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  • Two things you don't talk about...

    Okay, the thing I liked most about Babylon 5 is the diversity of opinion in the show. On Star Trek, all the humans are liberal commie loonies. But on B5, they at least have elections (never heard them mentioned on Trek) and debate. While it's clear which way JMS leans, not only by his admission, but in the messages in his work, he never struck me as the type to look down on those who believe differently. He even encouraged Jerry Doyle in his congressional bid (Doyle is a Republican).

    Another thing that scared me about Trek is the lack of religion. The original series referred to a few Christian symbols, but TNG and on are devoid of religion. I guess we evolved past the need for it on the shows. But JMS is smart enough to know that religion won't go away, not in 200 years, not in 500.

    So, anyways, let's use this thread to discuss some of the more interesting aspects of Babylon 5...religion and politics. What have you seen on the show that conveys this political message or that? Do you like the way JMS portrayed religion on the show?
    Last edited by Dr Maturin; 02-20-2004, 11:31 AM.
    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

  • #2
    What a fantastic idea for a thread dude!

    I only just read it now unfortunatley, but it should be picked up.

    Certainly, I enjoyed a lot of what you mentinoed already. But even more...

    Concepts like corruption and opportunistic behaviour are deeply seated qualities of human beings. Some animals can't match how green with envy, or powerhungry we can be sometimes. Hidden agendas and powerhungry behaviour is so typical of certain mindsets...Especially right wingers, who by definition are profit oriented moral-less (unless you consider claiming to be religious a mark of morality) people.
    The whole ordeal with President Clark, and after the Shadow war, Psi Corps totally embodies that.

    With President Clark, you have that very basic, telltale scenario of corruption. With Psi Corps, even despite having a new ability, these people are still subject to qualities of "normal" human beings.

    I never liked Star Trek, even before B5 even existed. It seemed too unreal for me. I have a high tolerance for jargon, but the show just completley abused it's right to use that garbage. I think the only time the term "Takyon" was used in B5 was when B4 was doing it's tricks. The governing forces in Star Trek are literally impossible, at least...Not without some kind of "Equilibrium" drugged-masses scenario. Perfect universe of exploration and external conflicts is just too boring for me. Internal conflicts are the fun ones!

    I'll leave it at that, and if there's more talk, I may come up with more things that I like!

    Oh my, the pages upon pages I could write!!

    Comment


    • #3
      For my part, I appreciate the role religion and politics play in B5 and certainly consider it in my list of what makes the show so great. As has been mentioned, it gives B5 a "realness" that other series lack.

      I confess, I've watched the various Treks for years, though I'm not sure why. I usually end up growling and shaking my fist at it in frustration, especially recently. However, then I saw "Passing Through Gethsemane" and was...astonished, really. And hooked ever since.

      Comment


      • #4
        Im a right-wing person but i dont care about Profi, what i do care about is Politics, and i think the CLARK thing was brill and i know if i was in the B5 univerise i would be one of the people voteing for him, becuase this world is full of do gooders and WHITE librals thinking that they imbrace all diffrent cultures like Muslims sikis, black cultures, but there the things that are destorying the US, Britian and the EU, imbraceing and being Tollernt is cuaseing more promblems, more roits and more Racial Hatred,

        im white and i suffer from loads of abuse, is this fair? No, does anyone care no? why becuase im not black, and in babylon 5 they useing Aliens in the same way, i just wish we had somehting like the homegaurd or Nightwatch, the world would be a lot better, becuase i wouldent get to hear about all the awaful things in the world and that would make me happy
        Fortunie favors the Bold

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WRTWORTHY
          Im a right-wing person but i dont care about Profi, what i do care about is Politics, and i think the CLARK thing was brill and i know if i was in the B5 univerise i would be one of the people voteing for him, becuase this world is full of do gooders and WHITE librals thinking that they imbrace all diffrent cultures like Muslims sikis, black cultures, but there the things that are destorying the US, Britian and the EU, imbraceing and being Tollernt is cuaseing more promblems, more roits and more Racial Hatred,

          im white and i suffer from loads of abuse, is this fair? No, does anyone care no? why becuase im not black, and in babylon 5 they useing Aliens in the same way, i just wish we had somehting like the homegaurd or Nightwatch, the world would be a lot better, becuase i wouldent get to hear about all the awaful things in the world and that would make me happy

          Oh, my, GOD! No this person did not just come on here and say that. It is because of bigots like you that there are problems. Those who embrace diversity and show tolerence actually get along just fine...the ones we don't get along with are people like you who only care about themselves.

