Tag Archives: media

Minbari Mondays, The War Prayer, and Empathy for the Other

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 9th report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

In this report, in your Earth year 2258, it is the second year of operation of the station. This station which has so much of the love of my people, even when we were not loved there.

This report revolves around two intertwined incidents, both of which relate to the other, and to the need for empathy among all sentient species. You humans, just as we Minbari, continue to learn this lesson.

 

While one of our revered poets was on the station to visit with her old friend, Delenn, since before she was either Satai or ambassador, a terrible series of crimes was committed. The crimes affected not only the person of our Poet, but also the sense of safety, or lack thereof, for all of the vulnerable aboard the station. Even vulnerable humans, despite the attacks being carried out by human beings.

Attacks of hatred always carry a double message: one for those who were directly targeted, and one for those who were not directly targeted, but as members of the “in” group are also being reminded to “stay in line,” as you Humans put it.

Our Ambassador Delenn, and her friend, our well-known Minbari poet, were brought into closer contact with Ambassador Mollari. This series of incidents helped set Mollari, I humbly assert, on his path to possible redemption, as our Poet showed him a needed insight.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  Addendum to Ranger Mayann’s report, by Shira:  This episode is one of my favorite episodes!

I think of this as the tight shoes episode!

We get to see love and hate up close and personal, and a beautiful opening, with two friends discussing the maturing of a poem begun long ago. Garibaldi makes a still valid and saddening point about the hateful attacker, as he grunts that there are

too many who agree with them, and too many more just don’t give a damn.”

I love the conversation between Mollari and the Minbari poet, where he snaps that

I would expect such logic from a poet,”

and she comes back with a beautiful reminder that

all sentient beings are best defined by their capacity and need for love.

This episode has an excellent juxtaposition of love and hatred, with the consequences of both linked through an inter-generational exploration of an existence without love. That would be the existence of ambassador Londo Mollari.

This episode also shows the importance of the role of love and visits to the sick by their loved ones in healthcare.

That would be the empathy part of healthcare.

 

That was part 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 7: The War Prayer, which I most highly recommend.

See Ranger Mayann’s eighth report, from last week.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.)  Share your thoughts on hate crimes, bullying, and cultural dominance, 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.

3.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
ReadWrite -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

, Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
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.

Minbari Mondays, Mind War, and Gatekeepers with Empathy?

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,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  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.

-Shira

Action Items:

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.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
ReadWrite -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

, Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
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.

Minbari Mondays, Parliament of Dreams, and empathy for religions?

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 seventh report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

This seventh report, is still in your Earth year 2258, the second year of operation of this station.  This report looks at an incident during the time of G’kar as ambassador, and several celebrations of near death.

     This first celebration of near death teaches much about how much potential Ambassador G’kar already had for making new starts, as he did with his still new attaché Na’toth. As the danger unfolds around this one, the other ambassadors present two other celebrations of death couched in new life. The Centauri celebrate the near death of their own species, and the actual deaths of all the members of the other sentient species with whom they once shared their planet, Centauri Prime. Though they insist that it was for their own survival, this genocide saddens us, even today. All life is sacred. Perhaps now, they may begin to learn this.

Miss Sakai helped Commander Sinclair begin to see more of his own new life, as she explained how our Rebirth ceremony brings new life couched in the taste of your own death, and that it can also double as a marriage ceremony.

  The primary incident in this report, that of a Narn sent to assassinate Ambassador G’kar, ends in a celebration of his life, with the help of his newly proven attaché, Na’toth. The time taken to unravel his mystery also ends with the death, happily, of an idea. Your Earth government had an idea to show each “dominant belief system.”  Sinclair, in his wisdom, killed that idea, by showing a way to give birth to a more lively idea: the idea that you Humans have a great long line of varying beliefs and traditions, represented by your many different peoples.

 

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  Addendum to Ranger Mayann’s report, by Shira:  This episode is one of my favorite episodes, and I cry tears of wonder and hope every time I see that very last scene. This scene turns “the Long grey line” into a long named line of all our human ancestors, and all human belief systems. Each of us has such a line of those who came before us saying “remember.”

