Posts Tagged geek

I have not seen Star Wars, so I wrote some poetry about it.


I have not seen much of the original Star Wars trilogy, unless I saw it when I was too young to remember anything. I was dragged along to Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in the theatre 13 years ago, forced to watch the trilogy back-to-back starting at 2a.m. in around the same time period (I fell asleep before taking much in, but not before the guy who was forcing me to watch it did) and watched as much as I could stand of the Holiday Special with Rifftrax starting at a similar hour (I gave up before the end, but not before Wil Wheaton did.) I played a fair bit of the Episode 1 Racer game on the Nintendo 64 back in the day. Almost everything else I know about Star Wars, I learnt from songs and internet memes. I know quite a lot of factlets from these sources, but I have no idea how they fit together. This Star Wars Day, I had the option of watching the original Star Wars trilogy in the CERN Council Chamber, but I was hesitant to lose my Star Wars virginity when I was one of so few people my age who still knew what it was like not to know the plot. It seemed like that would be wasted if I just saw it. I asked Twitter what to do, and the majority said to write ill-informed poetry about Star Wars before seeing the movies. One suggested haiku. So here’s a haiku, for starters:

“Come to the dark side.”

“Why? You’re not the boss of me.”

“I am your father.”

The person who suggested writing haiku wanted me to give a title for it, but I can’t decide on one. Maybe something like ‘Star Family Feud’ or ‘Daddy knows best’ or ‘Zo Vader, zo zoon’ (which is Dutch for ‘Like father, like son’.) or ‘Van Vader op Zoon’ (‘From father to son’) Any ideas?

Here is a poem containing most of the things I know about Star Wars that I could think of in the 10 hours or so since I came up with the idea. It amuses me, mainly because it rhymes, but it will probably amuse you more, since you know exactly how wrong it is. I don’t mind if you laugh with me or just at me. I think I’ll just call this one ‘I have not seen Star Wars, so I wrote some poetry about it.’

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away,
there was light, there was dark, there were no shades of gray.
And a war was beginning, and stars were being made,
though I don’t know their names or the roles that they played.
I know some were ewoks, Storm Troopers and wookiees
And Jedi Knights, padawans, masters and rookies,
Darth Vader, and C3P0, R2D2,
but Einstein couldn’t name them, so don’t expect me to.

There were Chewie, and Yoda (the OSV talker)
Han Solo, and Leia, of course, Luke Skywalker.
There were Pod Racers, Falcons, and starships deluxe
and cruisers, and Land Speeders (that and five bucks
will get you a Death Star; it looks like a moon
but it’s some kind of space station dealing out doom.
You would think it would wipe out the good guys, but nup!
For some reason, this one’s a cinch to blow up.)

I digress. There’s a thing called the Force Luke must use,
for the good side or bad? He’s the one who must choose.
(Side note: midi-chlorians, what the Force goes on
are Force mitochondria, some kind of boson.)
So may it be with you, it’s stronger in this
one, whose lack of faith hints that there’s something amiss,
but I think Obi-Wan puts him on the right track.
(That’s a guess. I don’t know who he is. Don’t attack!)

I’m a little unclear how the plot goes from there,
but it’s not like I’m bumbling around unaware.
I know what a mind trick or lightsaber’s for
and I know that they’re not the droids I’m looking for.
If they sleep in a tauntaun, then someone won’t freeze
and for Palpatine’s sake, wookiee’s spelt with two ‘e’s.
And it’s Han that shot first, not… uh… Guido? No, Gweebo!
He couldn’t shoot first at a wounded gazebo.

So this guy named Darth Vader, who breathes through a mask,
his wardrobe’s all dark side, you don’t need to ask.
Well he tried to convince the young Luke to turn bad,
and then (spoiler alert!) he said, ‘Hey, I’m your dad!’
And the princess was somehow Luke Skywalker’s sister,
but nobody talked about how he once kissed ‘er.
He vanquished his father, who, looking quite gaunt,
while wheezing could still somehow scream ‘Do not want!’

The End (and I don’t care what anyone thinks;
this poem may suck, but it beats Jar Jar Binks.)

There are a few references to other things in there. OSV refers to Object Subject Verb, the word order Yoda tends to use. Wil Wheaton once traded his Death Star for a Land Speeder and five bucks, which is the only reason I know Land Speeders exist. Gazebos are very hard to wound, but they don’t attack much. And I know Darth Vader screamed ‘Nooooooo!’ rather than ‘do not want‘, but I’m not too sure when or why.

This is not part of the Writing Cards and Letters (have you noticed I’ve been ignoring the letters this time?) project. I’m still planning on publishing a nine of spades by Sunday noon. It will be short and sweet and sour.

May the Fourth be with you, if it still is in your time zone.

Edit: I still haven’t seen Star Wars, and I imperfectly recited this poem at the Open Mic night on JoCo Cruise Crazy 3.

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Valentine Day Massacre chapbook


Just in time to arrive late for Valentine’s Day, Červená Barva Press have released a chapbook of poems mentioning the word ‘heart’, which were posted on Fictionaut in response to a Valentine’s Day challenge. I’m going to assume they removed the customary apostrophe and ensuing S in order to avoid any unintentional SQL injection. Anyhow, this book includes my scientific love poem, Chemistry, which you can see me reading while wearing two fake moustaches here:

The words and explanations of the science behind it can be found on a few previous blog posts, so I’ll just link to one of them.

Feel free to buy a copy of the chapbook for yourself or your valentine. I don’t get any money from it, and neither does anyone else except for the publisher, because apparently we did it for love, but if you buy it, you’ll get to read quite a varied set of poems, which will make you happy. Alternatively, you could read the poems on Fictionaut by searching the site for ‘Valentine’s Day Massacre’.

On the subject of fake moustaches, I recently went on a cruise with Jonathan Coulton and many of his famous friends and fans. The cruise featured a moustache formal, so if you would like to see how my moustache has changed over time, here’s a picture of me at the formal. I’ll probably post more about the cruise later, if I can come up with a sufficiently creative way of describing it. In the mean time, you could enjoy the many videos I took of the cruise.

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Video: Chemistry


Well, my last six months are over, without the rules really having been adhered to, and I’m still alive. On the subject of Still Alive, Steam is now available on the Mac so I finally played all the way through Portal on the very Mac that sang Still Alive for my last video (the older Mac only lip-synched, although it was perfectly capable of singing.) And on the subject of my last video, that wasn’t my last video after all, because here’s a new one. It’s a ‘performance‘ of the scientific love poem Chemistry, which I wrote during Writing Cards and Letters and revised for a challenge on Fictionaut.

It’s one of those things that was meant to be simple but resulted in my buying lipstick, cotton swabs, a T-shirt, nerd specs and two fake moustaches, and breaking a wine glass which I never used anyway. I bought the moustaches in New Zealand because I couldn’t find any here. While I was there I recorded another video, which is not quite finished yet, so watch this space.

To save you a click, here are the words and study guide, mostly cut and pasted from other posts but with some irrelevant bits taken out and other bits added:

Read the rest of this entry »

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