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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » New column: Don't panic! Although vague disquiet is OK

   
Author Topic: New column: Don't panic! Although vague disquiet is OK
Chris Bridges
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Don't panic! Although vague disquiet is OK

Like many others, I have been a fan of Douglas Adams' hilarious "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books since they first came out. Incessantly quoting lines from them took up a great deal of my time in high school, way more than, say, calculus. Ultimately this was more useful since I've never successfully calculated anything in my life but I did become a humor writer.

This Friday the Hitchhiker's Guide debuts nationwide as a big screen movie starring big-name stars with special effects and a soundtrack and a budget and everything, just like we'd always thought it should, and I find myself oddly unsettled.

It's not because the movie won't perfectly match the books. Thus far the Guide -- the ongoing saga of the total explosive destruction of the Earth and the fun-filled adventures afterward -- has manifested as a radio series, a record album, a novel, a television series, a computer game, a stage show, a comic book, several Web sites, and a beach towel, all of them conflicting with each other. A motion picture was just the next in line. When it becomes possible to absorb entertainment directly using messenger RNA, there will be a Hitchhiker's Guide pill that flatly contradicts all the previous versions and quite probably itself.

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imogen
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quote:
badly made spin-off cartoons about Vogons who "learn how to be nice" and sound like Gilbert Gotfried,
[ROFL]
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Kwea
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[Roll Eyes]
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Elizabeth
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"I'll see it, and I'll enjoy it, but I'll still feel a sense of loss over a treasured memory made public and common."

I have not read The Hitchhiker's Guide, sadly. However, I know just what you are saying, Chris, and I sense more sadness underneath about this, not to be a downer.

We are proud of our geeky obsessions. I have my band, I have my fantasy novels, I have my knitting. I want everyone else to jump on the bandwagon with me. I want to share the music, talk about the books, and have a knitting circle.

But do I want my band playing Yankee Stadium? My books to be made into movies, and knitting to become the rage across the country(which it has)? Not so much.

It is not that I don't want to share, exactly. I just don't want these simple, beautiful things to become commercial blockbusters. I want people to like knitting because it is special to them, not because it is the cool thing to do. It is a really hard line to draw, I think.`

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Chris Bridges
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I was at a concert about 13 years ago and music videos were playing on the big screen while we waited for the opening act. One of them was "Bohemian Rhapsody," from "Wayne's World." My friends and I stood there while all around us sang along, and just before the guitar solo I yelled out "Who knew the words before this movie came out?"

The second I finished the solo began, most of the crowd began bobbing their heads like spastics, and a few of us (including quite a few strangers) held our heads above the crowd and laughed.

I'm not as elitist as I wrote -- I enjoy conventions, although I've never dressed up (not that there's anything wrong with that) -- but I do reserve the right to make fun of fad-jumpers.

[ April 27, 2005, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Chris Bridges ]

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Swampjedi
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Chris, you made me think of Spaceballs, with its satire of movie-based products.

Spaceballs: The Toilet Paper
Spaceballs: The Place Mat
...

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romanylass
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quote:
There's also the vague unease I feel whenever any book/show/movie/series I like also inspires others to meet in large, strangely costumed groups -- not that there's anything wrong with that. But couldn't they be a bit less geeky? Maybe with the proper meds?
No, I like meeting in large strangely costumed groups!

I do see your point. I like freaking the mundanes. But think...there is a difference between people who go to see Star Wars, and geeky Star Wars fanboys/girls.

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no. 6
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I share your pain, Chris.

*pat pat*

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Chris Bridges
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Of course, I also have a Serenity patch I'm planning on sewing onto my old beat up brown leather jacket...

Remeber, my geeky is way better than that other geeky.

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Portabello
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quote:
Monty Python fanatics start chanting "Spam spam spam spam" as some sort of uncontrollable Pavlovian response to all external stimuli
[Laugh]
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urbanX
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The internet is the worst thing to happen to geeks. No matter how strange your interest are there is already a website dedicated to it.

[ April 27, 2005, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: urbanX ]

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Papa Moose
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It's funny because it's true!
quote:
I'll see it, and I'll enjoy it, but I'll still feel a sense of loss over a treasured memory made public and common.
I wonder how many at this website (or even moreso at pweb) feel the same about Ender's Game?

--Pop

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no. 6
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*raises hand*
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MrSquicky
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I just wish people would stop answering 42 to everything. Although that doesn't offend me much as a Hitchhiker fan, but rather as a person with an actual sense of humor.
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Teshi
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I suppose I am a Lord of the Rings fad-follower-person. [Blushing]

I don't think Ender's Game counts so much because you have to read the book- it's the same for everyone. There's no easy way like there is for LOTR, there's not been a second wave.

[Dont Know]

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no. 6
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<--Read the short story "Ender's Game" in Analog way before the novel....
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narrativium
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[Eek!]

no. 6, that's a seriously cool geek-claim.

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Papa Moose
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No, that just means he's old. *smile*
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no. 6
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[Grumble]
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Portabello
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quote:
I'll see it, and I'll enjoy it, but I'll still feel a sense of loss over a treasured memory made public and common.
This is exactly how I feel about Tolkien. [Frown]
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Goody Scrivener
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I don't like Spam!!!!
heeeeheeee

Seriously, though, I was having a discussion with a friend earlier this morning about exactly this - and before reading Chris' article, too. The conversation began because of my mother's complete lack of understanding as to why my dad and I are taking towels to opening night. We decided that it was kind of like the saying, "if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it". And oh so very soon it's going to become "cool" to be able to throw around HHGTTG quotes, we won't be part of the elite few anymore.

In the days after DNA passed, it was so easy to tell who were the fans - just look for a towel. Now we need a secret handshake or something - even the thumbs-up is going to be too obvious.

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Teshi
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OKay, if you count the short story, maybe a little. But the novel's still not deviating from the original author or intent. Even if I discovered the novel about ten or twenty years too late, my discovery is still legitimate.
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Chris Bridges
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And, having said all that, this morning I dug out my 23-year-old "Don't Panic!" button and brought it to work. [Smile]
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0range7Penguin
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Papa Moose-
Its different here we have the author on our side so where legitimate. [Big Grin]

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