Is This Just Me?

Is this just me, or does everybody secretly wish for an alien invasion? Or something of that ilk, the kind of situation where a person could credibly sacrifice himself against tremendous odds to save the world?

Where a man could carve a legend for himself simply by standing up to the powerful oppressors and saying no?

Where a population could rise up and unanimously tell the invaders "No more. I reject you. With a Molotov cocktail!"

No? Just me?

Yeah, I figured as much.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Science Fiction Fans can go suck it. (Why Geeks can't have nice things)

Anyone following this blog (if there is anyone out there and I'm not just writing these things for the sake of it) will likely have noticed two things.

The first is that I really don't update this thing anywhere near as often as I really should.

The latter is that I am a huge, massive, irredeemable, unashamed nerd.

I grew up raised by a mother who introduced me to Star Wars from an early age, a father who to this day lends me Heinlein and Niven novels. One of my favourite memories as a child, way back when I was in primary school was watching Genesis of The Daleks with my father and being blown away by the spectacle and scope, the sheer joy of the genre. Later, I would find friends through my discussions of the latest episodes of shows like Farscape and Star Trek Deep Space 9, and upon coming to university, find my way into a group of friends who were both interesting and knowledgeable about areas of Science Fiction I'd not dreamed of. Sci-fi is, and always has been, an immensely personal affair, both in how it affects my relationships with my friends and family, and how it influences my very essence, my beliefs and emotions.

At the same time, we seem to be in a golden age of Comic Book movies, with 2012 hosting The Dark Knight Rises, Amazing Spider-Man and, the holy grail of Marvel Zombies Avengers movie. Truly, in some respects, it's a good time to be a nerd. Our hobbies are becoming mainstream. What was once the domain of the small minority is now becoming the mainstream, from Conventions becoming big budget affairs that attract thousands from all walks of life, to videogames becoming a truly massive industry.

And I, personally, welcome this. It's a general rule that 90% of everything is crud, but the remaining 10% is worth dying for. And yes, increasing the size of the whole means theres more crud, but more importantly, it means that 10% is correspondingly bigger and that means I get to enjoy more science fiction shows, more comic book movies, more videogames like Portal and Mass Effect.

But theres a dark side to it as well, and for once, we can't blame this on the jocks, or the greedy studio executives or any of the other groups. Oh, don't get me wrong, large swathes of blame can be laid over them, but this one...this one we do to ourselves.

We're a bunch of entitled, selfish, shortsighted and ultimately self destructive assholes.

Now, I've always known that nerds were assholes. We were the first to populate the internet after all. But it was only tonight that I had the revelation of why we do it to ourselves.

But first, some context. For reasons I...really can't explain, I was never exposed to the Stargate franchise growing up. I mean, I was aware it existed, but it was never on in my household, and by the time I was old enough to be in a position to watch it, well SG-1 was already finished, Atlantis was in something like it's fourth season and by that point...I like knowing what the hell is going on, and 4 seasons into a spinoff of a series continuation of a movie which itself has like two other movies that fitted somewhere...well, it just wasn't my thing. So Stargate, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis slipped me by completely. By the time that I began university, Stargate Universe was just beginning, and...well, I didn't even know the show existed till I heard it was being cancelled.

However, recently my housemate convinced me to give it another go, and over the last few weeks, I've been working my way through the series, starting with the original movie. I'm 2 episodes from the end of season five, so don't you assholes dare spoil things, got it?

In any case, tonight, I spotted a link to someone discussing the possibilities of continuing Stargate Universe, either online, or in other media such as comics or tie in novels, possibly a movie. Now as a Firefly fan, I'll admit that such discussions appeal to me, since, well, they really show the passion and heart that make us nerds so cool. We honestly, truly believe in some things so much it hurts us.

It was my own fault. I should never have looked at the bloody comments section. I know I shouldn't be looking at comments sections, they always suck, but I can't help myself. And oh boy, this was no exception. Now, I was expecting people who didn't like it saying it sucked. I was expecting Stargate fans saying the didn't like it because they'd changed the format from previous versions, that doesn't surprise me in the least.

What I never expected was the sheer number of people who claimed to be Stargate fans saying that they would rather have no Stargate at all then this particular Stargate. That they were owed "proper Stargate" and that anything else was equivalent to being shot in the back.

And this is why geeks can't have nice things. Because any time, any time at all a studio takes a risk with a program, there comes the clarion call "They Changed it Now it SUCKS!"

That clarion call isn't coming from the majority, it's not coming from the lowest common denominator or from any other groups. It's coming from us. Nerds as a group have spent the last 20 years becoming more and more reactionary, divisive and abrasive with every year. We're so busy arguing with each other and hating everything that we end up cutting our noses off to spite our faces.

I mentioned that I grew up watching both Star Wars and Star Trek as a kid. Well as I grew up, that changed, as I found more and more there was this us vs them mentality. I ended up in the Star Wars camp, and for a time, was vocally against Star Trek because it was expected of me. And thats just the tip of the iceberg. We've grown to the point where everything has become this pitiful string of X vs Y with both sides hating each other more then either has a right to.

And we're so divided now that we're impossible to make a show for, because yes, nerds are a large group. But getting a large enough group of nerds to put aside the tiny differences for more then a moment and accomplishing something is impossible. We're like the cat people from Red Dwarf, holding religious wars over which colour hats should be worn.

So here it is, I'm laying out an agenda. Today, reading this, lets start a nerd revolution. Marvel fans and DC fans. Just be comic fans, Star Wars and Star Trek, lets follow Takei's advice, and form the Star Alliance, Bronies, Whovians, Otaku, Avatar fans (both elemental and blue cat people) roleplayers, potterheads, all of you people, lets stop the mudslinging. A truce, a truce I say, as we show the world that we're here, we're a force to be reckoned with and we're not gonna be silent anymore. If a show you don't watch or even don't like gets cancelled, then don't celebrate, don't laugh or congratulate the network for dropping it, offer sympathy and demand studios do better so the next show is something we can all get behind.

Do I think we're gonna do it? Well, only 6 people including me will probably ever read this thing anyway, so I doubt it. But I can dream.

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