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
- 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.)
- 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.
- Watch Kittens on YouTube
If that doesn’t make you smile, you really need a perspective adjustment.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.