This is how a celebrity should interact with his/her fans

[There] is one meeting [with fans at the recent Megacon] that stands out, that moved me so much, I’ve been struggling to find the right words to recount it. On Saturday, a young woman walked up to my table with her husband and her two children. She handed me a typed letter and told me that she knew she wouldn’t be able to get through what she wanted to say to me, and would I please read it.

I unfolded it, and read her story. When she was a young girl, she had a serious complication due to her Lupus, and her doctors told her that she would never walk again. She had a photo of me, though, that she took with her to physical therapy every day, and the therapists would hold it up for her and encourage her to walk toward it—toward me—while she recovered. She made a promise to herself, she said, that she would walk again some day, and if I was ever in her town, she would walk up to meet me. At the end of her letter, she thanked me for being there, so she could walk to meet me.

I looked up at her through tears, and she looked back at me through her own. I stood up, walked around my table, and put about fifteen feet between us. I held my arms open, and asked her to walk over to me. She began to cry, and slowly, confidently closed the distance between us. I embraced her, and we stood there for a minute, surrounded by thousands of people who had no idea what was going on, and cried together.

“I’m so proud of you,” I said, quietly, “and I am so honored.”

We wiped the tears away, and I sat back down to sign a photo for her. I looked at her young children. “Your mom is remarkable,” I said, “and I know you don’t get it, because she’s, like your mom? But you have to trust me: she is.”

The kids nodded, and I could tell that they were a little freaked out by the emotion of the thing, even if they didn’t understand it. They looked at their father, who said, “Mommy’s okay. Mommy’s okay.” That made me tear up again. Mommy was okay, and she is a remarkable woman who defied the odds and her doctors, and walked up to meet me. I’m still overwhelmed when I think about what that means, and how I was part of it.

—Wil Wheaton, whose post about his recent appearance at a comics/media convention made me cry while I was reading this and waiting for a table in a restaurant. All the feels!

Geeks Helping Geeks: Help this man find a job!

(c) Sequential Tart

ETA: All is mostly well! Update at the end.

On a night when an old white guy and a younger white guy are debating over which of their respective political ideals purport to help create more jobs in the U.S., it’s very easy to be caught up in their rhetoric and ignore the reality that faces the people who have found themselves out of work and desperately trying to keep things going another day.

An example that hits very close to home for me is that of Kevin Lillard, one of the first to document North American cosplay enthusiasts and anime conventions at his now-defunct website “A Fan’s View.” His website was most active in the late 1990s and early 2000s where he would criss-cross the United States to take photographs of cosplayers, panelists, events, and many more of the activities that surround an average anime convention.

However, after a round of layoffs at the Indianapolis Star where he had been a reporter for over 18 years, Lillard became homeless, and was forced to live out of his car. This Facebook message, written in the middle of the day on October 12 details how poor his situation currently is: Continue reading “Geeks Helping Geeks: Help this man find a job!”

Wil Wheaton: 1, Stinking Paparazzi: 0, Internet: A HOJILLION

ETA: More pics added below mine!

After a busy year which involved Debbie Gibson serenading him on his 40th birthday, playing board games with Colin Ferguson and chatting about aliens with Noah Wyle, raising over $10,000 to aid homeless doggies and kitties in need, re-launching his blog on his own website, and being able to tell his shipmates how much he really loves them for the first time since he was 18, Wil Wheaton and his wonderful wife Anne decided to go to Hawaii for a private vacation.

And despite his re-emergence into the mainstream public eye courtesy of recurring guest appearances on shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Leverage,” and “Eureka,” where he gets to relish in playing “evil”, I still find it hard to believe that the Wil Wheaton we know as that guy who loves brewing beer, telling stories through words and film, and being generally geeky is a celebrity.

It’s something that Wheaton’s gotten used to over the years, and he’s certainly had his share of “crazy” and “scary” fan moments—but I don’t think that even Wil Wheaton ever thought that he’d be stalked by the paparazzi while on vacation. I’ll let him explain:

We’ve had an absolutely amazing trip, relaxing and reading and swimming and having beers and mostly just enjoying that, after a year spent mostly apart due to my work, we finally get ten days together.

Well, today, a shitbag decided to intrude on our private vacation. He set himself up on the beach where we’re staying, pulled out a telephoto lens, and decided to take pictures of us for hours this morning.

