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Old January 27th 14, 01:39   #1
Republibot 3.0
Psi Cop
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,540
The Archeology of Dreams

I'm sad. It's been kind of a shit couple of weeks, and if I'm honest, sort of a shit year, so perhaps I'm not at the top of my game, emotionaly or mentally. Whatever the reason, though, I'm kind of glum.

When I was young we moved around a lot, and I was kind of a problem kid, didn't interact well with others, tended to get beat up a lot. The usual. And being a geek, I watched a lot of TV because TV was universal. Those episodes of "My Three Sons" and "The Monkees" and "Lost in Space" were the same in Great Falls as they were in Lincoln and Atlanta, you know? So TV was kind of my home town, and I tended to identify with characters from shows I liked more than people I knew in my life. What was the point? I mean, I knew I'd be gone in six months anyway, right? I can't remember the names of kids I palled around with in 5th grade. In most cases I never even bothered to learn there names. They were just "Red-Headed Trekie" and "Fat kid who beats me up" and "Pretty girl" and "Mean pretty girl" and "That guy who kills toads for some reason."

My wife found my obsession with 60s TV (Endlessly syndcated through the 70s/80s) odd, mostly 'cuz she never cared much for TV, but she eventually hit on the idea of the shows of a particular era (Say 1964-1971) as being essentially my home town.

Of course I've long since passed the point where I can watch these crap old shows and lose myself in them like I did when I was young. I can barely watch most, I find 'em boring now, and in some shows I can barely even tolerate discussing them, they've been so driven into the ground (Trek, Galactica, ets) Still I'm strangely obsessed with all the work that went into them.

I spent a year trying to find incidental music from I Dream of Jeanie (Failed) I track down actual plans for the sets from TV shows and things. I lament the loss of the SGC set from Stargate, which stood for 15 years. A HELL of a lot of effort went into, say, making 110 episodes of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," and while it was undeniably a terrible show, it was a difficult show to make, with a pretty big budget, some not-inconsiderable talent, great soundtracks, and some isolated moments of brilliance randomly stuck in 'em like corn kernels in a turd. And nearly everyone connected to it is dead, and the show hasn't been aired anywhere in decades, and even *I* can't bring myself to buy the DVDs. It was, in it's day, FAR more popular than Star Trek (And admittedly dumber), and yet today pretty much only I remember it. All those millions of little stories that happened randomly between actors and crew and stuff BTS on set, or hanging out in the writers' room, or whatever, are all lost and it saddens me because so many people worked so hard on something so crappy and so....well, not lost, but it might as well be.

Which brings me to B5: All those sets, gone. All those costumes, probably gone. All those people: gone. All those props: gone. All our hopes: perhaps not gone, but fading fast. If even JMS was talking about a reboot, then clearly his own faith was waning.

I think of the big mural in the Casino: Pyramids on the left side, B5 on the right, and the history of transportation in between. It was nice. What happened to it? Landfill somewhere, I guess. Someone painted that, thought it up, measured it out, people put it up there. It stood for years, and now it's gone. It fulfilled its function, it wasn't high art, but it was something and now it's nothing, apart from images on a 20 year old TV show that no one but us watches. I think of the Zocalo and the various CGI mattes of the inside of the station, and how not only the sets are gone, but the optical elements themselves.

There is nothing more ephemeral than TV. Well, dance I suppose. Ok, apart from dance there is nothing more ephemeral than TV, and yet by its very nature TV gives the impression of permenance, so it's harder for me in my twisted little brain to fully accept the loss of the physical things the images came from. I didn't articulate that well. Nevermind.

I was waching a cartoon the other night. Early 30s. Low quality, but very long - like 20 minutes. A ton of effort for whomever made it. All those people working hard for months or years to make something people would like, and in the end it's forgotten, just filler on the end of one of those crappy "120 minutes of random public domain cartoons" DVDs. It makes me sad, you know?

B5 is the same way. It was my home town for half a decade, much like that cartoon, it's being forgotten, lost, diminished. All that effort - which meant so much to me - shrinks away, leaving little behind. And eventually nothing.

Well, anyway. It's cold and dark out and I'm depressed and probably not thinking straight.

Kevin Long
(The Artist Formerly Known As Republibot 3.0, And The World's Greatest Living Thurl Ravenscroft Impersonator)
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