Friday, September 10, 2010

There but for the grace of Lloth* go I...

At least I'm not this bad. I hope.

There comes a time in every nerd's life when they must ask themselves: 'how far is too far?' Today, I believe that I have found the answer: An all Klingon opera. That's too far. But this answer left me feeling a little empty inside, as well as a little guilty. It's not that I think devoting weeks of one's life to producing an opera based on the life of the fictional Klingon Jesus can really be all that healthy, it's not. It's more like a 'who am I to judge' kind of thing. Is there a line? If so, where is it? At what point does obsessive fandom cross the neutral zone into slobbering tinfoil hat wearing crazy? And the most terrifying question of all: 'could I have crossed this line and not know it?'

Crazy, located just east of Earth Outpost 7
Pictured: not me.

Look, I like my nerd stuff as much as the next guy, maybe a little more so, but I cling (notice how I pass on the pun) to the fact that I have never dressed up as a Hobbit, nor have I ever participated in a plastic lightsaber fight outside a movie theatre. I don't speak Klingon, Na'Vi or Elvish.

Actually me.

Yeah, I can do the Vulcan salute. Yes, I have an opinion about Babylon 5. And who among us hasn't engaged in heated debates over whether or not the Starship Enterprise would win against an Imperial Star Destroyer? (Yes, it would. Every time. So shut up.)

Today I found myself judging the good people at Zeebelt Theatre Company in the Hague and feeling just a little superior. But why? I mean, they're staging a full opera in a made up language. That's kind of awesome. The amount of work that must have gone in to it is amazing. I haven't put any operas on today...So why am I looking askance (yeah, I used askance) at these people?

fig. 2a
Cautionary tale or everyone's inner nerd?

We're all geeks, some more than others I'll grant you (see fig. 2a), why then does the Klingon Opera make me roll my eyes and cry: 'neeeerrddd!'?

Is there really anything wrong with being a Dutch Klingon opera enthusiast? Or Captain Nintendo up there? (possibly.) In our heart of hearts, are we really all that different? Prick us do we not bleed? (albeit sometimes green, or concentrated acid) 

As nerds, why must we take a hit to our charisma roll, just for knowing what a charisma roll is? 

The only foolproof form of birth control.
Yeah, these dudes are nerds, bigger nerds than we'll ever be. The question is: can we laugh at and admire them at the same time?


  1. Okay, so crazy is located just east of Earth Outpost 7, but which way is East in space? Has anyone taken a compass into space? Crap, now I'm going to lose my entire afternoon Googling "cardinal directions in space."

  2. Certain of my nerdish infallibility, I rushed to the attic and dug out my copy of R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy but lo, it is win this round DiMuzio! Humbly I correct this post.

  3. I'm pretty sure this makes me the BIGGER loser though, so there's that.

  4. In the interests of reclaiming the title of bigger loser, I'm un-correcting the title of this post because it looks like R.A. Salvatore used 'Lloth' in the first edition of Homeland and then covered his tracks by later establishing this to be a regionalism unique to Menzoberranzan. NERD!