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The ULTIMATE Nerd Gift Guide - The BEST Nerdy Gift Ideas
Of course, one can assume with a fair degree of confidence that almost all geeks would immediately retreat from an actual physical confrontation, but the anonymous freedom of the Internet coupled with the ability to respond almost instantly on message boards has allowed geeks to argue viciously about things that most self-respecting people have never even thought of, much less deemed worthy of discussion. Jason Horror geeks hashed this one out for years: Jason was slow, stupid and awkward, but more or less impossible to kill, and had the distinct benefit of existing in the real world. Freddy was smart and fast, but could only attack you in your dreams. Naturally, the fight more or less came out to a draw, and viewers found themselves in the odd situation of seeing Jason as a kind of hero—or at least anti-hero—in opposition to the utterly evil Freddy. This is one of the rare nerd arguments that has actually played out in the public sphere and been cared about by the non-geek community. Part of the controversy may have been because Pluto was the only planet discovered by an American; but more likely it was because several generations had grown up with the nine planets and the idea of demoting one of them seemed like blasphemy not to mention how much it would cost the public school system in new posters. While Pluto remains a dwarf planet, the debate regarding its status goes on. The Juggernaut is an unstoppable force. The Blob is an immovable object. What happens when they clash? The universe as we know it should implode, right? Fan explanations have gone into everything from working it out with actual physics to claiming the Gem of Cyttorak would give Juggernaut a supernatural edge. Blob remains the geek equivalent of the Omnipotence Paradox. The question even popped up in the comics as an Elseworlds story, although in this case it was giving birth to their super-strong child that killed Lois, not the sex itself. The danger of lethal ejaculation was used as a joke a deleted scene in the movie Hancock. With his mess of curly hair, distinctive long scarf and fondness for jelly babies, Tom Baker became the iconic image of the Doctor for many—just saying the name Doctor Who brought his character to mind. Who was the better Mystery Science Theater host? This was one of the first great flame wars , as nerds who were fans of MST3K also tended to be among the early Internet bulletin boards users, and when Mike replaced Joel on October 30, , a generation of geeks were traumatized, while another generation met their new idol. Whether you prefer Joel or Mike seems to depend almost exclusively on which one was the host when you started watching the show. The two hosts had very different styles. Joel was goofy and good-natured; his riffing was heavy on references and funny voices. It was a definite difference in tone, and most fans prefer one or the other. It began raging across Tolkien bulletin boards around and continues to this day. In its prime, the argument caused some of the longest and most vicious flame wars known to man. And as the link above shows, nerds to this day are still obsessed by the question of Balrog winged-ness. The problem centers around the description of the Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book of Lord of the Rings. Over the years various artists and filmmakers have depicted the Balrog according to their own interpretation, although the Yes-Wing theory predominates. Some try to find a middle ground by suggesting the Balrog is shrouded in a kind of living supernatural darkness that spreads out from its back like wings. The Balrog Wings argument is perhaps the archetypal geek flame war. The topic is both fannish and incredibly pedantic, of no interest whatsoever to the outside world, and yet for whatever reason, geeks argue about it like twelfth century Catholic monks debating some obscure passage of the Bible. One good example is The Lord of the Rings — ask almost any fan of the franchise and he or she will almost certainly have a firm opinion of the superiority of one or the other. Teenaged girls can be geeks too. Much as the political stew of young America eventually boiled down to Democrats and Republicans, so did the world of comic books become dominated by two powerhouses: While the development of the two companies have certainly influenced one another over the years, there are certain traits that remain unique to each. Marvel is a child of the Silver Age, when heroes began to have actual lives. To this day, DC comics tend to have an epic, often cosmic scope, examining the very nature of what a superhero is and what he or she means to the universe. Marvel comics are often more grounded in realism and examines social and political issues. They enjoyed a brief period of hipness in the early s before being kicked to the curb by the Star Wars juggernaut. The reason Star Trek and Star Wars fans are often at odds is because their worlds are so different. While both feature plenty of adventure, Star Trek emphasizes exploration and examines social and political themes, while Star Wars is an epic featuring classical hero and myth archetypes. In terms of cultural acceptance, Star Wars fans have long enjoyed the upper hand. Star Trek fans are often stereotyped as incredibly nerdy, basement-dwelling losers, while it was usually cool to like Star Wars. Geeks with broad popularity, like Kevin Smith, also helped raise the profile of Star Wars fans. Star Trek fans, for the most part, have responded in, well, nerdy fashion. The best example is an essay by science fiction author David Brin in which he characterizes Star Wars as an elitist, anti-democratic universe where Force-users lord over everyone else, while Star Trek offers a more populist view where the leaders may be the best and brightest, but still human. However, the really vicious debates are about the important things, such as whether the Enterprise or a Star Destroyer would win in a fight.
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