Thursday, June 11, 2009

Closet Trekkie

During a backyard chat with one of our neighbours, the new Star Trek movie came up. Me, being a resident nerd, was naturally prodded as to my undying excitement and unfettered joy regarding it. I'm not a huge Trek fan. I watched The Next Generation with my family when it first came out, it was like Family Ties except with less cunning and more phasers. I skipped most of the other series except for a bit of Deep Space Nine, and then only because it had Hawk from Spencer for Hire (he was one bad ass mofo (possibly more than Tubbs)).

So, obviously, in revealing all this, I suppose to the average normal (non nerd), I am a Trekkie. But us nerds know what a real Trekkie is. They have memorabilia, they go to conventions, they know at least a few passing phrases in Klingon. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I'm not a Trekkie.

In any event, one of my neighbours looked at me slyly and said, "You're a, a 'Trekkie'", as if accusing me of harbouring a harmless if slightly disfiguring form of hepatitis. She has this light European accent, and said it with such pitying derision, I felt my cultural wherewithal being challenged; although, to be honest, I've been upfront to my neighbours about my utter lack of cultural knowledge, a ponderous adversity to culling any sort of zeitgeist or being hip with who the Algonquin [sic] Five [sic] are, and why they are important, and why the name just makes me think of the Council of Elrond. Nevertheless, I will not be accused of something I'm not.

It's a cross, that us nerd, us introverted elite, bear. Yes, we are socially awkward and avoid any undue social gatherings. Yes we have odd and vaguely childish preoccupations which, if you really cornered a normal and asked them about it, they'd have to confess it was pretty rad. But we like to be derided and ostracized for things we really are into.

We take an odd pride, I think, in these impolite and outlandish hobbies. It's not that someone cosplaying Babylon 5 is without social awareness. It's not that two people re-enacting the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail think it's hilarious to the general public. We love it in spite of the normals. In spite of being called odd and weird and chronically virgin. In spite of being pitied and pidgeon-holed and generally laughed at.

Like, I'm terribly into PC gaming, or odd web comics, or software engineering practical theory (yes, yes, I know, oxymoron). I don't mind being avoided at cocktail parties for this. I don't mind my parents trying to veer any conversation in polite company in a wide berth around said subjects. I do, however, take umbrage with dealing with the normals baggage about stuff I'm not particularly into. I think that's fair.

It was hard to convince this neighbour. I decided in the end it didn't really matter, a nerd is a nerd is a nerd, I'm sure they think. Besides, anyone who knows that the serial number for the Enterprise was NC-1701 isn't entirely innocent of Trekkie-hood.

4 comments:

The Nighthawk said...

Except you missed a 'C' in the designation, so you know, you're right about your non-Trekkie-dom. :P

Chris B. said...

Yeah, my uncle wants me to drive 5 hours to his place in Wisconsin because I'm "good with computers".

Also, the new Star Trek movie was geared for non-Trekkies, so all levels of Star Trek admirers would have stuff to enjoy and discuss. Luckily, it was a great movie.

Niteowl said...

NH: HAH! you totally fell into my Trekkie Honey pot! I'll let you go back to sharpening your Baatleth.

Cheese: yeah, the movie was great! For the computer thing, might I suggest they get a Mac, since they are sooooOooOOO user-friendly. When they get into trouble, just shrug, and confess, honestly, you have no idea how they work.

Chris B. said...

I think it is a Mac. :(