Monday, March 28, 2011

The Geekiest Girl in the Room

One is sometimes understood by the company she keeps. Alas, I am surrounded by non-geeks!

Last weekend, I attended an academic bootcamp (wouldn't call it a conference, they worked us!) and when one member of my group mentioned that they were going to "red shirt" an idea, you know, dear readers, what immediately came to my mind. Yeah, he was going to sacrifice that idea. However, there is an alternative subculture competing for the red shirt metaphor. Weird.

But what was the worst, the absolute worst is that I had to EXPLAIN my reference. Really? How sad is that?

Anyway, in my attempt to finish talking about the film festival I went to last month, let me geekily segueway into one of the shorts I saw that Saturday night titled CONGLANG. This was about a small club of people who are fascinated by created languages. The "con" does not stand for "convention" which I thought at first but for "constructed." there is an actual organization which I think partly funded the film. (*correction, the organization supported the film -- see the comments section*).

Anyway, very amusing short film about the power struggles within a conlang club which ended in a flexing contest of who can master the most con langs (like reciting Shakespeare in Klingon -- which I think they did -- or reciting the Gettysburg Address in Snoop Dogg speak). Yes, dear geeks, shades of Evan Dorkins' "Bring Me the Head of Boba Fett."

Anyway, CONLANG, was a fun little short and actually a geek love story! More info on shorts later and all the other goodness I watched. I haven't even talked about the animation!

In sum, please console me. I am in the land of norms.


Sai said...

Glad you enjoyed their film.

FWIW, its name is "CONLANG" (all caps), and the normal word is "conlang" (no space). Will make searching it easier.

The LCS didn't sponsor the film, but we helped them with getting props, language samples (e.g. the actual Lojban dirty limmericks), understanding the community more, etc. in pre-production, and in promoting it afterwards.

However it was a completely independent production by Swan Dive Films; the story, editing, funding, etc is 100% theirs.

- Sai
founder, Language Creation Society

The Projectionist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy said...

Hi Sai:

Nice to meet you! I have corrected the words and added a note about the LCS support. I appreciate the clarification.

It's nice to have the opportunity to learn about new and interesting groups and to share it with my friends since I had never heard of the concept of conlang, although I knew about these languages (I'm a medievalist by trade so I'm very familiar with Tolkien).

Thanks again,


K. A. Laity said...

Yo, get your geek on, girl! Nice write up.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how I got here. All I know is, I read your post, watched that incredibly geeky video and I still have no idea what the guy meant by "red shirt" the idea.

Wanna explain it for those of us who don't know.......? *sigh*

Wendy said...

Sorry for the delay in responding. First, "red shirt" in Star Trek lore means the guy who gets killed who goes down on the planet with the main cast.

The other meaning of red shirt is used in college sports. I quote the page on Wikipedia since I don't know where else to go for this info: "Redshirt is a term used in American college athletics that refers to a delay or suspension of an athlete's participation in order to lengthen his or her period of eligibility."