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Author Topic: Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks  (Read 3053 times)

Offline mountaindewaddict

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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks
« on: January 22, 2011, 10:04:43 PM »
Hey everyone, the following is something I posted on Facebook, and just thought some of you would get a kick out of.  It's long, but it's kind of a "stream-of-consciousness" thing.  Anyway, there's no agenda here, just a fun look at the culture we find ourselves in.  Here's the post:

When I was in Jr. High, I was not cool.  When I was in High School, I was still not cool.  I was a dork.  Big-time.  I remember many lunches in Jr. High debating the merits of various Dungeons and Dragons characters as well as who would win a fight between Hawkeye or Green Arrow (bonus points if you know who they BOTH are).  I don't know how many times I hid a copy of "The Lord of the Rings" behind a text book during a boring lecture in American Government class.  I had all the classic hallmarks of nerd: a vocabulary twice as broad and varied as most of my classmates (MY friends, however, had equally impressive verbal and literary prowess); I was conversant on many different ancient cultures, both real and imagined.  I could intelligently discuss the theoretical ramifications of altering the space-time continuum, and how that would affect the future and/or the past.  So for all that, I was considered a dork (and because I was willing to embrace my own dorkiness), spent my Jr. and Sr. High years at the fringe of what was considered the "norm."  I was never ostracized socially (I was clean, appropriately dressed, and generally well-liked), but I was also patronizingly held out of the mainstream culture in my school (probably because I wasn't an athlete at school - even though I was taking Fencing lessons at the YMCA.  See what I mean?  I was a dork!).

So why bring that up now?  I'm glad you asked. Over the last 10 years or so, I have greatly enjoyed both the summer blockbuster movie season, as well as the holiday movie season.  Why?  Because I get to watch all my favorite characters from my youth on the big screen!  But my satisfaction in catching the newest superhero flick runs much deeper than just seeing my childhood heroes brought to life.  I also have a grim sense of schadenfreude watching all the "cool" people line up (usually behind me - I get there early) to watch a big new release of the latest hero's adventures or the newest addition to the canon of fantasy epics.  As genres, superhero movies and fantasy epics (either sci-fi or ancient) have been around a long time on the silver screen.  But I think we can all agree that the pace has picked up dramatically over the last 10 years.  

Think about it.  In the late 70's and early 80's we got Superman, Star Wars, and Star Trek.  In the 80's and early 90's, we got Batman, the animated Transformers movie and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  But at the end of the 90's, something dramatic happened.  For reasons I'm just now beginning to understand, in the new millennium, these flights of fancy went like gangbusters!  After the year 2000, there was an explosion of comic and fantasy themed movies that is still going on.  Here's just a "top of mind" (i.e., not comprehensive) list: The Lord of the Rings (3 movies), Spiderman (3 movies), X-Men (3 movies), and The Chronicles of Narnia (3 movies).  Batman and Superman both got a reboot, each planning to have a trilogy.  But that's not all: X-Men Origins - Wolverine, The Hulk (2 movies), The Fantastic Four (2 movies), Iron Man (2 movies), Transformers (2 movies), and last but not least, the Incredibles.  Not only that, but several of those series (like Iron Man and Transformers) have another movie due out in the next few years, with a few new franchises that are now shooting like Thor, Green Lantern, and Captain America.  

So what caused this Genesis-like multiplication of comic book and fantasy movies?  It wasn't money.  Prior to this recent plethora, the movies I mentioned from the late 70’s and early 80’s did well, but most of the superhero movies of the late 80's and 90's were horrible.  So much so that I refuse to mention them here.  So the great number of these movies being made over the last 10 years can't be attributed (at least, initially) to the movie industry smelling a big box-office.  If it wasn't money, what was it?  Well, it sure wasn't for artistic value.  While beautiful to those who love them (I wept openly in "The Return of the King"), these movies are not known for profound artistic statements.  It's hard to fit things like profound artistic statements into these movies what with all the people getting their faces punched in and every other set piece getting blown up.  So what caused this renaissance in comic book and fantasy movies?

I think ultimately it is that the world at large is finally discovering the power of these stories.  In these bleak and serious times, it is an act of optimism and faith to spend a couple hours with a man or woman who rises above the all-powerful forces of evil arrayed against them to take a stand for truth, justice, and (occasionally) the American way.  When we attend these movies, we thumb our nose at the pervasive pessimism of our day and secretly wish we could don capes of our own and crack wise with some witty comeback while fending off the hosts of darkness.  If Hollywood has made more superhero and fantasy movies lately, it could just be that as a people, we are sensing the terminal malaise that Postmodernism leads to and are beginning to hunger for a PreModern sense of wonder and mystery.  Maybe as a culture, we collectively realize our need for someone to look to that transcends humanity as a role model and exemplar, but is also profoundly and significantly human.

