Sunday, 3 March 2013

Nerd Burlesque

I recently discovered a bizarre subgenre known as Nerd Burlesque. Basically, take a bunch of stereotypically "nerdy" interests such as scifi and superhero books, comics and shows, and multiply it with Burlesque. NERDY BURLESQUE seems the perfect vehicle for a nerdy interest, in concept, if one takes the original "caricaturing" meaning of the word. Nerdy boys and nerdy girls can both have lots of fun with the idea. I'd imagine it to be a bit like the American answer to Cosplaying. You want Star Wars Burlesque? Dr Who Burlesque? Alien Burlesque? Zelda Burlesque? Giant D20 dice Burlesque?? THE INTERNET HAS IT ALL.

Look, its Dalek Burlesque.

But this was the last straw in a night of desultory internet surfing, this Dalek Burlesque video in particular, which is more or less an almost idealised sexy tattooed girl doing a striptease whilst being initially dressed as a supervillian mutant robot. There's one thing I never understood about "Burlesque" today - it does seem that a lot of burlesque today can be reduced to one main thing: a striptease act. One of the interviewees in this "report" of Nerd Burlesques even says so. Nerds doing stripteases? But... in particular, a kind of striptease performed by a (most probably) middle-class, (probably) well-educated woman? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems a little bit like how "pole dancing" classes is taught to middle-class office women because they're supposed to be "empowering" or a "celebration of the female form" or some "personal exploration or expression", or something along those lines (I don't strip or pole dance, so if you do, you tell me). But I mean, if you're a working-class pole dancer/stripper, and if your work is in an actual strip club, the stripping and poledancing would be cast as a separate thing altogether. I don't know. What do other people think? I'd honestly be more excited by the Nerd Burlesques that are a clearer matter of performing/reforming or satirizing gendered stereotypes/identities such as this next one:

Nerd Burlesque

Also this whole thing about "Nerd Culture". Isn't a lot of it still about pop culture consumption? I suppose that by most people's standards I have pretty "geeky" interests but in my adult life I have had no interest in prolongedly following any series, movies sequels, or books. I just find that it is more fun to make my own odd-shaped stuff rather than to spend all day consuming pre-made stuff in fixed formats. After all, there still seems to be an endless number of things that I would like to make...

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