Reason #967 why I’m glad I learned Finnish: It allowed me to understand Kanerva Eskola’s seminar talk on The Rocky Horror Picture Show at FinnCon.

I think The Matrix has audience participation potential. Some of the people who were watching it in the lounge in Blago have already identified the most promising points for saying the line / answering the line / anticipating the line / taking a drink:

  • Any time Morpheus asks a question. “Do you want to know the truth?” YES!
  • Any time Morpheus says something Zenlike. “Don’t bend your mind, bend The Matrix.” (Drink.)
  • Any time someone says “To save the world.”
  • Any time Agent Smith says “Mr. Anderson.”
  • This is not a spoon. “This is not a spoon.”
  • Mind the vase! “Mind the vase!”

    The official GOHs at FinnCon were some guy who wrote “Captain! Mind the thrusters!” type SF, some guy who wrote a hefty trilogy about woolly mammoths (even I don’t think there’s 1000 pages to be written about mammoths), and Neil Gaiman: “Mythology is what’s left when all the practice has died out. I mean, in this day and age people don’t actually go to the Nile in Egypt every morning and prostrate themselves and say prayers to Baht … oh, I’m sorry, you do?”

    NEILThe hard-SF guy was asked by a fan why his novels contained so much about the ’70s.

    “I’ve never really thought about it, but you’re right, there is a lot of ’70s nostalgia in my books,” he said. “I guess the ’70s were much like today, only without technology.” I’d say that depends where you were; growing up around engineers, my ’70s had plenty of technology (though we could argue about whether it differs in kind or only in degree from today’s), but in some other places the ’70s not only had no technology but were practically a different century.

    PS 2015: The other GOHs were Stephen Baxter, who wrote the mammoth trilogy. (It is “impossible not to cheer for Baxter’s plucky pachyderms,” said Kirkus Reviews according to Wikipedia.) The question about ’70s nostalgia, though, was probably for the third GOH, Ken MacLeod.

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