          Did you learn nothing from B5? Joe was, is, and I believe always will be AGAINST what you're stating you're for. The only reason why B5 always shows religion and divergent viewpoints in such a respectful manner, and not in a judgemental "I'm right, you're wrong, let me show you why" sort of way is BECAUSE JMS is against such things as Nightwatch, and is for mutual respect and embracing diversity and tolerence. (You do know he's an athiest, right?)

          Are you socially as well as mentally dyslexic? Well, I must say you and Za'ha'dumdweller deserve each other. Go start you're own hate mongering elsewhere, please, because that is not what B5 is all about and not what these forums are about. Or maybe you are Za'ha'dumdweller with a different name simply trying to start more shit.

          My recommendations to everyone else, those WITH A BRAIN, either no longer post in this thread or simply ingore wrtworthy and za'ha'dumdweller and carry on with what could've been a good discussion.

          This is a good topic, but not to be distorted by hatred and bigotry, that would in my opinion, be an insult to JMS and B5 -- and for that matter all great SF, including Trek (which has never been good since Gene died.)

          And these hateful people call themselves Christians.

          Can you say OXYMORON?

          CE
          Anthony Flessas
          Writer/Producer/Director,
          SP Pictures


          I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

          Comment


          • #6
            How about we keep this focussed on the show and not the posters?

            I liked the portrayal of religion and other "mystic beliefs" in B5. None of them are necessarily correct - JMS uses them to ask questions, not answer them.

            On politics JMS is a bit more heavy-handed, but he still manages to make at least some of the "bad guys" understandable and empathetic, and has some of the "good guys" get carried away and become just like the "bad guys."

            I often wonder what the reaction of the audience would have been had he not made the big "bad guy" a fairly roly-poly balding white male American!
            I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

            Comment


            • #7
              <<re you socially as well as mentally dyslexic? Well, I must say you and Za'ha'dumdweller deserve each other. Go start you're own hate mongering elsewhere, please, because that is not what B5 is all about and not what these forums are about. Or maybe you are Za'ha'dumdweller with a different name simply trying to start more shit.>>

              LOL, colony, I think that WRTWORTHY guy is on your side and is just going for the parody angle. It was pretty funny. Now, unless the politics pertain to B5, let's keep the partisan comments in the off topic thread.

              The reason B5 resonates with me despite its obvious anti-conservative message is that these things could happen. It happened in Germany. It happened in Russia. It happened in Cuba. Sheridan himself was torn between doing what was right (no pun intended) and following orders. It just seems unnatural to go against the EA, where you grew up, lived, served. Maybe not every person who stuck with Earth was evil, perhaps they just felt they had no choice.

              Some Far Right groups out there, who are extreme conspiracy theorists and mainly rednecks in the middle of places like Tenn and Alabama believe that Bush is setting up a new world order, and that there are UN troops stationed in US military bases because he believes US troops won't follow orders when the martial law order is given. I don't believe any of this hogwash, but if it were true, wouldn't it be prudent for Clark to do the same? That is what Nightwatch and Psi Corps were there for. But my question is this: If, hypothetically Bush (or whoever) indeed has his sights bent on handing over the US to the UN, would it be possible for UN troops to get on our soil without major media outlets discovering the news? Are there enough checks and balances in place to ensure this doesn't happen?
              Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's odd....I never sensed any overtly "anti-conservatism" in B5 that many of you are mentioning. What are some examples?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think it's funny that people can use forums regularly, and still totally fail to spot satire/trolling.

                  Are you socially as well as mentally dyslexic?
                  Abuse like that certainly isn't justified. If you feel that the poster is actually worth responding to, there's plenty in his opinions that you can shoot down rationally without needing to resort to name-calling.

                  Well, I must say you and Za'ha'dumdweller deserve each other. Go start you're own hate mongering elsewhere, please, because that is not what B5 is all about and not what these forums are about. Or maybe you are Za'ha'dumdweller with a different name simply trying to start more shit.
                  See, that sort of thing is just intolerant and unpleasant. Whatever you thing of ZHDD's opinions, he's been polite and good-natured as far as I can see. There's no justification for making him unwelcome. Assuming that you're correct, and ZHDD is 'hate-mongering', then is it really a good idea to fight hate with hate? I thought B5 taught us the opposite?

