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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"He has a disease, if you recall.. an inexplicably adverse reaction to being shot at."
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July 17 2008

Doctor versus Doctor. It seems that a mad scientist has taken exception to Joss' creation.

Personally I've never heard of this other Doctor but he's taking it very seriously. It all sounds very silly indeed.

Just a thought, but by linking here - you're giving them exactly what they want, attention......they'll get thousands of hits from this site - and while it's certainly interesting, and perhaps even good for people to know about, I wonder if there might be a better way...?
It seems to me that the other creator is simply milking the situation for publicity - which more power to him. There's plenty of room in this galaxy for two singing mad scientists. Some of his fans however, seem to really believe that he holds a copyright on '50s sci-fi parodies.

[ edited by barboo on 2008-07-17 15:55 ]
I wonder when the Guild of Calamitous Intent will start to moan.
I think this is toungue in cheek. Nothing to get worked out about, just a bit of fun.
I assure you, they are quite serious - they even made plans to cause trouble at Comic Con
As far as "warring mad scientists," there's a movie coming out about a similar idea: Igor.

[ edited by Jim in Buffalo on 2008-07-17 14:30 ]
I wonder if there might be a better way...?


I've seen news/blogs entries about Dr. Horrible starting to get many comments about Dr Steel. Who ever is posting about it is getting noticed and I'd rather get it out of the way right now than have it bubble under in every Dr Horrible thread at Whedonesque for the next few weeks. Lance the boil rather than squeeze it every so often.
GRRRR...........
i saw a post like this on Facebook, clicked on the site and had a looksee i thought it looked more like a stage show then anything else.
the fans of that show aren't dumb enough to think that he alone holds the rights to the 50's mad scientist thing are they??

from what i saw apart from the STANDARD ISSUE mad scientist outfit of lab coat goggles and gloves and singing they doen;t share anything else in common
Err, "Doctor on Doctor boxing" ? Sounds pretty tongue in cheek to me though possibly not all of his fans see it that way.

And appearance wise, anyone that's seen the James Whale 'Frankenstein' will have seen the original madly scientific inspirational ancestor for Dr Horrible IMO so they clearly don't have a leg to stand on.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-07-17 14:40 ]
I got all excited because I thought this was going to be a Doctor Who post and then I realized there's no Whedon people in Doctor Who. :( *sigh*
Nice one Lhys.

Part of what makes Dr. Horrible work is that Joss is invoking our innate knowledge of characters like Lex Luthor and all the other "mad scientists" that have cropped up in entertainment over the years. You have to know the archetype to find the reaction interesting. This is why it's funny that he's actually really sweet, often decked and painfully shy in front of girls.

He pulled the same trick with Buffy. We all know the blonde bimbo dies swiftly in a horror film. Knowing that archetype is what makes Buffy a feminist icon.
War_machine:

You mean accept Anthony head?
i thought this response by somone on face book was well delivered

'Andrew, I was intrigued by your accusations and decided to check out Dr. Steels websites and apart from a similarity in the goggles that both doctors wear there are no other similarities between the two. Dr. Horrible is a lonely loser trying to fit in into a League of evil, while your Dr. Steel is philosopher who thinks that entertainment is the solution to all of our problems.
Tonally both projects are completely opposite. While Dr. Horrible is an almost farcical, witty, and funny take on the usual good guy vs. bad guy story, Dr. Steel is more of ... well I don't really know what it is about, but is far from being anything remotely close to what Joss Whedon has created.
My only explanation for the similarity in the title of both projects is that Joss wanted to give a shout out to Dr. Steel. However, i could be wrong about this."
I hear Lex Luthor is suing too.
Doctor Steel totally waited at Dooley Park (spell?) for 45 minutes.
*slaps herself on the hand* after Zeitgeist's comment.

[ edited by lisaspo on 2008-07-17 15:16 ]
A leech in a lab coat? ;)
Gene Wilder's Doctor Frankenstein (pronounced FRONK-in-steen) points to stills of himself with a labcoat and goggles and to the fact that he sang "Puttin' On The Ritz" and posts:

"First!"
Oh come on, it's a shout-out to Dr.Evil so much more than to this guy. They even poke fun of it, at themselves, in Act 2, with "I got a Ph.D. in Horribleness" - "Is that a catch phrase?"

[ edited by Nata on 2008-07-17 15:11 ]
Never heard of Dr. Steel 'til now. Seems a bit like the Harry Potter ripped off Timothy Hunter (Neil Gaiman's Book's Of Magic) argument, just two uses of a pretty standard archetype. They must be bothered that he's apparently been around for a bit, and no one has heard of him, and our Doc has been around for 3 days and is a big buzz. :(
There's no need to make fun of Dr. Steel to make our point. He seems like he has a fun thing going and it would be sad to see people here doing the same thing that people at TSU are doing re: Dr. Horrible.
Still, I don't know what to make of this. I have no clue what this Dr. Steel fanbase is like... but the tone in which his fans are getting rallied irks me. It seems like a 'dangerous' thing to do, setting this up as a 'war' and marketing the 'other side' as bad and less and deserving of a put-down, and the like. You only have to have a couple of crazies in your fanbase and it could get out of hand (at something like Comic-Con, for instance). Or at the very least turn this into a nasty internet fandom war. Very much not looking forward to something like that.

I'll do my very best to not give these people what they want, and try to ignore the whole thing from here on in.

[ edited by GVH on 2008-07-17 15:16 ]
And speaking of Docs - anyone got nostalgic memories of some Mal/Simon interactions, in laundromat scene in Act 2? Hee. :) Also, are we allowed to talk Dr.Horrible spoilers on Dr.Horrible threads? I assumed we could, if not - sorry, I'll edit.
Thats what I'm worried about, GVH. Even if Doc Steel's message is meant in the spirit of camp (I mean that in a good way) and fun, there are doubtless people who will take it way too far.

