Friday, February 26, 2010

BABYLONian Progeny, Part I


As produced, Babylon 5 (1994-1998), Joe Michael Straczynski’s five-year television opus, tells the story of the build-up to, execution of, and the consequences following the last of the Great Wars.

As originally conceived, in 1986 and 1987, the story couldn’t have been more different: all five seasons were a long, slow burn to the war’s breakout, ending with a finale that was right out of the Empire Strikes Back playbook – a cliffhanger in which our band of heroes is dispersed and at the mercy of the forces of darkness arraying around and pursuing them.

The entirety of the story’s balance – the waging and winning of the all-out interstellar conflict, picking up the pieces afterward, and forging the galactic community into a new political and economic alliance – was reserved, then, for a second five-year series, a spin-off that, although set aboard a mobile platform as opposed to a fixed space station and inverting the previous show’s narrative mix of drama underpinned by action-adventure elements, would essentially function as Babylon 5 seasons six through ten. This show, headed by Commander Sinclair (yes, he was to have not only survived all five years of B5’s run [as produced, the character makes his exit after the first season finale], but to make it to the end of the sequel series, as well); his wife, Ambassador Delenn; and their son, David, was to be called Babylon Prime.

Prime, of course and obviously, never made it past the conceptual stages, a victim of Stracyznski’s complete and total overhaul of B5 once he lost the linchpin of his decade-long narrative, Jeffrey Sinclair. But the impetus to do a follow-up tale, along with the sketched-out structure in which to tell that story, was still there – and, like all stories left untold, it was an itch that needed to be scratched. Fortunately for the showrunner, albeit unfortunately for his first-born child, the opportunity wasn’t long to present itself.



After Babylon 5’s third season was completed and before prep on its fourth could begin, JMS, as he is affectionately called by his legion of rabid fanboys, was delivered some bad news: Warner Bros., the production studio behind the series, was pulling the plug that year, truncating his five-year show into a four-year run. He needed to make a second round of sweeping changes to ensure that all the relevant storylines were further compressed, allowing a satisfactory amount of closure for both the characters and viewers alike. But not to worry, Warners said – they wanted more B5, and they wanted it soon. When Straczynski unbelievingly suggested doing a fifth season to quench this apparent thirst, the execs brushed it off; that production was dead, but the brand was still strong among the uber-sci-fi geeks. A spin-off series is what was required, and they wanted him to provide it, ironically, for as early as the television season immediately following Babylon’s run.

Since he couldn’t produce a fifth season, JMS decided he would do a fifth season anyway, retooling Babylon Prime’s changed-venue-but-direct-continuation premise to fit the matter at hand. Captain Sheridan, Sinclair’s replacement as head of Babylon 5, would make the transition from commanding a space station to commanding a starship – a White Star, the ship class that help assure victory in the war – and he would bring his wife, Ambassador Delenn (and, more likely than not, their son, David), along for the ride. To help distinguish his now-starship-based series from others in the field, most notably the vast bulk of the Star Treks, Straczynski would make Sheridan the CO of not just one White Star, but a whole squadron of them, thereby allowing the audience to experience several different crews and ship cultures instead of being confined to just one. (To further expound on the theme, Sheridan would’ve also been the commander of several local squads, which he could rally together if the going got too hot, making him, apparently, something of a minor admiral.) Given John Sheridan and his myriad vessels’ quest to maintain order and keep the peace in a post-Great War galaxy, JMS dubbed his reworked spin-off Crusade.

(A large unknown quantity in this iteration of Crusade is just what Sheridan’s ultimate fate would’ve been at the truncated end of Babylon 5. As produced, Sheridan exited EarthForce at the end of season four to join the civilian leadership of the newly minted Interstellar Alliance [as originally conceived, this role would have been fulfilled by David Sinclair, the part-Minbari and mostly-Human love child of Jeffery Sinclair and Delenn]. More than likely, given the B5 finale’s placement in the timeline – it is set 20 years after the show proper – Straczynski wouldn’t have altered the final episode in any [substantial] shape, way, or form; this permutation of Crusade would have simply altered the route Sheridan took to get to where he was in 2281, and not his fate itself.)



