Some time last month, my cousin Jason proposed we guest Blog on each other’s sites; he’d drive The Ed Zone and I’d steer the good ship Biggerboat. The trick was in figuring out the right occasion to do so. With April Fools on fast approach, I thought it might be a clever idea to guest on each other’s site by writing an article for the other site and seeing if our readers could tell the difference through the sudden change in voice. Largely, the experiment failed. However, it did make for a nice smoke screen for Plan B – my sudden relocation to Corn Country.
Anyway – in reading through the post I provided Jason – I realized there were some truths embedded that I hold self-evident. To that end, I decided to lift a good chunk and publish it there. Hey – I wrote the damn thing – so it’s carte blanch on this slow news day. As an added bonus for those who have already read the damn thing, I added in some additional content.
With the arrival of spring, my creative juices have recharged – leading me to revisit my rant against the forces that conspire against me to embrace Battlestar Galactica like it was the next Red Dwarf.I just don’t get this Geek Mythology.
The Geeks spend every waking moment of their high school existence decimating the concept of cliques – deriding their peers for banding together around shared interests – and keeping them on the outside looking in. The Beautiful People are labeled shallow, self-centered and narcissists. I guess when you’re knee deep in the muck, it’s difficult to discern the true lay of the land.
Then college arrives and everyone reboots – you move to a different city, you mingle with different people, you loosen your baggage and come into your own. Rolls reverse. Jocks date geeks. Nerds mack on preps. Dogs marry cats. Up is down. Black is white. Paula Abdul is stable.
Then you go to work and you find yourself in the IT department and a quick scan across the shanty town of cubicles known as Corporate America provides you with an inventory of every superhero that has ever graduated the JLA. That’s short-hand for Justice League of America but if you avoid the acronym, the Geek Chorus propels you to the top of their ‘watch list’. Years ago, it was rumored that the NSA used to monitor library databases in a bid to red flag all those checking out The Catcher in the Rye in order to nab the next great anarchist. I did them a solid and sent them a detailed inventory of every action figure and it’s owner in my office. You have Orko getting it on with Steve Austin on your desk – you’re now officially on their ‘watch list’.
And the geeks will ostracize anyone that doesn’t share in their nerdgasm. In the late 90’s, it was The Matrix. Then it was the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Then we were all forced to welcome back Potter and the rest of our Hogwarts heroes. Now, we’ve gone all retro and if you aren’t down with Battlestar Galactica or Dr. Who, you’re frakked. Where’s the love for Surface?
I remember high school well enough. Most people are lying if they say they had a swell time – hormones prohibit that – but when looking back at the cliques that assembled there and the segregation that rocks most suburban office parks – it becomes far too apparent how quickly the Geeks have become Those They Chose Not To Speak Of. Being a fanatic is great – having a passion for a pastime is wonderfully therapeutic – sharing our interests with others helps to pass the time and prevent monotonous clockwatching – but this strong arm approach, the threat that ‘Order 66’ will be declared on your ass if you skip one episode of Trading Maces – it’s a bit too much.
This proud fanboy offers up the following challenge to my brethren. Can’t we all just get along? Let’s sample the buffet and enjoy a wide variety of interests (well, except Nightwatch. Why is it that a cribbed cocktail of Star Wars, The Matrix and X-Men is declared the greatest science fiction work of all time simply because a Russki directed it?) In the words of the late, great Yakov Smirnov, Mutha Russia… What a country!!!
How can we possibly get along when Hermione sends the huddled masses into a frother each time J.K. Rowling drops her scone and scribes another Potter tome. You know the scene – you tune into the evening news hoping to catch up on your suicide bombings and instead are greeted to footage of mindless sheep corralled in line in hopes of buying a book at the stroke of midnight (unless of course you live in England and witness the same scene on your telly – in which case, kindly swap the ‘flocks’ for ‘throngs’ and the ‘line’ for ‘queue’ but add ‘bloody’ to the whole ‘mindless sheep’ thing).
Here’s a sample chronology:
9:00 p.m. Line/Queue up
10:00 p.m. Ask friend to hold spot in line/queue while you make a quick trip to the ATM – for geek comedy sake, tell him ya’ gotta go ogle the family jewels at Gringotts – he’ll laugh but just when you get out of earshot I’ll show up and punch you in said jewels, clown boy.
11:30 p.m. Store Owner arrives wearing wizard hat. Begins to intone in faux-British accent something along the lines of “In a few moments, the scores of lucky Muggles that I see before me, will become reacquainted with a magical world.” You groan and whisper to your friend “Hey, I wish someone would cast the Cone of Silence on Dumble-Bore.” You both snicker.
11:35 p.m. My fist pummeling your Sorcerer’s Stones (so named because it is sheer wizardry you even possess ‘em.)
12:00 a.m. Store opens. You wait in line for a couple more hours to buy book. While making your way past the periodicals, you begin flipping through FHM and contemplate a ribald reference to your own ‘order of the phoenix’ rising. You catch me shaking my fist. You wisely pick up a copy of Starlog and begin debating who is the greatest synthespian: Kong, Gollum or Lindsay Lohan?
2:00 a.m. Arrive home. Gaze longingly at novel and begin to ponder what secrets it may hold. Will Harry plunder Hermione’s chamber of secrets?
2:05 a.m. Fall into restless slumber with the nagging, knowing realization that you probably just could have gone out Saturday morning and bought a copy and some Hostess Donettes at your local Mobil Mart.
Bottom line. Enough with the big fat geek meddling. I liked you guys a lot better when you stayed in on Friday nights downing Mountain Dew and noshing on Bugles while beating your +5 Mystical Bishop (an act lovingly referred to as Draggin’ the Dungeon.)