“I could turn heel over this bulls**t!” – Rachel Cushing, 2017
For any Schmoedown fans who keep a close eye on the Facebook fan group, it’s been a difficult few days. Gone are the debates over who could turn heel or requests for the schedule. Even the ‘Dagnino for Commissioner’ campaign has taken something of a backseat no matter how hard certain people try. One man’s name has been on everybody’s lips.
Bond. James Bond.
The decision to add new categories to the Innergeekdom division has led to – at times – raging rows over whether it has a place in geek culture, and even the competitors have differing opinions on the subject.
So, with the risk of re-opening a can of worms that was almost shut, here is the blog’s first big debate – does James Bond belong in Innergeekdom?
THE CASE FOR (by Tom Maston)
The beauty of the Innergeekdom division was that it allowed fans of some of the biggest movie franchises of all time to show off their quite frankly obscene knowledge of their favourite properties. To say that James Bond is not a major franchise without religiously dedicated fans would be incorrect. So why the outcry?
Bond – at the time of writing – has 24 films as part of its franchise, so there is certainly no debate over whether there is enough material for it to fall into the world of Innergeekdom. It is also loosely based on Ian Fleming’s novels, so there is certainly source material competitors can use to aide their chances.
The issue seems to be the definition of ‘geek culture’ and what that means within the Schmoedown. For many, the properties that dominate panels and booths at various conventions should be the only franchises that are included, and it would be wrong to suggest that the majority of ‘geeks’ do not obsess over at least one of these series of movies.
But I am sure there are self-professed geeks out there who have watched and studied each of the Bond movies on various occasions. Though the films do not always follow one coherent story given the constant casting changes regarding the protagonist, there is enough within the law of the movies to suggest they are worth their place at the geek table.
Were the division named “Innerfantasy” then the vitriol being shown towards the Commissioner and the Bond movies themselves would be justified. But it is not. The fact Bond is set in relative reality should not discount it from having its own geeky fanbase.
That obviously opens up the argument of whether franchises such as the Fast & Furious should in fact be included, but where these differ from Bond is there is no real source material to delve into nor many, if any, hardcore fans of those films who would identify with being a ‘geek’.
Finally, from a personal point of view, seeing competitors taken out of their comfort zones is what makes the Schmoedown an enthralling spectacle. Though fans love seeing perfect rounds and records being broken, adding that bit of jeopardy and ensuring competitors do not get too comfortable is a Commissioner’s job. Bond is hopefully here to do just that.
THE CASE AGAINST (by Jamie Gakuo)
Debate has been raging for almost a week now regarding James Bond’s entry into the Inner’GEEK’dom league, and it’s time this was put to an end.
First, let’s clarify what a geek is. The true definition of a geek is a knowledgeable and obsessive enthusiast about a specialist or minority interest. Now, potentially every category within the Schmoedown would fall under that description, so we need to dig deeper into the real essence of the geek culture.
From a social perspective, a geek category is – certainly at times – a topic that most are ashamed of sharing their obsession with when speaking with non-geeks in fear of the potential ridicule that might come their way.
Introducing the Innergeekdom division has helped to celebrate all things geek related within the Schmoedown and has been a huge hit for the fans because of its exclusivity and the depth it goes into around beloved geek categories.
So why alter a formula that was so clearly working and add James Bond, among others, into the mix?!
The main argument coming from Bond apologists is that 007 has existed for over 50 years, with its 25th movie now in the works, and – though this may surprise some – I agree that this is a legitimate argument for it to be included within the Schmoedown. But do westerns not have a similar length of history with even more movies? John Rocha, for example, is a westerns geek, but does that mean it should be included within Innergeekdom as well?
Now, the Commissioner has clearly thought about this decision before making it, even if he did not let the competitors know until moments before they entered the ring, and there is an argument that we should not question his decisions.
But since its inception in 2014, how the Schmoedown has worked has been chopped and changed on numerous occasions, and the Innergeekdom division only exists, in part, because fans demanded it. So why should we not have a say in the show we love while it is still in its infancy? The Commissioner has always been clear that he appreciates feedback – either positive or negative – and though his decision will always be final, there is no harm in constructive criticism.
All in all, allowing James Bond into the Innergeekdom league has the potential to create a slippery slope when it comes to more categories being brought in. Not all would be bad ideas – adding the Matrix, Alien or Transformers franchises would certainly fit the geek bill – but Bond is not in the same realm. This has left me shaken, not stirred.
What do you make of the whole Bond controversy? Have your say in the comments below!