                  ......simply ingore wrtworthy and za'ha'dumdweller and carry on with what could've been a good discussion.
                  Uhhhh..... didn't ZHDD start the 'good discussion'?

                  Oh yeah, and for the record, I'm the most left-wing liberal you could ever hope to find.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ok I Don't want to get pulled into this or labelled either way. I take people for people regardless of colour creed blah blah. And you get good and bad on all sides - here i realize, I am stating the Obvious.

                    Situation is the mother of all F*ck ups. Birmingham is in a situation and WRTWRTHY is writing from it. I think the problem lies more in Positive discrimination and social etiquette. People should be allowd to express themselves to each other, but the UK is a country bound by social etiquette and trying to be overly PC. Whilst positive discrimination has been a good thing for many years, trying to address problems of racial inequality in the work place and getting a realistic representation of ethnic minoriteis into all aspects of life. I think it has bred a nation of people paranoid of being racist and treading on half broken eggshells. This is very destructive.
                    The Birmingham situation is not so different from the hate bred in Northern Ireland(though the catalyst is obviously different). A history of events and attacks by each side, lead to people living there and born into the situation to have to choose a side, and of course you will choose the side closest/safest to you. It is also likely that you or someone you know will have suffered some kind of assult at the other persons hand, giving you a personal reason (if you so choose to let it). Additionally, influxing immigrants will chose to go to an area that has a community of religious or ethnic similarity already established (e.g. a migrant from China might choose Cardiff or Liverpool). This means that they have less need to integrate with the home country. Thus as both communities become ever larger, the need to integrate becomes less and less until the city is almost totally segregated. Obviously Birmingham hasn't become like this exactly - but it is on the path if something is not done. (yes i realize this is a HUGE simplification!!!)

                    Back to WRTWRTHY's comment
                    becuase this world is full of do gooders and WHITE librals
                    I think he is emphisizing the WHITE aspect to prove that he is not a racist. I believe he is not. Just rahter someone who see's (and lives in) a situation here in the UK, which needs somehing doing about it ( though i don't agree with his solution - thats the problem and why extreme right wing groups in the UK are growing.) People see a problem and for a long time the government haven't want to acknowledge it for FEAR of being seen as racist.

                    imbraceing and being Tollernt is cuaseing more promblems, more roits and more Racial Hatred,
                    This isn't true. It isnt the embracing and being tolerant that causes problems, it is positive discrimination, history and a million other things incl. fear of racism (like colonyearth (sorry) who feels the need to rebuke and shout and not address the issues)
                    Positive discrimintation is on the brink of becoming Discrimination. Any additional help offered to ethnic minorities i think now should be made available to ALL peoples.

                    im white and i suffer from loads of abuse, is this fair? No, does anyone care no? why becuase im not black,
                    This is a scary prospect. Which seems to be a growing feeling amongst people. The police, who were openly found to basically be rascist rather recently, have to address these problems and goddamed rightly so. But at the same time, they must not be afriad to tackle the racism going the other way. Which is what some people percieve to be happening. (I can't comment on whether it is or not).


                    i just wish we had somehting like the homegaurd or Nightwatch, the world would be a lot better, becuase i wouldent get to hear about all the awaful things in the world and that would make me happy
                    This is just expressing the want for everthing to be ok in the world. This is a great thing. Goes with the title 'By Any Means Necessary'
                    I bet if a solution was found and suddenly all the people in Birmingham got on and weren't racist to each other, WRTWRTHY would be quite happy with that too? (pls stop me if I'm wrong and you really are racist and dislike ethnic minorities)

                    It's like in Iraq or N Ireland. You'ld just get tired of the seeing the violence all the time. If you always associated that violence with racism - wouldn't you too just think it would be better for everyone maybe if we all just segregated ourselves and got on with it?
                    I thank the Lord i don't live in a place like that. Who knows how different i MIGHt be?
                    Racism is a huge problem - the extreme central people may be beyond reaching but the people who are drawn to them are so drawn for a variety of reasons, most of which are not a genuine hatred of people for being ehtnic but more for the situation that they find themselves in. IMO These people are not racists, they just feel they have no option (or choice as Jms would say )

                    My 2 pence (or 10 dozens) worth.
                    Last edited by LytaaaarGh; 03-04-2004, 05:37 AM.
                    One up for the angry Teep

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok, I will simply say this. If I've offended anyone here, I apoligize. Having been on the receiving end of prejudice most of my life...I tend to respond rather harshly to those who seem to express views from a racist to close-minded standpoint.

