elise_rasha: (Default)
I am a fan.

There. I've said it. I am a fan. I'm a fan of many things, quite honestly. I love various anime programs - I don't watch it as much as I used to so I don't know a lot of the newer things, but I can recognize Inuyasha cosplayers. (There were some at Tokyo in Tulsa - sadly, my camera battery was dead and I accidentally left it in my book box on Friday. I saw the cosplayers on Saturday and had no camera.) I love manga - I don't have the money to go browsing like I used to do back in the day, but I still love it. I love cartoons and comic books, comic book movies, and science-fiction and fantasy novels. I love fantasy, science-fiction, science-fiction/fantasy RPGs. I consider myself a gamer. I used to play Dungeons and Dragons, a little bit, back in high school (been over twenty years, but I played). I'm selective in what I play, though, so, for some, I may not fall into their definition of a "gamer". I'm not interested in every shooter, car theft game that comes out nor every RPG. Everything has to appeal, and I am something of an old soul. I like what I like because it's elicited something from me.

And if it's inspired me somehow, well, I definitely do not cast it to the wayside simply because something better in appearance comes along. Tolkien once wrote "all that glitters is not gold", and that is so true nowadays.

I've spoken before on what has inspired me to write, and I do attribute Tolkien as my biggest writing inspiration. If I had not read The Lord of the Rings when I was 14, I may not have discovered that I wanted to be a writer. I've always loved to write, but Tolkien and the journey Frodo Baggins went through had one of the hugest impacts on my life.

I admit it. I am a fan. I will gush about The Lord of the Rings. I will gush about the Star Ocean series (specifically about Till the End of Time). And I will certainly gush about my first inspiration to be me, to chase after what I want in my life, the Bangles.

What's that, you say? I'm inspired by a musical group, of all things? Well, yeah. Why not? Their music changed my life, created that big resonance within me. When it comes to music, they are the reason why I admire and respect those who can, not only sing, but write their own music and play their own instruments. At one point in my life, I wanted to be a musician because of them. (And who knows? Maybe one day I'll fulfill that dream of recording my own album and releasing it for people to enjoy.)

It's been . . . thirty-one years since I first heard Manic Monday on the radio. Thirty-one fantastic, turbulent, trying, and challenging years. I don't listen to their CDs as often as I used to do, but, when I do, I'm taken back in time, and I'm reminded that anything is possible as long as we don't give up on our dreams.

I am completely and utterly amazed by the things that, to this day, inspire me, even after so long. It's overwhelming and so . . . loving. I know I will find more to inspire me. I have with runes and the Norse gods. (I love them so much, too.) It's a given.

Have a good Thursday, my friends, and keep on rockin'!
elise_rasha: (Default)
 I am an admitted geek. I have told people when they ask fellow writers why they've chosen their respective genres that I was raised that way. My parents liked Star Wars and Star Trek. We watched the Superman movies, Battlestar Galactica, Clash of the Titans, and the Never-Ending Story. I almost mustn't forget Ghostbusters 1 and 2, Spaceballs, and the Alien series.

Those weren't the only shows and movies we watched, but these are the ones to have the biggest impact on my childhood and teen years.

Also, admittedly, I didn't know what a geek really was. I never identified myself as geek or nerd in high school. In addition to the above movies, we watched Revenge of the Nerds. I was particularly prone to loving science, which seemed to be a requisite for nerd status. I bought a few comic books, read a lot, but nothing that I deemed nerd-worthy.

Oh, how the times have changed.

Now there are movies out there where the creepy nerd dude chases after the hot chick and wears her down into saying yes. He ultimately becomes the love of her life. She realized she was wrong about him, blah blah blah. Or so the loud complaints go about romantic comedies and other such films. Again, most movies like that aren't my thing. If you give me a choice between something like 50 First Dates or Alien vs. Predator, AVP will win every time. I may not be fond of the storytelling, what little bit there is of that, but it has everything I like in terms of science-fiction.

So why like The Big Bang Theory? It's not really science-fiction nor is it really fantasy. It's about four guys with the nerd/geek stereotype - socially awkward, inappropriate around women an awful lot - and an attractive young, blonde woman who moves across the hall from the two who are roommates. She's the exact opposite of what they are, and three of them have the hots for her.

Based on that, one would think it's a romantic comedy brought down to a comedy sitcom level, and it's glamorizing the geek world, making it trendy.

One would be wrong on how everything is playing out.

While it's true three of the characters - Leonard, Howard, and Raj - have the hots for the cute neighbor - Penny - they're still too socially awkward to actually be noticeable for her as potential love interests. That isn't to say Penny doesn't notice them because she does. She thinks they're very sweet guys, if sometimes annoying. Despite Howard's initial perverted nature towards her - you know, the guy who tries way too hard to impress a girl and figures he'll eventually get her the longer he keeps at it - Penny does consider him to be a friend. She'd be there for him when he's in need of a friend. She's also there for Raj, Leonard, and Sheldon, helping to bring them out of their social awkwardness and into the world.

This doesn't mean she's changing them into who they are not. If anything, for Penny, their geekiness and intelligence is a far cry from the types of people she knows and has associated with since high school. Of the four nerds, she's attracted to Leonard the most. Howard has struck out in the department of winning Penny over. It isn't because Howard isn't a nice guy. It's more because Leonard has always provided Penny a friendly ear, a voice of reason, and a source of encouragement for her dreams, even as he's freaking out that she could be making some huge mistakes.

The nerdiness and geekiness aren't restricted to the guys, either. While Penny is the odd person out in those terms, the show has brought on two women as love interests but also as very interesting characters in the forms of Bernadette, who is set up on a date with Howard and eventually signs on with a major pharmaceutical company due to her degree in micro biology, and Amy Farrah-Fowler, a dowdy-looking neurologist with personality traits similar to Sheldon.

At the same time Penny is smoothing away the social awkwardness of such people, they, too, are sharing their worlds and knowledge with her. And, to her surprise, she rather likes it. These are people who aren't afraid to be themselves. They have lessons for each other, these wonderful and flawed characters of the Big Bang Theory. Though they rag each other mercilessly at times, they are friends, and there isn't anything they wouldn't do for one another, be it sneaking up to Stan Lee's house at night or trade insults with Will Wheaton.

And, yes, the show is making it so geeky and nerdy are cool and trendy. That isn't a bad thing so long as people remember what it is about the characters that does make them so cool.

They are individuals. They are true to themselves. They're not afraid to dress in costumes and head to conventions. They're not afraid to argue over silly, trivial things like who can and can't wield Mjölnir and not have it divide them irreparably. They're multicultural. Yes, Leonard, Sheldon, and Howard are "white" guys, but Raj is from India. Howard is Jewish. Sheldon grew up in a very religious home in Eastern Texas (as he puts it). Leonard grew up as an atheist. Penny's from Nebraska, Bernadette declares herself to be a "good Catholic" girl, and Amy is, well, Amy.

They're not afraid to be smart and to think for themselves. They are proof that love, tolerance, and friendship are greater forces in this world.

That is why I love the Big Bang Theory.