Rocketman on March 01, 2007, 08:40:38 pm
After finishing my previous post I thought of another example.  Remember the news crew from Earth that came out and told Sheridan something like "We're here to get your side of the story and we're coming back to Earth with a story one way or another."  How they used snippets of interviews to tell only part of the story, the side that they wanted told, namely the Earth government's.  That was a pretty clear example of how media controlled government distorts and misrepresents facts to suit their views. 

Rocketman on March 02, 2007, 07:21:20 pm
Maybe my last post wasn't quite clear on what I was trying to get at.  I believe that a show like B5 doesn't have to be in a libertarian setting to show libertarian principals are superior to authoritarian ones.  Showing
how authoritarians run things behind the scenes and not the sanitized version that the news media puts out
can be a powerful image for the average viewer that there is a better alternative.

Bog on March 03, 2007, 05:10:44 am
Quite.   And it's also a heartwarming little reminder that the Sci-Fi channel, for all that it's not *that* Sci-Fi right now, is at least not allergic to libertarian thinking.   Or at least the occasional bit of "Y'ain'tTheBossO'Me"ishness, which is almost as good in a storytelling sense ;)

One thing that concerns me about TPB as a miniseries is that it is a bit preachy in places.   Now this is great and fine when you're reading a novel, and you've got the freedom to suck up a treatise on Gallatin and his thinking 'n'stuff, but it's astonishing how simple dialogue chews through time.  To cut TPB down to two ninety-minute minute (well, seventy-five minute-plus-ad-breaks) chunks whilst retaining the flavour of the novel would be quite a feat of script-wrangling.   Keeping the whole "One world overgoverned and hellish, one world peripherally governed at most and a Really Nice Place" premise would be relatively straightforward, but a lot of the actual extemporisation on how it came about would need to be boiled off to get it covered in the time.   It occours to me that we're about halfway through the novel now in the website release of the graphic novel.  Am I wrong?  (My copy of TPB is buried somewhere in the random morass I laughingly call "My Library" - must buy a new copy.   Going specifically to find one book always leads to me sat cross-legged in the midst of books I'd forgotten about, leafing through them to find favourite bits).

It's always a painful winnowing process going from a full-length novel - especially one as rich in exposition as TPB - to a time-limited screenplay.   Just concerned about the overall length, y'see...

Frank Bieser on March 03, 2007, 02:53:55 pm
It occours to me that we're about halfway through the novel now in the website release of the graphic novel.  Am I wrong?  (My copy of TPB is buried somewhere in the random morass I laughingly call "My Library" - must buy a new copy.   Going specifically to find one book always leads to me sat cross-legged in the midst of books I'd forgotten about, leafing through them to find favourite bits).

Yes, you must buy a new copy.  In fact, please buy one for each room in your home.  This way you will not find yourself wanting. :)

Frank Bieser on March 03, 2007, 03:11:26 pm
Frank and Bog:
     I guess that most people wouldn't consider B5 a libertarian show and I would largely agree except for the fact that Earth at the time was going thru extreme dictatorship after the death of President Santiago. (If I remember my B5 history correctly)  Non-humans were treated about the same on earth as non Aryans were in Nazi Germany, barely tolerated at best, sub-human monsters who needed desposing of at worst.  The fact that Sheridan was willing to break from the same people who previously put him in this command showed alot of independant thinking on his part even though later in the series he suffered for it.  He was willing to work with aliens and form alliances with them using non-aggression principals and not by conquering them.  No, B5 wasn't a conventional libertarian story, but it did show that not everyone who puts on a uniform automatically obeys every command, there are limits where human decency trumps military order.

Yes. In that sense B5 was ahead of its time.  Night of the long knives = Patriot Act.  Overall, I found B5's message a budhist view on how to build communities; to walk the middle path between order and chaos.  Saying that total chaos (wanton destruction, death, etc) is bad, is easy.  So, B5 tended to focus on how too much "order" is equally bad.  And for that, I was pleased.  But wherever you looked in B5s spectrum of order and chaos, there was authority telling everyone else how they should be doing things.  Even the shadows had their marching orders.

But you raise a good point regarding Sheridan's treason.  Now that, was an act of anti-authoritarianism.  Rather like the 5,000 american who went AWOL and fled to Canada prior to being shipped to Iraq claiming that under american military law, they are not required to follow immoral orders.  I saw a 60 minutes story on that a few years ago (jeez has it been that long?).  But I've heard no follow up on that.

Rocketman on March 04, 2007, 02:17:11 pm
Frank:
     While your largely right, I have to respectfully disagree with your comment about walking the the middle path between order and chaos.  As Thomas Jefferson so precisely put it.  "The natural order of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."  You'll notice where he put liberty and where he put government.  (Diametrically opposed to each other.)  The only way that "very long term" the average citizen is going to be free and stay free is for a government to exist is like the one in TPB.

Bog:
     I remember reading in the book by David Gerrold "The making of Star Trek" that back then they had the same problem with unfamilar situations.  If your writing a police drama show you don't have the detective in the middle of the script explain how his Smith and Wesson works.  Maybe the answer is a prologue at the very beginning of the show by an announcer saying something like.  "In a universe much like our own the single word "unanimous" appeared in the Declaration of Independance."  "Because of that one word, a Swiss immigrant named Albert Gallatin rose up and fought against the United States government during what would be known as the Whiskey Rebellion."  "In our universe the Whiskey rebellion failed, but in that universe it succeded. "  "Washington was shot for treason,  Hamilton ran for his life to europe and Albert Gallatin became the second President of the United States."  "The Constitution of the United States and it's strong central government was repealed."  "In it's place the Articles of Confederation were revised and without the Constitution to support it, government became smaller and smaller until it disappeared thoughout the world."
  "Now the average citizen there lives in peace, prosperity and freedom."  "But there are still those who seek power for their own sake and seek to undo everything that Gallatin accomplished."  "In that world they are called "Hamiltonians.""  Something like that.