                      Though I may not have expressed myself in the best fashion, and I can admit I reacted badly and responded in the heat of emotion, I did express much of the same thoughts that Lytaaaargh expressed. Such as the fact that those who are open and accepting of diversity and tolerant usually are the ones who best get along.

                      I am not a fan of bigotry or racism in any fashion. And as for personal attacks by me? I again apologize but I felt as if I were being attacked.

                      Some of my wording wasn't the best....however, my comment on social dyslexia was aimed at the fact that the views expressed were diametrically opposed to those expressed in B5, and yet this person was a fan. It seemed dyslexic to me.

                      And as for the comment on hate mongering...I don't like it, and I will speak up when I hear it. Sorry if that bothers you. Perhaps my methods weren't the best ones, but my intentions were good. If we, as a race, simply remain silent in the face of hatred and racism and intolerence, then we are no better than the ones doing the hating. I don't hate the person...I simply dispise their narrowness and cannot comprehend it.

                      The final harsh thing said, the oxymoron comment...well, you must admit...it was fitting, however, it was also a statement, not name calling. That would be hard since the term oxymoron doesn't lend itself to being an insult necessarily...an oxymoron is simply what it is, and from what I stated an oxymoron existed.

                      Ok, that said. I was simply agast that anyone would want to give up any freedom or liberty in the name of putting another's freedom down. It is a concept that I cannot wrap my head around.

                      The problems of this world are extremely complex. There are no easy solutions, but one step in the right direction is to do everything in your power to understand what the other person is feeling, who they are. I failed myself there and attacked...for that I'm sorry. Didn't set a very good example did I?

                      I am a very passionate person, and I speak with passion. When it comes to giving up liberty and freedom, whether it's from the PatAct or to any other organization, remember these wise words -- and I'm paraphrasing here because I don't have it right on front of me...but the meaning is still there:

                      Those who would give up even a portion of their liberty or freedom simply to feel more safe deserve neither liberty nor freedom.
                      Paraphrased from Benjamin Franklin, 1775

                      Why do we seek safety by giving up liberty? Why did they hate aliens and allow Nightwatch and Clark to do what they did? Fear. Fear fed to people on a spoon of danger. When you drive the masses to fear, raising the mob mentality...people will do anything to make it all better. The problem is...after the madness has died down, the fevered-frenzy ended, they find they're only asking themselves over and over "What in God's name have we done?"

                      History has taught us this time and time again. This is my worry when it comes to the PatAct, what we've done in Iraq, etc. We're being fed fear while being told "It's ok. I'll protect you if you just give away a little of your freedom." or "It's ok, if you let me attack and do whatever I have to do to keep you safe."

                      Who watches the watchers? We the people. This was the message of B5, and is fitting now more than ever in the U.S. and elsewhere. JMS showed us through Sheridan that we are strongest when we build communities, when we come together and understand each other -- when we look beyond the fear.

                      It was said of Sheridan after he fell at Za'Ha'Dum, that he returned changed -- fearless. Yes. For another great author once wrote, "Fear is the mindkiller." Sheridan had to loose that mob-like fear in order to bring people past it.

                      There are levels and levels of methaphor, politics, history and religion in B5. It's what I love so much about it. It's thought provoking. And as many times as I've seen the series, I am still amazed at how often I find something new. Layers upon layers of passion and thought. That's why I respect JMS so much.

                      I hope I've perhaps smoothed some ruffled feathers here, and maybe even shed some light in a place where light could not fall.

                      Peace is my desire, for we are better -- all of us -- together than we ever will be apart.

                      Keep dreaming, keep hoping, for if we ever stop then we might as well give up.

                      CE
                      Anthony Flessas
                      Writer/Producer/Director,
                      SP Pictures


                      I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And now we know...

                        I suppose that some of this thread so far shows us why the old rule is not to discuss religion or politics. Sometimes, the subject is not able to stay within bounds.

                        However, my own $.02

                        Politics: I did not see any "anti-liberal" or "anti-conservative" or "anti-government" sentiments. Certainly some of the characters had definite leanings (watching Garibaldi, it is no surprise to see Jerry run as a Republican, it just fits somehow) but the series en toto did not say that it was wrong to have political beliefs, merely wrong to take them to extremes. If anything, I believe that the philosophy of the show is somewhat libertarian in approach.

