How Deep Is Your Love? (Part the Third)

Lars Homestead Sunset Episode III

Even when it seems darkest, there is a new dawn coming. Embrace the light!

I’m a Star Wars fan and more than a little OCD, so of course I had to write a third one. Every story arc needs a redemptive conclusion, after all. Priorites, people.

It stems from more than that, though. It stems from my typical ol’ mushy self, who believes we can all be better if we’re just willing to try.

I know that I hammered on the “Get a Life!” angle in the first two parts of this diatribe, but I’m proposing an actual Twelve–Step Program that will allow us all to admit our problems and grow from them.

Working together, we can build our lives again. We can make it even more special than it was before.

The Twelve Steps

  1. Admit You Might Be Taking Things Too Seriously
    There’s no one that really comes to mind in this respect. Definitely not this guy. I’m still torn about whether Geek Overkill is creepier than people who have, say, the Redskins Lombardi trophies tattooed on their bodies. (I saw this guy in person, so I know he exists.)
  2. Stop watching Kevin Smith Movies
    This is actually a good thing for anyone to do at this point, as he’s gone down the rabbit hole of being unable to differentiate between shock and humor. But overall, his efforts have gone a great way toward infusing the Geek World with the cynical sensibilities of a New Jersey–ite. He could have taken a high road, but instead he laid us all low and made the Norms feel like they had a right to make the same jokes.
  3. Watch Kittens on YouTube
    If that doesn’t make you smile, you really need a perspective adjustment.
  4. Read the Twilight books. (Or, if you’re lazy, watch the movies.)
    This is not a cheap potshot, or at least not entirely. But read those books and then try to understand how anyone could be an over–the–top fan who wears “Team Edward” shirts. The way you react to that will be a good barometer of where you are on the cranky-pants scale. And not to be confused with legitimate, well–written criticism.
  5. Stop Watching The Big Bang Theory.
    Like Kevin Smith, it’s made it our good–natured self–mockery into a running meta gag that just dirties the pool further.
  6. Find a Favorite Toy From Childhood
    And then give it to a kid. I gave all my old Star Wars toys to my kids, my nephews and my neighbors. It’s very cleansing. The only ones I held onto are there because they remind me of specific non–Star Wars moments in my life, too.
  7. Walk Outside for a Half Hour
    The Internet has turned us all into false–light loving trolls, and some of us were there to begin with so it just got worse. Besides, the Internet is mobile now, so go look at it outside. You might even accidentally encounter a breeze and/or sunlight! Possibly a bunny rabbit, or if you live in DC, a rat. But it’s still wildlife!
  8. Say Something Nice to Someone
    Even if it’s just yourself. Say something nice to someone, or about someone, for no other reason than to be nice. Your perspective will change once you’re in the habit of seeing people as other people who’d like to be treated they way you’d like to be treated.
  9. Pledge Not to Read Entertainment News for at Least One Week
    It’s another perspective thing. Those sorts of shows and sites are snark factories. It definitely skews your view of the world.
  10. Freshen Up the Rotation
    Break the mold, and read/watch/listen to something other than what you love. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll be able to come back to what you love with fresh eyes and ears. Why else do you think I go months at a time without listening to The Greatest Band of All Time or watching The Saga? Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
  11. Create Something
    The possibilities are endless! Create a painting, write a short story or build something with modeling clay. Get jiggy with it and create a life! For an added dimension, invite someone over that will tell you it’s a vile, terrible piece of crap and that you’ve proven yourself to be nothing more than a useless hack. Have them liken your efforts to child rape. That way, you can appreciate the rich irony of someone taking an artistic effort so seriously that they’d lump you in with Jerry Sandusky and John Wayne Gacy.
  12. Accept That It’s OK Not to Like Something.
    And as a corollary, that it’s OK for someone to like something you don’t.

Achievement Unlocked: Geek Redemption

Well, usually this is at least a tipping situation. But with the holiday and all, I’m in a giving mood. But trust me, these twelve steps can make all the difference.

Coda

There have been some great comments over the course of this “series” and I’d be remiss not to thank everyone for them. I agree that the dangerous line here is to become an ass about how I think others are being asses. (Frylock) Essentially, you can become a monster to try to defeat the monster.

