Totally unrelated to the above, my seasonal comment of the day is that I really dislike the firework explosions that have been starting the last days. I mean, on New Year's Eve itself there are so many outside that the constant explosion sounds just become background noise at one point, but right now there are still long quiet intervals which are then suddenly interrupted, and if the explosion is loud enough, I will even flinch sometimes. I have been always timid with fireworks. When I was a kid and went outside with my parents and my older siblings, I never liked to do the bigger firecrackers, actually not even most of the smaller ones, even though all assured me that it was harmless and that I shouldn't be so hesitant. Nowadays I don't do any firecrackers or fireworks myself, and actually I avoid being outside at the height of their popularity, that is the hours around midnight. There are enough people out then who are too drunk, silly, or careless to really watch where they are throwing this stuff, and sometimes you'll get people throwing firecrackers from their balconies and windows above for good measure, which makes getting from one point to another something for which you have to be really alert (like for fast dodging). I noticed that a few times when I was with friends just a couple of blocks away from me, and then walked home late. I guess you could argue that I was just too sober, because drunk I probably wouldn't have cared that much about people throwing explosives, and still gotten home fine (like most other people walking outside then).
Anyway, that's one of the reasons why I don't go watch the professional fireworks (which I like to watch) at places where many people are either, I really don't feel comfortable inside a crowd of a couple of thousand (partly drunk) people, some of whom will throw their own firecrackers and have their own rockets while being there. Also inevitably you have to be really alert while using public transport that night, and taxis are quite impossible to come by. The one time I was using the metro at New Year's Eve late was close to horrible and I was even with friends then. Crowded masses of drunk people inside the car with more people trying to get in, causing the drunk ones inside to sing variations "one more will fit inside yet," is a frightening experience when you yourself are actually sober. At least for me it is. Also you have to watch out not to be barfed on.
To finish on a brighter note, I just watched the newest Farscape episode, 4x12 Kansas.
( Spoilers... )
Unfortunately the free fax sites don't work anymore for sending to SciFi, so I guess I have to find another way to send faxes (I can't from my computer and I don't have a fax machine). Anyway, I'm thrilled to see some good news, though it's certain that we need to keep the pressure up for some time.
Also there will be a Save Farscape ad in Variety on Thursday (see benbrowder.net for details, and Deneba organized an ad in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Friday to express thanks to the cast and crew of Farscape. And there is of course a lot more going on, for which other websites are a far more qualified source than this blog, obviously.
I'm just happy that I can cling to my hopes, and that at least my wish of a 5th season of Farscape hasn't gotten less likely, since that awful announcement, maybe even more likely.
So, to quote CNN: "Scapers Unite!"
Yeah, I knew it was true before, but this announcement makes it somehow even more tangible and depressing.
I continue to contribute my small part in the campaign, though a lot of other great people do certainly much more. I've written to the Sci-Fi Channel, mostly postcards to add bulk to the mail volume, because, let's face it, there is no way my handwritten letter from Germany will convince them that I'm part of their audience. One glance at the stamp and/or the post mark will show it's not from the US. However, I can contribute to the volume. Not that I don't write politely why they should keep Farscape and how disappointed I am, but I figure there is really no need for the most elaborate viewer demographics or arguments how I only watch their channel for Farscape, when it's obvious that I'm not on the same continent.
I have written (and faxed, and e-mailed) to EM.TV (on how and why they are related to this whole mess see farscape.wdsection.com). They may be only a secondary target in all our efforts -- and I'm still not sure I understand the exact intricacies of how all those media corporations are involved with each other -- but they are in Germany, and my mail will reach them quickly. On a related note, I have certainly already learned more about the tangle of international media business during this than I've ever wanted to know.
