Monday, February 10, 2014

A Defense of Geekery

I was in the middle of a craft, when someone asked me what I was cutting out. I considered lying but then I told the truth. "Its from Star Wars" I told her. "The symbol of the rebel alliance." Her eyes widened slightly and she found something nice to say. I felt bad for a moment. Did I just sound like a childish crazy person?

The moment made me think. There's been a few moments recently when my geekery has slipped out. I've actively hid it over the years, but why?

I'll not readily admit it all the time, but I'm a pretty big geek. I'm probably more familiar with the rules of quidditch than american football. I have to think twice before I can pronounce “Anthropological”, but I can get “Raxacoricofallapatorius” on the first try. I'm more familiar with the battle of Hoth than the battle of Gettysburg. I probably know more ancient history of middle earth than ancient roman history. I can name more fictional space ships than NASA space shuttles.

Does this make me an escapist? Someone out of touch with reality? Childish? I used to think so, but as I've grown up, I no longer do. Mankind is meant to learn through story, and not just story that actually happened. We lost that around the time of the Enlightenment. We seem to have this strange idea that the best way to teach or convey meaning is through over simplified propositional outlines. It's not. It's merely the quickest way to get someone to repeat it, not actually learn it. Do you want to learn about racial reconciliation? I'll tell you about Legolas and Gimli. Brotherly love? I'll tell you about Simon and River Tam on the Serenity. Want to discuss life, loss, love, courage and sacrifice? Let's watch Doctor Who. 

Why do we teach history? Not just because it happened, there are plenty of things that happened that nobody cares about. We teach important things that happened. What makes something important? It changes us; it effects who we are and how we function today. I argue that the same can be said for many events that haven't exactly occurred in our timeline.

I've been uniquely shaped by stories. In my childhood, I felt more a citizen of Narnia than America. Everything is a story. Time, from beginning to end, is a story. In the scope of the universe, is one little human life so different from a story that a human crafted? Christians believe that our real lives come after death. Doesn't that make us all made up stories, living outside of reality?

In that perspective, why can't I put a Rebel symbol in my house? It represents demonstrated courage, fighting for goodness and truth. It would be much more socially acceptable to display a heart, which is supposed to represent love but is usually boiled down to empty cuteness. Why am I weird for choosing the former?


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