How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 265 (or Temporal agents and the displacement fields they rode in on…)
While discussing your thoughts on the Spierig brothers’ time travel film Predestination, starring Ethan Hawke, you talked about how it was not quite the “temporal policeman catching criminals” film the trailer made it out to be, due to headache-inducing plot twists you predicted 45 minutes prior to their revelation in the film.
You also repeatedly expressed a determination toward finding and reading the Robert Heinlein story “All You Zombies” upon which the film is based, in order to verify the origin of the aforementioned twists.
To which your significant other replied, “So essentially, you were hoping for a feature length version of Time Trax?”
“Would that have been too much to ask?” you responded, adding, “It’s not like I was expecting a Timecop remake. At least Time Trax had some panache… and an artificial intelligence computer assistant disguised as a credit card.”
Your favorite gift received during the holiday season involved DVDs of Time Trax, a 1990s television series about a time traveling lawman, which you hadn’t seen in twenty years.
During a recent holiday gathering with the family of your significant other, you decide to educate the youngsters playing Minecraft and Lego Batman video games on an XBox 360 by telling them about the Super Nintendo you had at their age (which you still own) as well as other old systems such as the original Nintendo and first generation Playstation.
Upon listening to your history lesson of 1990s video games, one of your grammar school-aged audience members responds, “You must have a museum of legendary old video games.”
You fail to then point out, however, that such a thought is a rather generous assessment of being a nerd in your thirties.
When discussing a possible Halloween costume to wear to a party, you suggest creating an outfit inspired by the 1935 thought experiment known as “Schrodinger’s cat” devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger.
The original experiment postulated a quantum theory called superposition by placing a cat in a chamber made of steel along with a vial of deadly hydrocyanic acid, which may break open through the use of a hammer apparatus If even one atom of the acid is decayed during the experiment’s time frame.
Since opening the chamber would be the only way to tell if the vial was broken, there would be a paradoxical period of time prior to making that observation in which the cat is both dead and alive.
Thus, your costume, which you call Schrodinger’s Costume, calls for you to not RSVP to the party. Instead, you arrange for a large man-sized box with air holes to be delivered to the party. The contents of the box aren’t visible from the outside. On the outside of the box is a note, which reads:
“This is ‘Schrodinger’s Costume.’ (Your Name) may have decided to attend your party by being in this box. Do not open to verify attendance until after the party. Until then, (Your Name) is both attending and absent from your party. Enjoy the paradox and Happy Halloween!”
Upon a recent visit to a used book store, you reacted to discovering a cache of old stand-up comedy LPs the same way most people would react to finding a rare Beatles album.
In describing the moment of discovery to others, you stated that when you saw Don Rickles grinning at you on an album cover titled, “Hello Dummy!” it was as if he was speaking directly to you.
By the time you left the store, you had albums showcasing the comedic works of Don Rickles, the Smothers Brothers, and Steve Martin… vowing to return to look for Richard Pryor albums.
In an alternate universe, Roald Dahl did not enjoy the success of his beloved children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Instead, he wrote a dismally unpopular book called Charlie and the Horchata Factory, in which Willy Wonka’s golden ticket campaign is an attempt to unload his unprofitable horchata factory, thereby staving off personal bankruptcy and a looming labor strike led by disgruntled Oompa-Loompas.
When you nearly collided with a group of Korean Airline pilots and flight attendants in a Dallas, Texas hotel lobby last month because you were too consumed in conversation to watch where you were going, you found yourself feeling guilty.
In fact, your instinct was to immediately say, “Pardon my carelessness,” in Korean.
However, within a second of that thought, came the realization that the only word you actually know in Korean is the word for “zombies.”
You have become obsessed with playing the Play Magnus chess app in which you are pitted against a computer opponent modeled after chess champion Magnus Carlsen’s chess-playing ability between the ages of 5 and 23, with each age serving as a different difficulty level.
While you have always felt that your chess acumen was lacking, you find yourself flummoxed by the fact that after two months of playing the app, you are unable to defeat “Magnus at age 8” even though you are 30 years old and have two college degrees.
You recently saw the film Pompeii, which you enjoyed mostly because of Kiefer Sutherland’s performance as a villainous Roman senator.
However, you kept getting distracted each time he appeared in a scene because you were consumed by the following thought as the trailer below played in a loop inside your mind’s eye:
“Jack Bauer is coming back… Jack Bauer is coming back…”
Now that Stephen King has joined Twitter, part of you wants to just tweet the man all day as if he was your pen pal.
However, you know that this is an ill-advised course of action, as it is fueled by nerd-guided admiration for an author’s body of work rather than an invitation to annoy Stephen King with constant tweets not unlike the following:
“When are you going to be on Sons of Anarchy again?” or “What’s your favorite pizza topping?”
Having read Misery, you can appreciate the need for boundaries between author and reader, especially if the roles were reversed.
