Suck on it, Trebek!
October 17, 2016 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Who is Alex Trebek? is a collaborative response to the massive shade thrown by the game show host recently, when he called current three-day champion Susan Cole and her fellow Nerdcore fans 'losers.'
posted by carsonb (78 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Trebek's interviews with contestants show him falling further and further out of touch with the 21st century. That Nerdcore one was particularly painful.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:49 AM on October 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Alex Trebek is a fucking asshole.

The response to something you don't understand should be "Cool. I'd never heard of that. I'd like to learn more about it." or perhaps "huh. Doesn't sound like my thing, but that's ok."

Alex Trebek is a fucking asshole.
posted by bondcliff at 11:52 AM on October 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Alex Trebek is a fucking asshole.

I was watching with my boyfriend last week, and I commented that I was pleased he seemed to have dropped his gross habit of calling adult female contestants "young ladies."

Of course like ten minutes later he proceeded to call an adult female contestant "young lady."
posted by lalex at 11:59 AM on October 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


I thought that nerdcore comment showed that Trebek has amazing instincts.
posted by mikeh at 12:03 PM on October 17, 2016 [26 favorites]


Who is Alex Trebek? is a collaborative response to the massive shade thrown by the game show host recently, when he called current three-day champion Susan Cole and her fellow Nerdcore fans 'losers.'

I'm not sure that's the blistering refutation they think it is.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:07 PM on October 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


I thought that nerdcore comment showed that Trebek has amazing instincts.
posted by mikeh at 3:03 PM on October 17 [+] [!]


Sorry, but name-calling has been out of fashion a good while now. ✌❤️
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:07 PM on October 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


That was really rude and mean. But, hey, everyone gets old and out of touch.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:09 PM on October 17, 2016


This seems like much more effort than an off-the-cuff diss by a game show host needs, but I sure am glad to have a list of more nerdcore.
posted by Coventry at 12:17 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I used to stock shelves on overnight with a really nice, similarly awkward dude, and we got along real well. We used to wear headphones pretty much all night because, I mean, night-stocking is what headphones and audiobooks/podcasts/death-metal albums were made for. Anyhow, like 2 weeks in, I asked my co-worker what he was listening to. He was into Nerdcore. Big into nerdcore. I'm into pretty niche music, but I'd never seen a niche music fan so confused and indignant that his* music taste was out of the mainstream. I haven't followed this Trebeck story, so I don't know all the deets. What I do know is: "for loving a genre of music that's a portmanteau of the words 'hardcore nerd,' Nerdcore fans seem disproportionately wounded by the discovery that their musical taste is not that widely shared."

*yes I'm invoking the music nerds=men trope. It's not 100% true, but it's true enough for this story.
posted by DGStieber at 12:17 PM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Before anyone gets too Internet-outragey about Trebek's comment, you may want to watch the video that's the first link in the fine post. I think the nerdcore kids are gonna be alright.
posted by Nelson at 12:21 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Considering that one of the most popular albums of the past 12 months is basically a Nerdcore record based on early U.S. history, I'm not so sure that the genre isn't already on its way to becoming mainstream. One way or the other, it must be agreed that this particular comment wasn't exactly out of character for Trebek. The man's been kind of a smug dickhead for as long as I can remember watching the show.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:23 PM on October 17, 2016 [18 favorites]


I mean, let Trebek catch up, an entire generation made a lot of noise about being self-styled losers.... and they were cool with it.
posted by mikeh at 12:24 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


What I do know is: "for loving a genre of music that's a portmanteau of the words 'hardcore nerd,' Nerdcore fans seem disproportionately wounded by the discovery that their musical taste is not that widely shared."

There's a difference between someone's niche tastes not being widely shared, and dismissing a group of people with niche tastes as being losers.
posted by nubs at 12:26 PM on October 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


So I'm pretty close to this whole kerfuffle and while I think MegaRan's initial response was great, the nerdy mountain being made out of this relative molehill will just reinforce existing stereotypes. After all, if Trebek was an out-of-date relic nobody with no impact, there wouldn't be highly-produced collaborative diss tracks. He, like, doesn't deserve that kind of effort.

