The Galactic Empire Vs. The White House: Why Nerd is the New Cool

One of the new programs implemented by the White House recently is called “We The People”, a website on whitehouse.gov that invites citizens to submit and sign petitions aimed at the government.

Not long ago, a petition was put up on this service asking for the government to build a Death Star, citing many potential benefits, saying:

“By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.”

This hilarious, yet well thought-out petition soon was flooded with signatures, and presently has over 34,000. The White House Chief of the Science and Space Branch, Paul Shawcross, soon responded to the petition with his own pragmatic, yet witty reasons why a Death Star would be out of the question, including the following fantastic lines:

“The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.”

“Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”

And my favorite:

“The Administration does not support blowing up planets.”

And it does not end here. The so-called Galactic Empire responded to what they called “cowardice” from the White House with the following statement, which frankly is best read in its entirety:

IMPERIAL CENTER, CORUSCANT – The overwhelming military superiority of the Galactic Empire has been confirmed once again by the recent announcement by the President of the United States that his nation would not attempt to build a Death Star, despite the bellicose demands of the people of his tiny, aggressive planet. “It is doubtless that such a technological terror in the hands of so primitive a world would be used to upset the peace and sanctity of the citizens of the Galactic Empire,“ said Governor Wilhuff Tarkin of the Outer Rim Territories. “Such destructive power can only be wielded to protect and defend by so enlightened a leader as Emperor Palpatine.”

Representatives on behalf of the nation-state leader from the unimaginatively named planet refused to acknowledge the obvious cowardice of their choice, preferring instead to attribute the decision to fiscal responsibility. “The costs of construction they cited were ridiculously overestimated, though I suppose we must keep in mind that this miniscule planet does not have our massive means of production,” added Admiral Conan Motti of the Imperial Starfleet.

Emissaries of the Emperor also caution any seditious elements within the Galactic Senate not to believe Earth’s exaggerated claims of there being a weakness in the Death Star design. “Any attacks made upon such a station – should one ever be built – would be a useless gesture,” added Motti.

While this exchange is amusing it shows an important development in American culture, something that I can personally appreciate. The fact that such a nerdy topic, for lack of a better term, is now casually tossed around, even in the White House, signals that nerd culture is mainstream. This is one of those situations that evokes the classic mantra of the now defunct Totally Rad Show podcast, “Nerd is the new cool”. At this point, it really is.