And the geek shall inherit the Earth

BJ Grieve and BJ Grieve

An open letter to my fellow geeks, losers, nerds and dorks:

“Iron Man 2” came out last week to much pomp, fanfare and mixed reviews. The greater movie going public made it one of the greatest opening weekends in history, and the comic book aficionado was left with a bitter taste in their mouth.

After leaving the theater, I noticed several of my fellow mouth breathers had disgusted looks on their faces. Not from the onscreen escapades of Anthony Stark, but of the caliber of their fellow participants in the midnight Marvel movie release merriment.

Ever since “X-Men” brought spandex and optic blasts to the silver screen, the four-color world has received heightened interest and a level of acclaim never before thought possible.

Superhero movies are now met with serious reviews and comic books are starting to receive the kind of recognition they have always deserved. The grand daddy of comics is on Time’s 100 Greatest Novels list, after all.

The recent interest in comic book properties has sparked the interest of everyone from the fixed gear bike set to the tattoo-sporting clique.

My acne-infested brethren are offended, however. They scoff at the new interest in the capes and tights, and condemn those that haven’t followed Wolverine since his days in Japan.

One would think that after several decades and childhoods devoid of big screen versions of these characters would leave any comic book aficionado happy just having the experience to share with anyone.

But nooooooo –

The ink-stained fingers push up the taped bridge of horn-rimmed glasses in contempt, and the tables have turned. The 12-sided die has been cast and the meek have decided that the majority are inferior.

What was once a passion that brought about the ire of others and many a playground bullying has turned the tormentors into the tormented.

Why is it that passionate people feel that they are the only ones that can love their passion?

I personally think it’s awesome that comic books and gamer culture have finally found their way into the mainstream, and now the mainstream and subculture have more or less melded into one – a virtual melting pot of gamma-irradiated beasts and vigilantes of the night.

“I liked that band before they were popular. And I only liked their first album.”

I just don’t get it. Why do people feel the need to claim something as their own and not want to share the enjoyment with others?

This ill-demonstrated passion is very similar to a cat marking its territory. Yeah, it’s yours, but at the end of the day, it’s got your piss all over it.

My love of the funny books has spanned through my childhood and well into my adulthood, and I have had to endure the belittling of my peers, and now, the sniggers of my local comic retailer.

The release of “Iron Man 2” had re-sparked my interest in the character, but when I went to a certain shop on Clairemont Mesa to ask about a particular trade, I was met with a dirty look, a scoff and the smallest effort at assistance.

Why is it that we feel the need to be the only ones that like something? Why do we want to demonize others for a newfound interest?

This is just the latest in a long running demonstration of elitism.

“Why can’t we all just get along” on a much smaller scale; why can’t people that are diametrically opposed come together and enjoy something that is awesome together?

Let’s cast aside our differences and geek out together. Enjoy the band’s new album, which you secretly like even though they’ve become a bit poppy. Stay after the credits and have a “nerdgasm” together over Thor’s hammer.

Bitch and moan about how the sequel to your favorite video game lacks the integrity of the first one and punch the wall in tandem with your friend when your favorite indie author “sells out.”

To quote Kurt Vonnegut: “God dammit, you’ve got to be kind.”

BJ Grieve is a City Times copy editor