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I wish I had more time for building this week, but I've been continuously busy for these past couple of weeks. Thankfully everything is all over now ... well, until the apocalypse. I still haven't ordered that underground bunker ...
I deconstructed a small building that I built when I was nine, and when I did, I found this little fireplace.
Also for some reason my camera hates me and timestamped the images.
This was not intended to be a tribute to Toaraga, the former Global Moderator - is just sort of happened that way. I messed around with some parts, said "oh, that looks like a hunchback" and made a really big Turaga that I thought looked a bit like a Toa.
Iunno. It all made sense in my head.
In 2007, I created a series of terrible noobish Doctor Who-based stopmotion films. To film these, I built the TARDIS exterior and interior. The exterior, which I still have around someplace, is terrible. But the interior, which accrued dust over the years, was sort of okay. This week, I rebuilt the portions of it that had fallen into disarray, mostly by patching up places where I'd cannibalized pieces.
Some of my best memories of my time on TTV involved the MOCist Interviews that I did, at first along with the deep-voiced Tom (I'm unsure of his current BZP username), then with Brickeens alongside us. Eventually Tom quit, which left Brickeens and I to pester other MOCists with our silly questions.
One of the questions was about how people pronounce the term "MOC." I always have pronounced it as "em-oh-cee" - because if you "mock" someone, it sounds like you're making fun of them. If a profile tribute is the greatest possible expression of love, then an MOC tribute must be the greatest possible expression of admiration.
Well, as it turned out, nearly all of the MOCists we interviewed pronounced it as "mock," and my pronunciation of it became a running joke on the interviews. The lack of clear, obvious pronunciation is awkward for a number of small reasons. For example, my pronunciation leads me to write "an MOC," while most write "a MOC."
At first, this made me want to run a MOC, but I didn't.
(Amok, a MOC? See what I did there?)
(Okay, that was terrible I'm so sorry please put the gun down I swear I won't make any more horrible puns really)
I've actually acclimated to others pronouncing it differently, and to be fair, "mock" is much more fluid in a sentence. I still think it sounds stupid, but to each their own. I've caught myself using that pronunciation during both of the past two BrickFairs, mainly because everyone else uses it.
In the end, there's really no problem with either pronunciation. The fact that it's an acronym doesn't give us a clue as to its correct pronunciation.
No, the real problem lies in the fact that it's an acronym. (Acronyms Anonymous: where the first step to recovery is recognizing that you're an acronym.)
Acronyms are quite possibly the strangest quirk of language, and English, considered to be one of the quirkiest of all human languages, has its fair share of acronyms. To start things off, let's look at some pronunciations:
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization): spoken as word
HTML (HyperText Markup Language): spelled out
CD-ROM (Compact Disc, Read-Only Memory): half-spelled, half-spoken
NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association): "AA" turns into "double-A" when said
Or take the recursive GNU, which stands for "GNU's Not Unix" - which, combined with the double-layered GIMP ("GNU Image Manipulation Program"), leaves a puddle where your brain used to be.
Right away, we can be thankful for two things: one, that "MOC" isn't a recursive acronym, and two ... well, there's no set pronunciation. So both ways are right.
But while this is a resolution to the initial question, let's go a bit deeper - because, as the MythBusters say, if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.
"MOC" has entered into the LEGO community's vernacular to a point where it gets used in speech and in text in bizarre situations, places where, if you replaced "MOC" with its constituent words, "My Own Creation," you end up with some hilariously mangled sentences. Take, for example, this excerpt of Fsnorglepuff's post in Ballom's topic Fishy:
Great design, but the eye holes in the head plate distract from the actual eyes of the MOC. Try to fit in orange pieces there.
Replacing "MOC" with "My Own Creation" leaves you with:
Great design, but the eye holes in the head plate distract from the actual eyes of the my own creation. Try to fit in orange pieces there.