Ironically one of his propraganda vids says "I give the people what they want... frankly, I give the people what they need." Sounds awful close to one of our favorite Joss quotes.
Although this article seems lighthearted, IMO what is on the website does not. A mock battle in good fun to get some publicity is one thing, but besides the "mission" being called for at comic-con that involves "raising your voices," they are calling for them to disparage Dr. Horrible in specific ways at as many websites as possible. I don't know what the fans of this are like, but I hope they have the good sense to take this in a light hearted manner and just use it for publicity rather than taking it seriously and getting truly disruptive.
Well Doctor Steel's fans are very annoying (attacking Doctor Horrible's MySpace), but only a child would think they are similar enough to be a rip off... Obviously Joss was ripping off Doctor Evil! Neither the lab coat (I seriously want one, why are they only made in the UK?) nor the goggles are copyrighted.
Ok, well my comment does look somewhat harsh now without the context of lisaspo's previous comment. I was just riffing on the "poser in a parka" thing. However, there is a difference between legitimate criticism (ie. they're just trying to get some attention off the back of Dr Horrible) and accusing Joss of stealing a 50+ year old idea from something created quite a bit more recently. Probably rolling of eyes and moving on is the best option here.
I totally get that it was good natured in-joke riffing to let off steam :) I just don't want it to get ugly.
Doctor Steel seems - I think - to be having some fun with things. That's all very well and good. But some of his "supporters" seem - I think - to be taking this all a little too seriously. Some of the verbiage is downright ugly. Yuck.
It's not an ice beam, that's all Johnny Snow? Heh.

I doubt Joss had heard of it, but this probably can't be settled between the fans. It'll get really messy.
Sigh. Fans are fans, and any seeming injustice will be latched on to. I imagine certain elements of the Whedon fanbase have felt similarly outraged in the past. The trouble is, the mad scientist thing is hardly something you can claim to have created, and that really is about as far as the similarities go (apart from the googles which.. you know, scientists tend to wear).

To address some specific complaints in the link though, where they have the two images side by side. Aside from the starburst thing (which has been implemented differently, and again is fairly common), I fail to see the similarities. The gloves on Dr Steel's hands do look familiar, but that's really it. As far as the second pair of images go, I think "same size" is about as far as the similarities go there either. . .

I've looked around, and these two ...series? are just so different thematically. I get really rankled at accusations of plagiarism. Popular franchises always attract such claims (recently, look at JK Rowling's absurd copyright case, and Neil Gaiman's response to it). I very much doubt Joss & Co. have seen this, but even if they had, the similarities between the two are so few it'd be more a case of "inspired by", a process essential to creativity.

Finally, courtesy of Wikipedia, here is a list of other mad scientists who could no doubt be accused of copying those before them.

Dr. Wily
Dr. Drakken
Dr. Neo Cortex
Professor Farnsworth (okay, not a Doctor, but he clearly counts)
Dr. Viper
Professor Frink (ditto)
Dr. Clayton Forrester
Dr. Faustus
Dr. Jekyll

They're just the Doctors, but there are others too. From Frankenstein, Metropolis, and others. That list is full of people, some notable, some not-so, some young, old, others fitting the stereotype very well, and some not-so-much. But nevertheless, "world domination" seems a frequent theme, and I have no doubt you could construct an argument that any one of them plagiarised any other one (provided the other one was created later, of course, unless we're admitting time machines into arguments now).

. . .
Anyone else please feel free to add to the list of mad scientists, btw. :)
Someone should put together a page of images of all the various mad scientist characters, from the guy in the Warner Brother cartoon ("come... back... here... you... rab... bit...") and "Dr. Brown" from "Back to the Future," to "Dr. Finklestein" from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

The lab coat, the big gloves, the goggles, they're all staples of the archetype. No-one's ripping anyone off by portraying a mad scientist character.

Now, everyone go and listen to the GeeksOn episode on Mad Scientists. C'mon, Christina Hendricks' brother Aaron is in it.
Good point, MattK. Also, take a look at what illustration wikipedia has put as their standard image for what a generic scientist would look like.

Personally, I think it's about time Superman's creators sued every superhero who wore a cape and any sort of insignia on his/her chest, but thats just me.
People do understand that it isn't "they look alike!" that's the issue, it's the fact that they are both SINGING mad scientists, yes? A number of the comments here seem to be failing to take note of that. (Not taking a position on the rest of it; I"m just sayin'.)
I don't know if the MySpace post is being all that serious, complaining like that fits into the whole Dr. Steel persona he has going on. My main worry here is that some fans might take it too seriously and actually disrupt the panel at Comic-Con, and God knows we've waited long enough for some new audiovisual Whedonage to get it spoiled by some over-zealous fans.

As an aside, I am liking the whole steampunk aesthetic Dr Steel has going on. And the old-style propoganda posters are cool. Some of the music started automatically on the MySpace page, which is something MySpace inexplicably seems to enjoy doing to its visitors, and the music doesn't even sound similar. How you can even compare an old-school musical love-story to his industrial/alternative/whatever music is beyond me.

Also, and perhaps most importantly, after reading the whole propaganda pages where he demands his followers provide links back to his site when spreading the word about this really makes this whole thing seem like a publicity stunt on his part. Publicity at other people's expense (i.e. their reputations) is just vile. If that's what this is, of course.

ETA: theonetruebix, I wasn't sure about the whole look-alike thing. I mean, his fans seemed to be mentioning the goggles a lot. That said, my point was rather tenuous comparing the images they had there, because they probably weren't chosen with that in mind.

[ edited by MattK on 2008-07-17 16:38 ]
Thanks for the Neil Gaiman link! Really interesting take on things (and unsurprisingly well written). I believe it was Stravinsky who said "Good composers borrow. Great composers steal."

As for this mess, I could understand Dr. Steel even being a little frustrated; here he is playing this schtick for years and someone well known comes along and in an INSTANT is far more successful than he'll EVER be. His decision to make a joke about that and play off the popularity of Dr. Horrible is respectful and reasonable. I mean, why does one musician|artist|filmmaker|video game console|etc. have to "win" while the others "lose"? I've never understood that sense of competition among fans, let alone artists. I've seen way too much backstabbing and in-fighting among the music scene(s) here in Pittsburgh and it just seems counter-productive to me. After all, if one person succeeds, that can help all the others. So power to Dr. Steel; hopefully Dr. Horrible success will get him a bunch of new fans as well. There's room in this world for thousands of singing mad scientists...and if there isn't, I'll just create a ray that MAKES room!
Gene Wilder definitely wore the goggles and lab coat (and I'm serious, I want to buy that lab coat but the UK stores won't ship!), so I do think that Doctor Frankenstein deserves a spot on the list!
And have I mentioned this guy?. Though he spells doctor with a 'k'.
narse I don't find a call to disrupt the comic-con panel or to go to every Dr. Horrible link and disparage DHSaLB respectful or reasonable. It is Dr. Steel's official site that is trying to create a fan battle. Not cool.
Firefly is a rip-off of Outlaw Star!!! Oh, I'm sorry I'm about three years out of sync. What Joss Whedon stuff are we complaining about now? :)
I'm with newcj. Not reasonable or respectful.
Pfft, Outlaw Star? Cowboy Bebop. :)
"Blake's 7" more like ;).
I think the running fixation about Outlaw Star was that it had a girl in a box.

