Video: How sci-fi fans put Firefly into the FIRE

posted at 9:45 am on December 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Our friends at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) have a new video out this week recapping one of their most prominent victories over censorship in Academia — prominent because this case found a ready-made constituency of activists for individual rights. Fans of the cult TV series Firefly rushed to defend University of Wisconsin Professor James Miller after he was accused by campus police of creating a threatening environment by hanging a Firefly poster on his office door, a case in which FIRE prevailed.  The video interviews author Neil Gaiman and takes a generally light-hearted tone — but delivers a serious message:

I wrote about the case in this October post.  Kudos to Nathan Fillion and my friend Adam Baldwin for coming to Professor Miller’s defense, and especially to the fans of Firefly and Serenity (I’m a fan of both), but the serious point made in this video is that free speech should always have a constituency.  Still, one has to smile when Gaiman says this:

There are people you do not want to upset in the world. And big groups of people you don’t want to upset would obviously include the politically disenfranchised who feel they have nothing to lose. And those that feel that the time has come for revolution. Then out on the edges beyond any of those are science fiction and fantasy fans whose favorite show has been cancelled in an untimely way.

I think I like that better than the quote from Miller’s poster.  Also, FIRE has a contest for the most creative tweets promoting this new video, with $500 in prizes for the winners.  Be sure to follow the rules, and let’s hope a Hot Air reader can win the big prize.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

People that work in Academia (especially if it’s state funded) think too much. They need to be cycled into job market every now and then…but I doubt they could make it.

Oil Can on December 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Shiny!

keithofboston on December 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Nathan, Yummy :)

cmsinaz on December 28, 2011 at 9:54 AM

How on earth could a Firefly poster have been perceived as threatening?

Is it too late to redirect the groundswell of support for the professor into a full-on movement to resurrect the series??

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 9:54 AM

/looks at contest rules
/judged in part on number of likes and re-tweets
/abandons contest
/forever alone

The Schaef on December 28, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Lol I see that memebase has finally made it to hotair

speekr on December 28, 2011 at 10:02 AM

I knew that would be the quote that got him in trouble!

Maybe he should have just put a picture of Jayne with “I’ll be in my bunk.”

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM

“Jayne! The man they call Jaaaaaaayne!”

Doughboy on December 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM

I am having incredible feelings of deja Vu on this topic. Didn’t we already do this topic this year some time?

44Magnum on December 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM

God help me but I loved that show. I reluctantly admit that I appear to be a sci-fi geek.

Sigh…the horror.

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Lol I see that memebase has finally made it to hotair

speekr on December 28, 2011 at 10:02 AM

All your memebase are belong to us.

rbj on December 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Was it this part?

You don’t know me son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.

or this part?

Fascism can cause blunt trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets.

that caused the uproar. Personally, I find the second part to be plain old good sense. The first part is fair warning. Neither is offensive or threatening.

jackal40 on December 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Can’t stop the signal.

Pcoop on December 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Why is it this stuff always happens in some liberal haven? It used to be the college campus was a place for political debate, where all sides had the chance to give their opinion. Apparently, the left has figured they can’t win the debate, so they’ve gone to plan “B”, which is to shut down all opinion, except yours. This isn’t new, it just seems to be spreading.

When I think of the speech they tell all of us we have to tolerate, and then look at what they want to ban, you have to wonder how they get away with it. Why is it the only ones that care about free speech are the ones the left accuses of trying to stifle debate?

bflat879 on December 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Ditto on that. I didn’t even watch till after a friend told me I missed the best cancelled series EVAH. Then I bought Serenity. BESTEST wrap up to a SCI FI series……EVAH.

(geek drooling mode / off)

Scoreboard44 on December 28, 2011 at 10:12 AM

“I am like a leaf on the wind…watch me soar”

Scoreboard44 on December 28, 2011 at 10:12 AM

I say, we cut ALL college professors’ wages 25% and use this newly freed money to bring Firefly back! How’s that for wealth redistribution?

At least it would go to a good cause.

