Priorities

Priorities

Anne just called me, very upset, from her cell phone.
She told me that she and the kids are missing me, because I’m spending so much time online. She said that she’s tired of feeling like I’m married to the computer and my website, and that she’s been going to sleep alone for the last 2 weeks, and I wake her up at 1AM when I get into bed.
I was all ready to argue with her that I need to spend time here, and that I have a responsibility to my readers and all that…but something stopped me. It was that little voice in the back of your head that sometimes saves you from saying stupid things to cops. The self-preservation voice. My SP voice said to me, “Dude. Listen to your wife. She is telling you that you’re neglecting her, and the family. Not cool. Not cool.”
Now, here’s something about me: I don’t do well with ultimatums. More than once in my life I’ve gone and done something, specifically to spite someone who tried to tell me what to do. Matter of fact, it was a major contributing factor in my desicion to leave Star Trek.
So I did listen to her, and she didn’t give me an ultimatum. She said that she was starting to resent the computer, and me, because the family is suffering. I could hear the sadness in her voice, as she told me that it was up to me to figure out how to balance this stuff out.
Thing is, she’s right. I didn’t realize it, but I’m putting in more than half of my waking hours on this, between reading and replying to emails, reading the comments here, and (recently) at fark, and posting comments of my own. I mean, I am constantly listening for the new mail sound, so I can run over here and reply, and I’m checking the site a few times an hour for new comments and discussion. Anne told me that the kids are bummed that I’m doing so much stuff on the website, and not just hanging out, and that’s just not cool.
In my efforts to make myself accessible to people who I’ve never even met, I have made myself inaccessible to the people who love and need me the most: my family.
Thing is, if my relationship with my wife is not taken care of, and isn’t the first priority in my life, everything else seems to fall apart. It’s corny and cliche, but Anne is everything to me.
So here’s the deal:
I love my wife and I love my step-kids, and, while I feel a sense of responsibility to everyone who comes to visit here, and I really do want to reply to all the emails, and take part in the discussions, I’m going to have to let this take a back seat for a bit, and focus my time, attention, and energy on my family.
The short term result of this will mean a greater lag time in replying to emails (sorry in advance, though you’ll still get the autoresponse) and even less AIM time. I will still update the blog, because the Vega$ story really is cool, and I’m having a fun time writing it, but cut me some slack if I don’t get right back to you, okay? It’s nothing personal. It’s just a re-focusing of my priorities.

Call To Action

Call To Action

I don’t, and won’t do this very often. The purpose of my weblog is to tell my stories, and let you know what I’m thinking about. I get on my soapbox, to be sure, but not like this, and not very often. But these are dangerous times that we’re living in, and this is very serious.
The summary is: John Ashcroft is trying to force through laws that run completely counter to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and he is doing it right now because we’re all scared of terrorism.
But the terrorist threat will be taken care of someday, and these laws will still be around, for the gleeful abuse of anyone who wants to silence you.
I listened to Congress “question” Ashcroft today. I put “question” in quotes, because, as a member of the SAG Board Of Directors, and through serving on lots of committees there, I have learned to discern the difference between posturing and speechmaking, and actual questioning to help inform debate, and help someone decide how to vote.
What I heard today, on NPR, was posturing and speechmaking from the committee, not real questioning, because everyone knew what would happen: no one dares oppose this sweeping legislation that Ashcroft, Bush, and Company are asking for, lest they appear “soft on terrorism”. We have seen the amazing success of a congress who refuses to be “soft on drugs”, right? I mean, they’ve done a great job, right? There’s no drug problem anymore, right? Our prisons aren’t full of first time, non-violent offenders, right? Yay. Go Congress!!
The Electronic Frontier Foundation posted the following background today. I quote it here:

