There was a time, in the long-long ago, that geekdom was considered to be a hinderance, a liability, something to hide when in public.
Then, some time in the late 90s, everybody in this country decided that they wanted to get on that new fangled Internet they had read so much about in magazines.
Well, we geeks had been living there for years; debating the best "Simpsons" episodes, playing text-based video games and conversing with people in other countries ... but mostly talking about "The Simpsons."
So now all of America wants to get online and our once private domain of self-righteous arguments and trading Magic: The Gathering cards is invaded by people that want to create web pages about their vacation.
Originally met with revulsion at the sight of unchecked n00bs running around OUR internet, geeks came to understand that we could all benefit from a cultural exchange with the normal people, normies if you will.
The exchange was prosperous; geeks taught the normies the joys of online encyclopedias, chat rooms, memes, gifs, and all things cats. The normies swelled the ranks of the online users, creating demand for jobs in information technology and spurring the development of smaller and smaller computers and, eventually, the creation of the smartphone.
Smartphones simply would not exist if their available market was the same size as the available market for "Clerks" collectible Berserker t-shirts.
Things were peaceful in our digital domain; everyday normies and geeks alike use social media, children are effortlessly adapting to technology inconceivable only 20 years ago and the worst offenders of the internet have mostly been banished to the Phantom Zone that is the YouTube comment section and Yahoo Answers.
But then the tide turned.
At one time the exchange between the geeks and the normies has been proportional, both sides equally benefitting. But some time around the release of the first "Iron Man" movie in the heady days of 2008, that the normies began to take more than they gave.
They took our comic books.
Sure, we were all happy when Christopher Nolan made the new Batman movies, and I liked "The Avengers" but it takes a normie to think that "The Green Lantern" starring Ryan Reynolds was a good idea.
They took our video games.
Try getting online to play and see how long it takes a bro-gamer to boast about his relationship with your mother. Seconds, if not sooner.
They took our look.
The first time I heard the term "geek chic," (thick rimmed glasses, vintage, ill fitting shirts, inexplicable t-shirts) I?knew the writing was on the wall.
I?assumed the normies were done, the only things left to appropriate were so esoteric, so arcane, that they could never make their way into the mainstream.
I assumed wrong.
They took our multiverse.
You may not know the word "multiverse," but you already know its definition.
Do you know Detective Munch?
Played by Richard Belzer, Detective John Munch first appeared on the TV show "Homicide: Life on the Streets." When that was cancelled in 1999 Munch became a character on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." During his time on "SVU" Munch also appeared on "The Wire," "The X-Files," and "Arrested Development."
Not Richard Belzer, but the character Det. Munch, always played by Belzer.
So, if Det. Munch is in "The X-Files," then it would be equally plausible that Special Agent Fox Mulder could appear on an episode of "SVU" or "The Wire." Now, "The X-Files" has aliens, so does that mean there are aliens on "The Wire?"
Well ... yes. Because Det. Munch was in the same fictional universes as "The X-Files" and "The Wire" so they must all belong in the same (say it with me) multiverse.
See how geeky of an idea that is? It comes from comic books, when most characters were owned by the same two or three publishers and they did this sort of thing all the time.
But now that the normies have taken our beloved comics and turned them into multi-billion dollar movies enjoyed the world over, that most geeky of concepts, the multiverse, has bled into the normie's entertainment world.
When Marvel announced that they were making all of their movies take place in the same "multiverse" it made sense, comics had been doing it for years.
When DC decided to set all of their new movies in the same "multiverse" it seemed like a cash grab by a group of people getting trounced at the box office by their competitors and desperate to emulate their every move.
But when Universal announced on Thursday that their movie monsters (you know, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, et. al) will all get new movies in the next few years and that those movies will exist in their own multiverse I?knew it had gone too far.
Now I?get to watch Dracula team up with Frankenstein to take down the Mummy? Is Brendan Fraser going to be there? How about Abbott and Costello? Because that was the last time something this stupid got turned into a movie, let alone a series of movies.
Normies, just give us back the multiverse. Its too powerful for you to wield properly, and you do not want to witness the power of a fully armed and operational multiverse. Please, just post some more pictures of your vacation, Instagram some pics of your dinner and leave the multiverse to the professionals.
Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.