Gorram edumacators.

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I am having incredible feelings of deja Vu on this topic. Didn’t we already do this topic this year some time?

44Magnum on December 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM

It was just back in October.

I wrote about the case in this October post.

But this is a new post about Firefly, a better post. :) I react to these posts like I react to the ones on Stargate… I just smile and blink.

Nice video, though, I reposted it on FB. *smile* *blink* *blink*

Fallon on December 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Big damn heroes, those guys. They aimed to misbehave in the best possible way.

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

I got my husband the Qmx Wash figurine (recommended by Adam Baldwin) to match his “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” shirt for Christmas. Don’t mess with Firefly fans! They’ll beat beat you with the chain of command!

Oh, and, Spannerhead? Here you go. :)

pookysgirl on December 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

They aimed to misbehave in the best possible way.

Good one.

Scoreboard44 on December 28, 2011 at 10:22 AM

No power in the ‘verse can stop me

Raever on December 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM

pookysgirl on December 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Much appreciated. If they brought back Arrested Development, The Family Guy and countless remakes of Star Trek when that series was cancelled after three short years, I don’t see any reason Firefly couldn’t come back.

Here’s another relevant Jayne quote:

“If I had wanted schooling, I’d'a gone to school.”

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Looks like the administration at the University of Wisconsin are all Alliance types. I wonder if their crack threat assessment team has considered introducing G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate into the campus air conditioning and heating systems as a way to calm the students and faculty and thereby eliminate the possibility that any more seditious posters will threaten approved discussion and discourse.

MessesWithTexas on December 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Is “police chief” and honorary title?

Ah Firefly, so great, so tragic…..

roy_batty on December 28, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Arrrr, goram, I meant “an”.

roy_batty on December 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Much appreciated. If they brought back Arrested Development, The Family Guy and countless remakes of Star Trek when that series was cancelled after three short years, I don’t see any reason Firefly couldn’t come back.

Ya never know. . ..

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

What a coincidence as I’ve made it a New Year’s resolution to watch FIREFLY and SERENITY after constant urging to do so by buddies who aren’t usually so insistent, especially about TV programs.
The comments I’ve read here only make me more curious. Thanks.

sanjuro on December 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Ditto on that. I didn’t even watch till after a friend told me I missed the best cancelled series EVAH. Then I bought Serenity. BESTEST wrap up to a SCI FI series……EVAH.

(geek drooling mode / off)

Scoreboard44 on December 28, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Best EVAH? Come on now. It isn’t even the best sci-fi show ever. Nothing has ever come close to Star Trek TOS(The Original Series) not even the Star Trek sequels, clones, reboots or whatever you want to call them.

bgibbs1000 on December 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Don’t mess with Firefly fans! They’ll beat beat you with the chain of command!

pookysgirl on December 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

This definitly bears repeating ; The chain of command

darkannulus on December 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

MessesWithTexas on December 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Wow. I never could remember the name of the drug, but I have always equated today’s lefties with The Alliance. I’d be better off including the establishment of both parties in that group, given history, however.

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Dammit, I clicked on this thread hoping it was about a re-launch of the series…

pseudonominus on December 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM

MessesWithTexas on December 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Well played, but needed a spoiler alert before that one! :)

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM

I saw this video on AoS last night, but my interest for this professor faded to zero when I saw a Palestinian flag and a picture of the Abu Ghraib scandal on his wall.

Because when it comes to ’causes’ he does not support(aka Israel activism, or anything conservative), I’m sure he would be all for censorship as well.

This was just a Blue on Blue fight. And when he threw ‘facisim’ around, you know he isn’t a serious person.

Lance Murdock on December 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Anything that threatens the left must be silenced in the name of “sensitivity”.
Shutuppery is their primary weapon.

http://youtu.be/lWHgUE9AD4s

Grunt on December 28, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Best EVAH? Come on now. It isn’t even the best sci-fi show ever. Nothing has ever come close to Star Trek TOS(The Original Series) not even the Star Trek sequels, clones, reboots or whatever you want to call them.

bgibbs1000 on December 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I have to disagree. StarTrek was a progressive’s dream scenario; no money, no wants, no material needs and everyone should get along, for the collective good. TNG began that way. Then the writers started to fight that mindset the minute Roddenberry retired, and was the better for it. Firefly speaks to anyone who believes in freedom, honor and personal responsibility. I’ll take the latter, any day.

