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February 10, 2010 12:11 AM   Subscribe

Geek Heroes sing "We Love xkcd" As a follow up to this animation of the original strip Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Wil Wheaton, Hank Green and a cast of dozens sing of love and geekiness.
posted by mikoroshi (92 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
this is the best xkcd ever!
posted by dopamine at 12:35 AM on February 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Boomdeyada.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:22 AM on February 10, 2010


There are two errors, however.

Between MC Frontalot's "boomdeyada" and his "I love transistors", the line actually should be:
lv lctns!
And the first two of the three final lines of the chorus should be:
Bmdyd bmdyd,
Bmdyd bmdyd ...
... you know who else liked singing and flags?
posted by WCityMike at 1:29 AM on February 10, 2010


Christ almighty what a circle-jerk of fuckery.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:35 AM on February 10, 2010 [33 favorites]


I'm missing context here. Is there an original Discovery Channel song/ad thing that I never saw, being cable-less? (Not that this isn't pretty awesome as it is already, heh.)
posted by Iosephus at 1:51 AM on February 10, 2010


Here, Iosephus.
posted by stavrogin at 1:52 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks! The original is by far the awesomest, my day is made.
posted by Iosephus at 2:01 AM on February 10, 2010


I just played it twice, and squee'd like a little girl. Awesome!
posted by kalimac at 2:21 AM on February 10, 2010


WCityMike - Y is an occasional vowel.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:29 AM on February 10, 2010


It's like a cuddle party. You feel incredibly uncomfortable once you realize that you recognize all of these people, and end the evening with a cathartic cry.

...What?
posted by Mizu at 2:31 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only person I actually recognize is Neil Gaiman, and he seems somewhat uncomfortable with his role here as you can barely hear him.

...I kinda wanted to hear him sing "Boom De Yada", to be honest.
posted by Target Practice at 2:32 AM on February 10, 2010


I'm willing to bet it's more that Neil is fairly uncomfortable with his singing voice. He's made more than one comment along the lines that he doesn't sing in public and considers that a service to mankind.

As for the rest of the video, I laughed, I cried...
posted by pupdog at 2:44 AM on February 10, 2010


I, I don't know what to say! First, I wake up to a SNOW DAY, and now this delight??? It sn't even my birthday! Thank you, world! :D
posted by njbradburn at 3:22 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Christ almighty what a circle-jerk of fuckery.

...which is naturally never the case with "The Core MeFites", this odd bunch of people with too much free time (that, or they're not too productive at work), who seem to show up in Every. Goddamn. Thread. because they always have such important insights to share about EVERYTHING.

The point being, any online "community" (like MeFi) will inevitably and naturally move towards circle-jerkery, no better than a video or a blog or a conference or any other thing that gathers together a bunch of net-famous people.

I'm sick and fucking tired of nobodies in online forums - such as MeFi users, let's be honest - hating on people just because they have gathered some amount of online fame through a combination of online presence and whatever it is they produce, be it books, music or blog posts.

Yeah, not everyone is a hater. But they're a lot more vocal than the non-haters (lovers? admirers? neutrals?), because there's no online ego boost like that always fruitful YOUR FAVOURITE X SUCKS mentality. "I'm better than these guys 'cause I can see what shit the things they like are."

If this applies to you, fuck you. If not, ignore. Rant over.
posted by lifeless at 3:35 AM on February 10, 2010 [32 favorites]


Frankly, I'm surprised that this thread has gone on even this long without the requisite Cory Doctorow vitriole that appears in any thread that is associated, even peripherally, with the man. Disclaimer: not a fan myself, but no reason to hate him, either.
posted by lifeless at 3:39 AM on February 10, 2010


The vitriole is like the most underrated part of a medieval French castle. It's where they store the sponges. THE HATE-SPONGES!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:44 AM on February 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


If this applies to you, fuck you. If not, ignore. Rant over

I've seen better rants.
posted by maxwelton at 3:53 AM on February 10, 2010 [18 favorites]


Yeah, not everyone is a hater. But they're a lot more vocal than the non-haters (lovers? admirers? neutrals?), because there's no online ego boost like that always fruitful YOUR FAVOURITE X SUCKS mentality. "I'm better than these guys 'cause I can see what shit the things they like are."