JMS, of course, was happy with the theoretical components of his new show, but Warner Bros. was not. They feared a five-year mission of simply patrolling space and putting out martial as well as political brushfires was too vague for most viewers to either understand or relish and too difficult for marketers to sell (this despite the avowed success of Star Trek shows The Original Series and The Next Generation, which dedicated three and seven years, respectively, to a very similar open-ended premise – exploring space, the final frontier). They asked him to revise his prospective spin-off yet again, this time featuring a very specific and action-oriented hook that would grab audiences from the very beginning and never let go. Resigned and not a little frustrated, Straczynski right on the spot pitched the idea of a hostile alien species, angry over the outcome of the Great War, staging a sneak attack on Earth to eke out their revenge, seeding the planet with a techno-virus that would wipe out all life within a matter of five years. The crew of the Excalibur, an advanced, destroyer-class White Star, would be tasked with combing through the near-endless remains of long-gone civilizations on numerous planets strewn throughout the galaxy, desperately looking for some sort of cure. The studio executives were rapturous: not only would this premise present a gripping, and highly marketable, starting point, it would also infuse the subsequent narrative with the unrelenting tension that only a ticking clock could provide, something which Babylon 5 never could’ve or would’ve done. Crusade 2.0 (1999) was almost immediately greenlighted.

But before any follow-up series could be produced, B5 itself had to be finished. At quite literally the last minute, Warners division TNT swooped to the rescue of the suddenly abandoned show, securing its fifth and final season (and even ordering up four additional telefilms along the way). JMS had to implement a third wave of structural changes to his original five-year storyline to accommodate the new opening of 22 episodes, and in this revising, material from all his work on the various spin-off projects filtered through: the empire-building of Crusade 1.0 emerged as one of the dominant themes of the season, the construction project that would result in the Excalibur was formally introduced, and the Drakh, the aliens that would be behind the imminent terrorist attack on Earth, were sufficiently reworked from previous episodes to make them the chilling villains that they needed to be.

With Crusade scheduled to premiere some two months after B5’s finale (it would ultimately get pushed back another five months), Straczynski started work on the new series immediately. The finished show would bear a great deal of resemblance to both of its conceptual predecessors: the Excalibur, a large vessel containing an array of locations and characters both, was closer to Babylon Prime’s mobile platform than the previous Crusade’s White Star; the Rangers would play a significant, though technically only a supporting, role, scouting possible locations for the Excalibur to investigate; and the cast would include at least one holdover from Babylon 5 (which, after initially penciling in Ranger Marcus Cole, ended up being Captain Elizabeth Lochley, Sheridan’s successor as commanding officer of B5, due to Straczynski’s last minute decision to write Cole out of the Babylonian mythos).



But the biggest parallel between Crusade-as-produced and its forbearers is the trajectory of its five-year arc. Prime would have been about Commander Sinclair and Ambassador Delenn framed by and on the run from both of their governments, social outcasts for (allegedly) selling out their people during the Earth-Minbari War a decade earlier and becoming a Human-Minbari hybrid, respectively – all in addition to their attempts at rallying forces to fight against the Shadows in the Great War. Similarly, Crusade would have followed Captain Gideon and his crew, framed by their government for having uncovered a deep-rooted and notorious conspiracy whilst poking around long-deserted regions of space, attempting to clear their good names – while on their crusade to find a cure to the Drakh-delivered disease (Straczynski planned on alleviating the techno-virus roughly halfway through the second season, spending just enough time on the storyline to satiate the suits and lull the audience into a false sense of security on just what the series was and where it was going).

Unfortunately for all, however, it wasn’t meant to be. After a changing of the guard at TNT, the network decided to dump its 110-episode television series after only 13 installments were produced – and before it had even debuted on the air. To this day, 11 years after its cancellation, the ultimate fates of Matthew Gideon and his shipmates remain unknown, though not through the lack of trying by Straczynski and his franchise-that-wouldn’t-stay-dead.




