Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Someone in the Official Keep Portland Weird Facebook page just commented that I out geeked them all. I am so proud, but was it Hubris that I would just assume that everyone in Portland would get A Welcome to Nightvale reference? Confused let me explain things, the best I can.
I am a geek, maybe a nerd, but probably a geek. If you have been reading DCotU for the last three years you probably know that. And since the geek ocean is pretty big, I like all geeks have my own specialties, they are, in no particular order, Star Wars, HP Lovecraft, comic books, the paranormal and the Fortean, history, and classic sci fi and a few others, there are some geeky stuff I am not into. Game of Thrones, Transformers, or even Harry Potter.
One of the things I am really into is this awesome podcast called Welcome to Nightvale. It’s about a town in the New Mexican desert where all conspiracy theories are true. It funny quirky and sometime really poignant. It has a small but really devoted fan base. The opening line of the first episode is about this dog park, which is really the cover for some mysterious world government base, and is patrolled by ominous hooded figures. (Remember this part I will get back to it, I promise)
I spent most of my life in Southern California, it was big enough and there was enough people in So Cal, that you can be quirky as you want and pretty much get away with it. I moved to Idaho for a year and a half.It has some good things going for it, nice people, and nice summers, but it isn’t really a geek haven. Oh they like their geeky things such as Star Wars, but they couldn’t tell you what type of alien Panda Baba was, Aquilish, or that Jaba the Hutt’s Kowakian monkey-lizard’s name was Salacious B. Crumb, or that the real name of the cantina song is Mad About Me (you know the basics). In the whole time I met one person who could name a Social Distortion song, the three or four people who knew about Lovecraft knew more about him as a racists than a writer. I stood out as a man who liked childish things.
When I moved to Portland it was like I had moved to geek Nirvana. Here I came in second in Star Wars trivia contests, I ease drop as two hot girls at Burger King discuss Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, I heard some guy quote MST3K, as a pick up line in Powell’s. I don’t have to explain what a trope is. Our ambassador to the world is this guy on a unicycle, playing the bagpipes wearing a Darth Vader Mask, we sing songs about a coyote on the light rail, our motto is Keep Portland Weird.
In fact one of the Facebook pages I belong to is Keep Portland Weird, it runs new articles that have somewhere in the first paragraph, “The dude was tripping balls.”, weather memes, and other funny things. And Portland is the most pro-dog place in the union, so it wasn’t a surprise they had the following meme.
Now of course the first thing I think of is Nightvale and its dog park. So I got to reply. Now I can’t find the opening line from episode one, so I found this quote from a pre-Dana mayor of NV. “Dog parks should be used for dogs and owners to exercise and play. A dog park should be a fun gathering place for citizens to meet and socialize. Not a secretive patch of municipal darkness full of conspiracy warning signs.” And I just assume that 90% of Portlanders would get it, after all Richard Fink the creator of WtNV did a book signing here.
Boy was I wrong. I got responses like “Lighten up mate!!!!” and “Whoa! What brought THAT on? Yes, lighten up, David. We’re friends, here.”
I was honestly shocked that others didn’t get the reference, and ashamed that people thought I was being hostile over it. So I had to explain “It’s from Welcome to Nightvale, where the Dog park is a front for the mysterious world government. And is surrounded by mysterious floating beings, the mayor is always trying to get the citizen to ignore.”
And someone posted “I think you just out-geeked all of us.”
Now the heavily paid legal scholars here at DCotU, have asked me to remind you that those were private citizens and not official representatives of the Keep Portland Weird FB page or the City of Portland, but they have also OK’d me to remind you that no official representative of Stump Town has ever discredited the claim that I have out geek the entire City of Portland.
So what is the Aesopian moral of this tale? One: Not all geeks are into the same thing. Two: I am and always will be a geeky mammer jammer.
Check this up it actually captures a lot of my nightvale theories
Oh and here is the best song about Portland ever, well at least about a Coyote taking the Max.