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Andrew Powell said on November 3rd, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Nerdi Gras. That’s your name right there.

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Why Verne?

If you want an early February founder of the genre to build an artificial holiday around, what’s wrong with the anniversary of the death of Mary Shelley?

Representation, yo.

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Alternately, May the 4th is already celebrated by nerds around the world. Why not extend Star Wars Day into a general nerd holiday?

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Don’t forget Pi Day! Mmm, pie.

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@Murc: I’d rather do a birth than a death. Mind you, August is kind of light on holidays too, so August 30th might work as well. Then again, Verne tended to be about the wonders of technology, while Shelley’s was a cautionary tale. I can see arguments for either, really.

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Admiral Snackbar said on November 4th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Can we stop promoting the idea of Nerd Culture as a legitimate thing? And we’ve already got plenty of holidays created to sell crap during a slow season. Targeting one on a particular demographic only makes it somehow more crass.

Also, are you seriously trying to promote a nerd holiday 6 days before Valentine’s? Nothing says, “I’m single!” harder than celebrating that day would.

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August 30th is going to be either two or seven days from Labor Day on any given year.

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@Admiral Snackbar: Not “Nerd Culture”, enjoyment of science-fiction/fantasy and its contribution to our (as in “humanity’s”) shared culture, with an emphasis on its practical value as inspiration to the scientists of future generations.

The fact that it gets people to buy crap during a slow season is a bonus. :)

(Okay, slightly more serious version of that last sentence: It is no coincidence that the holidays with the strongest cultural resonance are the ones that also involve spending money. Nobody really cared about Christmas until exchanging gifts became part of the tradition, and nobody really cared about Thanksgiving until it became an excuse to buy and eat more food than was strictly speaking rational. Human beings love excuses to buy things, and to get things. Making that part of any hypothetical holiday is the difference between a Halloween and a Groundhog Day.)

You have a good point regarding Valentine’s Day, though. :)

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Admiral Snackbar said on November 5th, 2014 at 8:54 am

Not Nerd Culture? You wrote, “I still feel like there should be a holiday out there just for random geekery.” That screams Nerd Culture to me.

And I’d say that the difference between a Halloween and a Groundhog Day is generations of shared tradition deeply rooted in particular cultural experiences, and that your view of Christmas is…not accurate.

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@Admiral Snackbar: That’s why I clarified in the comments. :)

And your views on the history of different holidays are noted; however, I think you’d probably want to do a bit more research before you stated them with the confidence you have so far. (Which is a polite way of saying, “Thank you for telling me that, but you’re dead wrong.” :) )

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Dougal Cochrane said on November 6th, 2014 at 5:21 am

So, I just noticed this in MGK’s handy synopsis of War Horse. He totally called it:

“The War Horse goes to Army Horse Camp, where he trains alongside a big black horse owned by BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, who demonstrates that when he has short hair and a moustache, he looks staggeringly like DOCTOR STRANGE.”

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Admiral Snackbar said on November 6th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Uh, have you done any scholarship on holidays? Particularly Halloween? Because the harvest festivals it’s rooted in were not just about buying junk. And what about Day of the Dead? Just because they’ve adapted to global capitalism doesn’t mean that buying is where their cultural resonance comes from.

So I don’t exactly see you citing any sources there. (Like, say, Lisa Morton’s work, such as the recent Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween.)

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