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Go forward in your beliefs

‘One day I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye.’ –William Hartnell, as the Doctor, “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”

We all, it seems, find the level at which we are comfortable expressing our enthusiasm for the things that bring us happiness. That’s a polite and politically constructed way of saying “fans of all stripes do some odd stuff.” Growing up when I did, I tend to be a little hesitant to be too public about my particular brand of geekiness; though I am wearing a Superman t-shirt as I type this, wearing one to junior high school was a pretty decent way to get your ass kicked. Thankfully, some people aren’t quite so hung up about letting their particular freak flag fly, and bless ‘em, I say.

As I’m a little reserved about Public Displays of Geek in my own life I have to admit to a certain fascination with people who frame the major events of their life in terms of their fandom.

On the “gamer/sci-fi/fantasy fan” side, I’ve known people who got married to the strains of the Star Wars theme, who had the Emperor’s March played as they left the church, people who had full medieval-dress weddings or gotten married at game conventions. On the “sports fan” side I know couples who have had baseball-themed weddings or gotten married on the field at Comiskey Park, Yankee Stadium and Fenway.

Aren't you a little short for a groomsman?

Aren't you a little short for a groomsman?

Fanboy weddings is one thing. I can get behind that, the harmless geekitude of it, the fun and celebration/recognition of what is (hopefully) one of the many things that the couple love, and love about each other.

Fanboy funerals is something I’m still getting my head around. There’s a whole industry cropping up the last few years geared towards sending sci-fi fans, NASCAR enthusiasts, sports geeks, and motorcycle riders to their eternal reward in a manner that reflects their greatest earthly passion.

There are caskets and urns for Star Trek fans, one of which looks like the photon torpedo casing that carried Spock’s body to the Genesis planet. Oddly, I like that one, as it’s almost as potent a plea for resurrection of the body as anything you’ll find in a Catholic service. A couple of years ago Major League Baseball announced they were licensing team logos for use on caskets. I’ve seen the Harley-Davidson caskets and the Harley hearse for taking that last ride. In 2001, Gene Simmons and company offered a line of KISS coffins (sadly, it was discontinued in 2006).

Gene Simmons with the KISS KAsket

Gene Simmons with the KISS Kasket

The KISS Kasket was one of the first fanboy coffins I heard about, and I suppose it should have gotten me started in getting used to the idea, but still, this story took me by surprise.

A David Tennant lookalike who died in a tragic accident had a time-travelling funeral – to go out just like his Dr Who hero.
Seb Neale, 26, had a coffin like a Tardis time machine complete with blue flashing light for his out-of-this world send-off.
His family replaced sombre funeral music with the Dr Who theme tune and mourners sang along and burst into applause…instead of readings from the scriptures, the service used original scripts from classic Dr Who episodes.

TARDIS coffin

I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since the sixth grade, and while I’m pretty sure that a Fanboy funeral is not something I’d want for myself…I dunno. The TARDIS coffin? It’s kinda cool. Rest in Peace, Doc.

Dose of Delia: Birthday edition

I’m dead keen on limiting resources…You need to have discipline in order to be truly creative. If you’re just given total freedom to do anything you like… You’ve got to impose some discipline on either the form you’re going to use or the sounds you’re going to use.
–Delia Derbyshire

Today’s Dose of Delia is in honor of what would have been the composer’s 72nd birthday. As I’ve said in the past, Delia Derbyshire is best known to sci-fi fans for her electronic realization of Ron Grainer’s theme music for the BBC television series Doctor Who.

Delia Derbyshire 1937-2001

Delia Derbyshire 1937-2001

It sounds like synthesizers, but Delia’s recording of Doctor Who was created with tape editing, electronic filters and tape loops. She’d record individual notes from oscillators and other electronic sources, one by one onto tape, cut them up with a razor and stick them back together in order. As someone who’s edited miles of tape, I can tell you: that’s a long and labor-intensive process. Delia assembled Doctor Who over the course of two weeks.


Within a matter of months [after joining the BBC Radiophonic Workshop] she had created her recording of Ron Grainer’s Doctor Who theme, one of the most famous and instantly recognisable TV themes ever… “Did I really write this?” [Grainer] asked. “Most of it,” replied Derbyshire.

On the score he’d written “sweeps”, “swoops”… beautiful words… “wind cloud”, “wind bubble”… so I got to work and put it together and when Ron heard the results.. oh he was tickled pink!
–Delia Derbyshire

Have a jelly baby and enjoy Delia Derbyshire’s recording of the Doctor Who theme. Happy birthday, Delia!

You Better Beware

Or I Might Take A Tumble

As I’ve said before, Delia Derbyshire is the BBC Radiophonic Workshop musician who recorded Ron Grainer’s theme music for Doctor Who.

Today’s Dose of Delia is “Here Come The Fleas,” a charming track from the 1968 White Noise album. Interestingly, the guitar solo sounds like something from a Brian Eno album from 1973 or ’74…

Delia Derbyshire CDs and DVDs can be found at her website.
I ain’t connected to that in any way; I just thought you should know.

Tuesday Miscellany

I’m not a programmer or physics major, so many of the jokes fly past me, but I really do enjoy xkcd.

The comic I’m posting about won’t fit on this page, so I’m afraid I’ll just have to link to it. Sorry. Go ahead and look at it; I’ll stay right here.

This happens to me frequently, and in fact happened just last night. Oddly, though, when I have “back in college” dreams I also construct an entire section of Michigan State’s campus (and a few blocks off campus) that doesn’t actually exist. It’s generally located at the northeast corner of the actual campus. This is doubly odd as, being a radio/TV major I spent most of my time at the Communication Arts building, which is to the south and more or less west-ish.

The imaginary guitar shops just north of the imaginary MSU campus are quite cool, I have to say.

Today’s Dose of Delia:
Delia Derbyshire is best known to sci-fi fans as the BBC Radiophonic Workshop musician who recorded Ron Grainer’s theme music for Doctor Who. She was also a tremendously influential electronic music composer.

Today’s Delia Derbyshire track is “Love Without Sound,” from the 1968 White Noise album An Electric Storm.

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