Monday, November 10, 2008

Anderson Cooper : Not a Geek

This is totally late but it’s something I saw, thought “I’m totally blogging that!”…then promptly forgot about it.

I watched the CNN coverage of election night, and one of the things that totally cracked me up was the ‘Hologram technology’ they used to interview a couple of people.

If you didn’t see it, here’s what I’m talking about:

They put a guest in a greenscreen tent on location and through technological magic, they matched the camera movements on location to the camera movements in the studio. Basically, they could make it look like there was a hologram of the guest in the studio, even though it was just a plain old composite image.

So why was this funny?

I get the feeling that the bigwigs at CNN had spent so much money on the gimmick, that they’d ordered everyone to draw as much attention to it as possible and talk about how clever and awesome it was.

Wolf Blitzer came across as an excited schoolboy. I was sitting there, wanting election news and instead was faced with Wolf Blitzer talking to someone for ten minutes about how he was talking to them. The best part was the way he was so commited to keeping up the charade that he could actually see the ‘hologram’ (he couldn’t) while going on about how awesome and groundbreaking it was.

Anderson Cooper, on the other hand, was obviously really pissed off at the gimmickry and resented the hell out of having to talk about it so much. I mean, he eye-rolled and sighed his way through every segment that used the ‘hologram’.

If you recorded it, go back and watch him closely. Seriously, every time someone says ‘hologram’ you can see his eye twitch. If you could have read his thoughts, I have no doubt you’d have heard something along the lines of:

“This is the Goddamned election! We’re about to elect the first black President of the United States, and instead of getting to report on this historic moment like a journalist I’ve got to talk about this fucking gimmick! Ooooh! We can put one image over another just like they’ve done on the weather for decades. This is obviously waaay more important that the fucking election!!

However, while Cooper’s reaction was awesome, the best part was when Anderson Cooper used the ‘hologram’ to talk to from the Black Eyed Peas. The main thing I learned from that interview was that is a closet geek.

During the interview, Cooper asked:

“So…(gigantic eye roll)…what do you think of this new hologram technology?”

“It’s cool,” replied, “it’s just like Star Wars.”

“Yeah.” Said Cooper. “It’s just like Star Trek because we beamed you here.”

Then, in one of the best bits of TV ever in the history of the world, goes:

“N….uh…bu…(longish pause)…Yeah.”

My geek-sense tingling, I heard the internal dialogue in’s head as his geek side battled for control of his mouth:

“No, it’s not like Star TREK, you smacktard! It’s like Star WARS. This is a hologram like when Darth Vader talks to Emperor Palpatine, or the one Leia recorded of Obi Wan. It would only be like Star TREK if you’d actually brought me here bodily. It’s a HOLOGRAM, not a transporter! Transporter…Hologram…there’s a difference!

It was awesome.

On the one hand’s geek side was screaming at him to set Anderson Cooper straight on the difference between hologram and transporter technology…while on the other, his rational side was screaming at him to shut up because not only would displaying that amount of geek-knowledge seriously damage his hip-hop credibility… CNN during a historic Presidential Election probably isn’t the time or the place to discuss ‘wars vs. trek’.

Well, I gotta say I feel for you Will. I’ve been there and I’ve had that internal argument…like when I overheard that shit-eating twelve year old tell his friend that that the Enterprise D could easily beat an Imperial Star Destroyer.

I mean, come on…the little shit hadn’t even taken the Star Destroyer’s compliment of TIE-Fighters or Assault Shuttles into account….or that the Enterprise D only has one ventral and one dorsal phaser array and two torpedo tubes versus the Star Destroyer’s hundreds of Turbo Laser cannons…or that the Enterprise is a mere 642.5 meters long while the Imperial Star Destroyer is over a mile freaking long…and don’t even get me started on what the ImpStar’s ion cannons would do to the Galaxy-class ship’s shields.

Yeah, I made the 12 year old cry…but the little shit shouldn’t be talkin’ trash if he can’t back that shit up.


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