Topic: Do we miss Informant?

Informant hasn't been around lately.

Do we want him back?

I am presently gathering my thoughts on the matter and... it's a bit like SlidersCast.

2 (edited by Transmodiar 2019-05-19 19:13:50)

Re: Do we miss Informant?

It's almost like people who were fans of a show that went off the air 20 years ago have gravitated toward other interests and use of their time! tongue

Nah... that can't be it.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I hope nothing bad happened.  If he's moved on from the Board, that's okay.  I do miss his input on lots of things.  It'd be nice if he was here.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I hope nothing bad happened.  If he's moved on from the Board, that's okay.  I do miss his input on lots of things.  It'd be nice if he was here.

I've made discreet inquiries. He's fine.

Transmodiar wrote:

It's almost like people who were fans of a show that went off the air 20 years ago have gravitated toward other interests and use of their time! tongue

Nah... that can't be it.

I think Informant is displeased that Sliders.TV would not be his echo chamber for men's rights activists, birthers, neo-Nazis, scam artists and alt-right white supremacists -- oh, I'm sorry, Informant, I mean "free-thinkers" and "Libertarians." That was a typo.

Informant is not a men's rights activist or a neo-Nazi or a white supremacist or a birther or a scam artist. Informant's a really good guy -- but he has particular views and those are the 'experts' he turns to in order to support his personal perspectives.

The final straw for him, I suspect, was when he posted anti-abortion conspiracy theories parroting mostly false claims that Ralph Northam had said infanticide was legal in order to express Informant's anti-abortion views. Informant later declared this anti-abortion view to be the default view of the Sliders.TV community.

(Northam himself is a moderately convoluted issue due to Northam's inarticulate incoherence, please see https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump … n-execute/ for a full summary.)

I edited Informant's post to add a paragraph in bold containing a message from me saying that Informant in no way spoke for the community and that he was (probably) joking (about that part). After that, I think he got fed up.

Do we miss Informant? I don't know, I don't speak for this community. Do I miss Informant? I miss the good he brought to this community. I don't miss the bad.

ARTURO: "I favour the good things in life. I oppose the bad things in life."

QUINN: "Way to go out on a limb, Professor."

I miss Informant's storytelling skill and analytical ability when it comes to plot, characterization, structure and execution. The SLIDERS fan community is a huge part of how I went from troubled teenager who cowered in the face of any and all criticism to someone who could laugh and agree when Nigel Mitchell (or you, Transmodiar) called my writing indecipherable and unworkable. Informant offered a different approach to criticism when commenting on my SLIDERS writing process where I was nervous about having the sliders defeat the Season 3 monsters with non-violent MACGYVER-esque tactics.

Informant said that all fiction has specific goals on the author's part where authors decide what kind of story they want to tell and achieving those goals can mean accepting that other objectives won't be met. A story where Rembrandt defeats the animal human hybrids and with a bag of peanuts may be funny, earnest and show a triumph of imagination over mental illness and horror -- but it might not be totally rational and plausible. A story where the sliders run a fast food operation specializing in mini-hamburgers may be a delightful joke -- but it might not be sensible and logical.

But, Informant pointed out, if the author wants whimsical lunacy over tightly plotted rigour and realism, then it's alright to accept flaws in favour of acquiring specific strengths.

Informant always advised me and other creators to tell our stories our way. To welcome and embrace criticisms always and mine them for what they're worth. (TRANSMODIAR: "You can't have the rock star vampires defeated by high intensity soundwaves. They're ROCK STAR vampires.") But to also make sure to distinguish between advice that helps our stories and advice that instead tells other people's stories. (TRANSMODIAR: "Quinn has a secondary backup personality in his brain and that personality is Mallory?! That is ridiculous. Go back and re-read what you just wrote!")

I've read every single book Informant has ever written and they're all really good. They are not the stories I would write, they aren't necessarily the stories I would want to read, but they are extremely well-written and are fundamentally opposed to fascism, inequality, racism, prejudice and cruelty and indicate strong moral principles and great compassion for the weak. I follow Informant on Twitter (which is how I know he's alive).

Which brings us to what I do not miss about Informant: he has specific political and sociological views which aren't even the issue here. Transmodiar's politics are not ireactions' politics. Temporal Flux's politics are not ireactions' politics. Both Transmodiar and TF are a massive part of my philosophical foundations and yet, we're not remotely aligned. I cannot stress enough in the name of Quinn's brown jacket and Rembrandt's train-track-creased boots that ireactions' views do not represent the views of Sliders.TV.

MRS. TWEAK: "How do you feel about the war?"
QUINN: "We don't follow it much. We have no opinion."
MRS. TWEAK: " I see... so you'd have me believe you're real non-politico types, eh? I won't allow any sympathizing with The Outback Cong under my roof, understood? This fight ain't just about the damn Aussies! If South Australia falls, it's just a hop, skip and jump to our shores."
QUINN: "We can't have that -- boomerangs and kangaroos everywhere, what a nightmare!"

When writing the SLIDERS script where Quinn meets Donald Trump, I asked Transmodiar to create Quinn's political opinions for me and Quinn/Transmodiar's views were decidedly not my own. My criticism of Informant isn't that I disagree with Informant on The Issues; my criticism is that he never seems quite content to let his personal opinions be his own but insists that his incredibly idiosyncratic worldview is universally objective.

I find this insistence on a singular viewpoint to be benign when dealing with fiction but upsetting in real-world situations. Benign examples: Informant is clearly a devout Christian with a fairly traditional view of God. When the character of Chuck appeared on SUPERNATURAL and revealed himself to be (a) a cynical slacker without much faith in humanity and (b) God himself, Informant's reaction was enlightening.

Informant declared that Chuck was clearly pretending to be depressed and downbeat in order to manipulate the other cast members into taking action. Informant's perspective on Chuck was completely detached from the actual TV series, but rather than accept that a TV show might present a different vision of God, Informant declared his God to be SUPERNATURAL's God and ignored what was actually onscreen because it didn't suit his preferred thinking.

When discussing the DC and Marvel superhero films, Informant declared that CIVIL WAR (an adaptation of a 2006 storyline where Iron Man fights Captain America) was an attempt to rip off BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN (2016). Informant backed off that one but then continually insisted that MAN OF STEEL, BVS and JUSTICE LEAGUE are strong successes despite the fact that the people making them being demoted and/or fired and DC fleeing the shared universe market. It wasn't enough for Informant to say that he liked the DC films more; he had to declare them objectively superior to Marvel by way of financial earnings (because BVS earning 874 million with two iconic characters somehow triumphed over CIVIL WAR and its two B-list heroes earning 1.153 billion).

And when it comes to immigration, health care, feminism, racism, cops executing black men, rape, abortion, electoral fraud and birtherism, Informant is not content to simply hold his own views and share them. He then seeks out questionable secondary sources to bolster his views. These sources include men's rights activist Paul Elam, a man who said that women who dress revealingly and go to bars deserve to get raped -- whom Informant offers up as an expert in debunking feminism. James O'Keefe, a noted scam artist who creates deceptively edited videos and made false and disproven accusations of human trafficking against a charity, a man who has been completely discredited as a liar -- whom Informant declares to be a rational investigator into electoral fraud.

Informant also seems to have a peculiar but guarded fixation on white supremacist Richard Spencer (who was espousing neo-Nazi rhetoric and then punched in the face). Informant protested CRISIS ON EARTH X featuring Nazi villains and Nazi villains being punched and complained that the real world keeps smearing anyone with Informant's views as being advocates of the Third Reich, an interesting chicken-or-egg conundrum as Informant's views of race, health care, immigration, economics and elections are often espoused by neo-Nazi groups and individuals.

QUINN: "It's barbaric."
ARTURO: "On the contrary, my boy. In many ways it's eminently more enlightened than our own society."
QUINN: "They kill people to limit the population!"
ARTURO: "They kill volunteers, painlessly. In our world, people die of famine, disease and war in large part because we are incapable of limiting our population. You may find their methods abhorrent -- as do I -- but as a scientist you cannot discount the result. The current conditions on this world are vastly preferable to our own."
QUINN: "Speak for yourself."

What it comes down to, I think, is that Informant has certain political positions that are held sincerely by Informant but often espoused by those who use such positions as a facade of legitimacy over racism, hatred, cruelty, savagery, white supremacy, protecting the wealthy over the underprivileged and silencing the marginalized and powerless.

Informant proceeds to defend these men's rights activists, white supremacists and disgraced 'journalists' and conflate that with defending his own views. To the outside observer, it looks like Informant has a not-so-secret love affair with Nazis. To a friend inclined to think well of him (and I am very inclined to always think the best of Informant), it looks like he's insecure in his opinions being merely his opinions and seeks outside affirmation and is less than discerning about where that support comes from.

There is a certain irony to this because everyone on this forum loves a TV show that the vast majority of the population rightly and sensibly considers to be utter crap. Even the hallowed first season is, as the Think of a Roulette blog observes, full of holes and problems and misjudgements and that's even by the standards of 1995.

Annie Fish wrote:

This show is flawed. It’s entirely a product of the time it was created. Its concept is great, but it never decided how it wanted to follow through with it. At the end of it all, when we carve away the things that make the show terrible, we’re left with Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo.

These four people struck on a chemistry that was frankly magical. It was warm and loving but never alienating. You could be friends with them if you wanted. And we are friends with them in a way. We care about them, and we want to stay with them through thick and thin whether that refers to what’s going on in the show or behind it.

Loving SLIDERS is a personal view, a highly individual choice -- much like writing ten SLIDERS screenplays and treating Seasons 1 - 5 as a vast and infinite and coherent and sensible mythology of science fiction fantasy. I don't need anyone else to validate this extremely peculiar and bizarre perspective and Informant does not need anyone to validate his political views or his preference for DC movies over Marvel movies -- but he feels the need to find support in some troubling places and that I find annoying.

The most aggravating thing Informant did recently, I felt, was his insistence on presenting the Midnight's Edge video channel as a reliable news source on STAR TREK. This would be the YouTube channel insisting that DISCOVERY is actually set in the rebootquel STAR TREK universe and that DISCOVERY's continuity discrepancies are part of a master plan to purloin the TREK rights from CBS and take them to Paramount.

This is a painful misunderstanding of how the STAR TREK rights are held (CBS owns STAR TREK lock, stock and barrel and is in the business of TV shows; Paramount has the film license and the infrastructure to make and market films. Even if CBS inadvertently made a rebootquel continuity show, CBS would still own the show). Despite this obviously uninformed and incorrect view, Informant continued to present Midnight's Edge as a reliable news outlet when the only thing Midnight's Edge had going for it is that they don't like DISCOVERY and Informant doesn't like DISCOVERY.

It wasn't enough for Informant to just have his opinion, he had to fall in with liars and scam artists and white supremacists to feel more secure in his opinion. And that's the part of Informant I won't miss.

But having typed all this, I conclude that on the whole, Informant had a lot of important and positive and vital contributions here and he will be missed and it's a shame to lose him even if I could do without the other stuff.

I think the other stuff stresses me out more than other posters because I have rebuilt this message board more times than Chuck has rebuilt Castiel. I am to a degree responsible for whatever is on this forum and if Informant supports people who engage in hate speech on this forum or shares their views, I feel honour-bound to post a brief response. Not an argument exactly -- I never want to tell anyone they're not entitled to their beliefs or views. But to say that those beliefs and views don't represent this community. That Informant's opinions are his own.

I guess I'd just want to reiterate definitively and totally that I know Informant is not a fascist, not a neo-Nazi, not racist, not a misogynist and not a white supremacist. I know this because I've read all of his books and I believe that while autobiographies can lie, fiction reveals all.

I love Informant. I will always be grateful for what he shared with this community and with me and be glad for the positive role he played in my life.

ARTURO: "I favour the good things in life. I oppose the bad things in life."

QUINN: "Way to go out on a limb, Professor."

Re: Do we miss Informant?

ireactions wrote:

When writing the SLIDERS script where Quinn meets Donald Trump, I asked Transmodiar to create Quinn's political opinions for me and Quinn/Transmodiar's views were decidedly not my own. My criticism of Informant isn't that I disagree with Informant on The Issues; my criticism is that he never seems quite content to let his personal opinions be his own but insists that his incredibly idiosyncratic worldview is universally objective.

This is my number one problem with politics and the worst thing that social media has done for the world.

Thirty years ago, people had friends that they'd chat with, they'd go to work, and that was about their social reach.  Everyone probably had a crazy uncle with weird political views, but I'm assuming that societal norms kept most people from talking about their more radical political opinions.  If someone talked about something that Reagan or Clinton did, you might test the waters on a political topic at the water cooler, hoping to see if the other person agreed with you.  "Oh yeah, I don't like him."  That would allow you to give your second-level opinion ("I don't like his policy on XXXX") but that's probably as far as it went.  If the person didn't agree with you (or there were too many people around), you probably never get to that second level.

With social media, you can find a water cooler with people who think exactly like you.  Not only that, you can find a water cooler for any opinion.  You can wish people who don't agree with you into the water cooler cornfield.  So you can start conversations with your second level opinion and get to third/fourth/fifth/Nth level opinions.

When that happens, you start to forget about the guy you wished into the cornfield who disagreed with you.  You also forget about the guy you wished into the cornfield that agreed with you but not all the way.  You didn't need his 99% agreement in your conversation because it made you question your beliefs and that felt weird and uncomfortable.  Only 100% agreement at this water cooler.

So when you forget about the other side (or demonize them), you start to feel like all reasonable people are at your water cooler and anyone at any other water cooler is wrong.  Or crazy.  Or evil.

In a way, you can recreate your social world so that your opinion is the universal one.  After all, you go to the water cooler and everyone there agrees with you.  The water cooler is the only place you have social interaction so why wouldn't you believe that?  Everyone you talk to agreeing with you translates to everyone in the world agrees with you.  Everyone that matters, after all.  Not those crazy, evil people who don't agree with you.  We hate them.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I think one thing that can help is remembering that a lot of people might agree with your personal views while still being crazy and evil. Harvey Weinstein supported the liberal values I believe in. He is a rapist. Bryan Singer supported gay rights. He is a pedophile. We need to be able to look critically at ourselves and our own sides and always be open to new information and new perspectives. And we need to be willing to set aside a supporter or a source should what we currently have prove unacceptable for plausible discourse.

Looking at myself, I recall back in 2015 - 2016 when I told Slider_Quinn21 off for finding Rey in THE FORCE AWAKENS to be a Mary Sue, badgering him on it endlessly until he said that this wasn't the hill he needed to die on. I look back at those posts and shake my head at myself. Why couldn't I just let Slider_Quinn21 not enjoy a movie?

I think I've changed, probably because of writing SLIDERS REBORN. The thought process of reconciling the Season 3 monsters and the Season 4 myth-arc and the Season 5 casting issues with the SLIDERS mythos I prefer forced me to widen my personal echo chamber from a strict perimeter around Seasons 1 - 2 to making more room for the rest and that created an opening that allowed me to escape. And now I can concede that infamous sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg was a pretty good showrunner on THE FLASH even if he absolutely had to be fired.

I'd like to think we can recognize hate groups and abusers and frauds for what they are even as we keep ourselves open to other people's opinions. That we can critique feminism and immigration without supporting the rhetoric of Nazis and rape advocates. That we can enjoy a DC film without downplaying Marvel's successes or denying DC's financial struggles. That we can appreciate the Marvel franchise while not ignoring WONDER WOMAN and AQUAMAN performing brilliantly at box office. That we can be aware that our opinions are merely our own, don’t need to be anyone else’s, and are open to revision or being disproven.

And surely Slider_Quinn21 can dislike Rey without me insisting that reality itself exists to prove his opinion somehow wrong. (Sorry about that.)

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Hahaha to be fair I used Max Landis as a resource for my Mary Sue argument and he ended up being a serial sexual abuser too and has fallen off the face of the planet (although I think he's still making money selling scripts).

The thing that makes me sad is that we used to have societal protections in place to make conversation civil.  I eat lunch with a group of people from work.  I know for certain that a couple of them are highly (but not far-right) conservative.  They come from more rural areas and strongly believe in the 2nd amendments and have more conservative, Christian social beliefs.  And so when we have lunch, we tend (as a group) to just not broach certain topics.  For example, despite being a big topic, no one has mentioned the abortion bills.  It isn't that no one cares (I know for sure that one of them does), but it wouldn't be constructive to talk about it so we don't.  We still need somewhere to eat lunch tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

On the internet, we don't have to do that.  We can let our darker/more radical thoughts grow, and we can have them reinforced by like-minded people.  And then the hate starts (I almost made this a Yoda reference but decided against it).

I'm not saying you have to eat lunch with a Nazi.  But I think there was a time when we'd be okay talking to one.  I think of the movie American History X, where a former Neo-Nazi is rehabbed by a friendship with a black guy.  He doesn't have to be punched.  He doesn't have to be left alone.  Maybe you talk to them and try to understand where they're coming from.  And you realize that you have something in common.  Maybe a few things.  And he realizes that maybe he's wrong on a few things.  Next thing you know, he's hiding the tattoo he has instead of proudly showing it off.

