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Lost in the Story [ Nerd Virgins ]

I suppose what’s kept me away from Lost for so long was ignorance … ignorance mixed with the daunting task of overcoming seasons and seasons of ignorance when I finally caved to start watching. Once the first couple of seasons passed, and more and more people close to me were getting dragged in by J.J. Abrams’ brilliant mind, it was hard to not hear bits and pieces of plot/story. This made me even more reluctant to begin … I dealt with something very similar after M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense came out in 1999 … I was very slow to the theater for that one (I actually never made it to the theater for it), but in my less-than-speedy ways, I had the ending, or the famous “M. Night twist” ruined before I had a chance to see the film. Aside from this really pissing me off, it kept me from seeing the picture for years … yes, that’s right, YEARS.

"I see ... the ending before it happens ..."

I was thinking about this recently as I was watching the first couple of episodes of Lost. As things were happening early on in the story, I had these things that I had heard about in the back of my mind keeping me from really being engaged in the story. Hearing about “the others” and the “Smoke Monster” … my mind, at first, was unable to expel these thoughts from its forefront while I watched. I was experiencing the same thing when I finally watched The Sixth Sense … the ending had been ruined for me, and sure, that movie seems to rely on the twist, as all the movie leads up to it, but there is important and riveting story regardless if you know the ending. Why else do we watch movies we’ve already seen, again and again?

So, as I sat down and watched episodes 7 & 8 of Lost, I found myself so ensconced in good, captivating story that after the episodes had ended, I realized that the entire time while watching I hadn’t once found myself trying to piece together things that I had heard, with what was happening on screen. I guess that is what good story is capable of … taking us out of our own minds for a bit, and placing us in its lap as the words and action wash over us.

So, with all of this said, Lost has captured me. I am on the island now. Sawyer’s back story was the one that really got me. I am sure there may be times along the way where these thoughts in the back of my mind will once again come to the forefront, but I am extremely confident in the abilities of J.J. Abrams et al, as they reveal more and create more questions that pull me out of my mind for a bit.

I’m ready to settle down in the lap of the story, as it slowly wraps its arms around me, and just hope he doesn’t turn out to be a dirty old man.

The end

My Journey into Nerdom

So after having read Scott’s post about Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men we had a bit of a conversation about how awesome it was that his post generated so many hits. In the midst of this dialogue, I realized something. I am not a nerd, or at least, I am trying really hard pretending I am not. My only Joss Whedon experience was and still is the brilliant “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”. I haven’t seen any part of any episode of “Buffy”. I was never a “Trekky”. I never went apeshit for Star Wars. I was briefly into comics in middle school, but not much came out of that. I have no credentials.

With that said, I feel the next several weeks and months will be interesting for me. It is probably fair to ask why it has taken me so long to try to get into things like “Lost” (I’ve only seen the pilot), Harry Potter (haven’t read a page, haven’t seen a frame), saw Watchmen but only read about 20 pages of the graphic novel. I’m been partially baptized in nerd culture, but my full indoctrination has still yet to happen, and not because I haven’t been surrounded by it, or people who are passionate about it. I think it is because I am set in my ways on many things. I find things I do like, and watch or experience them over and over again. With this being true, new things that come along by recommendation or, my own discovery take some extra effort that I am reluctant to put forth. With friends like Scott and Wes, who are both part of this “nerd” subculture and partners and founders in this blogging adventure, I am now ensconced in this culture and (not that I had an excuse before) I now have no excuse whatsoever to avoid these things any longer. And anyway, as Scott mentioned, I may not be as far removed from the subculture as I think. There lies in me a love for these things which is dormant. Will jumping in awake the sleeping monster?

What are some things that I should make sure I don’t miss out on as I seek to be ravaged by nerdom. Who should be my first? Who should I let pop my cherry?

I can tell you which way I’m leaning …


The end

rise of the nerd virgins.

We’ve got a new series of posts starting, and I for one am pretty excited about them. The series will be called, ‘Nerd Virgins.’

I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not that kind of nerd virgin. We will be wasting no time discussing the idea that nerds tend to be socially awkward and thus have trouble with the opposite sex. No, these posts will be written from the perspective of people who have little to no conscious experience with geek culture, and are willing to give it a try and tell us about their experience. (And speaking of the word ‘geek,’ is anyone familiar with how the word went from referring to someone who bit the heads off of chickens at the carnival, to referring to someone who loves something much more than your average jane? If so, fill me in!)

I will be the knowing guide, carefully teaching these nerd virgins about the ways of the force. The first two guinea pigs who will be trying this out will be my wife Emily, and my best friend Brian.

Fortunately, this journey into nerd culture will be pretty a easy one. The divide between nerd culture and popular culture simply isn’t as clear as it once was. The list of the highest grossing films of all time is mostly filled with sci-fi, boy wizards, and superheroes. Lost is a widespread phenomenon. Jocks loved The Dark Knight just as much as anyone else. So, for Emily and Brian both (as well as anyone else who ends up writing for this series), they are already familiar with plenty of things that fall under the category of nerdom.

I think the primary difference between nerds and non-nerds is passion, attention to detail, and a vast knowledge of meaningless trivia which only helps us have fun conversations with other nerds. We are the ones mentioning where Chris Nolan borrowed from Frank Miller and Jeph Loeb. We are the ones rolling our eyes when someone asks if we have seen the “new trailer,” which we have not only seen, but have seen 13 times two months prior. We are the ones who can talk for hours about the smallest narrative minutia, and we love every minute of it.

That is why I will be the guide. I love film, books, comics, video games, and all that other shit enough that I would love to spend the rest of my life writing about it and showing other people how awesome it all is.

In case this blog so far hasn’t convinced you that I am a qualified nerd, let me give a bit of a resumé. I am certainly not king of the nerds, or anything like that. Yet, I think I can more than hold my own, certainly enough to fulfill my role for these posts. I own not one, but two different Lost t-shirts. I am currently in the midst of my second playthrough of Mass Effect II. At the moment, I have 19 graphic novels out from the library. I have spent a good portion of my life waiting on lines at movie theaters to see a movie opening night. I own Batman action figures that I purchased in my 20’s. There is an entire shelf in my house taken up by my comic books (it’s just above the shelf taken up entirely by my baseball cards). If that is not enough, feel free to email me and I can provide more proof, as well as plenty of references.

As far as our two writers are concerned, they are really just quasi-virgins. They are the teenage youth group, or Christian college, “everything but all the way,” type virgins. This won’t entirely be their first time, but it will the first time they have gone quite this far.

Brian already loves nerd culture much more than he realizes, he loved Kick-Ass, he is looking forward to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (which is basically a feature length homage to nerdy awesomeness), he loves Wes Anderson (hipster nerds are still nerds), he enjoys the zombie genre, and he once whispered when he fell asleep on the couch that he would give anything to become Hank Pym, so he could spend the rest of his days on missions with The Avengers. Okay, so that last one isn’t true, but I still argue that for Brian this is more of an intervention to allow him to embrace his inner nerd than a true introduction to nerdom. Either way, I am honored to be a part of it. So far we have discussed him reading and/or watching Harry Potter, and watching Lost. Although, I am sure some comic books and video games will be included as well.

Emily is basically just interested in doing this to see what all my ranting and raving is about. What gets me so excited about all this stuff anyway? She will soon find out, for better or worse. She is going to start with comics and go from there.

So, anyway, I know I am going to enjoy this ride, wherever it takes us. Here’s to hoping you do too!

The end