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

My brother and I are not close and have pretty much nothing in common. But, we discovered that we both loved Firefly and Serenity. As much as I loved both the series and the movie, giving my brother and I something to talk about made me love them even more.

KateNE on December 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Arrrr, goram, I meant “an”.

roy_batty on December 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Nice use of “goram”. We would have also accepted “garn” or “frack“.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on December 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Looks like the administration at the University of Wisconsin are all Alliance types. I wonder if their crack threat assessment team has considered introducing G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate into the campus air conditioning and heating systems as a way to calm the students and faculty and thereby eliminate the possibility that any more seditious posters will threaten approved discussion and discourse.

MessesWithTexas on December 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I think they’ve already released it, judging from some of the oddities that hang around the UW campus in Madison. A lot of them look like Reavers.

Oldnuke on December 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM

ok, I have to get me that shirt!

shiny!

aikidoka on December 28, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Apparently any good news about Ron Paul just get ignored. Especially since the conservative media been trying discredit him like they did to Herman Cain and the people of Iowa are not buying it anymore! Here’s the latest polling that shows Ron Paul is increasing his lead!!!!!

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2011/12/paul-maintains-his-lead.html

Question: If Ron Paul wins both Iowa and New Hampshire will we be a witness to heads exploding across this country?!

Capitalist75 on December 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Excellent point! I was just thinking this last weekend that Firefly was the only Sci-fi story that jumped to mind that was set in the future and depicted a future with the freedom and responsibilities of today. In other words, you were still expected to earn your own way.

I agree, thus your point is an excellent one. Haha. See how that works?

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Indeed TNG was awfully preachy in it’s liberal utopianism. Although in other series that followed that wanned quite a bit, thankfully. The best series in recent memory besides firefly has got to be Stargate SG-1. Basicly the US Air Force and Marines fight space tyrants and dictators. That and Farscape…just cause it’s frelling farscape.

darkannulus on December 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

I’ll be in my bunk.

pseudonominus on December 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Is there a Ron Paul / Firefly connection? If not, your comment is inappropriate to this more important discussion.

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

You notice, however, that you agreed with me, did you not? ;) When you’re right, you’re right. ;) :D

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Oh, and thanks, Keyser.

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Don’t mess with the hero of Canton… the man they call “Jayne”.

Turtle317 on December 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Is there a Ron Paul / Firefly connection? If not, your comment is inappropriate to this more important discussion.

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Didn’t Ron Paul play that gangster that tortured Mal and Wash? Looked like him anyway.

Oldnuke on December 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

FIREFLY: The real “Wagon Train to the stars.”

gryphon202 on December 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

My wife and I used to watch the series and we actually named our daughter Kaylee like the character in the series. My wife is not a real sci-fi buff but she just liked the name.

jistincase on December 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

“The currency of a university is IDEAS.”

Now THAT’S one quote that should be on EVERY university professor’s door!!!!!!!!

sanjuro on December 28, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Indeed TNG was awfully preachy in it’s liberal utopianism. Although in other series that followed that wanned quite a bit, thankfully. The best series in recent memory besides firefly has got to be Stargate SG-1. Basicly the US Air Force and Marines fight space tyrants and dictators. That and Farscape…just cause it’s frelling farscape.

darkannulus on December 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Stargate SG1 was well done, I agree. But, I loves me some Farscape. I have the entire series on DVD and my cousins and I are watching it when we work out. Still, I do love the re-do of BSG, as well, and it’s eating up my DVR space. Firefly is, by far and away, my favorite, however.

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Scoreboard44 on December 28, 2011 at 10:22 AM

:D

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Didn’t Ron Paul play that gangster that tortured Mal and Wash? Looked like him anyway.

