Tag Archives: stargate atlantis wraith

Midway Point and Uh-Oh Effect for the SGA Plot Arc

In the book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, there is a subchapter called “The Uh-Oh Effect.” Thoughts of SGA came to mind.

“Midpoints, as we’re seeing, can have a dual effect. In some cases, they dissipate our motivation; in other cases, they activate it. Sometimes they elicit an “oh, no” and we retreat; other times, they trigger an “uh-oh” and we advance. Under certain conditions, they bring the slump; under others, they deliver the spark.

Think of midpoints as a psychological alarm clock. They’re effective only when we set the alarm, when we can hear its annoying bleep, bleep, bleep go off, and when we don’t hit the snooze button. But with midpoints, as with alarm clocks, the most motivating wake-up call is one that comes when you’re running slightly behind.”

Seeing how around half of the hives had been blown up by the end of season 5, this is significant and urgent both for the Wraith as a culture and for the arc of the entire show’s development. At that point, more than ever, Todd’s allyship is important to help solve the problem of Wraith hunger.

If SGA would have kept going, a new antagonist probably would have had to have been brought in, as genociding the Wraith would have reached a tipping point, from which they as a race could not recover and it would be too easy for the New Lanteans to kill them their smaller numbers. From the plans a writer had released for upcoming movies and seasons, I think the writers knew that too, and it would have been nice to see that closure of the city going back to Pegasus and John shaking Todd’s hand in the “Extinction” plot.

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Captain Marvel’s Retro Site and Nostalgia vs the Era of Big Data

The retro site for Captain Marvel is a fun throwback. Yes, the graphics, features, and mismatched fonts were that bad back in the 90s; but, before Big Data and troll culture, sites had more accountability, and, in turn, value.

A lot of early Internet access was at libraries, often having to leave a driver’s license at the librarian’s desk and sign in and out on a time sheet. Home access was mostly through logging into service providers, with an account name and a password, which was connected to a credit card for billing and email was attached to it, as Gmail didn’t yet exist. Forum owners could and did contact the internet service providers of trolls and providers could and did suspend or terminate the accounts of trolls. Most of the time, it was an easy fix of talking to a parent and locking out an errant child’s login account for a week or so.

In the earlier days of social media, there were more mods and sites were more accountable and transparent. FB used to require proof of adult identity to go with each user account. Contacting customer service reps was done on a first name basis. dA would suspend or terminate every single alt account of rule breakers, including new alt accounts made to try to circumvent bans while the other accounts were suspended. Now, users openly boast of having dozens and it is near impossible to get even one of them banned, even for criminally violent explicit content. In product lifecycles, sites get greedy, cutting mod staff and allowing troublemakers in, just for more page views, ad clicks, data, and money. And, they go downhill.

These changes also impacted GW, which started in the late 90s. GW used to have a lot more mods. They would email me back every time, in a timely manner, they would step in when people made up scenes to derail threads, and they would stop fights in their tracks (and even delete all the posts related to them) so that things didn’t get out of control. Users knew arguing there was a waste of time because the posts would just be deleted. Things changed when SGU went off the air. Without rules or moderation, fans are left with only calling people out on making up scenes, misquoting, bigotry, etc., which wastes a lot of time. GW Twitter is better than GW itself for fandom happenings.

Younger people who haven’t experienced the bygone higher levels of customer service also know when their time is being wasted and are uninstalling FB’s app, choosing to visit sites which actually provide value and enrich their lives, and are reading more and listening to podcasts about research and business trends. Subscribing to their feeds is of much more value than social media.

Better graphics do not mean providing value. It would be great if content providers realized that, instead of looking at customers as brainless and manipulable numbers in piles of Big Data, and got back to accountability and value.

Artists, think twice about sharing clear PNG images without watermarks

Posting images to dA and other sites as clear PNG files without backgrounds and no watermark over them makes your work even more prone to art theft than those without backgrounds.

Here is an example of what I mean by a clear background, this example being of stock images meant to be shared stating “Free for commercial use, No attribution required”: https://pixabay.com/en/water-splash-png-2748640/

Yes, art theft is still happening at the SGC site, which is against the site’s rules 3A and 3B and artists can and should report them. When it is my artwork, I report the thieves to both the SGC site (through Topfan’s management which made the site software) and also Apple’s legal department, which hosts the SGC app, if the thief will not take it down. Apple has a history of both supporting artists and outstanding customer service. The original artist has to do the reporting, as the artists are the ones who can vouch for if permission was given or not.

Unless you intend for your work to be stock, protect it with backgrounds and watermarks.

*Update: I removed the original example links from this post, in case they give other people ideas about trying to take that other artist’s work of her original character. The artist lives in a geoblocked country. Clear PNG files are just too easy to drag and drop. Also, I hope SGC staff will delete the stolen art. The past few months, the mods have been much faster at it and it will hopefully be gone.

Iratus Bugs as Pets

Sometimes, the subject of Iratus bugs as companion animals, informally referred to as “pets,” comes up in the fandom. Would it it ethical to bring Iratus bugs home?

