ blog for two weeks, commenting and trackbacking and generally boosting their stats, then moving on to another blog for two more weeks. You get neat new places to read and maybe subscribe to, the blogger gets increased traffic, Google love and valuable feedback — Everybody Wins. If you have the time to read one more blog regularly, give it a thought!