Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Coming Out

This week is the awesome Conference on World Affairs at CU Boulder.

It's pretty much just a gathering of hundreds of experts in all sorts of subjects from all over the world who sit on panels about all sorts of topics.

(It also draws an amazing amount of senior citizens... who stop in the middle of the sidewalk to yell about those "damn skateboarding college punks"... which just isn't safe... seriously, I almost walked into about a dozen of them... and these people are not very stable... they would go down like a bag of... old person... anyway...)

It's free and open to the public (enter dangerous senior citizens...), and because nobody wants to hire me I'm taking some time off, I finally have the time to go to some of the panels.

I've been to panels about literature, journalism, and writing.

Some were good, others were so-so.

(Meaning some kept my attention for over an hour... and I politely ducked out of others.)

But today I went to a WONDERFUL panel called "Geek Culture: Sci-Fi, Superhero Movies and Comic Books". The panel included Jim Emerson, Robert George, and Andy Ihnatko.

(Self-admitted SUPER-GEEKS from the film, journalism, and technology worlds.)

I went on a whim because I heard Andy speak in an earlier panel and really enjoyed what he had to say...

(Aka: he made me laugh.)

I also went because I was curious.

I've previously written about how I love superhero movies and how I encountered an identity crises after reading and loving The Watchmen.

So the title spoke to my inner-geek.

Well... I loved it. The panel was engaging, fun, and informative. I found it pretty crazy just HOW much I enjoyed it. I started to ask myself just how much of Ally B is considered to be "geek".

So I got up (in front of about 100 people) and asked the following question:

"I read The Watchmen and I loved it. But I sort of had an identity crises. I was like, 'Oh shit! Does this mean I'm a geek?' So, what defines someone as a geek? And is that definition expanding with technology and the internet because I get called a 'geek' for blogging and twittering... do you have to reach some level before your admitted to 'The Club'?"

During my question Robert George said that he loved "geek coming out stories" and Andy Ihnatko started a round of applause to "welcome me to the club".

(I felt like a superstar...)

Andy then said that being a "geek" is about being passionate about something - anything - and NOT CARING if people think your odd or "geeky" for that passion.

He then said, "You're in, babe."


So I started thinking that maybe I truly am a "geek".

I love superhero movies and the graphic novels I've read have been extremely entertaining...

I get giddy talking about social media (Twitter, Facebook)...

I'm in love with a literary vampire...

I am a participant/host of a weekly screening of LOST...

I created my own superhero with a super STICK as my super weapon... (although that's not geeky... it's just logical...)

AND... I ran home to blog about this...

Yeah... I think I'm a geek.

So... I'm out of the closet. I'm free! I am a geek...

And I'm honored.

PS: When I got home I found that someone had Twittered this: "Girl read watchmen and liked it, and thought, oh shit now I'm a geek." Awesome...

PPS: Dad - When I mentioned the senior citizens I was NOT talking about you... you're not dangerous... you're cool...