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

I'm out. Bye.