Sharing Day, Secret Nerd Shame edition

Sometimes there’s a great piece of geekery out there that prompts all of your friends to achieve simultaneous nerdvana. You rush out to consume said piece of geeky entertainment, only to be left in that most dreaded state — you just. don’t. get it.

To be a geek is to “get” things that ordinary people don’t, to be “in” on something that your average human simply can’t grok. To find yourself not getting it, therefore, is one of the most distressing states to find yourself in. And yet, I’m sure we’ve all been there.

You know what that means — time to share!

What bit of geeky goodness do you just not “get”, that most other people in the nerd swirl love but you have never particularly enjoyed?

Maybe you are a Trek hater, or the Indiana Jones films seemed like wretched excess, or you always secretly thought Deadpool was a loser. Maybe you haven’t ever been able to express your disdain for the popular bit of geekery in question for fear your friends would ostracize you. But now’s your chance! Speak up in the comments and let it all hang out, I know I for one would love to hear about your secret loathing.

As for me, I’d have to answer with Stephen King. I remember liking “The Stand” as a kid, but when I went back to re-read it a few years ago I literally couldn’t get past the first fifty pages. I thought the writing wasn’t just bad, it was unreadable, from the characters to the actual sentence construction and word choice. I know King’s a geek icon, a towering figure in both fantasy and horror genres with millions of rabid fans. But I just don’t get it.

Yep, "Misery" sums up my feelings perfectly.

Thinking maybe I hadn’t read the “right” stuff that so inspired my fellow geeks, on the recommendation of some online friends I gave the “Dark Tower” series a try a couple of years ago. I managed to force myself to finish the first one, but had to give up after that. Turgid, dull, uninspired, and hackish were the words that came most readily to mind.

I know, I’m very much in the minority on this, but there you have it. Stephen King is my Secret Nerd Shame, a very (very!) popular bit of geekery that I just don’t “get”.

So now, what’s yours?

Anyone who answers in the comments below can ask me any question they like (well, almost any question!) and I’ll answer honestly.

I look forward to hearing from you!

111 Responses to Sharing Day, Secret Nerd Shame edition

  1. Wow, where do I start? I’d say the biggest for me, at least recently, would be Avatar. I just don’t get it. I didn’t see Avatar in 3D, and I’m told that that’s why I don’t like it, but to me, a movie shouldn’t be considered “great” if you have to use a gimick for it. The story has been done to death, the action scenes were recycled, there was, to me, nothing spectacular about it.
    Jeff, I can’t think of a good question this week, so I’ll just ask you what your favorite zombie movie is.

  2. Jeff, did you read the original version of The Gunslinger, or the revised version? Because when he first published it, it was a mess. He had “re-discovered” a draft of the story that he wrote in college and basically published it as is, so it was very jumbled together and confusing. After the rest of the series became a hit, he rewrote almost the entire book and released it as The Gunslinger: Revised and Expanded edition in ’03, which is acually readable.

    I will admit some of his stories are hard to get into, but King is an amazing writer. Here’s a site with a bunch of quotes from his books, some of which are really, really good: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3389.Stephen_King

    Also, I guess I should actually contribute to the topic instead of just trying to convert Jeff to a Constant Reader, so I’ll say that I don’t get Star Trek. I like futuristic stuff, I like science fiction, but I don’t like Star Trek. I’ve tried watching several different series, and two of the movies, but I just can’t get through it. My biggest problem with Star Trek is that it’s very hard for me to suspend my disbelief, compared to other sci-fi series. Star Wars features acutal magic, and still has more realistic tech and plots…

  3. Watson Bradshaw

    This may generate some nerd hate for me but I never liked any of the stargate shows. I remember liking the movie when it came out, but felt that the show just never grabbed me. My friends are big fans and tried to get me to watch it seeing as I am a huge Farscape fan and two cast members from that were now on SG1. I just didn’t get how the show was on for over 200 episodes and have two spin off series!

    So Jeff my question to you is if in the future there could only be one comic book company which one would you like to see stick around? DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, or Image.

  4. @Dan & Watson Bradshaw: I agree completely with both of you.

  5. This is going to sound very strange to some of you (which is the point, I think), but I don’t “get” why people love the concept of Superman. At this point most of you are probably saying “But how can you dismiss the first superhero! without him we wouldn’t even have this website!”, but the fact is that he has become way too powerful. If you think about it, Superman (and Supergirl, Superboy, and Power Girl) could make all other superheroes obsolete, yet they all pretty much stay in the same city. They are so overpowered that the writers have to keep making up ways that humans are able to get Kryptonite, even tough it is supposed to be an extremely rare substance. I find that because of his limited weakneses, the potential for different plots is practically zero.

    I hope that when DC does it’s reboot this September, they severely depower the Man of Steel and make him closer to his Golden Age counterpart. At least get rid of the Super Hearing, Freeze Breath, and Telesopic/Microscopic Vision because none of them actually make sense when you think of the Physics of how Superman works.

    /nerdrant

    So, Jeff are there any superheroes who have powers you see as “lame”?

  6. alphaalpharomeo

    As a kid I always really liked Batman and Robin, then I saw it again a few months ago and I had to turn it off.

    So Jeff if you were a Jedi and had to choose one color lightsaber, what one would you choose

  7. My “shame” is similar. I read “Dune” after seeing the original film from the 1980s, and I loved it. But when I read the sequels (or at least two of them) I couldn’t stand how different they were. They seemed to lack the epicness of the original. I also just get wholly depressed when I see a lot of the horrid stuff associated with the new Clone Wars TV show. I stopped watching after one episode involved a planet populated by Force Ghosts or something, where they questioned Anakin’s status as the Chosen One.

    I’ve also been somewhat unhappy with the Star Wars EU ever since I read “Vector Prime” many years ago. I’ve resolved never to read any books set after that one, mainly because I harbor some degree of hatred for the way the series went on. Chewie dies, Han loses his DL-44, his son becomes a Sith. It’s a nightmare. Oh, and Luke’s great-great-great-whatever is a shirtless druggie bum. I’m so very encouraged by what the future holds.

  8. Perhaps I am the greatest heretic of all. I have never been able to read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Now I am well read. I have read Assimov, Heinlein(?), Bradbury, Jordan, Lewis, and many others. I have also read legal opinions that would put sugar enahanced hyperactive three year olds to sleep. However, when I start and I read about how hobbits keep land records, forgive me but Mt. Doom seems lifetimes away. I have seen the movies and I have thoroughly enjoyed them. I just cannot get past the books.

