Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's All Geek To Me

Remember Magicgate? Well, at least that's what I'm calling it. I know, putting "-gate" after every controversy since Watergate is getting incredibly old. But anyway...

Last month, Alyssa Bereznak wrote a post about her experience with Internet blind dating, and the horror that occurred when she discovered that the man of her dreams ended up the man of her nightmares, for she ended up dating the grand champion of the popular collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Ms. Bereznak wrote that "judging people on shallow stuff is human nature", and the overall tone of the article got her a lot of flak...especially since it's sort of a case of the pot calling the kettle black, since she happens to write for the tech site Gizmodo, with her name attached to such just-as-geeky-as-a-card-game-about-wizards articles like "Parents Can Have Text Message Slang, Too!", "The Gizmodo vs. Deadspin iPhone Repair Contest", and perhaps most telling of all, "Kanex's C247DL DVI Hooks Your Computer Up to Apple's Clear, Crisp Cinema Display." (Though, to be fair, as one of my friends pointed out, taking her to a one-man show about the infamous serial killer-and-eater Jeffrey Dahmer is probably not the best first date Mr. Magic could have given her. That still doesn't excuse the way she treated him solely due to his choice in hobbies, though.)

Ms. Bereznak has been criticized so many times and much better than I could have done it that it's pointless to do so again. But I am going to do the next best thing...

Next week is a blogging event created as a rebuttal of sorts to the Bereznak controversy, Speak Out with Your Geek Out. Founded by female geek/author/freelance consultant to equally geeky cartoonist John Kovalic of Dork Tower fame Monica Valentinelli, the goal of this event is to create a positive stereotype of geek culture and what geeky things people enjoy in order to combat the shunning and negativity that Ms. Bereznak and others have created controversy with.

I've written about Phineas and Ferb so much on this blog that they're practically becoming my Kevin Bacon (and this is like the fourth time I've used that joke), and since Mr. Kovalic, Matt Blum over at GeekDad, and my pals at the GeekCast Radio Network (with whom I recently did a podcast on the subject) prove it's a geeky thing (and I agree with them), I might as well make that my subject. The only problem? I've already written a post about why I like the show. But, then again, looking back at the post, I could probably write a better one. So I have two Phineas and Ferb-related events in store for Speak Out with Your Geek Out.

The first will be a rewrite of my previous post on why I like the show, in order to fulfill the main goal of the event- to "post about what geeky hobby you love...[and] tell us why we should try it, too." But, I have something else I've been working on long before I heard about this event, which I'm going to make a part of it...

Aliki Grafft with Phineas and Ferb creators Dan Povenmire (center) and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. Photo by Rick Andreoli, courtesy Phineas and Ferb Wiki.
I'm currently writing and collecting questions for an interview with Aliki Grafft, a writer and storyboard artist for Phineas and Ferb who's been working on it pretty much since the beginning. I'm glad things worked this way for multiple reasons- not only for the event itself, but because I'm getting the chance to interview a woman who works on a popular animated program with various demographics in particular. Although Speak Out is an all-in event, Ms. Valintinelli originally hoped to "reach out to...the demographic that bucks the stereotype, my fellow female geeks", no doubt because of the Magic kerfuffle. Plus, given the fact that women working as writers in television are becoming rarer and rarer, I've coincidentally picked an interview subject (or did she pick me?) that seems to be a perfect fit for the event.

I've come up with a lot of questions, and I've been getting a lot of great ones from my friends and fellow P&F fans online. But this serves as one more plug and call for questions: what do you want to know about what it's like writing/storyboarding for Phineas and Ferb or for working on an animated series in general? This is your chance to find out. Send me your best questions as comments on this post, and look for the interview with Aliki next week.

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