Reclaiming my nerdy youth


Rejecting what we once were, like a snake sloughing off its skin, is a rite of passage for many of us humans.  We get a little education under our belts – we grow a little older and allegedly wiser, and we see more of the world around us – and one day we realize that everything we used to like and be is utterly, devastatingly lame.  The kind of lame that could crush planets.  The lame Galactus.  The lame New England Awesomes*.

This is a shame.  That little guy or gal you used to be was probably pretty decent, probably pretty smart and cool and good-looking.  And if not, at least that little guy or gal wasn’t a self-conscious image-obsessed twerp.

I’m not arguing that you should go back to watching “Muppet Babies” and drinking Kool-Aid like it prevents cancer.  Some things from your youth really were worth discarding.  But what about all that nerdy stuff you left behind when you realize that hotter chicks and cooler guys were listening to The Shins, or watching Woody Allen movies (the older, better ones)?  What about all that stuff that used to make you truly happy? 

What about Conan the Fucking Barbarian?

If you’re like me, Diane – and I know you are – you had a number of years (from approximately ages 15-21) which involved a lot of swords and sorcery.  You played D&D.  You watched “Conan” movies and “Conan”-like movies, and non-ironically enjoyed muscular, shirtless men doing battle with old timey weapon props.  You freely admitted to knowing what a bastard sword was.  You liked Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, even the ridiculous songs about Mordor.  You knew guys who smoked a lot of pot, and maybe you smoked some too, but it wasn’t key to your enjoyment of all this awesome stuff.  You appreciated the majesty and mystery of black lights and lava lamps.  You thought role-playing had the capacity to be creatively equal to more respectable endeavors like creative writing and playing in a band, and you thought maybe the social element actually elevated it above some of those pursuits.

You were the lame Galactus.

Well, this is a call to fucking arms.  Conan the Fucking Barbarian needs you back.  The Age of Irony has ruined a lot of things**, but let it not ruin the purest, sweetest joys of growing up in the 70s and 80s.  Don’t let Curt Kobain win!  He wants to win, he needs to, but Diane – we need it worse.  This is a fucking Cause with a capital C now.

Here’s what I’m going to be non-ironically enjoying the coming months, and I hope you will join me:

~ High On Fire’s new album “Death Is This Communion.”  It’s the perfect soundtrack for a night of weed-smoking and playing D&D.

~ “Dragonslayer.”  Anybody who says “Beastmaster” is the better movie is a dirty liar.  But “Beastmaster” is OK too.

~ Perhaps a nice haunted house.  It’s almost Halloween, ferchrissakes.

~ White Castle hamburgers.  I can’t enjoy them any more, but you people out there who still eat red meat, go get a sack and think of me while you’re making yourself fat and sick.

~ Any TV show, movie, or song lyrics that involve vampires, werewolves, dragons, chainmail, magicians, or bosomy women in tiny outfits chained to things.

~ Def Fucking Leppard.

~ Car wrecks.

~ Rolling a 20 sided dice.

It’s not too late for us.  Chucky K. already reclaimed hair metal as not (entirely) the province of burnouts and idiots; why can’t we have the rest of it back?  I hope this weekend you’ll turn your back on that hip local coffee house and its tempting array of scones, and instead watch Arnold whack off James Earl Jones’s head with his mighty bastard sword.  Do it for the little guy you used to be.  That guy was awesome.

* This is not a footnote. 

** Like jam bands and prog rock.  I’m afraid no matter how hard anyone tries, the closest we’ll ever again come to honestly appreciating 15 minute songs with eight solos in them is the Flaming Lips.  And really, that’s not at all close.  Backlash on the Mars Volta is already underway, and I sense a backlash on Animal Collective is sitting right around the corner, sharpening its claws.


17 Responses to Reclaiming my nerdy youth

  1. Kit-chen says:

    (wipes single tear from eye)

    Right on, man. Right the fuck on!

  2. JimPanzee says:

    I pretty much non-ironically enjoy Conan the Barbarian everyday. But I never liked Def Leppard. Their ridiculous pun “armageddon-it” was the oversized alien that ate planet Hysteria.

    Otherwise, chain mail and bosoms! I’m all about the revival. Nod to Kit-chen for the Brutal trailer.

  3. Yes. That’s worth appending here, due its awesomeness:

    (For me the case for Def Leppard rests on “Pyromania” and the two previous albums. They crested with “Pyromania” for sure, and the peak was short-lived. But I do really like “Animal” from “Hysteria” too.)

  4. Kit-chen says:

    “Armageddon-it” isn’t much worse than “D’yer Maker” as far as puns go.

    I may have been too busy making tie dyed puffy shirts, shopping for the perfect vest, and trying to learn Elvish to get into Def Leppard when I was a kid. But I’m happy to go back for a review.

    I’m glad the age of irony is finally over.

  5. Actually, it won’t be completely over until we kill Sarah Silverman. Or at least put her in a tiny outfit and chain her to something.

  6. Shae says:

    Does this mean I can once again look with admiration upon the artwork of Frank Frazetta?

  7. I hope we all will, Shae. He’s a beacon of hope… a guiding light as we exit our darkest days.

    Plus, that girl is hot.

  8. Ryan says:

    20-sided dice and prog rock are inextricably linked – the full enjoyment of one is dependent on the presence of the other.

    An acceptable substitute, however, would be Anthrax’s “I’m The Man” EP.

  9. William Tell says:

    Hey. Aren’t you all being ironic… right now?

    Fucking Americans.

  10. Eee says:

    Damn you, Dale Cooper. Why does everything turn into a “Dragonslayer is better than Beastmaster” argument with you?

    I will stand by Beastmaster until my dying day. Go Kodo and Podo!

  11. I’m sorry, Eee. You are right. I do rule. But the movie they made based on my life wasn’t nearly as good as the movie they made about that Dragonslayer fella.

    Sorry. But I gotta admit it’s true. At least they got my hair right.

  12. In the interests of furthering our group descent into nerdiness, I present: The Lord Weird Slough Feg! This is Conan in the form of music.

    And two of their albums are on emusic. That’s serendipitous. If like me you have an emusic subscription… otherwise it’s just mildly interesting.

  13. Eee says:

    I hope your happy, Dale Cooper. Your bias has made a great man (Beastmaster, or Dar to his friends) doubt his own superiority over that mini skirt wearing perm having Dragonslayer. Shame on you!

  14. Oh my dearest Eee, you have forgotten who the true star of “Dragonslayer” is: the completely badass dragon.

  15. Oh there’s no question. In a real life battle against me, that little Dragonslayer fuck would be cat food.

    Seriously: I’d just get my big cat to eat him while he was distracted by Kodo and Podo’s hilarious capering.

    I wouldn’t even have to lift a finger.

    I haven’t tested it, but I think I might actually be able to order that big dragon to kill him.

    The film version of my life really only got the fact of my powers (and my amazing body) right. They fucked up just about everything else.

    “I have my eyes… I have my cunning… and I have my strength. ”

    Oh. For. Christ. Sake.

    Giant fucking eye-roll there.

    BTW, I prefer “THE Beastmaster.” It’s an honorific. How many other “Beastmasters” do you know? Just one. The Beastmaster.


    – Dar (The Beastmaster)

  16. Tim says:

    Rolling a 20-sided DIE.

    (Only someone embracing his inner true nerd would correct you on this.)

  17. And Krom bless you for it, sir.

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