The wonderful thing about the “geek rising” that is happening right now in this country is that the movement is bringing along with it an acceptance from the wider population.
I was a closeted geek all through my childhood, afraid to buy comics or play board games, or you know, read a book. I had “tough guy” things to do and so spent my time playing war, building forts, riding dirt bikes, chasing girls (and being terrified of them) and the like. And I had a blast, make no mistake. My childhood antics with my friends set the bar to nigh unreachable on the fun-o-meter and I am grateful for those times spent with those friends. Now, as an adult, I am embracing my geekier side a bit and I feel like there are friends I didn’t make, either never having never met them or meeting and disregarding them as nerds. Books and plays I was too “cool” to read or audition for and now leave me without a way to contribute to conversations I now find myself in these days. But I’m catching up, slowly.
An amazing aspect to the rise of nerd culture is the pure venom and competition within the various sects of geek. The irony of it all is that now that “nerds” have become mainstream, it’s other nerds doing the bullying.
The “race for face”, as I call it, is a continual contest to prove who knows the most–who has the most fervent devotion–about what may well be an insanely esoteric and completely theoretical subject. Matters of trivia become points of conflict. Minor opinions become matters of unending, feirce and rage-fueled combat.
Any fan is expected to become a critic in the world of snobbery. This “criticism” generally is expressed by expounding at length on plot holes and side plots only hinted at by the creators of the work. Think I’m overstating the severity? Have a blog? Then I dare you to ask which “Doctor” is better. Are you a masochist with a penchant for getting flamed to Hell? Declare which incarnation of Doctor Who is best.
The first insult that will be lobbed towards one who dares state an opinion about any form of media: “You aren’t a real fan!” What is a real fan? Someone who is exactly as devoted to the fandom as they are. Devoted any less? You are a casual fan, and probably a “sheep”. Devoted any more? You are a fanatic socially inept basement-dweller.
It may seem that there is no way to win, but that’s not the case. There is no shortage of snobbery in the realm of independent film. Film snobs are annoying, but their existence is due to the increasing popularity of independent film. More people are enjoying indie film than ever before, and that’s a great thing.
Snobs are just an unfortunate side-effect of increasing popularity.