Wired Magazine just featured a brilliant article by Patton Oswalt titled Wake Up Geek Culture. It's Time to Die.
He basically laments the horrifying mainstreaming of all the things that seem to epitomize old school geek culture. Like hanging around in a cloak, quoting Monty Python with your other non-sex having friends in 1987. (Sigh. Good times.)
It's so true. So very, very true. One of the commenters on the original article summed up our collective geek pain with this:
The problem with the Internet, however, is that it lets anyone become otaku about anything instantly. In the ’80s, you couldn’t get up to speed on an entire genre in a weekend. You had to wait, month to month, for the issues of Watchmen to come out. We couldn’t BitTorrent the latest John Woo film or digitally download an entire decade’s worth of grunge or hip hop. Hell, there were a few weeks during the spring of 1991 when we couldn’t tell whether Nirvana or Tad would be the next band to break big. Imagine the terror!
But then reflect on the advantages. Waiting for the next issue, movie, or album gave you time to reread, rewatch, reabsorb whatever you loved, so you brought your own idiosyncratic love of that thing to your thought-palace. People who were obsessed with Star Trek or the Ender’s Game books were all obsessed with the same object, but its light shone differently on each person. Everyone had to create in their mind unanswered questions or what-ifs. What if Leia, not Luke, had become a Jedi? What happens after Rorschach’s journal is found at the end of Watchmen? What the hell was The Prisoner about?
None of that’s necessary anymore. When everyone has easy access to their favorite diversions and every diversion comes with a rabbit hole’s worth of extra features and deleted scenes and hidden hacks to tumble down and never emerge from, then we’re all just adding to an ever-swelling, soon-to-erupt volcano of trivia, re-contextualized and forever rebooted. We’re on the brink of Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was—Available Forever.
I know it sounds great, but there’s a danger: Everything we have today that’s cool comes from someone wanting more of something they loved in the past. Action figures, videogames, superhero movies, iPods: All are continuations of a love that wanted more. Ever see action figures from the ’70s, each with that same generic Anson Williams body and one-piece costume with the big clumsy snap on the back? Or played Atari’s Adventure, found the secret room, and thought, that’s it? Can we all admit the final battle in Superman II looks like a local commercial for a personal-injury attorney? And how many people had their cassette of the Repo Mansoundtrack eaten by a Walkman?
Now, with everyone more or less otaku and everything immediately awesome (or, if not, just as immediately rebooted or recut as a hilarious YouTube or Funny or Die spoof), the old inner longing for more or better that made our present pop culture so amazing is dwindling. The Onion’s A.V. Club—essential and transcendent in so many ways—has a weekly feature called Gateways to Geekery, in which an entire artistic subculture—say, anime, H. P. Lovecraft, or the Marx Brothers—is mapped out so you can become otaku on it but avoid its more tedious aspects.
Posted by Ramonagirl: I remember responding to the news that the Lord of the Rings series was being made into a movie with equal parts joy and blinding, jealous, protectiveness. It simply wasn’t fair that there was an entire generation of kids that were going to get to learn about middle earth without having to slog through the tens of thousands of words it took just to build the outermost layer of that world. And boy howdy did they love it. But you ask any one of them about the barrow-downs or Goldberry, and they just stare blankly at you until their phone beeps with a new Facebook message.As Ramonagirl points out there is nothing that strikes fear into the heart of the geek like when you first hear that something you love, something that defines your soul is about to become a collectible cup at Burger King and has a billion "Likes" on facefart.
As Jane Austen wrote: "The one claim I shall make for my own is that we love longest, when all hope is gone."
I am now assisting as a case manager for the team so if you have a location that you would like investigated in the Florida, Georgia region let me know at Joyce@SweetonGeeks.com .
Here is the Dec. 7th show where they mention the Arcadia Opera House. They have some sound glitches as the beginning but then work it out. They are rapidly growing quite a following and yet remain super accessible if you have questions, evidence to review, stories to share, whatever! George Mercado, the founder is an amazingly approachable guy and loves to chat. So if you've ever wanted to connect with a professional paranormal team and the field sparks your interest make sure to check them out.