I was recently the subject of some (friendly--at least I hope so) ribbing by some family members for my alleged "geekiness", which I put in quotation marks because their definition of being a geek is the fact that I was incredibly excited for the latest episode of The Walking Dead, which if you have to read that link to know what it is, I'm sorry, but I am just baffled as to how you even found this blog, but I digress. In any case, the plebeians don't know just how deep the geek goes, but in any case, one of the words thrown around was "pathetic", which just for context you should know that this family event took place during the Eagles' bi-week, which means our home team wasn't playing that day, and it was specifically set up that way, and also the cousin who called me pathetic didn't know that Italy was shaped like a boot.
I internalize damn near everything I hear, which yes, I know I shouldn't, but it stuck in my craw, this allegation of being "pathetic". Sometimes I think the only things that stick are the ones I suspect, or fear, are true. Society has long regarded the attendees of Comic-Con as geeks who live in their mothers' basements and lost their virginity somewhere around never. Even though superhero movies, comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, and other media and genres of that ilk are enjoying a mainstream run right now, and a non-too-shabby take at the box office, there's a definite line in the sand between the regular audiences, who are enjoying what's being presented to them, and the geeks, who seek out the new, the cool, the weird, and who take to message boards to pick apart the lastest episode or installment of whatever it is that they love best. Geekdom is enjoying a heyday, and heydays, as they are wont to do, end. Don't know when or why, but being a geek will fall out of fashion as swiftly as it fell in. Most people will move on to whatever the next cool thing is, and the geeks will still be blogging about who would win in a fight between Batman and Iron Man. It's what we do.
So, is the fact that we still mourn Firefly a testament to our tenacity or evidence that we can't move on from something as inconsequential as a tv show? Are we above the mainstream who follow trends like sheep, or are we stubbornly refusing to evolve? Are geeks pathetic?
I've thought long and hard over that question and the answer I came up with is a resounding maybe. Maybe the fact that I took a day off work to meet my favorite author and drove all the way to the great back ass of nowhere because God forbid he do a reading in an easily accessible place in a major city does smack of sadness, even if I don't regret doing it for one second and I got his autograph TWICE, so that makes the harrowing drive on a highway that terrifies me totally worth it. Maybe the fact that a new album, or a new movie, or hell, even a new episode of something I love gets me excited to the point that my squealing hurts my dog's ears makes me a sad sack.
But I don't care. Maybe a new book or upcoming concert is a stupid reason to get myself excited, but I have something to look forward to almost every day. There is always something to be excited about, and even after I've seen/heard/experienced it, I can go over and over the nuances ad infinitum. I'm proud that I can keep the entire cast of Game of Thrones straight without double checking or referring to the complicated addenda in the books (which I did read anyway). While everyone in my house is half-watching the latest episodes, I'm fully engaged in a medieval world that has fucking dragons. While my cousins roll their eyes and tell me I'm pathetic, they're bored out of their skulls and I'm gleefully anticipating how Daryl and Merle are going to reunite, and I'm loving every minute of it. And unlike the Eagles, who are frankly a source of near-constant disappointment, nothing in my geek menagerie topples my good mood, even when favorite characters die or story lines bulldoze through previously established plots.
Maybe I'm weird and maybe I have a distorted sense of reality, but I'm also damn happy, and I think I speak for all geeks, whether they love movies, comics, TV, books, social media, music, tech, or some combination thereof, when I say I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't get wildly enthusiastic as regularly as we do.
Life's too short to be disaffected.