Brainstrummings from a Bug-Eyed Bookworm

Tiff is a PhD student in English literature at UC-Berkeley. She takes no prisoners, bars no holds, holds no bars.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Empire Brokeback

C3PO and R2D2: two droids in love? Check out this preview for The Empire Brokeback

(link courtesy of Marisa Knox!)

Monday, February 13, 2006


Despite having been a Star Wars geek for many years, I'd never been to a Star Wars convention. But when PM found out about Wondercon 2006, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. So armed with his Star Trek expertise and my Star Wars philia, we sallied forth, fifteen-dollar tickets in hand, to commune with our people: the people with whom we have claimed solidarity even as we have mocked their high-waisted jean-shorts and violent skirmishes over whether or not Owen Lars is Obi-Wan Kenobi's brother. Speaking for myself in any case, I know that Owen Lars is Obi-Wan's brother...and that not too far under the uttered words, "Who the heck would buy a full-length Jedi robe," lurks the thought, "If only I had huge sums of money so I could not feel guilty investing in a full-length Jedi robe."

Wondercon isn't exclusively a Star Trek or Star Wars convention. Imagine an event dedicated to Star Trek, Star Wars, comic books, manga, Lord of the Rings, Tomb Raider, and etc. combined. Yep...basically, a sort of Geekstock 2006. A wondrous air-conditioned, multi-level, glass-paned paradise where Treksperts animatedly discuss whether Star Trek is dead and which robot would win against which robot in imaginary battles; where an entire room is devoted to the continual showing of an assortment of Anime episodes; where knowledge of the trash-compactor designation number in Star Wars Episode IV is rewarded with a flashy Enterprise DVD. (The number being 3263827, which, to my shame, I did not know.)

Being on the fringes of geek-culture, but never quite socially immersed in it, PM and I brought to Wondercon 2006 all sorts of prejudiced, harmful, socially destructive, plague-ridden pre-conceptions about the Wondergeeks whom we would encounter. And we left enlightened. Enlightened, deeply humbled, and with a warm, fuzzy feeling rumbling about in our insides which could have been a gastric reaction to the Thai BBQ we ate, but which could also have been loving identification with our geeky brethren (what's the feminine equivalent of "brethren"?)

So without further ado, here is the real truth about Wondergeeks and the ways of Wondergeek culture. For PM's own account of the Wondercon experience, go to PM's weblog (

Misconception #1: Wondergeeks are all males.

Reality Check #1: Most Wondergeeks are males. There were, in fact, not a few women at Wondercon, some dressed as manga or anime characters!

Misconception #2: Wondergeeks are lonely, solitary specimens of frustrated sexuality who couldn't get a girl/boy if saving Anakin Skywalker from the Dark Side depended on it.

Reality Check #2: Many Wondergeeks seemed to be enjoying the wonders of Wondercon with their significant others--real ones! And for some, scores of gorgeous, curvaceous imaginary ones who were simultaneously feeding them grapes and fanning them with the leaves of the magical Karissian Tree.

Misconception #3: Wondergeeks are pathetic suckers who will blow 300 dollars on an action figure and count themselves lucky.

Reality Check #3: Hey. I'll have you know that for certain limited edition, mint-condition action figures, 300 dollars is a veritable steal!

Misconception #4: Wondergeeks have nothing better to do than think up imaginary superpowers to endow themselves with and create imaginary scenarios in which they can put them to use.

Reality Check #4: Wondergeeks don't imagine they have superpowers. They know they have superpowers. And once they get the special radiation machine they've been working on for five years in their basement up and running, by golly, they'll show them...they'll show them ALL.

Misconception #5: Wondergeeks have the fashion-sense of a colourblind Kim Jong Il and the hand-eye coordination of a epileptic amoeba.

Reality Check #5: It takes some mad skills to outfit your wardrobe only with t-shirts that match the colour of your plastic lightsaber blade. And it takes even more skill to construct a detailed small-scale replica of the Enterprise.