I came across a particularly fan-wankish take on something DOCTOR WHO related that I felt was based on some dubious assumptions. The point, though, isn’t about who’s right. It’s about how much I miss having the space and the energy to geek out over that stuff. I’ve basically let a lot of nerd engagement slowly seep out of my life over the past few years, and it doesn’t feel good.
I’m just a little older now than my father when he came to this country. When I got into comic books as a kid, he once told me about his experience with comics in a way that was a little wistful but distinctly long gone. Which made sense; it didn’t occur to 8 year-old me that he could, would, or should still be into them.
People went off on what Bill Maher said after Stan Lee died, and rightfully so. But this bit got to me…
…the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that comics were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy books without the pictures.”
I cringe when I read that because I’m part of a generation of nerds that came up around that attitude, from both the adults and the kids. Luckily, I’m also part of a generation that realized after a certain point, no one could really stop you flying your nerd flag so fuck that noise. But that didn’t mean the feelings of “Just grow up, already” went away.
So yes, I am older, maybe a little wiser, but definitely more tired. I’d love to list all the ways the writer of that WHO article was “wrong,” but not today. No, I’m not looking to turn in my nerd card. But I guess what I really need to do is take a good look at my place in a field that’s changing in ways that I’d have loved to see 30 years ago but is also in some ways–and this is not a complaint, just an observation–maybe leaving me behind a bit because of my inability to keep up. I know there’s a “circle of life” thing where the olds sometimes just need to step out of the way and let the kids have their fun. But does that really mean I can’t have fun anymore? Probably not. But the question is, how?
Look, just as long as I don’t turn into this, okay…*
(*this = a gatekeeper harshing on a younger person’s geekery)