Archive for May 26th, 2008

Monday Media Blogging – Sci-Fi Edition

Okay, I know Battlestar Galactica and Heroes and Lost, and maybe even Dr. Who & Torchwood (if they’re not, they should be) are all the rage these days, but I wanted to call attention to some science-fiction series which I really enjoyed back in the day which were maybe not so well-known.  Well, not well-known outside the geek community, anyway.

Yo way yo, home va rey…

The first half of the intro is the anthem/theme song/battlecry of the Brunnen-G, a race that was wiped out by the evil empire.  Said empire also turned Kai, the last surviving Brunnen-G (that dark-haired goth-looking guy) into an undead indestructible assassin, and stole their insect-based technology to create the giant superpowerful bug-ship called The Lexx.

In addition to Kai and The Lexx, the cast includes Zev/Xev, who was partially programmed as a pleasure slave and now lusts after everyone except… Stanley Tweedle, a cowardly loser mechanic, and 790, a robot head who accidentally got some of the same pleasure slave treatment as Zev/Xev and is now obsessively devoted to her.  They stole The Lexx from the evil empire, and travel around having Bizarre Adventures.

The first four installments were movie-length, under the name Tales From A Parallel Universe, and featured special guest stars such as Barry Bostwick(!), Tim Curry, Rutger Hauer, and Malcolm MacDowell.  After that, the show was renamed Lexx, Zev became Xev (actress change), and it went to an hour-long format with no special guest stars.  After a couple of good seasons, the series bogged down interminably on a pair of planets called Fire and Water whose novelty wore off after about five minutes, but eventually rallied sometime after I gave up on it.

Alas, all of the best videos had embedding disabled – I recommend starting with They’re Dead, Dave for background.

Red Dwarf was structurally similar to Lexx (small group of misfits roaming the galaxy in an enormous/buglike talking ship having Bizarre Adventures), but much more of a pure comedy – in fact, it was one of the funniest shows ever, in any genre.

The basic premise was that the entire crew of the giant ship Red Dwarf died from a radiation leak, except for easygoing charismatic slob Lister, who was in stasis as punishment for hiding a cat on board.  However, his priggish roommate Rimmer, who caused the radiation leak, is still around as a hologram.

Also, because the ship’s computer (Holly, a character in his own right) kept Lister in stasis for millenia until the radiation subsided, it turns out that the descendants of Lister’s pregnant cat (safe in the shielded cargo hold) evolved into almost-human (and extremely vain and lazy) sentient beings, the last of whom, Cat, joins the crew.  What happened to the other cat-people is a bit vague, although they apparently managed to escape somehow.  They pick up a fussy, timid servant robot named Kryten somewhere along the way as well.  Fun times.

The Bablyon project was our last best hope for peace.  It failed.

Babylon 5 was probably the most truly epic TV series I have ever seen, with a five-year story arc putting the giant Babylon 5 space station at the center of the galaxy’s struggle against The Shadows, an ancient, evil race that has recently reawakened.  Lots of aliens, political maneuverings, and pretty decent CGI space battles.

There’s much more to it than that, of course, but I don’t want to give too much away.  Also, an eclectic cast that includes Bruce Boxleitner (Tron!), Claudia Christian (Hexed, The Hidden), Mira Furlan (Rousseau from Lost), Stephen Furst (Animal House), and Jeff Conaway (Taxi), with occasional guest appearances from Walter Koenig (Chekhov you know who Walter Koenig is) as a creepy psychic bad guy.

I recommend all three series in the strongest possible terms, so if they ever show up on TV again, or if you have a chance to buy or borrow them, be sure to check them out.  There’s a lot of clips out there on YouTube if you want to get a feel for the shows first.

1 comment May 26th, 2008 at 03:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Happy Memorial Day From Bob Geiger

I think I may have actually found someone who hates Dubya more than I do – and with good reason.

Dead Troops Remembered By President Who Had Them Killed

Yes, that’s a harsh headline for this piece.

But I’ll ask you to forgive me because, as a Veteran, there isn’t a day on the calendar that causes my hatred — and I do indeed mean hatred — of George W. Bush to bubble over the top more than Memorial Day.

“On Memorial Day, we honor the heroes who have laid down their lives in the cause of freedom, resolve that they will forever be remembered by a grateful Nation, and pray that our country may always prove worthy of the sacrifices they have made,” reads Bush’s official Memorial Day proclamation, issued by the White House on Thursday.

The Chickenhawk-in Chief says a lot of things that make this Vet’s blood boil but stuff like saying that he prays “…that our country may always prove worthy of the sacrifices they have made” is almost vomit inducing.

This statement comes from the same man who himself began dishonoring the sacrifices of all Veterans in such huge ways in March of 2003, when he invaded Iraq behind a veil of lies and deceit and started spilling barrels of military and civilian blood to start a war with a country that posed no threat whatsoever to our national security. These stirring words of remembrance come from an administration that began with a stolen election in 2000, which goes entirely against what I was taught way back when I was in the U.S. Navy, which was that part of the “way of life” we were protecting was symbolized by the ability of all of our citizens to have their votes counted.

“These courageous and selfless warriors have stepped forward to protect the Nation they love, fight for America’s highest ideals, and show millions that a future of liberty is possible,” continues Bush’s proclamation. “Americans are grateful to all those who have put on our Nation’s uniform and to their families, and we will always remember their service and sacrifice for our freedoms.”

The words Bush puts forth are true — it’s him being the one to say them that I find so sickening and personally offensive.

It is positively nauseating to have George W. Bush ever talk to us about “America’s highest ideals” when his administration has started a bloody war for no reason, imprisoned those suspected of being “terrorists” without trial or benefit of legal counsel, tortured prisoners in America’s name and done everything but grab the original U.S. Constitution from the National Archives and run it through a paper shredder.

I also don’t believe for one minute that the majority of the planet now holds our country in such extreme contempt because we’re right and they don’t understand our “highest ideals.” This Veteran will go to his grave believing that the years 2000 through 2008 were a dark time in our history when much of what I believed when I served in uniform was made invalid and debased.

According to the Defense Department, we have now lost 4,082 men and women in Bush’s war of choice in Iraq and we should not allow the man who sent them needlessly to their deaths to lead our nation today in mourning their loss. Make no mistake about it, George W. Bush is as responsible for the deaths of those men and women as if he himself had fired the bullet or set the IED that ended their lives.


The least Bush can do is stay in the White House today, keep his lying mouth shut and understand deep in his craven soul that the next day the Congress should declare a national holiday is January 20, 2009, the day he leaves office and his days of dishonoring our war dead are forever done.

The thing is, Dubya – and Republicans in general – know that the troops are iconic, and held in the highest esteem by Americans in general, and conservative Americans in particular.  So he gushes about their courage and poses with them and bathes in their reflected glory every chance he gets… but he doesn’t actually give a damn about them, or about any other American making under $1,000,000 a year.

What’s amazing to me is that this isn’t obvious to everybody.

1 comment May 26th, 2008 at 01:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Iraq,War

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