WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton wears the fanciest of pants.

Sunday night, I took my entire family and a bunch of our friends to see Jonathan Coulton with Paul and Storm at Largo.

A special evening (it was the first time Anne and the kids saw them perform live) was made extra-special for me because I got to open the whole show.

Earlier this year, Paul and Storm ran this thing called Geek Madness, which was a bracket competition designed to choose Obama’s Secretary of Geek Affairs. Somehow, against all odds and a final round matchup against Joss Whedon, I emerged with the most votes. I think I can thank GeekDad and Fark for making sure that my platform (“a d20 in every dice bag and a slide rule in every pocket”)* was heard.

Paul and I talked about a week ago, and decided that it would be fun to do something together at the show, and ultimately decided that it could be awesome if I wrote and issued some kind of proclamation in my official capacity as the Secretary of Geek Affairs.

I did some research on the wording of these things, grabbed a list of some of my favorite JoCo songs, and came up with this:


On behalf of the Department of Geek Affairs, I hereby make this special salute to Jonathan Coulton and hereby officially proclaim that Jonathan Coulton is the 2009 recipient of the Presidential d20 of Geekdom, in honor of his many contributions to Geek Culture. Jonathan Coulton, like Tom Lehrer and Al Yankovic before him has and will continue to inspire geeks, dweebs, dorks, nerds, spazzes, dorkwads, and neo-maxi-zoom-dweebies forever with his unique musical talents.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton reminds us that it will be the future, soon.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton makes us feel fantastic.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton is not unreasonable, and will not eat our eyes.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton singlehandedly preserves the rich historic legacy of Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton keeps trying, until he runs out of cake.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton risked his life to deliver greetings from Chiron Beta Prime.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton uses passive voice to show how gentle he will be.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton brought the lonely plight of the giant squid out of the depths of the ocean and into our hearts.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton likes Fritos, Tab, and Mountain Dew.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton makes the first of May extra special.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton wears the fanciest of pants.

WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton is a Rorschach test on fire, and changed the world in a tiny way.



So say we all.

I read this in front of the sold-out Coronet theater, doing my best not to tremble with excitement, and the audience seemed to really dig it. When I was done, I presented the Presidential d20 of Geekdom (a giant d20 I bought at Orccon last year) to Paul and Storm, who accepted it on behalf of Jonathan (who they joked, “couldn’t be here tonight,”) as they took the stage to start the show.

The show was awesome. Paul and Storm were fantastic, and Jonathan was as wonderful as ever. They were joined by their friend Molly, who plays the hell out of the ukulele, for a few songs, and she was incredible. They all did a song together where they stepped in front of their mics and played 100% acoustically to a theater that was filled to capacity and utterly silent, hanging on every note that was played. It was delightful.

After the show, a few of us got together for this crappy cellphone picture, which makes me squeal with nerdy nerdosity, even though it’s a crappy cellphone picture.

Also, there was an earthquake about 5 minutes after I walked off the stage. Coincidence? YOU DECIDE!

*not actually my platform. I made this up just now because it made me laugh. Have I mentioned that I’m easily amused?

54 thoughts on “WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton wears the fanciest of pants.”

  1. Your slide rule fits in your pocket? Mine’s much too big for that (hur, hur). I carry it around in a big scabbard (true)(when I do carry it around, which is never). If pressed, I could do a square root on it or multiply two numbers, but that’s about it without looking at the instructions.
    Neat picture, cooler BECAUSE it’s a fuzzy cell phone photo.
    Neat post.

  2. And you were there, and you were there, and you, and you…
    Man, what a fantastic show! We really enjoyed your proclamation (in case you couldn’t tell by our resounding response of “So say we all!”). BTW, the show got a great write-up in the Lefsetz Letter (http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2009/05/18/jonathan-coulton-at-largo/). This guy totally GETS IT. (Even though he’s apparently not a geek himself.)
    P.S. I’m the chick who did the Fancy Pants cover with my children’s chorus. You and I chatted about it when Hodgman and Coulton were at the Echoplex in November. :-)

  3. Nice to see the Geek Affairs race was only the beginning. This is more fun than a hold full of Terrifyn’ Space Monkeys!
    Keep up the good work, Mr. Secretary.

