Posted By Kathleen David on December 9, 2012
Update on Treat: It’s a tumor. It will be removed Monday and then biopsied to see what we are dealing with. It isn’t causing him pain but neither is it a good thing. Treat is in the Cone of Shame until the surgery and then until the healing process is well along. So far he hasn’t gotten it off.
It is pretty amazing what one misses when one keeps off the Internet. I apparently missed the most recent “real geeks” vs. “fake geeks” debacle.
There was an episode of Big Bang Theory in which Penny brought this guy she was dating into the circle of the science nerds who promptly mocked the guy for his rather simple point of view about the world and his lack of general knowledge of the universe. Eventually the guy realizes he is being mocked and leaves. Penny chides the boys for doing exactly what had been done to them when they were in school. This was done in a comical manner but there was an undertone that made me uncomfortable to watch that episode because I had seen this behavior before in fandom and found it sad.
I have watched the “I’m a better fan than you” fights in various fandoms over the years and they leave me with a rather bad taste in my mouth. I have also had to “prove” my geek cred more than once to be accepted by other fans in my youth. I read comics and science fiction and fantasy books, went to films with fantastical elements, debated character flaws with other fans, squeed about my favorite character or episode, and pointed fingers and laughed at the mundane folks who happened to be at the same hotel as a convention and were clueless and a little freaked out. I am not proud of the last thing.
On the Internet I have joined discussion groups about things I enjoy to talk about. I have read fanfic and admired other people’s crafty skills in fandom.
I am at a point in my life that I don’t have to pull out my “geek cred” and show it to others to prove that I am one of them. If you know me and know what I like, you know my fandom likes and dislikes. If not I really don’t feel a need to prove it. The only time I talk about my background is at conventions when I am being introduced or having to introduce myself to a room full of people who might not know who I am and why I am on this panel.
I have to admit that I do find it fun when a known person in fandom (be it author, actor, gamer, or fill in the blank) and I are talking at a convention and I can watch people out of the corner of my eye trying to figure out how I fit into the picture and who I am.
I am not saying that all fans be friends. That will never happen but they should at least be tolerant of other fans and even people they think mundane for whatever reason. Acceptance is something that fans say is what is better about their group than whatever group rejected them for whatever reason. I don’t think that one has to pass a test to declare themselves a fan of something.
There is another thing that has bothered me and I see it to this day in a couple of fandoms including Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes, X-Men and Doctor Who. And it is the “you aren’t a true fan because you haven’t”. New fans are a good thing in fandom. I have watched certain parts of fandom fade into almost nothingness because of the closed thinking of its fans who wanted to keep it pure. Fandom is messy. Not everyone likes everything the same way. But there is common ground. Look at the Star Trek fans after the series was cancelled. They kept it alive until the series was revived. I know a couple of Beauty and the Beast (the CBS series) fan groups that are as strong as ever because they shared it with others. The Browncoats are another example of fans who are keeping their fandom alive by presenting it to other fans and creating new fans to a series that was cancelled 10 years ago.
Someone who is at a convention even if they are hired for a gig has some interest in something in fandom or they wouldn’t go there no matter what the pay. Conventions are overwhelming to those who have no interest in whatever the convention is about. It is loud and rather off putting.
I know a couple of people who are attending DragonCon because they discovered it when they were in town for a college football game. They liked the people they met and decided to try the full experience and enjoyed it.
Judging others to make one feel better about themselves and what they do is rather sad. It suggests a disconnect within the person that judging. They just can’t talk personal pride in what they do and who they are or, even sadder, in some way they are ashamed of their fandom and hide it from the outside world.
I am grateful that I am comfortable with my geek cred.