Oldnuke on December 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Niska? Do you know the writings of Shan Yu?

Actually, you coule probably make a slight comparison between the Paulbots and the Reavers.

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Capitalist75 on December 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

And this is relevant to this thread how?

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Question: If Ron Paul wins both Iowa and New Hampshire will we be a witness to heads exploding across this country?!

Capitalist75 on December 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

If Paul wins IA it will mean a big fat nothing. He is not going to win anything after that if he even pulls that off.

jistincase on December 28, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Actually, you coule probably make a slight comparison between the Paulbots and the Reavers.

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM

More than a slight comparison, if you ask me. YMMV

gryphon202 on December 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM

My wife and I used to watch the series and we actually named our daughter Kaylee like the character in the series. My wife is not a real sci-fi buff but she just liked the name.

jistincase on December 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

You named her Kaylee, or Kaywinnit? Yes, I’m a geek.
Shiny name though.

Depending on how my daughters looked when they came out, they might have been named Sonora Skywalker (Sonny Sky for short!). Alas…

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM

MMMMM Yum thought police. Well by this standard 44 magnum should be banned..LOL NOT! Yesterday it was reported that an 8 year old got in trouble for munching out his slice of pizza into the shape of a gun. This is out of control as well as the ignorant fools at the TSA who barely qualify to work at a 7-11. Now you have the answer to why the hottest selling item for Christmas this year was guns! GOD I LOVE THIS COUNTRY!

RAIDER on December 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

The redone BSG was definitely something. Very dense, and quite deep (and Tricia Helfer!).

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

I have to disagree. StarTrek was a progressive’s dream scenario; no money, no wants, no material needs and everyone should get along, for the collective good. TNG began that way. Then the writers started to fight that mindset the minute Roddenberry retired, and was the better for it. Firefly speaks to anyone who believes in freedom, honor and personal responsibility. I’ll take the latter, any day.

Yes The Next Generation was all about socialism, Roddenberry’s dream series I guess, and I never cared for it. And although Roddenberry wanted the original series to reflect progessive socialism it never came across that way to me.

bgibbs1000 on December 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Ya never know. . ..

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

MUST.NOT.GET.HOPES.UP.

roy_batty on December 28, 2011 at 10:50 AM

The redone BSG was definitely something. Very dense, and quite deep (and Tricia Helfer!).

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Yah. Tricia Helfer FTW. I also like me some Katee Sackhoff.

gryphon202 on December 28, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Oops, that snarky Ron Paul comment was for Capitalist75 on December 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Maybe they were afraid they’d send Malcom in to ‘negotiate’ the first amendment rights.

“I aim to misbehave.”

michaelo on December 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Man, I love that show.

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I have noticed that those people yelling about other’s lack of tolerance are the most intolerant.

Tolerance, like free speech, is a one way street for the Liberal Left.

jukin3 on December 28, 2011 at 10:52 AM

MUST.NOT.GET.HOPES.UP.

roy_batty on December 28, 2011 at 10:50 AM

*sigh* I know, I know. But, I like to take heart. Fillion (though otherwise very handily engaged) has always said that if Joss called, he’d answer.

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:53 AM

ACADEMIA DEFENDS FREE SPEECH!

Few! I was afraid there for a moment that they would not be able speek against islamophobes, warmongers, Israel, military, George W. Bush, conservatives, pro-family, 1%, greedy corporate execs, etc.