  4. Did I tell you how much I loved the performance your chorus did? I think I did, but I can’t recall now. If I didn’t: that was lovely.

  5. ” They all did a song together where they stepped in front of their mics and played 100% acoustically to a theater that was filled to capacity and utterly silent, hanging on every note that was played. It was delightful.”
    Oooooooh, I wish I’d heard that.

  6. Thank God we’re finally hearing something from the Department of Geek Affairs. I’m not sure CNN or the extreme right will look favorably on your first 100 days. πŸ˜‰ (Okay, I know the extreme right won’t). But still glad to hear from you, Mr. Secretary.

  7. Hehe. The old man thinks he amuses himself. You should try it from my end, as I am a year and two months younger than you, as amusing myself is a part of my every day activities, sort of like what I’m doing right now πŸ˜›
    OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, that was a seriously funny speech you wrote there, old man. An earthquake five minutes after you walked off the stage? If by that you mean that you fornicated with said stage, I hate to break it to you man, but that stage finished herself off if it took that long for the earthquake to occur. And shame on you for subjecting your wife and children to watching you fornicate with a stage! What were you thinking, old man?! You better go out and get her some flowers or something, and I would hope by now that the kids know better that it’s better to engage in such activities with an actual person instead of with inanimate objects.
    Balls busted much? Yeah, you should probably know by now that it never gets old for me. Ever. Now take your Geritol, old man.

  8. WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton is not going to kill us… yet.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton doesn’t blame L.A. (although, he probably should).
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton doesn’t think he likes you better.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton is a Mason now.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton recounts the secret exploits of dance-crazed radio personalities.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton likes big butts, and cannot lie about it.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton can boil the true legacy of every U.S. President (except Grover Cleveland) down to one line.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton just bought a table for $60.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton wonders if you really need that much honey.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton imagines a better life for Laika than dying scared and alone in space.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton remembers the Town Crotch.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton has a monkey butler named Brian Dennehy.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton breaks your heart in a cappella.
    WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton is having a party, and invites everyone to sleep over (even Mark Manelli).
    Just thought I’d add a number of others off the top of my head.

  9. Sweet! You know, Wil, for an old man, you seriously still look like you’re about 18, and that’s being generous. Do you get carded when you try to buy “real” beer?

  10. Video or it didn’t happen. That sounds like it would have been epic to see. Love the proclamation. Did you print it out on parchment paper and seal it with a special “Secretary of Geek Affairs” emblem? Because you should have one. Also, am I supposed to call you Mr. Secretary now, or Commodore of the USS Awesome? Are they concurrent titles? Which outranks the other?
    I only just saw Paul & Storm perform a few months ago. They’re hilarious. Yes, I did throw (never worn, completely new) underwear.
    And I’m going to be humming JoCo songs for the rest of the day.

  11. That sounds like it was lots of fun, & I wish I could have been there. BTW, Wil, I have you to thank for turning me on. To Paul & Storm, I mean! I download their podcast thanks to you, but thanks to weird iTunes/iPod playlist habits, am listening to them in backwards order. So I found out you won your title before I knew there was a contest. Oh, well… congrats anyway! πŸ˜€
    -Alicia (@AliciaWag)

  12. One last thing, and then I’ll shut up about this. I forgot to say that I managed to record the whole show, including Secretary Wheaton’s proclamation. For various reasons, the recording is kind of faint, especially the spoken parts. The raw sound files (mp3 VBR) are here: http://www.box.net/shared/ol97kk7foz.
    Secretary Wheaton’s bit is in the Paul and Storm file, at about 4:00. Also, the acoustic song that they all performed together was Coulton’s Always the Moon. And it was chock-full of teh awesome. (Also very faint in the recording.)
    I haven’t yet had time to crop the audio and try to boost the gain. I hope to get that done in the next week. I’ll upload those files to the same link as above, so check back in a week or so.

