1557 Fake Geek.


In the fairly limited time we’ve recorded history humans have not changed by orders of magnitude. We are, essentially, still the primates that had little tribes here and there. We just have better tools now. On average we still treat what we perceive as other with the same sort of brutality and tribalism we always have. It’s coded in us in a way even we don’t fully understand. We still lob spears at one another for not believing in the same magical sky people, scuffle over resources, and generally behave like the ridiculous apes we still are deep down. Even if you get a group of people who are on the same page we keep cutting the group into smaller and smaller bits. At our very core we are at war with ourselves. We want to be part of a tribe, but apart from that tribe, & other tribes. The modern joke, of course, is the goth kids who reject conformity, while clearly adorning themselves in a uniform that identifies them as part of a group. Which leads me to my point, more or less.
Mike wants to infiltrate a group that he’s already a part of, but doesn’t know for sure what the current uniform is. He expects there to be a gatekeeper. He’s right, of course. Even if it isn’t as blatant as someone quizzing him about green lantern he will be judged and whoever is part of the other group will decide if he can be part of it. They all might love the green lantern, but he may not love it in the right way. We’ve all been on both sides. Trying to get in, trying to keep others out.
When I was in high school I wore a button up shirt, unbuttoned, over a t shirt. Then the grunge look became a thing, and everyone thought I was trying to get in on that look. It was like before that time, having dressed that way for ages, I had been invisible until a larger group randomly chose my manner of dress as a uniform. People who never spoke to me would ask if I was trying to be “grunge”, when, in fact, I’ve always been a fat slob who can’t dress himself properly. The upside to this was that for a while it was much easier to get the kinds of shirts I liked because they were “in”. Over time the fad passed and I kept dressing as I always had and went back to being invisible.
We’ve all liked a thing that no one else liked only to have it become popular. Then we find ourselves saying “I liked it before it was cool.” We wear it like a badge and try to separate ourselves from the Johnny come lately mob. Everybody knows that one person who just has to let you know about all the bands they love that “you’ve probably never heard of”.
I know I’ve been a dick about my hobbies before. I’m sure I still am, reflexively, all the time. I try to be aware of it, but sometimes it just slips through. I used to quiz the Teen about Superman, because she likes the idea of Superman, but not really the piles of nonsense that go along with Superman. She likes hiom because her dad liked him, and that’s an easy visual reminder of him. The fact that the Superman in Man Of Steel isn’t really the way the character has traditionally been portrayed doesn’t matter to her. She likes him for reasons that are not the same as mine, but they aren’t any less valid than mine. That said, I feel like the stories, or at least some of the stories, are important. They could show her a richer version of the concepts he represents. Ultimately the choice to seek them out will be hers. If she chooses not to it’s not my place to try and shut her out of the fandom. Still, when she says “I like Superman.” there’s a part of me that says “You don’t know what Superman is.” Except now I try not to vocalize it. She knows what Superman is to her. Anything outside of that is none of my concern.