Attorney General John Ashcroft distributed the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act/Mobilization Against Terrorism Act to members of Congress after Monday’s press conference at which he indicated that, among other measures, he would ask Congress to expand the ability of law enforcement officers to perform wiretaps in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Ashcroft asked Congress to pass anti-terrorism legislation including “expanded electronic surveillance” by the end of this week. The PSCSEA bill appears to be a “backup plan” for S.A. 1562; if it does not pass as part of H.R. 2500, it can be reintroduced separately in slightly different form as a new bill. Sen. Patrick Leahy is also expected to introduce a more moderate proposal sometime early next week.
One particularly egregious section of the DOJ’s analysis of its proposed legislation (ATA/MATA) says that “United States prosecutors may use against American citizens information collected by a foreign government even if the collection would have violated the Fourth Amendment.”
“Operating from abroad, foreign governments will do the dirty work of spying on the communications of Americans worldwide. US protections against unreasonable search and seizure won’t matter,” commented EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien.
Additional provisions of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA)/Mobilization Against Terrorism Act (MATA) (whatever the final name will be) include measures which:
make it possible to obtain e-mail message header information and Internet user web browsing patterns without a wiretap order;
eviscerate controls on roving wiretaps;
permit law enforcement to disclose information obtained through wiretaps to any employee of the Executive branch;
reduce restrictions on domestic investigations under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA);
permit grand juries to provide information to the US intelligence community;
permit the President to designate any “foreign-directed individual, group, or entity,” including any United States citizen or organization, as a target for FISA surveillance;
prevent people from even talking about terrorist acts;
establish a DNA database for every person convicted of any felony or certain sex offenses, almost all of which are entirely unrelated to terrorism;

EFF Executive Director Shari Steele emphasized, “While it is obviously of vital national importance to respond effectively to terrorism, this bill recalls the McCarthy era in the power it would give the government to scrutinize the private lives of American citizens.”
During the Congressional session considering the Combating Terrorism Act, which was introduced as amendment S.A. 1562 to an omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 2500, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) expressed concern that he was asked to vote so rapidly on such important legislation within minutes of receiving it and without conducting hearings in the Intelligence, Armed Services and Judiciary committees:
Maybe the Senate wants to just go ahead and adopt new abilities to wiretap our citizens. Maybe they want to adopt new abilities to go into people’s computers. Maybe that will make us feel safer. Maybe. And maybe what the terrorists have done made us a little bit less safe. Maybe they have increased Big Brother in this country.
If that is what the Senate wants, we can vote for it. But do we really show respect to the American people by slapping something together, something that nobody on the floor can explain, and say we are changing the duties of the Attorney General, the Director of the CIA, the U.S. attorneys, we are going to change your rights as Americans, your rights to privacy? We are going to do it with no hearings, no debate. We are going to do it with numbers on a page that nobody can understand.
EFF shares Senator Leahy’s concerns in this time of national crisis. EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn commented, “These proposals significantly impact the civil liberties of Americans. We urge legislators to please slow down and consider the long-term consequences of your votes.”
“I believe that deep in their souls, Americans understand that the reason this country is so great–is so worth defending–is because it is free,” explained EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. “We should be very careful to make sure that any legislation that passes is truly needed to address national security concerns.”
During World War I, the US Congress hastily passed the Espionage Act which was notorious for decreasing freedoms without improving the security of the American public, under which Congress granted the Postmaster General (who delegated it to 55,000 local postmasters) the authority to read any mail and remove any material that might “embarrass” the government in conducting the war effort.

So here’s the call to action: Gohere, and write, call, fax, and email your congressperson, and let them know that this scares the shit out of you. EFF has sample letters, and a very easy form to use to email your government officials.
Ashcroft is seeking to broaden the definition of “terrorist” to include ludicrous things, that defy common sense. I quote something I posted at Fark today:

If I remember my American History correctly, the founding fathers that Bush & Co. are so gleeful to invoke when it serves their message founded the USA the way they did, because they felt that governments had a tendency to oppress their citizens.
Keeping our critical thinking pants on, and taking off our emotional, angry, freaked-out-because-of-september-11th-pants, let’s think about this: things like a national ID card, backdoors for crypto, and expansion of search-and-siezure abilities for law enforcement have been things The Man has been trying vigorously to get over the last few years. Historically, government has taken advantage of times like these to expand their powers…and I don’t like that.
Does it bother anyone else that we have an “Office of Homeland Security”? Sure, it’s a good idea now, but I see the ghost of McCarthy looming just over the horizon.

