I was listening to the Nerdist Podcast and heard for just a second that Chris Hardwick is still playing Skyrim. (On a quick side note he made Fire Proof Armor and named it “Queer Armor”… get it… Fire Proof? Flaming… ok) I decided I’d like to boot Skyrim back up, but Skyrim has always been a game that gave me a really odd frame rate and graphical issues even though I have a pretty bad ass machine that cost a little over two grand. But this past month there was a new driver for my graphics card and HOLY CRAP can I ever tell the difference.
The game runs beautifully at 60fps with zero screen tearing, zero dropped resolution. Basically it’s running in Ultra High settings because it thinks it’s supposed to and it’s working amazingly well. I haven’t been this happy in a long time. It’s like playing a totally different game. So gorgeous.
Really Harry Knowles? This is how you’re going to start your new show? I’ve met Harry Knowles a handful of times and I doubt he remembers very many of them, if any of them. He’s started a new show based on his popular website Ain’t It Cool News with a show called Ain’t It Cool. He’s teamed up with The Nerdist, Chris Hardwick who I really do like a lot. Hell I even like Harry. He and I have a lot in common when it comes to being chubby nerds with physical limitations due to severe injuries. We’ve both been in controversial situations involving movies and what we’ve said about them as well. I’ve even gotten death threats for something I wrote about Wolverine back in 2009. BUT I don’t understand this show at all.
I like being a geek/nerd about film, gaming, music and animation. There are these little obsessions that I have and I think about them all the time and I’m sure my friends get tired of hearing about it. But I also want to help elevate the context of what a nerd/geek is and I think that all of us who are the same way and in a position of authority or popularity should try to do the same thing as well. I think that Chris Hardwick is doing that and very well with his podcast and comedy.
Then you have Harry Knowles who is the epitome of what people think of when they think geek/nerd. He has glasses, he’s overweight and in a wheel chair and he watches movies all the time. He wears goofy hawaiian shirts and is usually in a disheveled appearance. I can’t really blame the guy for that I feel his plight. He was in a very bad accident that injured him and made it hard for him to be mobile. I’ve been in the same position in my life. I broke my back snowboarding over a decade ago and I blew out both my knees. It’s been very hard to stay the weight I am much less lose any.
That said there are things I think Harry can do to help elevate the nerd culture and the idea of what we are. Let’s start off with what the show is. Really it starts off kind of as “I’m Harry and look at this prop I have from this movie. It’s so rare and cool and it’s something I have that you don’t. But you can have Captain America props if you…” he doesn’t really finish his thought because now he has to debate the boiler.
This is actually a part of the show that I think most closely resembles what Ain’t It Cool News is… it’s people complaining, people taking sides and logically (and illogically) debating their point on why so and so is ruining something they think they care about in the moment. In this case it’s Ninja Turtles. If the show was more structured around this, talking about geek culture and current news then It’d make a bit more sense to me and it might actually be something I want to watch… Then what happens?
Well Harry goes on to spoil a movie. This is a gripe I’ve had with Harry for a few years now. Harry maintains that he writes spoiler free reviews. This isn’t true. I have a hard time reading anything of his because there comes a point in every review where he tears it apart in such a way that he spoils the entire film and there’s no point in seeing it because I know what’s going to happen.
He instantly starts talking about details about the upcoming film Prometheus because he’s read the screenplay. That’s another thing he shows off here… he has the screenplay for what I would call the most anticipated sci-fi film since Star Wars had prequels… I couldn’t finish the movie because he started rattling off facts about it that I want to discover for myself. No warning… nothing. He puts on this weird little brain cap, and stats spoiling a movie with a scatterbrained rant.
Then there’s the basement… What’s the thing we hear from a lot of nerd haters on the internet? “Why don’t you move out of your parents basement?” I’d love to… if I’d ever been in a basement and if I hadn’t been a home owner for the past 6 years.
Harry owns his own house… he’s married and has a lovely wife. He also lives in Texas and I’m questioning if he even has a basement… So why have this set? Why perpetuate the stereotype that nerds live in basements? We live in a variety of situations and this stereotype makes us seem like inept ass holes who can’t function in the real world so we hermit ourselves away in our parents basement where we’re babied, collect toys and movie props. That’s not all of us… in fact that’s very few of us.
I have a serious issue with social anxiety that’s set in over the past few years but even I hate the stereotype of the nerd in the basement who’s mom takes care of him… can we please move away from that?
*edit* also sorry for the negative energy of this post. I don’t want to come off as an asshole or something or overly critical. Just something that rubbed me the wrong way.