Let’s take a little trip in the way-back machine to 2005. Your humble author, a fresh-faced 25-year-old, was still figuring out this “online community” thing, when he caught himself trying to be cooler than he was.
As I wrote back then, I was “cautiously posturing” on people’s websites, keeping up that “cool front of detachment” that was all the rage in my high-school days. Once I realized what I was doing, I decided to pull a 180 by creating my own Fake Internet Holiday (before it was cool!) to celebrate the fact that I was really still a huge dork.
And thus, “Embrace the Lame” Day was born. Every April 28th, I would post a list of things that I enjoyed that others may have found quirky, weird, or downright dorky. I would stand up and say it loud: I’m a geek, and I’m proud!
I celebrated ETL Day for a few years, made playlists for it, claimed it was an INTERnational fake internet holiday in its second year, and over the years convinced over 20 people to participate with me. Each year, I would honor all participants in the ETL “Hall of Lame”! ETL Day had an official greeting (“Lame On!”) and briefly had its own website that is now defunct (unless someone else took over the URL–I haven’t checked).
And then I just…stopped. Either because I had stopped blogging for a while, or just didn’t think about it. Last year would have been the 10-year anniversary, but I didn’t realize that until late May.
Looking back over these old posts, it’s funny to me that, in some ways, I haven’t changed much. I love a lot of the same stuff (including “Boy Meets World” and Huey Lewis!). But I have changed in other small ways. For example, I stopped wearing sweaters with shorts (and stopped wearing jean shorts altogether). That’s progress, right? Also, my language has definitely cleaned up a bit (so I apologize for any junk-words in the linked posts; just blame that on vestigial attempts at edginess). Thank the Lord for progressive sanctification.
In some ways, I wonder if “the world has moved on” from Embrace the Lame Day. This is a much different world than it was in 2005. The very reason I started ETL Day (an opportunity to share all the weird and wonderful hobbies and interests we have) is pretty much what the internet is FOR, these days.
On the other hand, I think 2016 might be the PERFECT time to bring back ETL. Why?
- I want to bring back Embrace the Lame because it’s fun. 2016 has been a heavy year so far, both in the wider world, in our nation, and just for me personally. It’s time to have a little fun on the internet, for once. So I’m asking that we put down our political pitchforks and our discernment crossbows, and take a day off. Just one day.
- I want to bring back Embrace the Lame because I have new people with which to share it. While I look forward to some of the original ETL participants returning, I also look forward to my new online community joining in–especially the #Incredibros. Don’t let me down, fellas.
- I want to bring back Embrace the Lame because I’ve grown up a bit more. Eleven years, man. I’m curious to see what this new list will look like.
Maybe, like me, it’s been a while since you’ve owned up to the silly and uncool things you enjoy. If that’s the case, then we are overdue.
So here’s the challenge, 4thDaveBlog Readers: Start working on your list and post it online sometime today. I’ll post my official 2016 list at around noon today, both here and on Facebook. I challenge you to do the same. If you do, be sure to tag me and/or link to this post. I will be setting up a new “Hall of Lame” to honor all participants!
The official hashtags for Embrace the Lame 2016 are #ETL2016 and #LameOn. Feel free to use them frequently!
UPDATE: Why make this more complicated than it needs to be? Trevor suggested on Facebook that it should simply be #EmbraceTheLame. I agree! So that’s the NEW official hashtag!