  13. Alicia, honey, was that a Freudian slip? J/K. Old man Wheaton here has been turning me on to aspects of geek culture for years now. It’s how I stay so “hip” to who and what is considered geeky. Yes, I realize that the terms hip and geeky are oxymorons to one another, but Huey Lewis proclaimed sometime back in the mid-eighty’s that “It’s hip to be square.”
    Fuck! Now I just remembered a song that I can’t stand and it will be stuck in my head all day. I guess that’s my punishment for teasing the old man all day or something.
    Where is the Haitian? Because now, more than ever, I really, really need him (or Ron Jeremy) to get that song out of my memory for good!

  14. Not at all! :-) I think Wil’s a cutie-pie. He’s also responsible for turning me on to Twitter, way before it became so hugely popular.
    If you can’t get a song out of your head, my hubby always suggests “That’s Amore” or “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. Works like a charm every time. Problem is, I hate both of those songs worse than the original one I couldn’t remove from my cranium in the first place.
    -Alicia (@AliciaWag)

  15. Hahaha! Your husband needs to be dealt with for committing such blatant acts of spousal abuse. My recommendation? Barney, The Wiggles & High School Musical. Just make sure you have your own headphones on with music that you like while you’re subjecting him to it, since I know from experience the horrors of having the “Barney Bag” song stuck in my head at 2:00 AM.
    As for Wil, here, I just adore the crap out of the guy. To the point of driving my friends crazy when I go off on a geek rant about something cool that Wheaton just turned me onto. They don’t know how awesome he is, as an actor, author, husband and father, all of which are the very reasons why I adore him so much. And it’s their loss, at least in my humble opinion.
    I just merely bust his balls because I think it’s funny, I’ve been doing it for years, but over the past few days, my motivation for doing so is more about him pissing in my Corn Flakes the other night by giving me crap about Budweiser. But I’ll get over it. Eventually.
    No, old man, you’re not off the hook…yet. Did you remember to take your Geritol?

  16. You’re right, although I can’t make him listen to the Wiggles as torture. I *like* the Wiggles (and no, I don’t have kids) because they’re somewhat involved with Australia Zoo, & actually have a song about Steve Irwin, & Steve’s on the recording. Barney? No problem, I’ll subject my hubby to that purple monstrosity anytime! πŸ˜€
    -Alicia (@AliciaWag)

  17. Yeah, out of the three, I think the Wiggles are probably the least annoying. I was seriously bummed when the one guy left due to health reasons (the Yellow shirted fellow, I believe), but I think they found a replacement for him.
    Substitution? Hannah Montanna/Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers. Your choice. Personally, I think Miley Cyrus is the devil incarnate. And I listen to a lot of melodic death metal and find no evidence of Satanism in any of it whatsoever. Draw your own conclusions.

  18. I actually saw the Wiggles live for Australia Week in NYC. I was there to see Bindi, Terri, Wes & the animals (plus the Crocmen, of course) but it was fun to see the Wiggles, too. Anyway, I can’t torture hubby too much; he means well, just trying to help me get a song out of my head. Thanks for the suggestions, though! :-)
    -Alicia (@AliciaWag)

  19. I appear to have fixed it… used that handy “delete” button, even though it wouldn’t confirm deletion. Argh!
    -Alicia (@AliciaWag)

  20. As a rather large fan of Wil Wheaton, it pains me to log in to make a derogatory comment; I must concur based on the additional pics posted by “Burns!” that Wil is in extreme need of orthodontia. As a teenage girl with a huge crush on Wesley, this pains me. Alas.

  21. Kathmuse: Go to paulandstorm.com They sell a T-shirt of it in their online store, and if you look back a bit through the blog posts, there are better pics of it.