Also, I'm fairly certain his "losers" comment was triggered not by the standard nerdcore signifiers (video games, comic books) but by the assertion that nerdcore is also about having trouble meeting romantic partners, which based on the cons I've gone to and the nerdcore artists I know is not in any way a defining element of the genre.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:26 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


...dismissing a group of people with niche tastes as being losers.

Particularly when that group of people with niche tastes likely comprises a significant portion of your viewing audience.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:30 PM on October 17, 2016 [7 favorites]



The main difference between tons of nerdy rap and nerdcore is that nerdcore is rapping about being a nerd.

Method Man spends several decades rapping about comic books, hangs out in a group of rappers named for kung fu movies, has several compatriots who have stage names referring directly to comic book characters, not only appears on a comic book television show but actually raps about Luke Cage on said show... but no one calls him nerdcore.
posted by mikeh at 12:31 PM on October 17, 2016 [25 favorites]


Not shade. Not at all shade.
posted by Etrigan at 12:31 PM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trebek is 76, people need to get a grip. Sorry but it happens, you get older, you don't keep up with the youngin's and all of their varied interests. It will happen to you too. The losers comment wasn't polite but jesus h. christ, buck up kids, he's an old man, just ignore him.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:35 PM on October 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


That was really rude and mean.
Trebeck, I mean. The video was rude and funny.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:37 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was an awfully friendly diss track. I haven't seen Nerdcore so irate since MC Router and Beefy took on Wired.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:37 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm not that big into the nerdcore scene, but I like some songs, and if anything I'm glad this whole thing introduced me to Sammus. Mighty Morphing is pretty relatable and sounds great!
posted by numaner at 12:38 PM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just leaving a link to Mean Alex Trebek here...
posted by brainmouse at 12:39 PM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Sammus is amazing, one of the best in the game. I saw her at SXSW this year and she blew me away.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:39 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


First World Problems.
posted by Coventry at 12:47 PM on October 17, 2016


Alex Trebek: You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:49 PM on October 17, 2016


Here's the official video for FWP.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:51 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, grumpybear.
posted by Coventry at 12:52 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


doctor_negative: It'll happen to you!
posted by INFJ at 1:02 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


But, hey, everyone gets old and out of touch.

I am hoping I can do that without also becoming an asshole though. Only time will tell.
posted by emjaybee at 1:06 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


name-calling has been out of fashion a good while now.

OUT: loser, nerd, moron, bounder, young lady, my esteemed colleague, comrade, man
IN: asshole, racist, deplorable, old man, fustilarian, dude, bro
posted by sfenders at 1:20 PM on October 17, 2016 [23 favorites]


Did anyone here actually watch a clip of the exchange? She's being pretty self-deprecating about it, ending with a reference to the stereotype of not being able to find romantic partners, and Trebek's joke, which is playing along with her, simply misses. It may have been somewhat uncool, but a "fucking asshole" it does not make.

An old man sounds slightly jerky when one of the thousands and thousands of quips he's had to improvise doesn't come off right. Film at fucking eleven. Get a grip, folks.
posted by cmoj at 1:22 PM on October 17, 2016 [61 favorites]


Alex Trebek is a fucking asshole.

Yes, but that's hardly a new development.
posted by aught at 1:24 PM on October 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Get a grip, folks.

Sorry, but there's righteous indignation to be had.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 1:26 PM on October 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


The losers comment wasn't polite but jesus h. christ, buck up kids, he's an old man, just ignore him.

