Confluence of Technology, or the Everynerd

11 01 2013

I was using Radio Controlled, the not-quite-kosher bootleg Pandora client for Windows Phone a moment ago. It’s a great little client, though as it’s one guy’s labor of love and isn’t officially sanctioned by Pandora in any way, it has its quirks. In this case, it was happily playing songs, but had sort of forgotten what it was actually playing. The vocals sounded familiar to me, so I looked at its song list, and it thought it was “A Letter from an Occupant,” by The New Pornographers. No, that was the first song it played. I scrolled through the list, and it was complete up to “Ooh La La” by The Faces, which was the song that had played just prior to the one in question. So I fired up Bing Music Search and let the phone listen to itself to figure out what was playing. After doing so, I realized I could have just hit the volume rocker, which would bring up the currently playing thing regardless of Radio Controlled’s confusion. Oh, well. The song in question was “The Start of Something” by Voxtrot, but that’s neither here nor there.

It was followed up by Michael Cera and Ellen Page covering The Moldy Peaches’ “Anyone Else But You” from Juno. It got me thinking about how hating Michael Cera seems to have become kind of the end thing of late, which seems weird to me. He’s never anything other than awkwardly affable. Then again, that could be the problem right there. Still, I respond to that awkward affability, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. That got me thinking that he’s played kind of a dreamt-of hero’s journey throughout his various roles. We start with George Michael Bluth, painfully adolescent, bewildered by his attraction to girls, completely hapless. We move along to Juno, where he’s still bewildered and spun around, and falls into a romantic relationship by being in the right place, at the right time, with just the right level of boredom. Finally, we reach Scott Pilgrim, who is kind of the dream of nerds – he’s creative, he’s quirky, he gets the girl through active effort instead of passive luck, and he walks off into the sunset still quirky, still kind of awkward, but feeling pretty good about himself. And he wins several fights, which I think most nerds dream of doing, deep in their secret hearts, even if they consider themselves principled pacifists. He ends up representing the stages of nerd life, and as so many of us have gone through those stages. We can empathize with the growth stages and pine for the “Scott gained the power of self-respect!” That said, it may well be painful to see how the years have treated George Michael Bluth…

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