This piece is part of Marc N. Kleinhenz's The Babylon Project series of articles, which comprises essays, reviews, and interviews. The other items can be found here:

The Passing of the Techno-mages and the expansion of previous narratives
November 2009
Blue Buddha

The Lost Tales and the undermining of worldbuilding
December 2009
Blue Buddha

The Shadow Within, The Passing of the Techno-mages, and the role of technology in love
January 2010
PopLitiko

Sandy Bruckner and the dream of fandom
May 2010
PopLitiko

Patricia Tallman, Lyta Alexander, and the path to extremism
June 2010
PopLitiko

Matthew Gideon and the apocalypse
July 2010
PopLitiko

Maggie Egan, ISN Jane, and the craftsmanship of delivery
August 2010
PopLitiko

Jeanne Cavelos and the perfection of storytelling
November 2010
PopLitiko

History and metatheater in the world of Babylon
December 2010
PopLitiko

Joe Michael Straczynski and the dark side of Babylon 5
January 2010
PopLitiko

By Your Command -- Part 3


“Gravedancing” (104)

There is a lot of dancing going on in this episode (the first to be written by once-and-future Caprica showrunner, and yet another Battlestar alum, Jane Espenson). Philomon dances with the Zoe Cylon (a cute musical interlude that further entrenches his love for a machine that, as far as he knows, is devoid of a sentient core – a glimmer of hope for humanity’s doomed future); Sam Adama dances all over Amanda Graystone’s emotional balance, plucking her heartstrings as if he were twanging a guitar; the Global Defense Department dances through domicile and academy alike while doing a parallel pirouette through legal loopholes; and, of course, Daniel Graystone dances on the memory of his daughter while in the throes of a far larger and more embedded ritualized choreography of public perception and media manipulation.

Running through it all like the chorus of a chanted song is fear, that fundamental element that unifies all human endeavors, positive or negative, doomed or unbounded. The loudest refrain is, by far, the Graystones’ interrogation on live (inter-) global television, having to simultaneously defend, rationalize, and condemn Zoe’s entire life – while proclaiming the innocence of the newest technological advancement in Colonial society, the holoband. There is a statement there, lurking surreptitiously in the background, of having to sacrifice the human to the machine – an obvious harbinger of things to come – but there is also a declaration of something far more immediate and prevalent: the fear of new technologies that has lead to the condemnation of cinema in the early twentieth century and the blaming of Columbine on videogames. Whatever is New is branded as the Other, the stranger in town, the obvious culprit of all of society’s (pre-existent) problems. That a people are never able to learn from their societal history or cultural bigotries is one of the most depressing elements of life on this planet and in Caprica both; that this prejudice ultimately turns out to be well-warranted in the case of the Cylons is ironic.

And, perhaps, not just a little self-fulfilling.

* * * * *


There is one other piece of fancy footwork delicately weaving its way through this chapter.

Tsattie, young Willie Adama’s beloved grandmother, has donned her Dark Lord of the Sith hood and begun a Godfather-like puppet show, gently but ruthlessly sinking her claws into the men of her family (-in-law) to eke out the course of events that she most desires. Willie spends more time evading school than attending it? Fine – find another existential path to take, one that combines job and passion, pragmatism and romanticism. And use Uncle Sam, the man who is also gifted in the ways of puppeteering, to get it. Daniel Graystone is ultimately responsible for the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of her daughter and granddaughter? Nudge Joseph Adama, the immigrant who would be a native, to nudge his brother the puppeteer to balance the books and satiate the thirst for blood.

That she is so implacable – the little grandmother with the sweet face – is surprising, even for a show that has its two leads constantly engaged in a dance of fight or fight, progress or regress, might or right. That she does so while making jokes about the little bones of dead Tauron children is funny, even for a show that has dancing robots.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Who do you serve?



NINE INCH NAILS and TRENT REZNOR demonstrate reality through art. Some listeners and critics consider the song HEAD LIKE A HOLE to be about Bondage, or S&M, others about some political force, or religious force, but in reality, the opening line, bow down before the one you serve is stark reality. We all believe in something, and to paraphrase and semi-quote Neil Peart from Rush, choosing not to choose still means you've made a choice. So is it money, power, religious faith, ecstasy, control, conformity that you bow down to?



There is a common belief that at heart most people are self interested. But that doesn't really amount to getting at who do they serve. For if we all our similarly self interested, we all do not follow or bow down before the same master. And, sometimes, even if people are selfish, they do not benefit themselves by being so. In the field of history it is most often accepted that while peasants are said to be rebellious and ready to organize against the government, the peasants on the whole are more conservative in their nature than any form of government they might oppose.




Creativity is a way people express themselves, and, some are fulfilled by that. But is that a power greater than ourselves that we serve? Maybe...




Life offers some people few options, the poorer one is the less viable options he or she will have. So do we choose the object of our service, or, are we cast into service by a lack of choices?



