Big Bang Theory – Star Trek Style

A few weeks back, Big Bang Theory had an episode where the guys get dressed up in their Star Trek uniforms and head to a convention (The Bakersfield Expedition – CBS video or the BBT wiki).

To summarize, the guys spend the episode getting their costumes ready for the Bakersfield Comic-Con. On the way the car was stolen and someone throws trash on them. After a long walk, they arrive at a diner, defeated and broke, this conversation takes place:

Raj: Great. We can still make it to Comic-Con.
Leonard: Are you kidding me? After all we’ve been through, I just want to go home.
Raj: Don’t be like that. Come on, Howard, talk to him.
Howard: I’m with Leonard. I’m done.
Raj: Fine, then I guess it’s two against two. How do we decide?
Sheldon: Actually, it’s three against one.
Raj: What? What about the mission? You said we were a real-life landing party.
Sheldon: Yeah, well, we’re not. We’re an imaginary landing party who had real-life garbage thrown at us by real-life strangers who think we’re idiots. And to tell you the truth, I’m starting to feel like one. I want to go home now.
Raj: Okay. Can we at least rent the car from Enterprise? Get it? Enterprise? (Nobody reacts) Screw you. That’s funny.

Sheldon’s reaction broke my heart. There are occasions when we need our friends and family to provide checks to our wacky notions and bring us back to reality. But should those be at the expense of what is fun and what brings us pleasure – even if it isn’t going to be our profession?

Jon Acuff tells the story of a woman who when she was young she loved to dance. Her mom said “you know you’re never going to be a Rockette, right?” And with that sentence, the girl quit dancing. I’m not sure if it is something she took up again later in life but the joy it brought to her as a little girl was stolen forever.

How many of us had our joy robbed from us in that way? How have we done that to other people? In the case of what happened in the BBT, I wanted to scream at the garbage chuckers “RIGHT! So your obsession over football is OK but theirs with Star Trek isn’t?! *expletive expletive*” I’ve never understood why it’s ok for people to deck their homes out floorboards to rafters in stuff from their favorite sports team but when someone wants to re-create the TARDIS, they are crazy and socially unacceptable.

Doctor Who is cool. And so are bow ties. And fezzes.

Fortunately, it is better today than it used to be but it is far from perfect. The Internet gives fans a safe place (most of the time – there are those within fandoms who are still jerks and can ruin it) to connect with one another and say “You aren’t alone.”

“Your creativity is OK.”


It is unfortunate that the Real World has yet to catch up with our awesomeness. Maybe. Eventually. I doubt it. Just remember – you’re awesome just the way you are. Be yourself.

Unless you can be Batman or Boba Fett… heh.

Bully for You, Interwebs!

I think I have 382,024,205,523 things to say about the story of the News Anchor v. Internet Tough Guy. Too many that I can’t focus on just one thing so it might turn into a series of things. Poor Elena. She gets to hear me yell and kvetch before I write it down. She’s just generally awesome. Onto the point…

Having been the victim of my own Internet Tough Guy several years ago (see my response here all of which had to do with this video that was linked on the old Nashville is Talking blog), the dust up is rather personal to me.

Especially since Internet Tough Guy issued a statement offering to “help” the Newscaster become a better role model by taking the next year to lose a significant amount of weight. I am not sure if that angered me more than his original email.

Sure – ITG maybe thought he was saying something helpful. My grandpa did when he would poke me in the stomach or arm and call me “chubby” – that the insult would motivate me to stop eating junk food. The reverse happened – because I felt bad about myself and didn’t measure up and didn’t feel loved by my own family, I would eat more because the food wasn’t judgmental. The endorphin rush made me feel good for a while (sound like an addict?)

When you put yourself in the public eye for whatever reason – by profession, blogging, or just going to Wal-Mart, you leave yourself open to positive as well as negative criticism. The anchors knew that. I didn’t think in 2007 when I uploaded my video that I would be called a “blogging whale” by some dude in Memphis because I didn’t see myself that way and wanted to share what was so much fun for me with others.

The truth is: words hurt. And with the advent of relatively anonymous communication online, mean things get said far more often than ever would have face to face. Now that I’ve wandered back into the virtual fray, I’m sure it will happen again. Haters gonna hate. Fatties be fat. There I said it for you, future jerk. Save the bandwidth because I don’t want to hear you opine on how I disgust you. Well, you disgust me so it’s mutual. I don’t care if you wouldn’t sleep with me because… HEY! I wouldn’t want to sleep with you either even if it meant saving humanity from extinction, and I’m kinda OK with that.

Also, the reason why your comment may or may not be approved is that I’m trying to… protect you from yourself. Push your luck and I might not be so forgiving (sorta said Darth Vader.)

Sorry. Got sidetracked.

This response from the Fat Nutritionist is NSFW but raises important issues on “helpful” comments that do far more damage.

But, to the Ms. Livingston’s response (which was beautiful and classy – highlighting bigger issues than just one email from random guy… that this is a cultural problem) and anything else we may come across, one has to ask “what is the wise thing to do?” My knee jerk reaction is to pummel these ITG’s with all verbal barrels blazing. Or to beat them with my bag if confronted in person. While I may feel better, they aren’t exactly “wise.”

I do think that we must confront the bullies because they need to know that they are “sad little kings of sad little hills.” It may not change their mind or opinion, but maybe they will think twice before pulling the proverbial trigger on the next person they encounter. And you will feel better for being better than them.