I'm seeing less and less of that these days.  People want women in Georgia and Alabama and Missouri to flee the state instead of staying and fighting for what they believe in.  I feel like certain liberals are willing to abandon people in red (and sometimes just purple) states without trying to understand why they're doing what they're doing.  Instead of finding some sort of compromise (like we've done for decades), we're trying to pass radical legislation.  We have to label someone as "pro-abortion" instead of "pro-choice" when it's clearly not what they're going for.

I'm ready to put some of that civility back into things.  Then maybe we could have lunch with someone who might have a few radical beliefs.  We don't have to be best friends with them.  We don't even have to change them.  Sometimes we just see if they change on their own.  Sometimes they do.  Sometimes they don't.  It's okay either way smile

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Another aspect of meaningful discussion: we should speak in a manner that invites other people's opinions, encourages people to make fun of us, and assures them that they should feel safe in disagreeing (while noting that hate speech has no place in safe spaces). If you can't indicate openness to other perspectives -- well, it's not a banning offense or in any way a crime, but it creates discomfort.

In Informant's final days here, he shared his views on abortion. I responded with... nothing. I just put up my disclaimer.

I cannot stress enough in the name of SLIDERS PROP #1, SLIDERS PROP #2 & SLIDERS PROP #3 that Informant's views do not represent the views of the Sliders.TV community.

Informant thought the disclaimer was stupid. I thought it was stupid too, but I didn't want one of my female friends coming to the message board I talk about a lot and finding Informant's views going unchallenged.

Informant, quite correctly, noted that the disclaimer had no real content, just a running joke of finding different SLIDERS props to incant. Then (I assume due to my adding a message to his post to reiterate the disclaimer), he took off in a snit. Last I checked, he was having another meltdown over Chuck's characterization in the SUPERNATURAL finale. I'll look in on him later.

But regardless, I feel Informant did not create a safe space to share personal views of abortion unless those views were Informant's. I felt he would, rather than respect that we have different views, attempt to argue my own values into submission the way he argues that Marvel movies are failures: he says that people who like these movies are simply falling in line with what's popular, buying into a media bias and that their opinions are not sincere or their own.

Informant wrote:

You have issues. You need deprogramming. You've been trained like a lab rat to not go for the cheese.

Slider_Quinn21, on the other hand, has always made me feel safe. (Transmodiar, too, since 2011.) Slider_Quinn21 and Transmodiar made me feel like it was okay to admit to incredibly pathetic and silly truths -- such as how SLIDERS is important to me because I was a lonely 9 year old in 1994, Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo were my friends and I watched them die.

They made me feel it would be alright to confess the stupidest thing I'd ever said to date: that when I saw the Professor get shot and fall over, I was 12 years old and I felt like I was watching my own father die. That I had a panic attack this past year when I was visiting my niece over Roger Daltrey. She had a copy of his autobiography and I screamed at the sight of Colonel Rickman's face on the cover. "He killed Dad!" I shrieked.

I don't think it's exactly a state secret that Temporal Flux and Transmodiar don't get along and that I have a lot of love and respect for both. It's a bit like being Mystique when Professor Xavier and Magneto are going through a (very long) rough patch. (Actually, it's been pretty quiet lately.)

Neither of them have ever tried to make me take their side or dislike the other. Temporal Flux and Transmodiar have always encouraged me to be friends with the other even if they aren't friends themselves. My wise uncle (TF) and my cool older brother (Transmodiar) both respected that my feelings were my own; they offered their own perspectives on their feud but always concluded with advising me to form my own opinions.

They made me feel safe. This is something we should offer everyone in our community over every subject. I have not always succeeded in doing this, but I won't fail to do so going forward.

And because in the wake of Informant's absence, Slider_Quinn21 has made Sliders.TV feel like a safe space -- here are my views on abortion which are my own, formed from many late nights chatting with various women but not taken from them. These are not the views of Sliders.TV. They are not the consensus of this community. You are not required to agree with my take which is:

I believe life is sacred and begins at fertilization, but I also believe abortion should be legal. I think the best way to prevent abortion is comprehensive sex education as early as Grade 1 with contraceptives and birth control widely available, provided for free to children and adults, paid for by tax dollars.

I think abortion should be legal for many reasons. First, criminalizing it does not prevent it; it merely ensures that women will do it themselves and do it wrong. Second, I think trying to prevent pregnant women from getting abortions is a waste of time. If they're pregnant and want to terminate, then I feel the ship has sailed and we all need to back off.

Third, I find it morally bankrupt to call for legislation to impose my personal belief (that life begins at fertilization) upon the medical decisions of people I don't know, whose lives I haven't lived, whose struggles I can't comprehend. I will live my beliefs without having them intrude upon others. I find doing otherwise to be arrogant and I reserve arrogance for talking about SLIDERS and Jerry O'Connell's career.

I feel the best way to prevent abortion is to prevent unplanned pregnancy by empowering everyone with the knowledge and technology to do so. Rather than fight against abortion, I would fight for sex education and readily available contraception.

As for Informant's claims that various states want to make it easy to terminate pregnancies after an infant is fully formed and kill the child after birth -- the reality is that only 1.3 per cent of abortions occur after 21 weeks. Usually due to fetal abnormalities and nonviability or delayed access to abortion services.

Ralph Northam misspoke and misconveyed the situation to make it seem like healthy infants would be killed for unwilling mothers. In reality, he was discussing whether infants with severe birth defects should be kept alive via painful measures. His media training was poor. He was incompetent, but nobody should be seizing upon clumsy communication to spew further misinformation.

It was grossly irresponsible of Informant to reiterate incorrect data especially on so sensitive a subject. We should not be presenting false information whether it's Keith Damron's lies, phony STAR TREK news sites or that of alt-right news outlets. We are entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts.

I think abortion should be legal in the same way I think Season 3 DVD sets of SLIDERS should be legal; I'm not thrilled with its existence, but I accept that it's here. If I attempted to legislate it away, people would find some way to get their hands on it and it'd be distributed on piracy sites and false files would spread computer viruses. That's not good for anybody.

I used to be anti-Season 3; every time I saw the DVD set in stores, I'd quietly slip it into a microwave or drop it behind a shelf. That was pointless and unrealistic. You can see the change in thinking in my scripts. My first SLIDERS script, "Slide Effects," removes Seasons 3 - 5 from continuity, treats it as traumatic and unwelcome, declares that it never happened.

SLIDERS REBORN accepts that Season 3 can't be dismissed, that it's part of the series' legacy, and REBORN leaves it in place but offers a subsequent, supplementary option to exist alongside and in addition to Season 3 should the fan choose to take it. The Season 3 monsters return for the end of REBORN, but they aren't killed or destroyed; they're contained, they continue and they may be needed again.

And yet... it actually pisses me off that in 2016, SLIDERS REBORN was the second most popular section of EP.COM. The second. What was the most popular? It was the Season 3 episode guide section. That makes me so angry, angry enough to post an angry rant demanding that Season 3 be made illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. I won't do that; I want people to feel safe.

Informant didn't make me feel safe to talk about abortion. I had dinner plans with Laurel Hills (the real-life version) that night. I wanted to eat Chinese food with Laurel and contemplate who might write a SUPERNATURAL: SEASON 16 comic book. I felt Informant would have no respect for my personal views and ruin my night.

And that's strange because when it comes to the art of storytelling, Informant's viewpoint is truly enlightening. When talking about writing, Informant says that writers should not dictate where stories should go; they should create characters and situations and let them play out with whatever tone and emphasis makes for the most interesting results.

He points to FRINGE and how it's unlike a lot of other fantasy TV because rather than go for bombastic drama, the tone is very low key, very thoughtful, very contemplative, and how the show came to that over time rather than deciding at the outset. He points to SMALLVILLE where the writers decided Clark would be a reporter without having done the work to earn it via episodes of Clark attending journalism classes in college (or even attending college). FRINGE felt sincere and genuine; SMALLVILLE felt staged and forced.

Widened outside of storytelling, that perspective becomes truly empowering and generous: it would be saying that we should all look at the world and find our own approach, our own perspective, our own values -- and that we can be informed by others without being dictated.

This is more than a principle of writing; it is a beautiful philosophy for life. I have always felt deeply honoured that Informant would share such uncommon wisdom with us.

I don't think Informant always lived up to it and wouldn't have in a discussion on abortion. He would have made it a hostile, aggressive argument. He would have belittled me and drowned the Bboard in conspiracy theories and links to documentaries and essays from professional hate speech artists and willful misunderstandings and more misinformation based on Northam's asinine communication. He would, as he has before, call me a an human voice recorder reciting mass media liberal views. (Probably not in those words.)

Slider_Quinn21 makes me feel like even if he disagrees with me, he'll just share his opinion and offer new or correct information. ("You cannot have the sliders fight the radioactive slugs with road salt; they're in San Francisco, they don't sell road salt there.")

Re: Do we miss Informant?

So who's Magneto and who's Professor X?

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Transmodiar wrote:

So who's Magneto and who's Professor X?

TRANSMODIAR: "Got a question for ya."

IB: "What's up?"

TRANSMODIAR: "This outline for the fifth SLIDERS REBORN script -- Jesus, I remember when this was going to be a trilogy!"

IB: "Those were the days."

TRANSMODIAR: "Ib, why did you name the villain in the fifth story after Temporal Flux? Did he piss in your cornflakes or something?"

IB: "What're you talking about? I named the character Randall Mewes. That's not Temporal Flux's real name at all."

TRANSMODIAR: "Ib."

IB: "I didn't model the villain after Temporal Flux. It's just -- REBORN is all about Quinn battling mirror images of himself and that reminds me of the conflict between you two. You're all over REBORN too."

TRANSMODIAR: "Right, because one of us is going to totally release the Season 3 monsters onto the city of San Francisco out of mustasche twirling and spite."

IB: "No! Because -- because Quinn and Smarter Quinn are the same person. They should be friends! But they're not. The way you guys should be friends -- but you aren't! And I'm just writing the energy of that conflict into the scripts."

TRANSMODIAR: "So, am I Quinn or Smarter Quinn?"

IB: "It's not a one-to-one corelation. You're one or the other at various points. There's parts where Quinn says that all past is prologue and every day is a new universe, that's TF. There's a part where Quinn totals a car, that's you. There's a part where Smarter Quinn tries to bash Quinn's face in with a lead pipe like TF once said he wanted to do to you."

TRANSMODIAR: "I think it was a wrench."

IB: "It was a lead pipe. You remember wrong."

TRANSMODIAR: "Of course, I'd totally forget what implement TF wanted to use to smash apart my skull."

IB: "Well, you don't even remember the faces of the guys who robbed you at gunpoint. But, you know -- I think I actually did model the villain of 'Revolution' on Temporal Flux."

TRANSMODIAR: "Because he did something that made you so angry you're going to go on a killing spree as encouraged by your teddy bear and the bleached skull inside his body?"

IB: "Uh. No. Because the villain's plot is so nonsensically convoluted that only a genius-level intellect like Temporal Flux could make it work."

TRANSMODIAR: "Change that. It's not nice to name villains after your friend especially if you look up to him as much as you say you do."

IB: "Well, of course I'm going to change it -- TF's genius is so beyond me. I think the way to make 'Revolution' work -- I need to rewatch the episode 'Obsession' and find a psychic character whose future-aware perspective can justify a storyline for Quinn to hallucinate Mallory. Maybe that nurse or a bodyguard or the president."

TRANSMODIAR: "They can justify a storyline where Quinn experiences a telepathic attack and his brain is about to shut down but it turns out that Quinn anticipated this and he built in the Mallory personality as a backup operating system for startup repair?"

IB: "I'm thinking Quinn's caught in a fire and suffering from oxygen deprivation and hallucinating."

TRANSMODIAR: "Hhhhhhhhhhh!!! I don't even want to ask you why you'd go to all these lengths to write a Robert Floyd fanfic that he is never going to read. I already know why. You're a loon."

A dramatization. May not have happened in this order, all in one conversation or in these exact words.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I was going to spend the next ten days listing Informant's 10 greatest contributions to SLIDERS... but I was checking in on him earlier and he was calling out various individuals who don't share his specific views on abortion and saying that they are liars, hypocrites, mentally ill or delusional, although using terms just mild enough to seem more microaggressive than aggressive. It's not enough for him to simply have his own views and disagree; he has to attack people for having their own minds.

He reminds me of how when I was eight, my mother would beat me when I wouldn't believe her telling me that my father was having an affair and then threaten to have me institutionalized unless I called him on the phone to accuse him. My mother had a brain aneurysm that was causing bizarre behaviour. Not sure what Informant's excuse is.

Slider_Quinn21 describes how social media has radicalized people to send anyone who doesn't have their mindset to "the cornfield," but Informant sends anyone who doesn't think just like Informant to the mental hospital for having a mindset outside his own. Jesus. But I guess better there than here.

*sigh* It changes nothing, Informant's contributions to SLIDERS are significant, meaningful and special.

Day One: A very, very, very long time ago, David Peckinpah's family posted on the Sci-Fi Channel Bboard expressing dismay at how fans were happy that Peckinpah had died of heart failure. (History doesn't record how the fans reacted to learning that Peckinpah had actually killed himself and been at it for years.) The Peckinpah family said that it hurt them to see their family patriarch mocked and derided. He had been a beloved father and a caring (if disloyal) husband.

Informant pointed out, "What you need to understand is that when you run a show like SLIDERS, you are leaving a legacy. People who don't want that legacy to be others mocking their work really need to put some thought into what they're producing.

"I have no doubt," Informant continued, "that David Peckinpah was a solid citizen. Unmatched in his moral integrity. The last good man on Earth. His show still sucked."

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Day Two (a little early): Informant once said something shocking and true about Jerry O'Connell's career path. Informant remarked that Jerry, in walking away from SLIDERS without an onscreen exit, had shown great disloyalty to SLIDERS fans and that the fans would reward him with the same.

"Sci-fi fans are loyal people," explained Informant. "When they like an actor, when they feel that the actor respects their passion, they will follow that actor to every project, any project, even if that actor goes from pushing buttons on the bridge of STAR TREK to doing stand-up comedy or selling 3D glasses on infomercials. But when Jerry turned his back on SLIDERS and the fans, he made it really easy for the fans to turn their backs on him too."

Jerry O'Connell presently has one fan site. Hasn't been updated since 2008. His fan forum is defunct. He went from a rising star to someone who doesn't believe he could headline his own SLIDERS show at this point in his career. When Informant's right, he's very, very, very right.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

It's strange.  This is reading like a tribute/obituary to Informant.

Is he never coming back?  Is this his tribute/obituary?

**************

Everything about the abortion debate makes me want to pull my hair out.  In no way do pro-choice people want to kill babies.  They are simply arguing that, if there's a situation where a woman believes that bringing a child into the world is going to be bad for everyone involved (her, the child, and possibly society as a whole) then she should have the ability to safely make that decision.

I also think, in no way, do (most?) pro-life people want to turn the clock back a thousand years and put women in a Handmaid's Tale - style gender apocalypse.  They are simply saying that life is precious and that, since the baby doesn't get a choice on whether or not it gets to live, someone should speak for them.

For some reason, I seem to have a rare superpower to see both of these things.  And while I acknowledge that there can't be a perfect solution where no one gets abortions but women are still free to get them, I also acknowledge that there has to be a better way to discuss this than sending *anyone* to a cornfield or a mental asylum.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

It's strange.  This is reading like a tribute/obituary to Informant.

Is he never coming back?  Is this his tribute/obituary?

I don't know. Maybe he's worried about being banned. Informant has never done anything to warrant being banned, partially because he is a man of decent character and also because he does not use the language or invective that would could in any way be construed as abuse and/or harassment. Looking back, I do notice that I said that if he were to ever again present himself as the spokesperson of this forum, he wouldn't be doing it on this forum -- I didn't mean that I would ban him; I would have simply edited any post where he made such claims to include my message that he doesn't.

Yes, Informant made me uncomfortable, but I don't ban people for making me uncomfortable or for using language that doesn't invite debate and discourse. Expressing views in a disgruntled or closed manner is not abuse and/or harassment. I have only ever banned one person -- breederbutter -- for repeatedly saying that Cleavant was "the racial hire" and promoted above his station as "the racial hire." And you'll recall that I once banned myself for four weeks.

I'll get back to you on the other thing, but for now, here is Day Three:

Informant once expressed a very worthwhile criticism of Season 1 of SLIDERS and Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss that I think about a lot. He remarked: SLIDERS in the Pilot, "Summer of Love," "Prince of Wails," "Fever," "Last Days" and "The King is Back" take the view that our Earth's history is the correct course of events, the best outcome for all.

SLIDERS visits worlds where 60s counterculture remained dominant or the American Revolution failed or where antibiotics were not created or the atom bomb not produced or where Rembrandt never fell into obscurity -- and says that those are worlds where things went wrong.

