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  • Jan
    JMS posted last night that Saturday was Buddy's (his cat) tenth birthday:

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    For those tracking such things, Buddy the Miracle Cat (BudTMC to his hip-hip friends) turned 10 yesterday. A furry happiness engine.
    And a photo:

    and a little bit about his lineage:

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    I'm pretty sure he's a blend of Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat and drunk-midget-in-a-cat-suit.
    ETA: And in case anybody hasn't read it - the original rescue story:


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  • Looney
    Ooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhh! ! !

    "Don't get me started . . . Don't even get me started."

    Seriously, I could go on for days. And who can tell what program that quote came from?

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  • KoshN
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Once again, JMS has made a thought-provoking post. Please feel free to start a thread in 'Off Topic' if you want to discuss it.!/permalin...if_t=notify_me

    Corporation X would try to buy off, threaten/ruin or kill the civic-minded law enforcement officer, the civic-minded prosecutor, the civic-minded judge and/or all twelve jurors, indirectly, of course.

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  • Jan
    And on a lighter note, from Twitter:

    Originally posted by JMichael Straczynski‏@straczynski
    Best overheard line at today's Ten Grand signing: "I woke up the next morning covered in Cheese Doodles and shame."

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  • Jan
    Once again, JMS has made a thought-provoking post. Please feel free to start a thread in 'Off Topic' if you want to discuss it.

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski

    I would like to make a modest suggestion on the subject of congressional corruption – and make no mistake, that’s precisely what it is, and if we’re ever going to deal with it that’s what we need to start calling it – that is affecting both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate.

    When friends and pundits discuss the impact of heavily monied special interest groups on the vote patterns of our elected representatives, who too often reflect the desires of those groups rather than the will of the voters who elected them, the battle cry is always the same: “We have to legislate the money out of the political process.”

    It’s a fine goal. A commendable goal. A noble goal. I find absolutely nothing wrong with it other than it will never happen.

    The handy thing about being a lawmaker is that you get to define and decide what is, in fact, unlawful. If you’re doing something that might incur the wrath of the electorate or, worse still, result in a long visit behind prison walls, you simply rewrite the laws so that whatever you're doing is not illegal.

    We’ve seen this in action before. Prior to the George W. Bush administration, waterboardring had been unequivocally considered torture. In the aftermath of World War Two, Japanese soldiers convicted of having waterboarded American soldiers were executed for having committed torture. For decades every American military manual covering wartime conduct labeled waterboarding torture.

    So when our government decided they wanted to use it on others, they simply redefined waterboarding as “enhanced interrogation” rather than torture and that, as they say, was that. There was nothing different in the practice between now and the 1940s, it was just a matter of adjusting the language and the laws so that what was illegal yesterday is absolutely lawful today.

    Which brings us back around to the parallel subject of congressional corruption.

    If you or I had a real estate or zoning matter pending before a local court, and we slipped the County Clerk a hundred bucks to grease the wheels a bit, he and we would be arrested on charges of bribery...and rightly so. The technical, legal term for this is “exerting undue influence.” That hundred dollars caused the Clerk to spin the wheel of government in our desired direction, so it is only right and proper that we be incarcerated. That’s what the law says.

    But in the halls of the Senate and the House of Representatives, where millions of dollars are routinely funneled into the pockets of our elected officials, they have taken great pains to gut, amend, delete or otherwise revise the laws concerning bribery to the point where they either do not apply or require such a ridiculously high standard that you really have to work to violate it. The corollary would be that you could only be arrested for driving under the influence if you were ALSO going over one hundred miles per hour, AND singing a pre-1975 Rolling Stone cover, AND juggling six (not five, not seven, but six) oranges and one potato (unpeeled, of course), all at precisely the same time.

    So as a rule, the worst penalty one might receive is an ethics violation, which is little more than a procedural slap on the wrist applied by those doing the very same things, and who consequently go easy on the offender because they don’t want to bring too much attention to their own financial dealings. The offense is a breach of protocol and a matter of mild embarrassment rather than a violation of the law.

    Accepting those vast sums is not a crime because, as with waterboarding, they simply defined it otherwise under federal law. Nice work if you can get it.

    Which is why the goal of legislating away monied special interests will never happen. You can’t expect the people receiving the money to vote against their own pocketbook.

    But that is not to say that nothing can be done. Something can be done. It just requires a little civic courage.

    Note the phrase three paragraphs up: “they simply defined it otherwise under federal law.” But the local and state laws concerning bribery remain clear, unmuddied, and very much intact, which is why the aforementioned County Clerk is still locked away in the Iron Bar Hotel.

    You really want to fix congressional corruption on both sides of the aisle? You really want to get the money out of the process? You really want to make your elected officials answerable to those who put them in office? Here’s how you do it.

