If you had one question to ask JMS, what would it be?

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Patrick M. Berry

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Jun 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/27/96
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In article <4qs5fd$q...@babbage.ece.uc.edu>, pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu (Erik A Pfingsten ) writes:
> I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you
> could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,
> open, and honest answer about, what would it be? Would it be a really
> broad general question (ie. Where is the series going?) or would it be
> something really specific (ie. What exactly is the third age of mankind?)?

I don't need to ask him those questions. He's already going to answer them in the
natural course of the series. And I don't want to know before then.

If I could ask JMS one question and get a complete and truthful answer, I think it
would be: "What would it take to convince you *not* to retire from television after
B5?"

Either that, or: "What *is* Garibaldi's favorite thing in the universe?"

David Frankel

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Jun 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/27/96
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pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu (Erik A Pfingsten ) wrote:
>I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you
>could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,
>open, and honest answer about, what would it be? Would it be a really
>broad general question (ie. Where is the series going?) or would it be
>something really specific (ie. What exactly is the third age of mankind?)?


Many questions that might be asked will be answered in the course ofthe
series (such as the examples above). I can wait. I would ask something
such as "How would the series, plots and character development have
differed if actors hadnot departed the series, if all the characters that
were in the pilot had chosen to continue with the series." And I would
hope for a thorough answer that would not be Vorlonesque.

I similiar question would be "How would the story have differed if it
were a written novel rather than a novel for television."

(Hey, if enough of us ask similiar questions, maybe Joe would answer
some. :) But then again, hopefully not; Iwould rather he write the
show :) ).

David "Full of questions" Frankel

Wendy Marsden

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Jun 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/27/96
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Erik A Pfingsten (pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu) wrote:
> I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you
> could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,
> open, and honest answer about, what would it be? Would it be a really
> broad general question (ie. Where is the series going?) or would it be
> something really specific (ie. What exactly is the third age of mankind?)?

No, it would be something along the lines of, "what can we do to
make sure this entire story gets finished." I hope this man
looks both ways before he crosses the street, never hangs out in
bars and doesn't smoke. I want him to live longer than Kosh!

Wendy


Steven W. Difranco

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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In a previous article, pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu (Erik A Pfingsten) says:

>I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you
>could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,
>open, and honest answer about, what would it be? Would it be a really
>broad general question (ie. Where is the series going?) or would it be
>something really specific (ie. What exactly is the third age of mankind?)?
>
>
>
>
>

My question would be:

"Exactly what is the relation between the Shadows and the
Vorlons, and how does this impact the Earthers and the other
sentient races of the galaxy?"

But I guess that would be telling.....
>
>
>
>

--
[ Steven W. DiFranco, CEO, WEBCRAFT Data Resources ][ Coming soon through
corporate right-sizing and merging: "Domino's Pizza-Pizza Hut McHero King"
Home of the "Stuffed-crust-wopp-arch-deluxe"(tm) - the Ultimate in fast-food
One-stop indulgence ][ Zathras not good at ordering...good at eating ]


Jms at B5

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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"If I could ask JMS one question and get a complete and truthful answer, I
think it
would be: "What would it take to convince you *not* to retire from
television after
B5?"

1) An anthology show.

2) A B5 spinoff that would be a complement to, not a capitalization upon,
the primary B5 series.

3) Something that would be as revolutionary for TV as the 5-year arc
structure, a project which could change the way TV is done, technically
and story-wise. If you can't top the last thing you did...don't do it.


jms


Jms at B5

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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"How would the story have differed if it were a written novel rather than
a novel for television."

More descriptions, more internal monologue. More locations off-station.
Larger cast of characters. Shorter arc (5 years at 22 episodes per and 45
pages per script is a hell of a lot more than you can get into any novel
or series of novels.)

jms


Brian K. Bragg

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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Have you ever considered a nonconvintional novel structure. Maybe a
series of volumes each containing a number of books, each being
readable on it's own and at the same time contributing to an overal
arc. In a way this is what you are already doing. In fact it is
exactly what you are doing and you have said as much, but I see no
reason why it could not work in a text based format. I have seen
people stick with series that contain dozens of novel from writes who
don't have half the talent. I haven't ever read your novels, I didn't
even know you wrote any novels until a few days ago, but I would love
to see how your stories work without actor and director
interpritation.


> jms


**********************************************************************
*Let us eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall have hangovers!*
*******************************************************Brian K. Bragg*
****************

Brian K. Bragg

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5) wrote:

>1) An anthology show.


> jms

Actually I was woundering if someday the arc might just end up
classified as a literary format like the novel, the autobiography, the
poem, ect. I never understood why some people were willing to
classify stage plays as litirature and exclude screne and tele plays.
Some amazingly deep work has been done in both field, although I think
television is not so far along as film in this department because it
is so much more audience sensitive then cinima. Not that making money
isn't important to film, but it is a lot easier to get funding for a
one time deal were no one really knows how the audience will react
until after the project is complete than it is to sustain funding for
a show that has a small audience. in other words, it is easier to do
more lireray work in film and easier to cater to the masses in
television. That's why shows like B5 are so special. They don't
cater to the masses. They tell their story. I love the structure of
it. Forshadowing is my favorite literary device because I love trying
to figuer out what is going to happen next, and I'm never more
delighted than when I get it completely wrong but look back and the
forshadowing points in exactely that direction if you look at it
differantly. I love it when someone throws me a curve ball. Most of
the time I will watch a show for a while, lose interest and stop
watching, then later I might come back and pick up where I left off.
It is disapointing when you are gone for a season or two and come bakc
and nothing has changed. When you can watch the episodes in any order
and the only thing that seems displaced is the actors hait cut.

