I was a geek before it was cool to be a geek. And now all the other geeks bug the hell out of me.
Whew. I said it. Because now it is popular to be geeky (at least in Portland, but I assume it’s widespread) and it causes me massive cognitive dissonance. It’s like finding out the captain of the cheerleading squad listens to the Smiths or Black Flag. (That is, in the 80s when I went to high school. I wouldn’t be surprised if they all listen to the Smiths now.)
And it’s driving me nuts. I mean, these people can’t *all* be bona fide, can they? Given that most of them are younger than I am, it’s kinda sorta hard for me to not think of them all as poseurs.
And darn it, I’m not a geek poseur. I walked the walk! Sure, we’d go to conventions and the hotel staff would say, “Oh, please excuse the — um — people around here,” as gamers happily LARPed in the hotel lobby (they didn’t know I was there for a panel, because I was an LL Bean-wearing geek). But I was a geek before it was cool! Some evidence:
- I have a huge Batman collection: comics, memorabilia, posters, original art. This was back when all the Batman movies sucked, when no one except a select few knew who Frank Miller was. I had to be secretive about my Batman: The Animated Series fandom.
- I worked in a comic book store back in the days when only stinky fat guys worked in comic book stores (myself obviously excluded).
- I played roleplaying games back when I had to explain what they were, because people thought it was some weird dress-up satanist sex game. Heck, I wrote a book for a RPG.
- I still recite lines from MST3K. When Joel was hosting. Also: I know the Manos Hands of Fate music and will hum it sometimes.
- I still recite lines from embarrassingly bad movies. Like Hudson Hawk – which is actually a pretty funny film, if you recognize it as an RPG game gone bad.
- I remember when George R. R. Martin was only known for the Wild Cards books. And I will tell you that after the 1984 election plot resolved, they pretty much sucked.
…and I could go on and on. My husband is probably reading this and laughing, because his geek cred is much deeper (and older and nerdier) than mine. I feel like Pea, mad because I have to share the streetcar with other people. Sure, OK, I can share being a geek with other people.
I remember when.