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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old March 19 2013, 10:35 PM   #796
Jan
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

As for why an episode like that was needed? Here's the text of an actual post I read on a B5 message board just the other day (posted without permission and in this case I don't care):

Subject: Why did clark was the bad guy?

I mean sure he get the power by a coup but so?!

What was so bad about it he just don't want provocateurs and wants to stop alien influence...

Sure he will not fix the economic situation but the truth is that he was probably going to be overthrown by a smarter leader(Hitler,Stalin) who would fix economy and the price is some people getting arrested and you must not speak against the government...
Yeah...

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Old March 19 2013, 11:12 PM   #797
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Jan wrote: View Post
As for why an episode like that was needed? Here's the text of an actual post I read on a B5 message board just the other day (posted without permission and in this case I don't care):

Subject: Why did clark was the bad guy?

I mean sure he get the power by a coup but so?!

What was so bad about it he just don't want provocateurs and wants to stop alien influence...

Sure he will not fix the economic situation but the truth is that he was probably going to be overthrown by a smarter leader(Hitler,Stalin) who would fix economy and the price is some people getting arrested and you must not speak against the government...
Yeah...

Jan
Heh, yea, that pretty much sums it up

Perhaps it was different for those of us who watched Babylon 5 first run, before all Government power grabs and News Channel Bias that and such aggresive Partisanship that were brought to us after 911. I personally have always enjoyed the "Newscast" episodes in Babylon 5 and appreciate how they show the growing corruption and power grabs of Clark Administration and their Propaganda (We don't have homeless on Earth, that's all been ended. oh, sure there's a few lazy people who choose to live that way... )

I just find it interesting how these episodes can generate such a visceral reaction from someone who is too young to have lived through Politics and Media prior to 911
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Old March 20 2013, 12:35 AM   #798
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Reverend wrote: View Post
Plus, like Jan says it's about the process. Without things like this you'd be scratching you head wondering how the people back on Earth could just let some xenophobic nutter do whatever he wants. This is pretty much the culmination of things that have been slipped in here and there since season one.

Thats what I'm doing right now. The fact that the propaganda is so poorly done is just making me wonder why the humans in the future are so stupid. Its amazing that they have the ability to breathe.

Sindatur wrote: View Post
I just find it interesting how these episodes can generate such a visceral reaction from someone who is too young to have lived through Politics and Media prior to 911
I have a reaction because its bad television, and its getting rammed down my throat. I get it, humans in the future are stupid/evil/don't care and will believe everything they are told. I can accept that. Its not like its even that unique in Science fiction (oh, that nice chancellor dressed in black just declared that we're an empire now? That seems like a good idea that we should go along with). Its the fact that it keeps getting said, and worst every time. If they would stop spending so much time making me watch propaganda that a 3 year old could see through, I could accept it a lot easier. Showing me examples of what is fooling people just makes me unable to accept that so many people would believe this. I don't care about the problems with real life media, its not a interesting topic, especially not when its being taken to idiotic extremes on a TV show. All it does is derail the show and annoy me. I know people usually say show, don't tell, but when they're this bad at the showing, they should probably just tell me about the existence of propaganda. Heck, even if they could have done it better it would still be fairly pointless and have taken up WAY too much time, but atleast it wouldn't make me want to break the TV.
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Old March 20 2013, 12:41 AM   #799
Jan
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

It's a fine line they had to follow. In at least one instance coming up in the future, a point was made completely clear, very extensively in an episode you've seen. And yet from fan reaction, you'd have thought that it was never mentioned and came out of the blue when something happens further down the line. I don't know if JMS ever said why he decided against 'Previously on B5' segments except in a few cases, but perhaps if that had been a part of the show, reminders wouldn't have been felt to be necessary.