I am babeling but it is had to express what I have to say. Let me try
from a differant angel. The five year arc has created a unique
opportunity for other writers. Babylon 5 is slowly reaching a leave
of popularity that will rival that of Star Trek. But people (at least
most people) aren't forming the slavish devotion to the B5 universe
that seems to follow Star Trek. They aren't afraid to take an
objective look at the show and say "I don't like this episode.". What
is happening is that a demand for quality is developing where the
market was full of brain candy before. If Babylon 5 becomes as much
of a comecial success as Star Trek, without comprimising its quality,
then maybe more writers capable of work on this level will be give
series, and the opportunity to creat literatur instead of fluf.

As for finding something else as revolutionary to television, I hope
you can. I don't know what it could be, but then at the moment I
don't need to because your the one looking and if I did I couldn't say
it. But let me say this. You posted a message about new tools you
were adding to yur writting and said that the trick was not to go
crazy with it and forget your old tools in favor of the new. The old
tool I'm refering to is the X year arc, and to quote my favorite ST
character "Remember..."

As for the sequel series, would it run concurrentaly with the current
series, or would it begin in 2263 or latter?

tomlinson

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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Erik A Pfingsten (pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu) wrote:

: I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you


: could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,
: open, and honest answer about, what would it be?

OK...

Dear JMS:

If you had the choice of _any_ writer, director, cinematographer,
etc., etc., etc., living or dead, to work on one episode of B-5,
who would they be? What's your ideal, once-in-a-life-time "dream
team"?

Cheers,
-et (or maybe I just shoulda asked what the meaning of life is)
--
Ernest S. Tomlinson : "The incident was important, however, because
------------------------+ immediately after it, Gharlane of Eddore made
e...@ugcs.caltech.edu : what proved to be an error."
etom...@rohan.sdsu.edu : - from E. E. Smith's _Gray Lensman_


Jms at B5

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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"If you had the choice of _any_ writer, director, cinematographer, etc.,
etc., etc., living or dead, to work on one episode of B-5, who would they
be? What's your ideal, once-in-a-life-time "dream team"?"

Rod Serling, script. (Second choice: Charles Beaumont.) Director: John
Frankenheimer (from his "Seconds" period).


jms


Jms at B5

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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"The five year arc has created a unique opportunity for other writers.
Babylon 5 is slowly reaching a leave of popularity that will rival that of
Star Trek. But people (at least most people) aren't forming the slavish
devotion to the B5 universe that seems to follow Star Trek. They aren't
afraid to take an objective look at the show and say "I don't like this
episode.""

Let me agree and disagree with you simultaneously. On the disagree side:
I'm on a number of forums where ST fans also tend to congregate, and if
there's an episode they don't like...they say so. With breahtaking
enthusiasm. I think they're savvy enough and discriminating enough to
speak forthrightly.

As for the part where I agree..in the ST series, at the end of the show,
there usually isn't a great deal of ambiguity left to the issues. Our
guys were right, their guys were wrong, and there tend not to be a lot of
ethical loose threads still hanging around. (This shouldn't be taken as a
blanket statement; there are the occasional episodes where you get close
to this, but they're not the norm.)

As a result, you more often get "I did/didn't like this *episode*" as
opposed to a heated debate over the ethical, moral and political issues
involved. That's the danger when your characters always take the moral
high ground, are always right, and rarely if ever make mistakes.

So to follow the thread of logic one step further...because B5 tends to
highlight those areas instead of minimizing them -- neither better nor
worse than the other approach, just a difference -- you end up
pre-selecting for an audience more given to analyze, critique, debate and
in general speak their minds on a variety of levels. There's a lot less
jingoism in the B5 fan community, it seems to me, than in other SF shows,
because there's more ambiguity involved. The lines aren't so clearly
drawn.

Which I think is only terrific.\

jms


Jeff Vavasour

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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In <4r049g$k...@newsbf02.news.aol.com> jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5) writes:
>1) An anthology show.
>2) A B5 spinoff that would be a complement to, not a capitalization upon,
>the primary B5 series.
>3) Something that would be as revolutionary for TV as the 5-year arc
>structure, a project which could change the way TV is done, technically
>and story-wise. If you can't top the last thing you did...don't do it.

So if you were offered to opportunity to do an anthology series complimenting
B5, in a style that revolutionised the way TV was done, there's no way you
could refuse, right? :-)

- Jeff


Michael Emond

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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In article <4qs5fd$q...@babbage.ece.uc.edu>,

One question? Not fair.
One thing that comes to mind right now though is "Why was Babylon
5 the story you had to write? That is, what is so special about THIS
story that you fought to get it on the air and have given up your life to
it."
That's not in anyway to belittle B5 but rather, as an amateur
writer, I have so many stories to tell all equally important to me, but
JMS has seemed to imply that this particular story was especially
important to him. Was it the messages it was conveying? Was it the fact
it was a 5 year arc...and therefore any 5 year arc story would satisfy
him? Was it the characters? Was it the really neat plot twists?
See, I told you I couldn't ask just one :).


