The Worst Nerds: Episode V

« May 2006 »

Memo to the Talifan: WHERE WAS I?

Oh, yes. Explaining why you might all need to be euthanized in a special edition of Be A Better Nerd. For those of you too lazy to jump back a day in the archives, here's the short version.

Lucasfilm says the Clone Army's official slogan is "An Army Of Three Million Of One". Nerds who think it's vitally important to calculate the thrust of a Star Destroyer's engine when all anyone at ILM decided was that it should be blue and a bit flamey read that number in a magazine article penned by Star Wars author Karen Traviss and decided it couldn't be true.

So here's what they did. They argued with her about it on the Internet.

That's not the bad part. That's to be expected. Oh, the original argument was full of choice milnerd quotes like "Wager all you want. I know quite a bit about real guns, being a hunter.", but that's also well within parameters. Even the fact that after a couple of months, the argument had filled sixty pages of forum posts doesn't push things into the forbidden zone.

And even though the main thread on spans EIGHT MONTHS, with the most recent post, two weeks ago, containing the most contextually redundant statement in the history of the Internet ("this is what i believe. 3 million is way too little a number."), all this really means is that the nerds have built the Great Pyramid of Giza of pointless nerd arguments. And buried inside is the mummified corpse of Tutenkhamensense.

But outside that thread, it's gotten ugly. And not just ugly. Stupid and ugly. The campaign of the three million has now spawned hate mail and web sites that would make the most ardent Hal Jordan booster realize his life has been a lie. Sides were drawn. The crazies were dubbed "Talifan"* in a fairly clever bit of space-saving wordplay. Those who felt three million was a lot were called "minimalists", leading to what may be the most astonishing nerd statement I've seen in months. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I can't understand a mind-set that wants to summarily exclude more variety and diversity in the SW universe." This diversity and variety, I would remind you, would be achieved by having a SHITLOAD OF EXTRA CLONES around.

The website, run by one Wayne Poe and cleverly titled "Travissty", summarizes in painstaking detail the complete lack of abuse directed toward Traviss by the Talifan. It does this by the slightly dubious technique of hiding the insults in an undifferentiated vast page of lengthy, boring quotes. But they're there nonetheless:

"you're an incompetent and spectacularly stubborn woman who apparently refuses to admit error under any circumstances."
"How many fando retards did you used to role-play with, you immature brat?"
"Whether she's simply very good at playing politics, related to someone, or sucking someone's cock is not really my concern, but there's some pretty obvious personal favoritism going on there."

And, from the Poe himself: "Finally, here is my opinion of Traviss and fucktards like her:"

That quote, you see, is used to introduce the capper, the point at which it becomes necessary to get out the needles and notify the family - his YOUTUBE FANFILM, made in The Movies, in which a huge fucking Star Wars nerd confronts the reptilian-voiced Traviss at a space book signing.

Whoever thought it would be a good thing to put audio and video production into the hands of the common man obviously couldn't have predicted this puerile, self-serving, epic nerd wish-fulfillment power fantasy. You know that scary place nerds all have in their heads, that imaginary place where they're the best and all their many enemies fall before their scathing wit? Where arguments like "Me creating an insult toward your gender doesn't make me a misogynist" isn't a terrifying morass of mangled syntax and twisted logic?

Thanks to The Movies and YouTube, that scary place can be realized in low-quality video for all to see. From the irony-free arguments lifted word for dull, dull word from message board posts to the Poe avatar beating up a guard and manhandling the Traviss avatar, it's three minutes and thirty three seconds** of psychological horror that would make David Lynch faint.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when you know a nerd cannot be better. When he takes his desperate power-fantasies, makes them manifest, and shows them to you under the mistaken impression that it's funny. Once that happens, it's official. They're worse than a Trek costume at jury duty. They're worse than a frottage-fetishizing furry. They simply cannot BE A BETTER NERD.

*It does roll off the tongue more trippingly than "get away from me you hobby-stalking nutjob before I enforce this restraining order with my boot to your nutsack".

**AKA "The half-life of the Beast"