SLIDERS takes the view that divergences from our Earth are where errors were made. Informant notes that this is a rather arrogant, self-flattering perspective for the SLIDERS writing staff and the sliders themselves, declaring that the what they perceive as the status quo is the best state of affairs and what is unfamiliar is morally defective or unjust or antithetical to fairness, equality and respect for others.

Informant pointed out that this comes dangerously close to declaring that anything perceived as different is immediately a threat. That it's the result of needing to create physical danger for the sliders as a result of unfamilarity with new environments, but the implication, possibly intentional, possibly not, is that 1990s North America is a near-utopia and anyone who finds fault or considers alternatives is part of a fascist and tyrannical government (the Russians in the Pilot, the British in "Prince") or an egotistical buffoon (Rembrandt in "The King is Back") or so technologically deficient as to be incapable or survival ("Fever," "Last Days").

He conceded that Season 1 does start to question this perspective with "Eggheads," "The Weaker Sex" and "Luck of the Draw," but he pointed out that despite the exceptions, the moral foundation of SLIDERS is flawed. We must question, debunk and/or deepen it with more points of consideration.

His thoughts really hit home with me and I carried them into SLIDERS REBORN. Most people seem to like SLIDERS REBORN, but there's one area that every single person took issue with -- the third script reveals that the multiverse is damaged. The only splitting points for the multiverse are drawn from a single date, March 22, 1995, and a single world, Earth Prime. History branches off at no earlier points and no later points due to a cataclysm that took place between "The Seer" and REBORN. And every version of Earth is headed towards doomsday scenarios as March 22, 1995 is a date where humanity is on a course of environmental destruction that leads inevitably to the Earth no longer being able to sustain human life.

Slider_Quinn21, Transmodiar and Nigel Mitchell and pretty much anyone else who read the scripts didn't buy that. They found it hard to believe that the Earth was that far gone by 1995. I agree; there's some wiggle room in that the date of divergence is also based on Quinn's Earth as opposed to ours or any other world, so maybe things were that bad on Quinn's Earth. But the reason I set it up that way was to raise Informant's argument: that Earth from 1994 - 1995 should not be presented as any kind of utopian ideal in contrast to other civilizations.

Thank you, Informant.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

That really is interesting.  I feel like that's an American way of thinking - that whatever we did was the right thing.  That we've perfected a sort of way of living and that anything different is inherently flawed.

One interesting one is the Earth that Smarter Quinn talks about in the Pilot.  The utopia Earth.  Someone, somewhere, told me that they believed that the Earth that Smarter Quinn is talking about is, in fact, the Luck of the Draw world.  I prefer to think that it isn't, just to maintain the hope that the world Smarter Quinn talked about was a real utopia and not a result of a Lottery.  But if it was, it's a bit of a dark notion.  Utopia exists but there's always a price.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I don't think that perspective is unique to Americans.  People living comfortable lives always see their world as the best of all possible worlds.

It could make an interesting point of conflict for a reboot.  Have one slider advocating something like the Star Trek prime directive, that they shouldn't interfere with the natural development of other Earths, while another is dead set on making every Earth more like ours.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I was going to post some response to Slider_Quinn21's thoughts on abortion... but don't Informant's thoughts say all that needs to be said? Specifically, Informant's caution about assuming our own thinking to be the default? The fallacy of thinking ourselves correct by virtue of the belief that our own thinking can't possibly be wrong? And the danger of validating our own views by regarding all other perspectives as defective?

Slider_Quinn21 is indeed very good about seeing both sides of the issue. And he should set his mind at ease regarding the prospect of Smarter Quinn's utopia being the world in "Luck of the Draw." Smarter Quinn said that in utopia, no one was afraid. In "Luck of the Draw," a small but highly visible number of people were extremely afraid of the Lottery Police and there was fear towards anti-lottery protestors, so it clearly wasn't a world where no one was afraid.

(It was probably the world in "New Gods For Old" with the nanites having made everyone happy.)

Next: Day Four. Informant upon the importance of actors.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Prelude to Day Four:

A very long time ago --

ireactions's touch grass and soft soil on the shores of Ahch To. Before him is a hill with a rough-hewn path of stone leading upwards. He ascends the steps and comes to a threadbare hut pitched against a mountainside of rock. Casting shadow.

A man emerges from the hut. A figure cloaked in the mountain's darkness, but he has a beard and wears the brown robes of an monk. ireactions reaches into his satchel and pulls out the MOTOROLA MICRO-TAC timer and holds it out to the distant figure.

IREACTIONS: "I seek an audience with the Saint!! The Saint -- the Saint of SLIDERS!"

The figure walks forward. It's a man with too young a face made too old by a beard.

TRANSMODIAR: "The Saint of SLIDERS is gone."

IREACTIONS: "Hey, where the hell is Temporal Flux!?"

TRANSMODIAR: (mournfully) "He left. It was my fault. I made untrue testimony, called him a false prophet, claimed the divine scripture he shared with his followers was a fraud perpetrated by my hands."

IREACTIONS: "Why?"

TRANSMODIAR: "A schoolboy's prank. A bitter, angry child lashing out at those who seemed distant, whose pain seemed unreal. I recanted. But it was too late. The Saint left in hurt and agony and my foolish savagery has cost me all."

IREACTIONS: "I'm sorry."

TRANSMODIAR: "I am no longer what I was. All that remains to me is some scrap of reparation by taking the Saint's place as a Sage. The Sage of SLIDERS. A diminuitive title for a stricken sinner."

IREACTIONS: "If you're stepping in for Temporal Flux -- well, I came with a question."

TRANSMODIAR: "I am bound to answer all that the Saint would have addressed."

IREACTIONS: "How can we bring Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo back for a twentieth anniversary SLIDERS special and save the Sliders? Preferably in a way that isn't too convoluted and that can be explained in 3 -5 sentences and can be filmed with the actors being 20 years older."

ireactions holds out the timer hopefully, bearing it as an offering and a plea. Transmodiar takes the timer and throws it over his shoulder and starts walking away in disgust.

IREACTIONS: "Wait! Where are you going? We need you! Master Sage! The Sliders need your help! The fate of the multiverse depends on them! We need you to -- "

Transmodiar stops so suddenly that ireactions bangs into his back, recoils and lands on the ground. Transmodiar looms over him.

TRANSMODIAR: "To what? Write the four hundredth and fifty-third Season 6 fanfic following up on 'The Seer'? Stick Colin, split the Quinns, find the right Arturo, resurrect Wade and liberate Earth Prime?! These don't go the way you think! You don't understand at all!"

IREACTIONS: "What don't I understand?"

TRANSMODIAR: "Let me show you."

CUT TO:

ireactions and Transmodiar stand at the mountain side. A rectangular frame of wood surrounds one small, smooth portion of the mountain's surface. The stone has had small circles cut into it. A spiral of small circles.

TRANSMODIAR: "Reach out."

ireactions touches the stone. Feels the circles. Closes his eyes.

TRANSMODIAR: "What is SLIDERS?"

IREACTIONS: "Quinn! Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo! I love them so much. Remember how Quinn was drying Wade's hair in 'The Weaker Sex' and how she gives him a massage in 'Mystic' and how in 'Relentless,' when the Professor sees Wade after an absence, he lifts and twirls her? And how about the time Rembrandt bought Quinn a beer and listened to his girl problems and got upset that people were playing Russian Roulette? And -- "

Transmodiar batts ireactions's hand away.

TRANSMODIAR: "Idiot! Look at the circles."

IREACTIONS: "It's the spiral. The spiral of infinite Earths."

TRANSMODIAR: "And every circle represents a question. One question. The only question worth asking formed by those two most beautiful words: 'What.' 'If.' Every time the question is asked, every time the question is answered, a world is born and a journey begins."

ireactions stares at the circles.

TRANSMODIAR: "'What if?' Those words don't belong to the Sliders. To believe that if the Sliders die, the question dies -- that's arrogance. That's vanity. Don't you see?"

IREACTIONS: "But Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo need our help -- "

TRANSMODIAR: "With them or without them, the question of 'what if' remains so long as you care to ask it. So long as you dare to answer it. And to insist that the question exists only in terms of Jerry O'Connell, Sabrina Lloyd, Cleavant Derricks and John Rhys-Davies is foolish, reductive and a path to emptiness. You'll end up just like me."

IREACTIONS: "Okay, let's not go nuts -- you're here because your crappy attitude pissed off lots of people, Temporal Flux was just one of 'em -- you broke up with your girlfriend and now Jerry O'Connell's trying to date her -- "

Transmodiar unleashes a solemn, bereft moan of agony.

IREACTIONS: "You know, she shot him down."

TRANSMODIAR: "What?"

IREACTIONS: "She told him no. She says she's realized that she's in love with someone else, the man she thought she'd marry, the man who ran off after the breakup. I think you'd really have a shot if -- "

Transmodiar throws off his robes, revealing a casual golf shirt and workout pants underneath. He yanks off the false beard and runs off from ireactions without another word.

In the distance, one can hear the sound of a car starting and driving off.

ireactions stands by the mountain side, looking at the circles cut into the rockface. He finds a sharp-edged stone at his feet, raises it and cuts in a new drawing next to the spiral of Earths. The drawing shows the silhouettes of four figures running forward.

ireactions drops the stone to the ground and leaves the two pictograms -- the spiral of Earths and the four Sliders -- two opposing concepts, two unmutual visions. Side by side. Waiting to be resolved and reconciled. Perhaps waiting for an eternity.

Or an Informant.

Not a dramatization, I swear to God all of the above totally happened (in some parallel universe somewhere).

Re: Do we miss Informant?

lol

I can confirm this all happened. Especially the false beard (since I can't grow one).

Ib knows way too much about me at this point. And has absolutely no qualms about broadcasting that every chance he gets. tongue

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Day Four: Informant on the Importance of the Original Quartet

For awhile, Transmodiar and I had a little debate between us. I took the view that SLIDERS losing the chemistry of Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo rendered SLIDERS pointless because I watched the show to hang out with my four friends. Transmodiar pointed out that the original cast is hardly a marker of quality given episodes like the incomprehensible "Time and Again World," the energy-sapped "The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy," the noticeably underwritten "El Sid" which seems to be short by about 15 - 20 pages of script, the formulaic "Greatfellas," the underperforming "The Young and the Relentless" and, most alarmingly, the escape-capture repetition of "Love Gods" which seems like it was written by a computer program producing script pages through on an algorithm.

Transmodiar insists that Tony Blake and Paul Jackson are real people and that he's had lunch with Paul Jackson and traded scandalous gossip, but I remain unsure if Blake and Jackson are actually pseudonyms for compiled code from a team of Final Draft software engineers. Transmodiar also felt that Seasons 4 - 5 had many gems and that Charlie O'Connell found his feet while getting less and less to do, that Kari Wuhrer had a lot of charm and passion for Maggie and that episodes like "World Killer" and "The Return of Maggie Beckett" and other strong entries show SLIDERS doesn't depend on Jerry, Cleavant, Sabrina and John to function properly. Slider_Quinn21 has gone so far as to say that while he's fond enough of the original cast, it's really the concept of exploring an new alternate history every week that carries the show, not any particular set of actors.

And this debate continued for years as people came up with increasingly strained and absurd concepts for resurrecting the original cast and proposed numerous SLIDERS 'reboots' that started with the original Arturo finding Rembrandt and rescuing Wade from a Kromagg prison and splitting the Quinns and revealing that the Earth in "Genesis" was a fake. Focusing on the cast always eroded what would actually carry a SLIDERS revival forward -- the concept -- except that SLIDERS was so defined by the original cast that reviving the show with new actors would mean throwing away good money on royalties that would be better spent on an original concept and title.

Informant, however, pointed out that SLIDERS is fundamentally about its concept but that its concept is intrinsically connected to the original cast. He noted that while Earth Prime is subtly not our Earth (unless Berkeley's campus is now next to Golden Gate Park), it was sufficiently similar that Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo shared a common frame of reference with the audience. They could react to parallel worlds the way the audience would react. Informant observed that with each character being removed from the cast, a central point of connection was lost. The Professor came from our world; his outraged frustration and confusion spoke for the audience. Maggie does not come from our world or anything like our world; we have no sense of what Maggie's perception of normalcy even is, so we can't react with her and feel like we're on a journey with her.

This problem reached another low point in Season 4, Informant said, when Earth Prime was invaded by Kromaggs. "Last I checked, there was no Kromagg invasion in our world," Informant said, "so now Quinn and Rembrandt don't come from our world, and we can't connect to them because they're now aliens exploring other alien worlds." Informant criticized Season 4 for making Quinn from Kromagg Prime, but to him, the original damage came from making Quinn and Rembrandt's home Earth a Kromagg outpost. It had already disconnected the character from the audience.

Informant took the view that the SLIDERS concept requires that the cast members be from a world close to (if not identical) to our own in order for them to have a frame of reference similar enough to the audience to be familiar and that familiarity is key to creating impact, awe, threat and risk when faced with the dangers of parallel Earths. The longer we spend with the original cast, the more that familiarity grows and the more it heightens the what-if concept with greater emotion and characterization. Through Informant's philosophy, SLIDERS as a concept and SLIDERS as an ensemble dramedy are merged into one.

I think Informant is the reason why, despite wanting to write SLIDERS REBORN as a sitcom with Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo, I asked Nigel Mitchell, the Douglas Adams of SLIDERS, to come up with the parallel histories for me and take over for me when it came to world-building and make sure that the what-if sci-fi element was present in ways that I would not write myself or want to write myself.

(To be honest, I first asked Transmodiar to do this; then I fired Transmodiar off SLIDERS REBORN, shortly after he quit. Well. He said he was quitting. He never actually left and continued to consult right through to the end, but Nigel devised all the alt-history details and exposition in the scripts.)

Re: Do we miss Informant?

The Kromaggs invading Earth Prime doesn't change the characters' perspective.  Their memories of home are unchanged.  It does alter their motivations.  It's not a show about people who want to get home anymore.  Same for the new characters.  Maggie, Colin, Diana, and Mallory aren't searching for home.  They're sliding because that's the name of the show.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

pilight wrote:

It does alter their motivations.  It's not a show about people who want to get home anymore.  Same for the new characters.  Maggie, Colin, Diana, and Mallory aren't searching for home.  They're sliding because that's the name of the show.

This was precisely Informant's point; that the search for home that the audience could recognize as their own was a way for the show to connect with the audience.

If you don't agree that it was essential and have a different perspective of your own, that'd be great, but I don't think you actually have a different perspective. And I've found requesting your perspective in the past to be a dead end of discussion. At one point, I described seeing the sliders as superheroes and you said this was wrong because superheroes are selfless and the sliders, seeking to survive, are selfish. I asked you why it was selfish to survive because by that logic, it's selfish to sleep, eat, take medicine for illnesses or do so much as breathe. You had no response.

At another, I remarked that I would have liked the sliders to fight the Season 3 monsters using scientific means and reasoning; you mocked this for being like MACGYVER; I asked you how you would have them fight the Season 3 monsters and after ignoring the question twice, you then said you would have used scientific means and reasoning -- meaning that despite mocking my opinion, you had the same one.

At another, you criticized my pitch for a SLIDERS revival featuring Quinn Mallory on the grounds that my pitch for a SLIDERS revival was overly focused on the creator of sliding, a nonsensical chain of logic which tells me you don't actually object to my opinions. You object to me having anything to say at all.

You remind me of Informant on a bad day. It's appropriate to this thread, but I no longer find this amusing or upsetting. Informant's self-implosion wasn't funny. It was tragic and sad.

pilight wrote:

The Kromaggs invading Earth Prime doesn't change the characters' perspective.  Their memories of home are unchanged.

In recent years, I've met several refugees who've fled their countries which were devastated by war, who saw families and friends enslaved and murdered, who survived prison camps. The claim that people whose homes were destroyed and whose loved ones were either killed or forced into brutal servitude "doesn't change" their perspective and that their memories are "unchanged" is... sociopathic and indicates an total lack of empathy.

Dear fellow fan and message board poster, I am sorry for whatever hardship, grief, loss and despair has pushed you to such indifference to human life and such a diseased approach to discourse. I am also sorry for criticizing your SLIDERS reboot pitches in terms that were too harsh and not constructive, but you must have suffered greatly in some fashion to become as you are. You must have lost something precious or experienced some horror that no person should ever have to endure. You are excused from any further frustration and anger from me. My heart is with you. Please get help. https://www.goodtherapy.org

Re: Do we miss Informant?

It doesn't change their perspective in the way you described it.  We still share their frame of reference because the world they lived in was functionally identical to ours.  They remain familiar.

The Sliders aren't refugees of the invasion.  They didn't see families and friends enslaved.  They heard about it from unreliable sources.  You could say they should still be affected, but they're not.  Two episodes later, in "Common Ground", Quinn and Rembrandt are laughing and happy as they leave Tropics World.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

pilight wrote:

It doesn't change their perspective in the way you described it.  We still share their frame of reference because the world they lived in was functionally identical to ours.  They remain familiar.

