Saturday, July 16, 2005

Your Presence Is Required, But Not Your Presents.

Today my mom and sis gave me my birthday present. My birthday isn't until next month sometime, as is my wife's. But mom thought it only fitting for me to unwrap it now, since my wife got hers today in the form of that new book that people waited until the witching hour yesterday to get a hold of. Crazy muggles.

Today, however, is my sister's actual birthday (and I'm gettin' the present, how does that work?). She live's in the far away land of north Georgia, going to college, so I don't get to see her all that often. She's got a boyfriend and a three legged kitty and a wacky aunt in residence now so she seems happy and I'm always happy to see her happy. Go read her blog. She rocks.

Anyways, I received two wonderful anthology graphic novels called Flight. It's beautiful and marvelous! I haven't gotten comics in ages. Thus I haven't read them in ages either. I'm going to force myself to sit down and get lost for awhile reading this during the nightly thunderstorm. I enjoy well crafted and unexpected things like this.

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Birthdays and Christmas used to excite me immensely. I loved getting presents. I was all about the "Next Big Commercial Franchise Aimed At My Young American Peer Group". But even, then only one thing at a time, as I was still picky. I left Peter Pan in the dust somewhere along the line because whenever these times roll around now, I get intensely annoyed instead. "I don't need anything." "Please don't get me anything." "No, REALLY, I don't want more stuff in my overabundant house of crap!" Where some are just being polite, I actually mean it. It's simple. there are better things to be thinking about than frivloities. Unless it's integral to my survival, it causes some strife with some unnamed parties.

People, as they should, just ignore me and give me stuff all the same. Because of this, it's frustrating to buy me presents since I don't have a geek lust for much anymore. And by much I mean absolutely nothing. When I was young it was so easy. I was pretty exclusively into Transformers. Then later it was all about Disney movies. Then give me anything about Japanese culture. When I was really young and broke, I even had a rubber ball collection somewhere in there just to be collecting something. I'm sure many of you have been there but the names and dates are just different. These days I'm lucky if I qualify merely as an NPR geek since I listen to it on the way to work.

The San Diego ComicCon is taking place this weekend. At one point I would have rearranged my life to get to go to something like that. I had the potential to be a comic book geek in a BIG way. I had a good chance at being a pop music geek when I began working in a music store. I was on the verge of being an anime geek. I could still qualify as Nintendo geek but I don't think I care enough anymore about it. I might be a Mac geek, but in the end it's really just a computer that works well for me and I could easily change if something better were presented to me. All of these things have sadly fallen by the wayside or became mundane force of habit. I know about things but I don't really KNOW about them like I used to.

Besides, how many devout geeks of that sort does the world really need anyway? I'd like to be the unknowing geek in the shadows that strikes without warning...

Don't get me wrong, even though it can eat away your funds and time, being a geek is a great thing. My mom is such a comic book geek and she loves it. I work with a guru among otaku, he would be a hermit otherwise. So as much as I don't understand the massive attachment to Star Wars or Desperate Housewives or Harry Potter or whatever, I see the zeal with which some wait in long lines the night before a new installment or have something to root for if an award is being offered. Or drone on endlessly if only for the hope of gaining some new recruits. And it's because they genuinely enjoy it. Maybe unlike them, I just don't like to share my mass media. At least with fellow know-it-alls. What doesn't make me a snob is that I realize there are indeed others who enjoy these things more than I. It is their life.

Perhaps when something gets the word "icon" slapped onto it, it becomes more...impersonal. Come to think of it, even some things that are more of a niche instead of a phenomenon fall victim. Like when you know of this local band that, "Oh my god, I so relate to what they are singing about and the music is so original and inspiring and the lead singer is so cute!" Get two or more of these people together in the same room and watch the war ensue over who is the bigger fan. Of course, I've been to maybe three concerts in my lifetime, but I think you get the idea.

