Thursday, July 22, 2010

The darkside of being a Voyager!

The idea for this post was given to me by one of my blog readers way back and although I loved it, I never found the time to jump on it fully. What does this all mean? It's not as horrific as my banner would suggest, though when you think of many events during the course of human history, real life can often be worse than any horror movie or book created to date. We all know Voyagers was a children's show, well, it wasn't Sesame Street, but it was designed to appeal to young ones between six and thirteen...that's my rough guess anyway. But, come on, we're all between 16 and 60 now and we still love it! Part of Voyagers!' mass appeal to its fans was all the terrific possibilities that it left open to the imagination. And many of us fans have jumped on it with our wild and woolly stories! ;)

In Voyagers! we are treated to a generalized, whitewashed version of sixth-seventh grade history and I admit even in the very early nineties we were taught the same. It was all a blur of facts, names and dates that we had to remember for the tests and quizzes. I think the majority of us fans are history buffs, and as we aged we wanted more, we needed the truth behind all these famous events. In many cases the truth is not as pretty or even inspiring. Voyagers! also had a tendency to put most of their notable personages in a noble, heroic light. Their
faults were somewhat non-existent. Though when you think about it, the Voyagers aren't there to be judges or moral compasses, though sometimes it's necessary to wear many hats. 
The Voyagers had to give people the shove where it's needed...which is probably Bogg's polite term for giving them a swift kick in the assets. Voyagers are there to make sure history stays on course. So, if the man/woman's a bigamist, adulterer, a racist, even a murderer (As was the case of many founding fathers and one time generals, wiping out nations of peoples for expansion..)or if they're just a really big jerk... as long as they invent the widget, or win the battle according to the textbooks, the Voyager has done their job. 

So, what are some of the general things that give Voyaging a dark side anyway?

Well, there's this-
I would scream and fall back into Bogg too. But what is so frightening about this is the fact that they were trapped in the catacombs, doomed to a death like poor Skelly here and once caught by the Commandant and his men, executed.

And there's this-

 Oh no! Omni malfunctions that leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere during harsh weather conditions! Or what about the dive Jeffrey and Bogg took into the quicksand? We have to imagine that somewhere in the vast galaxy, a team of Voyager time cops are monitoring all the activities, landings, events and so forth, but obviously, things like this can and do happen.

Or what about this?
Jeffrey is trapped behind a wall of ferocious flame!

Bogg is ambushed and could possibly be killed at any given moment if these thugs felt like it. 
Jeffrey and Bogg are then separated through the vast wilderness of time and space, and then Edison comes along and nearly destroys the omni.  What's amazing is that all this happens over the course of one episode! Talk about a dark side to Voyaging!

 I am going to make a statement that may make some Voyagers fans annoyed, but at least me 'The Trial of Phineas Bogg' Voyager Drake made a very strong case against Bogg, insinuating that Jeffrey was constantly having his life put at risk. We all know that wasn't deliberate, but I have to agree with him on some of the points he made. (Ducks from rocks and tomatoes!) The omni memory recorder did show good examples of this fact. Never mind all the sentimentality that Bogg loves Jeff and he would always protect him and they're a family....Believe me, I know that he would, and I love all that, but sometimes I get a sugar overload of candy-coated Voyagers! Goodness. The cold, hard Drakonian facts are in-Jeffrey's life was constantly endangered on these Voyages. True, you could argue that it's no worse than being a child actually living through the time period, but wouldn't you agree that there was an immediate danger whenever the boys got involved in making history right?

I have pondered on this and have come to a conclusion that being a Voyager, while ultimately rewarding for the greater good of historical continuity, presents all sorts of dangers, physical, ethical-moral, spiritual..and any others you can think of. Aside from the facts that there were no obvious perks-no sick days, paid vacations/holidays, etc. Greek food one minute, Chinese food the next, while all that is culturally alluring and inspiring, it's also enough for a major case of heartburn and bellyaches! As proven by the episode where Bogg has to drink milk and ox-blood, A Voyager must carry alka-seltzer at all times.

I don't feel like the show did the greatest job in realizing the potential and enormity of the Voyagers Headquarters and their mission, the judicial council and the inner-workings. Strip it down and the basic job description is that Men and women were thrust out into the vastness of the cosmos with a heavy book in one hand and a pocket watch in the other and told to 'fix it.' Albeit with training...but apparently people like Bogg slip through the cracks and get to be Voyagers too. (We know he wasn't as dumb as he seemed of course!) 

Voyagers aren't miraculously protected, they can die on missions, as was the case in many episodes...well, our Voyagers  had near misses of course. Some of the most harrowing escapes was Jeffrey rescuing Bogg from being burned at the stake in the witchcraft trials, and again when he was about to be executed by the Southern rebels..not to forget Bogg struggling with every gorgeous sinew to grab for the omni on a sinking Titanic. Despite that Bogg looks like he could be one..heehee..Voyagers are not Superheroes, they are fragile human beings like the rest of us and one false move and they too, will be history. 