It is nonsensical for you to claim that an invaded, devastated, destroyed Earth is "familiar" and "functionally identical" to world of the average American viewer watching Season 4 of SLIDERS. Earth Prime was a Kromagg outpost; the Earth in which the audience lives was not. Your argument also discounts the loss of Wade and Arturo and how by Season 4, Maggie was from the Pulsar Earth with no clear alternate history aside from not being ours and Colin was from a pre-industrial world, also unlike our own. Your argument is incoherent.

pilight wrote:

The Sliders aren't refugees of the invasion.  They didn't see families and friends enslaved.  They heard about it from unreliable sources.

By this absurd logic, this means that you can't consider yourself to be bereaved by the loss of a family member unless you are present at the exact moment of death. That if your house burned down while you were out, you wouldn't consider yourself having lost a home because you didn't see it happen.

This speaks to a certain level of sociopathy where you do not count events as genuine or meaningful unless you -- and you specifically -- were involved in them physically and experienced them personally.

Your chain of reasoning is also based in empty hair-splitting. And worse, your hair-splitting is flat-out wrong within the context of the show: in "Genesis," Quinn saw the Kromaggs take his mother, Wade and Rembrandt saw the Kromaggs invade their world and in "Requiem," Rembrandt saw Wade tortured and taken away by the Kromaggs.

As I would say to Informant, whom you are beginning to resemble in the worst way, you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Actually, Informant was never this bad about anything. Informant had a tendency to parrot dubious secondary sources whereas you actively invent false information to justify your opinion and your opinion is completely worthless.

Your disagreements with me are always in the same format: you disqualify my opinions based on measures that are not only arbitrary but would dismiss every opinion on the subject up to and including your own. You said that sliders aren't superheroes because they are trying to survive, but by that measure, no superhero character would qualify as such because every superhero has been seen breathing and eating. You said my reboot pitch for SLIDERS was wrong because it featured the creator of sliding in too prominent a role, a view that could dismiss every SLIDERS pitch.

And you said that I was wrong to say the sliders should use scientific means and reasoning to fight the Season 3 monsters and, when pressed for an opinion, finally declared that in your view, the sliders should use scientific means and reasoning to fight the Season 3 monsters, meaning you have no reason for disagreement, merely a compulsive opposition to anything posted under my handle.

pilight wrote:

You could say they should still be affected, but they're not.  Two episodes later, in "Common Ground", Quinn and Rembrandt are laughing and happy as they leave Tropics World.

I see no contradiction between the objective truth that people are traumatized by war and the fact that SLIDERS does not present Quinn and Rembrandt to be traumatized. SLIDERS is a television show that often failed to present horrific events with psychological realism.

The fact that you present "Common Ground" as a plausible representation of post-war trauma indicates that you are mentally ill and severely so. This isn't funny. This isn't a point-scoring exercise for me. You aren't well. I am very worried for you. Regardless of our differences, you're still a person and deserve compassion and concern. Please get help. https://www.goodtherapy.org

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I miss Informant!

Re: Do we miss Informant?

It's interesting.  For the most part, every show has to sell you on plot first.  Great characters usually only develop out of some sort of interesting plot.

To me, the best show ever (not my favorite) is HBO's the Wire.  It's a show that I've recommended dozens of times, but it's also a show that I always mention "starts slow but stick with it."  A lot of people say to give it 4 episodes before you quit on it, essentially demanding that people fight through almost *half* the first season before they're allowed to decide if they like it or not.  That show is almost exclusively about characters - there's certainly a lot of plot, but the plot for that show is decidedly disconnected for the most part.  When I sell the show to people, I sell the realism and the characters.

My favorite show is LOST.  LOST is an interesting case study because it's a show that always had a fight between plot and characters.  People that were there for plot hated the show.  People that were there for characters loved it.  But almost everyone that watched the show watched because of the plot.  I can distinctly remember looking at a newspaper ad for LOST - it was Jurassic Park meets Castaway - two things that intrigued me at the time.  None of the advertisements said "don't worry about the plot!  You'll love the characters!" and I'm not sure I would've watched if they did.

I also distinctly remember ads for Sliders.  And, again, I was sold on plot.  Four people land on a world run by the Russian!  A world dying of disease!  A world about to be destroyed by an asteroid!  But it wasn't anything about characters.

I think the problem with Sliders in this respect is that shows in that time were about plot.  You might have a show with great characters, but it was usually incidental.  Mulder and Scully are great characters, but I think the X-Files cared more about plot than characterization because they needed a plot to draw people in.

Today, I think you can sell a show on characters.  I think Better Call Saul is a show that draws people in on characters and not plot.  People know the plot of Better Call Saul, but they want to see Jimmy/Saul.

I think most people come to a show for the plot and stay for the characters.  I think that's the case for Sliders.  I think the unique thing about Sliders is that the plot is so compelling and so infinite and so untapped that people might've come for the plot, stayed for the characters, and then stayed for the plot as the characters fell one by one.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I miss and favour the good things about Informant. I oppose and don't miss the bad things about Informant. (QUINN: "Way to go out on a limb.")

**

pilight, I was recently reading about a child whose family had recently gotten refugee status in my country and a home in my city. Much of their family had been killed in tank warfare in Syria in the next neighbourhood and the child, while having never been physically present for the tanks blowing apart houses and buildings, had heard the sounds and screams and learned from others that her relatives had not survived and been traumatized.

By your peculiar metric of human suffering, you would have told her that she was not really a refugee (because she hadn't witnessed the killings, having been a block away from what had happened). That she had not actually suffered any harm (because she heard about what had happened to her uncles and grandparents from a secondhand source and didn't witness their deaths). That she shouldn't be upset (because you feel her memories of her home should not have been affected by its destruction). And that she shouldn't expect to experience any ill effect (because you once saw fictional characters in a TV show seem totally unaffected by similar events).

Please don't be a jackass. It's one thing to mock me, I actually encourage it, but this has really crossed the line.

**

pilight, I've been re-reading my posts in the Reviving SLIDERS thread and I see now that I was harsh and cruel and unconstructive in my remarks. Whatever I actually thought, if I didn't have anything kind to say, I should have said nothing. If my inability to stop talking about SLIDERS could not be controlled, I should have said that your fanfic ideas sounded like interesting novels and comic books for SLIDERS fans but that I wondered if there might be more entry-level approaches for new viewers. I shouldn't have been vitriolic because fan fiction is a fundamentally idiosyncratic art form and I should have started a different thread for reboots without the acidic, abusive, harassing remarks.

I think I behaved that way because, at the time, I had a strongly possessive, proprietary attitude to SLIDERS and had specific views about the franchise (such as it is) that I considered universal and unquestionable. Looking back, I see that my sense of ownership should have extended to my own fan fiction and absolutely nobody else's and that I projected a tremendous amount of personal relevance into SLIDERS, equating its troubled production with my abusive childhood, which is really no excuse for being abusive towards you. I also see that your compulsive opposition began after that. I blame myself. I'm sorry. I should also not be a jerk.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I also distinctly remember ads for Sliders.  And, again, I was sold on plot.  Four people land on a world run by the Russian!  A world dying of disease!  A world about to be destroyed by an asteroid!  But it wasn't anything about characters.

I think the problem with Sliders in this respect is that shows in that time were about plot.  You might have a show with great characters, but it was usually incidental.  Mulder and Scully are great characters, but I think the X-Files cared more about plot than characterization because they needed a plot to draw people in.

The common consensus is that THE X-FILES fell apart after the Mulder/Scully partnership ended in Season 8 when David Duchovny completed his seven year contract and moved on. Another common consensus is that COMMUNITY fell apart after Donald Glover left the show.

There are arguments for and against, but I would protest that creatively, THE X-FILES was about the X-Files investigations and so long as THE X-FILES featured a believer and a skeptic exploring the paranormal, it could still be plausibly called THE X-FILES. And so long as COMMUNITY was about a run down community college, it could still call itself COMMUNITY.

These are shows where you could potentially slot in different characters as new FBI agents or community college students or teachers or administrators because the characters existed in relation to a formal institution that could invite new characters and create an exit for existing ones.

SLIDERS, however, was completely informal. Sliding wasn't a branch of the military. There was no Sliders Incorporated or Q-Tech. Sliding was Quinn's after-school project. The completely accidental circumstances of the show and the ticking clock of the timer made it difficult to take characters out without creating nightmare situations (like death) that would damage the show's tone as a dramedy and a fun adventure.

And because all the characters were from 'our' Earth, it was difficult to create storylines that introduced replacement sliders who could function as well as the originals. It would have been hard to justify bringing in sliders from Earth Prime without undermining the sliders being unable back to Earth Prime. SLIDERS, inadvertently or not, created a situation where they couldn't lose actors without fundamentally damaging the show.

It's not like STARGATE where you could have characters transfer to another job or STAR TREK where you could jump a century ahead and show a new crew on a new Enterprise without making anyone upset that Kirk and Spock were out. If you lost John or Sabrina or Jerry, you had to create some rationale for why they weren't sliding and that rationale was usually death or capture or whatever the hell "New Gods for Old" was.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I think most people come to a show for the plot and stay for the characters.  I think that's the case for Sliders.  I think the unique thing about Sliders is that the plot is so compelling and so infinite and so untapped that people might've come for the plot, stayed for the characters, and then stayed for the plot as the characters fell one by one.

I think that the viewing audience at the time stayed because they kept hoping that the original sliders would come back because the show kept getting renewed every single year no matter how hard FOX and Sci-Fi tried to kill it and the fans believed that if we could just hold out for another season and then another and then another, our friends would find a way back to us.

No, sorry, that's just me -- I have no idea why you guys kept watching. :-)

Re: Do we miss Informant?

ireactions wrote:

pilight, I was recently reading about a child whose family had recently gotten refugee status in my country and a home in my city. Much of their family had been killed in tank warfare in Syria in the next neighbourhood and the child, while having never been physically present for the tanks blowing apart houses and buildings, had heard the sounds and screams and learned from others that her relatives had not survived and been traumatized.

By your peculiar metric of human suffering, you would have told her that she was not really a refugee (because she hadn't witnessed the killings, having been a block away from what had happened). That she had not actually suffered any harm (because she heard about what had happened to her uncles and grandparents from a secondhand source and didn't witness their deaths). That she shouldn't be upset (because you feel her memories of her home should not have been affected by its destruction). And that she shouldn't expect to experience any ill effect (because you once saw fictional characters in a TV show seem totally unaffected by similar events).

Please don't be a jackass. It's one thing to mock me, I actually encourage it, but this has really crossed the line.

**

pilight, I've been re-reading my posts in the Reviving SLIDERS thread and I see now that I was harsh and cruel and unconstructive in my remarks. Whatever I actually thought, if I didn't have anything kind to say, I should have said nothing. If my inability to stop talking about SLIDERS could not be controlled, I should have said that your fanfic ideas sounded like interesting novels and comic books for SLIDERS fans but that I wondered if there might be more entry-level approaches for new viewers. I shouldn't have been vitriolic because fan fiction is a fundamentally idiosyncratic art form and I should have started a different thread for reboots without the acidic, abusive, harassing remarks.

I think I behaved that way because, at the time, I had a strongly possessive, proprietary attitude to SLIDERS and had specific views about the franchise (such as it is) that I considered universal and unquestionable. Looking back, I see that my sense of ownership should have extended to my own fan fiction and absolutely nobody else's and that I projected a tremendous amount of personal relevance into SLIDERS, equating its troubled production with my abusive childhood, which is really no excuse for being abusive towards you. I also see that your compulsive opposition began after that. I blame myself. I'm sorry. I should also not be a jerk.

Why are you constantly berating pilight? Shouldn't you be berating Informant?

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Transmodiar wrote:

Why are you constantly berating pilight? Shouldn't you be berating Informant?

I'll get back to Informant later... and I'd prefer not to berate him any further. As for pilight, I have come to the conclusion that I have only myself to blame. pilight never behaved like this until I ripped into their SLIDERS fan fiction which is a rather shocking failure of character given how you, Transmodiar, were extremely encouraging (in your way) and tremendously constructive (although you'd insist you weren't). I see now that I am responsible for pilight's actions. If they talk crap about refugees, it's my doing. Which means that when I berate them, am I not ultimately berating myself? When I find fault in them, am I not finding my own faults and failings?

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I accept your apology and acknowledge that a more constructive approach would be better for everyone.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Bringing in new characters to Sliders is tough on several levels.  There's the stuff talked about above with the new characters being aliens from a different world vs the Sliders getting home only to slide out again for some reason.  There's the question of motivation for a new character to slide, presumably knowing they can't go home again, or to keep sliding if they were escaping a doomed or dystopian world like Maggie.  I don't know the answer to that.

Writing characters out is easier.  Maybe they slide into a world just like Earth Prime.  Some of the characters think they're home and stay, some don't believe it and leave.  Maybe a character is sick of sliding and loses hope of getting home and decides to stay on a paradise world.  Maybe a character falls in love and decides to stay with their new partner instead of sliding with the others.  Maybe a character catches a fatal disease and several slides later finds a world with a treatment that can make the condition chronic, but only if they stay and receive the medication regularly.  There are quite a few options that don't end in fatality.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Apple CEO Tim Cook was once asked how he would deal with Facebook's public relations crisis of misusing and failing to protect personal data.

"I wouldn't be in that situation," Cook replied, saying (perhaps truthfully, perhaps not) that Apple does not attempt to monetize user data the way Facebook and Google earn money.

SLIDERS never had to write John and Sabrina out. They were on contract. John was fired. Sabrina was technically fired after saying she wouldn't work with Kari Wuhrer anymore and wanted to leave. Kari apologized for this.

SLIDERS could have had Jerry in Season 5 if the production had agreed to use Charlie O'Connell. The only reason Jerry could make this power play: Sci-Fi was late in renewing the show and his contract had expired. I go back and forth on this, but I fail to see how Diana Davis was any worse than Colin.

SLIDERS never lost its actors. SLIDERS discarded them. Fans wonder about better ways to write the actors out; I think that's an interesting exercise in disaster planning, but in this case, the disasters were completely self-inflicted.

But okay. If in Season 3, John needed to quit to take care of his sick wife, I would have Arturo somehow sent home but without the other three sliders.

Then in the next episode, Quinn, Wade and Rembrandt encounter Max Arturo (played by 90s teen heartthrob Jonathan Brandis after SEAQUEST's cancellation). Max is a teenaged version of Arturo from a Van Meer Earth where time is decades behind. Same history, same historical context, absent 40 - 50 years. Max joins the cast and now Quinn, Wade and Rembrandt are mentors and parents to a boy who was once their mentor and father figure.

If, in Season 4, we lose Sabrina due to Sabrina being stranded in Africa with a broken ankle, then Wade is trapped in a state of quantum limbo, frozen in time between dimensions, but can be freed with the timer if the sliders get back to Earth Prime and match Wade's quantum signature to the home coordinates. Losing the timer now takes on an additional risk; losing the timer means losing Wade forever.

Wade is replaced by a female FBI agent, Maggie Beckett, played by Kari Wuhrer. Agent Beckett joined the FBI agents who were pursuing the sliders in Season 1. It's revealed that Arturo has been working with the FBI to find his friends and has been a mentor to Agent Beckett. Having a law enforcement officer from home on the team creates some conflicts where she seems to think SLIDERS is her show and she's the lead character, but only Max takes her seriously.

Maggie's presence rankles Quinn and Rembrandt. Wade was gentle; Maggie is brash. Wade was diplomatic; Maggie is aggressive. Wade was caring; Maggie is focused on survival. Wade was appropriate; Maggie is crude. Wade was part of a team; Maggie views the other sliders as hapless civilians who have only survived through luck, luck and luck.

If in Season 5, Jerry has to quit the show to go into rehab for alcoholism, then Quinn is accidentally merged with Logan St. Clair and Zoe McLellan returns to the series and takes over as Quinn Mallory. Max develops a crush on the female Quinn which Rembrandt finds disturbing given Logan's affair with the alternate Professor. Meanwhile, the merging of Quinn and Logan's memories creates a darker edge to this new Quinn with an identity crisis where Quinn has to fight Logan's cruelty and greed.

All the replacements should have come from 'our' Earth and all the exit stories should have been written to keep the absent sliders alive and well in some form and to allow them to easily return for a series finale. The finale could feature Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt, Arturo, Max, Maggie and Logan with Quinn/Logan split apart but both carrying the same memories and mindset in the female and male form. And the final shot of the series could have had Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John in the center but with Kari, Zoe and Jonathan Brandis next to them.

... but why even go there? Plan for success, people.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Technicaly Season 4 with the network jump on the 25% budget cut, Universal had to write all new contracts so Sabrina had the option to resign, she played her hand, Kari was a movie star being part of the spring J-Lo hit Anaconda, she was also cheaper.  So universal went with her.

Do agree all of the character write outs could of been better, especially being that they had to pay JRD for the rest of yr3, by the way they wrote him out, meaning he could of just turned on tge team during Exodus, and reveled himself to be the alternate evil professor from PTSS, and continued as the big bad the rest of the season, looking for a way back to his home world, saving universal money, with not having to weirdly recast Rickman.