Indeed. (Note that this is on the same blog linked to in the Vampire Weekend thread. His name's Nitsuh Abebe, he's got a lot of very insightful stuff on that site, he sometimes writes for Pitchfork too.)
posted by kersplunk at 4:08 AM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm quite pleased that even tho' I recognise a couple of the names in the post I have no idea who the people in this video are. And that's after seeing part of an episode of The Big Bang theory with WW in it!

I'm sick and fucking tired of nobodies in online forums...

In other news...who the fuck are you?
posted by i_cola at 4:13 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


(BTW, that's a lighthearted WTFAY, not a hatey one)
posted by i_cola at 4:14 AM on February 10, 2010


Less Cory Doctorow plz. Or label it Geek Heroes and Cory Doctorow.
posted by jdfan at 4:53 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


this odd bunch of people with too much free time (that, or they're not too productive at work), who seem to show up in Every. Goddamn. Thread. because they always have such important insights to share about EVERYTHING.

I agree. My personal policy is that if I see a post on a subject I do not care for, I poke around if it's interesting enough, but most of the time I AVOID THAT THREAD.

Simple rule: avoid that which you do not like. Dropping in to those threads to mention how you do not like the thing you do not like just makes you an asshole, not an insightful critic of culture and the human condition.

(rant over)
posted by grubi at 5:18 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised that this thread has gone on even this long without the requisite Cory Doctorow vitriole

Dude. The video has Neil Fucking Gaiman in it. Neil Fucking Gaiman instantly nullifies any Doctorow. Neil Fucking Gaiman is a hundred off a 5d20.

I mean, Christ, everyone knows that.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:23 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is that also Neil Gaiman with the "I love her sister" line? Because if so EEEEEE NEIL GAIMAN ON A TRAMPOLINE
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:28 AM on February 10, 2010


I'm willing to bet it's more that Neil is fairly uncomfortable with his singing voice. He's made more than one comment along the lines that he doesn't sing in public and considers that a service to mankind.

In which case, I am even more grateful for this
(warning: contains Jonathan Coulton and will therefore arguably increase the circlefuckery)
posted by Mchelly at 5:35 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's Neil and his daughter Maddy. The line he says is I love (pointing at his daughter) her sister
and yea Neil definitly trumps Cory
posted by ShawnString at 5:37 AM on February 10, 2010


I'm sick and fucking tired of nobodies in online forums...

And hey, there's a way you can ensure you'll never be troubled by them again!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:37 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Neil will pull off a bit of 'song-talking', but notice he drops out at the chorus. I asked him after one of Amanda Palmer's shows when we were going to see him singing, and the response was 'you really don't want to'. There's other video of similar song-talking, but once melody and tune come more into play I think he likes to run in the other direction.

That said, NG seems to be one of the most gracious, self-effacing people that could buy and sell my soul I've ever met...
posted by pupdog at 5:44 AM on February 10, 2010


Am I the only geek that liked the Discovery video 10x better than the xkcd strip and liked that 100x better than this video?
posted by DU at 5:47 AM on February 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


As Sally Field wisely said in Smokey and the Bandit II, even Bambi has enemies.

Of course, Bambi never went into a steamcraft phase.
posted by condour75 at 5:48 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn. I misread that as "Greek Heroes sing..." and was disappointed at the lack of Achilles, Odysseus, et al.

Freakin' nerds...
posted by the other side at 6:01 AM on February 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


Of course, Bambi never went into a steamcraft phase.

Iron Bambi, where he grows up, meets up with an exiled gnomish steam engineer who builds him a steam-powered armor suit, with brass spikes on the end of his antlers...

