As may have become apparent in my last post I will not spend an overly large amount of time writing here about my or anyone else’s literature. Rather, I will be focussing on topics that I would like to talk about or that just seem generally interesting to me and also hopefully those who endeavour to read this. Granted, a lot of these topics will revolve around what can be referred to as ‘Geek Culture’. On that note… Catchphrases.
Where would nerds be without catchphrases, memes and the frankly overwhelming amount of obligatory sayings that populate every facet of the standard geek lifestyle. With a vocabulary unto our own, the common geek is about as coherent to your average Joe as a Klingon is after a Romulan Ale binge. This last sentence in its self alone illustrates that there is a very valid point here. For years the geek community has drawn upon comics, television, games and even themselves to build an ever growing reference repertoire impenetrable to those on the outside. Why does this even exist in the first place? You may ask. The answer, as I see it, is two pronged.
Prong Uno: Geeks, Nerds and everyone else associated WANT to be impenetrable. After a lifetime of segregation and often persecution its something that is felt to identify the group as a whole. Geeks, in some way, want to be isolated because on some level they feel that’s what they should be. As such they build an insurmountable wall of pop culture references and Memes.
Not to put too much of a dampener on the situation we come to the likely more truthful Prong numero due: This mountain of so called ‘Nerd Bait’ exists for the simple fact that it is exactly that; ‘Nerd Bait’. No other, deeper, Freud like meaning. Certain things attract the mindset of a Geek, that magical place in the brain that rejoices at the thought of science and repulses from sport. That corner of ourselves that doesn’t want to bow down to convention and would just like to given the chance to enjoy what we want. That corner of our mouths that can’t help but smirk when anyone mentions anything regarding crowbars.
I feel, though, that there are much larger issues lurking beneath these muddy waters which can’t as easily be put down by a few well placed boomerangs. No, this is something that could take years of research into the very meaning of what it means to be a geek. Still, why not attempt this in a mere paragraph? After all, this is why we are here is it not…Because the writer has ADHD and needs to cook dinner…
What makes meme? A catchphrase worth repeating? Lets take two examples, shall we? 1.21 ‘Jigga’watts as coined by Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future and ‘Geronimo!’ as said by our good friend the 11th Doctor of, well, Doctor Who of course. 1.21 Jiggas was never supposed to be a catchphrase, merely a line augmented by Lloyd himself to honour the way a certain scientist (Who’s name presently escapes me) had said it and to give a bit more flare to the film. In comparison ‘Geronimo’ WAS supposed to be a catchphrase and never seemed to make it to such status (Let’s be honest, it bombed). Now I think this is the key root to what makes a good catchphrase, one that isn’t supposed to be noticed as such but makes enough impact on the viewer. Apparently this is done by being bold, funny, random or simply out of place or surreal enough while maintaining presence within context to get noticed. Another point to take account of is that the catchphrase/meme has to apply to other circumstances. Some you can just scream in response to just about anything, example; “I can paint!” “I used to paint…Then I took an arrow to the knee” “o.O”
Well, you get the idea…