                        Religion: For an atheist, jms is very well along in his relationship with the universe. People of all beliefs have been able to find something in B5 to bring into their own faith system, and again, nothing was judgemental or suggested that anybody was right or wrong. In fact, I distinctly remember in S1, Sinclair telling Franklin that "maybe if one is right, they all have to be right". In some ways, the general theme of B5 religion is quite close to my own beliefs (not up for discussion).

                        All in all, B5 is the best sci-fi ever, because it tackled taboos, not skirting around them like the rest. It was gritty, real and well written. It was not plastic, fake or cliche.

                        jms no longer has to be an atheist. He has created a complete universe, and populated it with real and complex individuals. He has elevated himself to godhood.

                        J. Michael Straczynski, behold the newest god in the pantheon of sci-fi.
                        "Ivanova is God!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: And now we know...

                          Originally posted by SpooRancher
                          I suppose that some of this thread so far shows us why the old rule is not to discuss religion or politics. Sometimes, the subject is not able to stay within bounds.

                          However, my own $.02

                          Politics: I did not see any "anti-liberal" or "anti-conservative" or "anti-government" sentiments. Certainly some of the characters had definite leanings (watching Garibaldi, it is no surprise to see Jerry run as a Republican, it just fits somehow) but the series en toto did not say that it was wrong to have political beliefs, merely wrong to take them to extremes. If anything, I believe that the philosophy of the show is somewhat libertarian in approach.

                          Religion: For an atheist, jms is very well along in his relationship with the universe. People of all beliefs have been able to find something in B5 to bring into their own faith system, and again, nothing was judgemental or suggested that anybody was right or wrong. In fact, I distinctly remember in S1, Sinclair telling Franklin that "maybe if one is right, they all have to be right". In some ways, the general theme of B5 religion is quite close to my own beliefs (not up for discussion).

                          All in all, B5 is the best sci-fi ever, because it tackled taboos, not skirting around them like the rest. It was gritty, real and well written. It was not plastic, fake or cliche.

                          jms no longer has to be an atheist. He has created a complete universe, and populated it with real and complex individuals. He has elevated himself to godhood.

                          J. Michael Straczynski, behold the newest god in the pantheon of sci-fi.

                          Right on the nose! Yes. Perhaps that's why I've been known to call myself a Strazyncskist.

                          Wonder what JMS would think if he spawned a religious type group based on the ideals proported in B5?

                          As an athiest he would claim he doesn't exist and never did.
                          Anthony Flessas
                          Writer/Producer/Director,
                          SP Pictures


                          I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Re: And now we know...

                            Originally posted by colonyearth
                            ...Wonder what JMS would think if he spawned a religious type group based on the ideals proported in B5?....
                            Actually, he commented on that on that on one of the DVDs. He was flattered.
                            I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It would be nice if the world was set up so we could talk to people and end age old conflicts and hatreds. Ronald Reagan used a combination of both force and aggressive diplomacy to end the Cold War. I think Bush should be more aggressive with North Korea, but I think his reasoning is that the guy (the bald dude) is just bluffing and knows he'd be bombed to oblivion by ten different countries if he starts anything. But still, better to try than to sit on the edge of global disaster, like we did for so long with the Cold War.

                              As for Iraq, only about 500 US soldiers have died, most from cowardly attacks by terrorists foreign to Iraq. I am proud of the Sunnis and Shiites for not turning on each after this weeks bombings. Muslims are coming to learn that the extremist branches of the old religion are not on their side. Iraq is a country that never should have been. It was gerrymandered into a country with so many different ethnic and religious sects that it was almost guaranteed that they wouldn't get along. Pertaining to the WMD's, we did find missiles that were designed to fly past their allowable range and contemplate this: Libya is giving up. That Pakistani nuclear pimp is locked up. War sucks. I hate it, but I see that it is necessary at times. More times than not, actually. That is human history. What if Sheridan had said "Let's go TALK to Clark, REASON with him?" He would have been thrown into that cell a year earlier. People compare Iraq to Vietnam. That's just not comparable. Look at the figures for each war. Those 500 soldiers who died in Iraq are to be mourned, but they died for a just cause. With al Qaeda, we are fighting an enemy we can't see, but Saddam presented a threat we knew we could see, and we knew we could defeat, and he had to be toppled at some point anyway, as he is a criminal who's committed terrible crimes against humanity. Did the war go as well as Bush would have hoped? Probably not, but it didn't go bad, I'll tell you that. It may sound bad, but force is the way to send a message, and we sent one to those who would attack America.
                              Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                              Comment

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