Tagline: "Hunting Season will never be the same..."
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:07 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whatever spontaneity one feels at playing with or subverting a work of advertising (say, a viral ad jingle) is punctured, for me, by another sense - that we are playing with art designed to be subverted in this way. That we're giving longer legs to something born in a boardroom, a facsimile of culture carefully xeroxed into life not by artists but "creatives," font doctors, film/English/music -majors but not -makers. Our fandom and fanfic, and of course our repetition, are the inch of makeup it needs to pass as real. And, really, who can say it isn't? Wazzzzuuuuuuup.
posted by kid ichorous at 6:18 AM on February 10, 2010


That said, NG seems to be one of the most gracious, self-effacing people that could buy and sell my soul I've ever met...

I think I've told this story before, but what the hell - my absolute favorite Neil Gaiman story happened to a friend of mine. He showed up at a book signing, and it wasn't until he got into line that he discovered he'd forgotten the book he was going to bring (he'd bought the currently-feted book already). But - then there was an announcement that Neil would sign things OTHER than the book.

So my friend very quickly made up a joke "contract" stipulating that Neil Gaiman would hereby sign over 80% of all his future profits to my friend. He signed it at the bottom, and put in a line for Neil Gaiman to "countersign" it. And then, when he got to the head of the line, he handed it to Neil with a perfectly straight face.

He says that Neil read it. Then looked at him. Then read it again with a bit of a twinkle in his eye, then looked at him again. Then read it again. Then he smiled a bit, and in the space for his signature, he wrote: "In your dreams. ....Neil Gaiman"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:20 AM on February 10, 2010 [15 favorites]


Am I the only geek that liked the Discovery video 10x better than the xkcd strip and liked that 100x better than this video?

I'm with you, even though I like most of the people in this video. I don't know, I like XCKD but at the same time I feel like it's always 2 strips away from one of those "girls don't want nice guys they want assholes" rants.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:26 AM on February 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


(Actually I've seen the comic where he mocks that trope, but I still can't shake the feeling. Maybe it's just the fanbase.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:28 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wil Wheaton is not my geek hero...

...unless he still has that rainbow sweater.
posted by fuq at 6:30 AM on February 10, 2010


Who's the geek hero in bed with the muppets?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:31 AM on February 10, 2010


I'm pretty geeky, but I STILL prefer the animation to this song that was based off the original comic.

*sings* "Robe and wizard hat..."
posted by Theta States at 7:08 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Somebody list all the singers in order for us! And by "us," I mean me. I recognized some. Who was the guy with the gun?

The only person I actually recognize is Neil Gaiman, and he seems somewhat uncomfortable with his role here as you can barely hear him.

I thought it worked, because he was quietly singing, "I love the mystery..."

Also, I am not a fanboy, but I thought El Doctorow dressed up as his character from the strip was awesome.
posted by mecran01 at 7:25 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's a breakdown of who sang what. I didn't watch the animation first time it went 'round the net. I liked it and this.
posted by Zed at 7:46 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


My favorite X is Under The Big Black Sun.
posted by everichon at 7:59 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm so hip, I don't know who 3/4 of those people are.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:30 AM on February 10, 2010


Dude. The video has Neil Fucking Gaiman in it. Neil Fucking Gaiman instantly nullifies any Doctorow. Neil Fucking Gaiman is a hundred off a 5d20.

Who's Neil Gaiman?
posted by madajb at 8:37 AM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I misread that as "Greek Heroes sing..."

I love burnt offerings,
I love Penelope
I love Briseis,
But also Patrocles

Boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:49 AM on February 10, 2010 [15 favorites]


@Zed thanks!

