November 14, 2003

A Momentary Descent into Geekdom

WE WORKED FOR A BIT on the banner last evening, as you can undoubtedly tell. As usual, this led to a good deal of thinking on our part. For we had decided to remove Mr Bob Harris (Bill Murray's character in "Lost in Translation") but were unsure with whom we would replace him. We ended up choosing Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (James Doohan's character in "Star Trek").

There were a number of good reasons for this. Using Mr Scott allows us to both make note of our Scots ancestry and show our respect for folks who get things done in this world. At the same time, it allows us to emphasize our frequent exasperation with certain aspects of American popular culture in a very Jim Traficant-like way. We fully understand that to Loyal Rant Readers, our thinking may involve too much time, too much effort, and too much justification on our part. But we do take our efforts here at The Rant very seriously.

However, we do have to admit that Mr Scott was not our first choice. Our first choice was Admiral Piett. We are somewhat ashamed to admit that this proves that beneath our rational, real-world, cold exterior, a dormant geekiness still exists. We have very much managed to suppress this over the years -- we got older, we were concentrating on other things, etc. -- but once in a very great while it will still make itself known.

Now, we realize that a good 90 percent of our readership -- perhaps 99.3 percent -- will have no idea of whom we are speaking. Indeed, we asked one fellow of our acquaintance who we deemed likely to know who the fellow was, and even he had no clue. In any event, Adm Piett is the likeable and proper commander of a Super Star Destroyer in the second and third installments of the "Star Wars" series. His key noteworthy quotes ("Right," "Carry on," and "Bounty hunters. We don't need that scum!") are delivered with the proper bearing and gravity which we would expect. As readers might imagine, we approved heartily of the Admiral's performance. Besides, we think that behind all that talk about "peace" and "freedom," the Rebels had plans to nationalize Imperial industry and impose wage-and-price controls. There was a perfectly good reason why their turbolasers were Red!

We decided against Adm Piett in the end, though, because we realized that most -- OK, all -- of our readers would not see this. Besides, we couldn't get the picture just right in Photoshop. But that's not to say he might not appear in future, though. Hell, if we can have Agent Smith on our banner, we can damn well have a Star Wars character too.

RELATED: If you still have absolutely no idea of whom we are speaking, you may visit this excellent Star Wars fan site devoted entirely to Admiral Piett.

We were as surprised as you are. And yes, the whole thing is about a Star Wars character whom even the site notes ranks No. 17 on a list of the Top 20 characters in the series. This, friends, is why the Internet rules.

VERY GEEK-RELATED COMMENT: What? No Web site devoted entirely to Wedge Antilles?

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at November 14, 2003 08:40 AM | TrackBack