ETA this YouTube video which is kind of funny.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-07-17 17:09 ]
Ahh, I see -- thanks for the link. Cowboy Bebop had the whole "Western in space" going for it (bounty hunters and horses, to name but two examples).

ETA: Now that I've watched it, that was absolutely hilarious! :D You've got me hunting for other FMVs now.

[ edited by MattK on 2008-07-17 17:30 ]
Sigh. Can this not turn ugly, please. I certainly hope Dr. Steel's fans don't disrupt Comic-Con in any way. That's just rude and unnecessary. If anything the publicity garnered from these comparisons might make new fans out of some people. I will second liking Dr. Steel's steampunk aesthetic and can see how people would be fans. But in my opinion simply because they deal with the same character type, singing mad scientist, doesn't make one a rip-off and the other the originator of said character type. Imagine, tv sitcoms getting all proprietary over the sassy blond character or the socially inept genius etc. I just hope this doesn't devolve into a ridiculous mess and take away from the fun of Dr. Horrible.

[ edited by onthedrift on 2008-07-17 17:20 ]
Andy Dufresne : True, I'd forgotten about that. None as regulars anyway. Though Marsters is in Torchwood I don't consider it true Who.
Some of my friends know him. They dressed up in Nurses Costumes at Comicon a few years ago. I'll find out who he is and get back to you. I think the person who plays Doctor Steel needs to have his secret identity revealed. And, I believe, he lives in Los Angeles. Which is where I live. Field Trip!
Ya know, if they want to disrupt the Dr Horrible panel at CC, I say let them try.

Let's see who has the cards here: the crazy fan, or the creator who everybody else in the room has come to see. The creator also has the microphone.
I'd thought that Dr. Horrible was a take on the cliched "Doctor X's Something" ala the BBC's "Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible", which itself was a parody of the 40s US film and 60s Amicus production, both called"Dr. Terror's House of Horrors".

The mad scientist character is an age-old archetype, which probably can be traced back to Frankenstein, and particularly, Colin Clive's portrayal of the Doctor in the 1931 Frankenstein and 1935 Bride sequel.
Ya know, if they want to disrupt the Dr Horrible panel at CC, I say let them try.

Let's see who has the cards here: the crazy fan, or the creator who everybody else in the room has come to see. The creator also has the microphone.

Amen, gossi.
Oooo... rumble! Except, no, that would be bad. Who goes to a convention looking for a fight? When does that get fun?
A rumble would be very, very bad. Maybe it'd be wise for convention folks to at least be prepared to head one off. You know, be on the lookout. I noticed in the Chicago Sun-Times article about Doctor Horrible that a very angry Doctor Steel person had written a comment about plagiarism. 'Tis a virus that is spreading. Sad, really, since Doctor Horrible is such a happy celebration-y thing.
The other thing is there are a ton of Dr. Steel fans who are saying that any sort of disruption is silly and will just make them look bad. Which is true. Hopefully sane heads will prevail, but... my money's on the strawberry-blond auteur.

ETA - plagiarism doesn't really seem an accurate charge as their songs/stories/tone are so completely and utterly different.
Hey, maybe Dr. Steel is the Bad Horse ;) Wouldn't that be fun, a crossover ep?
Oooo... rumble!

When you're a Jet...

Or, in this case, would that be a Jed?

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-07-17 18:16 ]
Joss has better grammar than Dr. Steel. The strength of one's internet argument is critically weakened by classic mistakes such as who's/whose.
The trouble is that some of the Steel fans are under the misapprehension that Dr. Horrible is backed by corporate money and has been greenlit as a tv show.
Obviously they are wrong, and they can read and hear all about it on the 'net. Too bad though, looks like a cool bunch of people having fun, just as we have fun with Dr. Horrible.
Agreed, I can see a lot of similarities with our fandom.
Agreed, I can see a lot of similarities with our fandom.

On both ends of the reasonableness spectrum? ;)
Clearly, two bunches of people trying to have fun in ways that are ever-so-slightly similar will cause the universe to implode. What we have here is a case of matter meets non-antimatter.
"When you're a Jet..."

You know, it would be hilarious if there was a sing off between the fandoms. That, I think, would go along with the spirit of both Dr. Horrible and Dr. Steele and still be fun.

But there are some that seem to want to take this way to far and that is really starting to bother me. It's one thing to join in the fray and 'declare your loyalty' to one or the other, but when the insults start flying, like calling us a cult or Joss Whedon a thief and a hack, well... it's not funny anymore.

Sing off. That's funny. With in sync snapping. And maybe dancing... any of you going to CC wanna, uh, choreograph a dance? Oo.. put gossi up front. He's tall.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2008-07-17 18:39 ]
A sing off.. a dance off (dance dance revolution anyone?) tee hee

Anyway, I just try to ignore the bad, and enjoy the fun from both sides.
Clearly we will need to destroy them, Lady Brick. In other grammatically entertaining news, my Firefox update notification tells me that I am now safer for the web. I think this means I'm not able to exact vengeance upon other fandoms, alas.
a dance off (dance dance revolution anyone?)

We'd have to get Felicia in on that one.
I'm sorry - even if it's a joke - there's EASY ways for someone important to take it seriously... I think it's lame.
"We'd have to get Felicia in on that one."

That video was hilarious. But, um, no. You want to win, right?
And now I'm remembering a scene from what I think was The Drew Carey Show where there was a rumble between the Rocky Horror and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert fans.

It should be exactly like that.

(I'm surprised no one has said "When you're a Hamjet" yet.)
You want to win, right?

What's this "win"? I want to be amused.
The theonetruebix said:

a dance off (dance dance revolution anyone?)

We'd have to get Felicia in on that one.


Heh. That's a win-win situation, and it'd be soo much fun!
Simon Helberg DDRs too. (@2:23)
"What's this "win"? I want to be amused. "

Winning is amusing. That is, if you are the one winning.

