With conventions and clubs and the all-access nature of the Internet, it’s easier than ever before to connect with likeminded people who enjoy the TV shows, books, films, and activities that you do. Fandom isn’t simply alive and well these days, it’s positively thriving.
Any devoted fandom will have its talking points, its hot-button issues, and sometimes, its schism-inducing disagreements. (Star Wars vs. Star Trek is probably one that will never ever die, no matter how much we might want it to.)
One prominent example is the recent backlash at conventions and on the Internet regarding “fake geek girls.” Now that many nerdy pursuits have found their way into the mainstream (thanks to Comic-Con, Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, and many other outlets), lady nerds have been ostracized as not being true fans.
As a proud member of numerous nerdy fandoms — Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, and puzzles being but a small sample — it’s distressing to see fans turn on each other for stupid, petty reasons.
The only requirement of fandom should be enjoying something. Period.
The band The Doubleclicks have put together a marvelous video that not only celebrates geekdom in all its forms, but abolishes the ridiculous notion of “fake geek girls” in one fell swoop:
And the puzzle community is hardly immune to such ardent feelings and emotional reactions.
There are entire blogs devoted to dissecting the New York Times and Los Angeles Times crosswords on a daily basis, decrying unfair, misleading, or just plain wrong clues and entries.
And while it’s not nearly as high on the scale of ridiculous schisms as the “fake geek girl” or a given day’s crossword kerfuffle, you’ll get some seriously funny reactions if you raise the question of solving puzzles in pencil or ink.
It’s been said that egotism is doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen. (A quote hilariously misattributed to Ambrose Bierce, who disappeared three decades before the NY Times ever printed a crossword.)
I don’t know about that. I solve in ink, but that’s only because every eraser in my house has long since been rubbed away into nonexistence.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… it’s awesome that people are so passionate about the things they enjoy. Just try to remember that someone can still be just as big a fan as you and still disagree with you.
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