Here's another excerpt, but this time of Dralcax's post in DARKSIDERZ's topic The Rahkshi Re-invented:
The torso is definitely the best part of the MOC. I love what you did with the spines and the head.
The torso is definitely the best part of the my own creation. I love what you did with the spines and the head.
Replacing it with "my own creation" leaves posts looking like they've either been caught by a new word filter or run through the bad translator a couple of times.
This isn't a phenomenon of this single term, by any means. A lot of acronyms lose their original meaning and become twisted over time to fit into sentences. Some even go so far as to lose their capitalization, and thus sever all ties with their acronymic origins. Radar, laser, and scuba are but three acronyms that are now words. If we all replaced the acronyms we use every day with their longer counterparts, we'd sound hilarious and at least a little bit incompetent.
Back to the MOC discussion for a bit before I wrap things up. Recently, I've been trying to avoid the term - not because I'm tired of pronouncing it differently, but rather because of what it stands for. "My own creation" reminds me of the "cool creations" of the LEGO magazine, which were never, ever cool. (Six-year-olds, generally speaking, don't have a concept of "color scheme.") It's also pretty redundant, and becomes a hassle if you're referring to something someone else built. In some situations, it's sort of like saying "PIN number" (Personal Identification Number number).
That's why I've taken to calling them "creations." It's simple, it's direct, and there are no concerns anent its pronunciation.
Now that's something to run a MOC about.
NEXT TIME: SUMIKI'S DAD DISCUSSES THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND MORAL ASPECTS OF MUTATED PLEXIGLAS.
I used to be a hardcore completist.
Somehow, every year that BIONICLE existed, I was able to get every set from every wave. Once I had gotten every 2002 set, every 2001 set (they still sold 'em in '02) then got every 2003 set, it took on a life of its own. I felt as if I had gotten too far into the collection to turn away, past a point of no return. In the world of business, this is a phenomenon known as "escalation of commitment." If BIONICLE was still going, I'd still probably be a completist.
It wasn't just the sets, though; I was enthralled with the story as well. I'd memorize every new bit of story I could get my hands on. I remember thinking about how so incredibly epic the Rahkshi were (*gasp* knee articulation!) and wondering how they could possibly make the story any cooler. Whether or not they succeeded is a point of contention amongst fans, but I found 2004 to be a pinnacle of awesomeness when it arrived. (*gasp* Elbow articulation!)
At some point, subconsciously at least, it became something I did simply because I did it, and the sheer inertia of the tradition was enough impetus for me to continue doing so, year after year. It became a game. I waited until the sets went on sale and scrounged them up. 2009 was especially like this, and marked a sea-change in my time as a LEGO fan. I still enjoyed building the sets, no doubt about it, but I began a transformation. For the most part, I avoided the Bara Magna story. I simply had no interest in learning it like I had learned the story of previous years. It wasn't an active avoidance, not at first - I just lost interest, plain and simple. I still watched TLR and figured out that Metus was the traitor, but I never got myself into any other '09 story.
Then 2010 came along, and with it came confirmation of the dreaded rumors surrounding the end of BIONICLE as we knew it - and I felt fine. Of course, I felt an obligatory twinge of sadness at the loss of something that had been a constant throughout most of my life, but I recognized what I unconsciously had for so long: I had lost interest in the BIONICLE story to the point where I didn't care what direction it went in. What I was a fan of transformed from story to the building system. I cared about the parts in the sets, not the sets or story. That's why it makes no difference to me what LEGO decides to call their main constraction line. Hero Factory's sets are the natural continuation of BIONICLE's sets. I couldn't care less about the story.
The MOCs that I built, beginning in 2004, became the single most defining aspect of BIONICLE, its constraction line cousins, and LEGO in general. As I drifted away from the story, it was replaced by a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the LEGO system of building, the virtues of which I must extol in another entry, for it is too long and tangential to put here.
