Thursday, November 4, 2010

So what the @#$% was Wootstock?

A while back CanadianSimon suggested I check out Wootstock when it came to Austin on November 2.  There really wasn't much information about Wootstock online, but I considered it.  After all, the hosts were to be TV's Wil "Wesley Crusher" Wheaton, Adam "Mythbusters" Savage and then some comedy/ musical guys I'd never heard of, Paul and Storm.

The tickets were actually fairly reasonable, but went on sale when I was in a bit of a crunch, so I didn't think we'd wind up going.  Leave it to the great and giving The Dug to swoop in.  "Merry Christmas", he said, and suddenly Jamie and I had two tickets to Wootstock (good seats, too!)

And while I heard that Wil Wheaton couldn't attend (for vague and mysterious reasons), he was replaced by Neil Gaiman, who most people remember from his role as "Neil" on the mid-1980's sit-com Monkey Shines, but who has subsequently dabbled in comics writing with Sandman and a bit of fiction, such as Anansi Boys (I loved that book, by the way).

Having actually now sat through Wootstock Austin 2010, I'm not sure I'm any better prepared to say what the show actually is other than what it contains.  Its sort of an entertainment show for hardcore geeks, and the whole feel of the evening rang vaguely of a distilled day of web surfing.  I don't mean that in a negative way, but when your show includes two sets by artists of novelty/ comedy songs, readings by Neil Gaiman, readings from a Windows support guy, dozens of Youtube clips, a conversation with the writer and artists of the newspaper strip Foxtrot,   Mary Jo Pehl making an extended Crisis on Infinite Earths joke, Adam Savage telling random stories about life and working with Jamie Hyneman...  It was the kind of stuff that folks spending their life in front of a monitor can develop a taste for.

Obviously I was part of the target audience as my face hurt from laughing and the unfortunate cold I've been carting around for a few days. 

I figured this kind of show would bring out a certain audience, and the geeks do not disappoint.  Geeks all over the chart and touching on multiple points of the geek Venn Diagram made an appearance.

Nerds have come up in the world and the era of the internet has given new confidence to nerds as they realize they're a community, not lone spazs getting wedgied by jocks in the hallway at school.  In fact, I don't even know that younger geeks really understand that there was a time and place where you were unlikely to know many people who shared your love of comics, Dr. Who, Star Wars trivia, technology, etc...  and there certainly weren't too many women who fell into that camp.  All of that has, of course, changed.  Viva la internet.

I have plenty of geek credentials befitting my generation.  I'm a consumer of classic monster movies.  I've watched my fair share of Star Wars and Trek.  I can talk comics pretty much all day.  I'm less credentialed in certain web celebrities, not at all in video games, BSG, and I'm "meh" on Whedon. 

That said, I was wearing a Mister Miracle T-shirt, which none of the geeks I was talking to quite understood.*

Wootstock seems to rotate around, and I'll definitely attend again if they're in town or I'm in town where they're at. Honestly, it was a genuinely fun time, and a little weird to see all these folks in one spot (I forgot to mention the drummer of PUSA was their drummer).  I recommend.

Anyway, it was a really fun time, and I think some of you guys are prime candidates for the audience at this thing.

Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty awful through the whole show, so I can't say I recommend showing up with a head cold.  

*and I pity you if you do not know and love the wonder that is Mr. Miracle.


Simon MacDonald said...

Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you. Austin gets so many better acts than solid boring old Ottawa. Glad you had a good time.

Also, I believe Wheaton had to back out due to scheduling conflicts with his roles on Big Bang Theory and Eureka.

The League said...

Ah. Well, that makes sense. It was just weird that they wouldn't say "Wil has better paying stuff to do".