For the Love of Geek

This is a stream of consciousness post. It won’t be polished, but it will be personal.

Some of you who are my friends, or follow me on Twitter know that I recently lost my uncle. He was an amazing man and one of the biggest reasons why I love the things I love. He took me to my first comic book convention. He introduced me to countless films, books and comics that I have grown to love and appreciate. I miss him terribly.

My Uncle Barry was the first major death I’ve experienced in my family. It was rough, and it still is. While watching The Dark Knight Rises (don’t worry, no spoilers), there was a scene that struck a chord with me. A character was talking to Bruce Wayne saying something like, “People can try to understand what’s it’s like to be an orphan, but only we know what it’s like.” Though I’m not an orphan, since my uncle’s death, I’ve been more sensitive to death in general. Whether it’s the death of a fictional character, or the shootings in Aurora, Colorado. Death seems to affect me more now because I don’t have to imagine what it feels like to lose someone you love. I know it. And unless you’ve experienced it, to quote that character again, you don’t understand what it’s like.

Now this post isn’t about death, or about TDKR, it’s about a realization I had during that scene. The reason why I love these “geek” things is because I can connect with them. All works of fiction are in some obscure or obvious way trying to tell us how to live, or not live, our life. I love geek things not because they are “geeky”, but because I can connect to them in a way I can’t with other fictional works. You, being a geek as well I assume, understand where that passion comes from.

We need these characters from tragic beginnings to show us that whatever troubles we have experienced, or are experiencing, we can overcome. We need to read and watch stories about the past, the future, the now and the never. We need heroes to believe in because we may not have them in our own lives. We need to lose ourselves in fantastic realms and outer space, because sometimes, we can’t deal with what’s going on in our own world. We need adventures and journeys to make our lives not as dull. We need villains to loath. We need something and someone to believe in. We need to laugh, love and cry. We need to understand why bad people do bad things. We need to know what to do when bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. We need to love people who can never die.

These stories, characters, worlds and adventures give us what we need. They give us what regular life may not, or cannot give. Yes, realistic fiction can give some of us that, but for whatever reason, we connect with these stories. And frankly we obsess about these stories, if nothing else, because they are damn good.

21 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this post. Definitely great to have these things to help us through hard times. Coming to that realization must have been an interesting moment. My condolences and prayers to you Jamila .

    Reply

  2. Lovely well thought out blog – we really do need our heroes and villains and maybe it’s because it’s a little bit easier to see who the heroes and villains are in fiction as opposed to the real world. And we need a character to associate with and emote through and you’ve put that so eloquently in your blog!

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  3. I always enjoy reading your posts, but this one definitely struck a chord with me! My mother was my inspiration to my nerdiness (and she even took me to my first con when I was 10). And I agree with you on your points in what we need from these things we enjoy so much! Keep doing what you do!

    Reply

  4. Huzzah! For me, good fantasy deals with action, heroism, and hope. Through the interaction with the fiction, we change, and then can bring it into our world. Like you just did. Hugs and condolences, ans welcome to wisdom.

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  5. Joseph Campbell couldn’t have put it any better. I felt that way from the very day my mom took my brother and I to see Star Wars up to this very day when I read a great comic like Saga that exemplifies what the hero myth is truly about. Thank you for this write up. It meant a lot to me reading this.

    T.

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  6. My deepest condolences on the loss of your uncle. I saw the posts on Twitter, but I don’t know you well enough to have the courage to talk to you as I’d like to be able to – you seem far too awesome tbh – so I never said anything. But I understand where you’re coming from and you hit everything dead on as to why I am personally such a geek and why I love what I love. Thank you.

    Reply

    1. Thank you so much Abbey! It really means a lot to me. This was a very personal post, but I felt that a lot of people would be able to relate and I wanted to connect on a deeper level with people so I’m glad you connected. Thank you for your condolences. PS- I’m really not that cool IRL lol.

      Reply

  7. My deepest condolences, Jamila. Sincerely I’m sorry for your loss. I could imagine to an extent how you feel because I too have lost someone so close and dear, coincidentally an uncle of mine. Although it was years back, it still hits hard from time to time; plus he was the one who fostered my love for reading, though the geeky part came on later.
    Resonating with this post is not difficult, because I can relate to pretty much the whole deal. It’s nice to see someone spread it all out for those who don’t really understand the love for the geekoverse. Great work you did there.

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  8. I can’t agree more. The reason I love stories the way I do, and I’m the geek that I am, is because I learn lessons from them. They teach me things that otherwise I’d have to learn on my own by making mistakes (and, honestly, who likes making mistakes?).

    I know how painful it is to lose someone (I lost a friend last year) and I wish you the very best strength and comfort to get through it.

    (Oh, and if you’re wondering who I am, I’ve just been searching around for geek blogs. Yours has some stuff that I like. :))

    Reply

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. I agree with you about how connecting to things like Doctor Who and Star Trek do give us a perspective in how we want or not want to be. Connecting with things “geek” do give us an understanding of ourselves.

    Well written :)

    Reply

  10. I know this post is a few years old already but still… I’m sorry for your loss! I lost my grandmother this year and even if I knew this day would come it still was quite a shock. It is funny how fantasy, these made-up but so wonderful works, help you through all this kind of sh… stuff. Especially Batman is my all-time-favourite superhero and the movies with Christian Bale are awesome. “Why do we fall?”, huh?
    Thank you for this lovely post!
    Ylva

    Reply

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