This episode introduces us to Lenier, Natoth, and Catharine Sakai. I love how the Narn assassin’s guild guy wears reading glasses, by the way!  I also love that hint at foreshadowing by Sinclair of the relationship between Londo and G’kar!!

and

The mystery deepens, as we see Delenn insist that Lenier not use her title “Satai,” and the the first time, we see the Minbari idea that Understanding is not required, only obedience…”

 

That was part 7 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 5: Parliament of Dreams, which I certainly recommend.

See Ranger Mayann’s sixth report, from last week.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.)  Share your thoughts on religion and cultural dominance, 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.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
ReadWrite -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

, Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
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.

Minbari Mondays, Infection, and Purity?

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 sixth report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

 

In this sixth report, still in your Earth year 2258, the second year of operation of the station, the only ambassador to be seen in this incident is one from the distant past of a dead world: an ambassador who is built to bring destruction.

As Mr. Garibaldi informed the human reporter, working for your news agency called InterStellar Network News, or ISN, how to navigate the station, Dr. Franklin was being offered an adventure by an old professor of his, while the esteemed professor’s subordinate was murdering a customs officer in one of the station’s docking bays.

The doctor showed what you humans call grouchy behavior both to Garibaldi and to his old professor.  Perhaps you humans could benefit from our Minbari meditation training?

The doctor, for some reason, missed signs that even one of my people would have noticed. It was clear from his arrival that the doctor’s old professor was lying.  Was it not also clear, that the professor was using the doctors own vice, his ego, to manipulate him?  Why do you Humans allow this?

I must admit that I am also mystified about the Martian war machine wanting to discuss the common cold: were not your Martian colonists also resistant to the human rhinoviruses?

Dr. Franklin, to his credit, questioned the motives of an Earth-based corporation, IPX, the one that financed the dubious adventure to which he was being invited, but yet again, the doctor allowed his suspicions to be talked away by his blustery old teacher.

Coming back to another Earth-based corporation, this one a network for news reporting,  ISN, we see Mr. Garibaldi attempting to save face for the commander, by talking around the commander’s delay in meeting with the reporter.  He informed the reporter how, after walking many miles through a desert, he became close friends with Commander Sinclair, but met only with a shameful attempt on her part to make Garibaldi lose face.  Such stories are what we Minbari treasure above all, to learn more about the history of Sinclair…

Commander Sinclair and Garibaldi were then forced to confront the professor regarding an artifact found on the dead planet from which it had been taken. Fortunately, they were less willing to be deceived than the doctor.  

As with Lt. Commander Ivanova, a word of warning from Commander Sinclair goes far.  But, his warning applied implicitly to the professor, without Sinclair having to say the words. Again, showing the wisdom which would later make up much wisdom from our world, the wisdom from which we would learn. Except, perhaps, for his early habit of performing duties which could have been delegated to his security personnel.

But then, the commander had to do that which only one of his wisdom could do: to convince a living machine that purity does not exist except in mathematics. You Humans would take a very long time to be able to learn that lesson from Satai Delenn.

In the end, the commander was successful, and the doctor had to confront his old professor, who tried, yet again, to stain the honor of your doctor, this time unwilling to be manipulated by his old teacher.

And Garibaldi risked their friendship to be honest with Commander Sinclair. True to his growing wisdom, the commander overcame his pride to thank his old friend Garibaldi.

Doctor Franklin, in reflecting on the problem of killing in the name of purity, was reminded of the words of Santayana by Lt. Commander Ivanova. Both the mistakes of the past and the survival in the future, of a species are connected to pride, ego, and purity not of flesh, but of motives.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  Addendum to Ranger Mayann’s report, by Shira:  This episode introduces us to some big movers and shakers in the B5 Universe, like ISN, and IPX.  I have always loved the play on CNN and on the large multi-national corporations that throw so much financial muscle around and force nation-states to bid for factories by giving out tax breaks.  That said, this was one of my least favorite episodes, with the exception of 1.)  the great Ivanova quote:

“Don’t. You’re too young to experience that much pain.”

and 2.) The Big Question, facing humanity about space. 