Anyone who is not terrified by this cynical powergrab either doesn’t understand the issues, is living in a dreamworld, or is George W. Bush.
Please, please, please, if you never do anything else I ask you, please, I implore you, don’t sit on this. Our American way of life is in grave, grave danger.

Tangent

Tnagent

This started out as “The Return of the Son of SpongeBob Vega$Pants”, but it devolved into a long tangent, and now I have to leave. So read on, and expect a REAL addition to the story later today.
When we left our hero, he had just signed a bunch of autographs, and was grabbing a much-needed nap.
Now, before we roll the tape again, there’s something that happened to me while I was signing autographs that was really funny, and I forgot to mention it before.
I was wearing this T-shirt that I really like, made by a very cool, subversive company. It’s a black T-shirt, with a picture of a hand making rock-and-roll devil horns, and it says, “Keep music evil”.
About 200 or so people into the day, this woman comes up to me, to get her collectible plate signed, in gold, because John DeLancie signed his in silver, so now silver is the color reserved for “Q”.
She sees my shirt, and she becomes hysterical. She is pointing, at my shirt, and she screeches at me, “You are going to hay-ell! You are going to hay-ell!”
“Why am I going to Hell, ma’am?” I asked back, trying to figure out if she was joking.
“You’re wearing that shirt! And that shirt promotes SATAN!”
Okay, she’s definately not joking.
“So I’m going to Hell, because I’m wearing a shirt? Is that right?”
“Yes! You! Are! Going! To! HAY-ELL!”
“Well, as long as I’m not going where you are, ma’am.”
And she leaves, but not without her plate…
So, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
Okay, back to our story…
So I took a nap. One of those naps that lasts only 30 minutes, but feels like a whole night’s sleep.
I woke up, ate, showered, changed, packed my bags with costumes and props, and headed back to the con for the talk, and my show.
For those of you who don’t know what Star Trek conventions are, I’ll make a feeble attempt at an explaination. Conventions (or “cons”, as the cool kids call them) are part trade show, part collectible show, part geek-fest, part love-in. Well, not the love-in part, but it’s prolly better that way.
Promoters hire actors, writers, producers, etc., from the show to come to a hotel conference center, and give a talk and sign autographs for the fans. There are also people who sell collectibles and bootlegs and stuff, and they usually run episodes of the show on a big screen. Think Rocky Horror Picture Show, but slightly less cool.
Going to conventions used to be lots of fun, because we could get onstage and talk about what was coming up this season, dish dirt about each other, and let the fans see us as we really were, not just as our characters.
But since I stopped making the show, going to cons started feeling lame. I felt like I was resting on my laurels, and, quite honestly, I felt like a tool being there, especially since there were 2 other shows on (DS9 and Voyager)–
Oh! Tangent!
This guy comes up to me one day, and he is *SO* out there. For those of you who know what this means, you’ll get the image, perfectly: He was a Gamer.
So this guy corners me, and starts his conversation by saying, “I’m not that big a Trekker, but…”
Okay, here’s the deal. “Trekker” is a term devised by fans who don’t like being associated with the “wierd” ones, whom they refer to as “Trekkies”. So when a guy who looks like a Gamer tells me that he’s a “Trekker”, it sends off a few warning flags. Methinks the Trekkie doth protest too much, you see.
He must have sensed my unease, because he went on, “I mean, I really like the show, but I’ve never been to a convention. Conventions are for wierdos. I own all the episodes on video, and I can quote most of them, but I’ve never been to a convention. Conventions are for wierdos. Sure, I have lots of the technical manuals, and I’ve read them a few times, and I wrote Mike Okuda about some inconsistencies between the movies and the series, but I’ve never been to a convention. Conventions are for wierdos. And I just want you to know that I always liked Next Generation the best, I mean, I watched all the episodes of DS9, but I only watched about half the episodes of ‘V’ger’”…Yes, he called “Voyager” “V’ger”, in a throwback to Star Trek: The Motion Picture…anyway, he finishes up his disclaimers, and begins asking me all these questions about Star Trek, like, trivia and shit, and when I don’t know the answer, he snorts, he snorts! and tells me what the answer is. Now, keep in mind that I am simply not allowed to say, “Dude. You are the Freakest Link. Goodbye,” and walk away. I have to stand there, and take it like a man…which I do.
