Quotations by Straczynski, J. Michael “Joe”


The more important the emotion is, the fewer words required to express it:
Will you go out with me?
I think I like you.
I care for you.
I love you.
Marry me.
Goodbye.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
“A Quote by JMS,” rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated (31 Jan 2008)

Full text. Straczynski is quoting something he'd previously written on the death of Andreas Katsulas (Feb 2006).

A variant of the quote can be found as a sig line at least as far back as Sep 2007:

I had this theory that the more important and intimate the emotion, the fewer words are required to express it.

First it's in dating: "Will you go out with me?" Six words.
"Honey, I care for you." Five words.
"You matter to me." Four words.
"I love you." Three words.
"Marry me." Two words.
But what's left? What's the one most important and intimate word you can ever say to somebody?
It's "goodbye."

Added on 12-Feb-10 | Last updated 12-Feb-10
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We have an obligation to one another, responsibilities and trusts. That does not mean we must be pigeons, that we must be exploited. But it does mean that we should look out for one another when and as much as we can; and that we have a personal responsibility for our behavior; and that our behavior has consequences of a very real and profound nature.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
“At The Midpoint (Spoilers for everything),” rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated (7 Apr 1995)

Full text.
Added on 22-Jan-10 | Last updated 22-Jan-10
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We are not powerless. We have tremendous potential for good or ill. How we choose to use that power is up to us; but first we must choose to use it. We’re told every day, “You can’t change the world.” But the world is changing every day. Only question is … who’s doing it? You or somebody else?

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
“At The Midpoint (Spoilers for everything),” rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated (7 Apr 1995)

Full text.
Added on 29-Jan-10 | Last updated 29-Jan-10
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As an atheist, I believe that all life is unspeakably precious, because it’s only here for a brief moment, a flare against the dark, and then it’s gone forever. No afterlives, no second chances, no backsies. So there can be nothing crueler than the abuse, destruction or wanton taking of a life. It is a crime no less than burning the Mona Lisa, for there is always just one of each. So I cannot forgive. Which makes the notion of writing a character who CAN forgive momentarily attractive … because it allows me to explore in great detail something of which I am utterly incapable.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
“Gesthemene Questions,” rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5 (5 Dec 1995)

Quoted in Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5, "Passing Through Gethsemane : jms speaks." Full text.

Added on 5-Feb-10 | Last updated 5-Feb-10
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LONDO: Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5: In the Beginning (1998)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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LONDO: I suppose there’ll be a war now, hmm? All that running around and shooting at one another. You would have thought sooner or later it’d go out of fashion.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5: The Gathering (1993)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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SHERIDAN: Oh, now that is a lie!
DELENN: Minbari do not lie.
SHERIDAN: Well then it is slander.
DELENN: To be slander, it must be false. That’s two down.
SHERIDAN: Well then it’s damned inconvenient.
DELENN: The truth always is.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5: Thirdspace (1998)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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G’KAR: By G’Quon I can’t recall the last time I was in a fight like that! No moral ambiguity, no hopeless battle against ancient and overwhelming forces. They were the bad guys, as you say, and we were the good guys! And they made a very satisfying thump when they hit the floor!

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “A Late Delivery from Avalon” (22 Apr 1996)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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MARCUS: You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair; then I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happened to us come because we actually deserved them?’ So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “A Late Delivery from Avalon” (22 Apr 1996)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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LONDO: There comes a time when you look into the mirror, and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. Then you accept it, or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking into mirrors.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “Chrysalis” (3 Oct 1994)
Added on 6-Feb-08 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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SEBASTIAN: Good luck to you in your “holy cause,” Captain Sheridan. May your choices have better results than mine: remembered not as a messenger, remembered not as a reformer, not as a prophet, not as a hero, not even as Sebastian. Remembered only as “Jack.”

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “Comes the Inquisitor” (22 Apr 1995)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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VIR: I’d like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave, like this. Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum” (10 May 1995)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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DELENN: In my experience, if you cannot say what you mean, you cannot mean what you say.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “Into the Fire” (3 Feb 1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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IVANOVA: You’ll excuse me, but I’m in the middle of fifteen things, all of them annoying.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “Midnight on the Firing Line” (26 Jan 1994)
Added on 16-Apr-09 | Last updated 16-Apr-09
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IVANOVA: I’ve always had a hard time getting up when it’s dark outside.
SINCLAIR: But in space, it’s always dark.
IVANOVA: I know. I know.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “Signs and Portents” (8 May 1994)
Added on 17-Nov-08 | Last updated 11-Apr-14
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TURHAN: The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast, terrible in-between.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “The Coming of Shadows” (1 Feb 1995)
Added on 23-May-14 | Last updated 29-May-14
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SHERIDAN: The universe doesn’t give you any points for doing things that are easy.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “The Geometry of Shadows” (16 Nov 1994)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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ELRIC: As I look at you, Ambassador Mollari, I see a great hand reaching out of the stars. The hand is your hand. And I hear sounds — the sounds of billions of people calling your name.
LONDO: My followers?
ELRIC: Your victims.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “The Geometry of Shadows” (16 Nov 1994)
Added on 14-May-08 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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IVANOVA: You’re having delusions of grandeur again.
MARCUS: Well, if you’re going to have delusions, you may as well go for the really satisfying ones.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “The Summoning” (18 Nov 1996)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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ZATHRAS: Yes, Zathras is used to being beast of burden to other people’s needs. Very sad life. Probably have very sad death. But at least there is symmetry.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, “War Without End,” Part 1 (13 May 1996)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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G’KAR: No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by the force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments, and tyrants, and armies can not stand.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, 2×20 “The Long, Twilight Struggle” (1995)
Added on 17-Jun-14 | Last updated 11-Aug-14
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MORELLA: Greatness is never appreciated in youth, called pride in middle age, dismissed in old age, and reconsidered in death. Because we cannot tolerate greatness in our midst we do all we can to destroy it.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, 3×09 “Point of No Return” (26 Feb 1996)
Added on 25-Jul-14 | Last updated 25-Jul-14
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And people wonder where I get this weird sense of humor; the universe considers me its personal cat toy. You have ANY idea what it’s like to go through life covered in cosmic cat spit?

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
IRC chat, irc.warnerbros.com #Babylon5 (23 Jan 1997)

Full text.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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I think it behooves us to treat our characters’ beliefs with some measure of respect, whatever he believes in. I mean I’m an atheist myself, but I don’t have to believe in Minbari to write about Minbari. I think if that person is a religious character, then you have to treat them with integrity and deal with them properly.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Panel Discussion, MIT (4 May 1998)

Full text.

    Added on 19-Feb-10 | Last updated 19-Feb-10
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    It saddens me that literacy has become suspect, and degraded, given how many millions of years of evolution spent developing the ability to create language. The quality of our thoughts is bordered on all sides by our facility with language. The less precise the usage, the less clear the process of language, the less you can achieve what you want to achieve when you open you mouth to say something. We have slowly bastardized and degraded and weakened the language, abetted and abided by a growing cultural disdain for literacy, a cyclical trend toward anti-intellectualism.

    J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
    rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated, “ATTN JMS: Influences?” (27 Oct 1995)

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    Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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    So we’re just in this maze for now, trying to figure out if that glint in the distance is daylight, or a Minotaur with an Uzi.

    J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
    rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated, “ATTN JMS: Warner Bros” (8 Dec 1996)

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    Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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