The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive


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by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

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    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: B5 v Star Trek
      To: CIS  
    Date: 4/9/1996 5:42:00 AM  

Message 1 in thread 

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{original post unavailable}

Let me tell you about a certain kind of sickness.

The sickness manifests itself in pathetic individuals who, in a
non-electronic forum, would be lighting cats on fire to watch them
howl, or throwing rocks through somebody's window to see them all run

A few very sad, very pathetic individuals who want to feel
alive come into a forum and leave a message written in insulting terms
because they like to watch everybody get all wired up. They sit back
and giggle and laugh and wonder gee, whatever was it I said? when they
know exactly what they said. It was done deliberately, to manipulate
people and get them upset.

You have no interest in a "survey." You're a sick, sad and
pathetic individual with nothing more in his life than the need to
tweak people who follow a show that for whatever disturbed reason you
feel should be attacked in the name of Star Trek, even though that
means violating every principle of tolerance ever advanced in ST.

Some here will probably tell you to get a life. I would
suggest that you have a life...unfortunately, it consists of the kind
of life where one spends one's time pulling the wings off flies because
you like to see them squirm around on the table.

And most pathetically, you've probably never even watched the
show, to bolster your opinion. Maybe a minute or two here and there.
But getting the facts doesn't matter. Getting people's opinions
doesn't matter to you, really. Just causing a flurry of angry messages
and upsetting people is all that really matters to you.

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: B5 v Star Trek
      To: CIS  
    Date: 4/9/1996 10:58:00 AM  

Message 2 in thread 

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{original post unavailable}

"I tried to give people a motive to send their vote to me."

You could have accomplished exactly the same thing by just
asking. And I'm sorry, when someone calls a show a "cheap knockoff,"
and derides those who might actually watch it, it makes your statement
that you "did not intend to offend" rather...unbelievable, at best.

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: B5 v Star Trek
      To: CIS  
    Date: 4/9/1996 11:07:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

One also doesn't yell "Fire!" in a movie theater in Los Angeles
because people will shoot at you....

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: B5 v Star Trek
      To: CIS  
    Date: 4/16/1996 6:46:00 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

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Tom Knudsen <> asks:
> Was Star Wars unoriginal because Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon
> preceded it? Was Hill Street Blues unoriginal because about 200
> other police shows preceded it? Is ER unoriginal because it's the
> umpteenth hospital show ever made?

In considering ST to be totally original, obviously he's never
heard of Forbidden Planet....

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: B5 v Star Trek
      To: CIS  
    Date: 4/18/1996 7:05:00 PM  

Message 5 in thread 

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{original post unavailable}

If I'd wanted Big Money, I'd've stayed on MURDER, SHE WROTE,
where I was paid *twice* what I get on B5, given that it's a top-ten
rated network show. But I left that to do this.

This isn't a random casting about for an idea that makes money.
For one thing, "ideas" don't make shows, characters do. Second, if
what you posit were true, I wouldn't have built the show so that it
self-destructs after 5 years. Finally, every season of this show for
three years plus the pilot for four has pushed the envelope completely;
we only have two years left. Not much time to settle into complacency,
wouldn't you say?

Maybe you should bea little less cynical and insulting about a
field about which you do not seem terribly well informed.

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: B5 v Star Trek
      To: CIS  
    Date: 4/20/1996 8:16:00 AM  

Message 6 in thread 

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{original post unavailable}

No, we're still waiting on renewal, same as every show.

To take off my producer cap for a moment and put on my fan
cap...yes, I understand your position. Lots of people in this town
obsess about money, and everybody wants to tell you what to do. I know
the problems Bellisario had with "Leap," and some of them were of his
own making, but the majority were from the Suits at Universal. A large
measure of what eventually comes out of your show depends on who you
luck into as far as a studio liaison is concerned. We got very lucky
in having someone who understands what we're trying to do, and hasn't
given a single script note since episode 2 of year 2. DB didn't have
that luxury; I don't think anyone at Universal really understood what
he was trying to do, which was unfortunate.

My response was mainly from the other side of the statement,
implicit or stated outright, that implies everyone working in TeeVee
does so only for the bucks, that money talks and nothing else matters.
There are some of us who are dedicated storytellers, first, foremost
and forever. Tarring everyone with the same brush is just another form
of prejudice, and when it appears, it needs to be corrected.

A lot of what happens out here in *The Industry* horrifies me.
The quest for more, bigger, money-money-money. Yes, on one level,
writers are vastly underpaid for what we do *in terms of* the amount of
money that the final product actually makes.

But we are also vastly OVERPAID in terms of what people doing
the really important jobs are being paid: teachers, nursing staff, the
many layers of people who keep the nation going and prepare it for the
future. So from where I sit, NOBODY out here has ANY reason to beef
about their money. We're hideously lucky to be working in a field where
we can entertain, and tell stories, and be well compensated for it.
And I think too many people out here forget that. Having grown up
fairly poor for most of my life, I *can't* forget it.

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: B5 v Star Trek
      To: CIS  
    Date: 4/20/1996 12:58:00 PM  

Message 7 in thread 

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{original post unavailable}

Thanks. I haven't done quite as much with alternate beliefs as
I'd like, however, and that's something I want to get into a bit more
in year four. It feels a little too mainstream to me right now.


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