PS remind me never to allow someone video me playing a video game. Especially one where dancing is involved.
Winning is amusing. That is, if you are the one winning.

But I can be amused whether winning or losing. So if I consider being amused to be winning, then I win no matter what as long as I'm being amused.
'Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.' I give. You win. ;P But I still want a dance/sing off. Please?
I think it's kinda cool that Dr. Horrible could possibly shine a little mainstreamish light and create some buzz on this Dr. Steel.

I can see how Dr. Steel fans might feel a little jaded though that's no reason to be nasty about it. Ideas are never original. They're always influenced by other things unless a person has been living in solitary confinement their whole life. And even then, cultures which had no contact with each other came up with similar ideas and mythology...such as dragons, zombies and pyramids.

The internet is a big place we can share. Perhaps being friendly towards them is the way to go...
The strength of one's internet argument is critically weakened by classic mistakes such as who's/whose.


/sigh. I'm happy here, in this place.
Another point...

A great deal of Dr. Horrible was already done by Joss during the 6th season of Buffy. The musical for one. Horrible and Moist are pretty similar to the evil nerd trio that planned a heist and built a freeze ray.
Horrible and Moist are pretty similar to the evil nerd trio...

Except not really at all.
I've been meaning to ask, does any one know if Joss ripped Moist off from Terry Pratchett's character Moist von Lipwig? Not that the latter is actually all wet.
Yep, clearly modelled on the Pratchett character in all but personality, appearance and surname. And not only that but he stole the idea of dampness itself from 'Jaws'.

Horrible and Moist are pretty similar to the evil nerd trio...

Except not really at all.


There're only two of them for instance. That's long been recognised as a problem for trios.
See now, embers, I thought it had something to do with people's aversion to the word "moist."

The Language Log has compiled an impressive archive of the various online discussions and mentions of the anti-moist phenomenon, many of which question why women would be more likely to be grossed out by the notion of moistness. There's even a Facebook club devoted to the idea. What does the aversion really mean? No doubt Freud would have had a field day with the idea of people -- be they men or women -- deeply and unconsciously repelled by the word's association with female desire, fecundity and ripeness. Indeed, a lot of the words that gross people out seem to be ones that suggest women's bodies. Add the word "panties" to the mix and we're not talking about the unconscious so much as bad porn. But other words that are equally suggestive don't set off alarm bells. Why moist and not wet?

One possibility: The word "moist" straddles the same cultural polarities of shame and openness that still haunt modern female sexuality. After all, moist is now mostly used with positive connotations to describe baked goods and soil, but it still harbors its less than appealing root meanings. First cited in the English language in 1374, the word came from the French word "moiste," for damp, which came from the Latin words for moldy, slimy and musty.

Last week the moist conversation took on a new dimension when Charles Doyle at the University of Georgia posted to an academic language list-serve that his use of the word in a Shakespeare class had prompted several of his female college students to inform him (in an amused, not outraged way) that the M-word was offensive to women. According to professor Doyle, the women offered no explanation for the word's bad juju, but one male student suggested that it might have something to do with female sexual arousal. To which I offer the following comment: No, duh.

There's also that episode of HIMYM where NPH's character puts on a one man show, including a section where he just says "moist" continuously to annoy Lily, who hates the word.
... but one male student suggested that it might have something to do with female sexual arousal. To which I offer the following comment: No, duh.

Err, what ? So by that reasoning presumably men should be offended by the word 'hard' ? People are strange (even when you're not a stranger ;).
Except not really at all.

Conceptually similar...not literally. Obviously the nerd trio was more successful in their endeavors. But the nerdiness and the desire to be evil and gain notoriety through their evilness and use science to do it...yeah.

My point was that Joss, like all people, have patterns. And it's more likely that Joss came up with Dr. Horrible because he is Joss, not because he saw Dr. Steel. A person who has no original ideas has no style. Dr. Horrible is clearly Joss style. The proof of his style lies in his past work. If we are to debunk the notion that Joss outright stole from Dr. Steel, then we should perhaps point to Joss himself as his own influence.
I couldn't help peeking into the controversy a little: From a toy soldier post, “Dr. Horrible is an example of the corporate entertainment establishment blatantly ripping off the ideas of independent artists and claiming them as their own.” Hmmnew?! They then go on to encourage networking with other people who have suffered ‘theft at the hands of the corporate establishment’ including getting in touch with the local Stormtrooper brigade or Browncoats to help with the protest. About that… Hopefully the facty-type word will get out in the Dr. Steel camp and cooler heads will prevail.
Obviously the nerd trio was more successful in their endeavors.

And their trio-ness.

(I don't think we need to debunk anything - Joss has been on record as liking musicals forever, mad scientist imagery and stereotypes go back to at least the James Whale 'Frankenstein', the "sing-a-long" phrase has also been around for decades etc. etc.)
Wait, the Doctor Steel people are suggesting trying to recruit Browncoats into protesting Joss over Dr. Horrible?

That's just awesome.
Saje, we don't need to debunk anything for us. But the Dr. Steel fans that don't know Joss' prior work are getting the wrong impression I think.

The trio-ness is trivial. The point is the concept which has not only been done before by others, but by Joss himself. It's sort of but not really like the members of CCR suing John Fogerty for plagerism due to the style similarity in his solo music, and lost because the judge basically said you can't plagerize yourself.


... but one male student suggested that it might have something to do with female sexual arousal. To which I offer the following comment: No, duh.

It reminds of the people who were offended by Olivia on Attack of the Show commenting about her juice. Which she now comments on as often as possible.
I should note that the post in question has since been revised in an edit which suggests fairly strongly that cooler heads are trying to prevail. It now includes the info about this not being a corporate production.
I also think there are cool ways that Dr. Steele could have used Dr. Horrible to get some more exposure. The problem is, he did not choose to do that. Instead, he chose to suggest denigrating Dr. Horrible and protesting at the comic-con panel. Even if his fans are smarter than his suggestions and turn this into something funny and entertaining, it still does not make me feel like he himself is someone that I care to explore further. If he had approached this differently, I certainly might have.
Asking the Browncoats to protest their own booth. That is freakin' hilarious.
Oh my freakin' ears./Todd Flanders

Oh, and My Sweet Lord, too.

Honestly, everything has all been done - what matters is how you do it. See how I just sorta ripped off Joss & the Angel folks right there?

