Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Star Wars Universe Wars

            Sorry for not posting anything as of lately.  I've been quite busy with life.  I had to be out in public and get a new laptop of my own and new headphones and stuff.  (What?!  I want to blend in with the background, to make it impossible for y'all to see me!  I'M INVISIBLE TO YOUR OCULAR SENSORS!  MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!)

            Anyways…..I figured I should post SOMETHING to keep people from going, "OH, NO!  SHE'S DEAD!"  (Well, at least the people who don't watch my twitter feed.  Those who do, or those who are friends with me on Facebook, or interact with me regularly on Deviant Art know that I'm alive and well.)  That and to rant a wee bit on Star Wars.

            Okay, more than a wee bit.  But I do have some nerd frustrations that need to be unleashed.  (No, not THOSE nerd frustrations!  Gawd, get your minds out of the gutter!)  That and some funny shit to share.

            So, sit back, relax, tune out to "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," (the"Deadmau5 remix" according to my library) by Daft Punk (which Papa Spock needs to listen to more).  And remember that at the time of my drafting this, I am actually very tired.  My butt was kicked by Thursday, and I still haven't recovered much; instead, I've been reading Bill Nye's Undeniable and Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy in bed, like I "should" be doing.

So Far, So Good…. I Think…..

            So, a status update: I don't exactly know what I'm doing right.  I have tons of cleaning to do (still), a few appointments to either check up on or set up, a whole dozen others to attend, and a bunch of distractions in between.  I've accomplished stuff, made the opposite of progress on other stuff, and there's not enough time in the day to do it all!!!  Really, the word, "Bleh," pretty much sums up my current mental state.

            Let's do a quick run-through here….

~~Public speaking—I've had to do a couple of presentations in "public" to a group of young adults with disabilities about social media.  Yes, apparently, I'm an expert.  (What I did, however, was share my firsthand experiences online with these people.)  And I enjoyed the satisfaction of surprising myself with how well I did (according to audience feedback), which is a really good booster for my low-to-medium self-esteem.  And yes, I got paid for it in gift cards provided by the sponsor, which is a very popular large (national?  world?) retail company found all over the US.  And when I was done, I was also given a gift (that isn't exactly necessary but very, very, very helpful, since I can't take my not-so-portable desktop computer everywhere) that was provided by this sponsor: a new laptop!  BUT, I still don't have Internet at home.  Oh well.

~~Exercising: My FitNerd Journey—I've also started doing a sort-of-kind-of exercise routine.  Basically, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go out in exercise clothes to do some…. PHYSICAL THERAPY!!!!  Yays!!!!
            What?  Did you expect me to just say, "I go out to some lunkhead dungeon to have a stranger yell at me to work through the pain of my muscles tearing as I try to do the impossible, only to return home in tears and swearing to punch them in the face next time I go before passing out on the bed"?  Seriously, I know for a fact that the scenario I just described is detrimental to any sort of routine construction, and destructive to the nerd psyche many of us tend to have.  That and because I'm worried about certain other medical conditions, which means I'd rather take a step between "regular workouts at the gym" and "not exercising very much."  That step, for me, is physical therapy.  No, I'm not injured; I just want to start in a supervised setting that will allow me to get the fitness-and-health-goal cheese wheel rolling down the hill.  And so far, I've been doing really well, exercising my legs and my arms and increasing my endurance a bit so I don't feel like I'm dying when rushing to catch the bus.  I've figured out the ideal posture (which is just like the posture I had when I was doing horseback riding: spine straight and tall, shoulders down and back a bit, sitting on your tailbone with your legs relatively underneath your profile, but relaxed, with your stomach tucked in), and I've also been able to do better leg curls and bicep workouts.  It's awesome, and a really good self-esteem booster.

~~Home and Internet—Right now, both of them are separate: home is meh, since I'm still trying to clean it up more and more.  Internet is also meh, because I'm getting behind on so much!  I've been doing the Crash Course videos ("doing" as in watching), specifically the Astronomy series.  I've already put together a playlist of the videos I've added so far.  Surprisingly, I've found a lot of the lessons to be the same in Bad Astronomy!  Like, Phil's repeating himself for the crowd who is more likely to watch YouTube videos than to read actual books that were published in 2002 or 2003.  But you can't beat the graphics from Thought Café!  They're really well done and funny and awesome; I wish that I have a well-funded web series that has them doing similar graphics to the ones you can see in the episodes!  5/5 plungers and a ton of POINTS(!) to them for their creativity, style, and their humor!

