Amnesia of the Future: Boldly Going

by Christina on November 3, 2009

Back in June, I mentioned how my friend Ryan was introducing me to the world of comics and let me tag along to MoCCA.  While there we had to stop by Richard Steven‘s table to buy socks for Ryan’s girlfriend, Heather…who then showed up and bought more socks.  Yay socks!

320_7742853Anyway, Ryan mentioned to me how Stevens had worked Wil Wheaton* wearing the clown sweater (picture) into his comic, Diesel Sweeties

And I was all, “…………………………..who’s Will Weton?” 

So, fast forward to now.  I follow the RSS feed of Wil Wheaton’s blog and on Twitter (@wilw).  I agreed to water a friend’s plants so that I could use her TV to watch The Big Bang Theory when Wil Wheaton guest starred.  There was also that incident of learning he was guest staring on The Guild, which I’d also never seen and ended up staying very late at the office one night in order to watch the first two seasons.  

But my Wil Wheaton experience is pretty recent and I don’t have the full scope of why this guy is a geek hero.  As a latch-key kid, one of my first things to do upon getting home from school was to turn on the TV where I watched a lot of Mathnet, 3-2-1 Contact, and The Muppet Show (the second thing I’d do would be pretend no one would notice an entire row of Oreos was now missing from the bag…) and on very rare occasions Star Trek would be the only thing on.  The thing was, I was busy trying to make swords out of my Legos or cutting my Barbie‘s hair and didn’t pay much attention; the television was just noise to keep me company.  Plus, we were a Star Wars family and had no room for other space travel cultish behavior.  Oh, and when I got older there was SeaQuest DSV.  Which had a talking dolphin.

TALKING DOLPHIN!

Anyway, I sort of feel like I’ve missed out.  I mean, I did see The Secret of NIMH, but that was a cartoon and voice-over.  None of his movies.  No Star Trek.  Zip.  So I’ve done the only logical thing possible–I purchased Wil Wheaton’s Memories of the Future and lined up Star Trek: The Next Generation in my Netflix queue.  That’s right, I’m going to do a marathon of sorts and I’m going to record my brand new experience for your entertainment.  It will sort of be like watching your kid get really excited for the first time about something that’s fairly common to us as adults. 

What makes me look forward to this project (besides the fact that I’m totally making a little Star Trek communicator badgey-thing to wear.  With glitter.) is that I get to present a completely different take on the book and the television series than the average geek.  Because they’ve seen it all.  They’ve been there and done that.  They have memories and things they loved or hated about the show.  I have no nostalgia, no bias, no gilded memories of my own that will shape my point of view.  My lack of experience with Star Trek means that I can’t just review the book and say what I think because I have no frame of reference to go off of, and even if I watch the shows, it’s going to be a completely different sort of review from anyone who is already a fan.  I’m going to go where plenty of geeks have gone before but with a fresh and unjaded pair of eyes.

The plan is to watch an episode and then read the corresponding entry in Memories of the Future.  The book is a reflection of Wil Wheaton’s experience on set through the episodes of the first season.  Thinking more about it, it seems sort of meta, no?  Reflecting on someone else’s reflections?  But like I said, I don’t have the background of remembrance.  This is my own discovery of new lands.  Sure, someone beat me there, but it is unique to me.  I finally get to understand all the inside jokes.  And I’ve been practicing my Spock “live long and prosper” hand thing-a-ma-bob.**  Did anyone else know about all those muscles between the middle and ring finger?  I think I sprained something.

How this will all unfold is up to you, my readers.  We’re doing this in a few parts, 5-6 episodes at a time.

1) Do you want a marathon of posts for each set? A Saturday of updates as I go along for each disk?

- or-

2) Would you prefer a post per episode over the course of thirteen days with no breaks short of the weekends? 

I leave the decision in your hands as I’m feeling a bit indecisive at the moment.  But you only have until Thursday because if you want one-day updates, I’m going to have to crash someone’s apartment so I can use their Internet.  Drop a note into the comments, send me a note on Twitter, let me know what you think about what approach to take.  Not about the show.  I will cover my ears and go LALALALALA if you try to tell me anything about the show.

*Ever notice how you can’t just refer to him as “Wil” or “Wheaton” – it’s always “WilWheaton?”–Really fast, like his entire name is one word.  Also, spell check doesn’t like his name.

