I started going public with this rant when I was not blogging. I think maybe it’s part of my return to blogging, because when you put it on your blog you don’t have to deal with the “please shut up now” glares from the people around you. It’s nice how the internet lets me be crazily annoying in my own little box. Schroedinger’s Kat: Is she weirding out or not?
Shroedinger’s Cat is actually the tip of the iceberg, because it’s one of the few geek things that has been distilled through the copper tubes of pop culture and dripped into the waiting cup of the masses. People who want to sound geeky but don’t want to eat the whole potato can swig off the essence of the joke without committing to the root. Then of course we get into the conversation about Who Is Geekier and Can You Be A Geek If You Haven’t Seen X or Can You Really Like Y If You Don’t Have A Menacing Tumblr Dedicated To All Things Y ?
That’s not the point. The point is that the powers that be have decided to exploit the gently naive and often insecure geek panoply in order to sell more stuff. Let’s take two examples:
1. Cars. If you want to sell a car to generic people you have to make a series of ads about the car for print and visual media. You have to buy ad time and pray that people don’t go to the necessary while you have your thirty-five seconds of paid assault.
If you want to sell a car to geek people you just have to have a cool geek gimmick like the vader kid using the force or the dueling spocks racing to the golf course. Then you put it on YouTube and let the geeks watch it over and over again and post it to their FBs and make their friends watch it over and over again.
2. Movies. If you want to sell your movie about anything other than geek culture you have to buy ads and do publicity tours. But if you want to sell to the geek culture you _charge them for tickets to a “convention”_, give them a peak at 30 seconds of the unfinished movie and let them handle the press for you. They’ll spend months debating and discussing the footage. They’ll joke about it on Twitter. And next year they’ll buy another ticket to the convention to meet the guy who was in the film for 5 minutes and they’ll pay him $10 to sign a photo of himself.
One of the things I have always loved about being a geek is the passion. If a geek loves something they LOVE it. You get their passion and devotion because you become part of their cosmos. It bothers me, though, how cunning people are mining that passion to their own ends AND causing friction in the geek community. (“You aren’t A Big Name Fan! You don’t have as much street cred as I!”)
So yes, I enjoy Doctor Who and I love Sherlock. I’m big into Star Wars and Star Trek. But you won’t be seeing many YouTube videos from me to promote those things because, well, I’m not paid for my time. I think it’s high time those folks start buying ad space like everyone else who is selling something.