My brief conversation yesterday with the professor himself


One of the truly awesome things about Twitter is the opportunity to converse with interesting people you might never otherwise meet.

I’ve mentioned in the past my exchanges with Adam Baldwin, of which I’m very proud because I’m such a fan of “Firefly” in general, and the wisdom of Jayne Cobb (a favorite example: “Eatin’ people alive — where’s that get fun?”) in particular.

I’m also an admirer of “chap-hop” artist Professor Elemental (greatest hit: “Fighting Trousers“). And so I thoroughly enjoyed this exchange with him yesterday:


The Professor is so generous, deigning to converse with his fans, even those in the colonies. Such affability, such condescension; it is hardly to be credited.

For me, an exchange like that is as fulfilling as… well, as when my (fictional) hero Jack Aubrey was addressed by his hero, Lord Nelson, as follows: “Aubrey, may I trouble you for the salt?” After that, Jack always tried to say it just the same way…

So yes, an old newsman who in his time has had extended conversations with Barack Obama, John McCain, both George Bushes, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Fred Thompson (and the lovely Mrs. Thompson), Joe Biden and so forth can still get a kick out of a brush with a celebrity.

But it has to be a certain kind of celebrity. I wouldn’t be particularly excited to have a Twitter conversation with, say, Beyonce. But I’d be thrilled — and not really in a good way, given that I’m a happily married man — if Felicia Day acknowledged me in a Tweet. (Again, as with Baldwin, there’s the Joss Whedon connection there.)

My standards are a little idiosyncratic, even eccentric, but they are my standards…

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