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  • #16
    I think there are many, many layers of reasons and events that conspired to cause Byron and his followers not to get a world of their own. As to Sheridan's reaction...again, I think there were layers of reasons for his reaction, some we may still not know (pure JMS).
    OK...sounds reasonable (no pun intended). Can we discuss some of these reasons? I find this subject interesting, since I have no recollection that any literal reasons were given for Sheridan's reaction on-screen.

    BTW, not disagreeing, just a request for more information.
    "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

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    • #17
      "He wasn't supposed to be ''likeable''? And what do you base this on, other than your own opinion? Please show me the jms post that makes this point clear..."

      No.

      How about you show me the JMS post that makes it clear that we are supposed to dislike Byron.

      Comment


      • #18
        But I never could understand why everyone came completely unglued when the Teeps asked for a world of their own.
        That's probably because they didn't come unglued when the Teeps asked for a homeworld, they came unglued when the Teeps violated their privacy and tried to blackmail them to get a homeworld. In doing so they absolutely justified the mundanes fear of them and the reason that an organization like Psi Corps exists and crossed a line that cost them any sympathy their situation might have earned them.

        What everybody keeps forgetting in treating the teeps as "just another minority group" (which JMS is careful not to do) is that unlike contemporary ethnic and other minority groups on Earth today Telepaths actually are different than "mundanes". They have specal powers. They can read our minds, we cannot read theirs. They can blackmail us, they can beat us at cards, in financial dealings, in love, in politics etc. These aren't made up prejudices. They reflect a reality that could allow teeps like Bester to enslave (or exterminate) the mundanes.

        One that reason racisim and similar "isms" are so horrible is that they are based on falsehood. There are no "races" among Humans. If we were dogs we'd all be the same breed. So there are certainly no racial "differences" much less "superiority" or "inferiority". But are Telepaths homo superior? Some of them will think so. Some of us will fear they are. And neither side will be dealing in fantasy, as the Klansman with his sheet or the Farakhan follower preaching about "White Devils" are.

        There are no easy answers to this problem, JMS doesn't mean for their to be. We can't take refuge in the smug moral superiority we feel over the bigots of our own world because we don't know what we would do if confronted with the reality of Human telepaths living among us, undetectable, potentially privvy to our every thought.

        Regards,

        Joe
        Joseph DeMartino
        Sigh Corps
        Pat Tallman Division

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        • #19
          Bester was not written as particularly likeable, but Koenig played him so deliciously evil that I couldn't help but love the character. Plus, it's great to see WK actually get a part he can sink his teeth into. Not so with Byron (or Atkins-Downs), there was something about the character that just bothers me.
          Bester wasn't a pompous, self-centered, holier-than-thou putz. He was an evil bastard, but so nakedly an evil bastard (albeit one who cared on some level about "his" teeps) that he enjoyed being what he was. And we enjoy watching him. Byron was a self-concious sufferer and martyr like the worst of the 19th century Romantics (who he managed to sound like even when he wasn't quoting them.) He was annoying - and he was meant to be. Two unlikeable characters, but unlikeable in different ways. Bester is in the tradition of the great villians who are so cool in their own way that we have to like and even admire them on some level, if only for their skill at being what they are. (Think Dr. Doom, Magneto, Darth Vader) Byron was the opposite, so self-conciously "doing pennance for his sin" that he sucks all the fun out of any room he enters.

          Regards,

          Joe
          Joseph DeMartino
          Sigh Corps
          Pat Tallman Division

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          • #20
            He was annoying - and he was meant to be.
            -------------------------------------------

            Lets seperate fact and opinion here. Its one thing to say you think hes an annoying character, quite another to *assume* he was ''meant'' one way or another. Since the only person that can possibly confirm/refute this would be jms, again, if you're stating this as a fact, BACK IT UP. What can you base this on, other than you're own - subjective - point of view?
            Last edited by CRONAN; 06-08-2004, 06:55 AM.

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            • #21
              Bester wasn't a pompous, self-centered, holier-than-thou putz. He was an evil bastard, but so nakedly an evil bastard (albeit one who cared on some level about "his" teeps) that he enjoyed being what he was. And we enjoy watching him. Byron was a self-concious sufferer and martyr like the worst of the 19th century Romantics (who he managed to sound like even when he wasn't quoting them.) He was annoying - and he was meant to be. Two unlikeable characters, but unlikeable in different ways. Bester is in the tradition of the great villians who are so cool in their own way that we have to like and even admire them on some level, if only for their skill at being what they are. (Think Dr. Doom, Magneto, Darth Vader) Byron was the opposite, so self-conciously "doing pennance for his sin" that he sucks all the fun out of any room he enters
              OK...not really sure why this point was re-iterated...thought I said that? And if you read the Psi-Corps novels (Bester Ascendant to be specific), one gets to see Bester from a completely different perspective. I found myself actually sympathizing with the character! That is, until I watched one of his episodes. Nevertheless, my view of the character was never quite the same after reading the novel.
              "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by CRONAN
                He was annoying - and he was meant to be.
                -------------------------------------------

                Lets seperate fact and opinion here. Its one thing to say you think hes an annoying character, quite another to *assume* he was ''meant'' one way or another. Since the only person that can possibly confirm/refute this would be jms, again, if you're stating this as a fact, BACK IT UP. What can you base this on, other than you're own - subjective - point of view?
                Cronan, I think we all assume that since "he was annoying" is obviously a statement of opinion, its correlary "and he was meant to be" is a statement of opinion as well. JoeD didn't say "JMS said that he was meant to be annoying." Now, if you want to ask "what evidence do you have that he was meant to be annoting" you are asking an answerable question. Asking "what can you base this on, other than you're own - subjective - point of view" isn't really answerable, since "what can you" implies a challenge to ability, not opinion.

