Mister Tea had a number of suggestions for names for my version of this post. He insists that I am the more thinky deep one in the partnership. Depending on the day, he may even be right.
So… why do we geek? Or, in this case, why do I geek?
It started as a kid, finding solace from various slings and arrows of circumstance in the backs of libraries, curled up with whatever had caught my interest that week. There are always a few spots in any library where you can feel like no one will ever find you. And I think every child has at least a few moments where that is a feeling they very much want.
Books gave me worlds of adventure, worlds where the good guys might have had a rough go of it, but they continued striving despite the odds arrayed against them. For some of the characters I held the most dear it wasn’t just, or even primarily, about overcoming the “bad guys” in a particular tale – it was about overcoming themselves and the things in their histories that had left scars or rough edges or made them different or… For a long time it was easier to find people who had made choices of the sorts I was making in books.
And these were things I cherished.
Tolkien and Lewis, Asimov and Heinlein, Lawhead, Bradbury, so many others… interspersed with poetry and history and plays. I read Dickens and Shakespeare, tried really hard to read Austen, but failed… I’m pretty sure the librarians thought I was a strange little child with some of the things I’d collect to immerse myself in.
But it wasn’t just the more fantastical tales that I was interested in. I wanted to learn, I wanted to understand – especially people. Bits and pieces of history and thought, created or real, it was all useful and interesting. One of the other gifts that my introduction to geekdom gave me was that my mind was well-fed.
Later I was introduced to Lackey and Bradley, Drake and Martin, Stirling and Turtledove and a whole host of others. I will never run out of things to read, that much is certain. However, I was also introduced to Gaming!
The perfection of it – a group of people creating a mutual story guided (to one level of intensity or another) by the primary author. It was excellent.
Then came Video Games, and again there were some that had those threads that had helped me stay sane when I was younger, and again there were other people who liked them to!
There was Star Wars (what kid didn’t want to be a Jedi, or Han Solo, or….). There was Star Trek, with this weird utopian vision of what humanity might become, if we could just sort ourselves out well enough. And again, there were others who saw the same things I did within the paradigms – or, sometimes just thought they were cool.
There have been many others, over time, as television has created them, and the same things have sparked my interest every time.
One of the best things about these fandoms is that the interest in them cuts across a lot of the standard dividing lines. Interest in Doctor Who or Firefly or Harry Potter or… whatever… is one of the things that can cause conversations on the other side of the country, or in another country – and that commonality can lead to the discovery of others, and, in some cases, lead to deep and lasting friendships that started with a fandom, but certainly didn’t end there.
So, I geek because much of geekdom has hope in it. It has faith that no matter how much we’ve screwed up, as a species, we can be better, we can improve, we can learn. That same hope and faith are there for the individual, too.
And I geek because camaraderie and friendship and imagination and thought and….
On top of all that, it’s fun!
So it only made sense that Mister Tea and I would bring our various geekdoms, mixed with a blend of our differing senses of humour, to our teas.
** Our thanks to Storied Threads (www.storiedthreads.com) for allowing us to use her awesome patch image.