FULL CREDITS LIST
01. We love momentum - Elaine Doyle & Olga Nunes
02. I love to engineer - David Beaumont & Google Zurich
03. I love this bakery -- Hank Green (Brotherhood2.0, Nerdfighters)
04. I love the blogosphere -- Cory Doctorow (BoingBoing)
05. I love the whole world - Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy)
06. And all its messed up folks -- Lawrence Lessig
07. Boomdeyada Boomdeyada -- Miss Cellania (Neatorama)
08. I love your suffering -- Allan Amato
09. I love cryptography -- Bruce Schneier
10. I love entangled sheets -- Olga Nunes, Belinda Casas, Chuck Martinez, Jeremy James, Joanna Gaunder, Lee Israel
11. And kite photography -- Charissa Gilreath
12. I love the whole world -- Jason Kottke (kottke.org)
13. I love a mystery -- Neil Gaiman
14. Boomdeyada Boomdeyada -- Mr. Toast
15. Boomdeyada Boomdeyada -- MC Frontalot
16. I love elections - Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden (Making Light)
17. I love transistors -- MC Frontalot
18. I love weird pillow talk -- Team Genius
19. I love your sister -- Neil Gaiman & Maddy Gaiman
20. I love the whole world -- Octavio Coleman Esq.
21. The future's pretty cool - Wil Wheaton
22. Boomdeyada Boomdeyada - Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden (Making Light)
23. Boomdeyada Boomdeyada - Team Genius
posted by mecran01 at 8:50 AM on February 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


The philosophy of avoiding threads you don’t like is at odds with MetaFilter, where the wrong kinds of threads are deleted or closed. Self-curation is a failed strategy at MetaFilter, or, if you disagree with that assessment, merely a strategy MetaFilter has rejected.
posted by joeclark at 9:08 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I came in here to hate on this video, but, as stated above, anything involving Neil Gaiman is literally impossible to hate on.

But lifeless makes me want to hate on it anyway. Damn you lifeless, whoever the fuck you are, you stoke my hate!
posted by eyeballkid at 9:21 AM on February 10, 2010


I thought it said Greek heroes. Am now mighty disappointed.
posted by swift at 9:28 AM on February 10, 2010


What the other side said...
posted by swift at 9:28 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Beware false non-chalance.
posted by TimeTravelSpeed at 9:30 AM on February 10, 2010


I came in here to hate on this video, but, as stated above, anything involving Neil Gaiman is literally impossible to hate on.

Tell that to a whole bunch of people who read American Gods. (I didn't actually hate it, but I thought Anansi Boys was better.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:34 AM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


there will surely come a point when the world realises that xkcd is about as funny as UserFriendly and try to retro-hush all the adulation.
posted by bonaldi at 9:45 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


there will surely come a point when the world realises that achewood is about as funny as UserFriendly and try to retro-hush all the adulation.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:56 AM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was skeptical as to the awesomeness of this enterprise until I saw Miss Cellania and her adopted daughters doing the first round of "boom de ya das". The mysterious Miss C. is a frequent contributor of well-researched content to Neatorama (the Boing Boing for NON-hip geeks), Mental Floss and other smart sites, and her own blog is an old school delight of good links and bad jokes (I am personally jealous of her collection of groaners). Her success on the Web, and now her inclusion in this uber-geek video, is a sign that this medium is NOT all about the Elite. (She's also one of only 7 known non-hillbillies in West Virginia, a former broadcast radio disc jockey - which earns extra sympathy points from me - and recently married "Mr. Perfect", destroying my personal long-distance crush, yet kept her maiden web-name)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:01 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


there will surely come a point when the world realises that xkcd is about as funny as Dilbert and thousands of heads will asplode
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:05 AM on February 10, 2010


(resists urge to grab bonaldi and oneswellfoop by the collars and bang their heads together)

(though once upon a time Dilbert was funny)
posted by Reverend John at 10:13 AM on February 10, 2010


I've got Doctorow hate by the bucketful, but it turns to laughter since I discovered Fake Cory Doctorow.