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Old March 20 2013, 03:43 PM   #800
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I have a reaction because its bad television, and its getting rammed down my throat. I get it, humans in the future are stupid/evil/don't care and will believe everything they are told.
You are missing the point. It's not the humans in the FUTURE are stupid/evil/don't care, it's that humans in the PRESENT are stupid/evil/don't care and maybe should pay attention to how they are being manipulated NOW.

Science Fiction isn't always about the people of the future, it's a way of talking about the present.
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Old March 20 2013, 03:56 PM   #801
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
Science Fiction isn't always about the people of the future, it's a way of talking about the present.
Science fiction is almost never about the future.
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Old March 20 2013, 04:48 PM   #802
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

The public will still be dumb fucks willing to swallow anything by the time period of Babylon 5. A lie becomes impossible to notice by many if simply presented as a factual TV show.
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Old March 20 2013, 07:12 PM   #803
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I have a reaction because its bad television, and its getting rammed down my throat. I get it, humans in the future are stupid/evil/don't care and will believe everything they are told.
You are missing the point. It's not the humans in the FUTURE are stupid/evil/don't care, it's that humans in the PRESENT are stupid/evil/don't care and maybe should pay attention to how they are being manipulated NOW.

Science Fiction isn't always about the people of the future, it's a way of talking about the present.

Thats my biggest objection. I'm watching a show about a space station in the future, I don't need to watch commentary about the present, especially if its done badly. The media is not a topic that you talk about like this anyway. You can do religion, racism, and a lot of other bad/controversial social stuff and make a good sci fi show, too. Star Trek did it. Babylon 5, however, is taking a stupid topic and doing it badly. Like i said, if they downplayed the propaganda and actually had it be stuff people could believe, it wouldn't make me as angry (and, no, the stuff ISN is saying is not like what is done nowadays, its much stupider and would be unbeliveable even to people who support Clark completely). Anyway, we're just talking in circles. I hate the propaganda stuff, and telling me its social commentary isn't something I didn't know (it was pretty obvious since the beginning), its just something that has been done very badly in the show. Still, its just one bad sub plot that doesn't ruin the show. The rest of the show makes up for it. I just wish it would be dropped. Even if you like it, at this point they're just beating a dead horse. We should just move from arguing about the propaganda stuff.

Anyway, on to the episodes I watched.

Racing Mars - The brainwashed Garibaldi can be a bit annoying. The Marcus/Franklin team is very entertaining, they do well together, and have some pretty funny moments. The married thing was great. It was cool to see more of mars. The Ivanova black market stuff was good. I'm guessing that they need earth stuff so badly because they can't get it from aliens, although you'd think that they'd be able to get some stuff from places other than earth. The parasite on Mars was interesting. The Minbari ritual was funny. "Woo Hoo" This was a very good episode.

Lines of Communication - The resistance isn't very unified. you'd think they'd realise the problems with bombing civilians themselves and not need Franklin to tell them it makes no sense. I'm glad Sheridan is going to do something to counter ISN's propaganda. The Minbari seem to have a lot of problems. I can't believe that the warrior clan went from being idiots to murderers. The whole "Minbari don't kill minbari" thing sure has a big loophole, doesn't it. I figured that the Drakh were allies of the shadows. The White Star/Drakh fight was good. Another good episode.
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Old March 20 2013, 07:41 PM   #804
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Thats my biggest objection. I'm watching a show about a space station in the future, I don't need to watch commentary about the present
JJ Abrams is that you?

Social commentary has long been one of the biggest parts of sci-fi literature, film and TV. When the sci-fi story doesn't have anything to say about the world right now or where it's going, you almost always end up with dumb shlock.
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Old March 20 2013, 07:55 PM   #805
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I have a reaction because its bad television, and its getting rammed down my throat. I get it, humans in the future are stupid/evil/don't care and will believe everything they are told.
You are missing the point. It's not the humans in the FUTURE are stupid/evil/don't care, it's that humans in the PRESENT are stupid/evil/don't care and maybe should pay attention to how they are being manipulated NOW.

Science Fiction isn't always about the people of the future, it's a way of talking about the present.