Jeff Vavasour

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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[SPOILERS FOR "WAR WITHOUT END"]


In <4r049g$k...@newsbf02.news.aol.com> jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5) writes:
>3) Something that would be as revolutionary for TV as the 5-year arc
>structure, a project which could change the way TV is done, technically
>and story-wise. If you can't top the last thing you did...don't do it.

I got it! A series that tells a whole story backwards, from end to beginning.
No wait... that's Valen. I guess that's been done too.

Actually, on the topic of "things to compliment B5" (item #2 which I cut a
little too fast from the above quote), I've been thinking that it would be
great to have a "history book" of B5 after it's all over. (I don't mean a
novelistion.) I've partially imagined B5 as the "retelling of an epic
period in human history," sort of like WW2 movies, so it only makes sense
that the story would be retold in a history book form too.

[Moderators: I see this as a merchandise request, not a story idea. If you
feel this a breach of charter, I apologise.]

- Jeff


orso steven n

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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je...@physics.ubc.ca (Jeff Vavasour) writes:

>[SPOILERS FOR "WAR WITHOUT END"]


>In <4r049g$k...@newsbf02.news.aol.com> jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5) writes:
>>3) Something that would be as revolutionary for TV as the 5-year arc
>>structure, a project which could change the way TV is done, technically
>>and story-wise. If you can't top the last thing you did...don't do it.

>I got it! A series that tells a whole story backwards, from end to beginning.
>No wait... that's Valen. I guess that's been done too.


For reverse-time story-telling, see Harold Pinter, *Betrayal*
(read the play, or view the movie starring Jeremy Irons, Ben
Kingsley, and Patricia Hodge).


what does THIS button do?

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Jun 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/28/96
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pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu (Erik A Pfingsten ) writes:
> I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you
> could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,
> open, and honest answer about, what would it be?

how do you get Claudia to go out w/ you?

.max
never do this.


FireDog

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Jun 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/29/96
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In article <4qvgst$6...@madeline.INS.CWRU.Edu>, sw...@po.CWRU.Edu (Steven W.
Difranco) wrote:

->In a previous article, pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu (Erik A Pfingsten) says:
->
->>I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you
->>could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,
->>open, and honest answer about, what would it be? Would it be a really
->>broad general question (ie. Where is the series going?) or would it be
->>something really specific (ie. What exactly is the third age of mankind?)?


He CANT give an open and honest answer, JMS is KOSH :)

reg

'`~~~'` ^----^
\/@~@\/ U|..|U
\ / fir...@aloha.net | |
0 Woof Arf o/


what does THIS button do?

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Jun 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/29/96
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> how do you get Claudia to go out w/ you?
err ... ^i ^me

> never do this.

.max
definitely very bad


Brian K. Bragg

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Jun 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/29/96
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jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5) wrote:

>Let me agree and disagree with you simultaneously. On the disagree side:
>I'm on a number of forums where ST fans also tend to congregate, and if
>there's an episode they don't like...they say so. With breahtaking
>enthusiasm. I think they're savvy enough and discriminating enough to
>speak forthrightly.

Perhaps your right, my main experiance with trekkers isn't from the
forums, and the ones I meet tend to be a little on the obssesive side.
Once had one of them argue with me for an hour because I said I
thought the Enterprise -D looked more like abstract art than a ship.
IOW I tend to get exposed to the more exstemist members of fandom
because of were my haunts are, and sometimes I generalize based on a
somewhat scued perspective. I apologies if I've offended, but I think
the statement holds in princepal if not in every case. Many will
support something *just* because it is ST

>As for the part where I agree..in the ST series, at the end of the show,
>there usually isn't a great deal of ambiguity left to the issues. Our
>guys were right, their guys were wrong, and there tend not to be a lot of
>ethical loose threads still hanging around. (This shouldn't be taken as a
>blanket statement; there are the occasional episodes where you get close
>to this, but they're not the norm.)

This will probably get me flamed a bit, but my favorite Trek series
after TOS is DS9. Just because this kind of story does slip through
from time to time. The show even has an anti-hero or two. I know
there is a good deal of hostility between some in this group and
anything to do with DS9, but I do like the show because sometimes they
really do try, but in the final analisys you are right, rarely are the
characters on shaky ground moraly. What it comes down to is that the
ST has become the Aaron Spelling series of the sci-fi genre. It
offers up characters which show little depth at most times, shallow
plots ect.. It has become fluff. The take few risks and so get few
rewards. I miss Kirk and *his* stim habit. His womanizing and his
humanity. Something in short supply on todays Treks.

(snip)
minor spoilers for Dust to Dust, and big ones for Interludes and
Examinations added below


JMS, please keep reading, I don't think I can spoil you for any
episodes.

>So to follow the thread of logic one step further...because B5 tends to
>highlight those areas instead of minimizing them -- neither better nor
>worse than the other approach, just a difference -- you end up
>pre-selecting for an audience more given to analyze, critique, debate and
>in general speak their minds on a variety of levels. There's a lot less
>jingoism in the B5 fan community, it seems to me, than in other SF shows,
>because there's more ambiguity involved. The lines aren't so clearly
>drawn.

>Which I think is only terrific.\

To be honest with you, I love the show the most when the characters
make the wrong desicions. My favorite moment to date is the scene
where Ivanova tried to kill Bester. Half of me wants Sheridan to be
late and half of me wants him to save her from herself. The thought
of killing a person in cold blood makes me ill, but somewhere deep
down part of me screams "HE DESERVES IT!". Every time I watch that
scene I am amazed. Now as to Kosh. I am a writer myself(at least I'm
trying) and I just would never have had the balls. I watched that
episode six times before I believed it. Then I almost had a childish
accident. I'm still depressed, but after watching that episode I
started look around for a Centuri so I could nominate you for godhood.
Don't worry though, I quite when I remembered you don't believe in
gods.

