I was reading Wired Magazine last night when I saw three things that got me incredibly excited.
- DC Comics is releasing Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1, a hardbound edition of one of the greatest works of literature in modern history
- The 20th Anniversary edition of the original Transformers: The Movie is available for pre-order on Amazon
- Both the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii launch this month.
There's no chance whatsoever that I'll get the video game systems (you cannot believe the grief I get when I play the ones I have, although Christmas is coming *wink wink*), I already have every Sandman ever written in paperback graphic novel form, and no amount of cajoling will ever get Oodgie (or anyone I know, for that matter) to sit through Hot Rod's heroic transformation into leader of the Autobots (after Optimus Prime meets a tragic end) and to protect the Matrix of Leadership from Unicron (voiced by Orson Wells, of course).
There are those among you who might find the above disturbing (hi honey!) and may categorize me as a "nerd" or a "geek" or a "dork." There are those among you who look at the above and think, "Dude, I TOTALLY need to get those!" who would call themselves nerds or geeks or dorks. But I don't think those terms are wholly accurate or fair. Let's examine them, shall we?
A "nerd" is someone who pursues intellectual and academic interests at the expense of socials skills, personal hygiene, and interaction with the opposite sex. They are the ones with physical weaknesses that 13-year-olds make fun of, and have to resort to extreme measures to wrest control of the Greek Council from the Alpha Betas. Right now, one of them is curing cancer, while his roommate at MIT is building a robot in his basement that will destroy us all.
A "geek" often refers to someone who is really into computers, technology, and gadgets, but usually extends to people who spend an inordinate amount of time and energy obsessing about things that others find bizarre or extreme. These are your tech support guys, the people in line for the latest Star Wars movie, or the guy who owns your company.
A "dork" tends to be more of a quirky, silly, or eccentric person--often adorably so. They don't usually hang out in cliques with other dorks (like nerds and geeks do) and it's more of a term of endearment and less derogatory. They probably remember every episode of Scooby Doo, have a Lord of the Rings action figure on their desk, or are hosting a TV show.
Although I share traits with all of these labels, none of them is wholly accurate. My intellectual pursuits haven't stunted my social skills; my hygiene, maybe, but not my social skills. I love gadgets and can probably hook up your printer, but at any moment I'm three keystrokes away from a massive hardware failure that will likely set your house on fire. And although I have a box of comic books and a Marvin the Martian tattoo, most of that stuff stays tucked away the majority of the time.
And there's lots of people like me out there. We're your friends, your spouses, your neighbors. We walk among you, stand behind you at Starbucks, and signal when you can have our parking space. Yet we're not like everyone else. We need a descriptor, a title, some moniker that we can collectively rally around.
"People of superior taste who abhor limiting sterotypes."
Now we can perfectly articulate who we are, and can share our experiences as "postals" with each other. Now, if your boss gives you a hard time about the Yoda figurine on your desk, just tell him "I'm going postal!" If you're getting grief about playing a new video game, just tell your spouse of girlfriend, "This is how postals like me burn off steam." And it's a great inside joke if you're applying for a home loan or a passport! "Have you had any prior convictions?" "No, but I'm totally postal! Does that count?"
Feel free to use that at the airport or your school or government building. You may be surprised at how many other "postals" are out there!