  9. Captain Kicktar

    MMOs, I haven’t found one that provides any sort of variety from mission to mission, it’s always the same. For the most part I don’t understand most multiplayer unless you’re doing it with friends.

    K, Jeff: How many of your real life friends and family (as opposed to your virtual family) know what you do for a living? (I assume you don’t have a second job)

  10. MisterDinoMan

    Jumping on the bandwagon of Zaheelee, I never could get into ‘Smallville’. I realize that’s not entirely shameful, as a lot of geeks don’t particularily like that show. However I do like the basic premise of the show. Superman’s teenage adventures could be a goldmine for interesting stories. But all the show ever did was depict Superman as a whiny little boy. And yet, this show somehow stuck around for a decade.

    Jeff, do you ever get annoyed by the slow timelines in comics? If you stop and think about it, supervillains are basically harassing them 24/7.

  11. @Gero: All I’m going to say is: WHAT???? I’m gonna leave it at that in the spirit of good geek relations. but still…..

    For me, there’s one piece of movie that I can’t wrap my mind around. A lot of people seem to love it, and I mean LOVE to the extent of watching it over and over, even to the point of acting it out, and that is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I really don’t get it. It’s cheesy to the extreme, I don’t find it funny, nor witty, nor anything. I have tried it on a few occasions, but I can’t. No siree! I mean, there are some other stuff I don’t get but this one tops the list by far!

    No question for now, I’ll chime in later if I think of one… (or if the Trek bashing gains in numbers ;) )

  12. @Patrick: Feel free to not reply, but I’ll hazard a guess… you stopped somewhere in the middle of the second Lord of the Rings books, right?

  13. Cool question! Where to start…There were many things I didn’t get. I get them now because I am a slowpoke. About literature I at first didn’t get Lovecraftian style. I’ve read one book and it seemed to me like it was all “I felt terrible terror, then I felt horrible horror, afterwards terrible horror froze my soul” and so on. Now I am huge Lovecraft fan. Or about anime – why heroes have to shout out what they are going to do, like “Super Hyper Mega Roundhouse Flying Flaming Freaking Punch!!!”. Or about exploiting hero’s weaknesses. Like, if there is Superman, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern, they would definitely meet a yellow guy with flamethrower and a piece of kryptonite.

    My question is – what do you like more, super hero cartoons or live action movies and serials?

  14. @Wulf: I’m amazed you wanted to read the Dune books after that 80’s fiasco of a movie. hehehe

  15. I guess my Nerd Shame would be the horror and survival genre. I just don’t get the appeal of games like World of Darkness or the Dark Sun DnD setting. I mean, maybe it’s just the GM, but in every WOD game I’ve played, the party’s always the helpless plaything of powerful forces beyond anyone’s comprehension, with no hope of doing anything to stop said forces. We start out as ordinary people, and end up having to face extraordinary challenges, to the point where a TPK is bound to happen soon after the story begins. Even if I used the same amount of points to build my character as everyone else, if I somehow manage to create a character with any chance of survival, the character is not allowed because, you know, “What are the chances of someone capable of surviving this event actually being there?”

    And Dark Sun… Dark Sun just seems like a super exaggeration of the problems faced in real life. You’ve got extremely corrupt and overly powerful tyrants whose people know that they’re doing wrong, yet the people are powerless to stop them; you’ve got an environmental crisis in which the very act of using magic kills off everything within a large radius, analogous to the reckless environmental practices of people who, again, are too powerful to stop; and there’s no room for heroism because it’s all you can do to find enough food and water to survive, similar to what everyone who isn’t living in a modern country faces every day. When that’s the game you’re playing, what’s the point of playing it? To me, the point of fantasy is to escape reality, not to drown in a perverse mutation of reality.

    That said, I actually enjoy games like Fallout, if only because your character actually has a chance at becoming a hero.

    I have no questions right now, though I might think of one later.

    @ Dan (Comment #1) I actually saw avatar, and you’re right. It’s just a collection of eye candy with an unoriginal story and a high dose of predictability. I already knew pretty much the entire movie just from watching the ads; the only thing I learned about the movie by watching it was how the main character managed to escape having his body killed while he was controlling the avatar.

  16. Well… For quite some years I was completely uninterested in comic books and comic book movies. Even as recently as about 2009/10 I was a bit annoyed that we were watching Spider-Man in class. I’m not sure why, considering I was pursuing other geeky interests such as science-fiction and trying to start taking an interest in some of my friend’s latest discussions about Warhammer 40k. But not to worry, since I’ve started collecting comics after my sister gave me two for my birthday last year. Now I know what I’ve been missing these past few years. And I’ve got a LOT of catching and reading up to do.

    Right now though, it’s actually quite hard to think of something, considering there’s lots stuff that I wouldn’t mind seeing or reading but haven’t got around to it and don’t mind too much if I don’t. If I’m not really interested in something I just won’t bother with it. Video games might count, though. So many of the kids at school are obsessed with video games, especially when Call Of Duty: Black ops was coming out. But, I’ve never really been interested in video or computer games outside of the few (slightly out-of-date) ones I have and some Wii games. It’s probably partly down to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to afford any new video games and also, I’m just not that interested. If the opportunity to play a game arises, I might take it, but beyond that I just don’t really care.

    Sorry if I rambled on a bit. Anyway, Jeff, what do you think of the big reboot DC is doing?

  17. Dan: I agree on “Avatar”. Totally didn’t get why that’s the biggest selling movie of all time.

    I don’t actually like zombie movies all that much, so I’ll just go with the last one I saw and enjoyed which was “Zombieland”.

  18. Gero: I read it within the last 5 years so I am going to assume it was the revised edition. I keep hearing what an amazing writer he is, but from my perspective he’s a good storyteller. The writing itself … meh to blech, for me.

  19. @Worf (14): Actually, I also read the book after seeing the film, which didn’t seem bad at the time (if a bit confusing). And the book is much better than the film.

  20. Watson Bradshaw: You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of any flavor of Stargate. Nor the movie. Nerd fail!