This could lead to a final, where they stop alt Professor and have hope of finding our Proffessor in the future.  When they start Yr 3 could simply, start in the back.of a church, at a wedding, talking about how sad it was to leave Wade without saying goodbye, but she deserved happy wedding day.

No Quinn is easy as well, team wakes up in kromagg jail, plan is made to continue sliding, Quinn is leading a couple Slides ahead and leaving behind parts to combine into a weapon to stop kromaggs.

Honestly yr 5 would of just gave in, 6 episodes for 18 withhis brother, would be ok, Charlie was good enough for what was being presented, sure both replacements were better actors, but Sliders didnt have the budget to support a show that wasa serious drama that needed top notch acting.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Not sure 'budget' has anything to do with hiring acting talent. Many of my friends are super-talented actresses whose earnings are well below what Kari Wuhrer was making on erotic thrillers. The rest is... a matter of perspective, I guess.

Anyway. Coming for Day Five: Informant's SLIDERS Reboot

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Day Five: Informant's SLIDERS Reboot

In 2013, Informant rebooted SLIDERS and he achieved something fascinating: he engaged with the politics of the era and managed to make SLIDERS both politically relevant AND apolitical.

Yes, technically, I produced the screenplay for SLIDERS (2013): "You Can't Go Home Again," a pilot script for a SLIDERS reboot set in the twenty-first century with the script asking: what would SLIDERS be like if launched with all the advantages of a major network show like LOST and HEROES?

Fully financed production values, recurring characters, ongoing arcs, flawed characters getting to know each other over time, complex backstories for Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo that would be revealed gradually and, above all, keeping the sliders completely recognizable as the originals but in a reboot for 2013.

http://freepdfhosting.com/ab3f9e4b78.pdf

However, I really just wrote the dialogue. Slider_Quinn21 wrote half of an outline and plotted everything up to the sliders landing on their first parallel Earth together. Informant wrote the second half of the outline, crafting a world where the War on Terror never ended.

The 1994 Pilot had presented a Cold War inspired story; Informant presented a terrorism inspired story to similar ends as a first outing for the sliders. His plot added in post-9-11 paranoia and detailed thoughts on how suspicion and fear could warp government agencies to creating just as much terror as terrorists themselves.

He created a stirring backstory in a fictional attack on San Francisco for an alt-world that stirred the emotions of 9-11 without crassly reproducing it, instead tapping into the anxieties and issues of a real-life situation but making sure that the story was about the story's situation and leaving it up to the reader to decide how it applied outside the fiction.

And, most interestingly, Informant created the concept of the Bio-D -- a surgically implanted chip placed beneath the skin of every American citizen -- for contact payments, for identification, for health care -- with legislation never specifically making it mandatory but making it impossible to work or find food and housing and education without it with children obligated to bring permission slips home to parents as little more than a formality.

The Bio-D, marketed by America as a means of health care, protection and convenience, is ultimately easily misused in times of fear as a tool of oppression by finding various reasons to criminalize individuals trying to live without Bio-D chips. The government-run Bio-D program is later revealed to be financially unfeasible without creating a massive American slave labour force of those who decline to be chipped.

It's curious -- when reading the outline and knowing Informant's values and politics, Informant's Bio-D was very obviously:

(a) An accusation that the Affordable Health Care Act was an invasion into American lives and a pointless, overblown, expensive promise of health care that couldn't be delivered (and something or other about how poor people shouldn't have health care and how Informant once nobly tried to save a doctor from being sued for letting a baby go blind).

(b) An anti-vaccination argument that requiring children be immunized to attend school or be around other children to avoid spreading preventable and deadly diseases is somehow unjust and undemocratic.

As the screenwriter seeking to convert the outline into dialogue and scene descriptions, I ignored that and looked at the story itself and plot was an exploration of how well-intentioned efforts to manage society in the midst of a terrorism-stricken nation had created safeguards that were very easily reworked into tools of tyranny with an inhuman establishment now assailing a noble revolution.

If you weren't aware of Informant's politics, his story, intended as a critique of the Obama administration (which Informant despised) could just as easily have been viewed as a parody of the post-9-11 Bush administration. Informant didn't attempt to create one-to-one correlations with real-world debates to present his side; he created a story that explored issues of government oversight becoming tyranny through public relations friendly measures of offering free health care and protection and safety becoming insidious and beneath your very skin.

And even more effectively, Informant left it ambiguous as to whether the government was malevolent or if their good intentions had been corrupted by fear of terrorism and the wish for security.

I don't really consider myself the writer of the SLIDERS (2013) script as much as a contractor executing Informant's blueprints. Slider_Quinn21, Temporal Flux and Chaser 9 were interior decorators.

Slider_Quinn21 suggested that Quinn and Bennish be partners in trying to create sliding and that Quinn and Wade be flirting online; Temporal Flux created the new backstories for why Wade was an introverted hacker/adventurer/escapologist and why Arturo was an underappreciated genius; Chaser9 crafted Rembrandt's backstory as a once serious R&B singer who went onstage crying after a breakup and achieved fame as "The Crying Man" which he perceived as an insult to the detriment of his career. The characters were almost unchanged from their 1994 selves, but had different pasts that created their presents.

But the key takeaway for me was simply how SLIDERS was a very interesting sociological lab. Informant's internet posts had the attitude that anyone with any perspective save his own should be banished to the cornfield, as Slider_Quinn21 put it. But when Informant's ideas were transplanted from actual reality into a parallel universe, they became thoughtful ruminations on where the world might be going, raising questions without presuming to have any answers.

Informant's SLIDERS reboot was a politically charged vision of SLIDERS that could speak to anyone on any end of the political spectrum. His work is unquestionably one of the most important pieces of SLIDERS fiction ever created and it was an honour to be part of it.

http://freepdfhosting.com/ab3f9e4b78.pdf

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Well, for one, most of the non-Sliders TV/movies he would discuss here have largely ended or have fallen apart.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Grizzlor wrote:

Well, for one, most of the non-Sliders TV/movies he would discuss here have largely ended or have fallen apart.

It's possible.

But it's also possible that Informant could no longer function in a discussion forum due to:

  • An attitude to discourse where he presents his opinions as the default

  • A view that anyone who does not share his beliefs or champion conservatism is mentally ill or lying or a hypocrite

  • A standing accusation that any non-conservative who protests abuse is themselves an abuser

  • A protest that calling anyone a Nazi is inappropriate (although having no complaints towards specific Nazis, just disliking 'Nazi' being a pejorative and objecting to identifying Nazis as Nazis)

  • A habit of putting anyone who identifies as conservative to be above questioning or reproach

  • A need to declare that any wronged party deserved their fate to be maimed, harassed or killed

  • A dependency upon experts who are considered by the world at large to be frauds (Sarah Palin), scam artists (James O'Keefe), misogynists and rape advocates (Paul Elam) and outright liars (Midnight's Edge)

  • A denial that white male centricism is a thing and a contempt for women-oriented projects or spaces or events that found no support here

  • A hatred of Marvel movies that was also not reflected by other posters which led to various deranged rants over how angry he was that people didn't enjoy BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN (because his own viewing pleasure was not enough)

  • An entitled outrage that Sliders.TV wouldn't affirm his tastes in media or his personal politics or the news sources he uses to reinforce those politics

  • An insistence that any sane, sensible person agrees with him

  • A frustration that his politics, by the end of his time here, were met with a near-total lack of response and what was either a lack of interest or a lack of interest in discussions done in Informant's preferred style (see above)

It's really sad to me. Because you can like DC movies and be conservative and be put off by women-only eventswithout being supportive of misogynists and false conspiracy theories and neo-Nazis. It's easy: you just focus on presenting your views as yours and yours alone instead of presenting your views with argumentative sentiments and language designed to present any opposition regardless of what it might be as illegitimate, insincere, ignorant and delusional.

If Slider_Quinn21 didn't like BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN but liked CIVIL WAR, who are we to tell him that he's somehow 'wrong' for liking what he likes or believing what he believes? And if we get angry when people don't agree with us over politics or superhero movies, if we have to go to crazy, abusive liars to back us up demand the other side view personal opinions as objectively true, doesn't that ultimately undermine our opinions as hollow foundations of insecurity and anxiety?

I was never angry with Informant and I didn't want to curtail his views -- by the end, I was posting disclaimers to remind everyone that his views were his own and not representative of a forum consensus -- to which he replied with a post saying he did represent the forum. I edited his post to say that he was probably joking about that. Then I responded to say that Informant didn't represent Sliders.TV and if he kept saying he did, he wouldn't be saying it on Sliders.TV. Shortly after this, he quit the board.

If he quit over that, then he quit because he could not stand for it to be said that his views were not the consensus and not the default. That he was not our spokesperson and would not be permitted to claim otherwise. Aside from that, I preferred then to say nothing else in response to his politics. I didn't want to silence him about his politics, I just didn't want to talk to him about them anymore because when it came to politics, Informant was abrasive, aggressive and I didn't want to commit any energy to these conversations with him.

But I am talking about them now because if he is gone, then I need to come to terms with that loss. It is a loss. But it is also a lesson to always welcome and consider opposing views and search for new information to update, refine and revise our own opinions.

And yet -- wherever Informant may be, whatever he did or said, whatever false credentials he may have rolled out wherever he may have tried to run for mayor, he is our friend. We should try to think the best of him.

I would prefer to think that Informant left because of a long-simmering grief over the conclusion of FRINGE.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

He and I had some all out wars during the 2000 election.  Haven't had much of a dustup since then, and though I don't post in every thread here, I rarely saw him going off on the basis of politics.  But I have largely stopped discussing politics on-line over the last many years.  I find it's a total waste of time.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I'll add that, I as a forum member/ reader I never assumed that one guys opinions on bboard, even if he claims his opinion represents everyone on the bboard, were a true representation of everyone on the bboard.  So I didn't need the update,  myself.

I found the political discussion to be honest, I'm down the middle, and have people on both sides, so was a nice thing to see diffrent points of view.

I'll miss another point of view.

I'll add that my views may not represent everyone on the bboard, but maybe they do.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I think it's probably hard to feel like you're on a side by yourself on everything.

- Informant loved the DCEU, but generally hated the Marvel movies.  Most people here tended to criticize the DCEU and liked/loved many of the Marvel films.

- Informant struggled to keep watching the Arrowverse and despised Supergirl.  We all stuck with it, including Supergirl.

- Informant was a clear pro-life conservative.  Most people (TF notwithstanding?) are either centrist or liberal.

It's probably hard to find the passion to get back here and be the only one championing something on so many levels.  Without Sliders to talk about on any sort of consistent basis, these are the things we talked about.  Superhero movies, superhero TV, and stuff like that.  He seemed staunchly opposed to most of us, and we had a lot of the same arguments in circular fashion.

It is sometimes easier to log onto a site and see a view that supports your own.  There's vindication when he reads an article about how the DCEU was too genius for its own time, for how the Marvel movies aren't all that great, how the Arrowverse needs to die, and how Supergirl is the worst of them all.

But I always looked forward to seeing a new post from Informant on a lot of these subjects.  It was always interesting to see a new Marvel movie and see what he thought.  I, of course, looked forward to seeing what he thought about movies like Justice League and BvS.  It was also fun to write a big long thing about any of those movies and see him pick my points apart.  I think it's more fun to read the other side and try and see where they're coming from.

If he's gone, it's going to be less interesting around here.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

If he's gone, it's going to be less interesting around here.

As much as my blood pressure has relaxed ever since he stopped posting, it is going to be a lot less interesting around here.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I think it's probably hard to feel like you're on a side by yourself on everything.

Due to SLIDERS, I have developed a fixation on what my niece calls "interesting failures" where I really like movies and TV shows that don't quite work. I'm fascinated by the box office bombs that were TOMORROWLAND and TITAN A.E., enthralled by two Asa Butterfield movies (THE SPACE BETWEEN US and THEN CAME YOU which are both awkwardly misfiring romcoms).

The world at large just thinks these movies are terrible much in the same way the DCEU movies are reviled and... I don't feel that diminishes my interest in these projects. I don't feel insulted or offended when people don't share my subjective opinions. If I wrote angry letters screeching at people for not liking TOMORROWLAND, TITAN A.E., THE SPACE BETWEEN US and THEN CAME YOU and raging about how there's a left-wing mass media conspiracy to demonize excellent films in order to jump upon a fake bandwagon of wokeness --

Well, that would suggest that I am deeply insecure in myself, so insecure that I desperately need every stray thought or taste to be affirmed and echoed or I will not feel validated. And that I need to construct elaborate conspiracy theories to assure myself that you all actually agree with me, you've just been programmed not to, you gullible fools.

Grizzlor wrote:

I have largely stopped discussing politics on-line over the last many years.  I find it's a total waste of time.

As a liberal, I spend more time criticizing liberals than conservatives because I'm more concerned about the failures of my side and what my side can do to correct them and how my side is constantly falling short of the values we espouse. If I were conservative, I imagine I'd be the same, just on a different side. And, quite frankly, I don't even think the politics were the problem as much as the means by which they were expressed.

slider5125 wrote:

I'll add that my views may not represent everyone on the bboard, but maybe they do.

My views are too bizarre to represent anyone else on this forum.  I have this joke that to this community, Transmodiar is Public Enemy Number One and I am the village mental patient. The weirdo. The eccentric mad scientist who produces unworkable, unusable creations.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

It is sometimes easier to log onto a site and see a view that supports your own.

I feel that you are all supportive of my love for SLIDERS, but you are not necessarily supportive of the means by which I love it or the opinions I express regarding it. Nor do I expect any of you to be.

This isn't something that Informant brought to SLIDERS, but it's something he taught me -- he pointed out a lot of the hypocrisy and failures of (neo)liberalism and how many who claim to be Democrats are undemocratic and sociopathic.

Harvey Weinstein supported the Democratic Party and Bryan Singer advocated for gay rights and Andrew Kreisberg made SUPERGIRL a champion of progressive values and all three are sexual abusers. Aziz Ansari, someone I once quoted for his words on feminism, was exposed for sexual abuse. Informant made me realize that democratic values are not necessarily the values of those who champion the cause.

Branding vs. Beliefs: Informant taught me to separate the branding from the person and I loved him for that. But I don't allow my love for him to blind me to how it's something Informant didn't do himself. Despite Trump caught on tape bragging about sexual assault and numerous women coming forward, Informant dismissed all the accusations.

It's not hard to imagine a Democratic double of Informant insisting that Weinstein and Singer and Kreisberg and Ansari couldn't possibly be abusers. I find looking at Informant's politics less enlightening than the behaviour itself where anyone he designated as his standard bearer or champion, he would refuse to see culpable or criminal even when their actions were abusive (Trump), self-admitted on audio recordings (Trump again), deceitful (James O'Keefe) or when their claims were misogynistic hate speech (Paul Elam) or in stark contradiction to facts (Midnight's Edge).

Rather than concede that he'd invested in people who hadn't deserved it (which I have too, see above) and that he should find someone else, Informant would deny their crimes to maintain some sort of ideological purity.

For me, I know that some of the people I once saw as representatives of my values have in truth betrayed them in ways great or small. Even my fitness idol, Brandon Routh, has failed to correctly explain the benefits of medium chain triglycerides and demonstrated confusion over the human circulatory system. But I like to think that my values are not mine alone (even if my expression of them is largely mine). I'd like to think that my values are greater than any one person and don't cease to exist just because people make mistakes or commit terrible wrongs.

Tours of Crazytown: I've learned to enjoy it when people think I'm weird. It's the entire basis of my friendship with Transmodiar. I live to hear him tell me that I'm crazy. ("You bought a steam cleaner -- for your stuffed animal collection? Hahah!") I didn't always do that. I used to yell at people for SLIDERS revival ideas that didn't clear the slate or for liking Lana Lang in SMALLVILLE or for calling Rey a Mary Sue or for thinking Ben Affleck was too old to play Batman.

Informant's behaviour rankled and made me realize: I should just express my views rather than trying to alter someone else's. I shouldn't have told pilight his reboot ideas were 'wrong,' I should have presented my own reboot ideas without commenting on pilight's at all. Instead, my argumentative attitude made an enemy for no good reason whatsoever. I hope I have turned a corner on that.

It was delusional of me to present my views of SLIDERS as being synonymous with SLIDERS. The opinions of ireactions are that of a troubled manchild recovering from an abusive boyhood during which the sliders felt like his only friends which in turn led to a horrific trauma where ireactions watched his father figure, the Professor, get shot and exploded after his brain was sucked out. I come from a peculiar place with peculiar opinions. And I expect all of you to pick away at my opinions and I will enjoy that.

Do I wish more people shared my views? Well, to have these views, you would have had to watch "The Exodus Part II" at age 12 with a black eye that your mother inflicted upon you while screaming at you that it was your fault your father left her. You would have had to watch Arturo die and not be able to distinguish the pain of seeing your father figure shot dead and the pounding in your head from the impact you took when your mother threw you down the stairs an hour previous.

