A fan expo was held in my home city, Regina, over the past weekend.
A fan expo, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a geek culture smorgasborge. There’s merchandise and guests from anime, comic books, movies, video games, television and occasionally the odder sects of the population.
They are also barrel-of-monkeys category of fun.
Most of the time.
I could go into all of the different things I did there, but that’s not what I want to talk about here. If you want to hear about that, go find my Tumblr or my Facebook. I’m here to talk about the academic, snobby stuff.
I love what the fan expo represents in the broader cultural sphere. I have been a geek for my entire life, which has only been 20 years long. I have seen geek culture become more main-stream throughout my life. I know that conventions have been going on since the days of the original Star Trek, but those were almost universally lauded. Now, everyone is talking about the fan expo.
Much of geek culture is constructed around the monomyth, Joseph Campbell’s hero with a thousand faces. This is a universal story type common to all cultures. People love these stories. We all connect with them. I’m just surprised it took so long for geek culture to be accepted amongst the common folk, given this.
This is a beautiful thing. And yet, I am outside.
Part of it, of course, is my inner snobbishness and the sneering contempt I hold for others deep within myself. This contempt comes out here, on this blog, and admittedly, nowhere else. I glare with barely concealed rage that all these people dare think they’re better than me, that they’re above talking to me, when we’re all in the same boat, grasping at the crumbs that this world has afforded us. Crumbs that brought us here.
Oh yes, I am a bit bitter that the sycophantic, stuck-up girls who made my elementary and high school experiences a symphony of misery have suddenly embraced the culture I used as my escape from them because it is now “cool”. They nauseate me. And yet, these are among the many who act as though I am below them. Imagine that. If anything, they should be avoiding my eyes out of embarrassment, because people like me made these things “cool” and they were too shallow to see it before now.
Part of it is because I cannot stand the hypocrisy. All day I get to hear them crooning about how accepting geek culture is because a few trans people were brave enough to show their true colours and because the men’s bathroom lineup is the same size as the women’s and because there are more furries in one place than I knew existed. Then I look at the scantily dressed women in comic books. The women parading their bodies around to hawk products to horny man children. I remember that if I see another bisexual person in a comic book they will promiscuous, and you won’t see a trans person in a mainstream comic at all. I can practically hear them roll their eyes when a guest mentions that they are a feminist.
I want to tell them where they can shove their acceptance.
Maybe it is my 20-something disillusionment. I don’t understand the world I live in anymore. I don’t understand geek culture. I am not the 12 year old who fell in love with the x-men, who read Isaac Asimov when everyone else was reading Twilight and who liked vampires and zombies back when that made you a freak. I am an angry young woman who is sick of love triangles, sick of the same old stories.
Tell me some new ones.