Geek Heresy: A Consideration of Popular Fictional Universes That Bore the Living Hell out of me – Episode 1: Dr. Who Cares?

I’m old enough to remember when being a geek was a bad thing. I remember the days when kids who were into sci-fi, fantasy, and other forms of alternative literature hid that fact from others if they had any hope of fitting in. Hell, I remember when knowing how to work a computer was a sign that you were socially retarded and would thereby never enjoy romantic companionship of any kind. So I regard the rise of Geek Culture in all its forms with many emotions, but mostly bemusement.

I find it odd to see such things as Comic Book Conventions becoming not merely mainstream, but obligatory acts to retain a certain level of geek cred. For that matter, the very idea of “geek cred” raises the eybrows, especially as it increasingly becomes a synonym for “pop culture awareness.” I don’t know when all this happened, and I understand but little of it.

Cultural Diffusion. Always angsty.

Thing is, I’m not very good at being a geek. I know no programming languages. I got B’s in math. I only played Dungeons and Dragons a few times. My comic book collection is small and unimpressive. I’ve never even watched Firefly or Battlestar Galactica.

So it’s time to come clean. It’s time to cop to all the Geekery out there that I have no interest in. It’s time to admit that the word “geek” has lost all meaning, and may as well go back to referring to a carnie who bit the heads off chickens for nickels. Because if I can admit that I don’t care about the things I discuss below, and still call myself a “Geek” in my tagline, then anyone can.

So begins a limited series on all the incredibly geeky things that are important to Geek Culture, That I Find Unutterably Dull. These must be taken as my own opinions. I am not criticizing any TV Show or book for lack of quality or good storytelling. Being old enough to remember Geekdom’s Elder Days also means being grown up enough to know that something can be very well done and still not appeal to me. So if you are an ardent fan of what ever I happen to discuss in this series, assume that the fault is mine. Today, it’s Dr. Who.

Continue reading “Geek Heresy: A Consideration of Popular Fictional Universes That Bore the Living Hell out of me – Episode 1: Dr. Who Cares?”

The Jedi With a Thousand Faces, Part 1

I mentioned a little ways back that I was looking into the way Joseph Campbell had influenced George Lucas as a mythmaker. This is hardly news; Lucas has openly admitted his debt to Campbell. In fact, he’s rather loud about it. And this interests me.

During that long, 17-year wait between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, I saw various specials limning the relationship of Star Wars to mythology. I walked through museums with exhibits connecting the Death Star and the Asteroid Monster from Empire Strikes Back to the Belly of the Beast. Lucas can’t flip over without injecting his movie serial with archaic cultural elements.

So, having read most of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, I am unsurprised to see Luke Skywalker hitting every step of the Hero’s Journey. The Call. The Refusal. The Road of Trials. The Atonement With the Father. It’s all there, and no one who’s loved Star Wars will be shocked at it. Continue reading “The Jedi With a Thousand Faces, Part 1”