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[Comments] (1) Local Boy Makes Good: When I ran a BBS, back in the 90s when everything was fresh and new, I had a caller named Gabriel Koerner. Gabe came to our sparsely-populated get-togethers and contributed on the message boards, which made him a dedicated caller in those days of higher standards for user interaction (whereas now a dedicated weblog reader is someone who subscribes to the RSS feed and occasionally leaves a comment).

Gabe Koerner was kind of odd, but my BBS was geared towards people who were kind of odd, so he fit right in. He was a big Star Trek nut, but so was I. "Ah," you might say, trying to look for the essential difference between him and me. "But Gabe was in fact such a Star Trek nut that he wrote fanfic Star Trek parodies." Which is also what I did. I thought Gabe was annoying sometimes, and that his Star Trek parodies were somewhat derivative of mine, but it's obvious in retrospect that I was also annoying at that age, and forensic analysis would reveal my own Star Trek parodies to be somewhat derivative of Robert I. Brayer's. So I don't think there was really any qualitative difference between my dysfunction and Gabe's.

However, my dysfunction remained mostly unnoticed in those pre-web days and even now manifests itself only on this obscure weblog, whereas Gabe's was captured on film in the hit independent film Trekkies, a film about Star Trek geeks and their awkward differences from consensus society. I haven't seen the movie but here's how Gabe describes himself on screen: "[S]o snyde [sic], so condescending and unappreciative. So damned whiny and anal retentive." Not a good foot to put forward.

Over the years I sometimes heard discussion of Trekkies, and Gabriel Koerner was always mentioned as the film's pinnacle of hopeless geekdom. Now, when you say that kind of thing about someone who used to call my BBS, it's like saying it about a member of my family, albeit a member of my family so distantly removed by blood that I probably don't really do anything about your saying it. Anyway, what could I say? The common Trekkies-derived perception of Gabe was not wholly incompatible with Gabe as I knew him; I just felt it was in bad taste to make a documentary about it.

But it turns out that Gabe doesn't need any lame "put up your dukes!" type defense from me, because he has managed to parlay his geekdom and his appearance in Trekkies (not to mention Trekkies II, which I think they missed a golden opportunity to tack a The Wrath Of onto the title) into a series of gigs making CGI models for science fiction TV shows and movies. He worked on the last two episodes of Enterprise (in fact, I think he was just about the only good thing about the last episode), and on the Serenity movie, and he's working on the Battlestar Galactica remake that's taking up 15 hours of my TiVo space. So without selling out to consensus society Gabe has made a place for himself. Here's his weblog where he posts occasional notes about his projects.

Once again Danny O'Brien's advice proves its worth. In fact, I think it needs to be given its own name for easier reference. Ideally something like "The O'Brien Heuristic" that sounds like a Star Trek reference in its own right.

The other day I got mail from Gabe letting me know that he and the rest of the Battlestar Galactica effects team are up for an Emmy. He has made me want to watch (part of) an awards show, something that has never happened before. Good luck, Gabe.


Posted by zztzed at Tue Aug 09 2005 11:38

I remember seeing him on Beat the Geeks. I actually talked to him on the phone once during the Da Warren era (although I don't remember what we talked about, or why), so when I saw him on TV I was a little weirded out.

That anecdote was disappointingly anticlimactic. Oh well.

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