re: ruined childhood

Dear Geek Council,

I vote for the immediate removal of the phrase ‘it ruined my childhood’ when describing any sort of new media based on a nostalgic property. I mean, let’s be serious. We throw around that phrase way too often. And until Michael Bay invents a time machine that hunts down your memories and replaces them with a looping video of him setting fire to your copy of Transformers: The Movie, I think we’re being a bit overly dramatic.

Now this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t complain about things. Oh God no, I wouldn’t dream of trying to take that away from us. All I’m asking for is that we keep things in perspective and NOT be THAT guy/girl. I know that there are some things that hold a special place in our hearts that automatically gets a raised eyebrow whenever someone tries to mess with it. But I have to ask, is this really such a bad thing? Best case scenario, we get a new chapter of something that we already love. Even if we follow the worst case scenario and it ends up being a colossal dumpster fire, it can actually give us a better appreciation of what came before. I refer to this phenomenon as The ‘Street Fighter’ Effect. I think that we can all agree that the Street Fighter movie was somewhat… lacking. But didn’t it seem that much better when faced with the atrocity that was The Legend of Chun-Li?

of-course-m-bison

The funny thing is, I didn’t have a particular fandom in mind when I started writing this. These were just observations that I’ve noticed over the years. But then, the Gods of the Internet were merciful and decided to bestow upon me a concrete example. In case you weren’t aware, there was a trailer released yesterday based on a nostalgic property that some fear shall go all I’m-Looking-For-Sarah-Conner on their memories.

Some of us need to calm the &#@% down.

Now, I understand the trepidation that comes from messing with a classic, I get that. And I’m not even going to address the misogynistic backlash, at least not in this column; that’ll be a rant for another day. But to everyone out there that has lost their mother effin’ minds and collective shits, to those of you screaming about how this somehow destroys your experiences growing up and that this movie, through some sort of temporal anomaly and/or sorcery, has somehow managed to ruin your childhood

CHILL.

It ain’t that serious, brah.

— Mani

re: the geek girl debate

Dear Geek Council,

We really need to address this ‘fake geek girl’ situation that everyone seems to be making a big deal about. No, I’m not referring to the trendy douchebags with the dark-rimmed glasses because I believe that we all can agree that those guys and gals suck. I’m taking about legitimate geek girls that get unfairly scrutinized and labeled as an interloper by our own kind.

NOT ABOUT YOU.
NOT ABOUT YOU.

We acknowledge that in this day and age it’s much easier being a geek than it was for our forefathers. With that being the case, there are more and more people proudly declaring their geek pride, which has seen our numbers soar dramatically in recent years. While it feels like we’ve been an exclusive boy’s club for countless millennia, common sense has to tell us that guys aren’t the only ones that like D&D, programming and quoting Monty Python skits unsolicited. Yes, women like geeky stuff too, and thanks to our recent influx of proud members it stands to reason that women would be amongst that lot.

And while we do have our seasoned vets, there are quite a few newbies that have made their way into the fold as well. As a society, have we forgotten what it was like to be a newbie? Have we forgotten the joy, that moment of enlightenment where we saw something that just clicked and resonated with us on a level that we didn’t think was possible? That first time you saw anime, or that video game that you just absolutely would not put down until you finished it? And do we remember that time we were talking about it with someone that we thought was of a like mind, who then proceeded to snort in disgust because we hadn’t seen a particular movie or played a certain game? Do we remember how much we hated him?

WE ARE BECOMING THAT GUY.

"Now, let me tell you why your opinion sucks."
“Now, let me tell you why your opinion sucks.”

The fact is that there is not a single one amongst us who was not a newbie at one point. We all had to start from somewhere. And I think it’s particularly bad for our femme-geek sisters who we, for some ungodly reason, seem to only believe are there to infiltrate our culture.

Is there a polite way of saying that we need to get the @$%& over ourselves? Because if there isn’t I’m just going to say that we need to get the @$%& over ourselves. I love being a geek, but let’s be real here- we ain’t all dat, y’know.

So, she now has an interest in super heroes thanks to The Dark Knight trilogy and The Avengers? Rather than be that asshole that quizzes her on stuff from the comics, why not suggest a few stories for her to check out? Is she getting into anime after watching Naruto? Talk to her about how Vampire Hunter D sucked you in. Share your experiences, and show some common freaking decency. Nobody likes an elitist.

You know what? This actually shouldn’t just apply to geek girls. ANY new geek should be extended this courtesy. We need to take active steps to keep from becoming “that guy”. Because really, nobody likes that guy.

re: XBox Live

Dear Geek Council,

Thank you for XBox Live. Actually, thank you for online gaming in general. I know it gets a bum rap from most due to the belief that it’s just a gathering place for antisocial lowlifes or its potential home-wrecking capabilities. But seriously, you just can’t beat the entertainment that comes from it regardless of the side of the spectrum you’re on. On the plus side you’re apt to meet a multitude of people who are into the same things as you from any number of corners of the world. But the other side of the coin exists that filthy underbelly of that can be just as entertaining. I’m particularly fond of the rage-quitters, those wonderful individuals that exit out of a game right at the moment of your triumph in order to rob you of the satisfaction of victory.

