Guest Editor J.J. Abrams Brings Special Impenetrability To Wired
Having scored an early PR knockout with its deployment of the Star Trek crew to Kuwait, Paramount has ambition and momentum on its side as the film's May 8 release date approaches. Yet whereas a more complacent studio might just let the marketers and the fanboy drones carry it from there, the 'Mount isn't resting. Take next month's issue of Wired, for example, which guest editor J.J. Abrams has apparently turned into a succession of puzzles, mazes and mindfucks. With prizes!
Today's NYT explores the intricacies of Abrams's plot, which essentially builds on the filmmaker's thoughts on "the topic of mystery as a catalyst for imagination." To wit, those typos in the Edgar Allen Poe story on page 46 are intentional, as are the seeming incomprehensibility of the numbers, figures and other symbols hiding in plain sight throughout the issue. Figure it out, says deputy editor Thomas Goetz, and there's a special prize waiting just for you courtesy of Abrams himself. But, Goetz adds, it will require sloughing over to the vast, skeevy Web, which lacks print's capacity to convey "the nuance and effort of understanding the complexity of an idea and why it matters -- what the riddles and wrinkles are within an idea."
In a way, he's right -- my attention span can barely abide an episode of Lost, let alone a full issue's worth of "callouts" to that series and other Abrams "properties." (Among them: a six-page Star Trek comic strip, which I think represents the message to go see Star Trek.) But at least one reader is all over it, seemingly by accident, having cleared the first heat of multimedia hurdles en route to the gold-medal round -- or, perhaps in this case, the Holy Grail of Abrams's signed headshot, a Star Trek viewing party for you and 25 of your closest friends, and a lifetime subscription to the year-round puzzle fun of Highlights for Children. Mystery solved!