I think he reads MeFi, some of the jokes are familiar.
posted by Ratio at 10:18 AM on February 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


If this applies to you, fuck you.

oof. look, the mefi haters are frustrating, and turgid dahlia's comment didn't exactly tickle my pickle or anything, but damn. he's a good egg. he shouldn't go fuck himself, unless he wants to of course.

that SAID:

xkcd gets a lot of play, here and everywhere else. it's not surprising to see hostility about it. but, from what I've read, he's apparently a legitimately good guy, and the rabidity of his fans isn't under his control, really. I imagine him being incredibly moved by this, and that's good enough for me. I fucking hate xkcd getting fpp linkage here, and have spoken out about it before, because the guy has been linked here dozens of times before. but this isn't him, and I guess that makes the difference.

yes, I get completely over-the-top frustrated sometimes that, in google reader, every god damn cartoon of his has "100+ people liked this" next to it because apparently xkcd readers have to click "I like this" for every fucking thing he does, but fuck it. this is sweet, he's apparently a decent guy, and some people did a nice thing for him. good all around.
posted by shmegegge at 10:18 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like xkcd. Not necessarily love, but it's definitely better than average. Although either I didn't get today's or he's now starting the "do something 'random' in the last panel" path of destruction.
posted by DU at 10:24 AM on February 10, 2010


yes, I get completely over-the-top frustrated sometimes that, in google reader, every god damn cartoon of his has "100+ people liked this" next to it because apparently xkcd readers have to click "I like this" for every fucking thing he does, but fuck it. this is sweet, he's apparently a decent guy, and some people did a nice thing for him. good all around.

Liking Syndrome is nasty. It happens on Tumblr all the time, too. Some people are more popular than others, and you start to resent the people with ten thousand followers who like every single fucking thing as your heartfelt exhalations get one or two from the same one or two people every time. And you have to remind yourself that other people can't help that, for whatever reason, they have a global audience of hyperactive nimrods following them, and that they didn't ask to be so acclaimed. You can go the path of resenting them for not being brilliant and striving to use that audience for something, but that's probably not entirely fair either.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:29 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't get today's

Batman reference.
posted by Zed at 10:32 AM on February 10, 2010


I've got Doctorow hate by the bucketful, but it turns to laughter since I discovered Fake Cory Doctorow.

I see him on the AVClub every now and again. Good for a few laughs:

I just hacked my coat by rolling it up and using it as a pillow! I AM TEH HAX0R! #doctorow #hack
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:39 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who's Neil Gaiman?

madajb, there's this really cool web site called Wikipedia where you can look up information on all KINDS of different things. They'd definitely be able to tell you who Neil Gaiman is.

I mean, I ASSUME you were asking sincerely, weren't you? Rather than trying to look all cool?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:41 AM on February 10, 2010


Used to be funny, Reverend John? The current "Big Time Payback at Pointy Haired Boss" story arc is one of its best in years (with a Captain Sullenberger reference in today's strip). xkcd is another good strip with a specific focus that is overhyped as something "everybody should love".
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:47 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who's Neil Gaiman?

Your dad.

Which explains why you wouldn't know him.

Loser.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:53 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is this the kind of thread I'd have to have an overwhelming desire to piss in people's corn flakes to understand?
posted by tzikeh at 11:00 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


xkcd gets a lot of play, here and everywhere else. it's not surprising to see hostility about it.

I actually like xkcd, every now and again. However, something that was once a sincere and playful one-off joke has traveled quickly along an axis towards saccharine and tired, only noteworthy because of the vague celebrity-ish status of the people involved. Is it unreasonable to enjoy something without having to rely on brand-identification or tribal signifiers provided by famous-like personalities?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:09 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


However, something that was once a sincere and playful one-off joke has traveled quickly along an axis towards saccharine and tired, only noteworthy because of the vague celebrity-ish status of the people involved. Is it unreasonable to enjoy something without having to rely on brand-identification or tribal signifiers provided by famous-like personalities?

gah, i'm confused. I mean, no? I think? no, it's not unreasonable? I can't tell if I'm supposed to answer or if it's rhetorical. I pretty much agree with you, and I like xkcd too, but get frustrated by the sycophantism among his fans. i'm pretty sure sycophantism is a word, mefi spell check be damned.
posted by shmegegge at 11:12 AM on February 10, 2010


Hey, now, I like xkcd, MC Frontalot, Neil Gaiman, and Wil Wheaton. I also don't generally approve of thread-crapping. And that damn song is pretty catchy. But this?

