Here at The Correctness, we deal in things nerdish. Also geekish and Pointdexterish, but mainly nerdish. And if there’s one things nerds can do better than most, it’s arguing about minutia. (Also math, computers, biology, chemistry, botany, etc).
Some of you out there are thinking, “so friggin what”. And you’re right. But just for a moment, consider the endless entertainment appeal of watching the little guys get really, really worked up about nothing, with the calming knowledge that if they get out of hand, you can easily subdue all of them, regardless of the numbers involved.
Without further delay, The Correctness presents a handy list of phrases that, when uttered in the presence of nerds, will guarantee a argument. We’ve also provided a guide for the non-nerd to have a frame of reference as to why these things can be dangerous.
The recent re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica ended in a fashion that divided the nerd camp into two groups: Those that immediately proclaimed it the best thing ever made for television, and those that rolled their eyes and moved on immediately. There is bound to be at least one of each in any group of 3 or more nerds.
One side will be making a case for the constant religious overtones, and the phrase “All of this has happened before, and will happen again”. They will cite the seeding of the “Final Five”, and the “head” characters as proof that the ending is completely keeping with the run of the show.
The other side will make some strong points about ludicrous decisions and bacteria, possibly something about doing it with cavemen. Neither side will win, nor give up. All of this has happened before, and will happen again.
Firstly, “The Prequels” refer to Episodes 1,2,3 of the Star Wars films (but the nerds will know this already. We’ll discuss the fact that the 4th through 6th episodes came first another day.)
The sheer disappointment of the collective fanbase from the prequels is still being felt in the nerdiverse to this day. The mere notion that they might have overlooked something, or more properly, that there might be something of value in these films will be enough to send them immediately at each other’s throats.
You can throw in some comments about love, and how it makes people do things they normally wouldn’t. You can argue that Anakin follows his heart, and does everything in his power to prevent the death of the woman who loves him. Finally, to ensure some rage, say “there’s no stronger commitment of their love then when Padme says ‘Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo’”.
This item should be reserved for nerd groups that contain a hipster or two. For starters, Apple’s makert share of computer sales is closer to 8-10%, so you’ll get a reaction from Apple fanboys, both those who know what the true number is, and those who can’t possibly believe it’s that tiny. It will also kick off a lengthy discussion of the superiority of Apple computers, which will be refuted by the cost vs performance issue, which will lead into a virus/operating system dependability discussion. Seriously, you can get at least 2 beers worth of entertainment from this one.
Babylon 5 was a syndicated sci-fi show that ran for 5 years, and isn’t well known outside of geek circles. It’s primary characteristics were that the entire run of the show was plotted out in advance, that it featured realistic physics for its space battles, and that it was pitched to Paramount executives, who passed on the show.
Deep Space 9 was the 3rd “Star Trek” series, and is considered by many Trekkies to be the best of the bunch (and certainly the darkest). It ran for 7 seasons, and is known for the fact that it took place in a single location which other came to (rather than a ship exploring like the other Star Trek shows). This was modified later in the series, but is still essentially accurate.
This match-up is a familiar one for nerds, and sets them off like cake at a fat camp. You have the “was DS9 based on B5″ argument, which might take all night on its own, and you have the various parties arguing for the superiority of their own favorite. Feel free to throw in comments such as “Why did they need to add Worf?” and “It’s weird that they changed the commander like that” to keep both parties going.
Unlike most of the items in this list, which are simply opinion based, this one is just fact. There aren’t that many Manga fans out there, but if you’re lucky enough to have one present, this will send them into a frenzy, citing examples of groundbreaking work from Japanese guys you’ve never heard of, like Toshiro, Yogotaki, and Mishriyama. If they seem like they might be holding their own in the argument, don’t be afraid to mention Sailor Moon, and Tentacles.
This item could very easily backfire on you, if you’re not prepared. You’ll likely be greeted with a unified front of disagreement. Don’t be scared, and stick to your guns. Remember, your goal here is not to be right, but to make nerds excitable. Make reference to things like the comic book look and feel of the movie, and the subtle effect of the psychological make-up of Bruce Banner. DO NOT attempt to argue on the following points: Hulk Dogs, Nick Nolte.
This topic will flush out the full nerds from your group, they simply won’t be able to feign ignorance, or keep their opinion to themselves. Recently, the new (4.0) version of Dungeons and Dragons came out, and sparked immediate discussion about the merits of the new system compared to version 3.5. There are many similarities between the design of 4.0 and the ridiculously popular (among the nerds) World of Warcraft. Watch as the 3.5 purists mock things like healing surges and diagonal movement costs. See the 4.0 advocates mock the high level problems of 3.5, and espouse the speed of the combat system.
An argument that even the non-nerds can jump into. comparing the relative merits of Captain Kirk to Captain Picard will generate discussion of Starfleet policy, acting styles, and manliness. Again, if you’re looking for flashpoint issues, throw out these two: “Shatner cannot act”,”Picard was French”.
The Kirk camp will be those who love The Original Series the most, and won’t be swayed by arguments involving the cheese factor, Kirk’s staccato delivery, and his flagrant chewing of any furniture in the nearby vicinity.
The Picard people will think themselves superior due to the more sophisticated nature of The Next Generation. They will point to Picard’s maturity, his acting ability, and his baldness.
No show in recent memory has sparked more discussion among the fanboys than Joss Whedon’s “Firefly”. Fans of the show loved it for its attractive cast, irreverent attitude and snappy dialogue. Detractors hated it for its use of the “space western” genre, and mostly the way the fans of the show seem to drool on endlessly about. If your luck is good, and the beer is strong, and the moon is full, you may be lucky enough to have this argument reach physical combat. And nothing , not even a redneck bar fight, is more fun to watch than Dexter and Milton duking it out over Nathan Fillion.
And thus, we come to the end of our article. We wish you good luck in your nerd-baiting, a phrase we hesitate to use, as it simply sounds wrong, and conjures up images we’d rather not have to scrub out of our brains later.