I wouldn't wish that upon any of you. My perspective can only ever be my own and I would actually prefer it if you'd share your own views while still permitting me to think what I think and never behaving as though my opinion somehow trespasses on yours. That'd be awesome.

("Recasting John Rhys-Davies with some teen idol flavour of the month? That's disrespectful to Arturo and you STOLE that from LEGENDS OF TOMORROW!" "Do you REALLY think TV would let Quinn become transgender in the 90s?")

I would love that. I think it's funny. Try getting that deal from Informant.

But even so, I think we all know what Informant brought to this community and how very much we have lost with his departure. I am sorry that he's gone. I couldn't stop it. I couldn't change it. I couldn't save Informant. But I saved pilight and I'm very glad pilight is here.

Coming next: Day Six of Informant - 29.7

Re: Do we miss Informant?

ireactions wrote:

As a liberal, I spend more time criticizing liberals than conservatives because I'm more concerned about the failures of my side and what my side can do to correct them and how my side is constantly falling short of the values we espouse. If I were conservative, I imagine I'd be the same, just on a different side. And, quite frankly, I don't even think the politics were the problem as much as the means by which they were expressed.

I don't follow anyone political on Twitter, but I occasionally dip my toe into political waters to see what people are thinking.  My newest political curiosity is how active liberal Twitter people are handling this particular conundrum: if Trump is awful and needs to be impeached and the Democratic Party is the beacon of all goodness, how are people handling the idea that the Democratic Party is seemingly refusing to impeach Trump?

When Trump was elected, I wasn't as upset as everyone else.  I thought this because I didn't think Trump was all that popular with mainstream Republicans (I was quite wrong there) and I thought Democrats would lead the charge against Trump on Day One, and they'd boot him from office whenever he had a misstep.

I was also wrong there.  While Democrats obviously despise Trump and all that he stands for, the anger seems to be isolated to interviews on Rachel Maddow and on Twitter.  There's a lot of talk and very little action.  It actually reminds me of the "thoughts and prayers" that Republicans do whenever there is a mass shooting.  For all Trump's done and for all the evidence they have, we get the Democratic version of "thoughts and prayers"

Stepping back, I get it.  Is it worth it to impeach Trump when there's a really good chance that Senate Republicans won't pass it?  You'd need more than a handful of Republicans to step over the aisle, and while I thought it was possible in 2016, I don't think it's possible now.  I can see why Pelosi and Democrats don't want to give him the OJ-like ability to claim himself innocent when everyone knows he's not.

So when I look, I get this confusion from liberals on Twitter.  It's this "IMPEACH TRUMP NOW!" followed by a "Pelosi knows what she's doing."  Or "PELOSI SHOULD EITHER IMPEACH HIM OR RESIGN" followed by someone attacking that person for not getting in line.  Like Bernie and Hillary, we're coming up on a Civil War inside the Democratic Party where people are either starting to turn on Pelosi (in some cases, calling her complicit to Trump's crimes) or holding the line because that's what Pelosi is doing.

And I'm baffled by it all, honestly.  Yes, Trump is the leader of the Republican party.  And since he's popular (enough) with the base and since it's good for them to have a Republican in the White House, I understand why most Republicans can't just openly turn on him.  But I also assume they'd all be happier with Pence both in the White House and on the ticket.  He's a more traditional conservative (although arguably worse than Trump on certain issues in every definition of that word for everyone concerned), and I think certain parts of the Republican base would be happier to vote for him than Trump.

For Democrats....I don't know what.  I see where Pelosi is coming from, but her inaction almost makes me believe in the idea that Democrats and Republicans are just our labels and everyone in Congress is essentially on the same side.  That they're all happy with the status quo but that they have to rabble on Twitter to make certain people feel better.

Because, yeah, the Senate probably won't kick him out (even though it makes sense for them to).  And even if they did, he probably wouldn't leave peacefully.  And that's a huge problem in itself.  But I think what Pelosi thinks they have to lose isn't really what they have to lose.

If the Senate refuses to boot him, Trump will be able to say he was not guilty - Well, he's saying that now.  And he'd say it even if he was found guilty.  That's not going to change.

If the Senate refuses to boot him, it might affect the election - In certain years, maybe.  This year?  I think most people have a rock-hard opinion of Trump and that an impeachment result (either way) will not persuade their vote in 2020.  Certain people will vote for Trump in 2020 no matter what.  Certain people will vote for his opponent (no matter who that is) no matter what.  People have decided if he's guilty or innocent, and the Senate vote won't have any impact on what they think.  I think even most independents (myself included) have already made up their minds on him.  So who's still unsure?  Wouldn't bringing up all the evidence and showing it convince more people than a strictly-political vote convince people?  Even if you get a few hundred votes to flip in the right place or convince a few hundred people who sat out in 2016 to vote....that's enough to win.

The only thing I can think of is that Pelosi is 100% convinced that someone will beat him in 2020.  That she'd rather face Trump than Pence.  And she might be right.  The map overwhelmingly helps Democrats over Republicans, and it took a historically unpopular candidate in Clinton to lose.  And even then, she barely lost and still overwhelmingly won the popular vote.  I think essentially anyone in the field can beat him, and it might not even be that hard.

If that's the case, maybe you just wait and beat him.  But I read an idea online that the House should go through the impeachment process and then never throw it to the Senate.  Go through the whole evidence procedure but never call for a vote.  So you'd give the American public all the information without ever giving Trump a chance to exonerate himself.  I mean he'll consider this an exoneration and his fans would too....but they're going to anyway.

I think it's an interesting strategy.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

My guess is that the Dems don't think they can make a case that will convince the public, let alone Senate Republicans. 

Alternatively, they may want to wait until the primaries so that it will be too late for the Republicans to choose another candidate.  If the case is strong, Trump will be unelectable and many Republican senators will be stuck trying to defend votes in favor of keeping him in office.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Yeah but by not impeaching, they're admitting there's no case.  Is that what they're going after?  Would it have been better for the LA District Attorney to not prosecute OJ Simpson knowing that he got off?  Or do you make your best case and if the system fails, you can still hold your head high?

And if they think this president is dangerous, you don't play politics with it.  If you wait for the primaries, that's another several months where Donald Trump can deal with Iran, where Donald Trump controls the situation at the border, where Donald Trump can be meeting with foreign agents about 2020, etc.

(For the record, I'm not arguing with you.  I'm arguing with them, if that's their logic)

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Would it have been better for the LA District Attorney to not prosecute OJ Simpson knowing that he got off?

Given the glaring weaknesses of the case they brought (no murder weapon, no witnesses to the crime, no witnesses that can place the defendant at the scene, no fingerprints, a very narrow time window, a defendant with no criminal record, police and crime labs that can't follow the most basic standards of evidence handling, trying to convince a jury that 50 year old man who's had 16 knee surgeries knifed to death two fit 30-ish people without either of calling for help or running away or fighting back enough to put a single scratch on him) it would have been much better if they had not brought it.  More people believed he was guilty before the trial than after.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

There are currently two problems with impeachment. The first: the Trump campaign didn't collude with Russia, only benefited from it passively. It's difficult to present Trump as a traitor to his country when he wasn't coordinating with Russia and when Russian intelligence likely saw how foolish it would be to attempt any covert coordination with a man notorious for being indiscreet. Charging Trump with being in league with a foreign power is a non-starter.

The second problem is that Trump was not successful in obstructing the investigation into his electoral ties to Russia. He most definitely attempted to impede the probe, but because his orders were refused and because the investigation was completed, it would be extremely difficult to charge him with a crime that he didn't actually succeed in committing to any particular degree. Attempted obstruction is still a crime but a capable defense could argue that it's entirely a matter of perspective and easily muddy the waters.

There is no slam-dunk argument here that wins impeachment proceedings or the court of public opinion, and Pelosi has said that pursuing impeachment in these subjective terms makes it entirely too easy to beat the case down while making the Democratic Party so focused on impeachment that they can't campaign for the White House.

Strategically, unless Jack wants to cast his truth spell on Trump to get him to spill the beans about his demon deal with Crowley, impeachment is a bumpy road that conceivably leads nowhere while draining all the gas in the Democratic Party tank.

Still working on my essay for Informant's 29.7. I wonder how it will all shake out.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

pilight wrote:

More people believed he was guilty before the trial than after.

There's no way that's true.

The prosecution bungled a bunch of things, and a ton of coincidental items happened to overlap at one specific time that made things easy on the defense.....but I don't think the defense actually convinced anyone of anything.  And that's why I picked that specific example - the defense simply created a narrative that played into the minds of people who already thought he was guilty.  That the LAPD wants to take down black men (powerful or not) and are willing to use their power to make that happen.

If you watch the fantastic documentary OJ: Made in America, the jury essentially admits that they ruled the way they did because they wanted revenge for Rodney King.  None of them watched the trial and were convinced that he was innocent.  And depending on how far you meant by "after" the trial, almost everyone is convinced now that he did do it...outside of the supercharged political climate that the trial took place in (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the … edirect=on)

And that's what you would have in an impeachment trial.  Two sides that already are locked in on their opinion and two sides arguing a case to their own side.  Is it foolhardy to try?  I don't think so because I think we owe it to the system itself to say "he did bad things, and people stood up to him."  Just like I think it would've been insulting to Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman to not bring to trial the one guy who could've done the murders, even if they knew what we know now.  Not necessarily because it's the wily thing to do but because it's the right thing to do.

Again, you don't even have to call a vote.  Just present the evidence and get it out there as much as possible.  It only takes a few hundred votes to take way Trump's win in 2016.  Yeah, nominating someone not historically unpopular with 20+ years of political baggage will probably get you there....but shouldn't they use every weapon in their arsenal?

Re: Do we miss Informant?

As much as I would like Trump out of office, I have to ask: what exactly can he be charged with to oust him? Collusion with Russia? If this loudmouth worked with Russia, he'd never shut up about it. Obstruction of justice? He failed at every turn.

Numerous experts say that Trump's intent to obstruct is established through ordering subordinates to shut down the Mueller investigation only for his staff to ignore him or refuse. And that it's solid grounds for impeachment. To me (and to Pelosi, I think), it would be very easy for the Trump administration to spin that as Trump expressing wishes that he knew would not be carried out. To me, impeachment is currently a dead end.

But, to go back to Informant, there's something about Informant that always deeply disappointed me: the way he presented himself as an expert on Superman (even though he hadn't read much of his comic), an expert on race relations (based on Google Maps), an expert on the concept of toxic feminism (based on watching one men's rights activist documentary), an expert on electoral fraud (based on some videos made by a scam artist filmmaker), an expert on box office earnings and profits (his fixation on the DCEU's supposed success) and any subject that came up.

The truth is: that attitude is best reserved for writing fiction. When Informant put it to use for SLIDERS (2013) and his novels and his "29.7," it presented a version of Informant who had concerns and worries and an overarching view of how the world worked, but laid out as theory rather than objective reality that could not be questioned or debunked. I like to think that the Informant who wrote fiction was the real Informant. That the arrogant lecturer was an outer shell of insecurity obscuring the man within.

Therefore: I must note that I never went to law school (to the great disappointment of my parents). I am only a speculating bystander and am in no way qualified to dissect the legal challenges.

I once wrote a lengthy psychoanalysis of Jerry O'Connell based on one article in MEN'S FITNESS and another on Brandon Routh based on one podcast interview. I could be wrong about Jerry and Routh and impeachment. As wrong as the time I thought Robert Floyd would enjoy reading a screenplay in which Quinn is suffering smoke inhalation and hallucinates Mallory. As wrong as the time I thought Transmodiar would let me post a SLIDERS REBORN script on EarthPrime.com where Quinn confronts Trump. As wrong as the time I accidentally uploaded nude photos of Kari Wuhrer to the Sci-Fi Channel server.

TRANSMODIAR: "Why the fuck did you do that?"

IREACTIONS: "It was an accident. One of their links to publicity photos was broken. I thought I could fix it, but I dragged and dropped the wrong file to their FTP server."

TRANSMODIAR: "So they sued the shit out of you, naturally?"

IREACTIONS: "No. Temporal Flux gave me the contact information for the web design firm."

TRANSMODIAR: "Of course he did."

IREACTIONS: "And I got in touch and they fixed it."

TRANSMODIAR: "What were you doing with naked pictures of Kari anyway?"

IREACTIONS: "They were for art."

TRANSMODIAR: "Surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre they were."

IREACTIONS: "I was making graphics for the Infinite Slides website and adding Kari to photos of the original four. And in the movie VIVID, Kari had the same red hair as Maggie in Season 3 and there were shots where she was looking at the camera with a neutral expression to pose for her painter boyfriend."

TRANSMODIAR: "You made those banners? Those sucked."

IREACTIONS: "I was 13."

TRANSMODIAR: "You know, when I asked you why you had naked photos of Kari, all you had to say is that you were 13."

IREACTIONS: "They. Were. For. Art."

I'm getting off track. My point is that I could be wrong wrong wrong and they really were for art.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

ireactions wrote:

As much as I would like Trump out of office, I have to ask: what exactly can he be charged with to oust him? Collusion with Russia? If this loudmouth worked with Russia, he'd never shut up about it. Obstruction of justice? He failed at every turn.

Numerous experts say that Trump's intent to obstruct is established through ordering subordinates to shut down the Mueller investigation only for his staff to ignore him or refuse. And that it's solid grounds for impeachment. To me (and to Pelosi, I think), it would be very easy for the Trump administration to spin that as Trump expressing wishes that he knew would not be carried out. To me, impeachment is currently a dead end.

Yeah, I don't think impeachment and removal is possible.  My favorite idea is to go through the motions and then not call for a vote.  I'm for impeachment in the same way that I'm in favor of a doctor doing one last round of CPR on a man he knows is probably dead.  Because it's the right thing to do.  Because there's that small chance that it could work.  Because you never know.

Would it be a waste of Democratic political capital?  I don't know.  It wouldn't affect Biden or Mayor Pete or Beto or Julian Castro or DeBlasio or anyone not currently in Congress.  If you don't bother with a Senate vote, it wouldn't affect Warren or Bernie or Booker or Gillabrand or Kamala or Klobuchar.  The only person who might be involved in a House impeachment proceeding is Tulsi, and maybe you let her campaign and let the other Democratic Reps do it.  For Democratic people in the House, I'd suspect that the impeachment proceedings would *be* their campaign.  "Did my House rep participate in the impeachment proceedings?  Were they big players?  Cool, they have my vote"

I'd rather them do that than keep wasting 9/11 first responders' time.  Or work on legislation that McConnell will kill.

Would it be a dog and pony show?  Would there be evidence to get any sort of conviction?  I don't know.  I'd just feel a lot better about my government if a president tried really hard to break the law, and even if he failed because he's an idiot, that the checks and balances at least tried to make him pay for it.

Maybe Pelosi is right.  I just don't really see the downside.  I don't think you lose any votes.  I'd love to present a ton of evidence and make Republicans (either in the House or the Senate) formally side with Trump in history.  And maybe you disrupt some republican campaigns or Trump's campaign by getting them crazy off topic for the most part.

Just like I've gotten us crazy off topic smile

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I don't know if we're really off topic. I won't have my essay on Informant's "29.7" ready until the end of the weekend.

Impeachment does not strike me as something you can run in the background. Once the Democratic Party rings that bell, it's going to be all impeachment at all hours on all days and I don't know how practical or worthwhile that is for a foregone conclusion of defeat. It could be a course of action from which there is no retreat, no shifting attention. And I recently made a terrible mistake in that area.

I'm flailing a bit, desperately trying to think of THREE MORE THINGS that could count as one of Informant's top ten contributions to SLIDERS. But I'm in too deep to turn back now. And I'll probably end up folding this thread into Informant's political thread. And reposting Informant's top ten contributions in a separate thread. If I can think of ten. Currently, I've only been able to think of six. I don't know why I said ten. A person who is never wrong would have said five things. Damn it.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Well, I'm certainly not an expert.  If impeachment hinders a Democratic push for the White House against Trump or even Pence, it doesn't make sense.  I just have read a lot on it and loved John Oliver's analysis.

I think I trust Pelosi more than some.  I don't buy the "I'm waiting so that we can send him to jail" argument because I think you can have that cake and eat it too.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Also, impeachment doesn't send someone to jail.  It doesn't even require a criminal act.  Pence would surely pardon him anyway, like Ford did for Nixon.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

No, Pelosi has argued that she doesn't want to impeach because she wants to wait until he's no longer President so that he can be indicted.  The Mueller report said that they can't indict him on criminal charges because he's president.  So if he's not president, they could use those charges to send him to prison.  If a Democrat is in office, he wouldn't get a pardon.

With Trump, Pence could pardon, but that only works on Federal charges.  He could still go to jail from the charges in the state of New York.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Day Six: Informant on Reasoning and Metaphor. ("29.7" will have to wait.)
 