While I still find some moments in this episode to be cring-worthy, mainly that climactic scene with the over-acting of Commander Sinclair, I find that I like this episode much better now that I have gone back to look at it from Ranger Mayann’s perspective.  I also liked seeing the reference to H.G. Wells a bit better, this viewing around, though it suddenly strikes me that in that year, Mars is a human colony, so the reference to “the common cold” should no longer work, since a Martian war machine would now most likely be a battered old transport loaded with human colonists from Mars trying to escape oppression, if human history is any guide. 

The thing that has always troubled me, most likely, about this episode is that it touches a nerve for me.  As a kid, I was constantly being accosted by other kids, Black and White, asking me if I was “mixed” or “half and half” and even in college, about my folks not “keeping my bloodline pure.”  Ridiculous, of course, in the mouth of any of us here in the US, considering that every Black American has had ancestors from both Africa, probably from Europe, and often also from this very continent, especially for those of us whose ancestors arrived earliest.  Skin color is not a good indicator of ancestry, as one Black man found out the hard way: he deemed himself ‘pure’ until a DNA test showed that his either grandfather or great grandfather had been white! 

Heck, even the Puerto Rican girls in my Woodbridge, VA  Middle School didn’t see any common ground with me: they decided that it was imperative to follow me as I walked down the street, yell stupidities at me, and start a fight because I was ignoring them.  They both seemed to get a shock when I actually hit one of them back.  One sister stared at me in bewilderment as the other pulled out her makeup mirror to check her face! Meanwhile, I continued on my way to pick up my little step-brother from his baby-sitter.  By the time we got home, there was a large crowd of unhappy people, mostly Puerto Ricans, and the remaining one or two white, waiting on my front lawn.  None of us were what anyone would have called “pure” blooded, but this didn’t seem to matter to anyone, that day. 

“No one is pure. None of us”

Very true, but I doubt that those who need to hear that truth watch Babylon 5.

That was part 6 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 4: Infection, which I certainly recommend.

Ranger Mayann’s fifth report, from last week, can be read here.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.)  Share your thoughts on race and purity, 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 something like Babylon 5 could help that process.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
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…

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Minbari Mondays, Born to The Purple, and trained not to see?

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 fifth report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

 

In this fifth report, still in your Earth year 2258, the second year of operation of the station, Ambassador G’kar and Ambassador Mollari, with the mediation of Commander Sinclair, have been dancing around the issue of an important treaty for some time, telling enough untruths to make the head of your poor human telepath, paid to monitor the negotiations, spin with unease.

As talks around the Euphrates sector, indeed, possibly named for a key civilization on your world, falter, the two ambassadors mutual fondness of drink, of which we Minbari cannot partake, and romance, with which we Minbari are well acquainted, showed that Narn and Centauri were more alike than they wished to think.

At this same time, Lieutenant Commander Ivanova was learning that Mr. Garibaldi was a better sniffer of electronic truth than she might have first imagined. Her tale of Russian fighter pilots and gremlins did not stop the relentless comic from catching her in a sadly needed, yet still unauthorized misuse of station resources.

While then still new to the station, Vir Koto had his first taste of ambassadorial authority, if for only a few hours. In contrast, another Centauri experienced the consequences of lack of any authority, and what that could lead to for the powerless from their world.  Despite having the love of an ambassador.

As Commander Sinclair learned more about the resident telepath, Talia Winters, his two closest subordinates were coming to know each other as opponents in a game of ‘catch Lt. Gremlin‘ accessing the communication system. At the same time, a powerless woman is forced to access the system on behalf of her power hungry master. A saddening balance of abuse for good, and abuse for ill. Neither abuse of the system ought to have been made necessary. Only the solidarity among the less powerful prevented this incident from turning into an even greater tragedy for both parties.

This incident is an important introduction to the importance of appearances and of saving of face for the overly prideful Centauri, and it further shows that human telepaths had free will to decide to help other human beings, despite the power of your Psycorps, which ran their lives without mercy, for a time.  It also brings into sharp focus the lengths to which those who abuse the vulnerable will go to gain power, including lies, theft, and even murder, if permitted.