> jms

Brian K. Bragg

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Jun 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/29/96
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fir...@aloha.net (FireDog) wrote:

>He CANT give an open and honest answer, JMS is KOSH :)

Oh, pu-leeze. JMS could out Kosh Kosh in his sleep with one sylable
tied behind his back. The Vorlons had to learn from someone. Up
until they met him they were easier to understand than programing your
VCR (although that's not a ringing endorsment for their simplisity).

Jay Denebeim

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Jun 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/29/96
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In article <4r2tc4$1r...@mule2.mindspring.com>,

Brian K. Bragg <bkb...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> I know
> there is a good deal of hostility between some in this group and
> anything to do with DS9

Well, that's not quite true. Many of the people on the newsgroup are
rather hostile twords ST in general. However, I think many think that
DS9 is the best of a bad lot after TOS. I find DS9 very irritating,
but I still watch it. Occasionally the show is watchable, sometimes
they even neglect to push the reset button.

Of course next week, Miles and Bashir were the best of friends
again...

Jay
--
* Jay Denebeim, Moderator, rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated *
* newsgroup submission address: ras...@solon.com *
* moderator contact address: rastb5-...@solon.com *
* personal contact address: dene...@deepthot.cary.nc.us *


Adam Zabell

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Jun 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/29/96
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Well..... near as I can tell, the one question I have has nothing at
all to do with the arc and even less to do with what it would take to
convince jms to stay in television. To wit:

"Why the *hell* did the Centauri give Earth jumpgate technology
100 years ago?"

Everything I've seen in the typical Centauri psyche points to a very
Machievellian (sp?) attitude in every aspect of their lives; the race
as a whole rather expects a return on every investment. The
explanations I've seen thus far kinda gloss over this. To quote
from the Lurker's Guide: "In exchange for [the jumpgate] and other
technologies, they asked only for trinkets, novelties to sell back
home." I suppose it depends on how you define trinket, but I'd think
that it would take a hell of a lot of whoopee cushions to equal one
jumpgate.

And although it's probably a bit much to ask, if you (jms) answer
this, could you CC: it to my email address too? My newsreader is
anything but reliable and I'd hate to discover people refering to
the answer without having read it myself.

adam zabell

JJordnRoss

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Jun 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/29/96
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(had difficulty posting under existing thread, technical snafu)
Okay. Suppose this awful, unthinkable, mind-rending situation: for some
reason, you _can't_ be a writer. What" the alternate career choice?

Also, sneaking in a quickie: do you listen to music when you write?

Boo


Brian K. Bragg

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Jun 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/30/96
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dene...@deepthot.cary.nc.us (Jay Denebeim) wrote:

>In article <4r2tc4$1r...@mule2.mindspring.com>,
>Brian K. Bragg <bkb...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>> I know
>> there is a good deal of hostility between some in this group and
>> anything to do with DS9

>Well, that's not quite true. Many of the people on the newsgroup are
>rather hostile twords ST in general. However, I think many think that
>DS9 is the best of a bad lot after TOS. I find DS9 very irritating,
>but I still watch it. Occasionally the show is watchable, sometimes
>they even neglect to push the reset button.

>Of course next week, Miles and Bashir were the best of friends
>again...

It's that whole ST copies B5 thing I was refering to. As for DS9, I
think it's my favorite because it has my favorite characters. In
order of Importance they are Bashir, Odo, and Dax. Now if only
paramount would take off the kid glove they could do some really
interesting things with these guys. Especially the Dax/Kira thing.
But I think they never will. Just like they never really got around
to exploring the Kirk/Spock relationship. I look at B5 then and just
shake my head and want to cry.

(let's not turn this into a verses thread. If anyone wants to respond
my e-mail adress is bkb...@orl.mindspring.com. This is cases
sensitive)

Ken Alper

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Jun 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/30/96
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In article <4r0umh$1...@hole.sdsu.edu>, etom...@rohan.sdsu.edu (tomlinson)
wrote:

>If you had the choice of _any_ writer, director, cinematographer,
>etc., etc., etc., living or dead, to work on one episode of B-5,
>who would they be? What's your ideal, once-in-a-life-time "dream
>team"?


B5: A Spike Lee Joint

Starring Denzel Washington as John Sheridan
Jada Pinket as Susan Ivanova
and Spike Lee as Ambassador Kosh Naranek

With Danny Aiello as Ambassador Londo Mollari
Andreas Katsulas as Citizen G'Kar (no one else could be G'Kar)
Halle Berry as Ambassador Delenn

--Ken

---------------------------------<*>------------------------------------
SMUG INTELLECTUAL. Formerly rampant human-coded AI with a sense of humor
seeks bipedal oxygen-breathing cyborg for serious relationship in the
galactic core. I've got cool guns if you like to break stuff. No yuppies.
Bored? Go hit Akbar & Jeff's Web-o-Matic at http://web.syr.edu/~ksalper


Wesley Struebing

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Jun 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/30/96
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(Sorry, Scott...)