If you choose to escape reality by drugs or some form of fantasy, does it not mean you've still, nonetheless, responding to your existing world? If so, haven't you then ceded control over to the forces of the world you dislike, or fear?



You can get out of the thing called life as early as you make the decision and act upon in. But, if that results in something worse, does that power in fact help you?



Money gives you options in life. By having money you have more choices to make. I am not suggesting we all serve money, but, money is such an enormous beast, one you cannot escape, that, at best you can ignore it, but you cannot deny its existence.

I don't have a point beyond saying, in making this song, and, video, NIN and Trent Reznor reflected the world, it showed us a portion of our being, and by doing so, raises many questions.

Who do you serve?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cycles of insanity

Click to see the madness

When Clinton was president there were the Militias, and the anti tax rebels. When the Bush was in office there were terrorists and the axis of evil. When Obama is in office we have Tea Parties and the rise of the gun toting right.

The swells of the current and tides mean that popular culture, the world in which we live and play, breathe and die, is a battleground of ideologies, myths and fears. I am not saying who is right or wrong, it doesn't matter. The truth of the matter is, people allow their fears to dictate their beliefs, and we can expect, with every election cycle to understand better what views guide us, and what does the future look like.

I recommend that people think about the impact of the recession upon beliefs and decision making. Money, for all its power, is corruptive in that it causes people to go insane from fear when they do not have it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

THE VAGARIES OF FAME



Someone wrote to call me an asshole. Perhaps I am one, you never know but all I did was say what was true, that J.D. Salinger lived a long life, was willing to let his words be his epitaph and that he enjoyed his privacy. But apparently, by saying such to the person calling me an asshole I was saying good riddance to the talented author.

I wasn't. Lives should be lived so well that when we die the thought is how much was left that causes us sorrow. We should mourn the loss, instead of saying, well they lived a long time, so there it is. But J.D. Salinger, to me, didn't seem to be all that happy with his existence, with his fame, and with his ability to interest others simply by existing. So in a sense, while I am not saying goodbye you old fart, I am unwilling to say such a loss, because I don't see a reason for it. The loss of his life, too should be considered in another light, something we don't talk about much in this world, but, provable or otherwise, maybe the place he is exists now is better. Perhaps he is banging 128 virgins daily. Perhaps he is without form or thought, kept alive only in our memory. Perhaps he is in the happy hunting grounds. But wherever he is, I doubt that there are people trying to capture his picture, gain his signature, or find out what he really meant when he said...

Any life lost is a sad thing, but it isn't because we are dead that lives are lost. Unwillingness to live, infirmity, circumstance and more can steal the joy of life. I plan to die a long time from now, eating sushi, drinking Stoli, reading poetry, surrounded by my cats, naked but for a smile, and laying upon a massive king size bed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

By Your Command -- Part 2


"Reins of a Waterfall" (103)

Something which Battlestar Galactica continuously danced around, and occasionally mastered, for the entirety of its six-year run was the perception of perceptions, the contours of perspective that can contort or distort within any given scene, episode, or season; Gaius Baltar, as such, can go from being a nihilistic hedonist to light comedic relief in the blink of an eye (and then back again).

This is clearly something that the writing staff behind Caprica wishes to not only advance, but to also expound upon. In the two-hour pilot, Joseph Adama is presented as the more relatable of the two familial figureheads, crying for the first time in his adult life as he struggles with the death of both wife and daughter whilst in the greater struggle of cultural and ethnic assimilation – he is, in other words, the classic underdog. His connections to organized crime, being the Caprican – or is that the Tauron? – equivalent of a mob lawyer, are essentially depicted as being peripheral, incidental to his moral compass; it is he, after all, who takes a stand against the larger-than-life Daniel Graystone, the technocrat who is so seduced by his progeny, both bio- and technological, that he ends up becoming the major force in creating a race of mechanical beings that will one day liquidate nearly all of humanity.

Not so in “Reins of a Waterfall” (which, like last week’s episode, was written by a BSG graduate [this time Michael Angeli]). Adama is a man of vindication and vengeance; this dog has teeth and a vicious bark, and he isn’t afraid to use either. He may be growing tired of being the guatrau's liaison to respectable Caprican society, judges and ministers and businessmen, but he has no problem freely partaking of the Ha’la’tha’s benefits, ordering his brother to first manhandle Graystone and then to murder his wife.