Knowing the station and those who frequented it were what allowed then Commander Sinclair to apply some of that wisdom which he would later use in full measure, upon becoming…

Sadly, even the oppressed run out of the solidarity that could save them, and the ruthless find strong arms with out conscience to do their ill bidding.

Fortunately, there is always a way around such problems, if we are willing to find creative solutions and act with courage to protect the vulnerable. And to forgive the broken of heart, when they are people of honor.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  Addendum to her report, by Shira: My personal view of this episode is that while it is important for characterizing all of the main players, it really shows the power relations within the Centauri Republic-turned-empire. This will be very important later on.   I am grateful to Ranger Mayann for including these issues in her report.

  I also really enjoyed seeing how poor G’kar has to put up with his new attaché’s disgust with the dancing ‘establishment’ in sharp contrast to his own liking for it, and especially the glee with which Londo watches all of this.  It is fun to watch G’kar’s own ambition being used against him, in the end, to ‘save the honor of the Centauri Republic’ and his almost (but at this point, not quite, as far as he knows, anyway) arch-enemy Londo’s career!  🙂  At this point in the series, he seems to be setting up to become the villain, and it looking back on it, will be … ok, no spoiling!

  This is also a great episode from a human rights point of view, highlighting as it did, back in the 90s, the problem of sex-trafficking and showing how a woman can be coerced even when it is not obvious that that is the case, at first glance, anyway.   

  I also love the cat and mouse game between Garibaldi and Ivanova, with her never outright lying, but knowing that she is not being entirely truthful, either, and too proud to ask for permission to use the Gold Channels, even though Commander Sinclair would surely have authorized her use of that limited resource to talk with her dying father.  Garibaldi’s tact and empathy in dealing with her, once he had proof, was the highest example of kindness and even of humility, as he let her save face, and keep her honor clean.  The final bit of seeing her at last drop her pride to accept ‘that drink, some other time’ is almost like the moment in Harry Potter when Hermione lies to Professor McGonagal to save Harry and Ron from punishment: a turning point where the habitual behavior of a character changes, revealing that a key lesson has just been learned and acted upon with a new ‘self’ being born in that moment.  Or perhaps I go too far?

That was part 5 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 3: Born to the Purple, which I highly recommend.

Ranger Mayann’s fourth report, from last week, can be read here.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.)  Share your thoughts on inheritance and power, if you will.

2.) Share your first imaginings about how to change such cycles, if you like.

3.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how something like Babylon 5 could help that process.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
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…

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Soul Hunter Babylon 5

Minbari Mondays, Soul Hunter, and a new doctor on the station

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 fourth report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

In this fourth report, we move forward just a bit in the same Earth year 2258, the second year of operation of the station, in an incident that saw the arrival of two more new faces. One would leave, for good. The other would be a tremendous force for good, as he already had been, though he was punished for it.  Both new faces remain part of our collective memory, twenty years later. 

Shag toth: when they come, great death arrives with them.

Satai Delenn knew this, but in her capacity as ambassador, all she could do was try to explain.

This report concerns an incident that took place immediately after the Doctor, Steven Franklin, came aboard the famed last of the Babylon stations. As then Lieutenant Commander Ivanova showed the doctor the station, one of these thieves of that which is most precious, may they leave us forever, was being saved by Commander Sinclair.

While Mr. Garibaldi was making his characteristic jokes, Satai Delenn attempted to remedy the great danger in which this creature placed every soul, especially certain classes of Minbari souls. Once again, her situation as ambassador limited her ability to protect all from the danger, even herself.

The doctor, also new to these creatures of nightmare, lost his first race with death as this thief gloated over the passing of one whose soul he did not feel was worthy of saving, as he put it. But removing those souls he claimed to have saved had diminished us all, until …

These thieves see us as jealous and selfish because we made a wall of bodies to stop them from stealing the soul of our great leader, Ducat, at the start of our war with you.

As Lieutenant Commander Ivanova committed the body of your slain ‘lurker’ as you called such people without a home, to the deep, she explained how she understood the ongoing mistakes your people make.  She told the newly arrived Dr. Franklin:

“I am Russian, doctor.  We understand these things.”