Thats my biggest objection. I'm watching a show about a space station in the future, I don't need to watch commentary about the present, especially if its done badly. The media is not a topic that you talk about like this anyway. You can do religion, racism, and a lot of other bad/controversial social stuff and make a good sci fi show, too.
Why not? Why are some things ok to talk about, but not media? Putting aside whether or not B5 is doing it well, why shouldn't Sci Fi take on media?
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Old March 20 2013, 07:57 PM   #806
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
The parasite on Mars was interesting.
Does it remind you of something else we've seen?
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Old March 21 2013, 12:06 AM   #807
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Professor Zoom wrote: View Post

You are missing the point. It's not the humans in the FUTURE are stupid/evil/don't care, it's that humans in the PRESENT are stupid/evil/don't care and maybe should pay attention to how they are being manipulated NOW.

Science Fiction isn't always about the people of the future, it's a way of talking about the present.

Thats my biggest objection. I'm watching a show about a space station in the future, I don't need to watch commentary about the present, especially if its done badly. The media is not a topic that you talk about like this anyway. You can do religion, racism, and a lot of other bad/controversial social stuff and make a good sci fi show, too.
Why not? Why are some things ok to talk about, but not media? Putting aside whether or not B5 is doing it well, why shouldn't Sci Fi take on media?
Because its boring (I'll admit thats a personal opinion, but since its a thread about me watching stuff, I think its valid) and it usually devolves into basically just the writer ranting on stuff he doesn't like. There is that danger in any topic they try to do the modern comparison with, but in this case its really bad. Its taking up a lot of time and adding nothing to the plot. Most of my objections are from the perspective of a viewer. Doing something like this with the media could be ok (it could never be really good or anything, but it can be watchable) but it needs to be done well and not just become a parody (as long as the show in question isn't a comedy, and B5 isn't). The ISN is a cartoon news agency at this point. It seems like a writer trying to say "Oooh, look, the media is evil and people believe it all" in the most unsubtle way possible.

Bottom line: The Propaganda stuff has gone on too long, taken up too much screentime when it is mentioned, hasn't been entertaining (its been down right painful), and could have been summed up in a few lines of dialog in one episode and had the same effect on the plot.

Snatcher42 wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
The parasite on Mars was interesting.
Does it remind you of something else we've seen?
The regent on the centauri homeworld, and propably the idiotic Londo spoiler from awhile ago.
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Old March 21 2013, 02:55 PM   #808
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Because its boring (I'll admit thats a personal opinion, but since its a thread about me watching stuff, I think its valid) and it usually devolves into basically just the writer ranting on stuff he doesn't like.
Are you saying that in GENERAL when sci fi takes on media it's boring? Or just when B5 does it? I'm not going to argue whether or not B5 does it well or not, but, if you are saying the former, what makes media so special over anything else? Why is media "boring" but politics or racism not? (As I said in my question to you, putting B5 aside...)



There is that danger in any topic they try to do the modern comparison with, but in this case its really bad. Its taking up a lot of time and adding nothing to the plot. Most of my objections are from the perspective of a viewer. Doing something like this with the media could be ok (it could never be really good or anything, but it can be watchable) but it needs to be done well and not just become a parody
Why do you think media is an exception? You say it could be "ok" but "never" really good... why never? No science fiction has taken on media in an interesting way?
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Old March 21 2013, 04:20 PM   #809
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

I think it might be time to drop this one and move on.
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Old March 21 2013, 06:28 PM   #810
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Re: Farscape or Babylon 5?

Yeah, the topic should just be done with. But, just to answer Professor Zoom, I don't believe its possible for Science Fiction to do something with the media that would be interesting, atleast to me. I have absolutely no interest in the media, so its an uphill battle to make media stuff watchable to me, much less make me actually like it. I'd say that B5 does it badly even if I wasn't predisposed to dislike stuff about the media in TV shows, but even if it was done better I'd still consider it a waste of time.
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