>On 26 Jun 1996 20:10:21 GMT, pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu (Erik A
>Pfingsten ) wrote:

>>I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you

>>could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,

>>open, and honest answer about, what would it be? Would it be a really

>>broad general question (ie. Where is the series going?) or would it be

>>something really specific (ie. What exactly is the third age of mankind?)?

A mot question at this time, since the arc is still (Thank your
daemons, Joe!) running, but...

If you had to do it all over again, what would do you do differently,
or would you even do ANYTHING differently?


Take care and keep the faith!

Wes

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Wesley Struebing

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Jun 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/30/96
to
jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5) wrote:

> What's your ideal, once-in-a-life-time "dream team"?"

>Rod Serling, script. (Second choice: Charles Beaumont.) Director: John


>Frankenheimer (from his "Seconds" period).


> jms

You do think big, don't you, sir? <G>

I like it!

stacie

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Jun 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/30/96
to

Erik A Pfingsten wrote:
>
> I was looking at all the ATTN JMS posts and started wondering. If you
> could ask JMS any ONE question about B5 that he would give a complete,
> open, and honest answer about, what would it be? Would it be a really
> broad general question (ie. Where is the series going?) or would it be
> something really specific (ie. What exactly is the third age of mankind?)?
>
> --
> Erik Pfingsten, University of Cincinnati | My shoes are too tight,
> E-Mail: pfin...@ucunix.san.uc.edu <-- | but it doesn't matter because
> pfin...@email.uc.edu | I've forgotten how to dance.
> WWW: http://ucunix.san.uc.edu/~pfingsea | --Londo Mollari

I myself would ask if he could possibly take all his scripts for the entire run and
write them into a novel or series of novels.

Richard Hudson

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Jun 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/30/96
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bkb...@mindspring.com (Brian K. Bragg) writes:

>jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5) wrote:

>>"If I could ask JMS one question and get a complete and truthful answer, I
>>think it
>>would be: "What would it take to convince you *not* to retire from
>>television after
>>B5?"

>>1) An anthology show.

How abut an anthology series based on the works of Harlan Ellison.

>>2) A B5 spinoff that would be a complement to, not a capitalization upon,
>>the primary B5 series.

>>3) Something that would be as revolutionary for TV as the 5-year arc


>>structure, a project which could change the way TV is done, technically
>>and story-wise. If you can't top the last thing you did...don't do it.


>> jms

>from a differant angel. The five year arc has created a unique


>opportunity for other writers. Babylon 5 is slowly reaching a leave
>of popularity that will rival that of Star Trek. But people (at least
>most people) aren't forming the slavish devotion to the B5 universe
>that seems to follow Star Trek. They aren't afraid to take an

>objective look at the show and say "I don't like this episode.". What
>is happening is that a demand for quality is developing where the
>market was full of brain candy before. If Babylon 5 becomes as much
>of a comecial success as Star Trek, without comprimising its quality,
>then maybe more writers capable of work on this level will be give
>series, and the opportunity to creat literatur instead of fluf.

>As for finding something else as revolutionary to television, I hope
>you can. I don't know what it could be, but then at the moment I
>don't need to because your the one looking and if I did I couldn't say
>it. But let me say this. You posted a message about new tools you
>were adding to yur writting and said that the trick was not to go
>crazy with it and forget your old tools in favor of the new. The old
>tool I'm refering to is the X year arc, and to quote my favorite ST
>character "Remember..."

>As for the sequel series, would it run concurrentaly with the current
>series, or would it begin in 2263 or latter?


>**********************************************rom b5mod Mon Jul 1 01:44:51 1996
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Subject: Re: Memories from Chicago Comicon (includes question for JMS)
Date: 30 Jun 96 23:39:04 +1000
Organization: Wittenberg University, Springfield OH
Message-ID: <1996Jun3...@mickey.wittenberg.edu>
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NNTP-Posting-Host: mickey.wittenberg.edu

In article <31D4DD...@informix.com>, "David L. Kosenko" <da...@informix.com> writes:
> Jms at B5 wrote:
>> A book of my philosophy about this sort of thing, with anecdotes? I
>> can't imagine anything that could be more boring and self-serving.\
>
> Hey, it's made Robert Fulgham a small fortune. Why not do the same for
> yourself? "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Writing the Third
> Season of Babylon5".

My favorite bon mot on RF is:

"The subtitle of this book is 'Some Observations from Both Sides of
the Refrigerator Door,' which is appropriate, since it could have been
written by a cabbage, either before or after conversion to coleslaw."
-- Ralph Novak

I couldn't have said it better, except perhaps, to point out that if
you learned everything you really needed to know in kindergarden, there
is something profoundly deficient in your education. :-)

ObB5: A B5 book that might contain, among other things, some of the
things we might have seen, we almost saw, etc. would be worth a read.

larry crawford
lcra...@wittenberg.edu

still putting the psycho in psychobiology


Jms at B5

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Jul 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/1/96
to

"If you had to do it all over again, what would do you do differently, or
would you even do ANYTHING differently?"

Professionally? No. I wouldn't change a thing.

If "it" includes the personal side...

(he looks off, a long moment, smiles sadly and shakes his head)

There are an infinite number of moments I would like to rewrite, words I'd
recall, opportunities lost I'd give a right arm for one more chance to
take...five minutes when I would've stopped going through my life like a
man late for a bus, missing the moments, because in the final analysis,
the moments are all we have.

Would I do some things in my life differently? Yes. Most definitely.

