Archive for the ‘Lolcats, Spock, and Horribleness: Researchy Things’ Category

Bad Horsing Around and Other Things That Make My Head Explode (in a good way)

December 16, 2008

I have to admit, it’s hard to come here and blog about stuff I’ve spent hours writing a 20+ page paper on.  But I’ll try.

I discovered that doctorhorrible commented on one of the earliest Dr. Horrible fan vids involving an original villain.  Check out Dr. Dreadful’s YouTube Riposte and the official comment from the Dr. Horrible YouTube folks.  Makes me wonder if that wasn’t the inspiration for the magnificent Evil League of Evil Application Contest.  (Señor Advisor is right.  I need to try to do interviews with important people.)  Why is this OMG! So much awesome!?  Because it plays right into my theory that rather than being a top-down media catalyst for Participatory Culture, Dr. Horrible is really part of the Participatory Culture.  Granted, it’s a big part and has a soapbox rather than being a voice in the crowd (as opposed to the bully pulpit the network guys have), but the form of the production, the inclusiveness, the way it was publicized, the way fans have been encouraged to participate…to me this says “fan production” more than “industry production.”

In other Dr. Horrible news, have you seen this?

Yeah.  That’s Felicia Day.  And yeah, those are some dudes serenading her with the “Bad Horse Chorus.”  Apparently some seriously wicked (I mean this in the New Englander, awesome way) dudes took it upon themselves to snipe unsuspecting celebrities and fans at PAX 2008 in September.  It started out as a fan-made prank, but the PAX people quickly got wind and wanted it in their DVD, getting the Chorus access to interviews and making sure they were front and center at a Q&A with Gabe and Tycho (the creators of Penny Arcade).  Their shenanigans even got a rather sickly Wil Wheaton to bust a gut.  Check out Epic Default Productions for the full story and all available video of their “Bad Horsing.”  Just more evidence of how beautiful fan culture really is.  How it spreads and broadens and reaches across networks and into all available media.  Sometimes I think I can see the webs that connect the different memes and creations, and not to be trite, but it’s like looking into the stars.  Ok.  That was trite.  But I didn’t know how else to say.  Moving on from my flights of fancy….

After encountering it time and again in researching Dr. Horrible, I finally watched The Guild, starring the lovely Felicia Day.  Even if you’re not a gamer (I’m not, though I’ve certainly lived vicariously), this is a riot.  I believe it will be accessible to any and all nerds, geeks, and/or dorks, and unlike most awesome series these days, it takes minimal time commitment.  I love that these internet projects make money and are able to function without the support of networks and newspapers.  They’re doing art the way art should be done: without strings attached.  Watch it!

We’re entering the final days of the final papers.  I probably shouldn’t be posting right now.  I probably won’t post for the next few days.  And hopefully when I emerge,  I can report on awesome extras for the Dr. Horrible DVD.  Wish me luck in the Horrible conclusion!

I <3 Paul Krugman

December 12, 2008

Other than your basic market talk, economics tends to go over my head.  Odd then that I would devote an entry to a Nobel Prize winning economic.

Or not so much.  Because Paul Krugman is AWESOME.  Leaving aside just how clever he is, leaving aside his broad-minded approach to the market (one which seems to avoid the myopic devotion to the absolute authority of The Market, though as I said, I don’t really understand this stuff)…Paul Krugman is such a nerd.

I’m not Dr. Krugman’s best friend or anything.  The evidence is right there on his NY Times blog.  His post on Tobin’s Q Ratio (whatever that is) made me giggle, as any proper Trekkie (we can have a discussion about Trekkie vs. Trekker another time) would, but his true awesomeness can be seen in lolfed and his AFK message for the Nobel awards ceremonies.  Oh yes.  A Nobel prize winning economist uses lolz on his blog.

Besides indicating that he must spend some time regularly on icanhascheezburger and affiliated image macro blogs, it makes economics look so much cooler, and, most importantly to me, boy does it vindicate what I do.  Now I just have to try to get an interview with him for my thesis.

In other news, I want to give a shout out to Nicole Riley, who hearts nerds, as should we all.

Later: news on the interdisciplinary angst front.

Do you get a thrill when you find a ret-con?

November 30, 2008

I do.  Man I love it when the writers miss something or revise something.  Or at least when I notice.  Then I get all self-righteous and say, “I would have known that.  No ret-cons for me.”  And of course, I’m angry too.  Why couldn’t the writers and producers have the same wellspring of Trek/Star Wars/Buffy/Sports Night/… knowledge that I have?  The first time I saw Jadzia Dax (DS9 for those not in the know), my head almost exploded.  Whaaa?  But the Trill on TNG didn’t have spots!  It’s the thrill of having superior knowledge.

Imagine what that feels like when one of the authors you’re reading commits such a blunder.

In researching a paper on B’Elanna Torres as a tragic mulatta, I kept coming across media scholars who got Trek plot details wrong.  Key details.  The errors were like fingernails on a chalkboard.  They also provided excellent fodder, both for my writing and for my nerdy superiority complex.

In discussing hybrid characters in Star Trek, Denise Alessandria Hurd wrote that Simon Tarses “is arrested for his willful deceit.”  I blanched.  I thought for a moment.  I was pretty certain Tarses was never arrested (see TNG “The Drumhead”).  I doubted myself.  After all, this was a scholarly publication, and it would not get a basic fact like this wrong.  I checked Memory Alpha which, of course, confirmed my suspicion.  And there I sat, in all my glory, gloating over an author who probably would never know who I am.  This happened repeatedly in the course of this research.

I complained about this in a meeting with my professor, and she told me that many media scholars only look at a sample of a series or episode and only do that once or twice, and my comprehensive knowledge of so many shows would serve me well as a media scholar.  Oh the joy of righteous indignation vindicated!

One day I will have to post some of my notes from this research.  They are delightfully expletive-filled.  And the mockery!  This project has trained me in text-based mockery.

Oh the pangs of being a fan….