Arc of JMS

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Fri May 22 06:30:26 EDT 1998

From: "Laura M. Appelbaum" <l-appelbaum at>
Date: 20 May 1998 22:53:11 -0600
Lines: 91

Jms at B5 wrote:
<Much snippage 'cause otherwise Netscape won't let me mail this>
> There's nothing wrong with criticism, I've said it a thousand times, I don't
> care if someone's opinion is positive or negative.  That has nothing to do with
> obsessive, destructive personalities...who use that smoke screen to divert
> discussion away from the fact that they're just plain nuts...and because there
> are little or no safeguards on the net, it drives away civility, it drives away
> real discussion, it dries away those who are tired of being attacked for daring
> to express a positive opinion about something...and in the end, it drives away
> people like me.  I know too many producers, directors and actors who just won't
> go on the nets because they don't need the grief that comes from the genuinely
> disturbed  personalities who hang out waiting to jump on them.  Just because
> someone can buy a computer and plug it into the wall doesn't mean that they
> themselves are wired up right.
> It's these types of individuals who are the main reason that I will be pulling
> back from the nets after B5 is over.  Had I not promised to stay here for the
> duration of B5, such that I do not make false promises, I would have been out
> of here long, long ago.
Having been on this newsgroup (exclusively) and it's predecessor on and
off since the first season, I just had a few thoughts I'd like to throw
in here most relevant to these couple of paragraphs (quoted in entirety
above) that jms wrote.

First off, I would back jms 100% about the difference between
"constructive criticism" and crazed, angry ranting.  Plenty of times
I've written things that have been in some way critical of one aspect or
another of the show, but they've always been written in the spirit of
"this show is great, but this that or the other didn't work as well for
me as some other example."  jms has made it obvious this kind of comment
doesn't bother him by the number of times he has personally responded to
either those posts of mine, or the OTHER kinds of posts I've made -- the
posts where I've praised things that I thought were terrific -- he's not
ignoring all the "LMA" posts because I've criticized him or whined for
more Sinclair ...  and there IS a way of expressing a dislike for some
things without utterly condemning the entire show.  For those who DO
want to condemn the entire show; what are you wasting your time here
for?  In fact, if you totally hate B5 now, don't even watch -- go read a
book or ride a bike for something if you are convinced it's been
irretriveably "damaged."  I've made no secret that I haven't enjoyed
parts of this season -- particularly the teep thread -- as much as
others -- what's going to happen with Lennier, with John and Delenn,
with Londo and G'Kar etc ... but I've been part of plenty of positive
discussions about things too.  If you can't maintain some kind of
balance, do us all a favor and go away!

I also agree with jms completely when he complains about the cranks who
worm their way into the newsgroup.  About six months ago, when a certain
individual first made his obnoxious presence known, I forwarded all
kinds of posts of his back to the moderators (they weren't even in reply
to MY posts) that got my ire up and asked for him to be censured from
the group.  Nothing happened, and it is now evident that we will never
be rid of him.  Why not?  Simply because the moderators have let him
ride for this long.  But really, what contribution does this person, or
the others like him, make to this group?  He coarsens the level of
discussion until he has us ALL flaming at him, at each other, because
we're so angry.  Personally, I just ignore each and every thread that
includes his name and any of the posts ANYONE bothers to put under his. 
If we ALL did that, consistently, maybe he WOULD get bored and go away.  

As everyone knows, I'm no computer wiz -- I wouldn't even OWN a computer
if it weren't for the fact that five years ago, I watched the pilot,
liked it, and heard about how you could go on line and discuss the show
with the creator.  I've expounded numerous times on how this chance
occurance has enriched my life, so I won't repeat myself again here, but
what we had in the early days was, at least for me, something magical. 
But, as jms says, it wasn't long before the Nut Brigade arrived.  

So, I ask the computer sages among you, what is stopping us from forming
a new charter under which people can ONLY JOIN if they agree to USE
THEIR REAL NAME and provide some kind of documentation or confirmation
that that is who they are?  As jms states, most crazy people dislike
revealing themselves for the little pimples they are, so that step right
there might help. It would also allow us to simply boot those people off
and not let them back again.

As jms says, no one from the Founding Fathers on down, ever considered
"the right to free speech" to be all inclusive.  What we see on the net
now is a whole lot of "screaming fire in a crowded theatre" and those of
us troubled by this need to take stronger measures to keep away from
those who do it.  If they don't like it, tough; they can form their OWN
all-flame, all the time newsgroup!

Anyway, thank you again, jms, for putting up with all of this as long as
you have -- I know *I* have really enjoyed the discussions I've had with
you and with others here.


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 21 May 1998 09:50:44 -0600
Lines: 8

BTW, Laura, congrats on the starfury art thing...I went to check it out, looks


(jmsatb5 at
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