Goes with the territory.


jms

Yvonne Bennett

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Jul 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/1/96
to

In article <31D4BB...@stanley.bio.purdue.edu>,
zab...@stanley.bio.purdue.edu says...

>
>"Why the *hell* did the Centauri give Earth jumpgate technology
>100 years ago?"

At some point, Garibaldi made the comment that the Centauri told Earthers
that they were related in some way. (Patently untrue)

If the Centauri actually did think that we were their descendents(sp),
they might have given us the technology as a present.

Otherwise, they wanted us to be so thankful to them that we would let
them rule us as yet another planet in the Centauri Republic.

--
__/^-^\__ *Miya!* | "Do we stay, or do we go?" -Bester
catb...@nrv.net | (anyone else feel the urge to sing?)


Brian K. Bragg

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Jul 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/1/96
to

stacie <mpo...@otherside.com> wrote:

>I myself would ask if he could possibly take all his scripts for the entire run and
>write them into a novel or series of novels.


I don't want to sound like I'm flaming you because by no means is that
my intent, but this sounds like a really bad idea. Not to blow my own
horn or anything, but I am a playwrite, and this is sort of a pet
peeve (did I spell that right?) of mine. People in my family, and
friends of mine keep asking me to let them read my plays and I keep
telling them no because when it comes to scripts for the Stage, TV, or
movies, I think the work is deminished if you see it in print rather
than in action. The story is created with the performance at its
heart and translation into another medium would deminish what the
writer has worked so had to create. I tried this once. To take one
of my plays and turn it into a book. I thought it would make it
easier to learn the novel form if I already knew the story inside and
out instead of developing it as written, but everything I wrote left a
bad taste in my mouth. The beauty of the piece was its performance.
It had its impact because you saw people going through it. A novel
has that power but it comes from a differant source. In the
performance you, the writer, have created a character which speaks and
has a voice and demands to have his hour upon the stage, but when
creating a character for a novel you have to take a very differant
approach. The character has to carry in a differant manner. He has
to have a differant form of life. It is had to explain the differance
because it is so subtle, but read a book and then watch a movie that
was based on the book and you will notice a slight shift in the
characters. They seem just a little "off". Same works if you do it
in the reverse order. It happens even when the same person writes the
book and the screne play. The tools of the trade are differant, so
the stories they build are different. If he had originally written B5
as a series of novels no one would ever suggest turning it into a TV
show. Wonder why for a minute and you'll have the answer. The answer
also applies to the reverse

Pat_Buehler.@nt.com

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Jul 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/1/96
to

Dear jms,
You've given a lot to the rest of us. Here's my attempt to give something
back.
I've found a way to begin taking time for those Moments of Life. First, I
had to figure out the one thing I couldn't go for a whole day without. (In your
case that would probably be writing.) Then I made a deal with myself: No
(whatever) today until I've taken time for at least one Moment of Life.
In other words, *no writing* today until you've laughed at a joke, hugged
your wife "just because", or gone out into the yard just to see how many
different flowers there are to smell. If a Moment of Life happens by during the
day, you may "save" *one* moment to be applied to tomorrow's writing. The only
condition is that before you write anything, you must take a second to fully
remember the Moment you saved from the day before. (I usually do all this in
the morning, but from what I've noticed about your sleeping schedule, it may be
easier for you to do this last thing before falling asleep.)
Try this for one whole month, then look back and ask yourself questions
like: Was I disciplined enough for the month to really be over? Was it worth
the time? What effect did this have on my writing?
I hope this turns out to be a worthy experiment for you. You, of all
people, sure deserve it!
Thanks for being. -- phb --


Bernard HP Gilroy

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Jul 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/1/96
to

jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5) said:
>"If you had to do it all over again, what would do you do differently, or
>would you even do ANYTHING differently?"
>
>Professionally? No. I wouldn't change a thing.
>
>If "it" includes the personal side...
>
>(he looks off, a long moment, smiles sadly and shakes his head)
>
>There are an infinite number of moments I would like to rewrite, words I'd
>recall, opportunities lost I'd give a right arm for one more chance to
>take...five minutes when I would've stopped going through my life like a
>man late for a bus, missing the moments, because in the final analysis,
>the moments are all we have.
How about like a man late for an appointment....?

Sorry. I don't mean to trample, but the resonace gave me the
chills. I guess a good line never lets go.

Alexander Glazamitsky

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Jul 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/1/96
to

Yvonne Bennett <catb...@nrv.net> wrote:
>zab...@stanley.bio.purdue.edu says...
>>
>>"Why the *hell* did the Centauri give Earth jumpgate technology
>>100 years ago?"
>
>At some point, Garibaldi made the comment that the Centauri told Earthers
>that they were related in some way. (Patently untrue)

"And remember, guys, we told those Earthers that we are related; so don't run
around naked or we'll have to make up some technology which we don't really
have".

>If the Centauri actually did think that we were their descendents(sp),
>they might have given us the technology as a present.

Centauri are not that stupid. That was just a ploy.

>Otherwise, they wanted us to be so thankful to them that we would let
>them rule us as yet another planet in the Centauri Republic.

"Hey, look, there is a planet with humanoids. They seem quite primitive -
probably never really got much beyond their own system. Look like us, too,
except that they have weird hair style. I bet if we feed them some story
about being related, they would just fall all over themselves and we will
get most of their resources cheap.