I used those emanating rays myself in a superhero-esque graphic design 15 years ago, so does that mean I got ripped off, too? I think it might. If so, where's the monstrously-huge-and-monied "The Man"-type corporation - Capitol Pictures/Galaxie Pictures/Mega-Maxi Films or whatever - so I can get some piece of the action online attention justice for the pain of seeing my emanating rays around the Doc's head? Ya know, it just hurts.

Alrighty, this guy was a traditional boo-hiss kindof villain, but if I'm remembering correctly - and no reason to think I am - Crabby Appleton was also a mad scientist, of sorts. Sadly, he wore no goggles, which is a shame, because they might have prevented his really horrible eye pouches.

My name is Crabby Appleton, and I am simply awful.
It does my heart a lot of good to do a deed unlawful!
I'm fond of gloom, impending doom,
I think good deeds are sappy!
I laugh with glee, it pleases me
When everyone's unhappy.


Isn't that the most... moistness ever?
Pretty much. I did notice a thread on their forums of 'Steelian Browncoats' but apparently whoever proposed the idea that Browncoats could help in the protest (scroll down, it's within the first post) didn't quite grasp the fandom cross-contamination at work. Also, moist.
*snort* at QuoterGal.

Lookieloo, more singing mad scientists on the internet. Whoda thunk that there would be a whole "mad scientist" subculture on the internet? The only thing this "call to arms" has done for me is make Dr. Steel look like an ass.

ETA: edited to remove a gazillion "Edited by" notes and to mention to note (1) that page I linked to is from back in 1997 and (2) the existence of a goggled mad scientist cartoon on the top of the page.

[ edited by BrewBunny on 2008-07-17 21:20 ]
Asking the Browncoats to protest their own booth. That is freakin' hilarious.

Oh my. He IS just like Dr. Horrible.
more singing mad scientists on the internet

I had mis-read this as "mud slinging" and was about to make a "smells like cumin" joke.

Alas...
I'm having a puzzled moment.

Is the funny that he doesn't realize Browncoats are Whedon fans...or is the funny that he does know this and was being funny on pupose?

Which...is funny either way. I just didn't know which laugh to use.
From everything else he seems to be slowly realizing about this, he did/does not seem know about the browncoat connection.
See what happens when people believe everything they read on teh internets? Whips 'em into a frenzy, I'm telling ya. Sheesh.

*is glad QuoterGal remembers Crabby Appleton, and reminisces about Tom Terrific and Migh-ty Manfred (Uh!) the Wonder Dog*
Yes, yes...but does Dr. Steel wear white rubber "Boudreaux" boots? I think that is the material question...
The trio-ness is trivial.

Yeah, to the extent you'd almost assume I was kidding. *sighs*.
In addition to the non-trio-ness of the not-a-trio, clearly Joss in Act II simply ripped off his own rapid opening credits from the ones he used in Act I.
I did assume you were kidding, Saje. I just...wasn't. I was tryin' to be helpful and constructive, and now just sound stupid I guess. ::: shrug :::
I dont understand how people think that just because something is on the internet that everyone should be aware of it...the fact that the majority of the world has never heard of Dr. Steel before this makes it completely possible that nobody who worked on this project was aware of Dr. Steel either.

Are creative souls suppose to google all their ideas before developing them just to make sure they aren’t going to piss anybody off? Sounds like a boring world to me.
I did assume you were kidding, Saje. I just...wasn't.

Well, given that, isn't telling someone that something they're clearly treating trivially is trivial a bit redundant ? Anyway, whatever, water under the bridge, bygones etc. ;).

... clearly Joss in Act II simply ripped off his own rapid opening credits from the ones he used in Act I.

And he totally stole the rapid credits in Act I from the idea of fast forwarding through credits rapidly which, as far as i'm aware, first appeared on my VCR in 1981 (OK, he gave it his own twist by not having fuzzy white horizontal lines but the idea's basically the same). I have the video evidence to prove it.

Also, am I the only one that noticed he stole most of the words in both acts from the English language ? How he sleeps at night i'll never know (it'll be to do with brain-waves and hormones I bet but i'll never know the details probably).
But Vespa, if Dr. Steel (or maybe Dr. Steal) had bothered with a google image search for "mad scientist," he'd have notice that our pop culture is awash in images of mad scientists wearing coats, gloves and goggles. Shit, there are even mad scientist rubber duckies!
Should I (regular Sue Whedonite-aka cultist) be worried about Joss's feelings? I keep coming back to this discussion (in necessary mental breaks from work) and all I keep feeling is a hope that Joss is not even aware of this "controversy." What a bummer to an otherwise perfectly delicious thing! Why???????
...there are even mad scientist rubber duckies!

oooo! I want one!

So, if they are starting to ease up, does this mean no dance/sing off? Oh moist!
Also, am I the only one that noticed he stole most of the words in both acts from the English language ?

Neil Patrick Harris's cheekbones are also not the intellectual property of Joss Whedon. I think he licensed the rights though.
NPH's aren't but I think Joss has a patent on cheekbones in general. He saw there was a demand and got in on the ground floor. And the guy says he doesn't have a business brain. Pfft.
Wow. What a thing to rear its head when we're all glorying in the return of Whedonite entertainment.

Biggest difference for me in all of this. I've known who Joss Whedon is for many, many years (ETA: This means I know what kind of person and artist he is by a lot of observation. He doesn't need to steal ideas. He makes ideas). I've never heard of Dr. Steel, and I know a lot about movies, television, and genre forms. This isn't criticism, it's the truth. I say, "Say nay to the rabble," because a lot of the comments I read at that link were very positive, and only a few being sour and combative.

There's an oft-used and very cheesy phrase: "Can't we all be friends." Probably not, but let's make an effort. Doesn't mean an eye can't be kept on any veiled threats to cause trouble.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2008-07-17 22:39 ]
All kidding aside, though, I'm just worried about the one guy that takes it to far. And I'm envisioning another pissed of trucker yelling at Tim Minear kind of thing. Which is both not fun for everyone and would probably be kind of scary for the people on the panel. Who wants to deal with crazy when it's angry and in person?
I just hope the folks that are Dr. Steele (is it 2 e's or 3?) behave, have fun with it, and maybe challenge you all to a sing/dance off. (Seriously, I'm not letting that go!) They could sing, "You Stole Our Schtick!" and you all could sing "Oh Balls!!" And snap. In sync.
I've hit upon what I think is an elegant solution to the "moist" controversy - I'm going to use "moist" to mean both "awful" and "awesome", like we use "bad" and stuff.