(Okay, they found a single sensible issue to protest. Don’t give them to much credit.)

shick on December 28, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Yes The Next Generation was all about socialism, Roddenberry’s dream series I guess, and I never cared for it. And although Roddenberry wanted the original series to reflect progessive socialism it never came across that way to me.

bgibbs1000 on December 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

The less input Roddenberry had into his own creation, the better it was IMO. He pretty much pissed away control after the disaster that was ST:TMP. There were several people who were far more responsible for Trek’s success in the end (Okuda, Berman, and Piller come to mind) than Gene Roddenberry.

gryphon202 on December 28, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Yes The Next Generation was all about socialism, Roddenberry’s dream series I guess, and I never cared for it. And although Roddenberry wanted the original series to reflect progessive socialism it never came across that way to me.

bgibbs1000 on December 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

I think, for me, the only saving grace in that regard, with respect to the original series, is Kirk’s constant first resort to brawn over diplomacy. It was like he was fighting the PC system. I don’t know. I just get a PC vibe from the series as a whole, but not from some of the individual characters. (I was too young to get the PC vibe when it first came out, though. It was only upon reaching adulthood that I began to notice it.)

I think we are the victims of the StarTrek-think generation, actually. Roddenberry would be proud. *ugh*

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

What a coincidence as I’ve made it a New Year’s resolution to watch FIREFLY and SERENITY after constant urging to do so by buddies who aren’t usually so insistent, especially about TV programs.
The comments I’ve read here only make me more curious. Thanks.

sanjuro on December 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM

If you like sci-fi, Firefly is fantastic but be warned the first time through…..

I saw maybe 2 episodes on FOX, enough to get interested, and it was yanked. Then I saw Serenity and went “Wow!”. Then my wife bought me the boxed Firefly set and I went “Awesome!”. Until about the 4th episode when the realization hit me that there would not be any more.

;-(

roy_batty on December 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Apparently any good news about Ron Paul just get ignored. blah, blah, blah, blah…

Capitalist75 on December 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

SQUIRREL!

I’m not a golden retriever and you need to stay on topic…

dominigan on December 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Apparently any good news about Ron Paul just get ignored. Especially since the conservative media been trying discredit him like they did to Herman Cain and the people of Iowa are not buying it anymore! Here’s the latest polling that shows Ron Paul is increasing his lead!!!!!

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2011/12/paul-maintains-his-lead.html

Question: If Ron Paul wins both Iowa and New Hampshire will we be a witness to heads exploding across this country?!

Capitalist75 on December 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Hey troll! You don’t have to put this on every thread!
Free speech for me…but not for thee!

KOOLAID2 on December 28, 2011 at 10:59 AM

“Well look at this… seems we got here just in the nick of time. Whats that make us?

Big damn heroes sir.

Ain’t we just.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYeqDD96gLg

Congrats to FIRE and all involved.

oryguncon on December 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM

One really cool thing I read, slightly OT, about Nathan Fillion.

He’s very popular, and has a rabid fanbase. An interviewer once asked him what’s a good way for someone to relate their appreciation without wanting to invade his space. He said he gets the biggest kick out of (and suggests) that when you pass him by or whatever, simply say, “Cap’n”. It shows you know and you love him and Firefly and its a damn shiny way to go about it.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I ever encountered him, this or just go all totally nutso and try to get a picture/autograph, whatever.

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM said…

Gorram edumacators.

Firefly and The Simpsons? I think my head just exploded.

stoutcat on December 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM

bgibbs1000, Maybe it could be the diffence between liberals of Roddenberry’s generation and those of STTNG. There was a time that stating one was a Democrat and a proud American didn’t cause people to spew up their coffee.
In the 50s, Roddenberry wrote many scripts for HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL as well as other Westerns and they were always crisp, sharp and free of the standard Western “we’ll head’em off at the pass. black hat vs white hat” cliches. I urge y’all to check out HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL even if you don’t like Westerns. You’ll be surprised.

sanjuro on December 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM

The less input Roddenberry had into his own creation, the better it was IMO. He pretty much pissed away control after the disaster that was ST:TMP. There were several people who were far more responsible for Trek’s success in the end (Okuda, Berman, and Piller come to mind) than Gene Roddenberry.

gryphon202 on December 28, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Agreed. Some of the weakest episodes of ST:TNG were the ones Roddenberry himself wrote (the pilot, among others). Just a bunch of namby-pamby holding-hands liberal garbage.

For me, it all came down to his view of human nature as basically good and perfectible. Troi summed it up in a quote in First Contact:

“War, disease, poverty: They’ll all be gone in the next 50 years.”