            That's all for now, with the updates.  You can find more on Twitter.  As for the Team Savage-vs.-Team Bagans internet battle, I've put together a journal entry on Deviant Art, complete with links to tweets, blog posts, videos, etc., so if you want to find out everything quickly, go check that out.

            That's it for now, mostly because there is a disturbance in the Force that I've been ignoring up until now—and I can't take it anymore!!!!

Star Wars-Episode Everything: The Approaching Doom

            Alright, even though the official teaser is cool (with the Garth Brooks version made by @midnight being super funny—POINTS(!) to them for it)……

……and there are pictures of what's happening behind the scenes, I am worried about the fate of the current Star Wars universe.  No, not the one Disney has constructed!  The one that existed before Disney decided to fuck us nerds over!

            You see, I've been prowling through the Nerdist site lately, and I've found some awesome articles that I've shared with people on dAmn (the Deviant Art messaging network, which is basically just a bunch of chat rooms created by DevArt staff and users).  But lately, I've come across some news that should excite people, but actually just made a lot of us nerds angry with grief over how a sandcastle empire (that each of us nerds and fans and nerdy fans have contributed to with careful precision and painstaking effort to make it juuuust right) was destroyed by Disney just stomping their way through.

            As many of us are all aware, Disney bought the rights to Star Wars and have hired J.J. Abrams to direct the new Star Wars movie, Episode VII: The Force Awakens…..  Shouldn't that be "Reawakens"?  Because last I checked, at the end of Episode VI-Return of the Jedi, it was already awake, but feeling quite lonely!

            So, when THIS article was posted, I was shocked.  I could only skim through part of it, before immediately jumping down to the Comments section to post my complaints:

Before long, I got some responses:

And I felt the frustrations rise, which resulted in me posting a response to one:

However, I was fortunate enough to have a brief encounter with some extremely funny nerds on there, offering replies that made me laugh hard!

            Thank you, kind strangers of the nerd population, for giving me a bit of comic relief when I was still feeling the sting of having Disney smash what we had to pieces.

            Seriously, what happened was that the Expanded Universe (much of it documented on Wookieepedia) was just erased from existence.  None of it (the books, especially) is canon anymore.  The only stuff that is canon is everything that is in all the movies, plus the Star Wars: Clone Wars series and whatever specials that they have.  That's it; the Thrawn Trilogy books that I have yet to read, anything that involves an agreement as to how Boba Fett escaped the Pit of Sarlacc, what happened with Darth Maul, all of that is no longer "accepted" as Star Wars lore.

            I expressed these frustrations to Papa Spock recently, and he responded with his usual Spockish answer: It's because what was already there was too restrictive for them to do anything creative with the storyline in order to draw in more people.  I suspect that J.J. was a large part of that decision, seeing that he was the one who did the Star Trek: Alternate Universe movie series!  And because of that, the Star Trek Online game was completely changed!  Like, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!  It's frustrating, especially since people are going to respond with "It's Disney, not ours.  They can do whatever they want with it, seeing as it's their Jeep and no longer the Jeep that George Lucas has allowed all of us nerds to go joyriding in.  They can change the radio station presets on it to whatever they want, and you shouldn't worry about it."

            I am worried about it.  So much has been ruined lately; nerds are being sexist with their anger, saying, "HOW DAREYOU MAKE MY GHOSTBUSTERS WOMEN!!!"  And many of us are still Klingoning (Heh, get it?!  Klingon…ing?  Never mind, I meant, "clinging on"….) to the Original Star Trek series, to Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space 9, to keep alive the memories of what we enjoyed the first time around.  It sucks!

