"I bring you fifteen--" *crash* "--oy. Ten! Ten Commandments!" From Mel Brooks History of the World Part I. One of my favorite movies.
Gosh, I do love the Internet. Before, us nerds were lost as babes in the wilderness, alone in our obsessions. And after, we were a force--insert Star Wars reference here--no longer lone freaks, but communities of freaks, entertaining the world with Lolcats and badly-dubbed anime. Now, our society has reached nerd saturation point.
We rule. Literally.
Since we rule, we need rules. Commandments, if you will. Topless Robot just published this list, gleaned from their comments section, of the Twenty Nerd Commandments. It's all kinds of awesome. Here's a taste.
1) Thou must experience as many nerdy properties as possible throughout your youth (nerdy parents must assist with this). By the age of 20, you must have chosen at least two sides of the following: Star Wars orStar Trek, Kirk or Picard, Marvel or DC, Mac or PC, Trukk or Munkey, Baker or Tennant, and Joel or Mike. If these topics come up, you must argue your choice past all reasonableness.
10) If two nerds ever find themselves holding cylindrical objects of at least 9 inches in length they must immediately make lightsaber ignition noises and face each other down in mortal combat.
14) Thy first crush must be upon an cartoon character.
17) Thou shalt be required to attend at least one nerd convention (videogames, anime, comics, etc.) during thy lifetime.
The rest are just as good, but I put these up because upon reading them, I blushed and giggled because I follow all of them. I know my sides in the Great Debates (Star Wars, Picard, Marvel, PC), my first crush was on Donatello from TMNT, and you can see my pictures from the New York Anime Festival here. Fun family memories: me and Daddio watching Star Trek: Next Generation and X-Files together. My big sister saw "Return of the Jedi" in theaters. She was only a baby, but Daddio brought her anyway because it was Star Wars, dammit!
But all this leads me to wonder, just academically, considering how many of these commandments have to do with pop culture phenomena of the last twenty or thirty years, how long can the community endure? I'm already falling behind with the kids these days, because I haven't seen the new Battlestar Gallactica, I don't watch Lost or Fringe, and what the hell is up with Prince of Tennis? Nerd camaraderie is build on our shared cultural experiences. Can we all still be nerds together when that changes? Some of these kids have always lived in a world with six Star Wars movies. They've never played D&D. Neither have I, but I would never play World of Warcraft, either. Where does that leave me, them, and us?