When Satai Delenn visited the thief to ask where his collection of souls was hidden, he showed his true nature.  Injuring one of your guards to escape, he followed Delenn, capturing her to start the process of stealing her soul just as one of his fellow thieves arrived at the station, hoping, no doubt, to steal the souls already stolen by the first thief.

In the final analysis, Commander Sinclair saved the soul, not to mention the life, of our great leader Delenn, who then freed the captive souls stolen by the first Soul Hunter, but at a cost.

The commander was brought one step closer to the perilous knowledge of what we made him forget, those ten years earlier, at The Battle of The Line.

The good in this incident was that Commander Sinclair learned another important set of facts that would be crucial to his later role in our society, and also that one more evil was seen and deterred, for your society.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

That was part of Ranger Mayann’s on-going letter: her report on this incident in the history of the Babylon Project  can be seen from another point of view by watching Babylon 5’s  Season 1, Episode 2:  Soul Hunter, which I recommend.

My personal view of this episode is that while it is an important introduction of Dr. Franklin, it is an even better introduction to an important part of the character of Lt. Cmdr Ivanova.  It is also the source of one of my favorite Ivanova quotes, and I am grateful to Ranger Mayann for citing her in this report. 

This has been her fourth report.

Ranger Mayann’s third report can be read here.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.) Share your thoughts on differences of opinion regarding death, and how they can affect the decisions we make, if you will.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
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…

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Minbari Mondays, Midnight on the Firing Line, and the 2nd Year of the 5th Station

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 third report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

In this third report, we move forward another year in the history of that “dream given form … ten years after the Earth-Minbari War.”  Commander Sinclair said, of the fabled place, that it held “… humans and aliens wrapped in two million, five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night. ”  But this Babylon station did more than hold space for sentient beings to talk:   it held hope, against the darkness.

That Earth year 2258, the second year of operation of the station, saw the arrival of two new faces. One was the Lieutenant Commander Ivanova of whom you will hear much more later, as head of my order. The other was the second resident telepath, sent to replace the first telepath in residence on the station, on orders of your PsyCorps.  The name of this new telepath was Talia Winters.  Both new members of the station crew were forced to learn the ways of the station, and of one another, quite quickly. 

It did not help that Ambassador G’kar was still not very enlightened.

But, then, neither was Ambassador Mollari.

Satai Delenn, in her role as the ambassador from Minbar, tried to mediate negotiations in the aftermath of the Narn surprise attack on a small Centauri agricultural colony, and then to help both sides see through their anger.  But each of them, far from being ready to see reason, was holding on to a dream of death, rather than a dream of peace.

Both of them would learn that twenty years may not be as long as it seems.

Commander Sinclair, already beginning to grow toward his true self, reminded Mollari that the station existed to build peace, even as both sides, Narn and Centauri, nursed visions of war.

Kosh the Good, assigned to act as the Vorlon ambassador to Babylon 5, gave the commander some guidance which he needed, but could not yet understand, to deal with the warring factions.

Commander Sinclair, Lieutenant Commander Ivanova, and Mr. Garibaldi, while working to unravel a seemingly unrelated problem with raiders, began to get to know the new resident telepath, Talia Winters, as a person, rather than just a telepath. While contemplating that raider problem, they also each contemplated their own votes in a planet-wide Earth presidential election which would have tragic consequences not much later.

They each began to build, sometimes reluctantly, new relationships, sometimes upon tenuous  foundations.  Those relationships would later rise or fall, with deep consequences for all of us, reverberating from that day to this one.

During this incident, we see how any sentient being, Centauri and Human in this particular case, can be tempted to misuse a subordinate, when placed in a position of power, even if that misuse came with the best of intentions.

Finally, through this incident, we also see how important it can be to both know and to understand what motivates another sentient being’s actions.

The spark was the invasion of Ragesh III by the Narns, which lit the flame of that smoldering anger, and burst into the conflagration of hatred, started a century before by the Centauri.  While the Narn habit of selling weapons turned out to be their undoing, in this case, the flame that was ignited began a much larger fire, which nearly consumed us all.  And all because of politics.

Those raiders turned out to be partially in the employ of Ambassador G’kar, having purchased the weapons they were using to wreak death and destruction near the station.  In selling those weapons, the Narns also gained a base from which to monitor communications between Ragesh III and the colony’s defenders. 

