This is the continuation of our fictional letter (reviewing each film and episode of Babylon 5) that I receive each week from Ranger Mayann.
Here is her eighth report:
Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:
In this very minimal eighth report, still in your Earth year 2258, the second year of operation of the station, there were two unrelated incidents which both came near to affecting the life of then Commander Sinclair. One, so we hear, is rumored to have almost cost him his life, as well as those of the quarter million other inhabitants of that station. The other appears to have involved Sinclair’s human mate, Miss Sakai, in an apparently simultaneous life threatening event. As the Anla’Shok lacks reports on either of the incidents in question, I can only confirm that no high ranking Minbari, and no Anla’Shok, were aboard the station during the time of these events.
From the city of Tuzanor, on Minbar,
Earth year 2278,
Addendum to Ranger Mayann’s report, by Shira: This episode is all about control. It introduces Bester, appropriately enough, and also, the soon to be infamous Jack. We also learn more about the PsyCorps, but it’s still one of my least favorite episodes, and I cringe every time I hear a certain word mispronounced during what ought to be a very tender scene. On the other hand, we do get another great Ivanova quote:
“Who watches the Watchmen?”
and an even better one:
“Good old PsyCorps! All the moral fiber of Jack the Ripper.”
We also get introduced to Garibaldi’s not so pleasant relationship with Al Bester:
“Anatomically impossible, Mr. Garibaldi, but…”
The really neat thing about this episode, from the Narn point of view, is how G’kar manages to take his role of gatekeeper for Sigma 957 and turn it on its head. He is a watcher of the planet, effectively, but actually uses his power to keep Miss Sakai safe. The PsyCorps, on the other hand, are the watchers and keepers of human telepaths, but not for the rest of us normal human beings, or mundanes, as the Teeps like to call us. Garibaldi seems to feel the same way Ivanova feels about telepaths, saying “they look at you like you were some kind of bug.” So this episode is all about control, watchers, and who gets to be the GateKeeper of what, and why, but not always in a bad way. And I do appreciate how the “Becoming” image of the guest star looks like something from an Octavia Butler novel. Too bad Octavia Butler didn’t get any credits in the episode though.
And there is one other part of this episode that I really do like, which, along with Sakai doing a great mocking imitation of G’kar’s warning that “Sigma 957 is not a healthy place,” just before she realizes that she’s about to cook, shows G’kar starting to reach up toward his potential. Fortunately for Miss Sakai, and by extension, Commander Sinclair, some gatekeepers don’t like others to die embarrassed. Upon thanking him for her rescue, Sakai asks G’Kar what was that huge thing that knocked her into the planetary orbit and nearly cooked her. I love his explanation and I can always imagine the two ants, one looking up and asking the other
“What was that?”
And the other replying:
“You don’t need to know!”
That was part 8 of Ranger Mayann’s letter on the history of the Babylon Project. It can be seen from another point of view by watching the Babylon 5 Season 1, Episode 6: Mind War, which I definitely recommend.
See Ranger Mayann’s seventh report, from last week.
1.) Share your thoughts on gatekeepers and who gets input into setting agendas and watching over those agendas and the people placed in the way, if you will.
2.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how this episode of Babylon 5 could help that process.
4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.
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Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
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Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:
, Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!
Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.
March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE
Stayed on Freedom’s Call
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.
Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.
Free copies are available at https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.