To me, one of the biggest dark sides of voyaging is the sad fact that Voyagers cannot interfere with the course of human events and atrocities. We can use everyone's time-travel go-to moments-Hitler's rise to power, The Titanic sinking, an assassination of an American president (Namely Lincoln and Kennedy)...the list goes on.
But what about the everyday events that a Voyager must endure during his/her travels? Death of all sorts. The tragedies on the battlefield...growing more horrendous with each decade as nations produce new and improved technology to kill one another. Remember Bogg saying in the pilot episode-'Great! We get airplanes into the war so they can blow us to bits!' How true.
The Voyagers no doubt see the plight of widows and orphans and starvation on a global scale. They must watch the ravages of diseases and epidemics that wipe out individuals and masses of people. What about the grave injustices done to all sorts of groups around the globe?  A Voyager's constitution must be strong, they must have a big, and often dark sense of humor and be able to maintain a strong optimism at all times. I think without it, they could crumble, quit, or the worst, kill themselves from failure and hopelessness.
Many of those things are just what a Voyager will witness out in the field. What about what could happen to them personally? Let us count the ways-tricky, faulty omni landings. As mentioned, landing in the quicksand, or how about in the middle of a war or revolt? They only have minutes or even seconds to get cover or escape.
Jeffrey has been through it all, from Pearl Harbor to the Civil War, the Revolutionary war, World War I, being held hostage in Africa by an angry tribal leader, outsmarting Nazis, and standing up to Billy the Kid. All this and so much more with his fearless partner, Bogg and all in a day's work of course.
Then there's the fear of losing the omni, or having it stolen or confiscated...which happened in episodes like, 'The day the Rebs took Lincoln', 'World's Apart', 'Voyagers of the Titanic' and 'Sneak Attack.' Not to mention when it was mistaken for a Hollywood prop in 'Destiny's choice.' Without the omni, the Voyagers are invariably stuck in the current time zone...unless someone paying attention at VHQ realizes there's an omni off the grid or something. But how would they really know unless the omni was activated? 

Or is VHQ like the show 'Lost'? Where the mystical and mysterious Jacob had names written and crossed off on the dials. And he was able to see the people he had chosen to come to the Island through his Lighthouse mirrors. 

I prefer a more scientific/sci-fi explanation, I mean, the omni is obviously electronic...but in 'The travels of Marco Polo and friends' the auctioneer was trying to embellish the omni's 'powers.' He said it was created by a tribe of sorcerers on an uncharted island, Bogg whispered to Jeff that, 'He was close..'

Voyagers don't seem to carry too many material things. Bogg and Jeff rarely did, but I think a woman may travel with a bit more. I would! However, all Voyagers must rely on their wits and the kindness of strangers to get their next hot meal, a place to sleep, and a change of clothes. If they do carry some funds, what good is it in the next time zone where that money may not be worth anything? Reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode where greedy men killed each other in the desert over gold, and then you realize they had landed in the future and gold was completely worthless. 

A dear friend of mine gave me some good advice I still struggle to heed-always keep a spare ten or twenty in your wallet for emergencies. Fold it up, hide it, just don't spend it, because you never know what could happen out there. I guess Bogg could try something similar, aside from the smoked jerky. He did make good use of his Spanish Galleon coin winning back Harriet's freedom.
We can't forget the psychological effects of Voyaging, or the rough influences...especially in Jeffrey's case. There is plenty of stress to be had. Like Jeffrey believing he ruined everything when the omni was taken apart and he and Bogg were separated. Or when Bogg fell in love for what appeared to be the first time and had to sacrifice his personal happiness for history to carry on. 

We see Bogg trying to be a good role model, and he deserves a lot of credit. We know the type of randy rogue pirate he was before Jeffrey. He was not ready to be a father. However, you notice how he holds Jeffrey back from doing certain things for his own protection? Like going into rowdy, sailor taverns (Old Hickory and the Pirate) illegal speakeasies (Cleo and the Babe.) the gambling den (Created Equal) and a number of other undesirable places off limits to kids. 

He teaches him that guns are bad, and considering that he doesn't drink, Jeffrey won't be exposed to boozy pubs and an inebriated partner...which could lead to other moral dangers as Jeffrey gets older. Phineas still tries to help Drake, despite the fact that the wicked Voyager tried to destroy his reputation and have him banished. It is funny though, how Bogg often says things like how Jeffrey will know what's really important when he's older...implying women...and how he can't wait for him to get older so they could see some of those truly beneficial areas in Paris, like the Moulin Rouge.

"A Voyager's got to have spirit, so when everybody's telling you you're wrong you got the courage to fight back, and a Voyager's got to be able to make people take a new look at a situation, to give people the confidence to take that one extra chance.'

We know Bogg has all the fine traits to carry out his Voyager missions. The courage, the strength, and the compassion.

And Jeffrey is a fine Voyager in the making, with spunk, gumption and a big heart.

All that makes the darkside... not quite as dark.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Off Topic-Handwriting Analysis

I liked this test, even if it's not the greatest indicator because you had to draw the signature with your mouse. Plus I am almost entirely left-handed and I had to use my right with the mouse, but still, reading the 'analysis' I'd say they got it right. Try it out and see what it comes up with for you!

The results of your analysis say:
You plan ahead, and are interested in beauty, design, outward appearance, and symmetry.
You are a shy, idealistic person who does not find it easy to have relationships, especially intimate ones.
You are affectionate, passionate, expressive, and future-oriented.
You are a talkative person, maybe even a busybody!
You enjoy life in your own way and do not depend on the opinions of others.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Finding Bliss

Hola fellow Voyagers! This is just a quick fan-fiction post. It's been going on 4 months since I last wrote a Voyagers! story. Out of inspiration from some conversations I was having about Bogg's gals, one name kept sticking out to me-Veronica Bliss. She was the cutie from 'Destiny's Choice.' That was one of my favorite episodes.

So, if you're a fanficer you may like this little story, I don't see it going more than three chapters. It's not one of my usual 'epics' . I have a good feeling about it. The story is written in first person-those are so fun to write. And I need the practice. This is one Phineas pairing I think works swell. :) I mean, hey, Phineas gave Veronica...THE LOOK!

Finding Bliss
Phineas is lonely and bored with strong desires for chili con queso. Who would have thought a little gal with a lisp could steal his heart? But his return may prove to be a fatal red light and ruin his chances at finding...bliss! A shortish one shot:D