I also agree that the loss of exclusivity adds to the sting. (tonbabydc) And I too blame the Internet for a lot of this, but not because it’s made anything more accessible. Rather, I blame it for the fact that it acts as whirlpool echo chamber for negativity. The perceptions of the fanboys are formed in the forums wherein they all try to prove who’s got the biggest Fett.

But this all started with a childlike sense of happiness and wonder, and I think that our generation, if we stop being so angry all the time, has a better shot at regaining that than the one before us.

It’s just going to take some work to get there.

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5 comments

  1. The Clone · April 6, 2012

    Oh, you were finished. Then allow me to retort.
    1) No. I argued for over 3 weeks that the Hulk could defeat Superman. I used citations, and references from multiple storylines. I took the argument very seriously. But I am aware I take arguments seriously. Now, I am self-aware and realize that I am arguing theoretical nonsense, so I know that even though my argument is serious, I still am able to differentiate the real world from make believe (It’s still real to me dammit!)
    2) Yes and no. Watch Clerks and watch Mallrats. If you are really bored you can watch Chasing Amy, but watch it mainly for the scene where Alyssa Jones and Banky Edwards have the “that’s permanent” discussion about injuries. Then stop it and watch Jaws immediately to watch the dialogue between Hooper and Quint that Kevin Smith took the scene from. It is actually quite brilliant on Smith’s part.
    3) I prefer dogs. No neighborhood ever had the crazy dog lady. Every neighborhood had the crazy cat lady. Watching cats on the internet just takes the craziness up a notch.
    4) No. for 2 reasons, I prefer books that make you think, and not books that make you think “wow, how did one author take the rules that have been set in the vampire universe for over 100 years, take a dump on them, then use some as reference, but still don’t follow them”. I’m not saying that I only read the best literature but I like deep thought. And before you mock my comic book reading, there is more thought in those than you think. Reason #2: I am an adult. I prefer not to get books from the “Teen Vampire Romance” section at Barnes and Noble (yes such a section exists, and if you are an adult in that section, chances are you drive a panel van, or you are not allowed within 100 yards of an elementary school)
    5) I have never seen a new episode, just a rerun on TBS. I hated it. It is for those that want to think they are geeky, but are not. When it is on, I do watch for the things that I want (like the special edition Green Lantern, Lantern that ) The dialogue is terrible and the jokes are low hanging fruit. Can we not limit this to the Big Bang Theory and just say “if Chuck Lorre created it, stay away from it)
    6) My favorite toy was Lions Voltron (suck it Cars Voltron!) but it was the 1981 Bandi one. The one that was coated with lead paint. I cannot give that to kids. Especially my kid.
    7) I say spend 1 hour of each day outside. 1 hour will make a world of difference. Anything shorter you will not get the full satisfaction of seeing what this world has to offer. Stop to smell the roses, but also stop just to admire them.
    8) Calling someone clownshoes is a compliment right? This one I agree with, but not the “Even if it’s just yourself”. Giving yourself a high five is douchey. Plus no one wants to be Stuart Smalley Let others pay you the compliment, not you give you the compliment.
    9) This isn’t just a step this should be a rule. This would make the Lindsay Lohan’s and the Kardashians disappear of the world. The world would be a better place. I am a fan of the Just Don’t Look philosophy. Plus that has Paul Anka’s guarantee (guarantee void in Tennessee
    10) A necessity. Every couple of months hit the reset button. If you go to a specific site for news, go to s different. If you watch channel 4 in the morning, watch channel 9 for a bit. You have to change the routine. Listen to a different band, try to listen to 3 band you have never heard of in a month. Simple things. When we get in routines, we get in a rut.
    11) This should be a rule in life. We have too many people that just break things down and too few that take the time to create. Stop being the guy that destroys for one day and create something instead. If everyone did this think about how much better of a society we would be. For every one thing you break down, I think you should have to create two things. If we did that more we might get a society like that of San Angeles in 2032 (no not THAT one, the one that John Spartan and Simon Pheonix tried to ruin)
    12) I don’t like a lot of things. I don’t expect people to like the exact same things that I do. I would be a boring world if there were people that were just like me, and liked everything I did. Although, if more people did like what I did, there would be no Superman, and I am fine with a world without Superman (he’s too much of a buffoon of a superhero that is more flawed than the writers care to realize). Although it is allowable to have a differing opinion than mine. You would be wrong, but it is allowable.