            You see, we nerds (especially those of us on the Autism Spectrum) are resistant to change (much like conservatives and Republicans—*shudders* That felt creepier than I thought it would be….), and if you introduce sweeping changes all across the major nerdism nodes (like superhero genders, storylines we grew up with and memorized every detail of, Star Wars universe elements and happenings that take place outside of the movies and television series, etc.), we're going to be resistant.  Like, we're fine with the way things are, and they made sense; why did you change everything that was working?  You can't fix what isn't broken, and the worlds we dive into oftentimes (Marvel comics printed on paper, DC comics printed on paper, Star Trek series before effects got super high-definition cool, Star Wars the way George Lucas did it originally, etc.) just seemed to work for us.  So, it's frustrating to force us to accept sudden changes to the worlds we love.  And like I said, we're resistant to changes; you might be able drag our bodies into the theatres through persuasion by awesome trailers, but you will never be able to take hold of all of our minds and hearts that were dedicated to the original stories.

            (I'm going to nitpick here: the longsword with its lightsaber Crusader hilt, amazingly cool as it is, doesn't have to be done like that.  According to Wookiepedia, there is such a thing as a darksaber, where it's a lightsaber that seems to "glow" black, and isn't in the general rapier style we have grown accustomed to, but rather like a katana.  If you have read Wookiepedia, you wouldn't have to piss off so fucking many nerds!  Now back to my regular spiel….)

Evolution: It's a Painfully Long Process That is a Part of Life

            Now, a proposal for the solution to everyone's problems….

           Has it ever occurred to you that mayyybe Papa Spock (who is quite biased, considering that he's a Disney Geek for reals; don't go, "Team Disney," at me, Dad!) could be right in some aspects?  That they're being too limited by our expansion of the Star Wars universe, ruled over by the god known as George Lucas, who caused that universe's Big Bang with an awesome idea?

            And, Disney and other involved parties: you're losing us over your changes.  Would it really hurt to include us nerds in the process of creating this new movie?  Or are you too busy focusing on the movie and not on what the reception of the movie might be like?  (Same for you, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Star Trek, and video game companies/franchises, with your products!)  Our demographic is highly populated with early-adopters; a new gadget or video game or Marvel movie comes out, and within hours, you have thousands of nerds stampeding forth to line up for the midnight releases, shoving money into your faces while scrabbling at whatever we could grab on to while pitching tents in our pants over how excited we are for this new addition to our universes.  We live, not just in our physical universe, but also mentally in thousands of abstract universes that might actually be real universes that exist somewhere within the multiverse!  Why else do you think we play Dungeons & Dragons or Magic the Gathering?  We tend to argue over certain minute details, but we're happy to add to what we have, rather than just knocking it down and starting over.

           We should get involved with each other…..  (Oi, gutter brains!  Not sexually!  Okay?  Get back to reading!)  Nerd-sourcing, similar to crowd-sourcing, is incredibly cheap; we highly value the mental and emotional parts of producing nerdy content, which means that even if we don't get paid, we are likely to still do the work just to be a part of something special.  How else do you think Ok Go (Shit Fuck) was able to do the Rube Goldberg music video without spending way too much money?  Nerds pitched in because they knew it would be a good idea that needed to be created and put out onto the Internwebz.

            I propose that the resistant members of the nerd community rejects the rejection, and keep the Expanded Universe alive. while cherry-picking what Disney introduces to us; this is what they plan on doing to our EU, anyways, adding what they like and erasing what they don't like officially.  Nothing says that we can't have fan-created content just because someone bought the rights to something.  (Yes, Disney, there is such a thing as fan-fiction and fan art.  Also, Wookipedia is OURS!!!  So if you get lawyer-happy, we'll rally around our own kind, outright rejecting you altogether.  At least, that's what I think will happen….)

            Anyways, we should have two parallel Star Wars universes, with galaxies inside that reflect what we nerds accept inside one of them, while Disney gets to have their own universe; this way, we can both be happy!  *uses Jedi mind trick on Disney's Star Wars dept*  You will accept this idea and implement it without issue…..

            That's all I can say about this for now.  Of course, it's still up for discussion; discussion and healthy debates (and not just flame wars that involve name calling and cursing and whatnot) are good for society and its many demographics.  It's what Athens was built upon way back when; why can't we do the same?

            Chew(bacca) on that.  In the meantime, enjoy your Greedo Tacquito!