I saw this guy around 10 this morning, and I thought to myself, “No, that guy isn’t taking my picture; I’m just being paranoid. Nobody cares about me enough to camp out on a beach and take that kind of paparazzi picture.”

Around 3, Anne and I got up from the beach, and walked back to our condo to make lunch. I saw the same guy, in the same place, with the same camera. I sort of glared at him, and he said something to me that I couldn’t hear.

“What?” I said.

“I said, ‘thank you, Wil.’” He said.

“Dude, I’m on vacation, and taking pictures like that of me and my wife isn’t cool. Would you please delete them?” I said.

“Sorry, brah,” he said, “I gotta make a living.”

“Are you serious?” I said. “I’m just trying to be on vacation with my wife, man.”

“Sorry, brah,” he said.

I absorbed the reality of what this parasite had done, and I said, “Go fuck yourself, you piece of shit.”

“Hey, if you don’t like it, go home, brah,” he said.

I was enraged. I was shaking and sick to my stomach. I walked back to my condo, and ate a sandwich (delicious PB&J with Guava Jam!) while I processed the invasion of my privacy I’d just experienced.

I was furious that this piece of shit would spend hours sitting on a beach, taking I don’t even know how many pictures of us, and then have the audacity to tell me that I should just go home if I didn’t like it. Like I was in the wrong for expecting to enjoy some time on the beach without some fucking creep using a telephoto lens to take pictures of me.

But of course, rather than continue to let his vacation be ruined by this breach in privacy and courtesy, he and his wife decided to ruin the chance that the creepy stalker photos will ever be purchased by publishing their own photos of themselves in their bathing suits.

And then… the Internet got creative in that way that only a geek-defending, Photoshop and GIMP-happy, meme-creating Internet can: Continue reading “Wil Wheaton: 1, Stinking Paparazzi: 0, Internet: A HOJILLION”

Trisha’s Music Video of the Day: “Gangnam Style” by PSY

Yes, I know I’m a little late to this, but my recreational browsing has taken some hits recently and I haven’t been able to goof off on the Internet as much as I’d like to. I did finally get a chance to see one of the latest viral music videos to sweep my Facebook page; now, I’m wondering why the hell it took me so long:

In addition to containing the kind of infectious booty-shaking bass beat that I’ve craved since Justin Timberlake brought “Sexyback,” the number one reason why I love this music video is the pure combined sense of machismo, dance-like-no-one’s-watching, and “This is why I’m legendary,” all in one package. Korean rapper Park Jae Sung exudes a joie de vivre in this video that I haven’t see in a long while. At the same time, it helps to promote the idea that you don’t have to be super fit or a dancer all your life in order to move your body well on a dance floor—something that might be soothing or helpful to those of you out there who are afraid of looking like an idiot when you’re dancing.

In short, I wish that more people would just get up and dance and have fun like this, and I hope to be able to add more tracks from PSY to my iPod.

Trisha’s Quote of the Day: From your mouth to starlets’ ears

Any words of wisdom for Kaitlyn Leeb, the actress who inherited your role, who already seems to be struggling with the same sort of fan interest?

Be nice to your fans and keep your legs crossed. Blouse open. But legs crossed.

—Lycia Naff, who played the original three-breasted prostitute in 1990’s Total Recall, gives advice to her successor in this year’s Total Recall remake. (With additional props to The Awl’s Tom Blunt for quickly scoring that interview.)

Trisha’s Video Series of the Day: Brotherhood 2.0

One of the things that is the source of the Internet’s greatest power is the rabbit hole effect, wherein when you’re looking at one thing, you click a link, see something else, maybe do a search, and then end up at a totally awesome thing that you’ve never seen before.

For me, the rabbit hole began while watching Part 6 in the “Let’s Play” of Cursed Crusade from Loading Ready Run and then heading over to the comments on the forum post, which lead to the “Crash Course” episode on The Crusades, and from there I started to wonder how and why John Green got to be so funny, which lead to finding out about the 2007 web project he conducted with his brother Hank called Brotherhood 2.0.