**Yes, I get that the hand thing-a-ma-bob was a previous incarnation of the show.  Whatever.  IT’S ALL I KNOW!  That and wearing a red shirt is never a good idea if you want to live.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Swifty November 3, 2009 at 10:20 am

I wanna watch!

(PS: You’ve never even seen Stand By Me?)

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J.M. November 3, 2009 at 11:10 am

One review per day, barring weekends (which you will inevitably spend at Star Trek conventions…in full costume…tossing out ‘Live long and prosper’ hand signs like a probie gangsta). Can’t wait!
.-= J.M.´s last blog ..Tuesday’s Tips for NaNoWriMo Writers =-.

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Dawn Johnson November 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

This is such a cool idea! I’m going to do my own marathon now but without the book.

I vote for posting as you watch. I want to see what you think about it as you watch.

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Marcelo November 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

As the resident super Trekkie on Stacked, I wholeheartedly approve of this. I’ve read a lot of the chapters already (he published a few online) and there’s a lot of neat material and analysis.

That having been said, TNG Season 1 is rough stuff. They really didn’t know what to do with the show yet, what kind of show it was, and they wouldn’t really get it together as a show until Season 3, which culminated in what many people think is the single best Trek moment ever, right up there with the end of Wrath of Khan.

I do feel bad for Wil though, he bore a lot of the brunt of criticism and it wasn’t his fault at all. If you were a kid geek and someone asked you to be on the new Star Trek show and become a part of the mythology you already loved, you would say hell yes, and he caught a lot of flak for what was essentially an error in writing.

I agree about his name though. Check out Jonathan Coulton’s serenade of Wil Wheaton at PAX this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38-E1dAJ9vo – I love how happy he is at the end :)

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Christina November 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Ryan – I rented “Stand By Me” about a month ago – liked it.
Marcelo – You forget that my work computer sucks – no youTube videos for me.

I would like to point out (as I did on Twitter) that I’m apparently four degrees seperated from Wil Wheaton (met a swing dancer who’s BF apparently knows one of the cast members of The Guild….which guest stars Wil Wheaton). I think it’s a sign of approval for me to do this.

Also, I should probably have linked to the fact the Wil Wheaton is also doing podcasts from the book -memoriesofthefuturecast.com – I’ve avoided listening to them so far as I want no spoilers (I’m going to have to start ignoring people who keep telling me about their favorite episode/character/etc.) but I think with the rest of what I’m doing, I might as well listen to them all once I’ve worked through Season 1 and the book.

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@mattstratton November 3, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I agree. One review per day. Engage.
.-= @mattstratton´s last blog ..Monday Morning Flashback =-.

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Reagan November 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm

I don’t understand how you missed out on TNG as a child. But because you missed out on Wil Wheaton, did you also miss out on Patrick Stewart until he was in X Men?

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Christina November 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Um…pretty much, yea. Although before X-Men…there were Men in Tights. Granted he was only there at the end of that movie.

And most recently there was DUNE!

I’m also starting to feel really embarrassed that I’m so pop-culturally deficient…. :(

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Debbie's World of Books November 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm

This sounds like fun. The book sounds interesting but not sure if I’ll pick it up. I love ST: TNG and Voyager. I just went to an exhibit at our Tech Museum (yes I am a geek) and it made me want to re-watch all the episodes and catch up on the classic show too. I was thinking of setting up a separate blog for it. Talk about the geek journey :)

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Kay November 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm

SEAQUEST! I had such a big crush on Lucas.

Marcelo is right Season three of ST:TNG was when it started getting good. I can’t believe you’ve never seen it and can’t wait to here what you think!

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Christina November 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm

JM – Apparently when you dress up for the Mermaid Parade, people will assume you’ll dress up for StarTrek conventions.

In this:
http://cdn1.gamepro.com/blogfaction/images/corset%202.jpg

And I would like to point out that my hot-pink narwhal costume idea for next year’s Mermaid Parade might get tossed out for way of StarTrek Mermaid.

Also, really feeling the pressure to actually like the series.

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Dad November 6, 2009 at 10:43 pm

I was going to apologize for not exposing you to Star Trek but then I read that it really was you who was stealing the Oreos all the time, I decided against it. Yes, we were (are) a Star Wars home – since I think you have commented in the past that you found my secret hoard of Star Wars books. I guess I feel that the two just don’t go together – but that’s maybe just me. I have tried to watch Star Trek – but just can’t get into them. It would be an interesting survey – those who are Star Wars only, Star Trek only, or both.

Dad

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