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  • Jan
    replied
    He showed his 'diploma', too.

    Jan

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  • Delenn_of_Mir
    replied
    He said this during his spotlight panel, last year.

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  • Jan
    replied
    JMS has often mentioned that he was asked to leave college because they weren't equipped to handle a 'GPA in negative numbers' but he never gave any details.

    Now we've got details!

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski

    A funny story for an otherwise slow Thursday, something I discussed at SDCC last year in brief but presented here in more detail….

    When I attended San Diego State University, I received two Bachelor’s degrees, the first in Psychology, the second in Sociology (meaning I was now qualified to be unemployed in two directions at the same time). My family was pushing me hard to get a Master’s Degree even though I didn’t want one and was already making a living as a writer. They didn’t care what area I got the degree in, they just wanted it for bragging rights to annoy the relatives.
    I transferred into the area of Mass Communications (thereby adding a third category for guaranteed unemployment) on the theory that it was at least tangentially related to writing. But I desperately didn’t want to be there. Every hour I spent in class was an hour when I could have been writing. So I gradually stopped going to classes, and stopped showing up for tests.

    Consequently, my grades dropped precipitously. It got to the point where one of the academic advisors called me in to say that they were going to have to ask me to leave at the end of the semester because “our computer system isn’t set up to handle a GPA in negative numbers.” (Which is the best line I’ve ever gotten from an academic advisor.)

    I didn’t want to get into it with my family – the less I had to do with them in general the better – but I also knew that no matter how successful I was as a writer, they’d never let me out of their teeth until I got the freaking Master’s.

    So I decided to fake it.

    Without going too much into the details, I managed to add my name to the directory containing the graduation rolls, which were used to print the actual programs. I then told my family that I managed to get my work done early and would be graduating that semester.

    Using the two Bachelor’s Degrees as templates, I forged a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications. By hand. Using press-on letters which I then copied onto high quality stock that gave the printing an engraved look before filling in any blue or gold areas with colored pencils. The process was laborious (I probably could’ve gotten the real Master’s with less work) but the end result was nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. The last step was to rent a cap and gown for the ceremony, and hope for the best.

    So when Graduation Day came along, and my family showed up, my name was in the program for a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications and I was in a cap and gown with all the correct accoutrement for my degree.

    As I went through the ceremony, I was worried that at any minute I might run into someone who would realize what was going on and blow my little covert operation wide open. Fortunately, due to the massive size of the university, students didn’t go up one at a time to receive their degrees. An administrator would call out the class and category, the students involved would stand in their seats, wave to the crowd, then sit down again.

    I sat, I stood, I waved.

    And I got away with it.

    Two weeks later, the “degree” arrived in the mail and I framed it on the wall of my tiny apartment next to the two real degrees.
    Nobody knew what I’d done for over ten years, when one of my sisters, the only one I let in on the scheme, finally ratted me out to my family when she got tired of being told that she should get a Master’s because I had done so. By then I was working in television full time and didn’t much care what anyone thought about it.

    I still have the degree, which I’ve never claimed in any resume or credit sheet, it was only and exclusively done to get my folks off my back, but I didn’t have any decent photos to back up the story. Just the other day, in some boxes of family records, I came across a couple of clear photos from the ceremony, one of which is appended herewith as proof of the conspiracy.
    I don’t know that there’s any moral to the story, other than: if you’re gonna make your own way in the world, sometimes you gotta bend the rules, and sometimes you gotta break ‘em. It’s worth it in the end if you get a good story out of it….


    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 03-29-2015, 11:56 AM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    That would mean that JMS would have to have licensed the book so it's probably not likely that he would have done so for a spec script.

