Nuclear Bastard (nuclearbastard) wrote in homestarelitist,
Nuclear Bastard

Giddiness in a bottle

One of the hallmarks of geekdom is that geeks have interest in some hobby, culture or academia, to a level that is well beyond that of society. It is that geeky fetishism that typically makes geeks of like interests bond together so strongly, often at the expense of alienation from those not in that sub-culture.

As a geek, there are many times when I encounter something that I appreciate on a very geeky level, and I want to share that joy with everyone around me. Then I pause and reconsider: it is unlikely that those you wish to spread this love with will appreciate or even understand your own happiness, let alone participate in it.

When I was watching a recent episode of Family Guy, it ended with a reference to Star Trek: The Next Generation. The episode in question played more than 17 years ago (yes, I looked it up), but it was so powerful that it still played in my mind, and seeing it unexpectedly included at the end of this episode, and in a way that was faithful to the original, brought back all the excitement and jubilation I had at age 10 when I saw the original with my father. I could hardly wait for the conclusion!

I am sitting here watching this episode, at work on an iPod, on headphones. I almost squeal in giddy delight when I heard the same music I heard back in 1990, and I take off my headphones, because I just HAVE to tell somebody. So to whom do I turn? My other geek buddy. He's a Family Guy fan as well, but even he did not get the reference, and he sensed that I was about to explode with excitement if I didn't share this information with someone, so he graciously allowed me to tell him the details of the reference. He told me that, indeed, he did not get that reference. Then I smiled stupidly and skipped back to my desk.

This is definitely not the first time that this has happened. Yesterday, I was reading a webcomic, xkcd, and they used a character who was featured in an old comic a few months back. I thought that was interesting, enough to verbally call out "Oh shit!" Then my wife asked me from the other room what was going on, and knowing that I would be wasting both my wife's time and my own, I told her that she would not care. She knew exactly what was happening, and continued playing Dracula X on her PSP.

Yes, she is a geek too, but a different kind of geek, so we get along pretty well.

When the South Park story arc Imaginationland was shown, it was nothing but references to fictional characters from all genres of creation. You can imagine what kind of a mental geek orgy that was. Of course, the problem with that episode was that it was so utterly random in its inclusion of characters that without context, it is impossible to effectively convey the significance of these characters in the story. Thus, I was unable to share my geek joy with anyone except other South Park fans.

This is why conventions are so popular: Geek culture is a wonderful hybrid of mainstream entertainment and underground nerdiness, so when someone proposes that geeks gather to share their love of something with each other, they are so starved for release of this joy that they attend in droves. As the popularity of this subject grows, it crosses over from geek elite to popular culture, spawning comradery, creativity, and fellowship and exactly what geeks, nay, what all people truly crave from society: acceptance.

To all those I will encounter in the future, I hope you will excuse me while I possibly make you feel disconnected, uncomfortable, and annoyed. I hope that you will recognize the random happiness that I am experiencing right now is merely an alien giddiness within me overflowing out of its bottle. Do you want some? Show me your secret decoder ring and speak to me in a fictional language so we can laugh at all the other people who didn't see that episode!
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I, too, laughed heartily at the end of the Family Guy episode. It was the 1-2 punch that followed the return of the Kool-Aid Man. Oh yeeeah.

I mean- it was such a subtle joke. Other people would just see it as a black screen, followed by blue text in a weird font with orchestral music in the background. But to the geeks out there who remember the ending to "Best of Both Worlds: Part I", it was a reminder of that pivotal season finale moment that left us wondering throughout the summer about what would happen to the ol' Captain. That credits sequence took us back to May of 1993.

But what's doubly pleasing for me is that the writers thought that episode was funny- which means that they were also kidlings back in 1993 wondering what will happen to the ol' Captain as well- and they knew that some people in the audience would get the joke.

So yeah- that ending, pure genius.
As I was reading this I was reminded that I missed a few xkcd comics... and low and behold there is a homestarrunner reference... it is all just one big giant loop man!