I woke up today feeling a bit sad, maybe even depressed. I have been trying to identify just what the source of this feeling is. One obvious stressor is that I was told by my professor that there was no way to finish my class for this semester, which will place me in an academic warning status. I am kind of at home with this, because I know I am slow to get things done. I have to truly understand the material I am working on even when I could indeed just throw something together. So papers and projects emerge as part of a very slow unfolding. But I figure that I am smart enough to get things done prior to the beginning of fall semester, and I can certainly talk to the powers that be about what it means to be on academic warning- surely this is not an irreparable situation. Besides, I work two jobs which often results in about 60-80 hour work weeks…no this is not ringing the bell.
No I think it is something deeper and more sinister lurking within me. This week a few old wounds were reopened. Wounds that I thought were well healed by now. Apparently, not as much as I thought.
So the first precursor is the opening of the movie Bully. This is a movie put together to show the public how kids get treated by bullies. There is a huge campaign to get this movie into theaters in every town. The movie has gotten an R rating which is an undeserved rating since what you see on screen you will definitely see in any given elementary or high school. I know, because I not only lived through a hell of a lot of bullying, but surprise! I now work with children who are bullied and on rare occasions bullies. The fact is very few adults know the kind of cruelty that bullied kids endure. I was bullied by friends and enemies alike. I can remember being hung from a locker by my underwear, thrown into a dumpster, and having throwing stars thrown at my saxophone case. These are just a few of the terrible moments I experienced in high school and elementary. Adults either did not care, or wrote it off as “kids being kids”- that is not an acceptable way of seeing things. Adults have to be the example for the children to follow, not the silent accomplices to wannabe dictators. Please support this movie if you feel it is time to take a stand against the bullies of the world.
The fact is, despite my past, I am generally a pretty proud geek. I still play fantasy based board games, watch tons of sci fi and fantasy, geek out on amazing music from Rush to The Grateful Dead, and I have a damn good time hanging out with my fellow geeks at conventions such as Dragoncon. Recent movement within geekdom has spawned a sort of uprising. After all it is geekdom that has brought you your X-box, your episodes of Lost and Battelstar Galactica, your blockbuster movies like Star Wars and Avatar. Ultimately, we are the ones that are cool now. Without us, you would still be using typewriters and watching Knots Landing.
Geekdom has some saints of its own. Felecia Day for instance has embraced her inner nerd and written an anthem for the geeks of the world. It is now available on Youtube on the Geek and Sundry channel. Within one day it has the top 5 at amazon and the top 40 at Itunes. Check it out:
Another geek of note is The Nerdist- Chris Hardwick. Chris has been running an amazing podcast for some time now. He has become a name synonymous with geekdom, hosting Dr. Who events, and now sponsoring an olympic style light saber relay to launch the upcoming Comic-con. You can also check out his Youtube channel:
I recently described Wil Wheaton, formerly Wesley Crusher on Star Trek TNG, as one of us. I simply meant that he is a down to earth guy who is as geeky as they come. He recently launched a bi-weekly show called This show will definitely result in more people playing great table top games, and will likely break me.
These are obviously not the only events in the growing nerdsphere but they are enough to give you some indication that we are present everywhere. I have never been ashamed to admit my fondness for hobbits, or redshirts, but there was a time in my life in which I felt a little embarrassed of all these obsessions; one of those little dweebs that the jocks picked on for whatever mindnumbing reason that they could come up with. I have since dealt with that part of me. I have assessed it and come to the simple conclusion that I am awesome. No one else really needs to offer their judgements of me and mine. However, all of these recent developments have gotten me to thinking about those days of being treated so badly. I am an adult now, and I like to believe that those mini-traumas of my yesterday are well over and done with. However, I still have Vader like fantasies of encasing some of my tormentors in carbonite, or placing an earworm in their heads. You’d think I would be able to forget and forgive, but instead I entertain fantasies of throwing those ape minded schlubs out of an airlock with no probability of being rescued within enough time to save their measly hides. Why so hateful?
I have my own personal demons to conquer, they are buried underneath layers of study and music and they rarely emerge. However, working with adolescents who go through the same damn treatment, plus hearing stories about neglectful parents who would rather chase down their next crack pipe, or who would allow their children to die so they could explore whatever damn obsession they have found, makes me sick. I promise you not a day goes by where I do not hear some harrowing story of abuse or failure to care and I have to brush it aside, because that is the job I do. But eventually, all of this emotional turmoil takes its toll and I reach a day like today. Near tears and wavering between fuck it I am staying home, and dammit I want a nice long break to get my head together.
And then there are the goddamned politicians who all think they can make it a better world if they just inject their religious values into the government. They want to take funds away from the Department of Family and Children services, they want to close group homes and other safe space facilities, and they want to place children in abusive foster care families. Don’t get me wrong, not all foster care families are abusive, but I have seen and heard about my share and it makes me incredibly pissed off.
Then there are the bigger guys who are all pissing on each other at the top. I have not been entirely pleased with Obama. He has made some terrible mistakes with our liberties, but the republican candidates have been hemming and hawing about the socialist nature of Obama policies and it just seems to be a lot of words with no real back up. Romney can’t even keep a single abiding attitude, and Santorum sounds like he would suspend every liberty that is not suggested by the Bible. How can we support people like this. I have no problem with the republican viewpoint of less government, but I have yet to see it presented in a way that would make me vote for any of the present candidates. I do not feel love and peace from the republican party. I don’t feel hopeful that we could somehow stand as a strong and free country. I only hear yarn after yarn about how the Democrats have screwed up the country. Even if this is true, which I rather doubt when I compare the damage in the last 4 years to the damage done in the last 12, the republican party do nothing but cast stones. They do not even attempt to win me over, and thus they serve only to drive the parties farther apart opting for civil name calling instead of rational discourse. They are in effect, bullies all grown up.
So what has got me screaming from my silent cosmos; the failure of the world to recognize the one true value we should all be working towards, love and tolerance of other, maybe even acceptance. So from out here in my little reality, I am begging for people to recognize the hate and venom and squash it. Perhaps you will only view what I have to say as hippie rhetoric, or the cries of a nerd who never got closure. I doubt I will sway any opinions with this silent scream, but it feels good to let it out instead of holding it in.