Indeed, the pendulum has swung the other way: it is Graystone who carries the audience’s heart this time around, who is relentlessly assailed physically and emotionally, financially and psychologically. It is he who is reduced, by episode’s end, to publicly speaking out against his daughter, who forgives – and touchingly so – his wife for the hailstorm of vitriol that is raining down upon them, who is to be violated in the most fundamentally wrong way imaginable for no particularly good reason.

If these past three installments – and the entirety of Battlestar – are any indication, expect the pendulum to swing a few times more before the end of the season.

* * * * *


Another pendulum continues to oscillate, meanwhile, for Sam Adama. Though undeniably a terrible influence on his nephew, he is nonetheless there, offering stability and, through that, comfort as his father is off bribing judges and chasing after avatars of his dead sister.

But it isn’t the Goodfellas education that continues to humanize the character; it’s his marriage to an individual that, on first blush, couldn’t possibly be more different from him. And, what’s more, the individual is a man.

Of all eight main characters on the series, it would seem that he will provide the greatest amount of surprise, delight, frustration, and, just possibly, redemption (but not necessarily in that order).

In other words, Sam Adama just might be the Gaius Baltar of Caprica.

* * * * *


Apotheosis.

This is Sister Clarice Willow’s grand plan – the deification of Zoe Graystone, whether it be the flesh-and-blood or digital version, as foretold by some sort of oblique prophecy (of the same variety that prodded Anakin Skywalker and guided Ambassador Delenn). Zoe apparently is to be some sort of spiritual leader – or, at least, a martyred symbol – of the burgeoning monotheistic movement that will eventually find its complete fulfillment in the Cylon Centurions.

If the concepts behind the character and her motivations are banal, the words employed to describe them hold a certain dynamism. Willow will not waver from “God’s plan” and describes Zoe, “God’s gift” to all of mankind, as possessing “the spark of life itself” – the words, or variations thereof, that Number Six whispered so sweetly into Dr. Baltar’s (largely) unhearing ear. There is a very clear and direct line between Willow and Six, between Caprica and Battlestar Galactica. Before the writers show us the actual rise of the machines as sentient lifeforms with their own cultural and societal beliefs wrapped around them, they’re showing just where those norms and religious convictions come from. Spirit first, bodies later – just as in many a religious tradition.

In BSG, the Cylons were intent on wiping the Colonials from the face of the twelve planets so as to open their settlement up, allowing them to plant an appropriately moral, God-fearing society. There is every reason to believe, at this extremely early junction, that Willow has precisely the same inspiration and strategy both.

God’s plan, it seems, never changes.

Just his soldiers do.

Friday, February 5, 2010

By Your Command -- Part 1


"Rebirth" (102)

The biggest surprise Caprica’s first regular episode, written by Battlestar Galactica alumnus (and TimeCop scribe) Mark Verheiden, contains is not a plot twist or character beat or thematic complication – it’s structure, the most primordial of all narrative elements. “Rebirth,” very much like the two-hour pilot that precedes it, is the antithesis of BSG’s tightly paced, narrowly focused, action-adventure-rooted installments, opting instead for a decidedly more Sopranos feel (a series which co-creator and sometime-showrunner Ronald D. Moore is an avowed fan of); elliptical, slowly unraveling throughlines and character development are the name of the game in this opening chapter, and they will undoubtedly prove to be the hallmark of the show proper in the years (Neilson willing) to come.

Case in point: the sub-plot in which two lab assistants are instructed by Dr. Graystone to transport the Cylon prototype, officially dubbed the U-87, to his house. Getting the robot strapped into its carrier, put into a truck, driven over to Graystone Manor, and then unloaded in the good doctor’s basement takes roughly half the episode – which is of particular note given that the entire progression of scenes would have been played mostly, if not entirely, off-screen in a BSG installment. Other sequences – young Willie Adama roaming the streets of Little Tauron with his Uncle Sam, Sister Clarice Willow’s troubles with her group marriage, Graystone’s musings on his U-87 difficulties – march to a similar (funeral dirge) cadence, giving the episode a decidedly anthologized feel as opposed to a clearly delineated story with precisely defined A-, B-, and C-plots that distinctly resonate with one another on either a narrative or thematic level.