                So, feel free to challenge statements but try to word it so it isn't interpretable as a challenge to the poster. It helps maintain a collegial board atmosphere.
                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.

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                • #23
                  Cronan, I think we all assume that since "he was annoying" is obviously a statement of opinion
                  --------------------------------------------------

                  Point taken. Rather not get into the specifics here.

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                  • #24
                    Just because I can't quite leave this alone yet <g>....

                    All of us here think that JMS is a pretty good writer, yes? Otherwise, why would we be here, if we weren't huge fans of the show, right? So, having established that JMS is a good writer, and adding to that the fact that 99% of Babylon 5 fans find Byron extremely annoying...I think you pretty much have to come to the conclusion that Byron was in fact _written_ to be annoying. :-)

                    Just my two cents.

                    Aisling

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by AislingGrey
                      Just because I can't quite leave this alone yet <g>....

                      All of us here think that JMS is a pretty good writer, yes? Otherwise, why would we be here, if we weren't huge fans of the show, right? So, having established that JMS is a good writer, and adding to that the fact that 99% of Babylon 5 fans find Byron extremely annoying...I think you pretty much have to come to the conclusion that Byron was in fact _written_ to be annoying. :-)

                      Just my two cents.

                      Aisling
                      Hey, Aisling...

                      I just found two cents...you want 'em back?

                      (Joking...I agree with you )
                      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!

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                      • #26
                        Actually I am entirely sure that Byron was supposed to be likable and charismatic... to his followers, at least.

                        Getting a world of your own is a big deal: an alien world? Almost no alien would accept them.
                        An Earth Colony? As if the existing settlers would like to leave just because some big-wig politician decided their world belonged to those teeps.
                        An empty world? If they had one in mind they sure didn't use that effectively in their negotiations.
                        And then there was that whole stupid blackmail attempt...

                        Even without that, ellaborating more on Joe DeM's point of telepaths being distrusted by humans: would humans be happy having so-called (and self-called) "homo superior" telepaths unsupervised in a world of their own where who knows when and where they might decide to take over the "mundanes" and from where they could go out and infiltrate normals undetected?
                        I suspect that a leader like Sheridan would have considered something on those lines when taking a decision.

                        Byron and his followers were too idealistic: getting a world of their own wouldn't have solved the root problem they wanted to escape from, and it wasn't as easy as they wanted it to be.
                        In that sense Byron wasn't a good leader.
                        But what he was was a tragic figure, that would be a rallying point for a faction of the telepaths.

                        And I'm almost sure such a faction will play a role in the Telepath War.

                        My only gripe with the Telepath Colony arc was that it was slow, too little happened on those eps, other than setting up the crisis.
                        Had the arc of the Telepaths and Centauri Prime/Londo been better balanced and intermeshed it could have been better.

                        But then, speaking of what ifs, the Telepath Colony story originally would have been set-up more slowly, starting on Season 4, possibly as B-stories.
                        It's on record that Season four would have ended with "Intersections in Real Time," since PTEN was going belly-up and a fifth season was unlikely the whole Teep background story was removed, only when TNT picked up B5 for a fifth season that story could be told.
                        A very circumstancial thing, but that makes it more forgivable for me.
                        Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                        James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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                        • #27
                          That's what I was trying to figure out...was he meant to be annoying or did JMS intend for us to actually sympathize with him? Besides looking like Fabio and talking in those annoyingly romantic words (I loved it when Lyta got cynical at first) did we really feel his pain?

                          "Give us our own world."

                          Oh sure, there ya go. Here is a whole planet, By. Anything else? How about a moon or two to go with it? For extra, we'll throw in an atmosphere. Wait...extra...you're not paying...heck, the air is free.

                          Shaw, right.
                          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.

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                          • #28
                            Oh sure, there ya go. Here is a whole planet
                            Yeah, it isn't like habitable planets would be rare or valuable or anything. I'll be there are just thousands of worlds with the right atmosphere, gravity, temperature range and amount of water to support the kind of humanoid races who find B5 comfy that nobody's ever colonized. Byron should have had his choice of them, at no charge.

                            Regards,

                            Joe
                            Joseph DeMartino
                            Sigh Corps
                            Pat Tallman Division

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                              But are Telepaths homo superior?
                              i think the answer to that would be YES.

                              and while it may have been orchestrated by the Vorlons, it still follows along the lines of natural selection. and you do indeed have Homo Sapiens vs. Homo Superior in a similar plane as Cro Magnon vs. Neanderthal.

                              remember that one ep where Dr. Franklin discovers that one race on a planet had exterminated the other virtually equally developed race?

                              well this telepaths vs. mundanes struggle seems pretty similar to me. and frankly, it is surprising that a similar battle has not taken place amongst the Centauri or Minbari who also have telepaths amongst them.

                              but even though i would consider telepaths to be "superior", that does not necessarily give them the upper hand because they are inferior when it comes to numbers by a pretty large margin. and it also stands to reason that the Alliance would come to the aid of the mundanes if the telepaths ever made a bid to take over Earth.

                              a lot of speculation i know.

                              but that is what the board is here for.
                              Keffer

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Lieutenant Keffer
                                well this telepaths vs. mundanes struggle seems pretty similar to me. and frankly, it is surprising that a similar battle has not taken place amongst the Centauri or Minbari who also have telepaths amongst them.
                                During Season 4 the Centauri teeps lost.
                                Andrew Swallow

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