I think that's totally hard.
Personally and professionally, I take intellectual property infringement very serious, so I am not amused by the claims asserted by Dr. Steel. Although this has to be a joke, you shouldn't joke about things that have consequences in law.

I could cite caselaw after caselaw that supports Dr. Horrible, but since like every basis of copyright law ever supports Dr. Horrible, it would take forever to explain them all. Dr. Steel's arguments are so wholly without merit, I really can't be bothered to address them.

Signed,
The Slightly-More-Wicked-Than-Other-Attorneys Attorney
Don't forget the jazz hands, NYP!
I think that's totally hard.

Ha! That was so moist!

Yes! There must be jazz hands!! So... moist! (heh. No, this won't be getting old any time soon.)

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2008-07-17 22:43 ]
hmm, by announcing his evil plot to take down Dr. Horrible on his website, he has announced his plans to all of the Whedon loyalists...this plot sounds familiar...wait, who is the copier? I have lost track.
Pliny, While I bow to your expertise on IP law, I nonetheless will have to challenge you to a challenge for the Most Wicked Attorney title. If Shakeyspear were alive today, he'd likely re-write his earlier work to say "kill all the lawyers, but make sure to kill those corporate ones first!"

And to all who keep making those damn moist/hard jokes: STOP IT!!! My co-workers are wondering why I keep giggling at my desk.
*blatantly stealing from HIMYM* Moist. Moist. Moist. Moist. Moist. Moist. ... Moist. Moist. Moist. Moist. Moist.
Brew, sadly I would never win the Most Wicked Attorney title. My wickedness is largely counteracted by my slothfulness. I just can't be bothered to achieve my evil moist goals.

And re: Shakespeare, I always like to point out that when Dick says "The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers," that Dick is an anarchist trying to plan a successful rebellion. So, I like to think that Shakespeare was really saying lawyers are society's first line of defense... even lazy wicked moist ones. ;)
I thought that the "stunningly boring chore" line sounded like a quote from Dexter.... just sayin'.
Hmm...a "Nomad Zeitgeist" seems to have roamed onto the Dr. Steel website and spread healing oil upon the waters.

[ edited by Znachki on 2008-07-17 23:06 ]
Need anything dampened with my jazz hands? No?
Uh... 21 years ago, I played a chaotic neutral, tinker gnome bard in D&D. He was very much a singing mad scientist. He also had his own periodical - not unlike a preinterweb blog. And he wore a lab coat... And gloves... And goggles! Does this mean Steel & Horrible REALLY ripped off Professor Rivencog? Should I sue?

Egad. People need to get over themselves. I can tell you the good professor would have seen it as one more step toward multiversal domination. In fact, he would probably think he created Steel & Horrible as dopplegangers to conquer by proxy. I think some should learn from his delusions.
Znachki - yeah, that'd be me. There are some fun and reasonable folks out there in that fandom trying to spread the truth and make peace. They see this as the opportunity it was to share and enjoy in a fandom crossover. Plus, they really dig Ed Norton photoshopping, so I took the opportunity to do one up quick like :)

My initial post, which was met with friendly and kindly words from the moderation staff.

Quickie Norton 'Shop, cause, FUN.

They seem like a very cool and passionate lot that just gets carried away sometimes. God knows, we never do that ;) By the by there is a Doctor Steel Read Along Album Book/CD (as pointed out to me by my lovely bride) - perhaps that would help some of us see where they are coming from?
Photoshop: every ambassador's secret diplomatic weapon.
Well, Z, I find that pretty damn awesome. Good on you.

ETA: Seth Brundle is one of my top mad scientists. Okay, he didn't actually become mad until that pesky fly got into the telepod, but he started off nerdy and lonely. One can only be glad it wasn't The Singing Fly...

[ edited by Tonya J on 2008-07-17 23:30 ]
zeitgest, I can see your point on that, but it's kind of BS for the Dr. Steel creator to be calling foul when his own "Read Along Book" covers do their own steeling from both War of the Worlds (see the freaky tripod things) and Psycho. Glass houses, anyone?
Put yourself in their shoes for a moment (apparently its harder than I thought). If Doctor Steel had come along AFTER Doctor Horrible, wouldn't you be a tad inclined to be dismissive and/or hostile towards it? It doesn't matter that they both took mad scientist and musical elements from elsewhere and Read-Along/Sing-Along from elsewhere. The combo might make one pause.
I hear you on the fan issue - it's only natural for members of a fandom to be protective about their gig. What I take issue with is the creator issuing a call to arms claiming what amounts to copyright infringement. When you swim in the waters of pop culture appropriation, you can't really be surprised to find others dipping their toes in there too.
Maybe it would be easier to imagine if someone made a web series about a dystopian space Western with some kind of cultural fusion going on. Imagine the fan reaction to that.


ETA: Although I agree with BrewBunny, I think to see the flip side of this a bit better Firefly is a better working model. The first reaction's not necessarily rational. That doesn't make it right or responsible, either. But it is what it is.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-07-17 23:54 ]
As someone once said (yes, I'm being cheeky, MattK) "You take out of the stew, you put back into the stew.". IOW, yeah, I'm not a fan of the way this was handled from the top without all of the information at hand, especially when participating in an area with a lot of cultural cross-pollination and no clear ownership of any particular part of a concept really wanted or needed. Hopefully that can be repaired now. Neil Gaiman had some great things to say about this when asked whether he felt JK Rowling stole from his Books of Magic and what he thought of Rowling's recent lawsuits against things 'unauthorized'.
Tripods! And more Tripods!

And so it goes...

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."- Ecclesiastes I: 9-10/King James

(Liked your Photoshoppery, Z.)


ETA: Forgot to say, I could no more imagine Joss (and Co.) issuing any similar kind of online call to the arms of disruption that I could imagine him hurting a little puppy. Therein lies an important difference, to me. But let this faux fight be over, please.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2008-07-18 00:03 ]
"Put yourself in their shoes for a moment (apparently its harder than I thought). If Doctor Steel had come along AFTER Doctor Horrible, wouldn't you be a tad inclined to be dismissive and/or hostile towards it?"