    It takes just one civic-minded law enforcement officer, one civic minded prosecutor and one civic-minded judge to walk into the local office of a senator or congressman who has received millions of dollars in money from a corporation with business before Congress, business which the elected official voted on in the way the corporation wanted him or her to vote on it...and make an arrest under state or local laws covering bribery and undue influence.

    There’s nothing the federal government can do to prevent such a case being brought, no revision or reconsideration by the House or Senate that can absolve the accused of culpability, no solution to the problem other than a trial by jury.

    And that’s where this whole thing comes to a head.

    More than just about anything else, I want to hear a defense attorney say this to a jury:

    “Yes, my client, the defendant, accepted ten million dollars from Corporation X; yes, my client then voted on bills concerning Corporation X in ways that allowed said corporation to make substantial profits; and yes, Corporation X not only wanted that bill passed, they actually wrote the bill and handed it to my client to bring before Congress and move it forward, which is exactly what happened...but the notion that those ten million dollars had any influence on his actions is simply absurd.”

    I want to see him put that argument before twelve hard-working Americans. I would happily cancel all other entertainment just to be there.

    Given the public’s indignation over the use of money to buy influence, so that the voters have no voice and those with cash cut to the front of the line...given the moral outrage of a nation confronted with the realization that our representatives have failed at the task of being representative...given the County Clerk scenario presented earlier, which would surely be part of any such do you think the jury would vote?

    Perhaps more to the point: how would you?

    Bills and legislation and discussions with those who make and remake the federal laws in their own vested interest will never, ever get the money out of the process.

    What will start the process of getting the money out is news footage of a Senator or Congressman being perp-walked out of his house in the middle of the night on charges of bribery. One single conviction, on even the smallest of charges, will finish the job.

    It requires just one civic-minded law enforcement officer out of nearly 800,000 across the United States.

    One civic-minded prosecutor.

    And one civic-minded judge.

    And the world will turn irrevocably on its axis.

    J. Michael Straczynski!/permalin...if_t=notify_me


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  • Ubik
    An autobiography... that could make for really interesting reading. I love the tone and content of the B5 Script Book intros, and I could see JMS working really well in autobio mode.

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  • Jan
    A poster on FB commented that he was enjoying the JMS anthology book "Straczynski Unplugged" and asked if there would be more anthologies or prose works.

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    Definitely want to do more prose, haven't had the chance for much fiction work. Main thing taking up my time in prose just now is the autobiography.

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  • Ubik
    Shocking to see this kind of event unfold again. My sympathy goes out to the victims and their families. With the above, JMS hits the nail on the head on so many counts.

    I was also deeply impressed with the sentiment behind Patton Oswalt’s response, which has gone viral on Facebook.

    I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

    But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

    But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

    But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

    So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."
    Last edited by Ubik; 05-05-2013, 11:19 AM.

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  • Jan
    In response to the tragic events of the Boston Marathon bombing, JMS posted the amazing words from his 'black issue (#36) of Amazing Spider-man and gave permission for it to be reposted.

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski

    The last time there was a bombing on our own soil...and how terrible a thing it is that one can say, "the last time"...that echoed so horrifically across the country...the day 9/11 became a part of our cultural identity...I was asked by Marvel to write something about the events of that day, and those that followed. In watching the news today, the words came back to me, and I thought I would reprint them here, minus the specific references to 9/11 itself...the last time this happened....

    And wouldn't it be great to say "the last time" and know that it WAS the last time this would ever happen?

    The words from that piece appear below. They are, sadly, *just* words...but they are all I have to give.

    We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you the following special bulletin.

    Follow the sound of sirens.

    Some things are beyond words.
    Beyond forgiveness.
    Beyond comprehension.
    Because only madmen could contain the thought, execute the act.
    The sane world will always be vulnerable to madmen
    because we cannot go where they go to conceive of such things.

    Even those we thought our enemies are moved.
    Because some things surpass rivalries and borders.
    Because the story of humanity is written in tears.
    In the common coin of blood and bone.
    In the voice that speaks within even the worst of us, and says "This is not right."

    Also here are those who face danger without fear or armor.
    Those who step into the darkness without assurances of ever walking out again,
    because they know there are others waiting in the dark.
    Awaiting salvation.
    Awaiting word.
    Awaiting justice.

    Ordinary men.
    Ordinary women.
    Made extraordinary by acts of compassion.
    And courage.
    And terrible sacrifice.

    Ordinary men.
    Ordinary women.
    Refusing to surrender.

    Ordinary men.
    Ordinary women.
    Refusing to accept the self-serving proclamations of holy warriors of every stripe,
    who announce that somehow we had this coming.

    We reject them in the knowledge that our tragedy is greater than the sum of our transgressions.

    There are no words.
    There are no words.

