Star Wars – From Mother to Daughters (no spoilers!)

Growing up in the 80’s as a nerdy girl was ok. Mainly because we didn’t actually know any better. My 2 hours between 3pm & 5pm after school (because that’s all of the kids TV we had back then….) consisted of the following:

He-Man (and later She-Ra):

Like seriously, a guy with a dodgy hair cut (even for the 80s) in fur pants (briefs) and his sister in a dress so short she really ought to be wearing some Bridget Jones sized knickers under there to preserve some dignity. And cleavage in a kids show! Actually, scrap that – the cleavage is quite good. But she generally got herself into trouble and He Man with his massive sword had to save her. Off you go Freud – have a field day.

Dungeons & Dragons

Ok, this one was vaguely better (although I was pretty much always more interested in the DM as he was a pain in the arse and much funnier than the whiny kids – but again, with the girls in totally tiny skirts and the boobage… these are middle school kids. ew. Longer skirts, or some damned trousers and more irritating balding DM, he’s cool.

Always be the DM.

There were plenty of others… Knightmare being another most excellent one, although Knightmare was extra nerdy and I’m not even sure the contestants knew that there was a difference between genders…

And my kids are growing up to be in the same group of nerdy, game playing weirdos who ultimately grow up and make use of all of those hours playing puzzle games to be the smart adult with a job that involves the part of their body that benefits most from being wrinkly (their brain people). I love the fact that they are embracing the stuff that makes them excited rather than being drawn by the girly girl cliques that they are surrounded by. In actual fact, sometimes they do want to be pink and girls – for instance, TinyPants chose for her Darth Vader costume today: a Vader mask, black leggings, my black chiffon headscarf from Egypt, & a pair of flowery boots, over which went her Paddington Bear duffle coat. She was the most kick arse Vader in the room.

BeanPole on the other hand, decided to go a bit more obscure and dressed as R2D2. She loved what she chose and has decided that ‘next time I’m going as a wookie’.

It occurred to me, that just like with previous films, Star Wars pretty much doesn’t give a crap about gender roles and girls are just as double hard as boys. It’s a truly gender neutral franchise. No-one cared that my girls wanted to dress up as an evil telepathic dictator, or in fact a robot that swears so much that all of his lines are bleeped 😉

This particular film, did gender neutrality proud. Now, get out there and enjoy it with your sons, daughters, husbands, wives, whatever – it’s at the top of my favourite films ever. In fact, it’s the first time in years that I’ve ended a film in a cinema where a British audience openly applauded at the end.

No spoilers.

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The Internet meme – just for lolz? Or something else entirely?

I apologise profusely to anyone I offended with the appalling grammar of the title of this post. I was using the colloquialisms of the biggest village in the world – the Internet.

I caught one of the cats napping earlier and rather than thinking ‘aww how cute’, my Internet ravaged brain just thought ‘shooting lasers pew pew pew’. http://www.cheezburger.com has a lot to answer for (and owes me several hours days of my life back)

And this is what was created:

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So, just what makes a meme? A picture may say a thousand words, but these pictures contain a thousand jokes. Short, to the point and often part of an ‘in’ joke. For instance, the bad grammar and reference to shooting lasers (pew pew pew) in the one above is a reference to several ‘in’ jokes which are now really quite old and engrained in Internet humour from lolcats. Cats are apparently the soul of the Internet (that and porn, but I’m sticking with cats here). Funny cat pictures with bad grammar spelling and weird references to fast food and lasers are highly popular.

So what about other memes?

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Ragestache is another site containing user generated content based around an ‘in’ joke. For anyone familiar with the site, my kids have just become Derp derping around with le best friend. (Get the old person knowing the lingo!)

Essentially, anyone, or anything has the potential to become a meme; it just has to catch people’s sense of humour which online, often favours the oddball. Hence lolcats, possessive girlfriend, success baby, chemistry cat. Where these images were once passed around closed forums, they are now popping up all over the place. They are not always crass or offensive, in fact the vast majority rely on the reader being reasonably clued up academically.

For instance:

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Firstly, you’re going to need to know what Argon is. And some basic understanding of the periodic table.

And it’s not just science geeks (note, not nerds – nerds collect cool stuff, geeks create cool stuff). Ohh no! The literary geeks are at it too…

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And as for using bad grammar outside of a meme while online…..

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These jokes make intelligence cool. We have spent so long celebrating the pretty morons, that it became uncool to be clever, or have a passion for learning. Those who wanted to learn became ‘nerds’ or ‘boffins’. But meme by meme, the geeks are reclaiming cool. We’re creating a world where intelligence is required to be funny. Its ok to be clever. And boobs are still awesome.

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This endeth the lesson.

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