Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Short History of My Family's Long Feud With Brent Spiner

I woke up this morning with the plague*, so please enjoy this post from my old blog while I curl up on my couch in misery, eat froyo, and watch "Sherlock" for Benedict Cumberbatch's amazing powers of healing and comfort.

FORGIVING BRENT SPINER (originally posted July 17, 2011)

For seventeen years now my family has been deeply devoted to an angry - and mostly** one-sided - feud with Brent Spiner, "Star Trek: The Next Generation"'s Lt. Cmdr. Data.

It all started 17 years ago when my then-14 year old brother, Mr. Funny, went to a Star Trek convention in Miami dressed as Data. It being 1994 and me being a high school senior, I had nothing better to do that weekend than apply my brother's makeup for him. Brent Spiner spoke at this particular con, and called my brother up for an impromptu photo op, because there's nothing cuter than a pup-sized fan in cosplay. He promised that if Mr. Funny sent him the photo, he would autograph it and send it back. A nice fan took my brother's address and sent him an 8 x 10 color photo:

Mr. Funny's makeup courtesy of The Meredith
Morgenstern Big Sister School of SFX Makeup. Brent
Spiner's pants courtesy of being a tool.

My brother sent it on to Brent Spiner.

Who never sent it back, autographed or otherwise.

I realize that Brent Spiner was at the pinnacle of his "ST:TNG" career at the time, but really? REALLY? He didn't have two seconds to autograph this photo, which he promised he'd do, and then have one of his assistants mail it to us? Did he think we'd be impressed by that, like all, "Ooooh, that Brent Spiner! He's too busy and cool and douchey to keep his promise to a little fanboy! We love him and should name our guinea pigs after him!"

Well, Brent Spiner, WE WERE NOT IMPRESSED.

Ever since, my family has collectively shaken our fist at the Heavens and spat curses upon the name Brent Spiner.

Fast forward several years, through Lewinskygate, Y2K, the 2000 Subway World Series, 9/11, a new Pope, Hurricane Katrina, the rebooting of the Batman franchise, and the 2008 Presidential Elections, to 2011. Like the Montagues and the Capulets at the end of "Romeo and Juliet,"*** our long-standing, multi-generational feud has come to an end, albeit one a little happier than those stupid Renaissance teenagers.

A friend of my brother's - by way of their wives, who are friends - happens to live in Ye Olde England, which is why I'm going to call him Sir Brit. Sir Brit recently attended a major sci-fi con over there across the pond, where a certain Brent Spiner happened to be speaking and giving autographs. Sir Brit, knowing the sad saga of my brother's failed attempt to get his own photo signed by Brent Spiner, acquired himself a standard-issue publicity photo. But here's the best part:

Sir Brit told Brent Spiner the story, and Brent Spiner not only autographed the publicity shot for my brother, but he apologized!

Seventeen years later...

But, as Inigo Montoya famously said at the end of "The Princess Bride" (greatest movie ever ever ever ever EVER****), "I've been in the revenge business so long, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life." Now that we are no longer coming together as a family over our hatred of Brent Spiner, what do we do with ourselves? Find someone new to collectively hate? To whom will my poor mother spew her venom now? What will my brother long wistfully for at each upcoming Star Trek con? Whose pants can I make fun of now? Won't someone please think of the children???

Sir Brit also (very nicely) sent me an autographed photo of Alex Kingston as River Song in the most recent season of "Doctor Who." But she autographed it as Alex Kingston, not River Song. Maybe I can hate her for that? No? Oy.

*Strep throat, as diagnosed by a doctor


***if the Capulets had no idea the Montagues even existed

****that is, the greatest STAND-ALONE movie ever ever ever ever ever EVER. Of course, "Star Wars" wins greatest series of movies ever ever ever ever EVER.

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