    The death of innocents and the death of innocence.
    Rage compounded upon rage. Rage enough to blot out the sun.
    And the air still filled with questions.

    “Is it going to happen again?
    What do I tell my children?
    Why did this happen?”

    What do we tell the children?
    Do we tell them the evil is a foreign face?
    No. The evil is the thought behind the face, and it can look just like yours.

    Do we tell them evil is tangible, with defined borders and names and geometries and destinies?
    No. They will have nightmares enough.

    Perhaps we tell them that we are sorry.
    Sorry that we were not able to deliver unto them the world we wished them to have.
    That our eagerness to shout is not the equal of our willingness to listen.

    Or perhaps we simply tell them that we love them, and that we will protect them.
    That we would give our lives for theirs and do it gladly, so great is
    the burden of our love.

    In a universe of Xboxes and Itunes, it is, perhaps, an insubstantial gift.
    But it is the only one that will wash away the tears
    and knit the wounds
    and make the world a sane place to live in.

    We could not see it coming.
    No one could.
    We could not stop it.
    No one could.
    But we are still here. With you.
    Today. Tomorrow. And the day after.

    We live in each blow you strike for infinite justice,
    but always in the hope of infinite wisdom.

    When you move, we will move with you.
    Where you go, we will go with you.
    Where you are, we are in you.

    Because the future belongs to ordinary men and ordinary women,
    and that future must be built free of such acts as these,
    must be fought for and renewed like fresh water.

    Because a message must be sent to those who mistake compassion for weakness.
    A message sent across six thousand years of recorded blood and struggle.
    And the message is this:

    Whatever our history, whatever the root of our surnames,
    we remain a good and decent people
    and we do not bow down and we do not give up.

    The fire of the human spirit cannot be quenched by bomb blasts or body counts.
    Cannot be intimidated forever into silence or drowned by tears.

    We have endured worse before; we will bear this burden and all that come after,
    because that's what ordinary men and women do.
    We persevere.
    No matter what.

    This has not weakened us.
    It has only made us stronger.

    In recent years we as a people have been
    tribalized and factionalized
    by a thousand casual unkindnesses.

    But in this we are one.

    Flags sprout in uncommon places, the ground made fertile by tears and shared resolve.

    We have become one in our grief.
    We are now one in our determination.
    One as we recover.
    One as we rebuild.

    You wanted to send a message, and in so doing
    you awakened us from our self-involvement.
    Message received.
    Look for your reply in the thunder.

    In such days as these are heroes born.
    The true heroes of the twenty-first century.
    You, the human being singular.
    You, who are nobler than you know and stronger than you think.
    You, the heroes of this moment chosen out of history.

    We stand blinded by the light of your unbroken will.
    Before that light, no darkness can prevail.

    In their memory, draft a covenant with your conscience,
    that we will create a world in which such things need not occur.

    A world which will not require apologies to children, but also a world whose
    roads are not paved with the husks of their inalienable rights.

    Graft now their echo onto your spine.
    Become girders and glass, stone and steel,
    so that when the world sees you, it sees them.

    And stand tall.

    Stand tall.

    Stand tall.

    J. Michael Straczynski
    Last edited by Jan; 04-16-2013, 04:31 AM.

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  • WorkerCaste
    Good Lord! I never would have suspected that seniors were getting ripped off on those deals. I wonder how widespread that really is. Talk about a morally questionable business model.

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  • Looney

    I can't wait to share that story with my father. He is SOOOOOOO in love with making sure he gets a "Senior" status everywhere he goes that he'll really appreciate this.

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  • phazedout
    Hoping this doesn't make it difficult for Jan to wield the mighty hammer of spam for the posts above, however around 5 hours ago (so about 11pm est) Joe posted the following rant

    Originally posted by JMichael Straczynski‏@straczynski
    So thanks to my wonderful genetics IÆve always looked considerably older than I am. At 18 or 19 I could walk into any bar with friends and not get carded, whereas they always got nailed. (Ironic since I was the only one not looking to drink.) When I worked on Murder She Wrote in 1992 I was walking back to the office on the Universal lot after lunch one day, accompanied by my exec producer David Moessinger and supervising producer Bob ôSwannyö Swanson. Bob was making a cultural reference he wasnÆt sure I would get and asked, ôSo how old are you, if you donÆt mind my asking?ö

    ôThirty-eight,ö I said.

    When people say ôhe literally stumbled over his own two feetö they generally donÆt mean he actually stumbled, they just mean the person was shocked. So you will understand the distinction when I say Bob *literally* stumbled over his feet when he heard that. When he recovered, he poked a finger in my chest and said ôEither youÆre a LOT older than 38, or you come by a hard road.ö

    ôI come by a hard road,ö I said, and Bob was smart enough not to inquire further.

    Okay, so why am I telling you all this?