One problem, though. Seem like nobody wants to go to run these primitive
worlds anymore. Too much hassle, too expensive.. oh, let's just trade
jumpgate tech for some trinkets. They'll be so grateful, we could get good
trade terms without putting a lot of people on their world. That always
causes problems anyway. Remember how those thrice-damned Narns reacted?"...

Korey Moeller

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Jul 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/2/96
to

In <4r7lj8$d...@newsbf02.news.aol.com> jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5)
writes:
>

>"If you had to do it all over again, what would do you do differently,
or
>would you even do ANYTHING differently?"
>
>Professionally? No. I wouldn't change a thing.
>
>If "it" includes the personal side...
>
>(he looks off, a long moment, smiles sadly and shakes his head)
>
>There are an infinite number of moments I would like to rewrite, words
I'd
>recall, opportunities lost I'd give a right arm for one more chance to
>take...five minutes when I would've stopped going through my life like
a
>man late for a bus, missing the moments, because in the final
analysis,
>the moments are all we have.
>
>Would I do some things in my life differently? Yes. Most definitely.
>
>Goes with the territory.
>
>
>
>
> jms
>
>
>
>Part of me thinks wouldn't it be nice if I had no regrets.

But then, after reading what Joe wrote, I wonder...

If we had NO regrets, maybe we haven't learn anything.

My father once told me one of the most difficult things about being a
parent (for him) was watching your kids make mistakes and getting hurt.
But sometimes thats the only way we learn. It would be nice to avoid
all that, but I guess thats part of living and learning, maybe not much
consolation.
Then again, my father was the same one who told me 'sympathy' was in
the dictionary between 'shit' and 'syphilis'.

kjm


Alan Turniansky

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Jul 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/2/96
to

Jms at B5 (jms...@aol.com) wrote:
: "How would the story have differed if it were a written novel rather than
: a novel for television."

: More descriptions, more internal monologue. More locations off-station.
: Larger cast of characters. Shorter arc (5 years at 22 episodes per and 45
: pages per script is a hell of a lot more than you can get into any novel
: or series of novels.)

That's only 5*22*45= 4950 pages.

L. Ron Hubbard wrote that much in a couple of weeks, and he was dead
several years when he did it!

(-8


: jms


--

Alan Turniansky
p018...@pbfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us


JJordnRoss

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Jul 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/2/96
to

The question was:

>"If you had to do it all over again, what would do you do differently, or
would you even do ANYTHING differently?"

JMS says:
>If "it" includes the personal side...

<snip>


>There are an infinite number of moments I would like to rewrite, words
I'd
>recall, opportunities lost I'd give a right arm for one more chance to
>take...

<snip>
<before I get teary-eyed>

It is interesting how you said "rewrite" in reference to personal life
events, and not the show or a writing project. The question did not
necessarily refer to writing. Does this reveal how deeply being an author
has saturated your life? :)

Most people see their actions as movements, physical manisfestations. Yet,
when I take your point of view (?) and think of events in my life as
something to be _written_, it makes it clear how much we blunder through
life without thinking our choices over with care. When you write a
character taking an action, you have the tought before the action. In
life, usually you have the action, then the thought later. Sadly, the
thought is, "I should have..." "Had I but known..." or worst of all, "I'm
so sorry!"

It also pleasantly reminds me of Matt Ruff's "Fool on the Hill." You see
the blindfolded monkeys sitting on the hill, banging nonsense into the
typewriters, writing everyone's fate, as if peoples' lives were
manuscripts to be read and published! By the way, this was a really great
book, lots of fun to read.

Wow. Deep thoughts.
I agree with you, too. I'd love to go back with an eraser and pencil,
write in "Slow down and smell the bread bake!" "Play with the baby!" and
most of all, "Tell him you love him one more time!"

Peace,
jackieboo <*>
(who thanks WB and all involved for the lovely screensaer she won! Won!
WON!!!)

Craig Cheslog

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Jul 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/2/96
to

In article <4r7lj8$d...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, jms...@aol.com (Jms at B5)
wrote:

> "If you had to do it all over again, what would do you do differently, or


> would you even do ANYTHING differently?"
>

> Professionally? No. I wouldn't change a thing.
>

> If "it" includes the personal side...
>

> (he looks off, a long moment, smiles sadly and shakes his head)
>

> There are an infinite number of moments I would like to rewrite, words I'd
> recall, opportunities lost I'd give a right arm for one more chance to

> take...five minutes when I would've stopped going through my life like a
> man late for a bus, missing the moments, because in the final analysis,
> the moments are all we have.
>
> Would I do some things in my life differently? Yes. Most definitely.
>
> Goes with the territory.
>
> jms

This post really resonates for me, and I wanted to say how much I
appreciate the fact that you would post something like this here for all
of your fans to see and consider.

I cannot believe the amount of time that you spend responding to people's
questions and thoughts. As a result, I will always give you the benefit of
the doubt -- but I doubt you'll need it, since I think Babylon 5 is the
best television show on the air today.

Keep up the great work, and good luck with everything else.

-- Craig Cheslog <*>

David Filip

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Jul 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/2/96
to

Only one question? People have already asked how Control would
have been handled if Andrea stayed, how WWE and the rest of the series
would have been with Sinclair, how the story would go without the folks
from the pilot movie, etc.

Unfortunately, JMS never answers these questions clearly or in a
way that helps us to understand how it fits into the plot. I'd like
to ask *why* he doesn't answer these questions completely.

