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But with the commercialization and commodification of geek culture reaching unprecedented levels, it's getting a bit crowded here on the bandwagon.
"I think you can trace this to the success of Star Wars and Superman and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark. This is the stuff that taps into common imagination, and we all want to share in that," says Victor Lucas, the Vancouver based creator, producer and co host of TV's cornucopia of geek friendly goodness, EP Daily. (Full disclosure/shameless plug: I'm one of the Toronto correspondents for Lucas' daily games n' tech review show, Reviews on the Run.)
But given that TBS also airs The Big Bang Theory reruns roughly 1,337 times per day, maybe it's not surprising. People love that show. Apparently because people love wearisome caricatures, offensive cliches, jokes that can be seen coming from miles away and the single worst laugh track on television. (Yes, I know it's taped in front of a live audience of giddy fans who will howl on cue, but don't try to tell me some of those horribly forced guffaws aren't added later in the editing suite.)
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"The notion of being a nerd means you've got a streak of individuality about you," says Queen's School of Business marketing professor Ken Wong. "And that's something I think every generation strives for."
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"We didn't realize that within a couple decades those things that we were touching on in that movie would become part of the culture," says Armstrong. "It's just so remarkable how many outlets there are for people who are immersed in one form or another of nerd culture. cable channel. (It's also seen on the female focused Canadian specialty channel Slice.)
From a Spock like logical perspective, I should love The Big Bang Theory. Instead, it arouses my inner Gorn battling Capt. Kirk. Every time I watch it, I want to construct a crude shotgun out charcoal, sulfur and diamonds, and blast my TV into pieces.
Geek culture bandwagon getting crowded
But with the geeks having inherited the Earth it hasn't really been uncool to be into comic books and video games and sci fi for about a decade now the backlash against poser geeks is in full swing. Now that it's hip to be a nerd, some true nerds feel violated.
I'll buy that. Because when it comes right down to it, the more people who appreciate the Avengers and Doctor Who and Skyrim and Star Wars and all the other stuff that falls under the geek banner, the more we share a common language and set of experiences.
And really, the embracing of nerdy things isn't new. It began a long time ago. In a galaxy far, far away.
"Now, if you look around, there's a nerd character on almost every commercial on television," says Robert Carradine, the actor probably best known as proto dork Lewis Skolnick from 1984's Revenge of the Nerds and its three sequels. (Unless you were a tween girl in the early 2000s, in which case he's Hilary Duff's dad from Lizzie McGuire.)
In 2013, the appreciation of all things geek looks set to soar to new heights. On top of some notable milestones being Women's All Star Converse Tennis Shoes marked this year Superman's 75th birthday, for instance, and the 50th anniversary of the X Men and Doctor Who there are more big budget sci fi, fantasy and superhero movies in production than possibly any other period in cinematic history. It's good time to be Converse Suede Boots
"A sexy girl who went and saw a second week screening of The Avengers is not a nerd," says Brian P., an "actual nerd" featured on a recent episode of the IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia. "Like what you're interested in. You can't stop someone from being excited about something."
If anyone can say "I was a nerd before it was cool," it's Carradine and his Revenge of the Nerds co star Curtis Armstrong (who still gets shouts of "Booger!" from passers by), even if they were just playing the part.
Loo acknowledges that The Big Bang Theory, blockbuster superhero movies and the general mainstreaming of things once considered geeky has definitely brought more people into the fold. And it's not a bad thing at all.
April 18 It was 75 years ago today that Canadian artist Joe Shuster and his buddy Jerry Siegel introduced the world to Superman with the release of Action Comics 1.
Some have gone so far as to dub The Big Bang Theory "nerd blackface" because it has a cast of young, attractive, anything but nerdy Hollywood actors pandering to the masses by wearing funny clothes and adopting lazy stereotypes. (There are lots of reasons to hate The Big Bang Theory, but come on. It's fiction, they're actors paid to play roles, and blackface is far too emotionally charged a word to apply to a dumb sitcom.)
And while I still won't watch The Big Bang Theory, I'll grit my teeth and salute your enjoyment of it. If there's anything Spock and Kirk have taught us, it's that unlikely friendships can flourish with a little mutual respect.
The fact that so many people who identify as geeks or nerds despise The Big Bang Theory isn't surprising. It's a mass market mainstream hit, yet the whole blessing and burden of geekdom means being into stuff that other people aren't.
From Hobbits to Vulcans to Men of Steel, 2013 is going to be an awfully big year for geeks. Here's a small sampling of milestones in the year ahead.
the first of Marvel's post Avengers "Phase 2" flicks.
The single most popular show on television right now is peppered with references to Star Wars, superheroes, dinosaurs, video games, The Lord of the Rings, sci fi, sci fact, awkward sex and many more of my favourite things.
"It makes it comfortable for me to wear my geek badge out in public and just talk to people about things I like," Loo says, "without having them lost and not knowing what I'm talking about."
He adds: "One of the good things that's happening with the proliferation of being connected around the world is we're recognizing we're more the same than we are different."
2013 a big year for geeks
March Though he was introduced a year earlier in a different comic book, a well loved wallcrawler made his titular debut 50 years ago this month in the just retired series The Amazing Spider Man.
March 26 Easily one of the most anticipated video games of the year, BioShock Infinite lands on the Xbox Toddler Converse Sale Australia
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