I have no stake or bearing in Doctor Who. I try not to begin my articles with sensationalist propaganda, but sometimes people just need to read some hard truths before the weekend starts. It’s not for lack of trying; Netflix has made it abundantly clear that this thing would be right up my alley, like a Mother bird trying to satiate me with worms. I viewed a few episodes with the bright eyes and high hopes that everyone around me had expected, but unfortunately, the Tardis Fever never took hold. Somehow I’ve been inoculated from it by the Doctor himself. Holy Time Lords, that was a bad analogy.
This is not the first time that something nerd-beloved has alluded me, and I can promise you that it will not be the last. I find that as I grow older, there is an increasing difficulty to enjoy all things nerd, and I’m sure this is the case for many others. I want to use this article to suggest why this might be the case for some of us.
First, it’s just the sheer, unadulterated volume of nerd hierarchies that we have to wade through in order to enjoy our mediums. I haven’t gotten to enjoy the works of Brandon Sanderson, and I’ve never really understood the time-sensitive layers of Grant Morrison, and yes, there is a sense of wanting and shame in this statement. When the general population hears that one of us is a “nerd”, they expect us to know every facet of what is an ocean of content. They don’t care if you can recite the Blue Lantern Oath; they’ll ask you anything from black hole physics to the identity of all the Cylons, and expect you to know this as well.
Being considered a critic by the gracious people in our medium, I have to keep on top of all types of nerd news and trivia, and be able to extrapolate a well thought-out opinion that doesn’t piss off everyone else too much. This, in brief, is gosh-darn exhausting. My dance card is full-up right now, with twenty-two trades from at least six comic publishers, the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, the second season of Battlestar Galactica, a three part storyarc for the Edge of the Empire roleplaying game (including secret side stories for each of the players involved), and a costume to plan for April’s WonderCon. The struggle is real, you guys.
Second, it’s the amount of time that we can devote on a daily basis, coupled with the fact of life expectations. Most of us reading this are adults. You will no doubt read this statement more than once in these articles; it is more of a mantra than anything else, at the very least assuring myself that I’m not somehow aging all weird and timey-wimey. Even the lucky few of us that are able to have two days off a week are not immune to life events, and it’s really hard to enjoy the Lord of the Rings trilogy when like, a baby gets born and stuff. Our in-laws won’t understand that we may need some Final Fantasy alone time with the biggest television in the house, and our bosses will undoubtedly take note when we are late from zerg rushes onto our base.
Thirdly, have you seen some of the god-awful material that passes for geek these days? If someone tells me how mind-blowing and original the recurrent themes of Twilight are or how the ecological undertones of Sharknado are making a difference in this world, no amount of Phoenix Downs will help your soul reach its vessel again. It seems that for every Sherlock episode or DC animated movie, there are five or six Cheerleader Ninjas around the dark corner to mug us of our credibility. This is meant to directly address the ones among us producing awful geek content: yes, there is a hierarchy in the land of nerds (which I will address soon, I promise), and no, you are not helping with the general population’s view of us.
I will apologize for not being a Whovian if I have not before; I’m not completely closing the door on Daleks and Sonic Screwdrivers, and maybe with a combination of maturation and luck I’ll eventually try again. Unfortunately, I have no solutions to combat the ever-flowing tide of content, the dwindling amounts of personal time, and the constant question that is credibility; if we all acknowledge these challenges, it can presumably make the gaps in nerd knowledge a lot more acceptable to others.We have to be honest with ourselves and others about our geek limitations, and in this way we can at least gain a cursory knowledge of what else is out there to love and cherish. There are ongoing obstacles in our quest to attain the Alpha-Nerd status, wrought with perils both epic and unimaginable. It is completely alright to choose our weapons wisely.