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Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

Holy Frak!

Filed under: Fun, Personal

I have a confession to make: My name is Michele and I’m a sci-fi addict in all its dorky variations. Yep, I’m a full-blown geek from way back: Give me your Wonder Woman, your Lost in Space, your Star Trek: The Next Generation, your Buffy the Vampire Slayer, your Angel— pretty much anything by creator Joss Whedon, the uber-cool leader of the nerd herd. I’ll take them all.

My latest obsession is the new incarnation of the campy ’70s show, Battlestar Galactica. Now, lest you think I’ve taken total leave of my senses, this show — which begins its fourth and final season tonight on the Sci-Fi network — not only has an obsessive cult following among my ilk, it’s garnered widespread praise among TV critics and won a prestigious Peabody Award for excellence in television. It is, succinctly, totally bad-ass.

With a dark (both in tone and lighting) narrative, BSG tells the story of how the human race responds after being attacked by malevolent robots they created, who have turned on them and adapted to look and think like humans — only smarter and sneakier. They’re called Cylons and some of them are total hotties. (Click here here to view the Sci-Fi/BSG home page, where you can watch a delightfully sardonic video short called “What the Frak is Going On?” that will bring you up to date on the first three seasons quickly.) One thing you’ll notice quickly is the predilection among the characters on the show to use the word “frak,” which is their derivation on our four-letter “f” word. It’s also code so BSG nuts can spot each other. I’ve taken to conjugating the word in different contexts here in ASI’s editorial department (“What the frak is this?” “Are you fraking kidding me?”) and can tell immediately by the response of those who hear me who’s in the know — their eyes light up with that kindred, “You’re one of us!” spark of recognition.

The reason I tell you this is because earlier this week I did something that might come as a surprise because I’ve been an editor in the ad specialty industry for so long, one would think I have a “been there, seen that” attitude towards logoed products. Well, let me tell you: I went onto the BSG web site on Monday, shopped on the online store and spent a few HUNDRED dollars on BSG imprinted apparel for myself and Hillary Braubitz, the senior art designer for ASI’s magazines and the Godsend who turned me on to the show. What did I purchase? Mugs with the BSG logo and the word “Frak” imprinted on them, a calendar of the yummy cast and an array of BSG-branded sweatshirts and T-shirts, my favorite of which says, “Get Your Cyl-On.” The package arrived today and I actually squealed with delight as I tore into the box, gleefully showing off my wares. (It was at this point that my colleague Joe Haley, managing editor of the magazines and star of ASI TV’s The Joe Show, uttered this gem after a deep sigh and roll of the eyes: “Truly, Michele, I am just shocked that you’re still single… .”)

So, I have two pieces of advice for you all: First, if you’re apprehensive about the economy, perhaps you should try targeting the Dork Demographic. I can’t be the only freak out there spending money on this stuff. Second, for you distributors who handle online stores like this, and you suppliers who provide them with goods, can you do me a favor: consider that some people, especially women, like to have a choice of color in their T-shirts and that unlike Henry Ford’s famous axiom, they should come in colors other than black (which, even in Dorkville, isn’t cool).

Lastly, I beg of you: Should I ever cross the line and begin dressing like a BSG character or attending sci-fi conventions in costume, please give me a whack in the frakin’ head.

— Michele


16 Comments

  1. Matt Histand Says:

    Ms. Bell has in fact attended a Sci-Fi convention – the king of them all. No, not the Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con in Springfield, but an actual Star Trek convention. There she was hit on by Michael Dorn, aka Worf, the surly but lovable Klingon from ST: The Next Generation. She declined his offer to get drinks after the show – and has regretted it every since.]

    Friday April 4, 2008
  2. Michele Bell Says:

    Yes, what my colleague Matt Histand says is true. I once did cover a “Star Trek” convention for a Philly newspaper I used to write for, and was indeed asked out for cocktails by the actor who played “Mr. Worf,” the cranky Klingon. More disturbing, the reason I declined his offer is because he wasn’t dressed in costume and therefore not nearly as hot in my opinion. Soon after, I began seeing a therapist. ; )

    Friday April 4, 2008
  3. Tom Craig Says:

    Michele-anytime I read anything you’ve written, my reaction ranges from a smile to a belly laugh-please don’t stop! At this office we too have some experience with sci-fi geeks. One of our staff is a full fledged member of the 501st Legion, Florida Squadron, Everglades Squad. In laymens terms-he dresses up in a Star Wars Sandtrooper costume and appears at events all over the state. Don’t get too excited-he’s married.

    Friday April 4, 2008
  4. Jill Albers Says:

    Okay, Dahling…. Si-fi geek… who knew?? Yes, it is 3:52 on Friday and get my afternoon “back in gear” from a quick check ou of the blog.

    This makes me smile, because I can just see you.. Miss “Most Famous Fabulous Stiletto” in a black Si-fi tee.

    I promise when i land the business and jump start the next si-fi crazed promo store we will have cute colors!!!

    TGIF, go have a few cocktails for me!

    Friday April 4, 2008
  5. Hillary Says:

    I Frakin’ love it! The secret is out.

    Friday April 4, 2008
  6. Dan Burke Says:

    I think I’m going to propose to you. I firmly believe that if you find a woman who will entertain a request to wear the famous Leia outfit you marry her immediately. P.S. I spent more than I like to admit on a mini statue of the poster for the movie “Army of Darkness” because I have a man crush on Bruce Campbell.

    Monday April 7, 2008
  7. Michele Bell Says:

    LOL! Dan, a proposal from you would be the highlight of my year. Our wedding invitations could say: “To Betty Ford and Beyond!”
    Dorks (and Drunks) of the world, unite! ; ) Miss ya!

    Monday April 7, 2008
  8. Phil Vu Says:

    Oh no. You know, I came here to get the address for ASI, and I saw one of your amazing articles.

    What the frak?

    Monday April 14, 2008
  9. Michele Bell Says:

    Hey Mr. Vu —

    How are you??? Hope you’re doing well!!! Can I assume you’re a frakin’ BSG fan? ; )

    Monday April 14, 2008
  10. Bob Hechler Says:

    Unbelievable……..not really. This is a sure indication ASI pays too much or you don’t know what to do with your discresionary income. I have an idea, you buy in New York!!! Can’t wait to see you there

    Thursday April 17, 2008
  11. Michele Bell Says:

    Can’t wait to see you too, Crazy Umbrella Guy! The Editorial Strumpet looks forward to having cocktails with you! ; )

    Friday April 18, 2008
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    Thursday July 3, 2008
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    Wednesday November 12, 2008
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    Sunday November 30, 2008
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