Oddly, I'm not particularly nostalgic for those olden times when story and sets mattered significantly to me. Greg's recent story revelations failed send the expected waves of nostalgia over me. I view it as closure, and I'm certainly glad we have it, but I don't want BIONICLE back. Let's face it, ladies and gentlemen: BIONICLE's return would most likely suck, as it would be a continuation of the downhill trend it exhibited in its waning years. It would be like Hero Factory all the way around: similar sets, simplistic story, etc. (Well, maybe it'd be like Ninjago a bit ... but that's another entry.)
My evolution as a fan of LEGO is, statistically speaking, rather stark: I haven't purchased a constraction set since 2010, when I got most of the first Hero Factory wave. Despite the interesting parts, I was unimpressed, and I swore off completeism - not like I really had to or anything. Since then, I've gone completely cold turkey on official sets. I've certainly gotten my fair share of parts from both part orders and BrickFair vendors, but I really have no interest in the new sets themselves. When new LEGO catalogs arrive, I'll only nonchalantly flip through them if I have nothing else better to do. Many times, I'll just recycle them.
Can LEGO get back to those olden days? I don't know. We'll just have to see.
But even if they do, I don't expect to return to my old days of completeism ever again.
NEXT TIME: SUMIKI GETS FRUSTRATED THAT THE PART HE JUST SAW A SECOND AGO ISN'T THERE ANYMORE. DANG IT, WHERE DID IT GO. I JUST SAW IT.
I couldn't get a proper MOC together for this week's edition of the Tuesday Tablescraps, but I did make an arm and two legs. Don't be surprised if they show up (in some form) later on.
He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life
How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six
[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker
Sumiki is magic. - Cholie
Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles
Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo
"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker
Ah, Sumiki. - Electric Turahk
LISTEN TO SUMIKI - Cholie
Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva
BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex
What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus
I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh
EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH - Kakaru
Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok
Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker
He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist
I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens
I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig
I imagine the 13th Doctor will be rather like Sumiki, at the rate we're going. - rahkshi guurahk
I was quite sure Sumiki had another set of arms stashed somewhere. - Bfahome
Note to future self: don’t try to predict Sumiki, he’s unpredictable. - Voltex
Let's be honest, I would totally have picked my main man Sumiki to lead my goose-stepping night killers anyway. We tight like that, yo. - Xaeraz
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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.
10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith
11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
2/5/13 - 8/6/13 - None
8/13/13 - The Hinklebot
8/20/12 - Special - Post-Apocalyptic Piyufi
Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.
Akuna Toa of Sonics
Popup2: The Camel
~System Of A Down~
Thunder on the Mountain
Toa of Vahi
WORT WORT WORT
Toa Kuhrii Avohkii
Toa Neya 2011 Edition
~prisma son of dawn~
.: WoLVeRINe :.
The Great Forgetter
Thomas the Tank Engine
Oh my miru
Element lord Of Milk.
Lexuk Toa Of Insanity
Michael J. Caboose
Lord Kaitan de Storms
Toa of Dancing
The Oncoming Storm
Toa of Pumpkin
Toa Zehvor Blackout
Lord of Ice
Zarayna: The Quiet Light
Vorex: Keeper of Time
Toa of Smooth Jazz
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If you learn one thing in life, learn this:
You should never, ever question why demons would possess a soda.
just a heads up - Cthulhu would probably eradicate mankind before bringing back Bionicle
so yeah, all I'm saying is, please think twice about this okay
nothing gets democracy flowing like erratic capitalizatION
[the NSA] couldn't say no when I offered them an ostrich farm in exchange
Sumiki -- nice try but we all know Toa Mata Nui stuffs its bra
have we mentioned hats
Shhh, I'm trying to focus on the negative to justify my dislike of history.
Also a long line of really great hats.
You have a great understanding of history, but don't forget, war, murder and other poor decisions are also huge characteristics.
To be fair, I am the one responsible for the invention of Mafia in the 1320s by seventeen bored italians locked in a mine shaft.
It's a long story.