I can't see the harm in letting us know. JMS has a history of
keeping spoilers as secrets, so I don't expect him to say, for example,
"Talia would have been tickled to death by Draal's green penguin squad in
the fourth season, and Sinclair would have been Control. I changed the
plot so several Disney characters would kill Londo with a plastic Zima
bottle instead, and you know how the rest worked out." He can tell us
what would have happened in the episodes we saw without spoiling events
we haven't seen yet. (Sorry if the above constitutes a story idea).

Please JMS, don't ignore this question or answer it with "Yes."
I really want to know why you avoid those other questions. If you choose
to answer the other questions too (re: Control, original characters in
WWE and the rest of the arc, etc), that would also make my day :)


Lonny the Gothic FIJI

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Jul 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/2/96
to

In article <31D4BB...@stanley.bio.purdue.edu> Adam Zabell
<zab...@stanley.bio.purdue.edu> writes:

>"Why the *hell* did the Centauri give Earth jumpgate technology
>100 years ago?"

>Everything I've seen in the typical Centauri psyche points to a very

>Machievellian (sp?) attitude in every aspect of their lives; the race
>as a whole rather expects a return on every investment. The
>explanations I've seen thus far kinda gloss over this. To quote
>from the Lurker's Guide: "In exchange for [the jumpgate] and other
>technologies, they asked only for trinkets, novelties to sell back
>home." I suppose it depends on how you define trinket, but I'd think
>that it would take a hell of a lot of whoopee cushions to equal one
>jumpgate.

Well, here's the thing. Trade brings prosperity. And, as far as I can tell
the Centauri are highly Zenophobic. They can tolerate humans, because we're
Centauri with funny haircuts. Minbari are a little creepy, but at least they
have the same color skin. And narns. Aw hell, let's conquer the narns.
They're ugly. We've seen Londo's reaction to a bug in his kitchen. We know
he hates anything that is not Centauri. I'd say this is true for most of his
race. Vir is the exception.

This is the centauri mentality, and is why they like humans so much. Or they
used to, anyway. I imagine that when they met humans they saw us as long lost
brothers, or something similar. They wanted to help us grow, so that the
galaxy would wind up being filled with "Centauri" types. In a way, they're
not much different from Hitler's Nazi party, but in their case, it's purely
psychological. They can't help hating strangeness. They just do.

Lonny -> But I could be wrong. I ain't JMS.

===============================================================
| _____ | Lonny Zone - I am an elitist. |
| | | fsc...@comet.net |
| ------------O------------ | Send guns, lawyers and money! |
|http://www.comland.com/~lonny| The shit has hit the fan! |
===============================================================

Jms at B5

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Jul 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/3/96
to

"Unfortunately, JMS never answers these questions clearly or in a way that
helps us to understand how it fits into the plot. I'd like to ask *why*
he doesn't answer these questions completely."

Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. I do more times than I don't. So
your premise is flawed at the core of it, thus any resulting comments from
me would only range further afield into even greater inaccuracy.


jms


Curtis Collier

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Jul 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/3/96
to Jms at B5

::hanging upside-down examining this answer's reflection in a miror::
Ah, I see. It makes perfect sense......
Curt

John Nuechterlein

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Jul 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/3/96
to

here's three:

1)do you prefer pepsi or coke?
2)do you use visa, mastercard, discover, or amex most?
3)what is your favorite food for dinner?

it's gonna be a long summer

jdn

Brian K. Bragg

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Jul 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/3/96
to

TYR1...@tyler.net (Curtis Collier) wrote:

>::hanging upside-down examining this answer's reflection in a miror::
>Ah, I see. It makes perfect sense......
>Curt


Now did you actually understand, or did you pass out and have a
vision?

**********************************************************************
*Let us eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall have hangovers!*
*******************************************************Brian K. Bragg*
****************

Note: The author of this message accepts no responsibility for any
cerebral flatulence occurring here in. Thank you and have a nice day.

Dave Wonnacott

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Jul 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/3/96
to zab...@stanley.bio.purdue.edu

Adam Zabell wrote:
>
> Well..... near as I can tell, the one question I have has nothing at
> all to do with the arc and even less to do with what it would take to
> convince jms to stay in television. To wit:
>
> "Why the *hell* did the Centauri give Earth jumpgate technology
> 100 years ago?"
>
> Everything I've seen in the typical Centauri psyche points to a very
> Machievellian (sp?) attitude in every aspect of their lives; the race
> as a whole rather expects a return on every investment. The
> explanations I've seen thus far kinda gloss over this. To quote
> from the Lurker's Guide: "In exchange for [the jumpgate] and other
> technologies, they asked only for trinkets, novelties to sell back
> home." I suppose it depends on how you define trinket, but I'd think
> that it would take a hell of a lot of whoopee cushions to equal one
> jumpgate.
>

It's always possible that they were trying to get us in the same
position as they had the Narn ("missionaries & savages"), and they
had little enough regard for us at the time - imperialists that they
were. It only became obvious later that Earthers weren't going to
play ball and be nice little slaves, perhaps because we were able
to exploit the technology in ways the Narn never did.

Wonx :)

--
JMS : "You have a problem." Con. organiser : "The room's big enough."
JMS : <fx: shakes head> "No. My people are coming..."
Dave (Wonx) Wonnacott, MSSL, UCL
http://msslac.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/~ddxw/ddxw/ddxw_hp.html

Korey Moeller

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Jul 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/3/96