I do consider myself a geek. I started reading science fiction at age 8 (first two novels: Earthlight and A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke); I spent afternoons glued to the TV to watch every monster movie, good or bad, made during the 1950′s (the bad won out by a long margin); in one of the only times in my then-short life I pestered the shit out of my parent until they gave in an hauled the whole family off to see 2001: A Space Odyssey in a wonderful theater with seats that actually rocked, and then, in what can only be called a classic move of almost 11 year old dickishness (just short of my birthday, yo), spent the entire ride home explaining to them what they’d just seen because, as I broadly hinted, they. just. didn’t. get. it!
So, yeah. I’ve got the card and the secret handshake down pat. I didn’t date a lot (more due to mental issues than anything else–but then, that just adds to my geekness, right?) and did not lose my virginity as a teenager. I got my degree in computers, and the first computer language I learned was not BASIC but rather Assembler Language for the IBM 360–written on punch cards!
And even after I married I was still all about science fiction and role playing games and anime, and as a father I passed a little of that on to my stepson and his wife, and I hope I’m passing the geek torch to my daughter as well–and seeing as how she is a big Doctor Who fan and into anime and manga, I have to say I’ve succeeded.
That said, I don’t get outrage. I should say “I don’t get a lot,” but when it comes right down to it, I’m pretty passive when it comes to being a fan boy.
There can be many reasons why I don’t get outraged. Part of it is a lot of the outrage happens in geek fields that, frankly, I give less of a shit for than a honey badger gives about ripping off your face. Like today: George Lucas is making another change to his trundled up tart of a film series, and it’s got all the fan boys in an uproar, giving them ample opportunity to take to the Internets and talk about how, once more, Citizen George is raping their childhood.
Let me explain why he does this: because he can.
He knows that (1) you will bitch about the change, then (2) you’ll still buy the damn movie, after which (3) you’ll watch them and (4) continue to bitch until the next opportunity comes along to eat his shit. Wash, rinse, repeat.
For me there is no caring, because I’m not into Star Wars. Yes, I’ve seen them all; yes, I’m bored by them. There’s real science fiction out there; move on.
But even stuff I do like, I find I get underwhelmed by a lot of the outrage out there. About the only times I ever got incensed was when Starship Troopers came out–I was a big fan of the novel and when I heard there wouldn’t be powered armor, OMG! It’s the end of the world!–and when it was reported that Ted Turner was going to remake Forbidden Planet–which is sort of like saying you’re going to repaint the Mona Lisa.
In the end, however, Forbidden Planet didn’t get remade–not then, but maybe now, maybe not–and Starship Troopers is one of my best liked guilty pleasures. There just wasn’t any reason to get upset in the end, because there are too many other things going on that affect me more.
And why get pissed about things that are out of your control? Want more Buffy? Not gonna happen. Firefly is stuck in rights hell and is gone except in comics; move on.
Now, if you’ll excuse me: I gotta get into my role playing character’s head and wonder how I’m going to play out the next biggest thing in his life. Hint: it has to do with girls, but probably not the way you think . . ..