    If I could only see one comic book company, I’d go with Image. I think creator-owned is the right way to do things, resulting in better stories over a longer period of time. And honestly, I think there are plenty enough Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman stories to last us for several lifetimes at this point.

  21. Zaheelee: I can see how people wouldn’t get Superman. He can be a bit on the boring side.

    “Lame” superhero powers? Well, the entire “Legion of Substitute Heroes” aside, and assuming you mean A- and B-list types of characters, I’d say the lamest super power I remember is Superman’s Super-Hypnosis, which DC trotted out at some point to explain why people “see” Clark as not resembling Superman. Seriously?

  22. alphaalpharomeo: I don’t know anything about what the various lightsaber colors “mean”, so I’m going to go with blue. Because it’s my favorite color.

  23. Wulf: Ugh, almost all of the Dune series after the first one were horrid, in my opinion. Good call.

  24. Captain Kicktar: I hear what you’re saying, but I’m seriously jonesing for some sort of MMO action. Can’t play due to satellite internet service, and I miss ‘em.

    As to your question, pretty much all of my friends and family know what I do for a living. They might not understand it, but they’re aware in a general sense. And yes, this is my full time gig. I’m lucky!

  25. MisterDinoMan: You know, I’ve never seen an episode of “Smallville”, either. ANOTHER nerd fail!

    I do get annoyed by comics timelines in general, yes. That’s one reason I think I liked “Invincible” so much — it seemed a much more realistic time span, and they do deal with some of the issues of being under constant assault. Plus, you get these guys and gals living for fifty years without ever changing. It’s bizarre.

    The older I get, the more I think comics ought to move to a model based on British TV series, where ever two years the whole series reboots and goes in a similar, but varied, direction.

  26. Malfar: I nominate you to create Yellow Guy With Flamethrower And Kryptonite. That would be fun.

    Your question is a hard one to answer because the quality varies so much from property to property. Plus, you’re talking about ongoing TV series (i.e. lots of episodes) versus movies (i.e. one ever few years in a series). So they’re different kettles of fish.

    However, taken as a whole, I probably have gotten more enjoyment out of cartoons at this point than the live ones. But I love them both a lot.

  27. I think my neard shame involves Boba Fett. I’ll probably generate a lot of hate for this, but oh well. I just don’t like how in EU Star Wars, he survives the sarlacc. I mean, I’m a huge SW fan and I am not a Mandalorian basher (I hope); I just don’t understand the draw to Boba Fett and why he couldn’t just remain in the sarlacc.

    If there was a Jurassic Park 4 (there’s been rumors forever lol) would you prefer the dinos to have lasers or not (that was an actual rumor floating around, I didn’t make it up)?

  28. Trekkie: I think DC’s reboot is a marketing scheme that’s unlikely to pay off in terms of better stories and characters. But, more power to them, and I hope it helps increase the bottom line so they stay in business longer. I’m not buying any of the books but since the nearest comic book shop is like 300 miles away, that’s not really saying much :-)

  29. I don’t see the appeal of those Twilight vampire movies and the True Blood TV series. I hate how all the vampires move like the Flash. Also, how could any teen girl fall in love with a blood-drinking corpse?

    @Jeff: Have you seen a movie called “Super”? It’s really good and is now on dvd. Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler play in Super. The HBO docmentury “Superheroes” (about so-called “real life super heroes” is also good.

  30. When do we vote on the new items to be added to HM3?

  31. @Dan(29): THAT IS AWESOME!!!!

  32. @Jeff: Ok, just thought of a question: What are your expectations, if any, for the next Superman Movie?

  33. @Worf 11: People like RHPS because it’s terrible, not in spite of it. It’s the same reason people like movies like The Room. Tim Curry is a great actor, but that movie was awful. Saying that, I’ll still watch it if it’s on somewhere…

  34. Scott Pilgrim. People I generally trust assure me the comics were amazing, but I just don’t see it. Aside from the art style I can’t get into, the dude’s just a d-bag. And I get that the series is about him becoming a better guy…but I don’t care if he succeeds. (As for the movie, I might have given it a try, as it at least has the virtue of being shorter, but I really dislike Michael Cera.)

    So who’s your ideal casting choice for your favorite hero, should the movie of your dreams ever get made?

  35. alphaalpharomeo

    @ Jeff you’d be a Jedi Guardian….they focus on fighting over force powers

  36. Danny Beaty: I have not seen those but they sound interesting. I don’t get HBO, sadly.

    In terms of the voting list, probably not today. I didn’t mean to imply I was on a strict timeline on those, I’ll get to them when I can.

  37. Worf: My expectations are that it will suck, but that it will do so in super-slow-mo increments, interspersed with super-high-speed vignettes. I am not a huge believer in Zack Snyder.

  38. @Jadebrain, I saw the whole body switch thing coming as soon as they showed the stupid tree. The whole movie was so predicable, and honestly, boring as hell. Plus, I’m REALLY sick of the “Evil Military” angle.
    @Zaheelee, I know!! I’m so excited for Avengers!
    @X-stacy, totally agree. As soon as I saw Cera, any interest I had in seeing the movie left. I’m so tired of him, and how he plays the same character in everything.

  39. X-stacy: Geez, I have no clue, I’m horrible at casting. Plus, all the movies I really wanted to see made from comics have pretty much been made, so my dreams have already come true. So I’m going to cheat and say my favorite actor who appeared in a movie I dreamed of them making was Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

  40. @Jeff 38, I’m right there with you. The only reason I want to see it is because they cast Russell Crowe as Jor-El. The rest of the cast does nothing for me.

  41. borntobealoser

    Wow, I have so many nerd shames. Sometimes when I compare myself to my friends, I wonder whether I really am a nerd at all.

    I’m a little frustrated because I can’t think of my greatest nerd shame. My mind has just gone blank.

    So instead, I’ll just go with the latest thing I revealed to my nerd friends: I don’t get Batman. Everyone else loves Batman. In fact, even as I write this, I feel a bunch of angry glares etching a hole in the back of my head. I just feel that the “unpowered vigilante” is a bit of a cliche. To me, it stopped being cool years ago. I get bored of the fact that Batman is considered by everyone to triumph over any situation, because he’s “the goddamn Batman”.

    Sorry, went on a defensive/offensive rant there…

  42. It might have been my reading level at the time, but the Hitchiker’s guide to galaxy damn near put me to sleep. If I find I might give it another chance, but I read like 5 pages and spaced out.