Frank Bieser on March 06, 2007, 02:00:04 pm
Frank:
     While your largely right, I have to respectfully disagree with your comment about walking the the middle path between order and chaos.  As Thomas Jefferson so precisely put it.  "The natural order of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."  You'll notice where he put liberty and where he put government.  (Diametrically opposed to each other.)  The only way that "very long term" the average citizen is going to be free and stay free is for a government to exist is like the one in TPB.

Ah, but I was specifically addressing what B5 was about.  I recommend you review the season 4 episode which marks the end of the shadow war.  Sheridan pretty much spells it out that the job of the 3rd generation is to find  the middle path between order and chaos.

As to government in general, well, I don't cotton well with the idea. ;-)

Rocketman on March 06, 2007, 06:09:49 pm
My apologies.  I read into your observation that the "middle ground" was what you were personally advocating and not just speaking about B5.  It's been a long weekend for me and I guess that I'm just not over it yet. :-\

Frank Bieser on March 07, 2007, 08:24:58 am
My apologies.  I read into your observation that the "middle ground" was what you were personally advocating and not just speaking about B5.  It's been a long weekend for me and I guess that I'm just not over it yet. :-\

No worries.  Because they can't get their heads around the concept that there is more to the politics than left-right spectrum, my democrat friends think I'm a republican, and my republican friends think I'm a democrat. I'm a creature of 3 dimensions living among flat worlders. :)

Rocketman on March 07, 2007, 06:45:19 pm
Frank:
  I know that feeling all too well.  When I first became a libertarian some of my friends thought I was talking about some kind of religious cult, others said "Oh, so that means you think people should be able to take all kinds of drugs".  One actually thought it meant that I was in favor of child porngraphy.  So much negative BS has been put out by the Demopublicans that even using the word stops most people who should be intelligent enough to know better from listening to rational arguements.  Which is exactly
the way the Demopublicans want it.  To them the truth and the welfare of the average citizen doesn't count for anything as long as they get to stay in power.  >:(

Bog on March 09, 2007, 12:35:13 pm
To them the truth and the welfare of the average citizen doesn't count for anything as long as they get to stay in power.  >:(

Unfortunately, that's a trend for power structures the world over.   Devil take the consequences, encyst the power-structure at all costs.  I grew up believing in the ideas and values espoused by people like Bob Heinlein.  To be honest, I still do - the world is just somewhat unwell, and needs to take a nice vacation until it feels better.

Bog on March 11, 2007, 04:58:11 pm
Babylon five is occasionally beyond Libertarian, and into the Heinlein territory of "This I Beleive" - in TBP, either everyone's Gallatinist or Foe.   

Heinlein had the virtue of not espousing any creed barring personal honour.   And then there's Mollari on the Humans.   I give you the following solliloque.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se9FNdyKFtk

That's a very thing slice of "This I Believe" and Lazarus' commentary on specialisation being for insects.

It's a thing of beauty, and a thing of truth.

Scott on March 11, 2007, 06:57:21 pm
Sorry I'm late to this party. Getting back to topic for the moment:

Neil has not had an agent for quite some time, owing to bad experiences suffered at the hands of previous agents. But about six months ago he decided to try this road once again, and has been going through a systematic search process.  He has some good leads at the moment but nothing's been signed yet with anyone.

Bog, I appreciate your enthusiasm about doing some test shots of LaPorte to help pitch the project. I'm not sure what kind of a deal we can offer you presently. But if you want to pursue this further please contact me via private message.

delphidb96 on March 11, 2007, 09:37:05 pm
Paratronics Ltd. corporate headquarters.  If you want to see a similar - but quite a lot smaller - building, just look at the pictures for the west Sacramento, California headquarters of The Money Store:  http://www.rsconstruction.com/company/history/moneystore.html and http://www.rsconst.com/news/hooked/article.asp?articleID=59&issueID=14.  Even as short as it is, it's quite impressive.

Derek

While I don't get the "piccie of the Corporate Ziggurat" reference, you do seem like a really decent guy and I hope that L. Neil takes you up on your offer.  Judging from your references you seem to be from the UK yourself.  Anywhere near Liverpool?  The reason that I ask is that I have distant relatives from my fathers side of the family over there.  By the way, I'm in sort of a related business, I'm a Computer aided design, Computed
aided manfacturing designer.

Rocketman on March 11, 2007, 11:26:30 pm
Scott:
     I'm sorry that L. Neil doesn't have an agent, at least currently.  While I can't help in that regard, I
might be able to help in another.  Right now I'm sitting on a pro-libertarian television pilot that I wrote approximately 4 years ago but never submitted to any agent, just gathering dust.  (Remember that I was the speechwriter for Libertarian Party VP Jo Jorgensen back in 95-96 timeframe)  If L. Neil gets bogged down writing spec work.  I'll can at least let you take a look at my story and see if you might be able to fit it into
a e-graphic novel format.  If you like it fine, if you don't want to use it I'll understand.  No obligation intended or implied.