Unfortunately, I can't; regardless of my opinion on Trebek, Jeopardy! is easily the best trivia game show around, packing as many as 61 questions into a half-hour (and more often than not getting through all 61). None of this newfangled "let's spend 5 minutes on a single question where first a contestant explains their thought process and maybe they ask for help or maybe not and then we'll see what the audience thinks and OK finally we'll tell you if they were correct...right after this break." I'll admit I usually tune out during the contestant interview portion, but at least that's fairly short.

And if that sounds a little get-off-my-lawnish, well, I'm getting old too (less so than Trebek), so I guess you can just ignore me.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:28 PM on October 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


I feel like MC Lars' verse sums up the tone here:
"But I’m really not upset - in fact I’m quite surprised
the first press that we’ve gotten since? when? 2005?"
(lyrics here)

Seems like these are artists who (mostly) love Jeopardy too, but can't the the dis slide.
posted by 3j0hn at 1:35 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


"he's an old man, just ignore him"...

...do we need to go THERE!

(note: I have no problem with finding fault with the guy, but do we have to attribute it to age?)
posted by HuronBob at 1:45 PM on October 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Thanks to this effort, I just discovered Dr Awkward. So good!
posted by Coventry at 1:47 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


In clips that don't cut it off, he says, "No, I'm teasing you."
So probably not a total asshole.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:58 PM on October 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


Alex Trebek is no Art Fleming.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:03 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was an awfully friendly diss track. I haven't seen Nerdcore so irate since MC Router and Beefy took on Wired

Seriously, if your Nerdcore beef is going to get serious, you'd best at least break out your fighting trousers.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:05 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I had a classmate in grad school, an old school goth who was also married to a mortician (!!), who told me she had a dream about me (awkward!) and then went on to describe it.

It was me on Jeopardy saying "You know Alex, I'm Canadian too!" and then going on a shooting rampage in my academic department. (even more awkward!)

Note: I did not go on Jeopardy, I did not shoot up my department, and I didn't get my PhD.

Now I am relieved that the first two didn't happen! Still not sure about the third.
posted by srboisvert at 2:09 PM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


I always use the interview segment as a time to check my phone, because it's so excruciatingly painful. I'm willing to believe Trebek is well-intentioned but he is deeply unfunny. And I feel so bad for these poor contestants who are on a national stage for the first time and called upon to tell an amusing anecdote or interesting factoid about themselves and almost invariably fall flat.
posted by HotToddy at 2:10 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eh all the real nerds and losers are into atmospheric breaks now, based on my peer group of just me because I'm so goddamn alone
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:31 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


he's an old man, just ignore him

*Cues up the GeriCore dis track*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:33 PM on October 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


The main difference between tons of nerdy rap and nerdcore is that nerdcore is rapping about being a nerd.

Method Man spends several decades rapping about comic books, hangs out in a group of rappers named for kung fu movies, has several compatriots who have stage names referring directly to comic book characters, not only appears on a comic book television show but actually raps about Luke Cage on said show... but no one calls him nerdcore.


I legitimately can't tell if this is a sarcastic remark about how nerdcore is an appropriation and "whitewashing" of rap or if it is making some other point? Cause a lot of those linked songs are just about "nerd-centric" topics.
posted by cyphill at 2:35 PM on October 17, 2016




Alvy Ampersand: *Cues up the GeriCore dis track*

This is not the GeriCore you were looking for

But maybe this is.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:48 PM on October 17, 2016


To put it in terms that the nerdcore collective would understand, their music just isn't for the critics.
posted by mikeh at 2:51 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


If I were her, I'd have clicked in the next answer and asked, "Who is a pompous ass?"

And then still won the game.
posted by BentFranklin at 2:53 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]




Nerdcore

+1 to Lil' Dicky feat. Snoop Dogg
posted by BentFranklin at 3:07 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think he's still recovering from the Turd Ferguson incident.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:30 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


My dad is 72 and listens to nerd core, and is more in tune with the comics scene than his nerdy, 47-year-old daughter and nerdy, 43-year-old son.