I can honestly say, no, I wouldn't. I'd be all "interesting, maybe I'll check this out." The web is like all other group fora since the dawn o' time - it's a big, creative mix-and-match-and-share soup. The combo of mad doctor/goggles/singing/sing-a-longs wouldn't give me pause. Pause, schmause. Doctor Steel simply doesn't seem very similar to Doctor Horrible. Its elements and combination of elements aren't remotely rip-offy to anyone who bothers to spend the time to do a little web research on who this Josh Wheldon fellow is. Even if it were an imitation, so what? I love homages.

I applaud your healing efforts, zeitgeist. What I don't applaud is nastiness in fandom, and that includes wild (and unfounded and lacking in factual basis) accusations of plagiarism. That kind of crap bothers me. A lot. It's all burning torches and pitchforks. Such histrionic and accusatory behavior bothers me just as much if it's in the whedon fandom, btw. And just because it can - and does, alas - occur in the whedon fandom, doesn't mean that it's all hunky dory elsewhere.

Again, I applaud your diplomacy, zeitgeist. That's good stuff. So is photoshopping Ed Norton.
You'll find a lot of people talking sense about this on their forums now, and the moderation staff over there is doing great work trying to keep things on track and honest. I certainly don't applaud the folks who were planning on disrupting the ComicCon panel and I made that plain on the TSU forum. At this point I have to believe the cooler heads will prevail and that some good may come of this. Glass half full for me, today; I'm an optimistic cynic at the moment.
Zeitgeist - I thought what you did was a terrific thing - and the Ed Norton photoshop was awesome. I'm very glad that things seem to have calmed down. (Of course no Browncoat would ever get ovezealous or anything :p )

Not much on the fandom thing in general myownself, in fact I'm still surprised to find myself here and on other Whedony boards.

With a few exceptions the Doctor Steel fans seem a good bunch and I can certainly see how a fandom that has had a long struggle for recognition could be upset when they feel "their" creation has been co-opted. (I'm talking perception here - not reality.)
Seems to be calming down over there, phew, catastrophic[ally hilarious] fan apocalypse averted (probably). Cool in a way, everyone here being worried about the odd extremist doing something ... extreme makes me think that must be what others looking in think of us some of the time.

Glass half full for me, today; I'm an optimistic cynic at the moment.

The glass is still half-empty but hey, half a glass, right ?

(the cynical optimist perspective ;)

I think that's totally hard.

Never in all my days have I been so insul ... wait, is that the good hard or the bad hard ?

And thanks for bringing 'The Tripods' back to mind QuoterGal. I'm still cheesed off that they never finished that. Totally left us hanging. Bloody Michael Grade, killed 'Doctor Who' too (or tried to).
Reminds me of the whole Moonlight fiasco. In the end we got to enjoy that show for it's short run too.
What I enjoyed most about Moonlight -was- it's short life.
I really like Terry Pratchett's quote about genre fiction in the link to Neil Gaiman's blog that MattK posted.

Something like: 'Genre fiction is a stew. You take stuff out. You put stuff in. The stew bubbles on.'

8)
I just meant we were angry at first when that came out, but intrigued. By the time it came out, we cared less and less.
I have to believe the cooler heads will prevail and that some good may come of this.

Like a DANCE OFF! Come on.. it'll be fun!

But just in case, you all should have a song ready to sing should one of the not so cooler headed Toy Soldiers gets to the mike and starts ranting. Seriously.



....please?

ETA: How about "Mister Moist let go that Microphone!

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2008-07-18 01:33 ]
Dude, all I have to say is that whatever they may have claim to in terms of validity, it does not justify vandalizing Wikipedia.
A rumble would be very, very bad. Maybe it'd be wise for convention folks to at least be prepared to head one off...
phlebotinin | July 17, 17:59 CET


I'm all for a rumble, but only if it's a musical rumble, ala West Side Story.

Actually, if the Dr Steel people really wanted some awesome publicity, they'd collaborate with the Dr Horrible fans and choreograph a musical rumble at ComicCon. Now THAT would be fun!!
We Whedonesquers are a peaceful race.

(Oops, I think I should start lawyering up for saying it. And probably, lawyering up for saying 'lawyering up'. I mean, someone must have said it first.)

[ edited by Effulgent on 2008-07-18 02:45 ]
Like I said... when you're a Jed, you're a Jed for life.
I'd just like to say: kudos on your excellent posts on the Dr. Steel forum, zeitgeist. We can never be sure what would've happened otherwise, but being the first to offer a friendly word certainly can't have hurt. Plus: your posts were all so nicely diplomatic. Ever considered running for office? ;)

And yes, I can totally see our fandom overreacting to something like this if the roles were switched. Hell, some of us even sorta did when Moonlight which I'm still surprised so many people hated came around, as GimpyD pointed out.

I think I may also have overreacted instinctively to the negativity out there, because I don't completely "get" their fandom yet. There's a military theme there, with soldiers and armies, which sounds aggressive when heard out of context. I still don't quite know what this Dr. Steel thing is about, but I'm intrigued enough now to try to find out (which I guess - good work from them).

I am still slightly irked about the original message, though, which was issued by - I'm guessing - the creator. Yes, it was much more funny and polite than what we saw on the forum, but I still can't even imagine Joss posting a message which could easily inflame people into doing the kind of silly things that were discussed. Not to mention the legal claims he kinda sorta made. Seems irresponsible, to me.

Still though, I'm very glad the hatchett between the fandoms is getting burried. They truly do seem like a fun group of people (and, honestly, who doesn't like Ed Norton?).

Moist.
Yes, the "mission" commands seem to have been toned down a bit. Good for you Zeitgeist.
You sure turned on the charm over there zeitgeist, nice olive branch. Really well done, especially finding common ground on Edward Norton.;) I'm glad things seem to be calming down and fingers crossed that it stays that way. It just makes me sad to think about the ComicCon panel getting disrupted. Dr. Horrible is an essence a giant gift to the fans, along with being an alternative way to put out creative material or work outside the (moist) box etc. So I hate to see that get lost or smeared.
I couldn't read through all the comment on that website because this comment about Joss stopped me "his league of followers are frightening in their strength"

We are? *preens at her "league"* I suddenly feel that I need to visit my uncle and get a lecture on using my "powers" wisely.

