Somewhere Between Herd and Nerd.
With the recent release of ‘The Force Awakens’, and the galaxy of curated content, trivia, Easter eggs, think-pieces and essays about the Star Wars universe, I found myself questioning how deep my love for Star Wars actually goes, yes, I found my lack of knowledge quite disturbing. And that disturbance in the force pulled me to this piece I’d wanted to write.
“Everybody is now a model, fashion guru, socialite, photographer, Dj or blogger.”
Today everything is being disrupted, start-ups are rethinking and winning, alternative beats conventional, and so we have the niche, odd, indie, counter, weird, cult, underground and such, moving on up en masse, riding likes and shares on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, connecting us with sneaker heads, foodies, hiphop heads, tech gurus, movie boffin’s, fashion pundits etc., yes, cool brainiacs, angry obsessives, and lovable die-hards from all spheres man! Popular culture, sub-culture, micro-culture, has never looked so defined (ask culture vultures Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Highsnobiety, Complex, Slashfilm, Vice).
And there I used to think I knew a lot about things, no, not in the polymath or autodidact realm, more just as an info junkie from bits I read-up on, and due to my copywriter past. But damn, you read these academics of fantastic, and you soon realise you know shite, ok, maybe we know stuff, but we’re more like Aziz, you know, we’re just ‘master of none’ (which was going to be the title of this piece).
See, I love Star Wars, I love Star Trek too. Oh, and Lord Of The Rings, yes, The Hobbit too. Harry Potter? I’m more Artemis Fowl. I love The Beatles, and I love The Rolling Stones. I love Prince, and I love Michael Jackson, as I did Whitney and Mariah. I love Biggie and Tupac. And I could go on, there is so much I love, and to love, that I don’t give a fuck about pigeon holing bluffs. What do you mean there are only two types of people in the world, clearly you live in an excel world of columns and order, whilst I will bust a move across the vast expanse of a great many things to love and like. Man, I hate Excel.
Look, I could never claim authority status on anything, please, I can’t even fanboy correctly, I’d go to comic con to feed of the culture, to absorb, appropriate, revel, and to seek out the cosplay girl of my dreams. I was never the fan that could quote movies correctly, in fact, I mostly jumble lines up, but thank you Googz for being there for me, making me seem all clever like that. I also sing substituting lyrics, I am ignorant about b-sides, history or unknown gems, snapping angel harpsichord strings for my unknowing musical ruinings. Yep, I type this having Jack Black and John Cusack in my head, mocking me with their high fidelity snobbery. Is it okay that I did not use their character names?
So maybe I am that fan, who in the midst of movie escapism misses all these interesting bits by side dreaming along storylines in the thick of things, in the same way as I do with music that bookmarks my memory through tune. Maybe fleeting thoughts inspired by these creations give me commitment issues to these things that I love, so I forget lines, dates, facts, and other vital things … like my meaning to reads, million tabs open, online bookmark hoarding, or my *Tsundoku, which has migrated to my digital book stand, so much glutton, the internet eats my appreciation, jealous of voracious readers I admire, I, the feeble reader, leaving clues in my grammatical waywordness.
Now, even though I miss these things from my initial encounters, I am bloody damn grateful to geeks, fanboys, and nerds, of all spheres, creative or not, TEDTalks and such, who would take the time to catch these things, unearthing finds and facts for lucid living me. And then standing on the shoulders of these giants, I share their brilliant findings and musings. And this brings me to the crux of this post, the confusion, in that through this, I am seen as the geek, fanboy or nerd, for sharing what I have found, when all I really am, is a reader/liker of these wildly interesting stuff, but still, this notion of me being such grows through my constant sharing, making me feel even more the greater pretender from what is perceived of me.
On many occasion, I have either met or been introduced to true geeks, fanboys and nerds, with myself being introduced as one. At first, I just roll with it, then I confess that I am merely a liker of many things, who does not memorise everything, who sometimes misses stuff, which translates to, ‘You make me feel a fraud, so I cannot really claim to love this, even though I really feel I do, and this gives me so much joy, I submit, I am a mere liker.’
So going back, when I am introduced to these doyens, I am always curious to learn more of these things I claim to love, but you know, likes. And so I ask more, and in some cases knowledge is imparted to me in almost Yoda fashion, and in some, I am looked down upon with suspicion, information withheld, with a ‘what right has he scoff’, faker! And in lots of cases, I find geeks, fanboys and nerds, who are so called impostors like me, revealing ourselves to each other in laughs, picking up new bits and facts from each other about these things we love, but really like.
But in that happening, there are also encounters with like-minded impostors who don’t want to reveal themselves, a sort of denial for trend, who really seem more lusters than likers or lovers of things. Thankfully, regarding a culture luster(I’m coining the term), I am a lover of fiction, tall tales, imaginative raconteurs and characters, so I engage with glee, naturally asking more questions, enjoying the made-up yarn, as that is a creation anyway, and there is a talent to that. I am merely a cultural curator standing before a master orator, so I pay attention drifting into my own fiction of sorts. Yes, a fan’s fiction of fan fiction. Obviously I never remember everything from these discussions, so as much as I claim to be a fan of, and lover of these conversations, for geeky purposes, these were likeful conversations. I could say likeable, but I like ‘likeful’. You see, it’s character building.
May The Farce Live Long And Prosper!
*Tsundoku (n.) is the constant act of buying books, but never reading them. Specifically, it is letting books pile up in one’s room so much that the owner never gets a chance to read all of them. The origin of “Tsundoku” is a Japanese slang “tsun-doku” came f”tsunde-oku” (to pile things up ready for later and leave)