Ambassador Delenn pointed out, rightly, that this cycle of hatred could only result in an endless set of attacks that would eventually destroy both peoples.  Ambassador G’kar, however, sadly maneuvered the station’s Advisory Council into accepting the politically convenient response of a Centauri government seemingly tired of war.  Both at an individual or personal level, and at the wider community level, politics, it seems, have always been another common curse shared among sentient races.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

That was part 3 of Ranger Mayann’s letter: her third report on the history of the Babylon Project,  can be seen from another point of view by watching the Babylon 5 Season 1, Episode 1:  Midnight on the Firing Line, which I highly recommend.

Ranger Mayann’s second report can be read here.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.) Share your thoughts on cycles of destruction, if you will.

2.) Share your first imaginings about how to end such cycles, if you like.

3.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us , and something like Babylon 5 could help

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

February, 2021 CE = February 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
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…

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

B5 pilot The Gathering

Minbari Mondays, The Gathering, and the 1st Year of the 5th Station

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 second report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

I said that I would explain two of our ancient institutions:  the Minbari caste system, and the Anla’Shok, or the order that you Humans call the Rangers,  in my next report.  You will now need to know something about the Warrior Caste, which you will see mentioned in the incident I  describe in this report.  So I will begin by telling you what you need to know about them, now that you need this information.

We Minbari have three castes: Warrior, Worker, and Religious.  Each of these castes has a different function, in our society, and dresses accordingly.

That is what you need to know, at this time, about the Minbari Caste system.  As for the Rangers, all you need know at this moment is that we carry messages in the darkest and most difficult of places, where no others will go.  You, on Earth, are in a difficult place, right now, and so I bring these messages to you, in the hope of adding to the light.

And now, for the incident in question, the reason for this, my second report.

During the first year of operation of the fabled space station Babylon 5, The One who was known as Commander Sinclair, was at the head of this, the last of The Babylon stations.  He had under his command a Lieutenant Commander named  Takashima, a young woman who had worked hard after she learned the value of order and discipline, to come to serve under Commander Sinclair when it went online.  That was during your Earth year 2257.

This report centers around an incident related to justice, but not only to the sort of judicial process of rendering justice, about which you will hear in the report.  My hope is that you will see what lies at the heart of the incident, and take this meaning to heart.

This, my second report, will describe what may have been the most important incident to occur during the first year of operation of the Babylon project, aboard your Earthforce station Babylon 5.  The incident brings together some old faces, and some new names.

Then Ambassador Mollari reported that he was there at the Dawn of your third age, in this first year of operation of your Earthforce station in 2257.  This last Babylon station was located in neutral space for travelers, diplomats, and business negotiators.  He called it a “dream given form” despite being a dangerous place where all accepted the risk, because it was our galaxy’s last, best hope for peace.    That dream of a galaxy without war, given the form of this space station, is the dream of many visionaries.   This last Babylon station was the only station to have operated during our time.  We will speak of another Babylon station which operates in a different time period later, when you need to know about it.

Leaving aside certain shocking cross species dating problems, there was also a problem involving technology, smuggling, and telepaths.  Commander Sinclair was required to meet the new resident telepath sent by what will,  for a time, be called your PsyCorps, and he had the first opportunity to show his metal on the station. He acquitted himself well, while Lieutenant Commander Takashima dealt with Ambassador G’kar who was, at that time, not yet very enlightened.

This incident revolves around the arrival of Ambassador Kosh, the final ambassador to arrive as part of Babylon 5’s Advisory Council which is like your current United Nations Security Council.  The commander, in his sympathy for a new arrival to the station, even took the time to explain to the telepath, Lyta Alexander, that this particular station is called Babylon “5” because the previous four Babylon stations each, apparently, met a bad end.  When asked by Satai Delenn, acting as the Minbari ambassador to the station, why you Humans insisted on rebuilding each lost station, he answered with the words of your Earth poet Tennyson, saying that:

“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield,” are the point of human endeavor.