"Your MOTHER'S a noob!"

But my favorite has got to be the constant trash-talker who is either riddling you with homophobic and/or racist banter while they’re winning, or calling you everything but a child of God when they’re losing. I also find it particularly amusing that most trash-talkers assume that I possess mystic powers over a game not unlike Neo, and choose to wield my awesome capabilities to cheat. I was unaware that it was considered bad form to punish a player for leaving himself wide open after mistiming an attack, especially one that they’d been abusing repeatedly. I suppose etiquette dictates that I stand there and continue to take the abuse, both from the game and over my headset.

Also, I feel that I missed the memo that guys can only use male characters in fighting games. If someone from the office would be so kind to forward me a copy, I’ll be sure to keep that on file for future reference.

Meet Abigail, harbinger of my obvious homosexuality.

PS- Should anyone be looking for me, I’m NinjaMani on XBox Live. Currently addicted to Soul Calibur V, I might not be the best player out there, but I can at least promise that I won’t call you an ass-whore. Unless, of course, I actually know you.

re: spyware

Dear Geek Council,

I understand that there is a pecking order within our illustrious society, and I acknowledge that what I am requesting is significantly above my own geek ranking. Nonetheless, I would like to make a formal request to meet (and perhaps punch) the creator of spyware and whoever pioneered the use of trojans.

And no, I don't mean these guys.

I know that what I’m asking for is a bit much, and I’m quite certain that you have a line of requests from other people wishing to have words and/or fisticuffs with this individual. And really, can you blame them? This jerkface has caused more computers issues than Skynet, resulting in lost time, unnecessary reformats, system restorations, and time spent on the phone helping out clueless friends and family who won’t admit that they were on a shady porn site when it happened.

Since a face-to-face meeting is probably out of the question, would you be so kind as to deliver a message to this individual, who I assume is lurking about our ranks? I’d be most appreciative.

———-

Dear Sir or Madam,

I hate you.

I mean, I REALLY despise you. Your entire existence keeps me up at night as I sit and wonder how such an awful human being can be allowed to exist. If I met you at a party, I would uppercut you so hard that Shao Kahn would jump off the couch and shout ‘EXCELLENT!’ as you went crashing through the ceiling.

"An excellent shot, sir!"

Words cannot properly convey the amount of loathing I have for you. If there is any justice in the world, there will be a system crash at the Pearly Gates as you try to enter, and St. Peter will have to send you to hell as he tries to figure out why his terminal is telling him that he needs to buy some new anti-virus program he’s never heard of. I hope your computer comes alive one day and begins beating you with a cat-of-nine-tails comprised entirely of old-school printer cables. And finally, I pray that you accidentally try to infect Batman’s computer and that he shows up to your house, punches you in the junk, and does donuts on your front lawn in the Batmobile as he uploads the footage to YouTube.

 
Sincerely,
— Mani

PS: You suck.

re: Tron Legacy

Dear Geek Council,

I know that my standing within the Order of Geekdom has taken a few hits lately, with me not having attended a convention in quite some time, as well as my being delayed in seeing several movies. One of the movies in question was Tron: Legacy, which I am happy to report I’ve finally watched on DVD. The reason I am writing to the Council is so that I can address a situation before the story gets back to you, distorted and all kinds of wrong.

OK, here goes. I thought Tron: Legacy was OK. Not epic nor earth-shatteringly awesome, just OK.

Now, I am aware of the fact that there are perhaps several members of the Geek Order that are now on their way to my abode to assault me with lightsabers, but I stand by my opinion. Don’t get me wrong- there was some cool stuff in there, and it certainly was very pretty and colorful. But I personally feel that more could have been done with it, and that an opportunity was missed.

OK, some things I -did- like more than others...

There are some that place the original on a pedestal, and perhaps see my assessment as blasphemy. While I do have respect for the source material and always thought the original looked very cool, there isn’t a lot that I can recall from the original Tron. To me, it was cool movie, but not one of the ones that I would count as a favorite growing up.

I hope that The Council will continue to look upon me favorably, and that I might retain my Geek standing within the Order. Summer has just officially begun, and there are a number of movies being released in the coming months that intrigue me greatly. Though it may draw the ire of my brethren, I am looking forward to Transformers 3 simply because it cannot be worse than #2. Unless, however, we see the return of Skids and Mudflap, riding in on Devastator’s robotic nads. We shall see.

— Mani

PS- Should they screw up the new Conan the Barbarian, please be advised that I will unleash a rant of near-biblical proportions.