    @jeff,Have you ever read the original Teenage mutant ninja turtles comic? If so, do you like them better than the cartoons? I do.

  43. Without a doubt LARPing. I play pen and paper RPGs from time to time, and I enjoy it, but I’ve never understood live action.

    It’s like this, what do you need to play a traditional RPG? You need pen, paper, dice, a table and beer. That’s it. For LARPing, you need tons of people, costumes, locales, organizers, etc. It’s a logistic nightmare, and for what purpose? For not being able to say ‘I walk to the inn’ and arrive there immediately? I just don’t get it.

    My question to Jeff: Have you ever received this question before on a sharing day?

  44. ajw: I have heard of it, and I’ve seen a few panels here and there. Enough to convince me that I would like the comic way better than the ‘toons.

  45. Panner: I can’t remember, to be honest, but I can’t get rid of the nagging feeling it’s been out there before.

  46. First off Jeff, I think there is power worse then superman’s Super Hypnosis powers. I forget were but in one legion of superheros comic superman (actually super boy) actually beats the villain with a combination of super smell and super ventriloquism (I kid you not he has super ventriloquism). That being said it should come as no surprise that I don’t get superman. I also don’t get batman. personally I think the whole batman + prep time = invincible idea is dumb, but that’s just because I think it would apply to anyone, not just batman (just my personal opinion though). However I would have to say the biggest thing I don’t get is collecting. Be it comic books, action figures or yugioh cards (which I have a lot of). If a yugioh card or comic book looks cool or I could really use it in a deck I want it, but I couldn’t care less how rare it is.

    Sorry for ranting, but here’s the question. Jeff, is there any superhero you thought shouldn’t have been made?

  47. ajw (43): Same, only I got about 10 pages in…

  48. Vong and the ramifications surrounding them. I understand that the jedi could not sense the vong as the vong are like single cells on a living planet, too infinitesimal to register on the force. Their ships and tech are like bacteria and parasites. Again that makes sense. I didn’t like chewwie getting a moon dropped on him saving Han’s son. if it was that desperate time wise, 5 min would not have made the difference. Anakin could have at least pulled the wookiee on board with the force, Chewwie dying was far more ill than good in that it made the series even more jedi-centric. If a wookiee needed to die, then it could have been lowbacca who force threw anakin on board and died like a jedi saving others.

    So my questions is:
    What is your religious practice?

  49. There are a few, but the one that I get the most grief over is my inability to play First-Person Shooter video games. It’s not even like I suck at playing them, it’s that the first-person perspective makes me nauseated. Two minutes into playing, or even watching someone else play Halo or Portal, and I feel dizzy and want to puke. Weird thing is, it’s not always been like this, when I was younger, I played Doom to completion. It started to hit me when I started playing Quake.

    So, my question is, have you ever heard of anyone else with my condition? It’s pretty rare.

  50. Sutter_Kaine

    1) Vampires as romantic tortured souls. Vampires are blood-thirsty, demon-possessed corpses with strange and terrible powers. “Dracula” wasn’t a romance. If anything, it was a metaphor for the destructive nature of obsession. I blame Anne Rice for turning vampires into what they’ve become in popular culture, though I have to admit to liking the early Vampire Chronicles books. The “Twilight” series is romance, not horror. Made a virtual pariah due to her inability to relate to her peer group because of her unusual intelligence, perceptiveness, and sensitivity, the geeky but gorgeous introvert falls for the equally misunderstood bad boy who introduces her to a whole other reality she never knew existed. It’s the plot of 75-80% of all teen romance movies. It’s practically the plot of “Say Anything”! The author herself admitted she didn’t know anything about traditional vampire mythology and just made it up as she went along. Thus, vampires that sparkle in sunlight. Blech. At this point a stake through the heart would be a mercy killing.
    2) Zombies that run = bad. Zombies should shamble Romero-style, the way a dead body animated by God knows what would. I think it’s just creepier to find yourself slowly surrounded by an ever-growing number of shuffling corpses than quickly run down by drooling Olympic sprinters.
    3) Dragon-Riders of Pern. It was the first time I read anything fantasy related and thought “This is so…boring.”
    4) MMO games. I can interact with other people in real life. When I’m playing a video game I just want to kill stuff. Scorpion is coming for you, Sub-Zero!!!
    5) Wolverine and Deadpool. Do not get what the big deal is. The nickname “Merc With A Mouth” makes me want to punch him in the mouth.
    6) I like Batman as a two-fisted semi-psychotic vigilante fighting Dick Tracy-style freaks on the mean streets of Gotham. Take him out of his element and he just ends up being an anti-social jerk with the most boring costume in the room.
    7) Still having Kryptonite around is stupid. The DC universe is full of villians as tough as Superman. If it figures in any way in the next movie, I’ll never watch another Superman movie again. And this time I REALLY mean it.
    8) Somebody already mentioned Stargate. I liked the movie but wasn’t sure why it merited a TV series. Farscape only lasted a few seasons but Stargate got three different ser…what’s the plural of series?
    9) Modern superhero costumes. Why does everybody dress like a motocross racer these days? Or in a bikini made out of scabs? Changing the clothing doesn’t make the concept any less ridiculous. You’re still talking about guys that fly and shoot laser-beams out of their eyes. They’re superheroes. Their outfits are supposed to be gaudy and impractical. I hate Poison Ivy as an almost naked plant-woman. Black Orchid too. Women in tights are hot! Yeah, I know, new generation, more relateable, different sensibilities, blah blah blah. I’m the grown-up with the job and disposable income. You want my money, give me what I want.
    10) Bruce Timm’s versions of the Royal Flush Gang. Granted, Bruce Timm has provided me with hours and hours of entertainment and I love 99% of what he did, but this is my favorite villian group we’re talking about. Silly yes, but the comic book versions are visually striking and campy the way comics should be. The Batman Beyond versions were uninteresting on all levels and the Justice League Unlimited versions made my literally cry. By which I mean figuratively.

    Jeff – I don’t have any questions for you. I prefer that you remain a man of mystery.

  51. Sutter_Kaine

    P.S. Jeff – What you said about Stephen King is funny. I had a creative writing instructor who said exactly the same thing and for the most part I agree. I think King’s work is a good example of why horror usually works better as a short story than a novel. In a novel, the reader has more time to become acclimated to the plot-hook, suspension of disbelief kicks in, and the weirdness quotient drops considerably. Some of King’s non-horror/non-supernatural stuff is actually pretty decent, though. “The Body” (the basis for the movie “Stand By Me”) is a great novelette.

