Geek Culture

Geek Culture
How To Bite The Head Off a Chicken

Colin Rowsell | 27 May 2008 12:05
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Along the way we saw behind the scenes of the other obsessives - the comic book sellers, smalltime sci-fi operations, the independent comics crowd. A man who makes swords for a living and another who makes chainmail. Christian Gossett, owner/creator of The Red Star, there at every Armageddon with his team. The Weta guys surfing their own enormous wave - every single one of them can talk monster movies till dawn.

Meanwhile, the "poor bastard" actors whose only crime was a bit part in Star Wars or half a season of Enterprise get hauled around in chains. Galaxy Quest is not a work of fiction. These people are faced, very clearly, with a choice: Either jump into the ocean of fan adulation and swim, or be miserable and hunted for the rest of their natural lives.

It's an interesting predicament for the actors - after all, this isn't what they signed up for. All the others believe. They went through the gateways of obsession, came out the other side and made something of it.

What does the alternative look like? Is it putting on a suit and tie and going to work every day? Surfing the medium wave of possibility and sanity? Or just settling for being slightly happy and slightly miserable, earning a living and finding a daily rhythm?

Ask Kenny Baker sometime how he feels about Artoo.

Stegosaurus Rampant
At the end of the 2005 show I went back to work and Aaron kept going. He's got his own small South Seas media empire now, and it's growing.

Armageddon for me this year was a spectator event, about two hours of mild wandering. I watched some independent wrestling, supported a local publisher, planned how to hijack the Halo Warthog and get it back to my house. Unless the mounted chain gun really works, it's not going to happen.

But I'm going to happen.

It's taken a long while for me to be ready to dive again. It's a confidence thing, mainly; that and the slow coming of a new period where I can see something emerging, a new way between childhood wonder and blind dark alleys.


Either we find our real joys and live them, or we shelter safe and dry and never live.

It's not Armageddon or gaming - those are Bill and Aaron's joys. But the suit and tie are gone. There are new things to do. It's scary as anything. But I can finally remember what it was like to look up at a Stegosaurus and know that wonderful mad terror of the most fascinating thing in the world.

Tall, half-feral weirdo reporting for duty. Who's got the esophagus?

Colin Rowsell will now take your call. Tell him your obsessions on

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