Saturday, March 08, 2008

The crisis of immortality is attracting the right fans who know how to write you a solid wikipedia article and not make you look dumb

I was going through all my boxes of crap in the garage when I found a picture of myself from 1986 when I was in 6th grade. I'm standing with my teacher while two other kids (both boys) seem to be humping each other in the corner. But the greatest thing about the picture is that I'm 12 years old and wearing a Soundwave t-shirt! I should also have a picture of me wearing one of those glittery shirts with Luke on a Tauntaun. Geeking in the 80's was tough but I had the wardrobe to do it right.

Seeing myself so young and full of youthful optimism got me depressed because now 22 years later I know how sucky life turned out. Too bad I never did anything great. I started thinking about all the things that went wrong, like how George Lucas beat me to making Star Wars. Like how I never got bit by a radioactive spider. Like how I never found the fourth dimension.

Even though I amounted to nothing I figure I can still do a Hail Mary for posterity and do something historically worthwhile by helping someone else be famous. I have been thinking a lot about Shakespeare and trying to figure out how he got famous without YouTube. I think his enduring legacy is due to a rabid fanbase of intensely devoted people that kept his works alive even after he died. It is not enough to be great, I think the trick to immortality is having batshit crazy fans. It is not enough to have just passive casual fans, they must be die hard fans. People who would write Wikipedia articles about you. Jesus knew this so that's why he picked those certain twelve guys. They were intense guys. The new testament is kind of a bunch of wikipedia articles before the internet. You don't hear about the thirteenth disciple because there was nobody else dedicated enough in the kind of drop-all-your-shit-and-follow-me-and-write-me-gospels kind of way that Jesus needed. He had possibly the first hardcore fandom and look how famous he is now. It's quality fans that get you fame, not quantity.

So since somebody else already got to be Jesus and his fans, where can I fit in? What winning team can I be a part of? It's a little late at my age to jump on somebody's bandwagon and be a quality fan, so in retrospect, looking back at my life, whose gospel have I been writing? Whose legacy am I the steward of? Have I been hardcore enough about anything to help ensure 1/12th of something's immortality? Unfortunately the answer is no. I have loved nothing very intensely. I do really like Glen Campbell's song Rhinestone Cowboy, but there's probably already 12 guys in on the ground floor of that bandwagon because that came out in '75.

Although I'm still sort of mad at him, I thought maybe I could be considered a disciple of George Lucas. I can't in a million years be one of the fans that counts as contributing to the success of Star Wars, though. Yesterday I saw a new Darth Vader figure at the store but I didn't buy it because it looked all weird and I couldn't figure out what it was and you need to be a lot more involved than that. I think Lucas could use some stronger core fans, though, because right now that only legacy I see him leaving is a lot of unsold Darth Vaders and DVDs of the Phantom Menace. Is he really that great anyways? What kind of legacy is it anyways if the only lasting mark he made was in the Wal-Mart toy aisle and maybe electronics? Donald Duck has toys and movies and orange juice. Only now does it occur to me that I may have been worshiping the wrong deity.

The problem in the case of large scale popularity is that the more popular something gets, the less of a grasp its audience has on the source material to the point where the fringe fans really have no idea what its about but they buy it anyway because its cool. You gets stuff like people who call Soundwave a boombox when in fact he was a microcassette recorder. Now I realize how enormous a responsibility it is to be a true fan of something and preserve its immortality for generations. Fandomming is tough-it takes a lot of knowledge, dedication and glittery shirts to do it right. Unfortunately I have none of those things. That leaves me with only one last resort to attain my fame/infamy, and that last resort is assassination. WHO KNOWS WHERE DONALD DUCK LIVES?


naladahc said...

If I am correct in that you are referring to Donald Duck Orange Juice then you have indeed made one of the most obscure references I have recently seen.

And since I'm currently experimenting with A "geek project of mine that'll probably never see the light of day because there's a thousand things on the net just like it" and I think, to contribute to a slight fragment of your immortality, you'll be the first entry in the wiki.

Anonymous said...

When I first saw that picture of you, I thought you were highlighting that guy's watch. I should get my eyes checked as I didn't see Soundwave until later.

As a fifteenth-rank George Lucas disciple, I can tell you that it's not so bad not being in the know about McQuarrie concept figures or the latest novels. Just keep wearing your sparkly Taun Taun shirt and that'll do.

As for Donald Duck, I don't know where he lives. I do know that I wish I had a bowl of G.I.Joe Action Stars in front of me... or C-3POs. They're were about the same.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I'm only eleven Nalas away from Shakespeare. That's closer than a lot of people get!

Heavyarms said...

Dude, you passed up McQuarrie Vader? He's awesome! He even comes with two heads, neither of which ever appeared in film, ever. You can't beat that.

The McQuarrie concept figures are awesome because you can go back and do a whole new Star Wars cast with just the figures that were used to lure FOX into financing the films.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I've been defeatist completist on the whole McQuarrie line. Ever since I returned the McQuarrie Stormtrooper I've let them all pass me by when I see them on the pegs. I've seen McQuarrie Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Han Solo, girl Luke, and now Darth Vader. Richard might be a 15th rank disciple but based on my McQuarrie snubbing I expect I'll soon be entirely excommunicated from the church of Lucas.

Weasel said...

To hell with the Duck, it's the Mouse you want! Kill him and you are all but assured immortality. (That and I hate the little shit. The Duck, not so much. Donald did have some good OJ.)

Blast it, Vicegrip! Now I want a bowl of C3POs! I lived off of that when I was a kid. Along with the E.T. cereal that was out around that time. Chocolate and peanut butter, yummy! :)


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.