Click to viewMovies just aren't doing a good enough job of pandering to our escapist wet dreams. A nerdy guy who turns into a green destructo-ape when you fuck with him? An MIT engineer who builds the ultimate super-armor? A clerk who turns super-killer? Bah! Hollywood could do a much, much better job than that of channeling our dreams of escaping from tedium and having everybody recognize our nerdy greatness. We'll tell you how, after the jump.
Here are the crucial ingredients of nerd escapism - if they are ever gathered in one place, the world will IMPLODE:
1) I am the world's smarterest and clevererest. I can instinctively do base-108 fractal calculations in my head - in my sleep - and I know insane amounts about every subject. Like Roger Moore's James Bond, without the wattles. I don't have a piddling badge for mathematical excellence, I have a full-body cybernetic tattoo of scientific AWESOMEness.
2) There are mean girls, who harass me for being so clever, but then they get devolved into lemurs. Yes, like Captain Picard. Oh noes! It's up to me to find a way to restore them to normal, which I do... eventually.
3) I have a supercomputer, which runs on beer. Or wait, better yet, it's a bong, with special computon-laced leaves in it, and it also produces awesome "smart vapors." Supercomputer bong FTW! Oh, and I get eye-glowy levitatey superpowers when I masturbate.
4) The world gets totally screwed and roasted - sorry, world. It's necessary for kazillions of people to die in sentient mudslides (caused by an evil alliance between the Federal Reserve (which dabbled in the forbidden science of particle economics to try and create a more awesome M0) and scaly dung aliens) for everybody to recognize suddenly how special I am - for after the crisis, when the survivors are sporting rags and living in skyboxes, I will be the scrappy genius who keeps the last precious remnants of technology going. With the help of my supercomputer bong.
5) But - and here's where it gets good - those evil scaly aliens come back and kill almost everybody who's left. And it turns out I'm the only one who can stop them, because I'm secretly 2/3 alien on my mom's side. (Yes, my mom had three parents, and one of them was human.) So I have to go into space and become the world's greatest space pilot/engineer/pirate/ninja/cyborg, learning secret techniques with Marcy, my cute lemur "popular girl" sidekick, tagging along. (Okay, I never got around to curing them of being lemurs. What do you want?) I finally stop the whole alien armada by debating with their cyber-necro version of Alexander Hamilton until he explodes. But then instead of going back to Earth, I journey off to the stars, Marcy at my side, to find adventure and learn whether it's really true that I'm actually the heir to the throne of Builder City, a huge dyson sphere built around a whole star system where everything awesome in the galaxy is built.
Oh, so you don't like my nerd-power-trip-escapist fantasy? Well, screw you. I'm not going to save you from cyber-Alexander Hamilton and his money-supply adjusting sludge then.
Actually, because it's just barely possible that other people might have their own ideas, I asked a few people who were smarter than I am to contribute their own versions. I wrote to some cool people and asked, "What would the ultimate nerd escapist power-fantasy movie look like?" And here's what they said:
Jane Espenson, writer, Buffy/Firefly/Battlestar Galactica:
Hmm... Nerd wish-fulfillment *movie* - so it's not real, huh? I can't wish myself into being that groovy Romulan Commander who glommed onto Spock that one time? Hmm.
Well, I think Revenge of the Nerds already did a very good job with this. It wasn't about turning into a non-nerd, it was about celebrating the things nerds do well. So, something like that. Maybe another sequel, updated to address contemporary themes: Revenge of the Nerds Finds Ice on Mars or Revenge of the Nerds - Taking the White House? Actually, wait- nerds already dominate science and public policy. What everyone really wants is love. We need a nerd-meets-girl romance in which the nerd wins *because* he's smarter, more genuine and sweeter. The ultimate nerdy power fantasy is When Nerd Met Sally. Final answer.
Gerard Jones, author, Men Of Tomorrow and Killing Monsters, plus a zillion awesome comics:
For me the ultimate power would be to be able to emit a tachyonic web that could slip through the time barrier, capture precious objects from throughout the time stream, and bring them back to our era. Just imagine how we might enrich our culture and our knowledge of the past. Personally, I'd use it to pick up some the early Tarzan comics I don't have from when Jesse Marsh's art was still good. Especially the ones with the Lex Barker photocovers that go for, like, 30 bucks on eBay.
The ultimate nerd wish fullfilment movie? The Last Starfighter... but with tits. Instead of Robert Preston's ancient carcass, drop a Hot Alien Chick in there and you've upgraded to serious nerdvana.
Chris Sims with Chris' Invincible Super Blog:
In the Grim And Distant Future™ (because, you know, Bright and Cheery Futures rarely allow for antisocial malcontents to rise to power), humanity has evolved in terrifying ways! The human body is no longer as we know it, instead giving way to men whose forearms and thighs make up 90% of their body mass, trotting along on tiny feet that are often obscured by clouds of dust and pulling ammunition for their comically large handguns out of one of the many, many pouches that adorn their clothing. Women have it even worse, with faces that are unable to express any emotion other than seething lust, spines that feature right angles, and hair that moves of its own free will in defiance to any wind or gravity. The upshot of all this is that the works of comic book "artist" Rob Liefeld will be hailed as visionary works of genius that were unappreciated in his own time, and will be as sought after as the works of Picasso or Rembrandt today, a situation that gives rise to the ultimate-and most unlikely-nerd empowerment fantasy: That box of X-Force #1s you've got in the basement? It's actually going to be worth something.