/tangent
So I didn’t want to do cons, because it made me feel like a loser, standing there, talking about what I did so many years ago…then I saw “Galaxy Quest”.
I *loved* “Galaxy Quest”. I thought it was brilliant satire, not only of Trek, but of fandom in general. The only thing I wish they had done was cast me in it, and have me play a freaky fanboy who keeps screaming at the actor who played “the kid” about how awful it was that there was a kid on the spaceship. Alas.
When I saw “Galaxy Quest”, I remembered how much fun I used to have at conventions, and I missed it. I missed the interaction with the fans. I missed the chance to tell stories about my life on TNG…but mostly, I missed the sex. The hot, Klingon-forehead-wearing fansex.
WHAT?! Just kidding. I just wanted to see if you were skimming or not.
Okay, serious: I missed it. I thought it would be fun to do one again, and I did, and it was, and Dave Scott, the promoter, asked me to come participate in the Vega$ show.
Something about the market for conventions: It’s really changed over the years, especially for the guys from the original Star Trek, and TNG. There just aren’t that many stories to tell that the fans haven’t heard, and it’s not like they can get up on stage and talk about what’s coming up next week, you know? And most of the people who want to collect autographs and pictures have already gotten stuff from all the people they like. Add that to a few evil, shitty, dishonest promoters who’ve come and gone over the years, and the result is: most people are over conventions. So a few actors and promoters got this really nifty idea. This wonderful, awful, Grinchy idea…they needed to add something to the convention experience, to make it worthwhile for the fan to come to the show, and they [the promoters] needed to make sure that they would continue to earn money, so the whole thing was worthwhile for them, too. So the idea, which I hear was hatched by John DeLancie, was to sell an extra ticket for a dinner event, and invite the actors to come to that event, and, when the fans are done with dinner, perform for them.
This is the coolest thing, ever, I think. From the fan’s perspective, it is a chance to see an actor they love, in the flesh, performing for them. Lots of actors wrote their own plays about their characters, and they perform them at these cons. I mean, if you’re a Trekkie, how cool is it to see Nimoy and DeLancie perform “Spock meets Q”? I’m not a huge fanboy, and it was exciting to *me*, so you can imagine.
Now, from the actor’s perspective, this is a great thing. We love acting. We love performing. Is there anything better than having an audience, who, by all accounts, wants to like you, come and see you perform? It’s great!
So, to make this longer without telling you anything new about Vega$, Dave Scott asked me if I’d be willing to do something for one of these cabarets. I thought it would be rad, but I didn’t know what I’d do…see, I really wasn’t interested in writing some sort of “Where’s Wesley Now?” play, and performing that. That would have just been lame. But, there’s this other thing I do…this sketch comedy thing…
As most of you know, I am a writing and performing member of the ACME comedy theatre in Hollywood. We’re a great company, and we have some VERY funny people in the group, so I approached them about doing a sci-fi oriented comedy show for some sci-fi fans. The ones who didn’t run away came with me to Vega$.
We named the group “Mind Meld” and we called the show “Assimilate This!”
…wow. I’ve really just gone in a big circle here. I’ve been writing for an hour, and I haven’t gotten close to telling the stories I want to tell. And now I have to leave for an interview (With the Los Angeles Times, thank you very much!).
So I guess The saga of SpongeBob Vega$Pants will have to continue this afternoon.

Nothing New

Nothing New

I am wildly, passionately, madly, head-over-heels in love with my wife.
Who has been much funnier than I have, the last week or so.
If you read this, baby, I love you, I love the boys, and I love that I am your husband. :)

Fark me.

Fark me.

