A collection of ideas for your interest and for the benefit of my mental health.

16 April 2011

My life as a geek.

So I said I was going to avoid doing any 'life blogging', but I find that this week I will be discussing a very important part of my life and a quasi-crisis of faith I struggled with half a year ago.  This is all far more serious than I'm making out.

Since basically all the people reading this are geeks in some manner (whether you're looking at TV, comics, film, Sport [yes, the extent to which people follow sport here IS geeky, I'll remember the most recent lineup of The Wreckers and watch some cartoons, and you tell me the current Spurs squad and watch hours of football]) you'll appreciate that I am in fact what many would call a geek.  So when I say to you that in October I lost faith in ever wanting be be identified with geek culture would probably come as a shock.

I had left behind all but one Transformer for my transition into adult life, I had packed with me some fairly innocuous popculture referency t-shirts, I was parted from my Xbox and I was chucked in with a group of random people who I had to work hard to not freak out due to society's general disdain for geek culture.  In a world where I'm insulted by an advert for STA travel on Spotify because I am the type that plays video games (i.e. pretty much every guy there is) is the tip of the geek-hating iceberg.  This is a world where the majority of the people watching Big Bang Theory believe what they're seeing are jokes, rather than the plain references to comic books, film, science and gaming that they are.  It's a world where at school, some kids are looked down on by their dim-witted colleagues for working hard and being intelligent.  University was a place to reinvent ones self, they always said, and having arrived at the Freshers Fair I was happy to abandon that geeky part of myself as soon as I glimpsed the sci-fi and table top gaming table.  These people were unusual.

I again persevered, wandering into the free anime society screening and signing up to their mailing list.  I was confronted by what looked like the same people as the sci-fi society, now with one wearing a masquerade mask inspired by an anime I will never know of.

And I doubt he was going to be as cool as Ezio, a man pulling. it. off.
I was treated to some cool anime, yeah, and was happy to leave when the time came (for whatever reason that was).  I felt no affinity with these fans of anime, talking throughout the film and sticking to their apparent close friendship circles, a fact I am certain of thanks to my now friend Berin who was there that day and who I now share a flat with.  The emails were also discouraging - greeted with 'Hello fleshlings' from chairman 'The Steam Power Chair Snell', I felt understandably disillusioned in associating myself with a man who I had no doubt disfunctioned socially with the rest of humanity.  For whatever reason we never went again, and I felt relieved. It was a faily worrying couple of days, knowing that the societies I stood a chance of enjoying in principle were now ruled out.  Coupled with the busy drinking and socialising schedule I felt distanced from my geeky roots.  Seemed like the thing to do, to quote Malcolm Reynolds.

Slowly but surely we started up CoD again and everyone got pretty hyped about Black Ops for whatever reason, despite our incessant complaints about Modern Warfare 2.  I slipped back into my plastic crack habbit when new Transformers finally started coming out over here (now we're beating the Americans!  What up?).  I met a guy who buys those damn toys even more than I do who also manages to live a normal life. My new flatmate after Christmas turned out to be a proper computer geek, a pen and paper rpg player and a Jesus Impersonator and yet still kept it real. 

Looks like this I shit you not.

Not everyone with a vested interest in science fiction or robots or technology was a social pariah.  My concerns had abated.

Skip forward to last weekend where I was lucky enough to attend Kapow! Comic Con at the Business Design Centre in London which was actually my second convention.  Unlike Star Wars Celebration however this was not simply an exercise in wringing cash from attendees, which should have been the first indicator that this was going to be something a bit more friendly.   It was one of those experiences where nobody detracted from the experience; there was a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect that you don't get on the street or in the shop.  It was a sense of unity I had seldom felt outside of people I knew and liked, and a feeling of unison of thought only really matched by yesterday's Jamiroquai gig.  Nobody was out to step on each others' toes, except the staff but that is another matter and it actually gave us a common enemy.  If the world was like that I think we would be alright. 

My faith that being a geek does not proclude a normal life, nor lead to association with people like those weird Doctor Steel people we saw, has been restored.  I realise I'm not embodying the dream of acceptance, but this is not a denial of their rights.  Accept choice guys.  Finally I will return to the beginning of this post and the idea that everyone is a geek.  I know we all are, but just think how much better it would be if there was no such thing as 'geek culture' but 'culture'. 

Play us off Cee Lo.

03 April 2011

Great Harry's Blog Taste, Zero Regrets.

Go on google and type in "'Best Served Ice Cold' Blog". I'm near the top on Google.  I disapprove.  Can you tell I've got work to do?

Oh yeah and welcome to Best Served Ice Cold.  Would anybody like a frosty beverage?

In a somewhat follow up to my Blade Runner inspired post, I am linking to Cracked who do these things far better than me.  Another marvellous Cyberpunk movie from the 80s, this time Japanese animated epic Akira, is being made in American Live Action.  See how it's going to be ruined forever here.  I think anyone who knows anything about this film or the manga would agree that Harry Partridge's parody would be a world-ender.

I'm called Travis now?

I'm thinking the music aspect of this blog has been successful, so I'm gonna attempt to say something musical in each entry.  Behold.  As twitter followers (i.e. most if not all the readers) might have seen I decided I had put of listening to Primus for too long.  I like metal, I love funk, what's not to love?  Unfortunately unlike Rebecca Black I had not had 'my bowl' that day and so, like Mike Patton's less awesome project Mr Bungle this was another of these avant-garde, experimental things which will be better to the stoner crowd and confounding to my illegal drug free self.

Don't do anything I wouldn't kids, including cheeba cheeba.

But Spotify comes through again with 'Related Artists' and from whence came Buckethead.  Look him up, a rather enigmatic and sinister figure.  I was expecting more of the stoner experimentation from my own preconceptions, and again when the biography told me he produced 'underground and experimental music'.  I was surprised then to find the most popular tracks and apparently the latest album Captain Eo's Voyage, doubtless named for MJ's movie, was absolutely beautiful and peaceful.  Not a whole lot I can write to explain what its like, I wasted my vocabulary screaming at the Pok√©mon game today, but please take a listen. I understand his fingers are ungodly fast, all I know is they're basically created for the electric guitar.  On futher listen, some of his stuff is VERY in the school of Mr Bungle.  Take care out there.

I'm gonna leave you with the earliest Jamiroquai vid I know.  Glad they got rid of Nick Van Gelder he was boring. 1992, what brilliant quality video.  And what a long time ago that was!  Do you feel bad that bassist Stuart Zender was 18 here?