Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fake Geek Boys

Maybe you've heard of the "Fake Geek Girl" meme. The idea is that (hot) girls can't be geeks, nerds, etc. Can't like comics, science fiction, fantasy, games. Maybe it's because Nerd-dom is supposed to be a Big Bang Theory, lonely-boys-only club; maybe it's pure misogyny. I'm not a fan of the meme - I like women, I like inclusion, I figure the more the merrier - but I can put a (slightly) more charitable spin on it.

Some of what powers the meme is the feeling among the moodier loners of Nerd-dom that the popular kids who humiliated them are now appropriating nerd culture for their own ends - and once bored with it, they will move on, like New Age Anglos at a Native American pow-wow. The Nerd Trope includes unpopularity, suffering, humiliation and social rejection, so the idea of neo-nerds who have never endured the dark side of the culture irritates those who have. The ONs (Original Nerds) feel used.

But with that in mind, I think we can strip the FGG meme of one of the "G"s. After all, there are Fake Geek Boys, too. Go to any Comic-con and you will see packs of pony-tailed indieprods looking for the next Hellboy they can monetize.

So let's do this - let's measure authenticity by the passion and love people have for the subject. Let's measure stature by the wit, originality and invention they bring to it. Let's measure gravitas by the rigor of their ideas. And then let's all get drunk.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mendelssohn's Fantastic Almanac - the Quezzl

Chief and ruler of the Seven Cities of Gold is the Quezzl, which can be trained to undertake any task. Upon the appearance the conquistadors, the Quezzl, well-taught by the priests of Cibola, did appear and offer them nougat, misleading them from the cities and preserving those cities until this very day.*


* see Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct

This wasn't Photoshopped.

Crocs and gators have been around since the Triassic, by the way - the earliest of the three periods of dinosaurs. (Modern crocodilians emerged in the last period, the Cretaceous.)

Officially, Crocodilia were never dinosaurs, even back then - but they look pretty prehistoric to me.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

If Only All Crises Were Like This

Lululemon's Lyon yoga pants are...ahem..."too sheer," and according to the business reporters, it's a quality crisis.

This definitely falls under the heading of First-World Problems...reassuring that this is big news on a Monday morning.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chris Hardwick's View of Nerds

Chris Hardwick is a stand-up comic, FOWW (Friend of Wil Wheaton) and creator of The Nerdist empire - website, podcasts, and now a BBC America TV show - same channel that has Doctor Who, Sherlock, ST:TNG,  and BSG. So, big-ass nerd-cred, and let me say up front, kudos.

So I was watching the latest promo for the BBCAM Nerdist show, and they're listing all the fields of Nerd-dom that Hardwick & Co are investigating.

Here's the promo.

The theme is "We welcome all kinds of nerds!" Cosplay nerds, game nerds, tech nerds, pop culture nerds, music nerds, and on, and on. And this is great.

But did you miss the one kind of nerd he didn't mention? The one activity that has defined nerd-dom for decades?

Books.
Reading.

Nerderie wouldn't exist without Ideas. Big Ideas. Those BIs were originally housed in books and magazines. Playstations didn't exist in 1941; if you tried to dress up like an alien, you would have been put in a looney bin; but that was when Heinlein's classic SF novel Methuselah's Children made its appearance. In, you know, one of those magazine thingies.

All the ideas we now find embedded in comics, RPGs, online media, action figures, videogames, television, movies, and on and on, first made their appearance in print. Not one Big Idea that I know of has ever come to us by any other route...but it didn't even make an appearance in the promo. I think that says something about the changing nature of nerd-dom as significant as the fact that 40% of self-identified nerds are now women...but not as happymaking.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day of the Dolphin!

Talkin' about Flipper
The killer dolphins are coming, with blowhole-mounted cruise missiles and automated dorsal-fin lasers! Coney Island has fallen! Venice Beach is surrounded! Flee to the Midwest!

Kidding, kidding.

Night of the Lepus, anybody?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Blackadder

Chances are you know Blackadder the BBC TV series. (If not, why not? Seriously, go watch some television!)

I'd always thought that Curtis and Elton had made up the name as something suitably villainous. Turns out there actually was a Clan Blackadder in the Scottish Borderlands. Go figure.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mendelssohn's Fantastic Almanac - The Svert

The svert: A salmon-pink humanoid with a Latvian accent who confronts the socially awkward on St. Swithin's Day and makes them do folk dances.