Yeah, right.

Contrast that with Whedon’s vision of the future in Firefly:

“nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today”

That’s more like it.

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM

What a coincidence as I’ve made it a New Year’s resolution to watch FIREFLY and SERENITY after constant urging to do so by buddies who aren’t usually so insistent, especially about TV programs.
The comments I’ve read here only make me more curious. Thanks.

sanjuro on December 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Make sure you watch them all and in order. One of the reasons Firefly ‘failed’ is that Fox messed that up. They decided to make the second (or third?) episode the pilot, and then ran the original pilot episodes weeks later. Then they flat out skipped and didn’t show 2 other episodes later in the run.

Perhaps the most significant quote I ever read, and I’ve seen many people make it is, “It’s what Star Wars should have been.”

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM

This is what I’m sayin’.

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Ben Stein’s documentary “EXPELLED” is another great example of the thought police on American campuses, and it also has a more chilling ending of where thought censorship can lead.

conservative4freedom on December 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Perhaps the most significant quote I ever read, and I’ve seen many people make it is, “It’s what Star Wars should have been.”

Darksean on December 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Exactly. I made that very point in my review of the film some years back:

Watched and greatly enjoyed Serenity last night. I won’t go into a plot exposition, but only point out that it’s a kind of a sci-fi/western hybrid with excellent characterizations and fresh, witty dialogue. The way the characters are portrayed is especially good—they’re given smart exchanges that allow them to feel like more than just two-dimensional cardboard cutouts. Not only that, their interpersonal chemistry is palpable and rounds them out further; it makes you care about them and gives an emotional backbone to the action scenes.

I couldn’t help noticing a marked contrast between the film and the steamroller sci-fi franchise of the past 15 years or so: The Star Wars prequel trilogy. The comparison is especially apt given that Serenity and Revenge of the Sith came out roughly at the same time. Everything the Star Wars movies did wrong, Serenity does right. I could go on for ages, but I’ll just point out a few of the contrasting elements:

- Instead of just cramming as much sci-fi garbage as they could on the screen, Serenity focuses on story, dialogue and character development, connecting you to the sense of urgency the characters feel and giving a strong emotional center to the action scenes in spite of the fact that there isn’t nearly as much crap going on as there is in the Lucas films.
- The dialogue and acting in Serenity is exponentially better than in Star Wars. This is no difficult achievement given how utterly, mind-bogglingly terrible those elements were in the prequel trilogy. And not only do they stand out in comparison to the Star Wars prequels, the dialogue and acting actually shine in comparison to good films of any genre—there’s a crispness to the words and the inflection with which they’re delivered that keeps you engaged and interested on many levels.

In addition to the Star Wars smackdown, there are some other noteworthy aspects to Serenity:

Though he’s not the first to present a less-than-polished vision of the future (in contrast to the Star Trek universe, where “war, poverty and disease have disappeared”), I admire how forthcoming Joss Whedon is about the worldview reflected in his film:

“…nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today.”

I know it’s implied in many other sci-fi works (take the rough-and-tumble neo-noir dystopian vision of Blade Runner, for example); I guess I just admire Whedon for being so explicit about the take on human nature that informed his screenwriting and directing.

One more thing about the film: I also couldn’t help noticing the parallels to Cowboy Bebop:

- The rag-tag group of mercenaries with nothing binding them together except their own fickle loyalties
- The disgrunted yet charismatic “leader” driven by a certain philosophy/outlook on life
- And even the synthesis of a future universe with iconic 19th- and 20th-century elements.

All in all, Serenity is a great film. It’s in my sci fi top-five for sure. Two thumbs up.

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I think we are the victims of the StarTrek-think generation, actually. Roddenberry would be proud. *ugh*

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Roddenberry believe that almost all aggressors could be talked down. It was just bridging the conversation gap with these people. Sort like when I hear liberals talk about the Middle East.

Also, the profit motive was a bad thing. Any aliens that used money or wealth were consider backwards.