Not everyone falls out of touch with age.
posted by tzikeh at 3:31 PM on October 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


regardless of my opinion on Trebek, Jeopardy! is easily the best trivia game show around

I take it you haven't seen Only Connect.
posted by biogeo at 3:36 PM on October 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Alex Trebek is no Art Fleming.

Those were the days.
posted by datawrangler at 4:38 PM on October 17, 2016


Alex trebek has always been kind of a dick. It's sort of his signature style.
posted by Ferreous at 6:31 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Years ago, I was watching an episode of Jeopardy! -- either the High School or College edition -- and a black contestant said that she was a fan of ER and looking forward to becoming a surgeon herself. Trebek said that she "was obviously inspired by the Eriq LaSalle character." I mean, what???
posted by dhens at 7:03 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


There seems to be a collective delusion here that nerdcore is incredibly likable and anyone who scoffs has fallen behind the times, when... I'm pretty sure affectionate teasing is on the kinder end of the spectrum of most people's reactions to nerdcore.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:17 PM on October 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


I liked the song :)
posted by eggkeeper at 9:26 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was pleased he seemed to have dropped his gross habit of calling adult female contestants "young ladies."

Is a 76 year old man referring to adult females younger than him as "young ladies" seriously considered to be gross nowadays? I would bet his intention is to be gentlemanly, but I suppose that's just another gross habit. Courtesy is dead.
posted by fairmettle at 10:23 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't find it courteous to be condescended to; having my age and gender specifically called out by someone from the dominate class is, in fact, condescending and not courteous.
posted by sockermom at 1:02 AM on October 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


I remember when prog rock was the default choice of nerds. Damn I'm old.
posted by Ber at 2:02 AM on October 18, 2016


Nerdcore is embarassing and Trebek's diss was funny but this line from MC Lars wins:

"But I’m really not upset - in fact I’m quite surprised
the first press that we’ve gotten since? when? 2005?"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:36 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is a 76 year old man referring to adult females younger than him as "young ladies" seriously considered to be gross nowadays?

Miss Manners sez: A young lady is a female child who has just done something dreadful.
posted by JanetLand at 5:38 AM on October 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


You know what? I take it back, MOST nerdcore is embarrassing. Thanks to this song I now know Mega Ran and Sammus are both really good.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:48 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Alex trebek has always been kind of a dick. It's sort of his signature style.

He gets on my nerves every couple of weeks too but he also says occasional self-deprecating things as well, which kind of redeems the occasional too-sharp teasing of contestants. But 99.9% of the time he's just an articulate clue reader, so long as the writers aren't trying to embarrass him with some weird category where he has to read in a weird accent or other stunty bullshit. (The thing I hate most about contemporary Jeopardy is its over-use of stunty categories.)

My Trebek indignation (I mean, my partner and I still use the verb "trebekking" to refer to self-important badgering of someone else's mistake) tends to stop at the point where I think, "When Trebek finally retires, what kind of slick jackass host will they replace him with?" (I mean, yikes, Tom Bergeron or Craig Ferguson or something? No.) and then I calm down and appreciate Trebek's generally understated (suburban Ontario via Southern California) and trivia-appropriate manner.

Also, I'm old enough to remember Art Fleming's era of Jeopardy and, while my sensibilities have changed since I was a kid, I remember him as actually much more annoying than Trebek (particularly his excitable voice, which was higher and throatier, and he often got quite excited in close games). Fleming also did his share of trebekking people who got questions wrong as well ("Sorry, not Charlemagne! No... it was Napoleon. Napoleon, too bad. That was Nap-o-le-on. Napoleon. Okay, next clue!")
posted by aught at 6:37 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Identity fragility explains how passionate these things get. It's almost like we live in an honor culture these days: nobody can stand to let even the slightest sleight stand without answer. It's the same underlying cause as the hyper nationalistic identity movements and all the other social upheaval. We're insecure about our identities because our identity categories are so trivial and insecure. Full disclosure: I'm not a professional psych, so this is not a diagnosis so much as my own pet crackpot theory, but I do know the subject very well. And there's lots of evidence, anecdotal and more rigorous, that lends weight to this conjecture.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:21 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Alex Trebek is originally from Northern Ontario, in fact he is one of the more famous non-hockey playing people to be from Sudbury. While I don't know how much of the North is left in the man but it strikes me that he has a bit of it left as one of the things many Northerners do, which can be pretty off-putting to outsiders, is exactly this kind of sharpish teasing and blunt talk we see him dole out on Jeopardy. My poor saintly Southern Ontario wife was absolutely scandalised by how we interacted at family gatherings when she started to get to know us. I'm not entirely sure why we act like assholes to each other, maybe because it can be a hard life up there & the winters are cold and long, but it is the way we interact with one another.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:57 AM on October 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


