Re: Re[2]: CHAT: "Intercom" article

Subject: Re: Re[2]: CHAT: "Intercom" article
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 19:55:14 -0600

At 09:34 AM 3/5/97 EST, you wrote:
> "My experience has been that Monty Python has a much stronger hold on
> the techno mentality. I've often heard cries of "run away, run away"
> drifting down the hallways, far more often than "Klatu, barrado,
> nickto".
>
> Tim Altom
> Vice President, Simply Written, Inc."
>
>
> Maybe, Tim, but that 1940's movie is a real classic in science fiction
> movies and had (has) an excellent premise. Monty Python?? Some of us
> could live without him, I'll bet.
>
> By the way, do you think you'll ever see a kid like "Timmy"?
>
> Regards,
>
> Don Smith
>
Oh c'mon...are you maintaining that Monty Python is mindless, shallow,
escapist, schoolboy-prank entertainment? I guess you could say that; Most of
the Python cast has repeatedly said just that.

I think there's always been a deep need in technogeeks to have a unifying
weirdness that's coincidentally accessible to all the human race, if only
the lamers would really _try to understand the meaning in it_. It's kind of
like Catholic priests sharing puzzles in Latin.

That denigration said, I have to confess that I've indulged in lots of such
technobonding over the years myself. When I analyze it, I can't find much to
praise in it. But I continue to do it. There's something comforting about
having the "Klaatu" line posted on your monitor and having a new guy nod
solemnly and say "Gort lives. Praise be to Gort." Or something equally
charming. It's like trading punches in a locker room.

There was a discussion a few days ago on this list about how you can get
SMEs to cooperate with you. This is definitely one of them. They absolutely
love it when you know the movie lines, the in-jokes. I think it's because
you can't fake your appreciation for them. You either like Python or you
don't. You either get the symbolism in "The Day the Earth Stood Still" or
you don't. It's a kind of entry exam, a living, breathing, artistic
password. The question isn't really whether you know the reference or not;
It's whether you feel a personal affection for it and can hold up your end
of the badinage. Old science fiction is a great vehicle for these passwords,
because most of us technogeeks grew up entranced with the winky-blinky
special effects in them. It gives the references a sheen of real love
knowing that the probable reason you even saw the thing was because you
wanted to build a flying saucer yourself someday.

I can't as readily explain the appeal of Python. Maybe next week.

And no, I've never met a "Timmy". I'd be scared to. But then, I'd not run
down the street to meet either Michael Rennie or Gort, either.

By the way, I've also found that "Rocky Horror Picture Show" is another
favorite. Just a suggestion.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
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