Topic: Sliders.tv: No more April Fools Day jokes

Going forward, there will be no more April Fools Day jokes on Sliders.tv. If you post any, you will be instantly banned. No, no — I’ll just tag your thread title as a joke.

I had a joke planned for April Fools Day this year. It was going to be: “The Informant Lie Exposed” where I was going to falsely reveal that Informant was actually a sockpuppet account shared by me, Matt Hutaff and Keith Damron. I was going to say we built a bot that would regularly copy-paste conservative and alt-right editorials, run them through a find-and-replace algorithm for synonym replacement to create posts and we'd take turns posting the results. I was going to jokingly declare that the three of us took turns posting as Informant to stir up posting activity during low periods.

It was, of course, a reference to the time Temporal Flux set up a chat with Robert K. Weiss, co-creator of SLIDERS, and then Transmodiar claimed as a prank that the entire chat had been staged. I was going to copy entire sections out of the original posts for this prank.

But as I read these archived posts, I came to realize that these jokes weren’t funny but childish and inane in the way all children (like Transmodiar circa 2000) are innocent and cruel. Often, kids and young adults either haven’t suffered enough to appreciate how something hurts or haven’t processed their pain and found the empathy to consider how their words and actions affect others.

The SLIDERS fan community has been deeply damaged by such pranks and outright lies. Transmodiar became a very different person in (full) adulthood. His last prank was to say he was shutting down Earthprime.com, a much gentler and more self-directed joke. In addition, Transmodiar’s behaviour was merely a symptom of an environment of deceit and false information created by the SLIDERS actors and producers themselves.

SLIDERS actors, writers and producers regularly lied: they claimed John Rhys-Davies quit when he was fired, that Sabrina Lloyd was unprofessional on-set, that a long search was made for Kari Wuhrer when she was cast a day before filming, that Jerry and Charlie quit to pursue movie careers, that Jerry quit due to a budget cut, that Colin was not going to be blown up, that Bennish was never planned for a Season 5 return, that production was hopeful of a Season 6, that there were no pitches for a Season 5 Maggie romance, that the Sci-Fi Channel mandated “Requiem” end with Wade being somehow alive, that the freelance writers were at fault for Bill Dial’s repetitive scripting in Season 5 and so forth.

There is a peculiar irony that Keith Damron, the Season 5 story editor, was viewed as an unreliable liar whereas unofficial sources like the Expert and TF were viewed as trustworthy authorities, and even then, they had to fight for it and even today, false information and attacks on their credibility abound.

As a community, I believe that we must reject falsehoods going forward whether they come from pranks or lying producers who worked on the show. From now on, there will be no April 1 threads ‘announcing’ a SLIDERS reboot, there will be no further “The RK Weiss Lie Exposed” threads. You can still post such things if you find them funny; just make your thread title clear so that nobody mistakes it for anything but a parody.

Re: Sliders.tv: No more April Fools Day jokes

Does this mean that I should stop posting all of those racist, homophobic, alt-right comments? Can I stop man-spreading and misgendering people now? Because nobody told me that the prank had been called off.

Re: Sliders.tv: No more April Fools Day jokes

ireactions wrote:

His last prank was to say he was shutting down Earthprime.com, a much gentler and more self-directed joke.

Not shut it down, sell it to a limo company. Then someone had to go and beat me to it. sad

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Sliders.tv: No more April Fools Day jokes

Were there good April Fools back on The Dominion?  I honestly don't recall....

Re: Sliders.tv: No more April Fools Day jokes

I don't remember either. Professionally, I believe that April Fools Jokes are destructive because you can't achieve anything without trust between parties. And personally, this joke is why Transmodiar and I didn't become friends for a very, very, very long time. I missed the original "The R.K. Weiss Lie: Exposed!" prank. I wasn't really active in the SLIDERS community during that time and wouldn't return until 2010 or so, although I did catch one incident where Transmodiar shared a photo of a box that supposedly contained the Sci-Fi Channel's press archives from which he'd gathered some press clippings. Many members of this community quite reasonably declared it absurd that Sci-Fi would have sent anyone office materials.

But when I came back, Transmodiar had a reputation for being untrustworthy. Someone who would create flamboyant, bizarre posts that attacked teenagers for their age (?), attacked teenagers for their web design (these are children, for God's sake and as someone who has been building Wordpress sites lately, I can assure you that the first ones are always poor), attacked people for their fan fiction (an art form that is fundamentally idiosyncratic and for one's own reading).

He scared the hell out of me and triggered every anxiety I had within me.

At one point, I mentioned that EP.COM had once featured an original Cleavant Derricks interview that later had Cleavant's frank remarks about SLIDERS redacted at Cleavant's request. Transmodiar emailed me and sent me the original. We kept talking and he gave me the password to EP.COM and encouraged me to post essays and reviews and offered extremely constructive and pleasant criticisms and highly apologetic rewrites without the terrifying acidity I'd seen in him before. He edited my fan fiction with patience and interest and poked fun in ways that put me at ease with criticizing my own work.

He asked me for help with maintenance and uploading materials and had messengered to me a box containing what were indeed the Sci-Fi Channel's press archives regarding SLIDERS. In the several hundred pages, there were 16 articles that weren't already on EP.COM and I scanned them, OCRed them and put them on EP.COM. And because Transmodiar gave me access to his site, I became familiar with Wordpress and web building and I've been building websites lately for work. I don't recognize the unrepentant, cruel prankster that Transmodiar used to be as the person I know today.

His reputation made me keep my distance from him for a very long time. Looking back, being friends with Transmodiar has sparked a lot in me creatively, personally and professionally. I had some serious anxiety issues when he and I first talked, once having an hour-long meltdown over text with him because I was having a nervous breakdown over having taken the wrong parking spot at work. I was web illiterate. And I was handicapped by a lot of childhood traumas that were encapsulated in SLIDERS.

I've worked through a lot of that since then and a lot of that is because Transmodiar in the present day was a rather gentle and goofy personality who put me at ease with him and with web management and with writing and treated me with the patience and generosity of an indulgent older brother. And I have a particular distaste for the pranking because it delayed our friendship by 5 - 10 years and I consider that stolen time.