With my faxes to The Sci-Fi Channel I faced another decision: sending them through a regular fax machine, which makes layout and such things possible, and thus gives a better look and probably has a greater impact, but also makes it easy to see that I'm not from the US; or using one of the free web based fax services, with a not so great look (and the fact that it comes from a fax service rather than an individual phone number) but effectively masking my location. Considering that I also don't own a fax machine (nor a fax capable internet connection) and would have had to send the faxes from friends' machines, I decided on the web-fax variant. The same with my faxes to WB, TNT and Showtime, suggesting that they might consider picking up Farscape to gain a great show with desirable demographics.
I've also send a note of thanks and support to all the cast and crew of Farscape who have made this wonderful show possible through their work, talent and dedication. I've send it to the central CrackersDoMatter@yahoo.com account that Fialka and Maayan set up.
So in the great scheme of things I'm not doing much, but after all it is the first show for which I participate in such a campaign at all, so considering my overall level of lethargy it shows the special place Farscape has in my affections.
I still hope that Farscape will get a fifth season, with Sci-Fi Channel or at another network, so that there will be at least some closure for the story.
Off to write some more faxes...
Since I'm not in the US I always feel helpless and not of much use during any campaign to prevent cancellation, and I have to admit that I never did anything before (hangs head in shame), not even for The Sentinel. But I just sent an email and also a fax to the Sci-Fi Channel, because, damn, it is Farscape and it is a horrible thought that its story lines won't be finished. Based on what was said in the chat, David Kemper and all involved in production were also counting on a fifth season, so if the Sci-Fi Channel sticks with the cancellation, we will be left with a lot of unresolved things, maybe even a cliffhanger.
So everybody call, send a telegram, fax, write letters, email... (civil and polite, of course, for best impact)
Addresses are (I got them from the Farscape Ultimate BBoard, from the cancellation thread :
Bonnie Hammer, Senior Vice President of Programming
c/o Sci-Fi Channel
1230 Avenue of the Americas, F115
New York, NY 10020-1513
firstname.lastname@example.org (comments and suggestions for the Programming Department)
email@example.com (general comments)
What awful news to start a weekend.
In my favor I can say though that I have started to write the essay I promised Lucy in response to her Call for Essaylettes. Okay, I'm not sure it's going to be structured and consistent enough to really deserve the name essay, but at some point in the not too distant future I will inflict my thoughts about "Why isn't there more Jeremiah fiction?" on anyone who's interested.
Otherwise my fandom activities the last days centered around reading other people's theories and discussions about the Farscape ep "Unrealized Reality". It's fascinating and puzzling at the same time, because that ep doesn't only open possibilities for the future, but makes you reevaluate the past episodes, their significance and possible foreshadowing too.
A show where I was less satisfied with the season finale (I know it is not a season finale in Farscape, but merely the last episode before the hiatus, but you have to wait for the next installment for quite a while in both cases), was Witchblade's Ubique. ( Spoilerish things... )
Oh, and I agree with all those who've said that Maayan has an uncanny knack for anticipating all things Farscape.
I mean, I love this show. It's my favorite sf show ever, but -- usually I only watch each episode once or maybe twice when it first airs, I don't replay parts in slow motion, I don't get all the pop cultural and other references... And while I enjoy in-depth show discussion on lists like Wormhole and sometimes like reading the detailed analyses by cofax, Maayan, Fialka, and others, I just don't think about these kinds of details so much. I see the 20kb posts and entries about the new episodes and my first reaction is kinda *gulp!* how am I supposed to say anything about an ep? and I stay in a sort of intimidated silence. Well, it's not 'intimidated' exactly, it's more that for me watching a favorite show doesn't seem to work quite the same way. I enjoy details in a more general sense, when it's about the universe and how it works, I just don't get into that sort of detail when thinking about an episode. I don't think of episodes in terms of symbolism or motifs, nor do I have a detailed theory/view on characters and their actions in my head that I adjust every week.
So I've been wondering: Am I not obsessive enough about this show I like? Am I maybe closer to a casual viewer than a 'true' fan in my attitudes and only think of myself as a Farscape fan by the way of some misconception?