South Park Self

it's not about what you love, it's about how you love it

Today I appear to have bullied my therapist, been excessively nice to a string of students, and taken a flamethrower to my Intray Of Doom, which was starting to achieve sentience via the compaction heating of its organic layers. This appears to be guilt in operation, not least because I am now badly overdue on one paper submission and slightly overdue on the other, but spent the last few days playing Morrowind nonetheless. In mitigation, Monday afternoon through to the Wednesday public holiday (yay workers!) was rendered more than usually null and void by a lovely gastric bug, which means I'm still pale and nauseous and inclined to dry crackers and staring moodily into my tea. However, the weasel-like cunning of my Cunning Plan is now revealed: having a monthly Acknowledgement of Intellectual Debts post is a free and ready-made theme about which I don't have to think very hard, so hooray!

Things Wot I Have Referenced In April:

  • 4th April: "how do you like your blueeyed boy / Mister Death?". This is, of course, e e cummings, the poem without a formal title, but usually referenced as "Buffalo Bill's". I have an unremitting adoration for e e cummings, I love the jerky, fragmented life and colour and convoluted wit of his poems. This one talks about heroism with a wry, partially deflating tone which makes that last line, the one I quote, amazingly complex. The post was talking about the Iain Banks cancer news; like Buffalo Bill, Banks seems to me to be inherently associated with death, and with a dark and deconstructive sense of heroism.
  • 5th April: "worlds collide and days are dark". I'm quoting the lyrics to Adele's "Skyfall", in the post reviewing the movie. I remain unimpressed by the movie, but I still love that song, and the quote covers both the clash of genres and the descent into Gothic which I found in the film.
  • 11th April: "one day in spring I'll take him down to the road". Belle & Sebastian lyrics, to "Dog on Wheels". Beautifully appropriate to a post about those little ambulatory robots in the park.
  • 19th April: "a truth universally acknowledged". The post was being madly enthused about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries; anyone who didn't recognise the quote from the opening sentence of Austen's Pride and Prejudice should jolly well be ashamed.
  • 22nd April: "I'm getting too old for this sort of thing". Star Wars, Obi-Wan. Of course. Slightly lateral given that the clip in the post was Harrison Ford, but he's really getting old.
  • 28th April: "Drive-in Saturday". Title of the David Bowie song, not entirely thematically appropriate. In retrospect, "Science Fiction Double Feature" would have conveyed more of the movie club multiple-film sense without the resonances of weird post-apocalyptic desexualisation, but on the other hand I was talking about Iron Sky...

Today's subject line, incidentally, a quote from Wil Wheaton, from this lovely meditation on geekery or nerdery and what it actually means. He's right: it's about the intensity of the connection: that the actual object of all that affection is purely secondary, which is why geeks can flock together even if they variously represent DC and Marvel, or Star Wars and Star Trek. Given that this subject-line roundup has referenced a good proportion of my nerdy loves (poetry, Gothic, Belle & Sebastian, Austen, online narrative, Star Wars, David Bowie), it felt appropriate.