Citius, Altius, Force-ius

Admission: this is a repost.  It’s already on this blog, buried in some dump post of a bunch of old stuff, but it’s timely — written immediately after the 2006 Winter Olympics — and I’m glad to share it again.  So cut the chatter, Red 2, and accelerate to reading speed.

Revenge of the Sith Nerds

Basically, the Winter Olympics sucked.

I watched American athletes fall, dreams of gold shattered.  I watched overconfident, party-hard skiers (I’m talking to you, Bode) retreat disappointed into RVs.  I watched as “faster, higher, stronger” became “oops, wait a minute, shit!”

It was, in every sense of the word, disappointing.  I can only hope that the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada are less of a debacle.

But others, like Shane Igoe, have their eyes set on much more than 2010. Igoe is thinking about the future. 2014, to be specific.

Igoe wants to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics on—wait for it—Hoth.

That’s right.  Hoth.  As in “Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back” Hoth.

Jedi. Snowspeeders. Wookiees. And luge.

One could argue that the icy slopes of Hoth would be perfect for slalom runs, or that tauntaun riding would make a great Olympic sport, but I think the whole idea of holding the Olympics on a planet that doesn’t exist is a little bizarre.

This leads me to two conclusions. Either Igoe is a genius, with a real love of both nerd subculture and the Olympics, or he’s completely nuts. If you want to decide for yourself, check out his site.

What we can’t ignore is the idea itself. The force (if you’ll pardon the pun) of geeks is growing. We’re not talking about crazed fan boys à la Star Trek conventions—nerds have invaded the highest levels of our society, and are poised and ready for a coup that would take even Xartyk, grand overlord of Omega VIII, by surprise.

The science fiction buff is stereotypically portrayed as an overweight, bespectacled klutz who subsists on Hot Pockets and Sunny D, wears incredibly tacky clothes and possibly outlandish headgear, and lispingly spouts such effusions of incoherent babble as “By Grabthar’s hammer, by the sons of Warvan, I shall avenge you!” (thank you, “Galaxy Quest”).

I suspect, however, that the nerd is far more insidious. Even now, they lurk among you, usually in the top percentile of their class. They’re watching you, from the posh executive offices of multi-million dollar companies. I’ll bet they’re ruling your lives through their fancy-schmancy “government.”

And eventually, you’ll work for one. That is, if he doesn’t cleverly outsource your job to India.

There is no doubt that nerds control the world.  Look at Bill Gates—I mean,look at Bill Gates.  Slap a pocket protector on, and your good to go (go solve a complex quadratic equation, that is).  And yet, Gates is worth upwards of $40 billion dollars—enough to buy my soul, your soul, the entire Santa Clarita Valley’s souls, and still have enough left over to walk to the moon on a path of golden dollars.

So eventually, isn’t it inevitable that Gates will simply buy the Olympics? What else is he going to spend the money on?  He can even build a replica of Hoth somewhere in Mongolia, and make everyone happy.

I’ll admit it. I look forward to Gates’ Microlympics, and the new events that will inevitably result: X-Box shotput, competitive PowerPointing, even Igoe’s proposed “Bi-‘Hoth’-alon.”  It’s got to be better than this year.

Even if Darth Vader decides to crash the party.