I really want to add a new entry in the ever-expanding saga of SpongeBob Vega$Pants, and his adventures across the 9th dimension.
Really, I do.
But the thing is, the story is filled with lots of very funny things that happened, and I’m not feeling very funny the last couple of days.
I’m feeling really sad. I’m feeling really scared, and I’ve been feeling really depressed.
Thing is, I can’t get those firefighters out of my head. I can’t stop thinking about the people who were on cell phones with their loved ones when the towers came crashing down. I am haunted by the images of people holding hands as they jumped out of the World Trade Centers.
I get angy, and I think, “I hope they find the people who are responsible for this, and I hope they bring back some of those torture methods from the middle ages…I want to be able to watch ravens pick at the bodies of the terrorist leaders, while they die slowly, and painfully.”
Then I think, “I have a 12 year old step-son. If Bush & Co. get us into this multi-year conflict, he could be sent off to Afghanistan to fight in our next Vietnam.”
Truth is, I don’t know how to feel. But I’m getting tired of this “If you’re not with us, you’re against us! My country, right or wrong,” attitude that pervades every place I go.
Fark linked to my WFS story, and someone pointed out my Noam Chomsky entry. And now they’re saying things like:

09-22-01 02:25:33 PM Reave
I am more interested in his previous article ( http://www.wilwheaton.net/greymatter/archives/00000051/*.php )
He is suggesting that basically the US shouldn’t retaliate and just let whoever – bomb the US into oblivion while we try to make peace. Peace is not a bad thing, but I think you need to defend yourselves.

Change that diaper, Mr. Cooksey.

Change that diaper, Mr. Cooksey.

From The Baton Rouge Advocate: U.S. Rep. John Cooksey, R-Monroe, told a network of Louisiana radio stations Monday that someone ‘wearing a diaper on his head’ should expect to be interrogated in the investigation of terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and New York City.
Here’s the full quote: “If I see someone (who) comes in that’s got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over.”
A diaper? Did I read that correctly? Let me look again.
Holy crap. A United States Representative actually said that.
Time to unwrap the poison pen.
I fired off this letter to the un-distinguished gentleman:

Rep. John Cooksey
113 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
20515
20 September 2001
Dear Rep. Cooksey,
I read your remarks regarding racial profiling today in The Baton Rouge Advocate:
“If I see someone (who) comes in that’s got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over.”
These remarks are not the remarks of someone who is worthy of a position in our government. Your remarks, sir, are ignorant, disgusting, and racist. I expect much more from a member of congress.
We Americans turn to you, our elected leaders, to provide leadership and guidance, especially during times such as these, when our democracy is threatened, and our population is frightened and confused.
A great leader once said,

Kettle, Meet Pot. Pot, Meet Kettle.

Kettle, Meet Pot. Pot, Meet Kettle.

I was just reading the comments from the Vega$ trip, and laughing along…I think I have some very cool readers, and I feel like there’s some supercool community happening here…I like that.
In there, I found this link to some pictures from the Vega$ show…so I followed it, in the hopes of snarfing some of them for my photo album. See, the light in the ballroom wasn’t exactly conducive to great pictures, and the one I have of me…well..it’s just…yeah.
So I went there, looked at the pictures, and read the comments.
And I am so fucking enraged, and indignant, and incredulous, that I posted a comment myself, but, even after walking Ferris (who is female, BTW), so I could calm down, I am still all hopped up, and I’m giving it it’s own entry, so everyone can see it.
I’m multi-faceted. You’ve seen my funny facet, you’ve seen my political facet. You’ve seen my romantic facet. Now, cast your gaze upon my indignant, outraged facet…if you dare!

