Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The King of Nothing to Do #3

Yeah, it's that time of the month again, when I have to chain myself up in the basement before the Transformation overtakes me and I cannot be held responsible for the ensuing bloodshed. Either that, or it's time for my column to come out in the Manila Bulletin -- I get confused sometimes. On the stands now: The King of Nothing to Do, Episode 3! This time around, it's about geekhood. (No chickens were harmed in the writing of this column).
Discrimination goes both ways, though: music geeks, for example, usually hate it when obscure bands they love become popular, or even semi-popular. Tolkien fans will pull pained expressions and rethink their opinion of you as a human being if you tell them you only watched the movies and never read the books. God help you if you have the insane compulsion to pretend to be a geek about something you have only a passing interest in: real geeks can detect you a mile away. This is less a matter of geek snobbery than a matter of appreciation, though. In other words, if you’re a pretender, you won’t inspire real derision -- just pity.

Geekhood is not like a fraternity that requires an initiation, or a course that acts you to pass a test: in fact, if you’re making a special effort to learn facts and figures, you’re, well, faking it. The effort is barely noticed by the true geek, as are the expenses (because if a geek stopped to think about expenses, honestly, he or she would get a little depressed)—and the accumulated trivia is like a side-effect, a badge of that love Weiss wrote about: that "abiding, obsessive, self-effacing, even self-destroying love."


M said...

Great piece, Luis! For related reading, check out the Essay section of Time magazine's Star Wars issue.

Camille said...

sorry luis, will have to bug you about the m.bull website, it's a maze! =/ where's your column at there?

Luis K. said...

Thanks, M. :) Sorry, Camille, can't work out the MB site myself. :p As far as I know, they never posted the 2nd and 3rd columns, and even the link Kristine found for the 1st one apparently doesn't work anymore. Will ask my editor about it, but anyone who wants to see them online should probably write to the Bulletin directly... And remember, new installments in print every 2nd and 4th Wednesday! :)