Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Thoughts on Patton Oswalt's Piece
johnrossbowie
 Patton Oswalt, one of the few comedians who has made me laugh until I hurt (the bit in question is his extended meditation on steak houses) has recently posted a WIRED piece on the death of Geek Culture. If you're even peripherally familiar with Patton Oswalt, you know that this is an odd meme to come out of him. This is the man who has been known to create year-end top ten lists of sci-fi books THAT DO NOT ACTUALLY EXIST. Et tu, Patton?

Now, his point is well-taken: that geek culture died the second you didn't have to be a geek to get into such things -- the internet has made minutiae so accessible that it no longer means THAT MUCH to be the kid into Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy -- the lacrosse player in your homeroom might be into Garth Marenghi's Dark Place, and as such has roundly out-geeked you. And that irks me, sure, no one likes their territory encroached upon. But what Patton fails to recognize -- and I am loathe to question him on matters geek, but I must, I must -- is that the accessibility of culture has not actually changed everyone's passion about it. There will always be people who are casual fans of science fiction, and can name all the Trek Captains, but they're not going to teach themselves Klingon ... and they're not going to read Dhalgren (neither am I, frankly, the thing weighs a ton) ... and they're not going to write Dr. Who Slash Fiction. There will always be dilletantes. There will always be a starlet who buys a Ramones shirt at Urban Outfitters ... that does not take away from the fact that I almost lost my glasses trying to get close to DeeDee at a Ritz show (you heard me, motherfucker, I saw them when DeeDee was still in the band). Casual users don't cheapen the geek experience, the same way people who only get drunk on New Years don't trivialize the endeavors of real alcoholics. And it must be pointed out that not everyone -- and certainly not these nameless toe-dipping Johnny Come Latelys -- is gonna find a piece in Wired ... on geek culture. Right? Now if you'll excuse, I'm stuck in London and there's a two hour documentary on BlackAdder on BBC somethingorother. Happy New Year!
Tags: ,

?

Log in

No account? Create an account