With the pirates and ninjas of the world becoming a tiresome meme, Mike Vardy is bringing barbarians back — and he needs your help.
Pirates have been touted as the avant garde career choice for well over a decade, with it being attached to rudimentary items such as digital downloads and dialects for a day. Ninjas are right up there as well, with their skills held in high regard in productivity circles.
Now, barbarians are another matter. Perhaps the new matter.
Back in the 80s and into the 90s, barbarians were cool. There were comic books featuring them as the protagonists (Conan would be one, Groo would be another), and they were the characters of choice in role-playing games. I’d challenge any teenager of my generation to pledge that they would choose another class other than the battle-tested barbarian when flinging quarters into the Gauntlet arcade machine.
Then, much like the tenure that Conan had as king (shorter than his reign as governor, I might add), it was over. The popularity of the barbarian had waned to levels so low that no savings throw could ignite a resurgence. But things are always darkest before the dawn…
I’m going out on a trendsetting limb here, but it’s a limb I’ve never feared. I mean, I’m the guy who coined the Twitter hashtag (#) “stalkersunday”, and its popularity knows no bounds in my own mind. So with the pirates and ninjas of the world becoming a tiresome meme, I’m bringing barbarians back.
I’m no stranger to understanding pop culture and its cohabitation with the Internet. If this is going to work, there needs to be a hook, or in the case of barbarians, an axe. In fact, the first notion would be to replace the term “hook” with “axe” for obvious reasons. Make it so.
Terminology aside, in order to make a meme like this stick there needs to be more than just an, er, “axe”. There are qualities that barbarians have that can easily be shifted to fit the modern day. For example, the ninja is known for stealth and efficiency. That’s why the term “email ninja” can be applied to someone who is effective at processing their emails. Pirates of the digital persuasion are known for looting treasure of a different sort. The quality of the barbarian I think is a great springboard would be the berzerker-like nature that they possess. Let’s bring that quality into the present day…
Example: Mike was so passionate about usage-based billing that he went all barbarian on his most recent post.
See what I did there? I was able to apply the trait of a barbarian to the emotion behind my writing and plug my most recent post on my own site at the same time. Normally, that would be considered a sneaky maneuver, which are traits of both the ninja and the pirate. Yet because I made no attempt to conceal it whatsoever and was somewhat ruthless in doing so, I kind of pulled a barbarian there as well.
I can’t do this alone. I’ll need your help.
When you have the chance to go shirtless as part of your daily routine, do so. That’s what a barbarian would do.
When you have the choice of being quiet or loud when you’re about to take on a task or project, be loud and proud. That’s what a barbarian would do.
When you find yourself in the groove, instead of silently focusing so you can stay controlled and in the groove, shake things up. In fact, shake them until you break them. That’s what a barbarian would do.
So go forth and be a mendicant with me —- whatever that means.
Image courtesy of Yann_R @ Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 generic license.