The comments on this AV Club article (which fails to mention the two Black rappers in the video, including the one who started the beef) are as I suspected they would be, which is to say they just brought out more nerd hate. And seriously, the idea that science fiction and comic books are niche elements of popular culture is downright absurd.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:00 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't find it courteous to be condescended to; having my age and gender specifically called out by someone from the dominate class is, in fact, condescending and not courteous

Societal norm shifts. 'Young lady' might be a condescending term to you but it might very well be a polite and respectful term when Trebek was growing up. To echo doctor_mettle's comment - he's old and his speech might not be up to date but in the list of sins people commit this is way way down there. 50 years from now if by chance 'young lady' makes a comeback, it'd be *you* who's offensive for refusing to address people as such.

Loser on the other hand...
posted by 7life at 9:36 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Canada would like to apologize for Alec Trebek.

(Dammit, Trebek? Really? I'm used to apologizing for inflicting Justin Biber, Celine Dion and their like on the world, not Trebek.)
posted by Canageek at 9:49 AM on October 18, 2016


They say I’m Nerdcore…
Like I give a fuck about a name, when it’s just another word for
The same thing they’ve called me for years
For a group who refused to be pressured by their peers
posted by Coventry at 10:07 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


It does not matter if the contestant is being self deprecating. It does not matter if Alex Trebek does not know much about Nerdcore. It does not matter that it was "just teasing." We are finally at a moment in time when a famous man does not get to say something rude and dismissive about someone else's interest in a way that is demeaning without some push back. And if a bunch of Nerdcore rappers are the ones to do it - how appropriate for Jeopardy.

Dear Mr. Trebek; These contestants are your guests. Don't be rude to them. Signed, someone who switches the channel or fast forwards through the interview but really enjoys Jeopardy
posted by mutt.cyberspace at 10:19 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Mister Moofoo: "In clips that don't cut it off, he says, "No, I'm teasing you."
So probably not a total asshole.
"

Why would you bring context into this? We're trying to get all angry, and the best way to do that is clip things as short and context-free as possible.
posted by Bugbread at 10:36 PM on October 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


It does not matter if the contestant is being self deprecating. It does not matter if Alex Trebek does not know much about Nerdcore. It does not matter that it was "just teasing." We are finally at a moment in time when a famous man does not get to say something rude and dismissive about someone else's interest in a way that is demeaning without some push back.

I'm pretty sure that all those things... do actually matter, in any social context.

I kind of wonder if he had teased a self-professed "sports geek" or sabermetrician if anyone here would have cared? I really can't think of many things worse than a nerd/geek without a sense of humor about it.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:13 PM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I really can't think of many things worse than a nerd/geek without a sense of humor about it.

Did you watch the nerdcore response video and think "no sense of humor"? Because if so, I think you may be missing the point.
posted by brainmouse at 1:53 PM on October 25, 2016


Here's the full clip apparently.
posted by I-baLL at 3:14 PM on October 25, 2016


Did you watch the nerdcore response video and think "no sense of humor"?

No, I read this thread.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:36 AM on October 30, 2016


« Older The Cleveland Team   |   Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments