The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive


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    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: I am not a Number !!!!
      To: CIS  
    Date: 11/21/1997 1:42:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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> 'Where has Garibaldi's hair gone ?'

Do me a favor.

Join PEN International some time, as I did years ago. Read the
accounts of how journalists and dissidents are put in small rooms, and
mentally, emotionally and physically turned inside-out by
interrogators. You'll find the same techniques used in this show
described in considerable detail there. Join Amnesty International
while you're at it, and read more about how this sort of thing is done
every day in dozens of countries around the world.

And while you're at it...join the real world.

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: I am not a Number !!!!
      To: CIS  
    Date: 11/25/1997 5:58:00 AM  

Message 2 in thread 

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> What's up Joe, hectic schedule or too many late nights on the web
> ?

"Touchy, touchy! What's up Joe, hectic schedule or too many late
nights on the web?"

No, I do sometimes get annoyed by people whose worldview is so
small that they think that interrogation began with "The Prisoner" TV
show and don't seem to know anything about the real world...and want to
narrow you down to their view by saying that what you did springs from
there, rather than the aforementioned real world. Fine, I'm glad that
you've seen the read a book or two about what happens to
political prisoners in the real world. Then we'll talk.

Further, as a writer you strive to create something
original...and when someone comes along and says, of something based on
the real world, on research, on stuff I encountered while getting my
degree in clinical psychology, on years spent supporting PEN and
Amnesty International, "Oh, you were just doing "The Prisoner"
tends to grate.

"So where did the inspiration for the interrogators attire come from.
You know dark suit, the hint of gold trim and buttons on the collar."

Well, if you paid attention to the show you'd know that's a
standard business suit which we've used many times before and
thereafter; we literally pulled it off the rack in wardrobe. You saw
that as a Prisoner suit because that's what you wanted to see.

The problem isn't in the object being perceived; the problem is
in the narrow world view of the perceiver who bends everything to fit
what he knows.

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: I am not a Number !!!!
      To: CIS  
    Date: 11/26/1997 4:57:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

Thanks. Yes, there are themes that are eternal and metamorphose
and are reinvented regularly; that's the point of myth and the art of
storytelling, so I agree with your premise. Each generation sees these
elements differently.

    From: J. Michael Straczynski <>
 Subject: I am not a Number !!!!
      To: CIS  
    Date: 11/26/1997 4:57:00 AM  

Message 4 in thread 

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> So, why the problem with being 'associated' with The Prisoner
> anyway ? From The Prisoners 'Rover' killer beachballs, to the
> 'Glade' air freshener used as the drive section for the
> Liberator, so have we lost the ability to differentiate
> lampoonery from ridicule ? Do you think the producers of Voyager
> will be pleased or miffed to have parallels drawn between the
> 'year of hell' and B5 ?

The *problem* is that it didn't happen that way, for starters,
and it makes it into something more appropos for a fanzine. Basically,
if you spent all summer building a car, and somebody said you just
bought it from somebody else, no matter how nice that other car might
be, how good it would be to be associated with put in a hell
of a lot of work building it, and to be offhandedly told otherwise is

And, again, it just diminishes the implications, makes it's not about the real world, it's just about the Prisoner.


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