  52. The Anime Movie Akira ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_(film) ). Typically considered a Landmark film in the Anime word it is a movie I found VERY BORING and could not stand watching! This was the first Anime I ever saw and If it were not for a very persistent friend who kept pushing me to watch other anime, this movie would have turned me off all of Anime forever thats how BAD I found it.

  53. Joel: Pretty much everything the Liefeld portion of Image put out in the Nineties :-)

  54. Knighthawk: My practice is to avoid practicing :-)

  55. Myro: I have heard of that before, definitely. It’s definitely a “thing”, including people who can’t watch 3D movies for the same reason. I don’t know what it’s called but I’ve definitely heard of it. I don’t think you’re missing all that much, though, to be honest with you.

  56. Sutter_Kaine, I’m honored to be thought of as a man at all, it’s a nice change of pace from how my wife describes me (rim shot!). Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all weak and please, tip your waitresses!

  57. @SutterKaine (51): I like the slow-moving zombies better too, but I still enjoy the fasties. In fact I consider the fast-moving zombies a subgenre of zombies that I call “ghouls” for lack of a better term.

  58. Okay, my biggest nerd shame is that I really don’t read comic books. I’ve read a few Marvel ones (only Avengers) and the Frank Miller Batman book, but otherwise, I can’t get into it. The only characters I really know about are Batman, Iron Man, and the Green Lantern because I like their movies (Yes, I liked the Green Lantern movie. Wasn’t the best superhero movie, but I enjoyed it) and looked up info on them through Wikipedia. Maybe it’s because there isn’t a store around here, or I just don’t have the time, I can’t really get into comic books. And the ones I’ve read are because I borrowed them from a friend because I didn’t want to do actual work in French class.

    Oh, and for all of you Avatar fans (/sarcasm), Avatar=Pocahontas: IN SPACE! And that is why it wasn’t really that good of a movie. See link for more details.

    http://pete.com/view/avatar-like-pocahontas

  59. Oh, and my question is what do you think of Blade Runner, and what are your thoughts on the new movie that’s going to be either a sequel or prequel to it?

  60. @ Myro: My wife is sensitive to the first person shooters as well. She avoids watching me play so unfortunately she can never witness my mad skillz at work. :)

  61. It’s been forever since I saw it, and I was pretty young, so mostly I thought Blade Runner was kind of boring and confusing. Clearly I need to rewatch it now that I am older and more mature!

  62. @Jeff. Yeah, it was pretty weird, but I wasn’t really paying attention when I watched it, and I’m not even sure if I finished it either.

  63. Okay, I have 2. One I’ve already mentioned, is that I never got past chapter 1 of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Another is that I don’t read superhero comics. At all. The closest I’ve come is Simpsons comics and manga.

    My question: When are you going to do a Power User Profile of yourself?

  64. Kaylin88100: There’s waaaay more than enough info out there on me already without a special profile. Plus, it’s Power USER Profile, but I’m not a user, I’m the creator! The point of that feature is to get to know more about all of you, not me.

  65. @Jeff (65): Awww. But there’s lots of things we don’t know about you, like…what’s the best piece of art you’ve created on HeroMachine? Oh wait, I’ve already had my question, someone else better ask that for me :) Please? :)

  66. My biggest nerd shame is my dislike of Anime. This is unfortunate because I have a love for the design aesthetic in many instances. I just can’t get past the dialogue, plot, and pacing for most Anime and much prefer the Western style of storytelling.

    With that said I found Avatar: The Last Airbender to be the perfect blend of Anime and Western sensibilities. Super creative ideas and imagination tempered by good story structure and dialogue. If all Anime was as good as Avatar I would be crazy obsessive about it.

    My question: I’ve daydreamed about changing things in movies to make them “better”. For instance I would love to remake the Return of the Jedi and make the Ewoks a force to be reckoned with so it makes more sense that they could take on the imperial forces on Endor. Imagine hordes of fast-moving, furry cute but feral Ewoks who run rampant over the stormtroopers. Unfortunately we got slow-moving waddling teddy bears who were about as fearsome as, well, teddy bears. I dream of a day that the mere mention of “Ewoks” would send shivers down fanboy spines.

    What one aspect in a movie/book/television show that you would change that would make a profound difference in how much you enjoyed it?
    (I may have asked this before. scratch scratch)

  67. Sutter_Kaine

    Jeff- There’s nothing better than being demasculated by the very person for whom you gave up your realistic dreams of being a rockstar, spending cash, hanging out with your friends, and sleeping till noon on weekends.

    dblade – I think of fast zombies as the zombie equivalent of the attempt to make comics EXTREME!!! in the 90s.

  68. Kaylin88100: I never use HM to make characters. Why would I — I’m the one who drew all the pieces in the first place :-) If I want a character sketch, I just draw one.

  69. dblade: I’m like you, I keep thinking Return could have been way better. For me, I’d have gone with the original plan and used Wookies instead. Or, I’d have left out Jar Jar Binks (from the first prequel) altogether. Or, I’d have used any actress except Shelley Duvall in “The Shining” (which is an awesome movie despite my trashing of King’s novels), or anyone except Margo Kidder in “Superman, the Movie”.

  70. My cousin is into all the table games like WH40K and stuff. I think the graphics look cool but just don’t see the appeal in rolling dice and moving lil toy men or what have you. Hey Jeff, who is your favorite actor and actress and which actor or actress do you think should be kicked out of hollywood?

  71. I don’t hate Trek, I just find it boring most of the time. It’s not something I’d seek out to watch.

    Except Voyager. *runs away*

  72. TOOL, I’m going to go with Simon Pegg as my favorite actor (ha!), Tina Fey as my favorite actress (double ha!), and all the Kardashians as who should be kicked out of HOllywood. You?

  73. Jeff, definitely watch Blade Runner again. I admit that the first time i watched it, I didn’t get it either, but I think I was 12 or 13 at the time, and was expecting something different. I watched it again at 20, and saw it for what it really is, a noir film with sci-fi trappings, and have watched it maybe a dozen times in various cuts since then.
    BTW, none of the cuts, IMO is “bad” per say, but go with the latest director’s cut if you follow up on my recommendation.