I apologize, this post was pretty upbeat to start with, but now I'm realizing that I have nothing that I get remotely excited about. Being a geek should be fun! I don't have cable so I don't watch any TV at home, it's very rare that I'll intentionally watch a movie unless it's just on. I don't do books or music or video games or clothes or religion or name it. Nothing seems to have impact or mystery. And going out to do anything? Please. I'd need to be bound and forced at gunpoint.

I suppose it's fair to lump blogging in as being geekish. But just like my computer, blogs are more like a method or means. I could easily just write all this down in a paper journal. Surely though, it's effective as a tool to aid in promoting the geeky qualities in the right hands instead of being the sole end product to consume. Maybe I'd rather be onstage performing rather than merely an audience member. I'd rather be the giver than the receiver, not so much for praise but just for the sake of doing it. But then maybe I'm just some sad bloke who wants so badly for the world to recognize him but doesn't really want to do anything about it. Who knows.

I always thought I'd have some kind of fantastical, colorful things surrounding my life, but it seems the lights have gone out. I miss being a geek about something. I know I have the capability, I do get sucked into the spectacle if it's presence is bold enough. I'll readily admit to watching American Idol last season; knowing who was who and wondering which neophyte was the next the be booted off by the show producers, oops I mean, voted off by the public. I would love to be social again (Er...or would that be, "for once"). To have that giddy glee when talking to friends about what's hot or not, however banal it is. Those with opinions are certainly unwarranted sometimes. But it must be nice to have a genuine knowledge about something to actually articulate an opinion instead of just giving notice that "Well, I heard it was..."

This is partially why I offered my latest proposition. To try and get talking again. Maybe that is why I blog these days. You notice I don't talk about politics or post reviews of movies, etc. The fact is I simply don't play well with others face to face these days. I don't have anything to talk about without feeling like I'll step on your toes and you'll run away. It gets rather stilted and awkwardly silent in person. Chatting online, sending emails, even on the phone is easier than that paralyzing notion of meeting in person. I could do it once before and now it's almost evaporated.

I believe I said before the blog was as close to "out" as I would get. Sadly, it's now become as close to "social" as I am.



Jordi said...

very good blog...

BFLJock79 said...

Wow, that is a lot to digest... I know how you feel though. Sometimes I feel totally anti-social and bury myself in my blog and other things at home.. But it's ok, I think it all moves in phases, and some of the guys in the blogging world are pretty cool too! =)

David said...

Simon, you're such a beautiful and inspiring guy. You may feel that you're in a social slump of sorts, but that will change with a bit more time. These past few months have riddled you and you'll get it all sorted out; I promise. In the meantime, enjoy the time you take for yourself, the monkies, your wife and family. The next big thing will be around the corner - that is, when you're ready for it.

Anylady said...

I am a firm believer that being social isn't all it's cracked up to be. And as for geekdom, I hear you. There is very little that I have a strong opinion about these days. I think that we are geeks about our children...knowing everything from their first tooth to their first use of the potty to their first day of kindergarten...and we learn all of the things that they are geeks about. It is still a geekdom of sorts...just not one you can prove to your friends. No one will ever be able to compete for who is the greatest fan of your children :-)

BFLJock79 said...

Hey buddy, thanks for your comment about smiles man.. it makes me happy to know that my little pic made you smile :) Life is too short not to be happy and smile all the time, after all right? =)

Melissa said...

I've only managed to find the first anth. of Flight, but I also loved it. Especially the Robot/Bird one. It was so quiet and sweet. I've played with idea of getting the last panel of the robot dream/flying inked, but I have to think about it some more. ^_^

I used to be a huge anime-geek in high school, but I can hardly watch it anymore, much less hang out with people who talk about it *all the time*. I still enjoy the occasionally series, but nothing like I used to.

It does make one feel sort of empty to not have an attachment to one thing, doesn't it? Obsessive people sometimes scare me, but I think I understand where they're coming from.

^_^ Have a very merry unbirthday!