I'm sick and fucking tired of nobodies in online forums - such as MeFi users, let's be honest - hating on people just because they have gathered some amount of online fame through a combination of online presence and whatever it is they produce, be it books, music or blog posts.

Doesn't make a lot of sense. I mean, snip out the online elements -- "I'm sick and fucking tired of nobodies hating on people just because they have gathered some amount of fame through a combination of presence and whatever it is they produce" and you're defending just about every attention-whore celebrity (pseudo- and non) out there. Sorry, but iParis Hilton and e-Octomom don't automatically deserve my respect just because they're on the internet, they're aggressive self-promoters, and they did ... something.

/mini-derail -- my apologies.
posted by Amanojaku at 11:19 AM on February 10, 2010


Can someone explain who the pillow talk guys are? I clicked through to their website but I don't get it.

And the first two of the three final lines of the chorus should be:

You know, you can basically never see TNH and Co. again if you don't go to her site or the sites she frequents. She hasn't moderated Boing Boing in quite some time, why the seething rage?

Everyone go out and find something they enjoy and contemplate it for a while. If it's not on MeFi, I'm okay with that.
posted by jessamyn at 11:19 AM on February 10, 2010


I can't go outside, jessamyn, it's snowing.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:33 AM on February 10, 2010


More and more, when someone expresses hatred for something other people like, my first thought is:

"What kind of ignorant, self-centered asshole expects the whole world to think exactly like he thinks and enjoy exactly the same things he enjoys? What kind of selfish jerk wishes that something other people enjoy did not exist?"

That feeling of frustration or whatever it is you have when other people like something you hate? That feeling is at the root of a lot of evil in this world.
posted by straight at 11:39 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chiming in to confirm that Randall (who writes xkcd) is not a creep; he's been a close friend of mine since high school, and he's just a normal guy with a skewed sense of humor he's gotten very good at harnessing. What I think trips a lot of people up is that 99.9% of his comics are fiction, and NOT "diary comics"; a lot of the opinions he's sharing are either completely made up, or playing into the community he knows follows his comic most often. He is good at taking a situation and riffing until he finds the absolute most awkward place it could be taken, then putting that on paper. It doesn't mean he believes it or supports it, at all.

I haven't heard his reaction to the video, but his similarly-geeky mother is bursting with pride. :)
posted by sarahsynonymous at 11:52 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


TNH ... hasn't moderated Boing Boing in quite some time

Really? Did they fire her? Her near-psychotic hostility toward BB's readers was one of the main reasons I stopped visiting that site.
posted by Ratio at 12:10 PM on February 10, 2010


EmpressCallipygos -
Half sincerely, since I did look him up on wikipedia before I posted.
posted by madajb at 12:22 PM on February 10, 2010


Song still stuck in head. *twitch*

Goes back to trying not to burst out into boomdeyada's randomly...
posted by Feantari at 12:23 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't presume to speak for anyone else here, but I don't think many people who find this video distasteful are doing it because of a commitment to scorched earth snark. For some people, and I'll include myself here, the video gives off an air of being part of a mutual appreciation echo chamber.

It's a group of the nerdosphere's A-list getting together to a record a tribute to one of their own. And for those of us afflicted with that sense of frustration that Rory described above, it starts to feel like the most popular girls in school getting together to decorate the head cheerleader's locker.