You did tweet him once to welcome him to Twitter and a second time to ask if he was aware that NBC’s Revolution makes a lot of references to his works. After all, they just aired an episode titled “Captain Trips” about an outbreak.
Does that remind anybody of anything King related?
You anxiously await the upcoming holiday so that you might entertain (though most likely annoy) your relatives with tales of your fictional creation, Guraknok the Christmas Golem.
Such tales involve an ancient golem traveling from his Antarctic lair each Christmas in order to challenge those whom he deems worthy to a dangerous game of riddles… the price of which begins with the seizing of meat products and presents.
You’ve also begun thinking of a larger, revised origin tale in which Guraknok was created from a disgruntled elf who had been dismissed from Santa’s workshop for failing to meet minimum production quotas.
After an unsuccessful attempt to establish a competing Christmas operation, the elf spends his remaining years learning dark magic, which culminates in the creation of the immortal Guraknok in an effort to take revenge on Santa Claus.
Guraknok the Christmas Golem exists to question Santa’s judgment on who is naughty and nice by utilizing a statistical algorithm to generate a sampling every year of people Guraknok will challenge in order to judge whether or not those who were given or denied gifts deserved that fate.
He may give gifts or take them away (and your meat products)… but do not try and test him yourself or you may end up being taken back with him to Antarctica, via his teleportation ring powered by elvish blood, where you will spend eternity working on Guraknok’s secret goal of opening Antartica’s first IKEA franchise so that he might one day retire and live his immortal life on a beach in the Bahamas.
You have devoted a large portion of your Thanksgiving holiday break to streaming kung fu and samurai films in between reading old pulp fiction crime novels in e-book format.
Upon a recent visit to the State Fair of Texas with your significant other, you unintentionally surprise those who requested pictures of your time spent there by not taking photographs of anyone.
Instead, your interpretation of their request results in a day at the fair represented by three photos of the U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek: The Original Series created using string art.
Yet to you, they still represent a great day that you shall never forget.
Upon seeing the trailer for the upcoming Robocop film, starring Joel Kinnaman of AMC’s crime drama The Killing, you are struck by one thing while sitting in that movie theater. It is not that this looks like it has a chance of being a fresh, inventive take on this tale (if the almost robot-ninja way Robocop looks and moves doesn’t ruin it). Nor is it the interesting cast that includes Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gary Oldman.
No… you are struck silent by the stupefying question that a grown man seated behind you asks another, as a moment of quiet descends in the theater once the trailer ends.
The question: “Is that a remake?”
And with that, I present the trailer…
I have returned to you, Avid Reader.
Life is strange with many twists, which is a cursory (but true) explanation of my brief absence. However, “Ka is a wheel,” and I remain committed to this, our mutual journey through nerdom.
As such, I have brought you a movie trailer for a new psychological thriller starring Michael Cera as the creepiest person to walk the Earth…
Thus, I give you Magic Magic, or as I have come to think of it, George Michael Bluth: The Lost Years.
*May be disturbing for some audiences (And if it isn’t… then there is something wrong with you, sai)*
You have recently begun using the interactive recommendation program called “Max” on your Netflix streaming account, which suggests titles to watch by way of a programmed series of pithy voice-over prompts, saying things like, “I think you’ll really like this one,” or “Do you trust me?”
However, your interactions with this program have been frustrating, and have caused a few strange looks from those who have entered the room in time to hear you yelling things at your television, not unlike the following:
“Way to go genius! Why in the hell would I want to watch that person’s second stand-up comedy special since I just selected ‘Not Interested’ when you suggested his first stand-up special five seconds ago?”
The following short film, Jeg Med Døden (I With Death), is directed by Ross Murray (who I am proud to call “brother”) and stars Taylor H. Wright as “I” and Jordan Thompson as “Death.”
Upon viewing this film you may find yourself thinking of the 1957 Swedish film Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal) directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max von Sydow as a knight of the Crusades who plays chess with Death for the fate of the knight’s soul. Thus, this three-minute video made me think the following thought:
In an alternate universe, Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal was written with humor in mind, and is considered one of the most astute comedies of all time.
Behold, Jeg Med Døden! *WARNING! This video may not be appropriate for all audiences.*
As your thirtieth birthday approaches, you find yourself feeling grateful that you don’t live in the society depicted in the 1976 science fiction film Logan’s Run, in which all people living in a hermetically-sealed dome structure in the future, must all undergo “renewal” through a process called Carousel when reaching thirty years old. A person’s age is visible via a crystal in the palm of the hand, which blinks red at the age of renewal.
Those who try to avoid renewal are called “Runners,” who are hunted down by a special police force, each member of which is called a “Sandman.”
Behold the sobering spectacle of Carousel…
Followed by the Sandmen in action.
You’re childhood enjoyment of the Captain Planet cartoon series lends itself to a surprising appreciation for the four-part Funny or Die comedic saga in which Don Cheadle portrays a rather insane Captain Planet.
Click on the links below to behold, what I like to call, The Downfall of Captain Planet…