For some time now, I’ve felt there’s an uncomfortable fact lurking in the corners of fandom that no one has yet brought out into open discussion, and I’ve decided it’s time we face its probably unpopular reality. I’m sorry to have to break the news to you if you’ve so far lived in blissful ignorance, but here it is: almost all, if not every one, of Princess Leia’s hairstyles are impossible to pull off in real life.
I know it’s hard to process. Perhaps you’re a young man who persists in the hope you may one day meet a nice lady proficient in foreign galactic braiding techniques. Perhaps you’re a grown woman with fond memories of bobby-pinning rolls of hair to the side of your head and a secret conviction it looked awesome. But, alas, it’s time we embrace the truth. It just doesn’t work, and I’m going to explain exactly why.
I think that perhaps what Douglas was was probably something we don’t even have a word for yet. A Futurologist, or an Explainer, or something. That one day they’ll realise that the most important job out there is for someone who can explain the world to itself in ways that the world won’t forget. Who can dramatise the plight of endangered species as easily (or at least, as astonishingly well, for nothing Douglas did was ever exactly easy) as he can explain to an analog race what it means to find yourself going digital. Someone whose dreams and ideas, practical or impractical, are always the size of a planet, and who is going to keep going forward, and taking the rest of us with him.
The 25-Annual 24-Hour Ohio SciFi Marathon is set and ready to go for 19-20 April at the Drexel in Bexley. You can get the schedule at their site, plus the intriguing news that The Day the Earth Stood Still star (and The Fountainhead and other classic films), Patricia Neal, will be attending.
I am posting this link to a recent Reason item about pop-culture religions such as the Jedi purely and solely because I want to have the phrase "a spiritual practice centered around Fred Mertz, Ethel's husband on I Love Lucy" somewhere in my blog. There. Now I'm happy.
io9, the new science fiction and futurism blog from Gawker Media, is live today. My first light perusal looks promising. Editor Annalee Newitz has an established talent for writing about technology in human terms, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that perspective plays out in blog form. I'll admit I read a vast majority of Gawker Media's blog network (although almost always with many large grains of salt) - but maybe this blog will end up being the one I can enjoy with a clear conscience.
As you may have noticed, on the sidebar of my site is a badge from Amnesty International's Irrepressible campaign, which fights censorship worldwide. With each refresh, it displays a new quote from a censored piece of writing. Most of them, expectedly, refer to severe crises of censorship and violation of human rights.
However, there's one quote that keeps popping up that has me mystified:
Star Trek fans are being offered a [sic] "once in a lifetime" opportunity to buy models, props and sets from the show
Who censored this? Why does Amnesty International have to take up the cause of oppressed Star Trek fans who possibly were once denied the opportunity to buy costly bits of memorabilia? I'm very confused.
Kottke raised a very important question Friday for geek parents: in which order will you show your child the Star Wars movies? I've actually considered this at great length already. There are a lot of movies, books, and music important to me that I look forward to introducing to my daughter as she grows older, but Star Wars requires a game plan. For example, I intend to show her the episodes in original release order. Not only because the "first" episodes are barely watchable in the first place, but because whatever draw they do have is entirely based on their connections to the originals. However, I'm not going to split hairs about original versions vs. remastered versions. Some of the additions are pretty cool, and, sadly, my own cassettes have been lost to time.
I will, though, take pains to explain that in the real Star Wars, Han shoots first.