    Jan

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  • DaveNarn
    replied
    Could this be a screen play developing for Arthur C Clarke's novel?
    Earthlight was also considered at the time 2001 was filmed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthlight
    Last edited by DaveNarn; 03-12-2015, 09:48 AM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Not sure that this should have it's own thread since I've never seen anything like it before. JMS retweeted:

    The Tracking Board
    ‏@MyTrackingBoard
    {HEAT METER} Hot Straczynski Sci-Fi Spec "Earthlight" Blazes Into Major Territories - http://bit.ly/1wYdXSU
    ...which takes you here:
    http://www.tracking-board.com/heat-m...r-territories/

    Which says:

    {HEAT METER} HOT STRACZYNSKI SCI-FI SPEC “EARTHLIGHT” BLAZES INTO MAJOR TERRITORIES MARCH 11, 2015

    Veteran film and TV writer J. Michael Straczynski’s hot new spec EARTHLIGHT has been quick to nab attention, heading into major territories. Martin Spencer is running point on the spec, and it’s already into a handful of major territories and being read by select producers. I’m hearing that the project is into Warner Bros. by way of Thunder Road Pictures and that Scott Stuber of Bluegrass Films brought it into Universal, while Lorenzo di Bonaventura of Di Bonaventura Pictures took it to Paramount, per his deal there. I’m also hearing that the spec is into Fox through Peter Chernin of Chernin Entertainment and that Joe Roth of Roth Films took it to Sony.

    The buzzed about sci-fi/action project’s plot is kept hush, but it’s being hailed as a futuristic Top Gun set in space. Straczynski’s no stranger to the market or the genre, having been featured on the Black List twice and known for crafting compelling science fiction. The scribe’s recent credits include work on Thor, Changeling, and World War Z, and he’s known for creating the Babylon 5 TV series. He’s next scripting the Forbidden Planet remake, the sci-fi adaptation Titans for Chernin, and the Shattered Union adaptation for Disney. He also wrote 20th Century Fox’s The Dive, which will star Jennifer Lawrence.

    Spencer and Adam Kanter rep Straczynski for Paradigm.

    Spec is into:
    Chernin Entertainment into Fox
    Di Bonaventura Pictures into Paramount
    Roth Films into Sony
    Thunder Road Pictures into Warner Bros.
    Bluegrass Films into Universal

    Keep your eyes on the Tracking Board as we continue to keep you updated on all the news and buzz surrounding this project!
    That article's a bit odd since it's got some odd misinformation unless there's been movement we haven't heard about regarding 'Shattered Union' or 'The Dive' but since JMS retweeted it, we can assume that the parts about the spec script are likely correct.

    Fun!

    Jan

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  • Jan
    replied
    I guess Buddy's got JMS trained:

    Originally posted by JMichael Straczynski
    "My cat is all about the snacks, bout the snacks, bout the snacks, no kibble, he's all about the snacks bout the snacks-snack-snacks-snacks"


    Jan

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  • Jan
    replied
    Somebody posted to the effect that a belief system is no different from a religion...

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    Steve, a belief system is not the same as a religion. I'm sorry, it's just not, not by any definition in any textbook ever written. A religion is a codified set of rules based around the presumptoin of a God or other supernatural beings. A belief system can be based around a moral set of principles, or ethics, or other aspects without bringing religion into the equation. That's the same argument creationists use to say that science is a religion. Nope. Science is science, religion is religion, and while all religions are belief systems, not all belief systems are religions.

    And religion did not end slavery or Jim Crow. That's the Right's most recent talking point, and utterly untrue. There were just as many churches against those points as for them, especially down south. The blood of soldiers ended one, and the blood of protesters ended the other, with political will and individual heroism pushing it through. For religion to try and take credit for it is offensive in the extreme. It's like a chicken laying an egg at the moment a thunderbolt strikes and thinking, "Hey, I did that."
    I do love reading this sort of thing...

    Jan

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  • Jan
    replied
    The more things change the more things stay the same. Discussion to Off Topic as usual.

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    As we consider the current discussion regarding same-sex marriage, let us remember that this discussion does not take place in a historical vacuum, and that a view to the past might illuminate the present.

    To those who cite religious reasons for not marrying same-sex couples, it’s worth pointing out that religious reasons were generally behind the miscegenation laws created to prevent people from different ethnic groups from marrying, laws that were passed and enforced in the United States until relatively recently.

    These laws date back to the creation of the United States (so certainly one can make the claim that the Founding Fathers endorsed such ideas, a thread in many articles by those who would see same-sex marriage banned). Pennsylvania was the first state to eliminate the ban in 1780, followed soon after by Massachusetts. But over two dozen states continued to enforce these laws. Even California, founded much later, had laws banning miscegenation…and all of these laws were, for a time, actually upheld by the Supreme Court.

