I bring you the following YouTube clip, which may at first seem to have little to do with fandom, because it features a type of person you don’t see too much these days: the hyper nerd.
Remember that archetype? It was Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles/Weird Science, David Lightman in Wargames, Ronnie Miller in Can’t Buy Me Love, JayJay in Mazes and Monsters. (More about Mazes and Monsters next week.) And of course there was always one hyper nerd on those 1980s high-school TV shows. Even Her Stylishness Sarah Jessica Parker used to be one.
These days nerds have mostly given way to geeks, who are nerds who have an area of expertise that serves as a kind of power center. Even when they’re pallid, overweight and/or slightly smelly, geeks can muster up a wall of scorn for lesser beings that’s more-or-less analogous to coolness. Which is fine. But I miss hyper nerds. They remind me more of myself.
Thus, I present these guys, appearing in The Very Best Supaman Video Ever Of All Time. It’s been ages since I’ve seen anyone act this unselfconsciously dorky. They spell it “Soldier Boy!” And check out their little “gatt blowing a guy away” pantomime at -1:04. Awesome!
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So I’ve been looking for someplace to yak about Battlestar Galactica online, and my first choice was a huge goose egg. Surprisingly, it’s Television Without Pity, one of the biggest and, arguably, hippest TV discussion sites online.
Alas, however engaging TWOP’s forums on Project Runway and Lost, its BSG forum has fallen into the moist grip of super-fans.
Take, for example, the proliferation of fannish vocabulary, especially the inexcusable “frack” for “fuck.” If you want to separate yourself from normal human society to the point of adopting a made-up expletive, this forum is the place to do so. Same if you prefer to invoke “the Gods” instead of God. TWOP’s posters also use a particularly disgraceful coinage I hadn’t seen before: “Humlon,” as in “Humanoid Cylon.” Oh, jeez. They really are trying to make normal people ashamed to admit we like this show, aren’t they? Even “Hulon” would have been better. Or, wait! Better still, just say … “Humanoid Cylon.” I like it!
Then there are all the emotional-explosion posts. The kind that make you wonder if the author is actually a 13-year-old girl, or just talks like one online.
–“I think Istopped breathing at several points during the premiere.” [If only! -ed.]
More after the jump.