Now that we’ve unveiled My Year With The A-Team, we can pull the curtain back on our other big initiative for 2010. In the past, fans of a particular movie/genre/meme would show their support by buying products, or holding conventions, or even making their own stuff. All of which is normal, healthy human behavior (except for the conventions). These days, they’ve turned their intensity up to the point that they aren’t simply showing their love for a genre, they’re actually trying to remake society in their genre’s image. Take Star Wars, for example – it’s not enough to like the Jedi, one has to become a member of the Jedi religion. Eventually we will reach a tipping point in which reality as we know it gives way to a fanboy-inspired cultural revolution.

I can’t say for sure if I want to live in a world where Super Mario is the leading cultural icon or not, but I do want to know what I’m in for. Therefore, each week we’ll track each cultural movement and award them points based on the coolness, lameness, effort and appeal of new projects related to that movement. Make sense? Probably not, so just observe this first round and see if it starts to sink in.

We’re tracking five major movements. We could’ve done a few more, but I don’t want to encourage the ones I dislike, which is why the Steampunk and anime/manga movements are right out. (Also out: air sex people. I shudder.) And the Star Trek movement is out mostly because it’s about mastery of the genre, not propagation – Trek dudes are just making homemade Captain Kirk chairs, not Spock cupcakes or whatever. If Bill Shatner wants to fight me over this, well, so be it.

On with the show! Each submission can gain the movement up to ten points, or lose up to five. And no, this is not completely arbitrary – I’m developing a complex and arcane system of rules in my mind that will explain everything.

The Star Wars Movement

It's a frap! We cannot repel flavour of that magnitude.

Your Barista is Admiral Ackbar is exactly the kind of offering that makes you want the world to veer further toward Star Wars. Nice wordplay, obviously top-quality artwork, plenty of fun and hot coffee during a cold winter. Points lost only because of the follow-up, Your Barista is Gary Busey. No health code in the world would allow that.

Points: +8

The Robot Movement

Inventor with robot girlfriend.

While Ackbar the barista is a credit to its movement, the opposite is true with Aiko the Robot Girlfriend. Never mind that in many ways this lifelike and staggeringly complex robot is a massive achievement: the word “Aiko” means “love child.” When the robot movement spends more time fulfilling humanity’s needs instead of its fantasies, they’ll start to get ahead in this contest.

Points: -1

The Periodic Table Movement

Periodic table of cupcakes
The periodic table is a movement? Apparently so – and quite a delicious one, at least from the looks of the Periodic Table of Cupcakes. If you’ve ever tried to decorate a cake you’ll appreciate the effort here. A very solid entry.

Points: +6

The Video Game Movement

Mario in bacteria art
The video game people get kudos for using the most imaginative medium for their representation – this is art made with bacteria, and apparently bacteria can be used to look like Mario. That’s pretty cool – although it’s not nearly as appetizing as a periodic table cupcake, or even a latte served up by Admiral Ackbar.

Points: +4

The LEGO Movement

LEGO Polaroid camera
The LEGO people are, obviously, at the top of the heap when it comes to making things, and so it’s no surprise that this Polaroid representation is really nicely done. And it works, which makes it even cooler. But look at the photo that comes out – that’s a regular type photo, not a LEGO photo! This is good, don’t get me wrong, but they’d be getting full credit if the photos came out as little LEGO people.

Points: +7

So, after week one, the standings are as follows:

S.Wars Robots P. Table V.Games LEGO






Until next week…


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