I know, we should move past such pettiness, jealousy, derision, and bitterness. We're not in high school any more.... except sometimes we are.
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:06 PM on February 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's a group of the nerdosphere's A-list getting together to a record a tribute to one of their own. And for those of us afflicted with that sense of frustration that Rory described above, it starts to feel like the most popular girls in school getting together to decorate the head cheerleader's locker.

I guess. doesn't it make a difference who's doing it, though? what's wrong with geeks being nice to each other? I mean, if a bunch of jocks or whoever got together to sing songs about how awesome they were in high school, it'd annoy me because they were only nice to each other, not anybody else. if a bunch of geeks who - mefites personal grudges aside - are basically decent sorts get together to sing a song about how much they like one really nice dude, then... I don't know man, I don't get the same vibe.
posted by shmegegge at 2:11 PM on February 10, 2010


It's a group of the nerdosphere's A-list getting together to a record a tribute to one of their own.

Definitely. In terms of what being a geek means, i.e. being curious in things for their own sake, and not because of what others think, this is arguably pretty far from that idea. The content of this post is mostly noteworthy because of the personalities involved. This is less of a celebration of geekdom, than of celebrity worship.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:13 PM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I didn't recognize anyone, even Neil Gaiman.

But have I ever mentioned that I met Amanda Palmer once when the Dresden Dolls played in Brockton? She was very nice.
posted by yhbc at 2:30 PM on February 10, 2010


it starts to feel like the most popular girls in school getting together to decorate the head cheerleader's locker.

This.
posted by Ratio at 2:37 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


That feeling of frustration or whatever it is you have when other people like something you hate? That feeling is at the root of a lot of evil in this world.

Followed closely by that feeling of frustration you have when people hate what you like.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:46 PM on February 10, 2010


I didn't get any sort of ingroup/outgroup vibe, but then I've come to the conclusion that I apparently had a much different high school experience than a lot of people here.

It just struck me as a bunch of friends having fun with another friend. Cute and ultimately harmless.

I do wonder, though, if they all recorded the entire song and someone spliced it together, or did they all have assigned parts or what? 'Cause I'd bet some of the outtakes are pretty good.
posted by madajb at 2:51 PM on February 10, 2010


....Believe it or not, that guy who had my previously-posted favorite Neil Gaiman story actually topped himself.

On his Facebook profile, in the photos of himself, there is a picture of my friend (oh, what the hell -- his name is Nick) and his fiancee at a book signing with Neil and Amanda Palmer some months ago. Nick is talking to Neil, and his fiancee is laughing in the background and Amanda is grinning at them as well.

Nick put the explanation in the caption -- he was telling Neil about how he'd actually gotten into a back-and-forth with Neil's assistant, trying to talk her into having Neil perform Nick's wedding ceremony. Nick's fiancee was laughing in amazement that he was actually telling Neil he'd done this. "Neil actually seemed quite touched," Nick said.

This just tickles me in a place I can't reach.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:32 PM on February 10, 2010


This thread puts the Meta in you-know-what.
posted by dhartung at 4:01 PM on February 10, 2010


This video is proof positive that you can lead a geek to a video cam, but you can't make him sing in tune.

If I wanted to hear geeks sing out of tune, dude, I'd just sing.
posted by Sparx at 6:29 PM on February 10, 2010


Used to be funny, Reverend John? The current "Big Time Payback at Pointy Haired Boss" story arc is one of its best in years (with a Captain Sullenberger reference in today's strip). xkcd is another good strip with a specific focus that is overhyped as something "everybody should love".
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:47 PM on February 10


Wait... you meant comparing xkcd to Dilbert as a compliment to xkcd?

