Lessons from Twiki

One of the pieces of detritus kicking around in my brain is the catch-phrase of Twiki the robot from the ’80s version of Buck Rogers: “bidi-bidi-bidi.” Twiki begins all of his utterances with tag. It’s pretty inane. But once it’s inside of you, it never goes away. In the story, Twiki’s reason for existence is to be the vehicle for Dr. Theopolis, a disk-shaped super-computer who has no other means of getting around. Dr. Theopolis is sort of like IBM’s Watson meets Brian the Dog. The caption for the youtube clip below calls a scene with Twiki “awesomely bad crap.” Which it is. But there’s also something profound about Twiki and Dr. Theopolis. The two are a metaphor for the mind-body split.