In regards to the comments at TrekkBBS:
WTF is wrong with those people?! I mean, don’t they get it? People like those, who criticize Jennifer and Ethan, and call Garrett by his own name, and then by his character’s name, in the same sentence…(“Garret, what’s…blah blah…I mean, Harry can grow up…blah blah…”)
Dude, people, GET A FUCKING LIFE!!
It’s nimrods like you, who sit behind your computers munching fritos and wrestling with the great dilemma: “Watch Xena, tape Farscape? Watch Farscape, tape Xena?! What to do?! Help me, Q! Someone! Help me!” People like you who make us not want to go near a convention, EVER!! So fucking what if Ethan was wearing shorts. It was over 100 degrees in Vega$!! Would you rather he wear a fucking spacesuit?! Listen up, assmonkeys: It is people like you who give all star trek fans a bad name. It is because of people like you that normal people are afraid to admit that they like the show, and have to apologize for watching it.
Who the fuck are you to criticize us? Huh? Put the pizza down, and step away from the star trek monoply, folks.

*pant*
*pant*
*faint*

Return of SpongeBob Vega$pants

Return of SpongeBob Vega$pants

When we last left our hero, he had survived a horrible snubbing by toupeed Priceline.com pitchman and former stock-holding billionaire WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER, only to be verbally attacked by a disgruntled Star Trek fan.
Let’s go to the tape…
THIS IS THE MOST FAN UNFRIENDLY CONVENTION I HAVE EVER BEEN TO!”
And she storms away.
What the fuck?
Well, at least it can only get better, right?
Right, it can, and it does. Lots of people come by, people of varying ages, nationalities, sanity, and levels of costumery. I sign pictures of the young, geeky Wesley Crusher. I sign posters of the Teen Heart-throb that I’m told I once was. I sign posters that I’m not even on, in silver because everyone else did, accepting the apologies from the poster owners that I’m not on the poster. I always answer with the same joke: “That’s okay, you just can’t see me, because I’m on this planet here…” sign, sign. They laugh, and feel good, and I repeat the same ritual for the next 3 hours, for close to a thousand people. In all of this, there is really only one person who just freaks me out, and it only lasts for a few minutes, and I let security know, and we’re all okay again.
You know the cool thing? There are these fans who came over from Germany, and some of them are girls, and they are HOT. And they tell me, in broken English, how much they love me. Oh yeah, tell me some more baby. Tell daddy how you love him.
What?
I am so sorry. I have no idea where that came from. I apologize.
Speaking of broken English, there are 20 Japanese kids, all together, who’ve come over from Tokyo for the show. And they are, each and every one of them, totally cool. They are so excited, and having such a great time. The girls ask me if I’d please sign their names on it, and I do, and they giggle, and bow, and blush, and thank me, over and over. For a second, I feel like a rockstar. Then I look up, and the face that’s looking back at me is this guy who’s like 40, and he’s wearing a spacesuit that’s a little too small, and he’s made up like one of those blue guys with antennae from the original Star Trek. Andorians, I think they’re called. And I am rocked back from my “Almost Famous” fantasy, back into “Galaxy Quest” (at least it’s not “Trekkies“, right?)
Oh, this was so damn cool. One of the Japanese kids was a boy, about my height, and he comes up to me and says that his friends tell him that he looks exactly like me. That they tell him that I am his twin.
Last time I checked, I wasn’t Japanese, but I’m not about to dump on this guy, so I look at him, and I say, “Dude. You are so right. It’s like I’m looking in a mirror!” He turns to his friends, says something in Japanese, and they all share and excited murmur. I felt like I made the guy’s morning, which was cool. He asked me to sign his Wesley Crusher action figure, which I do, with the following inscription: “To Tamako,[I think that was his name] my long lost twin brother: Don’t Panic! -Wil Wheaton”
That was really cool.

