Being a Geek, Being an Angry Geek, and Being a Tiresome Assclown

Gandm

You know, I am quite proud to be a geek. I grew up a geek, with my glasses and my Star Trek novelizations tucked under one arm, and yeah, I got bullied for it, but it didn’t stop me. And these days being labelled a geek isn’t the insult it once was – we rule the cinema listings and reading comics is cool now – and yes, I am proud to be a geek.

I see being a geek as being filled with enthusiasm for something. Loving a thing so much – loving a story, essentially – that you want to know all the details of it, that you spend time discussing it and pondering the history of that story and its future. You surround yourself with stuff that takes you to that story in an instant; this is why my desk currently features action figures of Garrus, Marcus Fenix, Duncan from Dragon Age, and The Chamberlain from The Dark Crystal. It’s why above my desk there is artwork from Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and the Discworld books.

I love being a geek, and I consider other geeks to be an extended family. My people, if you will.

Which is why I’m filled with dismay when fandom seems to tip over into trolling. Yes, we’ve all had our moments of being horribly disappointed with where the story you love is going. Anyone who knew me a few years ago knows all about my extreme upset over the end of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. I threw the book across the room, I wrote essays on how outraged I was. I had, in short, a tantrum of silly proportions. I didn’t like Prometheus either, and spent days afterwards listing all the many ways in which it didn’t make sense. But…

But at no point did I seek out the creators of those things to hurl abuse at them. Why not? Because that’s not what being a geek is about. If I can have a moment to be a little bit soft? Being a geek is about love, not hate.

There’s nothing wrong with being disappointed or even angry. Of course not. Rant about it all you like. Sometimes we get angry because we love something so much – my anger over the end of the Dark Tower was all about how much love I’d put into the series. But there is a line that once crossed means you are actually behaving like a pissy little child with poopy pants. A pissy little brat that enjoys bitching about something and spreading misery, more than they ever enjoyed the story. I didn’t spend secondary school being bullied for that to be part of being a geek, thank you very much.

So, you know what? To me, these people aren’t geeks. I take that label, the label that means so much to me, away from them, and instead give them the title of Tiresome Assclowns. Geekdom is better than that.

9 thoughts on “Being a Geek, Being an Angry Geek, and Being a Tiresome Assclown

  1. What? What was there to hate about Dinosaurs on a Spaceship?! Does not compute…I think the ease of anonymous access to celebrities, showrunners, and other people of interest gives a lot of people some ridiculous sense of entitlement with regards to being an utter cock. Things they wouldn’t dream of saying to a person’s face suddenly becomes easy, even desirable. You could be part of the gang! One of the team! A voice among many who all share the same ridiculous, rude, fucktardery! Yay, let’s all gang up and abuse people on the internet!’cause, you know, abusing people is just… so awesome?>.<

  2. Say what?!? I just finished watching the last 30 episodes of Dr Who and had no problem with the most recent episode.Yes there have been more epic episodes and last season was quite the story arc. However, if you all recall, the second episode of that season was The Beast Below with those weird smilers with twisty heads – not an overly exciting episode on it’s own. But, it did lay some foundation for the remainder of the season. So before folks pull on their pissy pants let’s see what the rest of the season holds.

  3. It’s one thing to dislike a piece of work (and even to point out those things in a hilarious/brutal fashion), it’s quite another to attack a person.I’d also say that the people who did attack Steven Moffat and Bioware have very little empathy. I suspect the Tiresome Assclowns are acting from a sad, insecure and ultimately empty place.

  4. I’m with you when it comes to taking geekdom off the asshats of the world. Sure, geekery is all about passion, but turning that into hostility is missing a fundamental point.

  5. Something similar happened earlier this year when Bryan Cogman – writer & story editor on Game Of Thrones – withdrew from twitter because of all the hassle he was getting from so called “fans”. I think it’s disgusting behavior, and one that seems to be happening more and more. I agree its all to do with the accessability of writers, showrunners, directors via twitter and FB. 99% of fans welcome that connection with the people behind their favorite shows/books/comics, unfortunately there is that 1% who use that connection to grind an axe, or maybe make a “name” for themselves within their own sorry little circle of like minded trolls.The only result will be everyone will loose out. There will come a day when writers, showrunners et al will decided being a part of a community is too much hassle and they’ll all withdraw.

  6. That particular corner of SPN fandom is jaw-droppingly nuts. Somewhat amusing for an outsider, but nuts.As is much of the fandom wank in *any* fandom. From a voyeur viewpoint, it’s strange, even laughable, but being involved in it brings a new perspective. I can understand writers, etc. wanting to leave Twitter, or perhaps cutting off fan access altogether (blogs, conventions, etc). It gets heated, and it can reach levels of vileness and crazy that simply poisons those within its reach. No one needs that in their life.Long-time geek, and I was heavily involved in the Harry Potter fandom for years. HP has had its share of massive, explosive wank (though it’s never been directed at JKR, as far as I can recall). It’s the downside to fandom, which is mostly interesting and fun. But anytime you’ve got people incredibly passionate about a subject, and an internet where anyone can be practically anonymous, there’s bound to be trouble.

  7. Thanks for all the comments guys! I think there is something about the internet and the anonymity it can grant that tends to generate this unpleasantness. I suspect that a lot of the people that delight in just vomiting up abuse probably don’t feel like they have a lot of power in their everyday lives, and this is how it expresses itself.

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