  74. Thanks Myro. I have a new internet service coming to check out my location next week. It’s wireless broadband (via radio like we had back in Texas), which would allow me to watch streaming video again. So I could probably watch it via Hulu or NetFlix or whatever. And I could play video games again online! But, if we don’t have line of sight it won’t work, so we’ll have to wait and see.

  75. Hey Jeff (75), Hows your iphones connection where you live ? If it’s good enough to stream videos, you might consider purchasing an Apple TV unit, as it would let you stream content from your Iphone/ipod/ipad to the Apple TV and watch it on your Television screen.

  76. Kaldath, unfortunately my AT&T connection here at the house is spotty at best. Sometimes I get 3G, sometimes not. Sometimes no bars, sometimes four. Just way too unreliable for anything I need — as-is, I just use my wi-fi connection for anything phone related. And I’m debating dumping the iPhone completely in favor of a cheap-ass pay-as-you-go phone and a Kindle, since that’s about all I really use the phone for any more.

  77. @Jeff, favorite actor, I love seeing new faces but I would have to say tie between Viggo Mortensen and Hugh Jackman, actresses, I dont know they qualify but I love Oliva Munn and Monica Bellucci. Actors that just need to call it quits in Hollywood I would say either George Cloony or Leonardo Dicaprio. Actresses would be Anne Hathaway or Lindsay Lohan. I wouldn’t mind a few mins in a room alone with Lohan but I’m sure that protection would be needed by now LOL

  78. I love the irony of this topic because to me it has always seemed that being a geek = SHAME….upon shame upon shame. What sets me apart from my anime obsessed, computer programmed, buy the latest gadget/video game geek friends is that I an into 0 of those things. These same friends don’t get why I’m into world building and I love love love armor and weapons. No I don’t LARP. I just like the gear. No, I don’t own any because it’s just too damn expensive. That’s probably the underlying issue that I just don’t get. How can anyone be so obsessed with one thing that they spend nearly all of their money on it? Is that why they still live in their mom’s basement – they simply cannot afford to move out? Jeff I’m with you an Stephen King somewhat. I loved a few of his books (Dark Tower among them) but I couldn’t see myself re-reading the Stand and DT books 5 and 6 sucked. The last was cool, but it felt like he was just scrambling to get the story down before another minivan ran him over. I applaud everyone’s questions so far, they have been excellent!

    My question: hmmm….it’s a huge waste – I just can’t think of one that I simply must know – so I’ll ask about your pup(s). How’s the busted leg? I have a couple border collie mutts myself and I hate hearing about hurt animals.

  79. NERD ALERT!!!

    There is a multitude of things I dislike. I don’t like buffy the vampire slayer. I don’t like D&D. (Why mess with D&D when I have Warhammer?) I don’t think Avatar was anything more than a 13 year olds script and a dope computer program. I think Kingdom Come was a nice story with fantastic art, but nothing special beyond that.(I think Earth X was 100 times better.) I from the get go thought that Episodes 1,2, & 3 were junk. (…like most geeks however I saw them in theaters anyway)

    Theres a great number of things I dislike, but this isn’t about me….

  80. Aha! A geek related question. Jeff might I ask you to add the following to HM3: dwarf figures [like earlier versions], backs, and more lower body armors, like chain mail skirts/leggings. I loves me some dwarves (no, not a midget fetish), I need to show some back tattoo concepts, and I really liked the rider function/design to the armor of the Rohirrim.

  81. I share some of the nerd shame (shames?)some of you folks have already confessed to: I never did understand all the fuss over Stephen King, despite having a friend who thought he was great. I think he’s actually a terrible writer, and the idea of him giving writing advice is just ridiculous. I never really “got” Lovecraft or the Dune books or Stargate or Smallville. I guess my biggest geek heresy, however, was that I absolutely hated–hated, I say–Watchmen. I explain why at some length here. Alan Moore basically takes everything that makes superhero comics fun to read–the color, the romance, the melodrama–takes it apart, deliberately turns the genre on its head, and makes it slightly less fun to read than a long dreary Russian novel. I can think of few things I enjoyed reading less than this tripe, but for some strange reason, many people seem to think it’s some kind of classic. I say “Blecch.” I wish it had never been written. Comics are still suffering from its influence. So there.

  82. @Dan #1, I like the idea that avatar tried to go with but the product wasn’t what I hoped for, but haven’t zombie movies been played out too.

    @Watson #3, I kinda liked the Stargate movie and the idea but I didn’t like any of the series either.

    @Zaheelee #5, I like superman and I understand your feelings, but there are great supervillains that have met the bar that they set.

    @Patrick #8, Don’t feel bad, I can hardly read anything, I don’t have the patience but I did like the movies. They were so long though, and I hate it when people gripe during or after the movie that the book was better. I tell them, If you think so go sit in your room and use your imagination and let me enjoy the bliss and my HD.

    @Benk22 #27, I liked Boba Fett and I couldn’t believe that he got killed off like that, so much for all that high tech gear and assassin/mercenary training right.

    @Danny Beaty #30, Thank you very much for saying something, I hate the new age vampire crap that they have been coming up with lately.

    @Sutter_Kaine #52, I happen to really like Deadpool and Wolverine, but I do agree that there are many costumes in recent comics that are laughable.

    @Niall Mor #82, I didn’t like watchmen either, except for Rorschach, I kinda liked him but I’m kinda twisted myself =D

    On a note to the masses that have been talking about Blade Runner, I saw it on the other day and DVR’ed it and have been trying to watch it over the past few days and I am two monologs away from deleting it because it would be more fun at this point to pull out my fingernails with a pair or pliers.

  83. As said by others, I didn’t really think the Lord of the Rings
    was all that, not bad just not AWESOME. Also never got into WoW or Battle Star Galatica.

    @Corran Horn #59.While I love comics I understand what your saying. Its hard for me to get into a ongoing series. I would recommend several of Vertigo books, since a lot of them actually end.

    Jeff, regarding Stephen King, his short stories are so much better than his novels. Also the Bachman books are good.

    For a question. If you could have comic book dream team,
    artist/writer/character(s) who would they be.

