ATTN JMS: Playing with fire (humor)

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Nov 3 06:34:14 EST 1997

From: "Anne Green" <annemarie_g at>
Date: 2 Nov 1997 12:51:16 -0500
Lines: 144

Before you read this, I want you to know that I hold you (and Harlan E.) 
in the highest regard.  I don't know exactly why I feel compelled to 
tease you this way. The bitch of it is, I wouldn't bother if I didn't 
really like and respect you, and if I didn't know that you have a 
terrific sense of humor, including the ability to laugh at yourself.   
Besides, what's below would never actually work.  You really *are* 
everywhere and would figure it out ;-)  .

I call this "Playing with fire":

Now that the final 4 of Season 4 have aired, it's time for Babylon 5 
fans everywhere to turn their attention to some important matters 
regarding season 5, before it's too late.  

What I'm talking about is the inclusion and casting of a couple of 
characters that I think we all want to see before the end of the last 
season of Babylon 5.  No, I'm not talking about the CC situation, but 
many of those obnoxious people who hassled JMS about that could 
certainly be valuable assets in what I'm proposing here.  

First off, I present some jms comments to help us better understand how 
to get what we want:  

 " What the fans need to that by constantly bugging me
  about this and haranging me and hassling me about it...they are not
  leaving me well disposed toward that prospect.  I have a tendency, 
when pushed and generally honked off, to go in the exact opposite 
direction of where I'm being pushed."     -- jms

Ok.  That's a big help.  Now we can proceed confidently in the right 
direction.  Just to be clear about what exactly it is we want, if you 
haven't guessed already, it is the appearance of Rebo and Zooty in at 
least one season 5 episode, with Zooty played by Harlan Ellison and Rebo 
played by JMS himself.  Why?  

Harlan Ellison = short, fast-talking, zany guy = Zooty
(and who wouldn't pay good money to see Harlan do the Zooty Zoot Zoot 
leg lift?)

 JMS = big, tall, wry-witted fall guy to Harlan's pranks = Rebo

And in the words of JMS (at a recent con):  
"Basically, my relation with Harlan is that I wear the word "Stooge" on 
my forehead!"

This would be perfect!  It's so obvious.  Now, what can we fans do to 
make this a reality?   Let's use what we've learned from the CC incident 
and push in the opposite direction.  What I propose is that we deluge 
the great maker with e-mails and post repeated messages to all the 
newsgroups and forums where he hangs out, with creative variations on 
the following:  

Mr. Straczynski,

I am writing to you as one of the sci-fi fans that you work for.  
Remember, you work only for us, and we made you what you are.  I am a 
consumer of the products sold on the commercials that buy the time from 
the networks that pay your salary, so you'd better listen to what I 

First off, let me say that the only reason I watch your show is that it 
comes on right after Star Trek Voyager, which is my most favorite show 
(and you could learn quite a lot from).  Star Trek has ruled for the 
last 30 years, and will continue to rule for the next 300, because they 
listen to the demands of true sci-fi fans like me and produce quality 
entertainment.  Oh, another gripe I have with your show is that it's a 
total rip-off of Deep Space Nine.  At least you could have tried to come 
up with something original instead of riding the coat tails of a truly 
successful franchise.  I suppose your motivation is understandable, as 
you certainly don't have to work nearly as hard as the creative geniuses 
over at Paramount.  

The main reason I'm writing to you today is in protest of two morally 
despicable characters that were mentioned in a couple of your episodes 
last season.  They are a comedy team named Rebo and Zooty.  From what 
has been said about these characters so far, there is every indication 
that these two are perverted, morally degenerative, pond scum.  That's 
not just my opinion, either.  I've had lengthy discussions with the 
pastor at my church, and he agrees that there is just something 
inherently unwholesome (and sexually perverse) about someone lifting his 
leg and saying "Zooty zoot zoot."  The conclusion is that this is just 
plain wrong, and this judgement is the word of God, so you'd better damn 
well listen, or you're gonna burn in hell.  

I demand that you put a stop to any further development of these 
characters.  Do not, by any means, actually write any dialogue and/or 
cast them for actual on-screen appearances.  We cannot allow the 
children of this country to be exposed to this kind of smut.  

And another thing, we demand that only the most highly-trained and 
talented actors ever be allowed to work on your show.  After all, thanks 
to me buying all those products from the commercials, your budget is 
absolutely huge.  You should be able to afford the best, highest-paid 
and in-demand stars in Hollywood.  (Unless, of course, you're spending 
all that money on drugs and prostitutes?)  

There have been rumors floating around that you, a lowly writer, may 
actually make a cameo appearance on your own show in its final season.  
This would be an absolute abomination!  You could never pull it off.  
Flat out, no way, no how!  You just ain't got it in you.  So don't even 
think about trying to save your drug money by doing any acting yourself.  
I ain't interested in seeing your face on my TV, period.  

You know, I saw what you did last season, casting your pal Harlan 
Ellison as a psi cop.  Don't try to pull any more of that crap on us.  I 
mean, that Ellison guy is just a Star Trek flunky.  His TOS scripts were 
just horrendously over-budget, and needed to be re-written countless 
times by the great Roddenberry himself before they could be eeked into 
something remotely produceable and comprehensible.  No wonder he's come 
crawling to you for work now.  Nobody else would have him.  Well, don't 
do him any more favors by giving him cameos.  I don't like seeing his 
face on my TV screen either.  (You can tell him I said so, too!)   

Well, my time is very valuable, and that's about all I want to spend on 
you.  Just needed to make my voice heard so that you can give me exactly 
what I want from your little sci-fi show.  Since you do work for me, 
after all!  

J. Doe,  (a REAL sci-fi fan!)

Hypothetically speaking, would this work?  Any chance you'd reconsider 
so we don't have to go to so much trouble?

To paraphrase something that you said recently: sometimes you have to go 
over the top, so that we know where the top is and can climb up there 
ourselves.  Correct?  Sorry, I've had this strange pain in my shoulder 
and the side of my neck the past couple months.  Quite lumpy, too.  It's 
like I'm not able to think for myself anymore ...  :o) 

Anne Green 
Londo:  "Perhaps it was something I said."
G'Kar:  "Perhaps it is everything you say."

Get Your Private, Free Email at

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 2 Nov 1997 23:49:34 -0500
Lines: 12

Ah...Amerikanski humor.

Is most funny.

We bomb now.


-*** B5JMS SUBSCRIBERS: Replies to messages go to the list maintainer,
-*** <b5jms-owner at>.  If you want to reply elsewhere, adjust
-*** the "To" field.  The best way to reach JMS is to post to rastb5m, which
-*** can be done by sending email to <b5mod at>.

More information about the B5JMS mailing list