  22. OK, in this instance, I feel that it’s necessary to break character and come to Wil’s defense on this issue. I know that I’m constantly teasing the guy, and that’s one thing, but making rude and insulting comments about his appearance is a completely different story. And really not necessary. At all.
    If it pains you so much to say it, then why say it in the first place? Surely you must have heard the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then you shouldn’t say anything at all,” correct? This would be one of those instances. And as a teenage girl with a huge crush on Wesley, surely you must also know that people in your age group can be excessively cruel towards one another by pointing out the flaws they see in others and subjecting them to ridicule.
    I hate to be the one to point this out to you, but that doesn’t change a whole lot as we get older, insults hurt just as much at 36 as they do at 16. Just some food for thought.
    And just so we’re clear on this matter, I know that Wil was the one who expressed an interest in getting orthodontic work done a few weeks ago, but just because he said those things doesn’t give you or anyone else the right to point out to him something that he’s already self-conscious about. That’s what’s known as adding insult to injury.
    Just sayin’ is all…

  23. OK, I have decided that from now on whenever an annoying song gets stuck in my head, I will listen to the Dinosaur song, instead.

  24. wil! wow im new here so im not over the excitement yet lol your awsome and the books have been my faveorites ever since i read Geek. Your a great idol of mine and all of your writings have influenced me greatly. thank you

  25. WHEREAS Jonathan Coulton is so into us, but he’s way too smart for us.
    Know that fists were pumped into the air when I read the shout-out. It was awesome to meet you.

  26. Ooooh, Alicia broke the blog! I’m tellin’!! LOL. God, I really have spent wayyyyyy too much time around four year olds. Truth be told, if they hadn’t gone and changed the rules on me, I’d still be with my Preschoolers and loving every second of it (well not every second, there is that Miley Cyrus person, HSM, and the Jonas Brothers, after all) but I’m kind of glad to have this break so I can focus on my own career reboot.
    Oh, hello tangent. You’ve run away with my mind again, thank you ever so much. That’s seriously cool that you saw the Wiggles perform live. Was I wrong in my assumption that they replaced the yellow shirted fellow (I have no idea what their names are, which is really sad because I know all the words to “Fruit Salad”). Did you borrow a kid on that night, or drag hubby along? If so, then I think you’ve effectively already gotten him back, that is, unless he likes the Wiggles, too.
    ~Danyiel (@disasterpiece73)

  27. Career reboot?! Do tell!! No, you were right, they did replace one of the Wiggles, although I don’t know what color shirt he wore. It wasn’t… red… was it? :-O No, I didn’t borrow a kid, LOL; I hadn’t gone to see the Wiggles, I went to see the Irwins, et al. Hubby knows how much I love them, & Australia Zoo, so we went. :-)
    -Alicia (@AliciaWag)

  28. By the gods of all that is interwebsian – that room was filled with more massively creative geekly talent than could possibly be contained in one building safely! If ever there was a reason to have a geekasm, that picture was it…I envy all who were there!

  29. “… and a slide rule in every pocket”? A sentiment I heartily endorse, although I suspect that very few people these days would be willing to spring for a classic rule.
    Quality pocket-sized rules such as the Post Versalog, Keuffel&Esser DeciLon or (sigh) Faber-Castell Novo Duplex (examples can be seen here http://www.sphere.bc.ca/test/pocket.html ) are gorgeous examples of precision craftmanship, but being long out of production has really driven their prices up. Brand-new Pickett N600-ES pocket rules (the slide rules that went on Apollo missions to the moon!) are still surprising available in the box (examples here http://www.sphere.bc.ca/test/nib-pickett.html ) and somewhat less expensive but still too pricey for most people.
    Might I suggest the Concise 28N? The little round plastic circles fit very nicely in any pants or shirt pocket. And, still being manufactured today, they can be ordered individually or in any quantity on the internet (here http://www.concise.co.jp/eng0731/top_eng.html ) and shipped directly to your door for about ten bucks apiece. Impress your friends!

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