You guys, today I need to be serious. I am putting on my serious hat and we are going to talk about a serious topic that affects us all.
There is a condition that strikes without discrimination and without warning. It afflicts adults and children, men and women. Victims may be tall or short, fat or thin, blond or brunette. There is no telling when it will appear or how it will manifest. The effects are instantaneous, and often devastating for the afflicted and their loved ones alike.
I speak of course, of nerd rage.
Nerd Rage can be defined as “unnatural and unnecessary fury over an issue of limited importance.” Don’t be fooled by the term ‘nerd’. Nerd Rage can occur over anything – sports, fashion, 19th century Australian politics, whatever. When somebody says that Wuthering Heights was written by Jane Austen and you suddenly feel inclined to bludgeon them while screaming, “BRONTE BRONTE BRONTE BRONTE” over and over in an unnatural octave…that’s Nerd Rage. When somebody says ‘koala bear’ and you rip their liver out of their torso yelling, “MARSUPIAAAAAL. THEY ARE MARSUPIAAAAALS.”…that is also a variety of Nerd Rage. When someone pronounces Hermione Granger’s name ‘Hermy-Own’ and you wrestle them to the ground, shrieking, “ROWLING CLEARED UP THAT MISCONCEPTION IN THE FOURTH BOOK DURING HERMIONE’S INTERACTION WITH VIKTOR KRUM OH MY GAAAAAWD DID YOU EVEN REAAAAAAAAD IT” then you yourself have fallen victim to, yes, Nerd Rage.
The only factor in common to occurences of Nerd Rage is the complete triviality of the issue at hand. Nobody cares whether Captain Kirk actually said ‘beam me up, Scotty’. The precise date that Alex Trebek shaved his mustache means absolutely nothing to the general tide of history. Everyone has things, though, stupid inconsequential details that are vitally important to them, and they will defend to the death the correct interpretation of ‘The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock’ or what have you.
You have experienced Nerd Rage. You know you have. You’re thinking of that one particular thing that you know everything about that doesn’t mean diddlysquat to the universe at large, and it totally burns you that somebody out there, right at this second, is incorrectly talking about it.
So maybe you can understand this issue I’m having.
I went to go see ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ this past weekend. It was fantastic. I loved it. Jay Baruchel was stellar. Gerard Butler was awesome. America Ferrera was fantastic. I have a huge crush on that entire production, and I would go on a date with it and let it get to second base. I bought the soundtrack on ITunes and am scheming to get someone to go see it with me a second time. This sort of obsessive infatuation with a film isn’t new to me. This happens pretty much anytime an animated feature that isn’t Ice Age comes out. A cartoon with a decent story and fair production quality will cause me to totally lose my shit for the span of a month or so. It’s okay. I’ve come to terms with it.
So after we saw it I was casually browsing reviews and saw a single, glaring error. “I eagerly sat down to watch the new Dreamworks film,” the reviewer wrote, “How To Tame Your Dragon.”
My eyes goggled.
Tame. Tame. How To Tame Your Dragon, not Train. He was a reviewer. A reviewer. Was it not his responsibility to get the title of a movie correct? I instantly lost all respect for him, based on that single alliterative error. Train. Not Tame. I seethed for the rest of the evening.
The next morning I tried to calm myself down. It was an easy mistake, and while the words had different connotations, surely the basic meaning was the same? Not a big deal. A single stupid reviewer making a single little mistake.
And then Facebook happened.
“I can’t wait to go see How To Tame Your Dragon!” a friend wrote (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE). I took a deep breath. My eyes filled with a virulent red mist, and I could feel the blood pumping in my temples. Train. Train. TRAAAAAAAAAAAIN. I completely ignored the fact that this person was excited to see a film that I also loved. That didn’t matter, that she was essentially complimenting something I liked. It was a moot point. WHY? Because she had a detail wrong.
Again, I tried to calm myself down. This. Is not. A big deal. “Jessica,” I told myself. “Nobody cares about this except you. Nobody minds. Chill out. Relax. Calm the eff down and put things in perspective. You want to get mad about something? Get mad about Uganda. Get mad about Darfur. Get mad about starving children, or homeless kittens, or the destruction of the rainforest, but for the love of God, leave this one alone. This. Is not. Crucial.”
Recentering myself, I commented on Facebook, ignoring the mistake. I congratulated myself on not being a nitpicky douchebag, and continued with my day. I was over it.
And then, Monday morning at work, Taylor sent me a text. It read, “MSNBC just called it ‘How To Slay Your Dragon”. As soon as my eyes hit the word ‘Slay’, my brain exploded. My head rocketed off my neck and splattered on to the ceiling, the dripping gore spelling out the words ‘TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN’ all over my desk. My body slumped forward, twitching morbidly. I was found the next morning by a disinterested colleague who called the mortuary, and they trucked my miserable self away and buried it.
On the tombstone, they wrote, “Jessica Bagley – Got Entirely Too Worked Up About That Stupid ‘How To Ride Your Dragon” Movie”.
Nerd Rage is not to be trifled with, my friends. Take it from this poor dismembered corpse.