  84. I love Nerd Hate! Especially since everything you like is wrong and everything I love is awesome!!!

    Go Buffy!!!
    :)

  85. And stay shiny!!!

  86. I wouldn’t call them nerdy per se, but I’ve never understood the appeal of Two and A Half Men.

    A few months ago, when the whole Charlie Sheen thing happened, people in my class were talking about how the show wouldn’t be funny without Sheen. I said ” Who cares? It was never funny anyway!” The entire class got silent and stared at me for a second before a collective “WHAT?!”

    Jeff, what is/was your favorite cartoon show?

  87. Halo is my nerd kryptonite.

    While some may think that the appeal of the Halo games, as a first-person shooter, is too broad to count as “nerdy”, I must respectfully disagree – especially when you take the universe as a whole into account. Between the half dozen games already released with more on the way, multiple books, a collection of cartoons, comic books, and an ever-expanding narrative through fan fiction, the Halo-verse definitely fits the criteria of nerd-dom, even if it is the new generation of such.

    My problem with the Halo property is that it is over-reaching. It yearns to bridge the gap between the fairly socially-acceptable notion of multiplayer & the classic nerd’s desire for robust storyline. The end result, for me, is a series that contradicts itself across its own media, an unrealistic blending of the super hero genre with what is supposed to be a realistic, sci-fi world. Master Chief can leap 30 yards into the air, survive re-entry/falling to a planet’s surface, but he can be killed by a couple of energy darts… O_o Anyways, that’s the one, major nerd property that I don’t enjoy.

  88. ZombieGunslinger: I’m not doing a separate body and items for dwarfs in HM3. The plan is to use the scaling settings for that.

  89. Vorpal Laugh: I’d love to see Stan Lee and Jack Kirby take on Batman. Think how bizarre that already insane cast of villains and the (sorry) ludicrous premise of a guy dressing up like a bat with a scantily clad underage sidekick could be absolutely over the top nutso with that team on them.

  90. Remy, I’m right there with you on “Two and a Half Men”. I absolutely stone-cold do not get it.

    My favorite cartoon show is still the Chuck Jones era Bugs Bunny. Pure awesome.

  91. Vorpal Laugh

    Remy, Totally agree too.

    Jeff, I just got an image of Stan Lee and Zombie Kirby talking over a drafting table. no disrespect to the great Jack Kirby

  92. @TOOL (83), Zombie movies have absolutely been played out, but I really couldn’t think of a better question, and I figured that it kinda went with yesterday’s topic.

  93. I have to say that I don’t get the need to have magic explained, as if it was something that could really happen. I saw this most recently in Paolini’s Eragon series. If I am reading a fantasy novel about creatures that cannot exist, then I have already agreed to suspend my disbelief regarding such things. I do not then need 15 pages explaining how the character is affecting molecules or something.

    Also, psuedo science in science fiction. I hate when an author tries to explain something they clearly have no knowledge of. (Or when Janeway and Seven would dialog for half an episode about theories of astral-physics)

    Oh! And the need to create whole other dimensions to explain inconsistencies in long-running comics. It’s not real-world history, after all.

    Ok. I’m done. no questions, thanks.

  94. Okay, I would have to say that my biggest thing that I don’t get that all my fellow geeks do is Lord of the Rings. I mean, the movies were alright (if you could get past that it was basically three movies of them walking to a mountain) but when I tried to read the books I went “who-in-the-whatin-huh?” I mean, I just couldn’t understand the language used. And I can’t even imagine how people made it through all three with the extra books to boot! So there is my shame. I have never understood Lord of the Rings (hangs head).

    As for a question, Jeff, I would like to know who your favorite X-Men character was?

  95. Jessica, I’ve always had a soft spot for the original Marvel Girl with the green and yellow costume and big pointy mask. Before she became Dark Phoenix, before she was plain old Jean Grey, before the mega drama. Just plain old Marvel Girl, with TK and telepathy, holding her own on an all-guy team.

  96. I, too, couldn’t get into LotR or Stephen King: both wrote like they KNEW they were getting paid by the word. I, too, thought “Dances with Smurfs” sucked diseased donkey balls. But what I REALLY don’t, never have and never will get is Star Wars. When you update Flash Gordon, you put in MORE science, not LESS. The story of a bunch of religious fanatics trying to topple the government is a little too Muslim for my tastes. The Federation would have squashed their little rebellion in a single episode of Star Trek (the ANIMATED series!) after Spock detected and McCoy found a cure for those mini-chlorides or whatever caused the Farce.

    So, I guess I’ll ask if you like Star Wars…and if so, whether or not I should enter any more contests, knowing you’ll never let me win after this diatribe? :)

  97. @Jeff: That’s so awesome, cause she’s one of my favs too. She was so girl-power in a time when feminism was just starting to be a big movement. I’ve always loved female characters like that (could have something to do with that I am a bit feminist myself). I always liked that Marvel Girl could hold her own on a big team full of big, brawny men. Right on!

  98. I’ve been fortunate only to have a couple: 2 and a half, if you want to be precise…

    The Punisher. Maybe it is because of my age, which means I actually read the early Punisher appearances, but a psychopathic vigilante shooting at litterers and jaywalkers (literally), what makes him so popular as a so-called anti-hero? In my mind he will always be a “B” class Spiderman villain, like Mysterio or The Spot.

    Video games. I never particularly got into video games. Even my non-geek wife is more into video games than I am. I just had better uses for my quarters. Maybe this is just a leftover from an earlier Geek Shame though…

    Computers & the Internet. I was fascinated by the concept growing up, and when Personal Computers started to exist, I read about them, but I never rushed out to buy one, and I don’t think I ever did make more than a half-hearted effort to build my own computer from that kit my dad picked up back in the late 70s. (I think it would have had the computing power of the average modern microwave oven.) When friends started talking about the Internet, I still did not have a computer, and I never went on my dad’s computers. All this eventually changed, when I saw a home-made D&D character sheet a friend printed out, but I was a latecomer to this mode of communication.

    Hmm, one question. Okay, what…

    …Is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

  99. I’ll probably actually get a lot of support on this, so it’s not really a nerd shame, but I really, really, intensely, passionately despise the Star Wars prequels (1-3). On a more shameful note, I don’t care for star trek, superman, the Christopher Nolan batman films, RPG games, or any ‘new age’ vampire things.

  100. Sean Murphy, do you mean a European or an African swallow?

    ;-)

  101. A little late to the party but I’ll throw in my two cents.

    Like many on this thread, I’ve never liked Lord of the Rings. Or really anything Tolkien ever wrote. I saw the Peter Jackson movies and I enjoyed those, so after the first movie came out I decided to check out the books. Much to my surprise, I found I couldn’t even make it halfway through the first LoTR book.

    There were so many little things that bothered me about it. Like the part near the beginning where Bilbo puts on the One Ring in front of everyone at his birthday party and turns invisible. There’s a sentence where it says Gandalf created a flash of light the moment Bilbo vanished so the partygoers would think the wizard was responsible for Bilbo’s disappearance. That sentence struck me as completely unnecessary and it jolted me right out of the story. I don’t know why Tolkien put it in there. I guess he thought it made Gandalf seem clever or something, but I couldn’t help questioning how Gandalf knew to conjure that flash of light at just the right moment when he couldn’t have known what Bilbo was about to do. Or for that matter, why he would bother. If you were at a party where an honest-to-god wizard was in attendance and someone spontaneously disappeared into thin air, wouldn’t you assume the wizard was responsible anyway?

    There were also lots of other parts where people and places that had never been mentioned before were suddenly brought up out of nowhere (like the Hobbit clans and various elves and dwarves), leaving me feeling like I had missed some previous book where these things were all introduced and explained. I’ve been told that you’re supposed to check the index for things like that, but at the time I didn’t even realize there was an index to check. I had never before encountered a fictional story with an index reference like that. And if I was supposed to look this stuff up in the index, why wasn’t there a note on the page telling me to do so?

    So yeah, I gave up on Fellowship and decided to go back and read The Hobbit first, hoping that it would give me a better introduction to the world of Middle Earth. And while The Hobbit was definitely better, it wasn’t by much. There were just as many references to things that were never explained. Like the part where it mentions a “necromancer” who lives in a tower that Bilbo and the dwarves have to avoid, and then he’s never mentioned again. I had no idea who this necromancer person was so this passage left me scratching my head. I was also bothered by the fact that Bilbo, the main character of the story, is not the one who actually fights and defeats the dragon Smaug. Especially since the cover of the version I read seemed to show them fighting. And to this day I still have no idea why Gandalf specifically wanted Bilbo on the team to recover the dwarves’ priceless macguffins.

  102. Battlestar Galactica.

    I love tech syfy and I love media that pit scientists against thier own creations, and I love it when stuff from the 80s gets reimagined with better SFX, why can’t I love this series? I don’t know.

  103. After reading all of these entries I’m not sure if anyone should ever feel nerd shame. There are too many flavors of Geek for anyone to come to a consensus on anything.

    Although you Tolkien haters are shamefully whack! :)

  104. On the reverse, I can see Nerd Shame for things we like that the Geek Majority looks down on.

  105. “The story of a bunch of religious fanatics trying to topple the government is a little too Muslim for my tastes.”

    You make it sound like the only flavor of religious nut to hate the government is Muslim! :P

  106. Skybandit (97)
    And I thought the communist reduction of Star Wars was a little farfetched. If you haven’t heard that one, think of it as a priest hiring a drug supplier and stringing along a peasant in order to break a deposed aristocrat out of jail and destroy a massive public works project.

  107. Ha! This reminds me of the time a college acquaintance told me he didn’t like White Lion’s “When the Children Cry” because he was outraged by the line “…no more presidents”.

    Yeah, I’m hair metal fan! Big whoop! Wanna fight about it! :)

  108. Avatar and the brooding, bad-boy vampires of Tru-Blood and Twilight.

    Fright Night may have not been original, but it was a much needed break from the thickly slathered bull-excrement that passes for vampires these days.

  109. 1) SUPERHERO COMICS:
    I like superheroes in other media, but I cannot stand superhero comics. My biggest gripe is the prevelance of “decompressed storytelling.” You have to read dozens of books for anything to actually happen.

    Then, Marvel and D.C. insist that all of their comics take place in the same universe. This means that to FULLY appreciate what is happening to Spider-Man right now, I have to know about his recent run in with the Fantastic Four that happened in another book in an entirely different series.

    Then, there is the insistance that this is all one continuity but NO ONE EVER AGES. Batman has been fighting crime for nearly a century now. I keep expecting to hear he broke a bone or left his utility belt in the refrigerator and forgot about it.

    2) ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
    The initial premise has promise. You have an effectively unlimited supply of enemies to fight (combat angle), are afraid that you might turn into one yourself (dramatic angle), and have to be afraid of nearly every person you meet (psychological angle.)

    However, very few zombie-based movies or video games go beyond just setting up the scenario and having the hero fight some zombies. Most of them don’t seem to have a proper ending. The zombies are never stopped. The hero is never stopped. Usually, it’s just a guy wandering around a dilapidated landscape. I could name pornographic films that had a more engaging plot than “Night of the Living Dead.”

    3) “REALISTIC” FIRST-PERSON SHOOTERS.
    They are not realistic. A realistic FPS would be about walking back and forth in a bombed-out city for a few hours before somebody detonates a car bomb next to you, injuring your leg and requiring you to spend the next few months in a hospital room.

    Stop pretending to be realistic. If I’m going to imperviously shoot and kill hundreds of people, then you might as well just admit that either I’m a cyborg/demigod/superhero/Jedi/android or that the game takes place in a cartoonishly unrealistic world. (Or, ideally, both.)

    4) DRAGONLANCE
    I read the original trilogy, and it was medicore at best. It reminded me of fantasy stories that I wrote when I was in middle school. There were too many heroes, most of which had little character development. The villians had no motives or personality. The plot was paper-thin. They are just poorly-written books.

    5) SPACEBALLS
    There is not a single funny joke in this movie. It is nothing but a string non-sequitirs and pop’-culture references. It is even worse than “Family Guy.”

    6) AMVs
    Why would anyone consider applying someone else’s music to clips from someone else’s cartoons to be an art form? It is a waste of time, demonstrating no creativity.

    7) FAN-FICTION
    Unless I am being paid for it, why would I want to write a story with someone else’s characters? Making up characters is the most fun part of writing fiction!

  110. Hey, Joshua, does that mean you saw Fright Night? How is it? (I liked the original, but I’ve cooled considerably toward vampires since my teen years and also am not Colin Farrell’s biggest fan, so I’m on the fence about seeing the new one.)