    • kesseljunkie · April 6, 2012

      OK, fine, I sacrificed some lunch time to write this because you feel that I was “silenced” by your response. Sadly, since I don’t get paid to blog, on occasion my responses and posts are affected by the things that put food on my table. Perhaps I need to re-prioritze and just tell the kids to cook their own dinner…

      I’ve said this in private, but to put it on public record: I wasn’t targeting you in specific. I apologize for hitting a nerve. (Although Moriarty loves it when someone tries to argue with me, so you made him happy.)

      Ahem. Back to the discussion.

      1) I believe that contextually, you can allow that when I said “seriously” I meant “so seriously that you’ve lost perspective.” You demonstrate you didn’t; that’s awesome, and why you weren’t a target of this particular critique.

      2) Kevin Smith has created virtually nothing watchable in more than 10 years. My point stands.

      3) Dogs are blindly loyal. I can’t respect that. Cats are mischievous and demanding from the moment of birth.

      4) Vampire lore has been reinvented all the time. I agree that Twilight is crap. I think that’s a matter of public record. But people are fans of it, and I’m not going to hold that against them, though it does reveal the limitations of their taste and intellect.

      5) Big Bang Theory was cute and fun until I realized it was truly just a trap. You *think* they’re laughing with you, but they’re still laughing *at* you.

      6) “Possessions are fleeting.” – Homer Simpson

      7) OK. When your second kid shows up, tell me how attainable an hour is when you’re not mowing the lawn.

      8) Trying to help people with self-esteem is not an encouragement to hubris, silly.

      9) Although since WWTDD.com falls into that mix, I have to allow for those sorts of things to be an occasional indulgence.

      10) Yeah, not seeing the differences between channels 4 and 9. Challenge yourself and try to watch MSNBC without getting douche chills.

      11) So you’re saying I’m right.

      12) Meh. It’s not boring if you could create a world where you created versions of yourself every five years and created temporal interactions them, frozen in that emotional/experiential state. Then you can see how the baseline has remained constant while other aspects of your self and your opinions have evolved, and even have the joy of helping your older self mature more quickly. This has a cascade effect that essentially turns you into a constantly-evolving being who soon rises above petty human concerns, and rules over the world through both love and terror.

  2. tonbabydc · April 6, 2012

    Oh, dear. Again with the “I can’t respect that” line. You know, I wasn’t going to pile on, but you went there, as they say.

    Yes, as pack animals, dogs are hard-wired to be loyal. It is not blind, it is instinctual. Much like our own human families, every member of each pack has a role. When that order is upset, the pack is less secure. Preserving the pack preserves their lives. Threats to the pack are threats to their lives.

    This is why your dog will throw itself in harm’s way to save your child’s life, while your cat hides beneath the bed.

    Or, perhaps this:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/conversations/soldier-dogs-and-their-handlers/2012/04/10/gIQAVHiW9S_gallery.html

    That said, kitten videos are great stuff.

    BTW, was the golden retriever the only dog you’ve lived with? Because that would probably inform your thinking. Golden’s are wonderful, affectionate and sweet. They’re also really dumb. Terriers, on the other hand, are mostly awful, awful creatures (with the exception of bull terriers of all classification, which have just about the worst PR out there).

    I’m a hound man, myself.

    • kesseljunkie · April 6, 2012

      “When that order is upset, the pack is less secure.”

      I’m a loner, Dottie, a rebel.

      And yes, there are two dogs with which I’ve had interactions that soured me on the intelligence of the entire species. I know that if the day comes where we get one, I’ll be a complete sucker for him/her, but until then I’m gonna be all “I hate dogs” until I’m forced to recant.

      • tonbabydc · April 6, 2012

        I feel your pain. There’s a cat a’comin someday :(

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