Geek culture has moved ever more mainstream in the last decade or so. The internet has helped enormously with this. The ongoing wave of Marvel, DC movies and tv shows has fed it. The gamer generation has given birth to a second gamer generation. Scifi shows and Scifi culture has grown ever more popular, along with the ability for special effects. No longer is it ropey bubble wrap sprayed green in Doctor Who, atrociously bad fantasy films like ‘Hawk the Slayer‘ (a firm favourite of mine) or Blake Seven style spaceships on a string. The general public beyond the geek subcultures is more aware and involved. Even a show like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ which was based on the whole premise of a quirk geeky fringe being fun to laugh at has become so much more a show about the mainstream. Yet with all this incredible acceptance of geek culture has come a dark side, a nasty little twist, and one that has started to irritate me rather a lot of late, the negative nerd…
To explain my view here is the difference between a Geek and a Nerd, at least in my woeful but personal book of definitions.
A Geek, someone who loves a subculture, tv show, sci-fi universe, game series, comic book, novelist, type of knitting… it doesn’t matter what it is they love, only that they love it, the important thing is because they love it, they want others to love it too, to invite others to join in, immerse and involve. basically, they want to share what they love with as many people as possible, because they think its awesome and want others to have the chance to enjoy that awesome as well…
A Nerd, someone who coverts a subculture, tv show, sci-fi universe, game series, comic book, novelist, type of knitting… they covert it, they think they own it, and that it can only exist on their terms. They want to keep it for themselves and not share it with the great unwashed. While they think everyone should recognise its awesomeness, they only believe it can be enjoyed truly by themselves, and want it to be exactly what they want and only what they want, even if they don’t know what that is.
I am a Geek, I try my best to never be a nerd…
The point of this rambling rant, in case you were wondering, is ‘The Last Jedi‘. And if you’re unaware of the release of the eighth film in the ‘Star Wars’ saga, then I am not sure why you would ever be reading this blog post, because even if you don’t like Star Wars, you’ll be aware of the movie release unless you live under a rock.
More accurately what inspired this post is the tread of the naysayer, the ranting, angry, and often just plain nasty, nerdverse, which has reared its frankly ugly little head once more.
I try to avoid spoilers, and, if I can, any form of review, ever from friends, before I see a movie myself. Which I managed to do with ‘The Last Jedi’ quite successfully for once. So nothing pre-spoiled the movie for me. It was not until after I had finally seen it that I let my filters down and took in what the world, in general, was saying. Though, yes, I was aware that it had a few naysayers out there in the interweb… But what annoyed me, when I let those filters down, was the extent of the claptrap been tooted out by, for want of a better word, morons. Which followed a pattern similar to the kind of old trout talked about ever new Marvel or DC movie, and or any other big franchise. For example, these genuine banner headlines for posts on various sites…
‘9 things that I hated about ‘The Last Jedi’
‘The Last Jedi has ruined Star Wars because …… ‘
‘What the director did wrong in ‘The Last Jedi’
Combine this with the negative feeling given out by some people on twitter, facebook and other social media sites, if you have not seen the movie, you might think its awful. More than one ‘friend’ has posted something along those lines. One conversation I read went like this
“don’t see the new star wars movie, its shite, a waste of money”
“I take it you didn’t like it then”
“I love star wars, 4,5, 6 are epic, but 1,2,3 were awful and 7 is shite, rogue one was woeful and I hated this one…”
Which begs the question of this person,,, why did you go see episode 8?
If you don’t like any of the latest movies, move on with your life. I personally was not a great fan of the prequel trilogy. Guess what, I have only sat my self through ‘attack of the clones’ and ‘revenge of the sith’ once and will probably never do so again. As for ‘Phantom Menace,’ I have seen it too many times. But hey, they did not ruin the original trilogy for me, and while ‘The Force Awakens’ was not the greatest Star Wars movie ever it was pretty damn good, Rogue One is right up there with Empire and, on the off chance you give a damn about my opinion, ‘The Last Jedi’ is an awesome addition to the cannon.
If you hate ‘The Last Jedi’ fair enough, I can not for the life of me see why, but hell everyone is entitled their opinion. But it has not, can not and never could ‘ruin star wars‘, and it certainly hasn’t ‘ruined my Star Wars for me‘ because it’s not your Star Wars. You don’t own Star Wars, no one does. Nine movies, umpteen novels, comics, toys, t-shirts video games and a whole sub-culture of geek joy and love is not owned by anyone (except Disney before anyone says so, while missing the point…). Hell, I even agree you have a right to an opinion, god knows I have plenty of opinion on the prequel trilogy, almost as many as I have on Highlander 2 (just don’t get me started on that). And yes you can share it, feel free.
But I have come to loathe the industry of negativity that swarms the internet. Sites Like Movie-Geek queue up to write bad reviews and post ‘Nine things I hated about ‘The Last Jedi’.(who cares).. and ‘everything that is wrong with ‘Wonder Woman’ (nothing at all) and ‘Why Doctor Who becoming a woman is ruining male role models‘(seriously whats wrong with you idiots that you have a problem with this…) Negativity is the click-bait equivalent of gold dust. They are also, without fail, written by nerds (see definition above). And the problem is that all this negativity is slowly corroding away at the very things we want to love in the first place.
Take ‘Suicide Squad’, which I will admit was not the greatest movie of all time, but it was far better than the internet hacks gave it credit for. It would have been better still if it had not been recut because of all the negativity that was thrown at the movie before it had even hit the screen… But hell I happened to like it and enjoyed it as a flawed but fun ride through the darker side of the DC universe… the same can be said for Justice League, Batman vs Superman, almost every Marvel movie in the last ten years. You know why? Because I walk into the cinema wanting to love them.
Seriously, I do.
I wanted to love ‘The Last Jedi’, just as I wanted to love ‘Rogue One,‘ and wanted to love ‘Justice League‘… because I am a geek, and unashamed geek. I would rather love something flawed than hate something perfect… I want to talk about them with my friends and tell them they why they were awesome, and why that bit was so damn good, and how I felt when that thing happened or when I first saw that…
I have a love of the dark, I listen to goth music, I like Leonard Cohen, I love ‘The Crow’, and I tend to wear black… But I also love the joyous, the awesome and the wonderful. I love the new and the unexpected. I love being surprised and I love a mystery, and I seldom give a bad review of anything.
If you have read any review I have ever written on here, it will probably come across as overwhelmingly positive, and that’s because I don’t give bad reviews. If I don’t like something, I don’t tell people, because while I may not like it others will. (This does not apply to Highlander 2, it is utterly dreadful, and all copies should be burned). And because I believe if you tell people something is garbage often enough they will start to believe it before they make up their own minds. This then is why I hate the negativity of the Nerbverse sites and how they infect social media…
Anyway, all ranting aside, if your a Star Wars fan and have not seen ‘The Last Jedi’ yet, then I urge you to do so, but more importantly go to see it wanting to love it, wanting to embrace it and just go for a ride through a galaxy far far away. That way there is a good chance you will love it like I did, and if not, well you’re wrong, clearly 🙂 but at least watch it with an open heart, we are geeks, we are supposed to love this stuff.
Except Highlander 2,,, on that, just say no…