I guess when I think about it my intent as whatever kind of writer I’ve ended up being has been to explain geeky subject matters to non-geek audiences. (I didn’t say I always succeeded; sometimes I don’t escape the geekworld insularity, and sometimes I tackle subjects that my audience has a better understanding of than I do.) And I’m a straight-down-the-line, exactly-what-you-think-of-when-you-think-of-a geek: fantasy, comics, weird and/or outdated music, prose that sometimes reads as though I never fully got the nineteenth century out of my system.
But I’ve rarely felt comfortable in geek communities, because most of my formative geek obsessions were undertaken alone. I was never socialized as a geek, that is, never had a friendship community that made my interests feel normal.
In a way, I was never really socialized at all, not really, except in the milky warmth of evangelical Christian “fellowship,” where officially it doesn’t matter what you’re like all are welcome at the table of the Lord, and unofficially there’s a distinct and impregnable pecking order in which charismatic leaders set the tone for what it is to be a man of God and all others either measure up or are found wanting by that standard. And, by a curious coincidence, the characteristics that make great evangelical leaders are the same as those that make highly profitable corporate leaders. When I learned as a fast-secularizing adult who Jack Welch was, I immediately recognized the type.
But because that was my background, much of that adult life has been spent realizing that the geekworlds I encountered online were not a one-to-one correspondence with what some evangelicals call, without irony, “followship,” that the personality traits I had grown up valuing (largely perhaps because I recognized them in myself) like meekness, humility, compassion, and charitableness were not necessarily widespread in the communities that understood themselves to be organized in opposition to the good-at-sports, good-at-business, good-at-getting-women world of top dogs and alpha males. Bullies took many different forms, including that of the smartest guy in the room.
Persons attempting to find a moral will be shot.
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- minimoonstar said: That’s what I tend to feel your intent is, too! (I write as if my audience has the same level of knowledge I have about the topic. I’ve been told a few times that this means there is no one who actually understands *all* my posts.)
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