The GeekDads Episode #145: We Are So Much More Important Than Public Radio

The GeekDads

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It’s another great GeekDad podcast! Ken and Matt talk about the loss of some geek greats, and revel in the recent episodes of Agent Carter and Gravity Falls. Enjoy!

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GeekDad.com is the parenting blog edited by Ken Denmead, Matt Blum, Jonathan Liu, Z and Chris Anderson. It is a community of like-minded geeky parents writing about our experiences raising our kids in the digital age, and about our obsessions with technology, family-friendly projects, and pop culture. The GeekDads podcast is a biweekly discussion of anything and everything that impacts us as geeks and parents.

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4 thoughts on “The GeekDads Episode #145: We Are So Much More Important Than Public Radio

  1. Enjoyed the episode very much guys. I think you are off base on the Spock-Pinocchio-Data connection though (and you pulled back from it I know). Data IS Pinocchio, you got that right. Riker even calls him that in the pilot. That’s the archetype of the simulacrum that desperately wants to be human, and we see it over and over in science fiction.

    But Spock is something else entirely. Spock is the “Child of Two Cultures” archetype. A large part of the character’s importance, particularly given the time in American history when he debuted, is that he was one of the first biracial character on television. Spock IS human (an all Vulcan’s already have emotions). He’s at war with himself, desperately wanting to prove that he’s “Vulcan enough”, but he’s chosen to live among a culture that doesn’t value this goal very highly. So he’s living among humans who tease him for his devotion to a value system they don’t share, and he’s trying desperately to live up to his ideal’s of that value system.

    Now, there IS a character on ST:TNG that fits this mold, but it isn’t Data. It’s Worf. Although Worf is 100% Klingon by birth, he was raised in a 100% human environment. He desperately wants to prove he’s a good Klingon, though he lives around (predominantly) humans who don’t share this value system and often tease and admonish him for it. Yet he persists, to the point that he is often “more Klingon than the other Klingons.’

    Both characters have to reconcile their opposites. Other characters in fiction that fit this mold are Superman (particularly the 1978 film version), Michael Moorcock’s Elric (who destroys his own non-human civilization for the sake of a human race he doesn’t hold in very high regard), classic series Doctor Who (the Doctor is happy to act like the superior, far advanced Time Lord when dealing with humans, but is actually an outsider in his own culture whenever faced with other Time Lords), James Enge’s Morlock Ambrosius (child of Merlin but raised by dwarves), and to a degree Harry Potter (who serves as a bridge between the Muggle and Magical world, and is held in high esteem in one and utterly disregarded in the other).

    And Wuedel may be correct about Abed above, except that at least up to the point at which I quite watching Community, Abed seemed very much in balance with very little internal conflict or desire to change. Abed to my mind is very much a static character around which things change, a catalyst for other’s to bounce off off. He’s more the mirror of humanity character you reference in the podcast. He’s also a bit of a Gandalf figure in this regard. One of the reasons that I find Bicentennial Man to a be a superior film to A.I. is that Andrew embraces the Pinocchio archetype, whereas David by his very definition is completely static and only interesting in so far as he causes the other characters–his mother, Gigolo Joe–etc to react.

    But that’s a topic for another time…

  2. I should add that Kryten on Red Dwarf was the Pinocchio archetype before Data. Star Trek lifted a lot from Red Dwarf, as Kryten gave us Data and Rimmer gave us Voyager’s Emergency Medical Hologram.

  3. Ken and company, really love the podcast and would hate to see it fall off of the radar again. Please keep it up. I am a Mechanical Engineer building a couple of Nuclear Power Plants in GA and share your site and podcast with fellow colleagues, I mean Geekdads. We enjoy this while it is up and running,

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

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