Thursday, August 23, 2012

Captain's bLog: 0822.12

Coming Attractions: I've been plugging away on a few more substantial posts for this site, and with luck, they'll start showing up here over the next few weeks. Specifically, a review of the British/German series Star Maidens,  a new "Fave Five," my long-promised review of Strange New World, and equally long-promised article about the aborted Star Trek II (a/k/a "Phase II") television series. There will probably be a new poll in September, and I've got another "Favorite Episode" piece nearly done. Fingers crossed (though it makes it harder to type).  

  A Few Words About Comments: This may sound cranky or curmudgeonly, but as I close in on my half-century mark, I think I'm entitled to a bit of, uh, curmudgeoness. Anyway, I'm trying to be more selective about which comments I approve for publication on this blog. Over the last two and a half years, the reader comments posted to this blog have overwhelmingly been in line with my intentions for the site: enthusiastic, celebratory, nostalgic and, generally, upbeat. We've also remained virtually troll-free. But recently, I'm finding myself slightly less happy with the "interactive" aspect of this blog.

Perhaps it's inevitable that as readership grows, I'm going to see more comments show up in my e-mail box for moderation that I'm uncomfortable with or that, frankly, just irritate me. I'm even thinking about disallowing "Anonymous" posting entirely, as most (though not all) of the comments that bug me are posted without a name attached. I haven't taken that step yet, but I'm considering it.

So, for the record, here are the types of comments I'm not likely to approve:
People selling something. That's not what this site is about. Try ebay. Related: people trying to find out what their memorabilia is worth. Again, that's not what this site is about. There are hundreds of other places online that are more appropriate for that kind of question. Use Google. That's what it's for.

Linking to illegal downloads/bootleg merchandise. I've actually addressed this before. Comments that link to torrent sites or unauthorized video dealers will not be approved. No moral judgement here; I just don't want to have this site hosting those sort of links.

Non sequiturs. Okay, this is the one that's really driving me nuts lately. I've been seeing a lot of comments recently that I simply cannot make any sense of whatsoever. I understand that this site can be accessed all over the world, and English isn't everyone's first language - but I can usually tell when that is the problem. Far more often, I get comments that simply repeat the information I wrote about in the post (as if the commenter only looked at the headline and/or illustration before clicking the comment tab, feeling compelled to show off his knowledge of the subject) or utterly nonsensical comments that, well, indicate serious weaknesses in reading comprehension. If you're going to take the time and make the effort to comment on something I've posted here, please think about it a bit, and make it worthwhile.

 • Negativity. You know, I understand that not everyone likes the movies and television shows and other stuff I write about on this blog; some people outright hate them. Others think they're "cheesy" (a word that really bugs me and automatically raises my defensive shields), "lame," or just trash. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But this blog isn't the place to tell the world how crappy you think The Starlost is, or for expressing your ironic sense of post-modern snark. In the header at the top of this page, I use the word "celebrate," and that's what this blog is about. If you think the original Battlestar Galactica is lame, or that Starcrash is the Worst Movie Ever, write about it on your own site, or go find an appropriate message board somewhere. This is a blog, and, more to the point, it's my blog, and I'm not going to stand for people coming in and being jerks in my house.

This doesn't mean we can't have some good-natured fun with these shows, or acknowledge their flaws and amusing defects, but the key words there are "good-natured." (And don't send me angry comments about me not respecting your freedom of speech, or me being too cowardly to hear differing opinions. A. This isn't a public forum, and B. I really don't particularly care about the opinions of anonymous strangers.)
Please do keep sharing your own Star Kid memories in the comments, or passing on cool behind-the-scenes information, and politely correcting factual errors I make. And please, have fun with (and make fun of) these shows and movies. Just try and keep it... affectionate. That's the word I'm looking for, I guess.

ADDENDUM:  I'm also not saying that people can't disagree with my opinions. That's cool. Just be polite about it, okay? 

  Blatant Cross-Promotion: As usual, here's my standard pitch: anyone who enjoys my writing and reviews on this blog  should check out my DVD Late Show site, where I have been reviewing B-movies, cult films and genre television shows on DVD and Blu-ray disc since 2005. Among the over 700 reviews are plenty of Space: 1970-era favorites, like Battle Beyond The Stars, Damnation Alley, Starcrash, The Starlost, the Space: 1999 Blu-rays, and many more.


  1. Here is another I would add to your list of unwanted comment types (though you may not have the problem with this type that I have):

    People who are too insecure to admit they honestly enjoy some old show or movie, so instead they tell you how they just love Campy shows.

    I always feel like that comment not only diminishes a show or a movie (it's a bit reductive) but it also doesn't really bring anything new to the conversation.

  2. I love this site and try to visit every day or two. I use the word cheesy, but don't intend it to make fun of a show or movie. It's just a way of noting how it comes across. I love 70's sci-fi because I grew up on it and think it a great time for the genre. Not everything was good, but a lot of the makers of the films and movies really tried to do something that they thought was good. If I put a non-positive label on something in a comment I always try to add a part about a positive triat to the show or movie too. Perhaps I need to be more careful about that though. Would love to see some coverage on more European films from the late 70's-early 80's or even Don Dohler films like The Alien Factor.

  3. >biddy-biddy-biddy< RIGHT ON, Chris!

    (to paraphrase one of the greatest philosophers of all time)

  4. Well, I'd hope you don't disable anonymous posting, as we Anons can sometimes provide information on the topics being discussed here, or answer questions raised. But it is your blog, and it shouldn't be a chore or drive you nuts, either. Looking forward to the new material, either way.

  5. Know what you're saying about comments. A lot of it is about underlying attitude isn't it, that's what comes across as to whether someone is actually trying to constructively contribute or not. As a blogger I think you have the perfectly justified editorial right and authority to screen comments and maintain the tone of the blog that you are happy with. Which, as you point out, doesn't mean you can't have a chuckle or a debate.

    And by the way, I think the descriptions 'campy' or 'cheesy' are way over used and usually don't actually describe anything about the subject, and commonly even misrepresent it completely.

    And also, personally, I find it fine if blogs update intermittently or infrequently. I do that with my blog. Not everyone who blogs has the resources available to do nothing but blog half the day every day. But a blog can still be a great blog, full of great info etc.

    Also, let me take this opportunity to say - GREAT SITE!! Just to let you know, I've linked from my The Omega Man website - (come on over for a look sometime if you can). Keep up up the great work!

  6. I love this site Chris ! keep up the good work keeping out the jerks

  7. Chris,your site is one of the few that I visit on a daily basis.You're 100% justified in how you wish to deal with the comment section.The common bond that brings me and other readers here is our love of this era of science fiction.To me it seems that many of our beloved shows,movies,etc. back then had more of a positive message attached.That's one reason I never got too far along with the reboot of Battlestar Galactica:It was so dang depressing!

  8. Re: Non sequiturs

    These can often be a clumsy method to get a link to their site on a popular blog and drive web/search-engine traffic their way. A lot of the stuff I see on sites I run makes me think most of it is generated by bots.

  9. "Giggity, Giggity.."

    Christopher, you have such an awesome site here. LOVE the memories.., please keep up the awesome work.

    Blessings ~