And I'm happy that things have cooled down. I know I missed a lot when my computer/internet voiced their displeasure when I first saw this by shutting off for hours! All hail the infinite power of photoshopping doctors!
There goes that zeitgeist, reaching out to new people on the interwebs, making with the funny and the nice, until they fall under his spell, begin texting him day and night, and eventually marry him multiple times.

Oh, right. My bad. That's me.

Nicely done, z -- they do seem an amusing and sharp sort over there. Right up our alley. And speaking of alleys (dum-dum-duh!), could be the joke's on us. Could Dr. Steel's day job be, say, driving a courier van filled with... Wonderflonium?!? Look closely. I'm just sayin'.

[ edited by barest_smidgen on 2008-07-18 14:18 ]
Thanks for the kind words. barest_smidgen, I will marry you again, so look out! On the Doctor vs. Doctor front, I found this very encouraging: TSU link, TSU link 2 (and read the post right after that).
I guess like any other set of fans (ourselves most definitely included) they have a spectrum of folk, from the incredibly sensible and intelligent (some of whom seem to have been put off their own fandom which is a shame) all the way through to the, err, less so but I must admit all the talk of "soldiers" and "recruiting" doesn't really do it for me, not my bag (like this entire anti-Dr Horrible campaign, at point of inception the military terminology seems to be ironic which would be great except some of Dr Steel's fans seem to be taking it more seriously than was maybe intended).

And I think it's partly that language that's making them seem more aggressive than most of them probably are (there also seems to be a political component to their fandom which is fine but, again, not really my bag - though the idea of an anarchist army always makes me smile ;).

(it's true that 'browncoats' are named after an army but, for the most part, militarism isn't part of the identity)
Yeah, (shocking, I know!) "what Saje said" re: military language/irony/anarchist army ;).
Can there be such a thing as an anarchist army?
Yeah, Saje. I've been reading up on their website, and I feel the same way. This is a fandom that's not for me, I think, because of exactly what you're saying here. The militaristic vibe (even down to the avatars people use where they're dressed up in military-style clothing) is not my thing.

It's also troublesome to me that the way they treat their 'leader' is as an actual leader. I mean, there's plenty of fan-worship going on in our own fandom and when Joss asks us to do something we usually do it, but that's not because we're an army and he's our ideological leader leading us to Great Promised Lands Of Fun And Glory like seems to be the case there. The 'political component', as you will.

To each their own, but to me, on the outside after looking in for a while, it feels kinda cultish (which, again, may be just what we look like to people from outside of our little bubble), so I think it's just not for me. It also doesn't help that I still think that the original message from "Dr. Steel" himself (which hasn't been retracted in any way, I think, but correct me if I'm wrong) was in poor judgement, which has not directly tainted my opinion of his fans but has tainted my opinion on the way the object of their fandom interacts with his fans. Which, of course, still doesn't mean we can't all be friendly to each other. Live and let live and all that.

But, again, I'm very glad it's calming down on all 'fronts' whoops, there I go using military terms myself ;)

ETA: yikes, I just saw I made half of these points in an earlier post. Talk about redundant.

[ edited by GVH on 2008-07-18 16:06 ]
Yeah they do seem to take the leader thing quite seriously GVH. At one point early on in the kerfuffle (before their own cooler heads prevailed) their forum mod had "been given orders" (dunno by whom) to remove any posts that disagreed with "the mission" (to rally the troops and inform the world that Dr Horrible was a rip-off). I don't see that working here somehow ;).

Can there be such a thing as an anarchist army?

Technically there can, since anarchy just means un-governed or self-governed and army can mean "any body of persons organized for any purpose" (presumably including self organisation). In many ways in fact, an anarchist army is the best kind since you'd never have disasters like Passchendaele or Gallipoli cos if you told anarchist soldiers to throw their lives away they'd just tell you to piss off out of it ;).

But in common usage anarchy means without order and obviously armies fundamentally depend on order so it always seems amusingly discordant to me ;).
Yeah, but that's totally Dr. Steel driving the van. /hides
Technically there can, since anarchy just means un-governed or self-governed and army can mean "any body of persons organized for any purpose" (presumably including self organisation).

I guess I don't see how an army would work in practice without compulsory government of some kind, whether it was called that or not. I'd call a self-organized military body a militia.
You say militia, I saw army; let's call the whole thing off!
Pot-a-to, pot-ah-to ... It's pot-a-to though, that one's actually pretty straightforward.

I guess I don't see how an army would work in practice without compulsory government of some kind, whether it was called that or not.

Well, it'd need to have a very flat command structure Sunfire ;). Basically, if you mean an army as we know it in common usage then no, it wouldn't work in practice, I agree - orders can't be optional in an army otherwise no-one would peel the spuds or clean the latrines. But a large body of people that comes together - temporarily - for a common purpose is possible with anarchy (for me a militia is normally smaller and recruited locally for local defence - you wouldn't expect a militia raised in Michigan to defend homes in New Mexico for instance - whereas an army can pursue political or philosophical aims).

To me BTW, that's the flaw with anarchy - people organise inherently i.e. as soon as you have more than one person in the same place and a rock bigger than either can lift by themselves, you're going to get organisation and from that flows institutions etc. like night follows day. Maybe if we built a Dyson sphere so that we all had hundreds of kilometres to range over by ourselves, basically limitless energy and high technology then an anarchist utopia might be possible (but even then, our biology dictates an "organisation" in the form of pairs and families so maybe not).
To me BTW, that's the flaw with anarchy - people organise inherently i.e. as soon as you have more than one person in the same place and a rock bigger than either can lift by themselves, you're going to get organisation and from that flows institutions etc.

I don't know about that. But trying to organize people for military purposes seems rather dubious without someone being in charge. And having someone in charge of a military does not generally lead to decentralized decision-making.

You say militia, I saw army; let's call the whole thing off!

No way, man. I will crush you! What were we talking about, again?
And having someone in charge of a military does not generally lead to decentralized decision-making.

Doesn't need to. Like I say, anarchy means something along the lines of "self-governed". So all that's required is they don't have to follow orders, there's nothing preventing them following instructions or requests as long as they choose freely to do so (so military objectives might actually be easier than "scut work" which very few people are going to choose to do voluntarily) and nothing that says anarchists can't band together so long as it's voluntarily, for a purpose they all share.

(I think you're stuck on the idea of an army that's pursuing objectives most of its soldiers aren't interested in pursuing - as I say, I don't think that'd work either)

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