Poor taste isn’t reporting the facts on whether or not someone was definitely drinking and driving. Poor taste is trying to make a cute joke hours after the death of someone’s loved one. This is the utter definition of “Too soon.”
What happened? Well, hours after the reported death of Jackass‘ Ryan Dunn, Ebert twatted, “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.” It is true that Dunn had been drinking before getting in the car, but making it a point to crudely and pejoratively use the name of the show in a message to the masses was beyond unnecessary. It is snide and judgmental. What it should tell the world is that Ebert is a prick. Unfortunately, as I caught wind of the message on EW.com, it just puts the wind in the sails of other pricks.
We know that drinking and driving is dangerous behavior. It’s not a public service announcement. Be happy Twatter wasn’t around when Walt Disney died. Hours after the announcement of his death you might have encountered message like, “Smoking is dangerous. There isn’t much you can do about an Epcot-sized tumor in your lungs.”
I know that this message draws unnecessary attention to him, but from here on can we just ignore Ebert? It seems he knows he is on his last legs and his relevance is fading fast. The man does not make public appearances and cannot speak. All he has are his reviews and observations. Only when there is some sort of controversy for being snide (such as saying video games are not art) does anyone pay him any serious mind anymore. So let’s just stop responding to him.
Especially since a statement like that makes him a bigger jackass than some dude who put a toy car up his butt.
It’s arguable, but in the last decade or so nerd and geekdom has come to be celebrated by the mainstream. Pop culture is attempting to cater to geek tastes, and we don’t deride people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for not extremely attractive or sports personalities. The 80’s certainly didn’t give as much credit to those of us on the more niche end of culture. Times have changed.
Have times changed for the better? Sure, when I was in college it was acceptable that some friends and I could found a video game enthusiasts club and wear shirts featuring Pac-Man and the Konami code. But we’re at the point where video games are so embraced today that motion controls are flying off the shelves so parents can get their children to incorporate some movement into their lives. In some schools, DDR was accepted into the gym curriculum. Games are simply accepted as a part of young culture and require workarounds to make sure kids are physical. There’s something wrong with that.
Then there’s the culture empowered by acceptance. This is a problem largely found on forums and large-scale blogs, but enthusiast clubs and conventions will reveal their fair share. Empowered geeks find it acceptable to condescend to others, mainly because the source of geek identity is internal and can only be expressed through words. No one has a problem with people sharing their knowledge or preferably anecdotes, but there are those out there who believe that they are entitled to belittle others and eschew common courtesy. Why? Because they know stuff. Continue reading “Geek Bullying”