Still, there is thematic footwork to be had, and it is substantive, albeit in its own (mostly) subtle, quiet way. The two technicians who attempt to coral the Zoe-Cylon into Daniel’s house approach the hulking mechanical being in two distinct and completely opposite extremes: Philomon looks at her with awe and appreciation, holding her to be a work of art that thus deserves to be treated with respect and, perhaps, even reverence; his colleague thinks it is merely a tool and manhandles it as such. Their vagaries in acuity presage how the greater Colonial society will respond to the burgeoning Cylon race – and lay out the basis for both Caprica and Battlestar Galactica.

All of which is not to mention that the loss of the latter tech’s finger proves to be the highlight of the ep, as well.


* * * * *


Prowling the streets of his ghetto, learning that his uncle is an enforcer for the Tauron crime organization, picking up lessons on the application of and abuses within the law, getting arrested, acquiring inchoate perspectives of respect, authority, and obedience – is this how William Adama becomes the stern, repressed, unflinchingly utilitarian command figure that we see in Battlestar Galactica?

Of all the possible narrative links to explore (and continuity minefields to navigate) between this series and its progenitor, few are as fascinating or as visceral as the transformation of 11-year-old Willie Adams into 69-year-old William Adama. While it is not expected that every installment will somehow deal with this metamorphosis, those that do shall garner some of the most intense and intensive analysis.

Strolling down Sopranos flashback avenue, we go.

* * * * *


It is a small, but nonetheless important and narratively resonant, beat that Joseph Adama, after swearing off the evil scientific genius of Daniel Graystone and stomping angrily out of his mansion, has a change of heart regarding the digital avatar of his deceased daughter: whereas, two weeks ago, Adama dismisses her as a technological monstrosity, he now clamors to see her once again, to reassure her that he hasn’t abandoned her like her real-world version of flesh and bone has abandoned him. When obsessed, particularly with a subject that is already emotionally charged, man has the uncanny ability to waver, to jump from one extreme to the other and then back again, oftentimes obsessively. To have Adama go out of his way, and to do so on more than one occasion, to try and reach out to Graystone is a nice touch of verisimilitude – and a nice hint of what to expect (if not demand) from the remainder of the series.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

By Your Command -- Introduction


Nearly a year after the pilot was released on DVD, Caprica, the spin-off prequel series to Battlestar Galactica (2005-2009), is upon us.

This series of companion articles to the first season's nineteen episodes will function much, if not exactly, like the So Say We All commentary did to the final section of BSG's final season, offering minute dissection of both narrative and thematic motifs. Much more than Battlestar ever did, Caprica is going to need such a fine-toothed comb: with creator and showrunner Ronald D. Moore taking off halfway through its first year, and with a far greater potential of continuity hang-ups and temporal glitches floating in the ether, this series will need as much tending to and taming as does a Zen Buddhist's horse.

Monotheists, boobies, and Cylons.

By your command.

Horror/Crime Author and Film maker Joe Monks live

Thursday at 10 PM Joe Monks ascends the internet radio throne to discuss a very large announcement. I am not privy to the information but the man is a very talented and bright, kind and funny human being, and I am posting this hoping to support his appearance.

From Joe Monks:

"The show is called Thwipt

1) Help spread the word. The show goes on at 10:00 p.m. East coast time, 9:00 Central, and 7:00 for you folks out West. I go on about 30 minutes in, once they get all of the show intro/latest comic news/etc. out of the way. You can send folks who might wanna listen to: InTheFaceRadio.com where they can click LISTEN to tune in. If they hear the intro but lose the sound, just reload the page and hit LISTEN again, it can be a little glitchy that way, but it works. Any help you can be of in tweeting, blogging, sending out an e-mail to a friend/friends about the show, it'd be greatly appreciated.

2) Send in a question. These guys aren't Opie & Anthony or Howard Stern, so it'd be nice for them to get a bunch of texts and e-mails and direct messages via twitter with questions. Trace has already tweeted that he's nervous about the show, so help him & the guys out with some questions. You can contact them a couple of ways:

To text in: 214-205-4724, to get in via twitter, send a direct message to: @heroplex , to email, send to the following address: heroplex@gmail.com

Oh, and remember, put in a name and location so they can say who asked the question and let folks know where it came from. And, as well, even if you can't tune in to the program live, you can still send in a comment or e-mail or text early, so the guys can bring it up once we're on air."

So send in questions, ideas, your girlfriend's pics, ... wait not that...