Tangent: It’s wierd being a “celebrity”. People tend to give celebrities more attention than normal people. They seem to think that if you’re on TV, or play a sport, your opinion is somehow more valid than the guy sitting next to you…I’ve never subscribed to this ideal, because I’ve met tons of celebrities in my life, and most of them are really, really, REALLY, lame, and not very smart. Especially the athletes.
Well, one of the cool things about celebrity that I can touch people’s lives, in some ways. I mean, there are people who are so into TV or whatever, that just by meeting me, or one of the other Trek people, they get super excited. That’s why I think it’s so important that we’re not dicks to them. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re scary, and freaky and wierd, I’m gonna get rid of you as fast as I can. I don’t care how many tribbles you have…but sometimes, I get to meet someone, like the guy who said I was his twin, and just by being cool, I can make him really, really happy. I really like that.
I have always said that if I take 30 seconds to sign a picture or a napkin or something, and it makes someone really happy, I am the biggest asshole on earth, I mean, WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER big, if I don’t do it.
So let this tangent be a notice to all you future superstars out there: Whether you asked for it or not, once you’re a celebrity, you *are* a role model, because people pay attention to you. So don’t be a dick. And sign autographs with a smile, and make people feel good for coming up to you, because, believe it or not, they were scared to do it, and you’ve got a chance to leave them feeling good, or feeling like shit. Pop quiz, asshole:some nervous guy comes up to you, and asks you if you’ll sign his book. What do you do? What do you do?!
/tangent

So the signing goes on.
And on.
And on.
And It gets closer and closer to 1:30, when I am supposed to leave, so I can rehearse with my group for our show, but there are still something like 150 people who still haven’t gotten their autographs. And I know, that as you get towards the end of the line, your signature degrades. Your humor slows down. You feel tired and worn out, and you just don’t have what the fans deserve. I know it, and it sucks, and I work VERY hard to treat the last 150 the same as the first 150, but sometimes, you’re just not physically able.
So I made a choice: I decided to leave, and get those 150 people the next day. I was going to be there all weekend, and stuff, and I figured that if I signed those people’s stuff tomorrow, they would get a refreshed, funny, cool me, rather than the top of my head (which, I understand the gay community has wanted for years. Sorry guys.).
But there was a risk: I mean, most of these people want to hate me. Don’t forget that. They’ve spent the last 14 years building me up to be this awful thing, and they reallly need me to validate that for them, by being a dick, or vapid, or whatever. I was nervous that this leaving would give them exactly what they were looking for.
So I stood up, and made an announcement:
“Guys! I was told I’d be done by 1PM.”
The grumbling begins.
“It’s now 1:30, and I’m supposed to be rehearsing with my sketch group right now.”
The grumbling gets louder, their sense of entitlement now roused.
“But I’ll be here all weekend, and I’ll sign whatever you want tomorrow. If I don’t go now, the show will suck.”
And an amazing thing happens. They all let me go, with good humor. They weren’t sad at all. They were actually singing. They sang without posters! They sang without pictures! They sang without autographs, blasters and fixtures!
So I left, and got back to the hotel.
And because I was late, the group had gone and done other things, like gambling, without me.
So I took a nap. One of those naps that lasts only 30 minutes, but feels like a whole night’s sleep.
I woke up, ate, showered, changed, packed my bags with costumes and props, and headed back to the con for the show.
=NEXT=
THE TALK
THE SHOW
RANDOM TANGENTS!
CHILLS!
THRILLS!
And, of course, Andy Rooney.

King of the world

King of the world

This is so cool.
I was very moved by the post from Salon that I, uh, borrowed.
So I emailed the author, and told him:

To: [email protected]
Subject: Flag
Mr. King,
Thank you for giving words to the feelings I have inside.
I was so moved by your writing, I copied it, and posted it at my own site.
Hope that’s okay. I included links to the original, and a mailto: link to you.
You’ve moved a lot of people. If you want to read their comments, they are here: http://www.wilwheaton.net/greymatter/archives/00000054/*.php#comments
Sincerely and admiringly,
Wil Wheaton
*
WIL WHEATON DOT NET
50,000 monkeys at 50,000
typewriters can’t be wrong.

http://www.wilwheaton.net

*

See, I would have just included the link to Salon, but I think that people are more likely to read something that’s right in front of them, rather than click a link, and I really wanted all of you to see this.
Here’s the cool thing: King wrote back:

To: Wil
Subject: Re: Flag
Wil,
Thanks. As you note on your site, our lawyers (actually, our person in
charge of rights and syndication — we can’t really afford lawyers these
days) frown on this sort of thing, but I found your Web site so charming
and fun that I won’t tell them if you won’t.
Cheers.
king

Isn’t that cool?!
So here’s the deal. Don’t tell anyone, okay?

50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong

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