Wil Wheaton, Dork

I was a total dork in the 80s

Originally uploaded by WilWheaton

If you are a total Melvin like me and haven’t had the sublime pleasure of exploring Wil Wheaton’s Flickr stream, do so.

For those of you who didn’t grow up loving Star Trek: The One With the Bald Guy, Wil Wheaton played Wesley Crusher, known by me and my friends as “Weasely,” the character who, I guess, was supposed to give the show some youth appeal and/or make it work for the viewers who desperately needed a mother-son, father-son thing to give a shit about, because they didn’t get enough pathos from the assaults of bug-eyed space aliens and rampaging holodeck monsters playing grabass with the space-time continuum while Counselor Cleavage told Geordi LaForge that he’s sad about being blind.

Weasely used to annoy the hell out of me and my like-minded misanthropic college sonofabitches. In my opinion, the character was there in the show to elicit some sort of emotional response, without real content. As a result, to me the issues Wesley went through always felt like a weird placeholder for either the screenwriters vapid disinterest in actual kids, or some process they felt they had gone through with their own kids or figured they were going to some day because they remembered seen it on an episode of “What’s Happening.” Wesley plots were like Very Special Episodes of Star Trek, with spaztic time slips and offscreen math.

I liked Wesley much much better when he got old enough to be a whiz-kid geekmo braniac dweebatronic nerdazoid, which apparently was the role Wil Wheaton was born to play, as evidenced by this awesome post on his Flickr stream:

Just in case there was any doubt lingering about what a fucking geektard I was when I was a teenager, I present this photo, recovered from the garage this weekend.

I have not scanned the back side of this, which declares, “Hey Mon! Be excellent to each other!” and features a badly-drawn attempt to recreate the Batman insignia.

I’m not sure what’s worse: that I thought this was cool, or that someone who should have known better let me print this on a postcard to be sent out to just about anyone who sent a letter asking for an autographed picture.

However much I might have complained about the Wesley character in the past, Wil Wheaton is teh f*cking bomb. From the posts on his blog, he is irrepressibly charming; more importantly, while he was pedigreed from the early days of his public life to be without question the living embodiment of der übergeek, he strikes me as conspicuously and unapologetically average, a genuine geek and proud of it.

And no, I wasn’t alone in my Wesley hatin’; I will admit that I laughed cruelly at the name of the Usenet group alt.ensign.wesley.die.die.die when I first heard it, which frankly I now feel bad about because I’m older and a bad enough writer to have created my own half-assed teen characters, so I get what a freakshow it can be. According to Wheaton’s Wikipedia page, he didn’t much like the character either, which may or may not be true.

But let’s face it, now that I’m older than dirt it’s hard to hold anything against a kid in an acid-washed jean jacket with an Oingo Boingo T-shirt and an Illuminati pin. God love you, Wesley Crusher. God, and mythic Greek space aliens, love you.


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