    Just as there are current attempts by members of Congress to create constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, there were multiple Congressional attempts to pass such amendments banning interracial marriage. In 1913, Seaborn Roddenberry, a Congressman from Georgia, tried to pass an amendment which would forever ban Caucasians from marrying “persons of color” if there was even the smallest trace of African blood. He called it an “un-American and inhuman leprosy.”

    His resolution, which can still be viewed as part of the Congressional Record, read in part, “Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant to the very principles of Saxon government. It is subversive of social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately this slavery of white women to black beasts will bring this nation a conflict as fatal as ever reddened the soil of Virginia or crimsoned the mountain paths of Pennsylvania.”

    The attempted amendments never gained enough traction to pass, despite quite a bit of support from other congressmen, but local and state laws against interracial marriage not only remained on the books, they were often rigorously enforced. City officials and clergy refused to perform such marriages, and those making the attempt were frequently arrested, jailed or forced by state officials to leave the states in which they had been living, sent into exile elsewhere.

    Why is this worth mentioning now?

    Because given the latest news of Alabama’s constant attempts to refuse to enforce laws allowing same-sex marriage, it should be noted that the last state to repeal its laws against interracial marriage…was Alabama.
    In the year 2000.

    Let me repeat that for emphasis. Laws banning interracial marriage were still on the books in Alabama as late as the beginning of this century. And even after they were finally repealed by a narrowly won referendum, it still took effort to make local officials, clerks and justices of the peace hew to those new laws. These folks felt that their personal freedom and religious dogma was sufficient justification to refuse to comply. (Not to give Alabama a pass, but as recently as 2009, a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana refused to conduct an interracial marriage.)

    You could go back into this text, take the words “interracial marriage” and “same sex marriage” and swap them and have every argument that is still being made today. I suspect that none (well, few) of the proponents of the current bans would look back at the laws banning miscegenation and think those were good ideas. But in the final analysis, both arguments have the same basis, the same justifications and rationalizations.

    Proving once again that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    At least in Alabama.
    There's already a marriage equality thread.

    Don't recall if I reposted this at the time but JMS just reposted a post from 2012 on somewhat the same subject:

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski

    And while I'm at it: reposting this note from 2012, since it's relevant to the marriage-minded post below.

    The interesting thing about watching the debate about same-sex marriage, especially the declaration by many that marriage has always been a Christian family tradition, is that so many of these folks seem not to have an actual grasp of church history.

    Leaving aside for a moment the fact that same-sex marriages were routinely conducted by the Catholic Church for nearly three hundred years, from the 10th to the 12th centuries under what was variously termed “the Office of Same-Sex Union” or the “Order for Uniting Two Men,” what’s more compelling is what the Church felt about marriage between a man and woman for the first nine hundred years of its existence.

    Basically, they were against it. Marriage created issues of property that could potentially be inherited by offspring rather than granted to the church or seized by lords in the absence of an heir. Marriage was considered by many of Christendom’s brightest lights to be something vile and repugnant. Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (160-225 AD), one of the most regarded Christian writers of his age, often derided marriage, saying that it “consists essentially in fornication.” Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, the Bishop of Carthage, believed that marriage and childbirth was no longer necessary since the world was now full and ready for Christ’s return.

    Consequently, for over eight hundred years the Church refused to have anything to do with marriage. It refused to allow marriages to take place on church grounds and prohibited members of the clergy from taking part in marriage ceremonies outside church grounds. They were to be performed strictly according to local customs without Church recognition, sanction or involvement.
    It was only during the late 9th century that the Catholic Church, under pressure from followers, finally began to recognize marriage as a sacrament to be included in the list of other church rituals. But even then, it was considered a second-rate “lesser sacrament,” a poor cousin to the other, more important sacraments such as Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Orders. It wasn’t until the Council of Trent in 1547 that marriage was finally accorded equal status with the other sacraments. (Ironically, many of the arguments raised at Trent against including marriage with the other sacraments were similar to the arguments being made against same-sex marriage today.)

    So the next time you hear someone talking about marriage between a man and woman being a Christian tradition, after you mention the same-sex marriages of the 10th-12 centuries, remind them that conventional marriage, marriage between a man and a woman, was derided, ignored, prohibited, diminished or dismissed by the church for ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND FORTY SEVEN YEARS.

