Alright, fine, Happy belated Birthday to Robotech Macross

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War rages within me... anger and excitement, and I am one of those people for whom anger usually wins...

March 4th was the 25th anniversary for Robotech: Macross Saga.  I was one of those kids whose life and tastes were forever changed by this groundbreaking series, but a dark cloud looms over the celebration: Harmony Gold.

February 17th, I read this on RobotechX:

UEG Productions Statement:

Sadly UEG productions has to inform the public that we are no longer able to continue producing the Genesis web series as planned.

The group received a Cease and Desist order from Harmony Gold USA (the rights holder to Robotech and all related materials), in-spite the well known non-commercial nature of Genesis. The situation at hand does not leave us with another alternative then to remove all Robotech and Macross related materials or derivations from the website. The genesis trailers and all related imagery, containing the materials in question will no longer be available.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the creation of Genesis project for the past 6 years. All the fans that supported us. And we are sorry we are not able to release it in this form.

We were already planning ahead to create our very own animation. So we are proud to announce the birth of the Artemis project. An complete original science fiction / Mecha animated feature film. Which will be unlike any other sci-fi, with its unique storyline and characters. More information on this new project will be available soon.

Thank you for your understanding.   UEG MANAGEMENT 2010

When a company shows such disdain for their fans, it is really hard to care about them...  I love Robotech, but I want to buy the rights from Harmony Gold just so I know the rights are owned by someone who will cherish the fans rather than the current owners that is now treating us like dirt.

Deep breath... in... out... ahh... that's better.

So I am going to bite the bullet and say Happy Birthday Macross, and Frak You Harmony Gold in the same breath.  Macross is too good to be lost in the milieu of a spiteful company.

If you've never seen Macross, check it out:

[reus name="Robotech Macross Hulu"]

or check it out at Amazon Video or Robotech: The Original Series - Robotech: The Macross Saga.

and don't forget to join our Robotech Group!

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Robotech on iTunes and Amazon

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Image by fendyzaidan via Flickr

The Majority of the Robotech Saga has been added to iTunes, Amazon, Xbox Live, and IGN Direct2Drive.

Notice that Robotech II: The Sentinels, Flash Back 2012, Macross II, Macross Plus, Macross 7, Macross 7: Encore, Macross Dynamite 7, Macross Zero, and Macross Frontier are not on the list.  I realize that Macross and Robotech are not technically the same thing, but I think they belong together.  After all, Robotech was based on Macross.

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Life as a Story

I went out to write at the San Francisco Bread Company today. The longer I write, the more I realize how important it is to get out of the house, even if it is only to sequester myself at a small table in a cafe with my headphones on listening to music, surfing the web, struggling with new concepts and editing a book I wrote that I actual enjoy reading. It is odd how something as simple as a change of venue from my office to a cafe can change my mood and energy level, but I have read enough from other writers to know that I am not alone.

I have a theory about why something as simple as a change of venue can so profoundly effect a writer's mood.

I started writing as a defense mechanism. As a child, I grew up on a farm miles from the closet kid my age. I spent most of my time either on the phone, outside with my dog Red, or in my room inventing new stories with my Voltron and He-man action figures. When this wasn't enough, I started drawing crude comics and playing out a sort of paper theater with playing cards and my imagination. Through all this, my imagination was fueled by He-man, She-ra, Transformers, the books of Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain, and the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons. I didn't have anyone to play with, so I spent my time making up stories about these fantastical creatures, demigods, and demons. The music of Kiss and Dolly Pardon filled my nights in my room watching "Too Close for Comfort" dreaming of the day I would write my own "Cosmic Cow" strip.

When we moved to Maryland, things got worse. I had a strong accent, which got me beaten up in school a lot, and I had not people skills so the few friends I did make really had to work hard to get past my clumsy social interactions. I didn't know how to relate with these "people." They were so different from me, and they expected me to know how to act with them. I just didn't.

My salvation came through The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and my knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons. I played these games with them as a means of interacting. They gave a structure to our together time and gave me a common language to speak. In time, we added Marvel Superheroes, Robotech, Earthdawn, and the many classic White Wolf storyteller games- Vampire: The Masquerade, Were-wolf, Mage: The Ascension, Changeling: The Dreaming. In fact, I became friends with Brian through a Vampire Chronicle.

Through this role as the storyteller, Star Trek Fandom, and my near obsessive interest in music, I found my medium to talk to others.

Storytelling is who I am. It is how I comprehend the world and explains why I am so deeply involved with the works of Joseph Campbell. This is who I am for better or worse. From the many biographies about other writers I have read, I think we have all taken up the life of a storyteller as some sort of defense mechanism or way to make sense of the world. It is easier to lock yourself away from the world than to jump in and struggle within it.

When I force myself out of my cave, even if only to isolate myself from the settings I find myself in through headphones and work, it reminds me that the outside world is still there. It lets me see how people actually interact with each other, for better or worse, and on those rarest of occasions, allows me to have incredible conversations with people face to face.

It is hard to explain how isolating is can be at times to be a storyteller. The hours, days and weeks spent locked away from the world crafting a reality that I hope others will experience and enjoy with the same fervor that I do. The simple act of seeing other people and hearing other voices enlivens me.

Like other writers, I am an observer of life much more than I am a participant in it. These little glimpses of the world outside my friends and family and the characters I write about (feels more like with sometimes), grounds me and helps connect me with the bigger world that is so easy to let slip away.

I wish more people shared this experience. Looking out at this world of strangers that I may or may not ever see again, and watching the plots they have entwined themselves in. We all tell our own stories. That is the art of conversation, to weave an entertaining tale about ourselves and others. As these plot lines co-mingle and intertwine, the story of our family, friends, city, state and nation are told. These stories often matter more than the facts. (whether or not that should be true or not is a whole other discussion).

I recommend that you give this a try. Next time you are out with friends, watch the stories that you are telling each other closely and follow them out as if they are plot lines in a novel, movie, or television show. It is startling how often you can predict other peoples actions by listening to their backstory, current plot, and projecting that out as it would play out in the genre appropriate to the person. I am not saying that this is always the case, but more often than not you will be able to see what will happen before it does. This is also the best way to choose your course of action. How will your action effect the other all story. Try it out, I think you might be pleasantly surprised.