Tag Archives: Dune

Dune, Nostalgia, and our Rose-Colored Past

DuneI first read Frank Herbert’s Dune when I was in my tweens. I was reading a lot of Star Wars novels at the time, and I started looking for something a little meatier. While browsing the shelves of the local Barnes and Noble, I saw a “staff recommends” sign next to the small paperback copy of the book. The sign read, simply, “Read the book that inspired Star Wars!”

Done. I bought the book with my hard-earned lawn mowing money.

And I loved it. Especially the litany. I would recite the litany against fear when I was afraid to do something. Before tests. Before rollercoasters. Before asking a girl out.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing… only I will remain

I read Dune again recently for my monthly book club, and I still loved it. It held up. It might not have been as good as my nostalgia made me think it was, but it was still solid.

I also recently read Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule for the first time. It wasn’t very good, but it was recommended to me multiple times by many people. Did nostalgia make it seem better to those people than it was?

This week, National Geographic Channel began airing The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? It’s an intriguing look back at decade that I began as a child and ended a high schooler. Many of the images and stories shown still deeply affected me: the Berlin Wall crumbling, the giant fan gathering after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, the missiles raining down in the Persian Gulf,  Nancy Kerrigan’s  anguished cry of “Why!?”

Memories began surrounding those moments. Where was I when I heard the news? When did I see them on TV? Who was reporting the news at the time? How did I feel? And the feelings I had at the time began to rush back. I was scared when I saw the images of the Gulf War. I was happy to see the people celebrating as the Wall came down.

Nostalgia is so powerful, but it’s a double-edged sword. I am who I am today not because of those things that happened, but how I remember them happening. I’ve recommended books, movies, video games, and foods based on my memory of them. But memory can be fooled pretty easily. Food that tasted AMAZING on a date with my wife might not taste as good to me when she’s not around. A song I remember listening to when I was carefree and driving around in my first car simply isn’t as good when I listen to it now (I’m looking at you, Meet Virginia).

Thankfully, Dune is good enough to stand up to my nostalgia. The Litany Against Fear still calms me down. But nostalgia is big business. There are whole websites dedicated to old video games, old toys, old candy, old things. These places count on you wanting to buy the stuff that made you happy when you were young, but beware–the things you loved as a kid probably aren’t as good as you think they are.

That doesn’t make the joy you had back then invalid. It doesn’t make your feelings about anything worthless; however, it might be good for us to realize that the lens we are looking through is rose colored. The past is great. We all had awesome times that we are fond of, but we shouldn’t long to be there again. We shouldn’t get stuck there. We should look forward to the new nostalgia we can make, try to make good memories today, and not fear the future.

After all, fear is the mind-killer.

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The Week in Geek: Aug. 3, 2012

One thing I’ve learned watching the Olympics this week is that it’s all about techn-geek (technique, get it?). That doesn’t really work, but I’m bad with puns. Here’s what you need to know to sound fascinating this weekend!

Avengers Babies! We make our dreams come true! Avengers babies! We'll do the same for you!

This is probably the only way to make AvX interesting – make it adorable. Image courtesy of Scottie Young on Deviant Art.

British gymnast Jennifer Pinches flashed the Nerdfighter sign before her routine, but that wasn’t the only nerdtastic moment from the ladies in leotards.  Mexican gymnast Elsa Garcia Rodriguez Blancas did her floor exercise to a Zelda medley.

Some tremendously disturbed and wonderful person created Goodnight Dune.

TJ is filling his custom world in Mutants and Masterminds with superheroes and intrigue and he wants to fill you in.

Some guy who has only ever seen the first 30 minutes of Jurassic Park wants to build his own. With live dinosaurs. Before you say it, no, Mike, we will not honeymoon there. 

Oh, Coulson!

Oh, Coulson, you old stalker, you! Image courtesy of krusca on Deviant Art.

Proving that sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason, a team of Russian scientists is working on the more than slightly unethical mission of making us immortal. What’s better is that they’re supposed to have it by 2045, comrade.

Proof that not only am a geek, I’m kind of a jerk.

Someone get a squeegee because the trailer for the 7th season of Doctor Who is out, and it’s making Whovian heads explode.

Making the joke that everyone else has made because I love me a bandwagon – the title for the X-Men: First Class sequel has been released, and it is not X-Men: Second Class.

Speaking of film developments and Dr. Who, ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston has been tapped to play the villain in Thor 2. Before you get your panties in a twist, Loki will be there, and Rose will not.

They just ordered in schwarma.

Black Widow isn’t there because she’s out being a spy, not slacking like these Aven-jerks here. Image courtesy of Hallpen on Deviant Art.

Everyone needs an inspiration. J. Fortune’s was none other than the manliest man of mystery, James Bond.

Proving the nerds are more successful than normies, Todd McFarlane’s cover art of Amazing Spider-Man #328, featuring Spidey gut-busting the Hulk, sold at auction for a record $675,250.

Even though Bane sounded like he was narrating a particularly violent episode of Masterpiece Theater, I presume starring Dame Maggie Smith as the Tomb Raider (Armed only with withering comebacks no less! Admit it, you’d watch it.), it could have sounded much worse.

Felicity took a long look at Mitt Romney, and the longer she looked the more she found wrong.

J.K. Rowling has said the wizarding gene it dominant, but how to you explain wizards born to muggles or squibs? Biology student has it all figured out.

In a theme near and dear to my journo heart, Topless Robot, in addition to having a wonderful name, has a list of the 10 best journalists from comics.

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