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?


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


It ain’t that serious, brah.

— Mani


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: 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.