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Old March 19th 14, 21:32   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Re: The Archeology of Dreams

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
This threadÖ I find it fascinating.
That's what they pay me the big bucks for.

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
Iím sensing it began with a bit of melancholy introspection,
Yup. Lotta' that going around. Particularly in Nebraska in winter.

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
but the insights that emerge are really interseting to me. It made me think about my own relationship with TV shows and more specifically cult / SF / Genre TV. Or just Ďbeing a geekí when growing up.

Full disclosure, I was a total ST: TNG obsessive in my early teens. I taped every episode of the seri[...] everything and just be immersed in that universe. Nothing ever got in the way of that. I never did conventions or anything, but boy did I watch a lot of TNG.
There are points in our lives where things just click, and they become part of the fiber of who we were. TNG was *NOT* one of those for me. Not meaning to be insulting, just making conversation, but I was about 20 when it started, and I found it unbelievably dull, poorly written, blandly filmed and lit, and just a great big heap of 'why bother.' I was surprised when it got a 2nd season. I watched it semi-frequently, mostly out of a sense of fealty, but I didn't start to LIKE it until Season 3 when Roddenberry was booted upstairs where he couldn't do any harm, and the show suddenly got really good. For Trek. Which is to say that it was more-or-less on par with 2nd season TOS.

Season 4 was a little weaker and more formulaic. Season 5 and 6 were entirely formula. I still don't think I've seen all of season 7, and that damn movie made me swear of Trek for a very long time. But for a while there - maybe two years - I was really, really excited by it.

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
Once I hit my teens, and College / High School with it, I found I didnít really fit the template adopted by most of my peers. What definited me most at that point was music; I was first and foremost a heavy metal fan, then a gamer and an SF fan. I didnít change my tastes according to trends and it seemed many of my friends drifted other ways and we increasingly had less and less in common. I slowly ended up being the guy who played Magic The Gathering on my lunch hour with fellow geeks in the library. So it goes.
I was never that guy, I was crazy for New Wave, I liked foreign movies, I read a lot of SF, I was religious. I went to a lot of parties. I played Traveler, not D&D or Magic, I tended to hang out with engineers and date English majors (Neither of those trends were by design, I'm just either drawn to them or they're drawn to me). I was in bands, generally as the frontman. My tastes didn't change a whole lot, I just kept adding to them, you know? I never stopped liking stuff I liked, but then I'd discover, say, Ska, and just pile that on the big mound of things I loved. I was, in short, amazingly irritating to be around.

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
When B5 came along, I remember being blown away by the boldness of it. Here was a show that didnít back away from big space battles and had an amazing plot that unfolded continuously. Bizarrely, I only really cemented my love for B5 at University, as it aired in odd time slots when I first saw it!
I saw "The Gathering" at an SF Con a few months before it hit TV, and I remember being just dropjawed that they used actual physics. When the show started, I was a little disappointed, but I watched it because, hey, space ships, right? Around episode 6 they said something that I thought contradicted a fact from an earlier episode. I grabbed a paper and pen and started writing down important bits I could remember from the previous episodes and the pilot movie, just to sort it out in my head becuase I was bored and my girlfriend was out of town.

I quickly filled up ten pages with notes from memory, and realized the show had done more worldbuilding in 6 weeks than TNG had done in 6 years, and I was suddenly in love. Truly, madly, deeply in love. the fact that the Trekies hated my show just made my love for it that much stronger.

I mean, this was the first 'big boy' SF show on American TV, you know? The first show that felt like it was aimed at people old enough to kiss girls and get into bars. And it wasn't screamingly goofy, either. The acting wasn't GREAT most of the time, but it was interesting. It felt like SF, which had been attempting to copy Trek over and over and over again for 20 years, FINALLY took another step forward.

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
Iíve found I always gravitate back to B5 when I hit difficult spots in my life. The same goes for gaming. Essentially, a lot of it is nostalgia Ė I fully realise Iím going back to something comfortable,
Everyone needs a safe place. Somewhere they know everything about. I have the whole run of those old Terran Trade Authority books. They're not very good, but I bought 'em new, and sometimes I like to just look at 'em. Sometimes I like to just hold 'em. I also have a bunch of books about the space program from 1979-1981, right before the Shuttle program started and the whole world felt like it was just about to overflow with potential.

And then it didn't.

But I still love those books, and I'll never get rid of 'em. Reading them for the thousandth time, they fill me with an optomism for a future that never was and a past we were promised but never got, and when I read 'em I'm 12 again, thinking about how cool the world is.

It's good to have a place like that to go to when my wife is sick and my special needs kid gets thrown out of school and my mom is loopy and my dad dies and my friends are far away and church isn't doing it for me, and there's nothing good on TV and I'm broke and sick and can't sleep. Damn good to be able to plug in to my younger self.

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
When I see threads like this, in some ways it gives me comfort, because I know other people relate to the show in that way too. (Even if their experience does differ greatly from mine)
Hey, doesn't matter where you heard it first, everyone likes singing the same song in the end.

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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
I do sometimes wonder if thereís really much left to discuss about B5, what with no new content appearing for yearsÖ but, Iím constantly surprised by some of the threads that appear. Thereís life in the old girl yet!
Probably. I mean, they're not still adding stuff to the Bible, but there's plenty to talk about there. And it's fun to spot references to B5 in other venues. ANd it's just fun to be around people who have a common experience that they value. Bottom line: it's good to have a tribe.
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