    Then sit back and enjoy the ruffled-feather symphony, knowing that history and the facts are on your side.


    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 02-12-2015, 06:45 PM.

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  • Jonas
    replied
    Yes, but the doorbell's ringing on TV and he's racing to the door.

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  • Dan Dassow
    replied
    Originally Posted by J. Michael Strazynski
    Okay, somebody 'splain this to me.
    I've had Buddy the Miracle Cat (or BudTMC to his hip-hop friends) since he was six weeks old. Prior to that, he was feral and living in the back yard. Since then, I know every place in which he has spent any kind of time.
    Ninety-five percent of the time he has lived here at the house. My house does not have a !DING-DONG! doorbell.
    On a few occasions, when I was out of town, he has stayed at a couple of other places. Neither of them has a !DING-DONG! doorbell.
    The only other place he has stayed has been at the office of one vet or another. Again: none of those places has a !DING-DONG! doorbell.
    Let me repeat for emphasis: he has never, ever, at any time, lived in a house with a doorbell that goes DING-DONG!
    So why the hell is it that when I'm watching TV, and somebody on screen rings a DING-DONG doorbell, Buddy races to the door like he has to sign for a freaking package?
    I believe that Joe is assuming that Buddy has a conditioned (Pavlovian) response to the !DING-DONG! doorbell. However, it may simply be that Buddy is curious about what is causing the sound. My youngest daughter's cat, Frank, is 22 pounds and is probably part Maine Coon. He is chatty and very curious. If he hears an unusual sound, he runs towards it. Whenever our !DING-DONG! doorbell rings, he runs to the front door along with one of our Bichon Frise dogs, Bailey.

    Here's another cat's response to a doorbell ringing:
    Watch Cat Stands Like a Human When The Doorbell Rings
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdft9heW8Po
    Last edited by Dan Dassow; 02-02-2015, 08:00 PM. Reason: forgot info

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  • phazedout
    replied
    posted some hours ago, more Buddy stuff

    Originally posted by J. Michael Strazynski
    Okay, somebody 'splain this to me.
    I've had Buddy the Miracle Cat (or BudTMC to his hip-hop friends) since he was six weeks old. Prior to that, he was feral and living in the back yard. Since then, I know every place in which he has spent any kind of time.
    Ninety-five percent of the time he has lived here at the house. My house does not have a !DING-DONG! doorbell.
    On a few occasions, when I was out of town, he has stayed at a couple of other places. Neither of them has a !DING-DONG! doorbell.
    The only other place he has stayed has been at the office of one vet or another. Again: none of those places has a !DING-DONG! doorbell.
    Let me repeat for emphasis: he has never, ever, at any time, lived in a house with a doorbell that goes DING-DONG!
    So why the hell is it that when I'm watching TV, and somebody on screen rings a DING-DONG doorbell, Buddy races to the door like he has to sign for a freaking package?

    Leave a comment:


  • phazedout
    replied
    as did I, don't really need food this week anyways....

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  • DaveNarn
    replied
    Nice article, looks like a good site.

    I ordered the JMS book they mentioned too... 'Straczynski Unplugged'

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  • Jan
    replied
    Not exactly a post of JMS' but he (and Sense9linked) linked to this article. It's a good read and only a few minor inaccuracies have crept in.

    http://www.theimaginativeconservativ...-know-jms.html

    ETA: A lovely response from JMS:

    J. Michael Straczynski
    Jan 29, 2015 at 3:35 am Reply


    I am deeply honored and humbled by your kind, generous words. With luck, and very hard work, I hope to one day live up to their promise. I am inexperienced with this particular site, but if the humanity of your commentary is emblematic, then this must be a pretty awesome place to hang out. Certainly any site that advocates for the work of T.S. Eliot is the kind of joint anyone should feel proud to frequent.

    Thanks again….

    J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski

    (PS, two paragraphs up, quoting from Midnight Nation, there is a typo at the bottom. It reads “…the despair of tooters.” I don’t have the original text in front of me, but from the context I suspect it originally read “the despair of others.” I once tried to sell a story about the despair of tooters, but since no two people could agree on what a tooter was, where they congregated, or why they were so upset, it never sold, thus destroying what would have been the shining pinnacle of my career. Thanks for reminding me….)
    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 01-29-2015, 11:09 AM.

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