The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
The language is not Narn, or Human, or Centauri, or Gaim or Minbari
It speaks in the language of hope
It speaks in the language of trust
It speaks in the language of strength and the language of compassion
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice
It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us,
And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born
It is the small, still voice that says
We are one
No matter the blood
No matter the skin
No matter the world
No matter the star:
We are one
No matter the pain
No matter the darkness
No matter the loss
No matter the fear
We are one
Here, gathered together in common cause, we agree to recognize this
singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us and each voice lost
We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire
that will light the way to a better future.
We are one.
Are any of you folks Babylon 5 fans? Because I love Babylon 5 and don’t know why it hasn’t retained the popularity of other space franchises of the same time period and it makes me sad.
Also if you like Mass Effect, the entire plot of Mass Effect is just like… wholesale lifted from B5? The first time I watched B5 I hadn’t played Mass Effect yet, but watching it again now with Dan it’s like OH MY GOD THE SHADOWS ARE THE REAPERS AND THE VORLON ARE THE PROTHEANS AND THE CENTAURI-NARN CONFLICT IS THE QUARIAN-GETH CONFLICT DOWN TO MOLARI AND TALI HAVING THE SAME DAMN ACCENT
Also Will Robinson from Lost in Space plays a bald man with a bone in his head and Chekov plays a megolomaniacal psychic sleazeball and Tron is the captain of the station
It’s such a good show and all the characters are so incredibly well-written and it’s so earnest in its progressiveness and the women are all so great and there are so many sympathetic terrible people and it actually wraps up its story and wasn’t either cancelled or allowed to drag on until it died and YOU SHOULD ALL GO BUY THE ANCIENT DVDS THAT ARE THE ONLY WAY TO WATCH THE SERIES OTHER THAN TORRENTING IT
So I can cry together with you all instead of alone with Dan
Even though Sinclair was my B5 hero, the one who I loved most was the Vorlon, Kosh. Once I saw that he revealed himself as an angel to the various races of the galaxy, I thought that moment was one of the most beautiful things in all of science fiction.
Everyone who watched Babylon 5 loved Kosh. He was sweet, mysterious, stern, kind, and even funny.
So Babylon 5 was what got me into Tumblr. I heard good things, lurked a bit, and got sucked in. I saw Tumblr as this wonderful place of .gif sets and meta and sweet, enthusiastic people, because that was what I got in the B5 fandom. More recently I’ve stuck my head out of this glorious little hidey-hole and looked into other fandoms, and I have to say that I was dismayed with what I found. While there were still sweet people whose enthusiasm for those fandoms made me more than willing to follow their feeds, it often seemed that the ‘fans’ of a given fandom—those who posted about it regularly—hated it more than anyone I had ever encountered. There was post after post under the general fandom tags written by fans hoping their show/book series/etc. would fail after showing the slightest flaw. There were fans who so vehemently defended their own interpretation of canon that they would mercilessly flame those who disagreed with them. I encountered pointless ‘ship wars, and accusations ranging from ‘your opinion is wrong’ all the way to ‘you are a horrible person for liking X’ (‘horrible person’ being a substitute for any number of increasingly cruel insults).
I realized how sheltered I had been by this lovely fandom. This sort of thing either has never happened in the B5 Tumblr fandom, or is so rare that I have never perceived it. I don’t know what it is about our fans. Are they more mature? Does the distance in time help to not reduce us all to screaming teenagers worked into a fervor of near-religious-zealotry? Is it the show itself? Or is it something else altogether? I honestly don’t know what has caused this, but when I look at the Babylon 5 Tumblr fandom I see a model of what I want all other fandoms to be like: thoughtful, respectful, enthusiastic, eager to include new fans, and never eager to shame those whose opinions on the fandom differ from our own. I don’t see the ‘ship wars. I have never seen a Londo/G’Kar ‘shipper accuse someone who prefers them to be friends of homophobia. I have never seen a fan who preferred Sinclair to Sheridan get shouted down for being ‘wrong’. All in all, I have never seen the bullying or the judgmental attitudes that seem to pervade other fandoms. There may be fandoms similar in this to the B5 fandom, where sanity and kindness also reign, but I have yet to find such a shining example of civility as I have in the Babylon 5 Tumblr fandom.
So thank you. Thank you for being my first Tumblr experience. Thank you for showing me how it could be, how it should be. Thank you for respecting one another, and sharing your love for the fandom. Thank you for responding to theories and essays and meta with intellectual debate rather than name-calling. Thank you for being sweet and welcoming to a new fan, and continually engaged with an ongoing fan. Thank you for acting like sane and rational and decent people. Thank you. You are, each and every one of you, my internet heroes.
I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be much worse if life WERE fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?’ So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
Why is it that we always break up our history by the wars? Not the years of peace. The Hundred Years War. The war of 1812. The first three World Wars. The Dilgar War. The War of the Shining Star. The Minbari War. The Shadow War. Why the war, not the peace? Because it’s exciting and because on some level people like to see something big fall apart and explode from the inside out. Right now, John, we’re that something.
Michael Garibaldi, Babylon 5, Season 5, Episode 10, A Tragedy of Telepaths
I want to talk about this quote for a minute because it reminded me of something I was thinking about the other day.
Babylon 5 wasn’t just well loved because is was good science fiction or because of good writing or acting or production. All that is true, but for most of us fans our love for this show goes much deeper than that.
Babylon 5, like all good science fiction or fantasy, was reflective of the society it was made in. Granted, Bill Clinton was in power during the show’s run and he did a lot to try to reverse the damage his two predecessors had done to both our national and international images, but the feeling that America was on a precipice was still there, like we felt that something big was coming, a real game changer and no one knew if it would be for good or ill. I’m fairly certain, though, that most of us were expecting it to be for ill. There was already a growing distrust of the wealthy and the government. I think a lot of us were waiting to see if we would see serious social change to address the issues or if it would result in more violence against each other.
Trust in the government was waning and we were all waiting to see how many of us it would take with it once it fell apart. The knowledge that it was falling apart terrified us. Not because we loved the government so much, but because we grew up with grandparents and great grand parents who lived through the American Civil War. We were raised on the stories of brother fighting brother and the warnings to never let it happen again. And that is exactly what we saw on the horizon and we didn’t know how to avoid it.
And like all great science fiction it was also prophetic, much in the same way it was reflective. The social and political issues it spoke of have only intensified with time. Though the nation rallied together after 9/11 today our divisions are far greater, far more personal.