(head asplodes)
posted by Reverend John at 8:53 PM on February 10, 2010


I like xkcd just fine. Sumbitch is a million times smarter and funnier than I will ever be. What I don't like is cliques attaching themselves to cliques and celebrating their quirky cliqueiness. And while I disenjoy Gaiman and Doctorow on comparable levels, I recognise talent when it occurs, and dislike seeing them equated, even if it's just in a silly song. It reminds me of a segment on an Australian TV show a while back called The Panel. The hosts were taling about the first Bourne movie, I guess The Bourne Identity. There's a scene where Bourne goes into a (Swiss?) bank and pulls out the contents of his safe and he's going through a bunch of passports and equipment and wads of cash, and there's this stack of Australian $100 bills in there. And this fuckwitted TV show actually made a deal about it. Like, there's Aussie money in there, ergo Matt Damon is a good buddy of mine. It's a lecherous, leechy kind of pandering, and I dislike it immensely. It's like they're trying to give the impression that "I met Bukowski once and we hung out and had some beers" and therefore they are great brutal storytellers despite the fact that they suck. I dunno. I kinda regret the indiscriminate hate but I'd rather have a feeling than none.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:45 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The reaction to stuff like this is interesting to me because of what it means w/r/t celebrity and the internet. I mean, people might think that something like the Oscars is just an excuse for Hollywood to kiss its own ass for several hours, but no one seems to get up in arms about it -- you're either interested enough to watch it or you're not. A better analogy might be a celebrity roast: You're invited to kind of virtually stand outside and stare in at the goings-on (through a window, or maybe from the room where the wait staff hangs out), but you're not really invited, you know. You're welcome to chuckle along. Again, you're either into watching something like that or you're not, but most people don't seem to be offended by its very existence.

I think what makes this different -- and so much riper for backlash -- is that there's a sense the internet is a community. Hollywood is a one-way radio, but the internet is basically a gigantic virtual neighborhood. When something on the internet becomes a phenomenon, there isn't that same sense you get with Hollywood products that it somehow stands outside of you. In fact, a lot of successful online marketing seems to boil down to portraying the exact opposite impression -- this stuff is open and accessible and part of your community. We're all friends! Except, of course, that we're not; you probably don't know the person who creates this stuff, and unless you're delusional in some major way, you don't really think you do, either. But the impression of chumminess and community is there. This is a powerful marketing tool and one with a great potential to go disastrously awry, which is why extremely famous people tend to have very monolithic web presences that amount to shrines -- because that's not an impression they want to make. They would like to make it very clear that here is the line, here is my side of it, and here is yours, and that's that. And you probably think this is where I'll criticize them for that -- but actually? That makes a lot of sense to me, and seems healthy on all sides. I also think (as someone who isn't remotely famous, but who deleted his Facebook account when he realized it was putting him in touch with all kinds of people he didn't know, didn't want to know, or would rather not know any longer) it's a less and less sustainable model. I'm not sure that's a positive development, I'm just saying it's what it is.

A phenomenon that begins online, however, is not in a position to create such distance between creator and his/her audience. As it becomes more popular, the creator will probably spend more and more time in the company of other creative people, who can help to advance his/her career, and who really are probably just more fun to be around. And it is cliquish, and your appreciation of something like this video really does come down to how much you enjoy being happy for someone else, but that's really what celebrity admiration in any arena is all about. And the thing is, we already know that when it comes to Hollywood -- it's been a cliche for generations now -- but I guess we have to learn that all over again with the internet. It's probably a little tougher, because the experience of seeing the guy who does plays at your local little theater suddenly becoming Brad Pitt or something is one a relative few of us have ever experienced; for most people, someone like that was non-existent one moment, a star! the next. I think that'll be less and less true going forward, and it's gonna be interesting to see how audiences and creators handle it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:07 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


A bunch of people did something fun in celebration of a fun thing. I like fun. I like celebration of fun things. I don't see how the participants being big fish in their various small ponds makes it contemptible. Are they supposed to just keep their mouths shut for fear that someone somewhere is going to be offended for being made to feel uncool? 'cause I don't see how they're responsible for that.
posted by Zed at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2010




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