See, brothers John and Hank Green decided that they conversed entirely too much by text (emails, IMs, text messages, etc.) and for a whole year decided that they would only communicate in means which didn’t involve text and/or written words. This meant that for a year, one brother would upload a video to the shared YouTube channel vlogbrothers talking about his day and the next day, the other brother would reply. (There were also phone calls and possibly in-person meetings as well, but that’s not germane to the thesis of the project.) There were punishments involved for violating the rules/concepts for the project which would also be captured on video and uploaded to the channel. There are two playlists of videos on the channel for the initial project and several more concerning the side projects and what happened when the brothers decided to continue doing the vlog (Oh, God, I hate that word so much).

One of the reasons why I’m drawn to Brotherhood 2.0 is that it’s a glorious collaboration between two witty people, another is how quickly things scale all the way up to dangerously silly. So far, I’ve only seen 25 of the 200 videos from the first part of 2007, and my favorite moments so far include the improvised songs (because I do that to make my boyfriend laugh all the time) and seeing the brothers interact with the world around them in their intros. Also, the “In your pants” game is one that I’m definitely going to have to play with our current library.

I can’t recall when I started watching these, but I can definitely tell you that this is one series that I’m going to be watching for quite some time.

Trisha’s Quote of the Day: When movie critics stop being neutral and start having opinions

After I saw the movie, my 13-year-old daughter asked me if I was “team Peeta or team Gale,” referring to the District 12 boy who is Katniss’s “star-crossed” lover in the Hunger Games arena and her hunky best pal back home. The question also evokes Twilight,” of course, which has gotten a lot of fan-girl mileage out of the competitive objectification of Jacob and Edward.

For the record I always thought Bella should ditch the pouty, sparkly bloodsucker and run with the wolves, though as a grown-up film critic I know I’m supposed to remain neutral. But I have to say that it did not occur to me, watching The Hunger Games,” to think very much about who Katniss’s boyfriend should be. She seemed to have more important things to worry about — and also, to bring it back to Leatherstocking and his kind, to be a fundamentally solitary kind of heroine.

—New York Times film critic A.O. Scott on what makes The Hunger Games movie (and book) different from Twilight.

Trisha’s Take: How to apologize on the Internet

(c) Someecards

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog, and quite a lot has happened since the last time I was able to work on it. A few more responsibilities were added to my day job and while having the increased responsibility is awesome because it means my new employers trust me, it also means that I don’t have a lot of time to geek out over anything.

Saturdays are one of my days to relax, recuperate, and psych myself up for the work week to come. After wiping my FemShep original Mass Effect character in order to start a DudeShep run for the Commander Shepherd challenge, I got to Feros after surveying all the surveyable planets (and leveling up again) and decided that I’d take a break and perhaps pick it up tomorrow.

I also wanted to check and see if my friend Harris “Dr. Nerdlove” O’Malley had posted the article to which I contributed a bit of writing, and knowing how way leads on to way on the Internet, a review of his very popular article on why Twilight is a horrible example to draw upon for pictures of healthy relationships lead me down the rabbit hole onto a commenter’s blog entries about how she lost her faith in God…

…and reminded me of the Victoria Bitter/Jordan Wood fiasco. Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: How to apologize on the Internet”

Trisha’s Quote of the Day: When in Philly, don’t be in Scotland

If the movie is set in Philadelphia, why aren’t you filming it in Philadelphia? Admittedly, when I visited Glasgow, one of my first comments was that it reminded me of Philadelphia. But even so, Philadelphia itself would be a better stage for a story supposedly taking place in the City of Brotherly Love. Besides, your extras in Glasgow are going to have the wrong incomprehensible accent.

LiveJournal Daily Quiz co-moderator Angledge has some issues with the shooting location for the movie adaptation of World War Z where filming has already begun.

Trisha’s Quote of the Day: Of magical ponies and the women who love them

Rainbow Dash and Rarity could not be more different, and yet they are both girls. Rainbow Dash is not presented as wrong for being athletic and having no interest in fashion, nor is Rarity presented as wrong for being more stereotypically girly and interested in cats, clothes, and jewelry.

This was a revelation to me, as sad as that may be! Think of the variety of male presentations in those shows that have a Smurfette: little boys can watch them and learn to be a strong, silent leader, a brave hero, or a witty intellectual. Girls watch themselves be summarized down to a single word whose presentation might not fit. But in [My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic], there are a half-dozen main girls who are all distinct, all respected, and all work together after they move past the natural friction caused by their differences.

World of Warcraft guildmaster and Glee fanfic author Miggy explains why Ponies aren’t just for Bronies.