At that point no Human, and very few others, had ever seen a Vorlon.  Little was known about the Vorlons, even by us, the oldest of the space-faring races.  Our Satai Delenn, serving as ambassador on the Babylon 5 Advisory Council, did know more, however, and helped Commander Sinclair both with a nugget of self understanding, as well as with a file, containing information about the Vorlons. Unfortunately, in the sad events that followed this donation of information, our government didn’t act as well as Satai Delenn did in that moment.  While she was forced, in the course of these events, to teach G’kar a bit more respect, she disregarded his attempts to persuade the new telepath to donate genetic material to the Narns.  Satai Delenn, restricted by her role as ambassador, was unable to reign in many of G’kar’s unhealthy activities. In the later events, your resident telepath, Lyta Alexander, was misled, and manipulated, partly through the ongoing and shameful actions of G’kar in this matter.  Nevertheless, “the Universe knows what it is doing.”

As Ambassador Kosh lay between life and death, Ambassador G’kar acted as prosecution in the trial of Commander Sinclair.   He also managed to manipulate the Centauri vote on the jury as we Minbari stood by and watched.  To our deep shame.

As our Minbari Federation abstained, on the grounds that Ambassador, rather than Satai Delenn, was there strictly to observe Commander Sinclair, a great wrong was accomplished.  That wrong took years to correct.

This incident shows us how very much growing room each of the ambassadors had at that time.  And you will see later how much they did indeed grow, each of them.  As did Commander Sinclair.

In this incident, Commander Sinclair also learned something crucial that we Minbari had already known: the commander was missing memories because we left a hole in his mind.  By way of partial compensation however, Delenn did provide Commander Sinclair with a full record of our Warrior who caused this particular incident. Not quite restitution, but a beginning, since Satai Delenn would never tell her old friend Commander Sinclair anything that was not in his best interest…

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

That was part 2 of Ranger Mayann’s letter: her second report on the history of the Babylon Project,  can be seen from another point of view by watching the Babylon 5 pilot  The Gathering, which I highly recommend.

Ranger Mayann’s first report can be read here.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.) Share your thoughts on the Minbari caste system, if you will.

2.) Share your first imaginings about the Rangers, if you like.

3.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us , and whether we would need the Rangers after that

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

February, 2021 CE = February 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
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…

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Thoughtful Thursdays, Humanity’s Last Gasp, and, Adulting Plus

The common good, or the general welfare, requires a new form of Adulting and more than that.  We now need to remember what it means to care for our fellow human beings, and to be our brothers’ keepers.

If Stephen Hawking is right, and this is Humanity’s last century, then let us “make such an end as to be worthy of remembrance. ”

Let us feed, clothe, care for and help release the creative potential of every human being on this earth until such time as we are no more. When others look back on this time, they can say of us, either that we died foolishly, mired in our own inhumanity, or that we died well, making the best life that could be had for each and every one of our fellow human beings.

We have the means easily at hand to allow a Basic Income as called for by Dr. King, Participatory Budgeting, Universal Health Care and Local Currencies, starting with multiple Time Banks and scrip currencies at every level.

Every person should have the help needed to write his or her own story, unlike in Orwell’s 1984 where writing was banned, and the Star Wars films, where writing is neglected, to the delight of a dictator who has that many fewer journalists/poets/novelists to round up and shoot or make disappear.

All we lack is the will.

In Service to Humanity,

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

October 24th, 12017 HE

(caption: Image from Walter Swan and his ‘One Book Bookstore’ in Bisbee, AZ -fr. Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to the Holocene Epoch and to the Holocene Calendar (aka the Human Era calendar).

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how a calendar based on the Holocene Epoch might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses an alternate calendar, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(A previous lesson 2/67 published since this post, and a more recent lesson 3/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

French Friday Adulting: “Nous sommes tous Charlie”

Merci pour soutenir La Laicité et la liberté du presse, Cumhuriyet !

Est-ce qu’on est toujours Charlie ?

ShiraDestinie -“Je Suis Charlie”

14 janvier 2015 mercredi == 14 Jan. 12015 Samedi/Saturday 12015 HE (Human Era)

   Salût !   

Action Items in support of Adult responsibility and democracy that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to translate the word “news” into French, and “laicité” into English.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses a french word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)