Informant was a huge fan of FRINGE, an X-FILES-esque paranormal procedural where the bizarre events were revealed to be the result of a SLIDERS-esque machine that opened a gateway between parallel worlds. Informant is also a fan of SUPERNATURAL, an X-FILES-esque procedural that determinedly renders its reality in terms of magic. And Informant watched THE X-FILES revival and expressed dismay at how from week to week, Mulder and Scully seemed to ricochet between a science fiction universe of alien technology and a magical universe of ghosts and demons. The former presented technology that was beyond human creation but not beyond understanding; the latter declared that humans were at the mercy of otherworldly forces that defied all rationality.

I remarked that THE X-FILES' showrunner, Chris Carter, should be admired for letting each writer write their own version of the show and Informant rebuked Carter for this, saying it led to a schizophrenic, incoherent series. Informant conceded that all the writers Carter permitted free rein had gone on to become successful showrunners themselves (Tim Minear, Vince Gilligan, Glen Morgan, James Wong, Darin Morgan, John Shiban, Frank Spotnitz, Howard Gordon, Jeffrey Bell and more), but that Carter's job had been to find a coherent and consistent vision for THE X-FILES, not to running a training camp for the writers of the future.

Interestingly, this is also a problem in SLIDERS. Seasons 1 - 2 featured parallel Earth settings created by choosing a specific point in history and choosing a different outcome, then extrapolating what the present day would be as a result. Season 3 featured Dream Masters, man-made twisters, dragons, radioactive slugs, mutants, pancake parasites, super-intelligent snakes, vampires and animal-human hybrids and humans flying with angelic wings -- none of which were in any way justified by an alternate history and the supposed scientific rigour of SLIDERS.

At one point, I was rewatching FRINGE with a friend, Val, and Val remarked that the 'science' of FRINGE was essentially magic presented in technobabble terms. She seized upon the episode where in one universe, a widow's grief for her dead husband rips apart reality to reach a parallel universe where the husband lives and mourns the death of his wife. 

Val pointed out that there was no rationale, even within the show, for how human emotions could affect gravimetric or vibrational constants to alter the underlying fabric of reality; that there had to be some physical catalyst and feeling sad over a dead spouse didn't count. She said it wasn't science fiction; it was magical-realism masquerading as sci-fi through inadequate technobabble.

And Informant had a very interesting response. Informant pointed out that all reality is perceptual and fundamentally subjective, and that until we open gateways to parallel worlds in our world, we don't actually know whether or not our emotional states can affect reality. That FRINGE with that episode had featured a "soft spot" where reality was malleable and that the subjective perception of reality could potentially determine reality. Was that likely? Informant didn't know. But was it impossible? We could hardly rule it out.

It's at this point that I began pondering the Season 3 monsters and how they could be explained within the SLIDERS reality of Seasons 1 - 2. I had some thoughts about how the monsters were Kromagg experiments in genetic engineering, but when writing the SLIDERS REBORN scripts, I decided to go with Informant's idea of a damaged, 'softened' reality becoming subject to alteration based on perception and brought the Season 3 monsters in for the sixth scripts as representations of mental illness with the monsters originating from realities where the laws of science had been twisted and mutilated.

... I don't feel I really captured Informant's mentality, however. In the novella that offers a broad explanation for all the oddities of Seasons 1 - 5, Quinn explains that when the Geiger experiment ripped him out of reality, it removed every double and caused what the Doctor would call a "total event collapse" in spacetime due to so many of Quinn's doubles being entangled with the histories of parallel Earths. Reality cracked and began to manifest anomalies such as monsters and magic, the symptoms of a dying multiverse. 

Despite Quinn being in a mental asylum to deliver this exposition, I don't feel the monsters really represented mental health problems. And in the SLIDERS REBORN finale, I again didn't feel the monsters represented perceptual subjectivity; they were supervillains for the sliders to trounce in superhero action sequences and it was just absurd. I decided to turn into the swerve by playing it all for laughs by having the sliders use everyday items in bulk and delivered via vortex to defeat the robots and the dinosaurs and what-not, but I felt that I had wandered very far from Informant's original point and I never found a way to get back.

But anyway. I still think that the Season 3 monster sequences are a lot of fun and I really appreciate Informant's thinking in this area.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

That's interesting.  I feel like I'm somewhere in the middle.  I think, on shows like the X-Files, they need to have some sort of "rules" - on Supernatural, I believe they have some semblance of rules - essentially that there are no rules.  Heaven and Hell exist.  Other gods exist.  Fairy tales exist.  Magic exists.  All the fables and stories are true.  Our world is real.  Scooby Doo is real.

At the same time, I feel like aliens are too far on Supernatural.  If aliens showed up, I feel like that would be weird.  It wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me, but I feel like it'd be weird.

I do feel like the X-Files liked to tow that line.  Simply having Scully on the show implied that there needed to be a scientific explanation for everything, but they also liked to challenge her with things that she couldn't explain.  Same with Fringe.  It's a realistic, technobabble X-Files, but they liked to push the boundaries of the explainable there.

With Sliders, I think the rules sorta get thrown out because "anything is possible."  Even with Quinn or Arturo occasionally playing Scully, they didn't really try to understand how there could be a universe where the rules of physics don't really apply.  As if there's some sort of branching possibility with physics being "created."

For me, I know what I would do.  It's what I did for Earth 214 (I think), and it's what I've suggested to a lot of people who've asked me about fanfics - and that's "try to think through each world."  The most fun part for me about writing Sliders is trying to put real thought into each world you come up with.  If you want to write a story about the French ruling America, come up with how it would work and follow through.  Maybe Napoleon was never defeated.  Then what.  Then what.  And I'd try to have something in the episode that shows that we did the research and put thought into it.

Where this gets me into trouble with most people is that doubles probably shouldn't exist.  This definitely came up after E214, but if I were doing Sliders, doubles would either be very rare or completely absent.  Fraternal doubles should exist, but if we're talking about a world that separated in 1776, it's very unlikely that every human that was born from 1776 on looked exactly the same.  And if one person looks different, then every subsequent birth should be different.  If Quinn's grandparents look different from Earth Prime to British Earth, then Quinn's parents would look different and then Quinn would look different.  And that's if Quinn's parents ever meet in the first place.

If you want doubles, you sorta have to write into the rules that "certain people are supposed to exist the way they are."  So there's some sort of predestination where Quinn always looks like Jerry O'Connell.  But then you can't play around with Robert Floyd as Quinn or Logan St. Claire.  Because if the universe always makes Michael's sperm and Amanda's egg magically meet to create Quinn, then you have to stick to that.

And hell, if you want to get really deep into the deep end, there's the idea that human beings are unlikely.  Life was unlikely.  If you actually looked at infinite Earths, I'd think the vast majority of them wouldn't have life at all.  And then there'd be a vast majority of Earths with life that doesn't look anything like the life we know.  Language would vary from Earth to Earth dramatically.  In that case, Sliders would resemble Star Trek more than Sliders.

To explain this, someone here had a great analogy.  Think of sliding as a vehicle in a town.  Every house is a different parallel Earth.  You can very easily travel from house to house, and the people in every house might look different but they'd typically have a lot in common.  They'd speak the same language.  Go to the same schools.  Shop at the same stores.  One family would be pretty recognizable to another one.  You'd need a more powerful timer to go to a different part of the city.  It's still be recognizable - the people would still be citizens of the same town but the kids would go to a different school, the people might work somewhere else.  They'll shop somewhere else.

You'd need a more powerful timer to get to a different part of the state/region/country.  A lot of things would be different but still very recognizable.  But the further you get, the bigger the differences would be.  Dialect.  Language.  Nationalities.  Ethnicities.  Politics. 

The "rules" you establish could simply be that Quinn's timer is a scooter.  It can go from house to house, and with enough work, it might be able to get around a city.  The city is a place where Humans are dominant, the languages are recognizable (not always English but always an Earth Prime language), and history is familiar enough.  The worlds where life evolved into something unrecognizable, where language isn't decipherable, where the air isn't breathable, where the worlds are more alien than anything....aren't accessible to Quinn.  Maybe they aren't accessible to any Slider.

That's how I'd make it work.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

You could make that partly intentional.  Quinn isn't interested in going to worlds that can't support life, so he programmed his timer to only open wormholes to places within a certain range of temperature, radiation, atmosphere, etc.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

As a child, I had nightmares that the vortex would materialize in an aquarium tank at a zoo and the sliders would drown or be eaten by hostile marine life.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I'll play Informant for a brief second and show outrage for yet another redhead being race-swapped to a black person.

I honestly don't care who plays Ariel because I'll never see that movie, but it is strange that this seems to be a legitimate trend that I know bothered Informant.  Why is it always redhead to black seemingly?

Re: Do we miss Informant?

She'll probably wear a red wig anyway

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Yeah, I think it's fine.  It's just weird to look at what's become a definite trend.  From Wally West (and by association, Iris) to Jimmy Olsen to Mary Jane Watson to Hawkgirl to Annie (Lil Orphan Annie) to Ariel, it seems like redheaded characters get race-swapped more than anyone else.  It isn't intentional, but it's happened enough times that it's a crazy coincidence.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I always thought it was hilarious that any time a black man is shot to death by a police officer, Informant is always staunchly in the police officer's corner and firmly declares that no examples of racism raised by anyone were actually racist and also, the person raising the issue is racist or in some way hypocritical and therefore not entitled to protest mistreatment -- but if a traditionally redheaded character is suddenly black, Informant feels stigmatized and threatened. Oh God, now I'm still typing as though he's actually here.

I do think it is absurd to act as though redheads are the victims of systemic discrimination and oppression ingrained into the very fabric of Western society as a white-centric construct. Redheads are not targeted by law enforcement as immediately guilty criminals, are not incarcerated in greater percentages than other demographics, are not stereotyped as criminals or illiterates, are not legislated against to deny them voting rights, and generally enjoy all the privileges of being Caucasian. People with red hair are not facing institutional injustice at every level of society.

ireactions cannot stress enough in the name of the whisper, the vortex roar and the electric hiss of the timer that his opinions do not represent the consensus of Sliders.TV.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

The most common race swapping seems like Asian to white, with Latino to white and black to white close behind

Re: Do we miss Informant?

pilight wrote:

The most common race swapping seems like Asian to white, with Latino to white and black to white close behind

Yeah, I can't argue with that.  And I'd like to stress again that I don't care either way.  I'm just speaking for Informant and pointing out that it's weird that there seems to be a trend of only race-swapping redheaded white characters.

I don't think redheaded people are being discriminated against in any way.  it's just weird that several companies were like "we hav to make someone black.  Is there a redhead we can switch?"

Re: Do we miss Informant?

ireactions wrote:

I do think it is absurd to act as though redheads are the victims of systemic discrimination and oppression ingrained into the very fabric of Western society as a white-centric construct. Redheads are not targeted by law enforcement as immediately guilty criminals, are not incarcerated in greater percentages than other demographics, are not stereotyped as criminals or illiterates, are not legislated against to deny them voting rights, and generally enjoy all the privileges of being Caucasian. People with red hair are not facing institutional injustice at every level of society.

That's because everyone knows redheads are going extinct and don't want to worry their pretty little heads about a dying race of fiery-tempered gingers.

Also, there have never been black mermaids. Immersion ruined!

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Transmodiar wrote:

Also, there have never been black mermaids. Immersion ruined!

That's the weirdest part.  Traditionally, mermaids were all black.

Mermaids were originally based on the West African Nommos and South African Eseljagtspoort water spirits.  Mami Wata and Mama Dlo are both African fish tailed goddesses with traditions that predate European civilization.  All of them are universally depicted as dark skinned.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Well, mermaids have roots in a lot of places.  Mesopotamia, Europe, Africa, Asia.  I don't know which ones predates the others, but the idea of "half human, half fish and lives underwater" is about as original as "flood that covered the earth" or "son of god" - which exists in just about every civilization ever. 

The weird part of the Little Mermaid part is that it's based on a Dutch story (so you'd think lighter skin) but the story takes place in the Caribbean (so you'd think darker skin)

Of course, mermaids aren't real so it doesn't matter.  They don't have exposure to the Sun so the biological reason for skin color in humans is irrelevant.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

I started to consider whether I should be outraged, and then I remembered that I’m not going to watch this movie regardless of who’s in it.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

This is my number one problem with politics and the worst thing that social media has done for the world.

With social media, you can find a water cooler with people who think exactly like you.  Not only that, you can find a water cooler for any opinion.  You can wish people who don't agree with you into the water cooler cornfield.  So you can start conversations with your second level opinion and get to third/fourth/fifth/Nth level opinions.

When that happens, you start to forget about the guy you wished into the cornfield who disagreed with you.  You also forget about the guy you wished into the cornfield that agreed with you but not all the way.  You didn't need his 99% agreement in your conversation because it made you question your beliefs and that felt weird and uncomfortable.  Only 100% agreement at this water cooler..

Recently, Joss Whedon expressed anger towards Donald Trump's corruption, love affair for fascism and criminality. Informant responded to Whedon and told Whedon to seek psychiatric help and get medication, equating criticism of the US president with mental illness.

Speaking only for myself and as someone whose opinions in no way represent the views this community, I am exiting the Informant business and his list of contributions to SLIDERS can stop at six items.

Whedon should absolutely get psychiatric help: he is a serial cheater and liar who gave his wife post-traumatic stress with his numerous affairs with actresses and fans with no concern for what his wife might have to face medically when having intercourse with a husband who was hiding his extramarital relationships. He has serious issues with power and women, describing how he viewed his cast, his employees, as powerful and needy women with whom he could have sex. He presented himself as a feminist in a monogamous marriage when he was using power imbalances in sexual relationships and cheating on his wife.

However, it is not a symptom of mental illness to observe that Trump hires business partners and family members into government positions. Nor is it an indication of psychological impairment for anyone to note that Trump engaged in obvious obstruction of justice, willfully delivers falsehoods to the American public, wrought havoc with America's diplomatic and economic relationships via random threats and sanctions and seeks support from white supremacists, Nazis and dictators. That is simply observation of obvious facts.

Observing facts that do not serve a flatteringly right-wing conservative narrative is not mental illness.

To equate not being conservative with mental illness is rhetoric designed to intimidate. To take a stigma for mental illness and extend that stigma towards not being part of Informant's preferred water cooler circle. To allow Informant to dismiss information that runs against his biases as mental illness. To favour Informant's biases of choice and present his personal politics as the societal default, the community consensus, and the perfect picture of mental health.

It's one thing to have conservative views, but something else entirely to claim that anyone who holds different views is suffering from a mental disorder. That is abuse and harassment.

Informant was not permitted to make such claims here without being contradicted at every turn and warned off doing so again. That's clearly why he left and I've decided that I'm glad he left.

I don't miss Informant. I am glad that he's gone. And I am finished with my list of his contributions. I've highlighted six, I'm not giving him anymore. Unless I change my mind, but right now, I have simply had enough. Sliders.TV may disagree. Sliders.TV may welcome him back. That's absolutely fine. This is NOT my message board. I am not the ruler of this community, I am its servant. Any nominal response I posted to Informant's political screeds was strictly to serve and not to debate.

I can only speak for myself and speaking for myself, I am done with Informant.

ireactions OUT.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

ireactions BACK IN.

I've made a mistake. A lot of mistakes, actually. I have upset Transmodiar with a failure to respect his boundaries. I revised my entire personality in response to the example set in Brian Wood's comic books only to discover that Wood himself is exactly the sort of women-harassing creeper I chose not to be. I have riddled my fingers with shards of aluminium mesh installing insect-blocking screens on the outside air vents. I have accidentally shot myself in the face with bug spray repeatedly and inhaled a lot of insecticide. I drank coffee after 1 PM. I have exercised poor judgement.

But as I sat in the hospital waiting room, I thought of how Temporal Flux once said that when crashing and burning hard, when you hurt your friends and the people you love, the best thing to do is treat a new day as a fresh start and do something positive, something good, something that offers light and goodwill and high regard for humanity. I am going to make some homemade, sugarless ice cream.

I'm also going to finish Informant's Top Ten Contributions to SLIDERS and I've chosen the last four items. Day Seven will be Informant's SLIDERS screenplay, "29.7." Day Eight will be his SMALLVILLE screenplay, "Alternate." Day Nine will be his BUFFY screenplays. And Day Ten will be a reflection on his gifts to this community. Whatever Informant may have done, he's my friend and I have to find it in myself to forgive him and honour him.

Day Seven of Informant's Top Ten Contributions to SLIDERS: 29.7
Informant wrote a SLIDERS screenplay, "29.7." It's good.
http://someplacethatiselse.net/shared/g … s/29.7.pdf

Most Season 6 stories focus on reversing Seasons 3 - 5 plot by plot, character by character with Rembrandt maintained only as a point of view audience surrogate, witnessing the Kromaggs' defeat and the right Professor return but having little to no agency. "29.7" declines to address any of that and simply shows Rembrandt a period of time after "The Seer." We all want to know what happened after "The Seer" and Informant suggests that what happened next was worse than any death or torment or body horror. Informant thinks that what happened next was nothing.