There was whole world false science about how the Enterprise worked, but not one detail on how people were employed, paid, and purchased goods on Earth in the future. Sort of interesting that was left out.

Oil Can on December 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Thanks for the suggestions about FIREFLY y’all That’s what I like about HA commenters, like talking with neighbors……. except for the crank down the street that runs the kids outta his yard.heh.

sanjuro on December 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Oh, and thanks for handling my clumsy quoting with humor and class. And yes dear sir, you are very correct. Firefly is the only sci-fi show that I could actually see myself living during that future time. Just like today, only bigger and with better weapons. Spannerhead gets it as well.

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

The one thing I disagreed with is the statement “if universities don’t allow discussion these discussions won’t happen.” That’s wrong. They simply won’t happen there and over time the universities will lose their status as being places of ideas and instead become houses of indoctrination. The line between these two concepts is a fine one and it’s not something they can control. It’s a concept that exists within our group consciousness. The culture believes one thing or the other. Shutting out ideas and being PC to the point where it’s impossible to have an adult conversation means it ceases to be an adult place where people can discuss ideas. We’ll all just sit around and practice lying to each other. Then out of the sight and sound of the proctors real discussion will resume.

The danger the universities really need to worry about is that they’ll undermine their own value and create an opportunity for other institutions to either take over or form that will serve some of the same purposes.

Karmashock on December 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Man I’m enjoying this much needed break from the political nightmare. After over 30 years as a political junkie…I’m getting burnt-out. It never gets better does it? I fear the slow death of America and more importantly, freedom. Sigh…

Is there really any hope?

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I saw this video on AoS last night, but my interest for this professor faded to zero when I saw a Palestinian flag and a picture of the Abu Ghraib scandal on his wall.

Lance Murdock on December 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

It shows a comedic disconnect when a university is more concerned about a quote from a tv show, then a Professor having the flag of a terrorist state.

amazingmets on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Is it too late to redirect the groundswell of support for the professor into a full-on movement to resurrect the series??

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 9:54 AM

You mean the series called “The Federalist Papers” with room left over for commentary by the Anti-Federalists?
You mean that series?

Amendment X on December 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Oh, and thanks for handling my clumsy quoting with humor and class. And yes dear sir, you are very correct. Firefly is the only sci-fi show that I could actually see myself living during that future time. Just like today, only bigger and with better weapons. Spannerhead gets it as well.

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Spanner does, indeed. I don’t believe in taking what I read to heart, but couldn’t resist a little tweaking just for fun. I’m glad you didn’t take offense.

That being said, however, fyi, I’m not a sir. ;) :D

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Karmashock, when yer federally and state supported and have tenure there is No fear.
Values were undermined long ago and all Congress has done is investigate the pay of faculty members in PRIVATELY supported educational institutions.

sanjuro on December 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Oops.
Sorry

Is it too late to redirect the groundswell of support for the professor into a full-on movement to resurrect the series??

Spannerhead on December 28, 2011 at 9:54 AM

You mean the series called “The Federalist Papers” with room left over for commentary by the Anti-Federalists?
You mean that series?

Amendment X on December 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I think this should be his next quote:

If wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.

Then we can see PETA and other activist groups writhe in agony. Almost as entertaining as the show. Well, not that entertaining, but entertaining nonetheless.

looking4statesmen on December 28, 2011 at 11:29 AM

That being said, however, fyi, I’m not a sir. ;) :D

totherightofthem on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Ooh! I’m left somewhat speechless. Oh God, I am a sci-fi geek. Flummoxed in the presence of the intelligent female form. Haha.

Keyser-Soze on December 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Jayne says…Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don’t you think?
-

RalphyBoy on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I wonder if this has something to do with Ron Pauls success?

http://theulstermanreport.com/2011/12/28/are-democrats-using-ron-paul-to-create-primary-election-chaos/

Much more importantly don’t them OWS’ers remind you of Reavers?

keithofboston on December 28, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I’ll be in my bunk.

mythicknight on December 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Comment pages: 1 2