This leads me back to my original thought and the title of this piece.  There is a harmless kind of revenge going on.  It's really kind of sweet.  You know those guys (and gals) in high school who sat at a table off to the side in the lunch room and discussed strange, esoteric facts about things that don't really exist?  Remember how they weren't cool at all?  Well right now, those same people are getting paid millions of dollars to serve as creative consultants for a whole new spate of movies.  You know those kids that by their own obsession over fictional creations willingly maintained a self-imposed form of societal leprosy?  They grew up.  They work with you.  They probably live in your neighborhood.  They line up for the same movies you do.  Granted, they're the first ones there and are probably wearing some kind of fan-gear (seen or unseen), but here's the catch: you're on their turf now.  And it's that dynamic that gives us nerds, dorks, and geeks the greatest joy... at long last, others are finally recognizing the power and beauty of the stories we love and know by heart.  Our secret wishes and whispered prayers to be something that transcends our own humanity are now shared by millions.  Let's face it, in these serious times; we could use a bit more fun, a bit more imagination, and a bit more heroism in our lives.  The Godfather was wrong.  Revenge is not a dish best served cold... no, it's best served in the heat of an explosion or dragon breath, with bullets flying, or swords flashing; in a cape or a full suit of plate and chain mail armor, and an ear-to-ear grin that lights up the screen.  Because, you see, for a couple hours on a Friday night, we're all superheroes.

Casey

Gear: Parker Fly Deluxe, NiteFly NFV2, Way Huge Pedals, other stuff...
God Bless!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 11:07:19 PM by mountaindewaddict »
Casey

Gear: Parker Fly Deluxe, Parker PDF60, Way Huge, Digitech / Hardwire, Line 6, Source Audio,T-Rex, and TC Electronic Pedals, Egnater amps, other stuff... God Bless!

Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks

Offline David Tomkins

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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 05:33:47 AM »
"Be nice to the geeks.  You'll probably end up working for one"

-Bill Gates
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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks

Offline David Tomkins

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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 05:39:52 AM »
Nerds Geeks and Dorks, as a result of their ostracisation, will spend more time doing an activity, studying it and getting good at it.  They are honing their skills when the cool kids are out at McDnalds and playing football iin the park or whatever else qualifies as 'cool'.  Nerds have focus drive and ddedication to their art.

They then spend their lives looking for the right moment for their skills to shine.

Most of our guitar heroes were (guitar) Nerds.  Steve Vai certainly was.  Clapton was a blues Nerd.  David Beckham was in his back garden practising football skills when his friends were out getting girlfriends and having fun.  His dedication to sport has paid off in the long run.  I'm sure there are many other 'cool' sportsmen who were like that back in their yoof.

When I'm on stage giving it my all, I'm glad I spent the time being a guitar nerd in my teens
2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo signed by Steve Vai, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!

Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks

Offline Strandwolf

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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 08:38:26 PM »
What's a "guitar nerd"?

From my perspective a "guitar geek" is any guitarist who plays better than I do.

I'm a guitar dork. Another dork I've actually never had the pleasure of encountering.

One cannot help but recognize the phenomena of slews of geeks--they cover the landscape. Alas, all the way to the horizon in just about every direction. One reason to move to the coast, then I wouldn't feel surrounded.
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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks

Offline mountaindewaddict

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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2011, 09:59:15 AM »
This should clarify things, applied to guitar:


Casey

Gear: Parker Fly Deluxe, NiteFly NFV2, Way Huge Pedals, other stuff...
God Bless!
Casey

Gear: Parker Fly Deluxe, Parker PDF60, Way Huge, Digitech / Hardwire, Line 6, Source Audio,T-Rex, and TC Electronic Pedals, Egnater amps, other stuff... God Bless!

Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks

Offline Strandwolf

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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2011, 12:02:23 PM »
Thanks, Casey. What does it mean, I wonder, that I'm outside of that upper left circle?

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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks

Offline mountaindewaddict

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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2011, 12:35:39 PM »
Well, strand, that would make you a guitar dork. [:D] [;)]

Casey

Gear: Parker Fly Deluxe, NiteFly NFV2, Way Huge Pedals, other stuff...
God Bless!
Casey

Gear: Parker Fly Deluxe, Parker PDF60, Way Huge, Digitech / Hardwire, Line 6, Source Audio,T-Rex, and TC Electronic Pedals, Egnater amps, other stuff... God Bless!

Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks

Offline Strandwolf

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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2011, 02:12:29 PM »
If I knew any better I'd probably opt for geek.

I'm fairly content as things stand, though, armed as I am with my trusty white PM20-Pro. [:p]

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Offline Paul Marossy

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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 02:20:51 PM »
I'm a dor-nerd-eek. [:D]

FWIW, I don't do labels like that. It's really not constructive AFAIC. Different people are into different things, and that's that. [;)]

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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks

Offline Nefarius

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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 04:45:59 AM »
Classic nerd. Knew that before though (obviously). [:D]

Greetings...
Nef

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Offline Strandwolf

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Revenge of the Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 03:13:19 PM »
Don't beat up on yourself like that, Nef! Why...you are a solid geek if there ever was one!
Parkers: Pick, cap, T-shirt, clock, and other assorted accouterments