For Wraith? Most likely. Todd being able to approach a Queen to be healed from “Infection” and masked warriors walking among the bugs outdoors on the Wraith planet in “38 Minutes” suggests a mutual free association. Todd was probably free to enter a nest cave and approach, as Bug Shep was able to do with his pheromones in “Conversion.” Iratus bugs may also have telepathy, as Wraith got that ability from somewhere, and may be able to communicate with Wraith on some level. There is a shared understanding, by pheromones and/or telepathy. Wraith hives are also like caves, giving Iratus bugs plenty of room to move and feel at home. When the hives are grounded, the bugs may even be able to come and go as they please. Additionally, Wraith honor their Iratus bug heritage with sculptures and icons.

For humans? Unless in a rescue/rehab situation, most likely not. For starters, any human incorrectly labeling other species as “unintelligent” and treating them as property/objects, not as individuals, does not deserve said companionship (and should not be writing scifi content either). The bugs would be caged, as prisoners, not as companions, and would be given the Harambe treatment the moment they escaped. Cats and dogs in shelters need of rescue, love, and care; Iratus bugs would just need humans to leave them alone.

Iratus bugs are free-born beings and they belong with their colonies or whoever they choose, if that might include Wraith associations.

Step 1: Take Over the Galaxy. Step 2?

In the Kindred part 1, Michael says, of the Wraith, “I’m building an army that will soon replace them as the dominant race in this galaxy.”

Later, Kanaan, under Michael’s mental influence, tells her “Then, one day soon, the galaxy will be ours.”

So. The galaxy will be Michael’s. Then what? Move on to the Milky Way and/or other galaxies?

Even if Michael did control the entire universe, then what? Sit back and relax? Because, anything afterwards seems kind of anti-climactic. Nowhere to go from there, unless maybe if one has access to infinite AUs, to spend life taking over those as well.

Yes, Michael initiated his cause for survival. But, then what? What makes life worth surviving for and what would he do with himself after achieving intergalactic domination?

So, what comes afterward when someone announces that they will take control of the galaxy or the universe?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Alt-Right Xenophobia on GW Extends to Slavic People

One of the users there notorious for posting sexist and anti-LGBTQ+ drivel, as well as wishing war and death upon the Wraith, says “Chinese and Russians have philosophies completely incompatible with those of the Occidentals.”

“Occidentals”? Who even says that in this century? 😛 This is a dog whistle word for alt-righters and Google results show alt-right links. This site keeps getting worse. White xenophobes claiming incompatibility with Asian culture is no surprise, but the Orient-Occident binary, a false binary created to justify colonialism and imperialism, is something Gaters need to be aware of as well. Looking on maps of what this even consists of, different sites list different European nations as East or West and not all agree on who is grouped where. Most list Russia and some list Poland. But, Slavic nations are among those divided in the false binary. The false binary is throwback to the WW2 era, when white racists also outgrouped Irish and Italian immigrants.

The binary and the incompatibility are, of course, uneducated lies. Fusion philosophy exists and has always existed, such as Christianity being a mash-up of Judaism, Greek philosophy, and other European pagan traditions, especially the Christmas and Easter pop culture symbols. Transcendentalism, as a philosophy, was inspired by Indian Asian philosophy and Greek philosophy, which in itself had also been influenced by trade with the Middle East and Far East and vice-versa with Greek culture impacting others in turn. The cross-cultural impacts are all around.

There are a lot of Gaters of Slavic heritage, especially Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish. The Russian language SGA and Wraith-specific sites are among the best for photo references. So often, I find a thumbnail of an old photo, use Google to find better versions with more resolution, and the Russian sites have always been there. Geoblocking does not give fans in these countries anywhere near enough recognition, and, without these sites, a lot of Stargate history would have been lost to the sands of time. So, I say it here that I am thankful. And, Stargate comics? Two Polish Wraith artists have rocked that, pumping out a page a week, each artist doing her own story, sketching, inking, and coloring and have given us complete comics, for free and for the love of it. The comics are respectful to the New Lanteans and the Wraith, aim for canon accuracy, and have better likenesses than the licensed tie-in ones for sale. The comics are read and understood by people around the world.

Meanwhile, the xenophobic people have contributed nothing to the fandom and have nothing to show for themselves. But, they sure do kill threads and ruin forums. The thread this dog whistle post was in started out about living among others with differences in a Star Trek way.

Down with walls, barriers, false binaries, and hate. We are all Gaters, no matter our heritages. We understand the Stargate shows, one another, and we are compatible. There is a saying that art speaks 1,000 languages and it is true, as we all view art from SGA on our screens and create and share fanworks of our own. Art inspires art and we all build one another up.

The Wraith are human hybrid characters with fusion Ancient in their Wraith language and writing and their worshippers are also a fusion culture too. And, Spike rocked Earth clothes, games, and music.

I am thankful that there are people all around the world who love the Wraith and who want to see nonviolence– for all Earthlings and all intergalactic beings– and see more likenesses than differences.