Looking back at 2015, it’s safe to say that another banner geek year has passed. So let’s take a look into what made this one so special.
Starting at the movies, the record for box office opening was broken twice this year, and almost three times, all with geek movies. First, in May, Avengers: Age of Ultron fell just shy ($191,271,109) of its predecessor, Marvel’s The Avengers ($207,438,708). Then in July, Jurassic World took over the top spot ($208,806,270), and lastly the current record holder from earlier this month, Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247,966,675).
Sure there were other movies that came out, but records like this don’t usually fall this often or this close together. The geek dollar yields its just rewards.
You can also argue about the validity of geek television, as I did recently with some friends on the Gotham Lights Podcast. There is no denying that a lineup including Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, and Supergirl, in addition to The Big Bang Theory and Scorpion and even a more adult-oriented Muppets combine to make a great case that geek is where it is at.
And Netflix put their hat in the ring, with the assistance of Marvel Studios, releasing Daredevil and Jessica Jones to much fanfare. And with more to come, who knows how well they’ll do?
But the geeks are unplugging more and more, streaming their shows online more than ever. As non-geeks follow this trend, the problems are mounting for the media powerhouses. Disney, owner of Star Wars and Marvel, had stock value drop after Star Wars broke all the box office records, because of the hit they are taking as owners of ABC and ESPN, as well as their other television networks.
Could this be one of the turning points in media history? The biggest movie opening in history can’t yield a stock bump for its parent company? Only time will tell, but the old media outlets are going to have to adapt, or a collapse may be on the way on a scale so large that we’ll need all the Jedi and Avengers that Marvel can spare to help us out.
Regardless of what happens with the media, I always make sure to dive into the past every now and again to revisit classics or discover things that aren’t new but are certainly new to me. I did that this past year, revisiting favorites such as Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Wall Street, PCU, Independence Day (in preparation for the new one), and Die Hard, which is a holiday movie.
I also made sure to continue reading, which is as important to me now as it ever was. This past year I read many tomes including Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist Way, Patton Oswalt’s Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, Len Deighton’s Funeral in Berlin, Thomas Caplan’s The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen, and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. But one cannot subsist on media consumption alone.
Don’t forget about people, and more to the point don’t forget to talk to people. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. Maybe even hit the record button? That’s a new favorite pastime. After recording, if you release it on the Internet, it’s a podcast, and I did my fair share of those this year. I appeared on; The Stranger Conversations, Moving the Needle, Geekdig Podcast, Inglorious Gentlemen (three times), Podcast Without Borders, 7 Days A Geek during the 24 hour Podtoberfest, Diamond Minds, Gotham Lights, and Our Liner Notes.
And through it all I remained myself, a geek who still enjoys sports. I was saddened when Landon Donovan retired, though happy he went out on top. I was captivated by World Cup fever as the United States Women’s National Team went on to bring back the first World Cup victory to the United States in 16 years, and I watched my beloved Orioles despite some impending changes by Major League Baseball’s powers-that-be to the national pastime.
There were of course other things that happened, some more important than others. Looking back from where I sit at my messy desk, scattered with notes and half a cup of coffee, losing heat by the minute, that’s what sticks out most to me. After all, this is my look back.
So hang in there kids. The year 2016 is scheduled to be another banner geek year! I wish you all a happy and healthy new year full of challenges overcome and success.