Rembrandt's tending bar on a parallel world, living a life of quiet anonymity, bereft and pained after having lost all his friends and his entire world. He wants nothing but to be left alone, only to quietly realize that he never will be. As a visitor, he is perpetually a random factor interrupting the closed system of any parallel world he lands on, wreaking havoc by his mere existence. As a slider, Rembrandt is perpetually a target for any passing interdimensional wanderer who expects Rembrandt to have knowledge, experience, ability, advice.

But Rembrandt has nothing. He isn't a scientist. He isn't a soldier. He's a soul singer and a passable bartender. That's it. That's all.

Most writers who handle Rembrandt attempt to evoke Cleavant Derricks, find one-liners, find the laughs. Rembrandt isn't a scientist, so they find him one; he's not an ideal action hero, so they pair him up with someone who is. He isn't a science fiction hero, so writers contrive various means to throw him back into sliding and adventure and show that he has the right stuff to handle it and is the greatest slider of all thanks to his placid calm under fire after having seen and done everything and lost everyone and still survived.

Informant refuses to do any of that, instead showing the life of quiet desperation to which this poor human being has been condemned. He works a menial job and has no hope of reclaiming the wonder of sliding. He doesn't have Quinn's scientific training to maintain a sliding device; he doesn't have the Professor's historical knowledge; and he doesn't even have Wade's spirit of adventure.

Informant asks: if you strip away Cleavant's humour, rip away his supporting cast -- if you subtract Maggie and even Mallory and Diana from Rembrandt, what is left?

Informant offers an incredibly mundane yet painfully bleak picture of Rembrandt after "The Seer." He has no world worth returning to, no friends he hasn't lost, no talent for nomadic survival and not even a timer. Informant finds a twisted and painful irony that even though Rembrandt had a varied and peculiar life before sliding, sliding was the point at which Rembrandt had the most impact, saw the most, made the greatest difference he ever would to every and any world. It is the most important and meaningful period of his life. But Rembrandt is incapable of being a slider on his own.

There is a horrific savagery to what Quinn unwittingly did to Rembrandt, plucking him from his life, not even allowing him the peace of dying with his friends and family in the Kromagg invasion, and Informant shows all that in his quiet, low-key, FRINGE-style writing.

"29.7" is a subtly disturbing picture of Rembrandt, declining the high fantasy of other SLIDERS fanfic writers, eschewing any sense of sliding as an infinite adventure, refusing to portray Rembrandt as a capable survivalist who can handle any situation or find some help from someone who can. Instead, Informant presents Rembrandt as an innocent, hapless, helpless civilian who might not die but can never truly live again after the events of Seasons 3 - 5.

I want to deny this vision of Rembrandt. I want to protest. To say that this isn't how Rembrandt's story would go, that his adventures would continue, that he would find a way, but Informant's writing holds weight and is extremely convincing.

In an infinite multiverse where every SLIDERS fanfic is canon, I have little choice but to admit that Informant's Rembrandt exists among them and is one troubling picture of how he might have ended up.

Next: Smallville: "Alternate"

Re: Do we miss Informant?

ireactions wrote:

I have upset Transmodiar with a failure to respect his boundaries.

No, you haven't. You didn't even need to delete what you posted in the other thread; I just wasn't about to engage you on your points because you were wrong. smile Add it back in; you clearly put a lot of time into it!

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Do we miss Informant?

You said you didn't want your writing process discussed here, so I deleted the post. I won't put it back. I CAN'T put it back. I wrote the whole thing while dizzy from insecticide fumes and hiding out in the one unsprayed area of my apartment and trying to destress by writing about SLIDERS. I can't remember what I wrote; you know how I write in what you call "a fugue state." The only way to put it back: I'd have to poison myself again and then write it all again.

When I went to the hospital, they made me drink some milk, made sure I'd wiped down my skin, and I thought about how we're inevitably going to upset our friends in ways great and small, and while circumstance and luck may maintain a stable status quo, those don't replace preventative and corrective action. And maybe we can't do anything for the people we've mistreated as what's done is done, but we can avoid repeating the same mistakes with others.

Which brings us to:

Day Eight of Informant: Smallville - "Alternate"

Informant wrote another screenplay, not for SLIDERS, but for SMALLVILLE. SMALLVILLE often pastiched other TV shows and movies (THE MATRIX, RESIDENT EVIL), and Informant scripted a SMALLVILLE pastiche of SLIDERS called "Alternate," set in Season 6 of SMALLVILLE. http://someplacethatiselse.net/shared/g … rnateB.HTM

Season 6 of SMALLVILLE is when Clark and Lex are no longer friends; Clark alienated Lex with his obvious deceits and avoidance and distance, Lex's isolation and loneliness has driven him to extremes like having the Kents attacked to try to force Clark to use his powers (except Clark had lost his powers that week and got them back later). Meanwhile, Chloe is in on Clark's secret.

In "Alternate," Clark discovers that Lex is attempting to replicate teleportation powers from one of the Kryptonite mutants. Clark interferes in the experiment and is shunted into a parallel universe.

There, Clark discovers a Lex-double living on the Kent farm. In this universe, Clark left Smallville at the end of Season 2 and never returned. Lex-B, saddened by Clark's disappearance, had a nervous breakdown, lost his fortune and is now running the Kent farm. This alternate Lex is a friend. But on this world, Chloe is the one who became warped and twisted by Lionel Luthor is now using her journalism powers to serve Lionel's empire. Clark is forced to confront that in his life, his friends will always turn against him; it was always going to be either Lex or Chloe.

With "Alternate," Informant taps into an interesting and underexplored aspect of SLIDERS: the idea of branching points in parallel universe as the result not of choices, but of chance. Chance is the only variable on display; the SMALLVILLE narrative is defined by inevitabilities. Clark was always going to become a superhero whose childhood friend would become his sworn enemy. "Alternate" says that the only difference across two parallel realities was who that enemy might turn out to be.

Informant, arguably a more cynical and defeatist writer than most SLIDERS writers, has "Alternate" present the multiverse as an inexorable march to a preordained outcome even if the roles might be redistributed in different realities. If Lex doesn't meet his fate to be the villain, Chloe will assume that path.

On some level, that's entirely fair. No matter where SMALLVILLE went, its ending was ironclad.

But Informant has Clark ultimately win the alternate Chloe back and convinces her to help the alternate Lex topple Lionel Luthor. Informant, in the same story, offers a very small, very minute flicker of hope: that perhaps reality isn't immutable. Perhaps the problem is Clark's behaviour: his withdrawal, distance, deceit and lies alienated Lex Luthor on his world and alienated Chloe Sullivan on another. It's possible, Informant hints, that the inevitability is in the outcome of Clark's patterns rather than in the multiverse.

It is a very small spark of solace and not one that Informant sustains. We may have choices available to us. We may be able to look at ourselves and see our flaws and choose to change. But "Alternate" notes that the SMALLVILLE universe is clearly not designed to accommodate any openness or free will.

SMALLVILLE demands that Lex end the series as a villain even if the actor and the individual episodes diverge from that destination; SMALLVILLE insists that Clark Kent wear a skintight costume even when the character clearly prefers different garments.

SMALLVILLE and SLIDERS are closely linked, but not obviously so. SLIDERS was sabotaged by FOX network executive Peter Roth firing John Rhys-Davies; Roth later shepherded SMALLVILLE to the WB. Clark Kent and Quinn Mallory are both geekboys played by athletes. They even dress the same in flannel and jeans and have the same hair. Both shows are about an isolated young man reaching out into the world and tapping into his boundless potential. SLIDERS offered its characters infinite possibilities (and subjected them to all the worst ones).

"Alternate" shows that SMALLVILLE does not have infinite possibilities. "Alternate" highlights how SMALLVILLE is a show where all the characters have outcomes that are set. Even in a parallel world, fate is merely reassigned, never changed. SMALLVILLE is in many ways a prison for its cast, a jail cell from which even sliding offers no escape.

As with "29.7," Informant's story offers implications that are troubling and unwelcome, but his conclusions are difficult to dispute and deeply disturbing in how they reflect a simple assessment of circumstances as they are instead of how we would wish for them to be.

Next: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Day Nine: Informant's Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In 2003, Informant wrote a virtual eighth season of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER in the form of 28 (!!!) PDF screenplays. http://someplacethatiselse.net/newandfa … eason8.htm

For so long, I thought that Tracy Torme was the first one to really seize upon the screenplay, not as a shooting script to be read (like the MILLENNIUM fanfic scripts), but as a narrative format. A hybrid medium to take the immediacy of scripts and the descriptive elements of novels and combine them.

It would have been unlike the prose of most fan fiction projects. It's what Torme wanted to do for his 2009 project: to write a 'fanfic,' a PDF document that would serve as a SLIDERS series finale. He never finished it, but his 2009 story was set in 1996, it would have had the sliders going backwards through the interdimension to revisit every Earth they'd ever seen -- so he was clearly thinking in terms of a novel unrestricted by any budget or any questions of actor availability.

I followed in Torme's aborted footsteps with my own PDF screenplays and made it to the end. I thought I was the first to follow through.

I was mistaken. When working on Informant's Top Ten list here, I discovered that Informant got into PDF scripts first with writing 22 scripts for his eighth season of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER followed by a six part mini-series finale. And while I have quibbles with Informant's narrative choices and his perception of the characters, Informant capitalized on the screenplay medium magnificently. Informant laid out a future for zero budget SLIDERS projects and didn't even know it.

Scripts are generally meant to be shot, not read. In TV production, my SLIDERS REBORN scripts would be excessive because I wrote in all the acting whereas real scripts leave that to the actors.

Informant aimed closer to a real script than a narrative one for his BUFFY series, but within it, he offered characterization and individuality. Characters are defined by their actions and the content of their words rather than speech patterns and mannerisms. Informant's Buffy doesn't sound like Sarah Michelle Gellar, but she sounds like a version Buffy made for the page. Informant created an approximation of Joss Whedon's style although emphasizing Whedon's horror over Whedon's comedy. Informant is not as funny as Joss Whedon (but who is?).

However, Informant is more disturbing and frightening than Whedon. His writing summons the visual atmosphere and pacing of the show and on top of this darker representation of BUFFY, Informant page-friendly versions of the cast.

Showing further restraint, Informant also restricted his own mental budget, insisting on staying within the limitations of what might be filmed and aired on a CW or UPN budget.

Most fanfic writers who dive into the screenplay as fan fiction medium will go to one of two extremes. Like the MILLENNIUM fanfic screenplays, they will focus on creating a document for a film production that doesn't exist, creating work that seems to very plausibly be a scriptbook for a season of the show but isn't as captivating to read as a novel or a comic book. The MILLENNIUM screenplays seem more like prestige collectables. They demand to be printed and bound and flipped through -- while watching the actual filmed and aired episodes if they actually existed.

At the other end of the spectrum is the BUFFY comic books which show writers enamoured with capturing the voices of the actors and letting that serve as their primary force of verisimilitude and making no effort to recreate the restrictions of the TV show. In the BUFFY comic books, Buffy battles armies of vampires on the streets of Japan, engages in orbital warfare against the US Air Force, travels to a BLADE RUNNER-esque future and explores the city. This would have been well beyond the WB and UPN budget.

Informant refuses such excess. Informant's BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is scaled to a TV show: it's girls with sharp sticks facing stuntmen in makeup. The BUFFY comics got away with its extravagances because the voices of the characters sounded so genuine that the insanity around them seemed plausible by association.

In contrast, Informant doesn't seek to pastiche the actors; instead, he tries to recreate how BUFFY made him feel and presents a low key indie horror film with the characters being less exaggerated than the comics or the TV show and more suited to Informant's grounded writing.

Informant didn't write Cleavant Derricks in "29.7," he wrote a troubled, bereft man without agency whose name was Rembrandt Brown. And Informant doesn't write Sarah Michelle Gellar or Nicholas Brendon or Anthony Stewart Head; he writes two young people named Buffy and Xander who have had to incrementally rise to face each threat each year, and he writes a punk-turned-librarian named Rupert Giles who has gotten stuck in his librarian persona.

The thing that's striking about Informant's writing: it's very much Informant writing for himself, writing the product he wanted to see, giving himself the closure he sought out -- while presenting a readable, professional, produceable, filmable product that could actually be made as a TV show.

Informant's aesthetic is completely separate from most fanfic writers who, being unaccountable to accountants, write as though computer generated imagery and location filming are free. The MILLENNIUM scripts are more of a technical document and I've never written a single SLIDERS script that could be filmed as "Slide Effects" called for a 2011 SLIDERS cast to play their 1996 ages and SLIDERS REBORN uses the actors at their current ages but would cost as much as AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

Informant's scripts provide a good reading experience and you could imagine them being filmed and aired.

And despite BUFFY having a canonical eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh season in comic books, Informant's scripts still stand. He confessed that he didn't care for the widescreen summer blockbuster style of BUFFY and vastly preferred a smaller scale for the character.

The comics having official sanction and Informant's scripts have none. As far as the world is concerned, the BUFFY comic books are the real continuation and no one really thinks about Informant's writing.

Like BUFFY, SLIDERS has had many post-show stories and varying paths. Unlike BUFFY, SLIDERS exists in a peculiar situation where technically, all SLIDERS stories are canonical, all fanfic is part of the show and exists on the same multidimensional axis as the aired episodes, and we ourselves exist within the continuity of the SLIDERS television show.

And yet, Informant's scripts never needed canonicity or pastiches of the actors to justify their own existence. He wrote them because he wanted something he would like to read and that was reason enough. He wasn't the only word, he wasn't the only game in town. He just liked BUFFY and wanted to try writing INFORMANT'S BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and he proved that the PDF screenplay format was a good hybrid of the language of a TV series and the format that a zero budget fan production could produce.

BUFFY was a significantly easier prospect for virtual fan seasons than SLIDERS, but with format and style, Informant proved himself one step ahead of the rest.

Next: Day 10 - Last Man Standing

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Day Ten of Informant: Last Man Standing
Well, Informant was one of the last men standing. He has left the SLIDERS community.

This, however, doesn't change the fact that Informant also stayed.

Tolerance: Slider_Quinn21 once remarked that we SLIDERS fans had astonishing staying power. We stayed when the show moved from the indie film look of Vancouver to the sun-drenched Los Angeles backlots and the dimly lit studio interiors.

We stayed when the wise father figure of the sliders was shot and blown up after getting his brain sucked out. We stayed when the star of the show descended into hackwork performances and forced his talentless brother into a leading role. We stayed when the same star then abandoned the show. We stayed when Wade Welles was turned into the fortune telling machine from the movie BIG.

Post-Show: Informant stayed in the SLIDERS community even when the show ended on a cliffhanger that would never be resolved. He stayed when the Sci-Fi Channel shut down the forum and when discussion moved to EarthPrime.com and Sliders.tv. He stayed despite Sliders.tv experiencing service outage after service outage.

Accomplished: And I ultimately don't take issue with how Informant left because what matters more is that time for which he chose to stay. During that time, much like Mulder and Scully by Season 7 of THE X-FILES, he'd accomplished everything he wanted and the only 'failures' he had were in areas that had nothing to do with SLIDERS.

The One Who Stayed: My SLIDERS REBORN scripts have a running joke from Quinn: he frequently reminds Wade and Arturo that Rembrandt's the only one of the original four who didn't come back to life because Rembrandt was the only one who wasn't so incompetent as to die. By this simple metric, Quinn notes that Rembrandt's survival makes him the most reliable, competent and capable member of the team. Rembrandt isn't always right; Rembrandt doesn't know everything, but he stayed (alive) and that counts for something.

Touchstone: Informant stuck around and kept posting long after most people had moved on because SLIDERS was a cultural touchstone. Many people, some of whom still post here, call any continued regard for SLIDERS immature and silly. Informant didn't do that; he always reinforced that SLIDERS was important and influential -- not necessarily in a positive way, but it was a critical and meaningful part of our experiences and of TV history. Informant always felt that to give SLIDERS its due regard was in fact self-aware and honest.

See Things As They Are: He didn't overidentify or fixate on his emotions with the series. He didn't pretend he wasn't a fan of SLIDERS. But he was never obsessed with the show. He noted and conceded its flaws. He was also never in denial of its merits.

Informant didn't mock himself for his love for SLIDERS, he didn't self-flagellate himself for fixating on it, he didn't dismiss its value or overinflate its worth. He didn't make SLIDERS a life-defining event; he also didn't bury SLIDERS in a hole and try to forget about it. He gave it a place of regard and carried on.

Appropriate: Informant let himself like SLIDERS to an appropriate and healthy degree. Not less. Not more. He always gave SLIDERS its due and made it feel safe for everyone else to do the same. He chose to stay when it mattered most and that counts for more than why he left. It always did. It always will.

Re: Do we miss Informant?

Another thought -- I said here that Informant is not a men's rights activist or a neo-Nazi or a white supremacist or a birther or a scam artist. However, I should specify that there is no Informant; Informant is merely the character that Kyle played on Sliders.TV and the character of Informant may or may not reflect the person who performed the role. Please don't call me in as a character witness if Informant or the man who was Informant ends up in court for any reason.