    Ever since my hair turned white after Babylon 5 (in my forties), every time I walk into a deli or restaurant that offers Senior Specials thereÆs always some clown trying to shove the triple-damned thing at me. Again, and literally: since my FORTIES. I know they mean well, I know theyÆre supposed to do it, but still....

    Anyway, I got into the habit of saying something along the lines of ôIÆll have the roast beef dinner, NOT the senior special because IÆm not that freaking old.ö

    So I took a walk today and stopped in for dinner at a deli in my neighborhood (I wonÆt identify this to avoid getting the individual in question in trouble.) Placed the order with the caveat noted above. Then, just out of curiosity, I asked ôAnd what the hell IS a æSenior SpecialÆ?ö I assumed it was some specific discount, but wanted to know. Writers ask this stuff because you never know when information like that can come in handy. (ôAgent Wilson knew the man sitting across him at the deli wasnÆt really Professor Talmadge because he failed to ask for the Senior Special, as was his wont.ö)

    ôThe senior special is a ten percent discount over what the meal normally costs,ö the server said.

    ôBut itÆs the same meal, right?ö

    ôNo,ö the server said, ôitÆs smaller portions, since older people donÆt need to eat as much.ö

    I straightened in my seat. ôDo they KNOW theyÆre getting smaller portions? Does it say that anywhere in the menu?ö

    ôNo,ö the server said.

    ôHow MUCH smaller?ö I asked. The server shrugged, no idea.

    ôOkay, so go ahead and bring me the roast beef dinner,ö I said, ôAND bring me the senior special roast beef dinner on the side.ö

    ôYou want two dinners?ö

    ôYes, the regular one, and the senior special on the side.ö

    After some back-and-forth about whether or not the manager would allow that, and my indication that I really didnÆt care what the manager wanted, they brought the two dinners so I could do a side-by-side comparison. After a rough and admittedly not totally scientific examination (I didnÆt have anything upon which to weigh the food), my sense was that there was 20-25% less food in the senior special than in the regular version.

    I called the server back. ôSo let me see if IÆve got this straight. The senior special, for which theyÆre paying 10% less, has 20-25% less food.ö

    The server nodded, not yet perceiving the outrage. ôThatÆs why Sundays are really profitable for the restaurant. The seniors really come in large numbers, and the profit margin is great.ö

    ôDonÆt you think that seniors, who have a hard time making ends meet and may come up a bit short in the food department on a regular basis, might prefer to pay 10% more for that extra food, some of which they might opt to take home with them?ö

    The server didnÆt respond, seeing now which way the conversation was going.

    ôIf itÆs a senior special," I continued, "and you want to be nice to the older crowd, why donÆt you give them the same meal for, say, five or ten percent less?ö

    ôBecause that would be û ö and the server hesitated before saying the word.

    ôIt would be a discount,ö I said, finishing the sentence.

    ôYeah, but we donÆt do a Senior Discount," the server said, and with one sentence all became clear: "ItÆs a SPECIAL version of the food. ThatÆs why we call it the Senior SPECIAL, not a DISCOUNT.ö

    ôAnd the æspecialÆ part of that is that theyÆre being ripped off, am I correct?ö

    Which pretty much ended the conversation, except for a parting ôItÆs how EVERYBODY does itö the server fired back en route to the kitchen.

    So if youÆre reading this and youÆre in the Senior category, next time you go into a restaurant ask if that menu item is a Senior SPECIAL or a Senior DISCOUNT, and if itÆs the former, you can do what I do and say youÆre not that freaking old, but if you ARE that freaking old, tell them youÆre not that freaking stupid.

    This concludes your rant for the day.

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  • Jan
    Earlier in the week somebody tried to claim that JMS said in his scriptwriting book that one could never sell a script without prior sales (he didn't-he said one couldn't sell a *series* without a track record) and called JMS a dream killer. Last night somebody came on and stated that JMS was the exact oposite of a dream killer.

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    Waking suicide?

    Somebody was surprised that JMS' Facebook page is actually maintained by JMS himself.

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    Yes, I am he. Tremble before my august majesty. And my september white hair.

    Last edited by Jan; 04-05-2013, 04:34 PM.

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  • phazedout
    just thinking of you Jan, what did occur to me was I'd hit post and find you'd done it already, but I figured pre coffee pre 6am even you coulndn't manage that...
    on the "of course I was up at 7 am to attend a 7:50 nspin class in my gym.. the funs" ID

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  • Jan
    Thanks, Phaze! I love it when JMS does that but it's a royal pain to bring over here. I particularly liked one small side exchange:

    A poster asked JMS what the weather was like in hell:

    Originally posted by JMichael Straczynski‏@straczynski
    It was quite chilly. So it may not in fact be that we are suffering global warming, but rather that Hell has sprung a leak.

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