Friday, January 30th

Uncle Tim's Cabin

Listening to: DJ Shadow - Endtroducing
Current mood: Nondescript

It's 2004. Somehow, over the past two or three years, the world has become an indefiniably better place. Whether due to some kind of dying out of the previous century's ideals, or through the increasing ubiquity of high technology in modern American society, we have come at last into the Age of the Geek. The trend towards valuing an individual based on their intelligence, rather than their ability to hold onto an oblong ball while rolling around on the ground with other sweaty men and breathing heavily, is on the upswing.

One way this has manifested itself is in what I can only describe as geek pride. No longer do we try to hide the fact that we spent last weekend reading comic books, programming, or watching 27 hours of Dr. Who. In fact most of us who consider ourselves part of the geek movement even go so far out of the way as to purchase t-shirts and other paraphernalia in an attempt to show the world our true geekiness. It is a golden age, a renaissance for the intelligent individual of esoteric tastes. Alas, not all of us feel this way however.

Let us say that I have a friend, and for the purposes of this article let us refer to him as "Tim," though it is not his real name. It may merely be his predilection against the appropriation of negative/derogatory terms by the social groups they are used against, but he absolutely abhors and refuses to be identified by the terms "geek" or "nerd". (In fact I'm afraid he's going to be quite upset with me just for writing this article).

Unfortunately for him, he fits quite well into the modern defintions of these words, at least as used among the blossoming geek culture. The modern terms "geek" and "nerd" are used generically to refer to those who cultivate their own interests to the exclusion of most other things. Even a non-geek culture definition of the term "nerd" taken from Merriam Webster fits quite well - "nerd: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits." Hardly cruel or hurtful definitions. He is in fact, incredibly intelligent, and a devoted scholar of several pop culture fields. He could be referred to in fact as a sort of "Master Geek" or "Nerd Guru" to whom other, less erudite geeks, flock for enlightenment.

The problem is, this "Tim" not only rejects the terms "geek" and "nerd", but the culture associated with said terms. In distancing himself I'm afraid he has become a sort of "Uncle Tim", turning his back on the culture that led him to his current respected position as an expert in the fields that interest him, and instead seems to see himself as so far above the geek mainstream as to be totally unrelated to it. Admittedly this is no great sin; denying one's geekhood is hardly hubris. However, in these pro-geek times, it can't hurt to think back to those lonely nights in junior high spent daydreaming about what you would do with Spider-powers, or dialing up a C-64 BBS to talk about Star Trek. Those are the things that have led us to the happy semi-well-adjusted lives that we live today, have kept us from being washed away in the mainstream, drowning in the sea of mediocracy.

Ok. I'll shut up now.

* Apologies to the individual here referred to as "Tim": Sorry man, I just really needed a solid example to introduce my Uncle Tim meme. If it makes you feel better, I don't think you're a nerd. *
Matt on 01.30.04 @ 07:14 PM PST [link

Thursday, January 29th


Listening to: Elvis Costello - All This Useless Beauty
Current mood: Positive side of Nondescript

I've noticed lately that I've been using the word honestly far too much. It was originally one of those words that I used solely for amusement in the "Honestly, I don't know what I'm gonna do with you." way. But my useage has increased up to somewhere in the 20 times a day range, and I usually say it without thinking. I'm seriously beginning to annoy myself. Which brings me to my topic for the day, (I didn't actually realize I had a topic of the day until I started writing this.), artificially introducing words into one's own vocabulary.

It's an odd thing, there are certain words which you can just say hey, I really like that sound of that word, and you're suddenly using it all the time. Others you try and you try but your brain just won't accept them. Let me give a couple examples. Over the last year I have intentionally introduced at least four words into my spoken vocabulary which I now use on a fairly regular basis. These words are: "Cripe", "Oi" (as a greeting), "w00t", and "yeah?" (as a way to end a sentence... you know what I mean, yeah?). All of these words came from seperate sources but are now deeply ingrained into my speech patterns. I also, however, attemped to bring back an old favorite from the 70s with little to no success whatsoever. My friends and family will attest that I do not ever use the word "boss". Which is unfortunate because I quite enjoy the word, in fact think it's very boss. Then there's certain words which enter in quite unwelcomed and take root so deeply that there's no shaking them off depsite the fact that they're driving you insane. Honestly. Well, quite honestly.

If language is a virus, then why are some of us immune to certain words which become infectious in others? Is it some matter of brain chemistry or psychology that allows me to use the word "groovy" without any significant thought? Is groovy simply a more virulent word than boss? Will we ever find a cure for the common cool? I honestly couldn't tell you.

Matt on 01.29.04 @ 12:21 AM PST [link

Sunday, January 25th


Listening to: Radiohead - The Bends
Current mood: Groggy

It's Sunday afternoon, and I really don't know quite how to feel about that.

I just got back from my weekend ritual early afternoon breakfast at Lestat's. I've gotten into this bad habit of staying up until at least 3am nearly every night lately, not really doing anything. It sort of works out that I'm watching a movie or some anime or something until roughly 2:30 at which point some bizarre impluse to do some reading kicks in and I'm up for another hour. I suppose on the plus side at least I'm still getting up around noon on the weekends so I'm not sleeping my entire life away. But then I end up back here, Sunday afternoon.

On one hand Sunday is part of the weekend and I don't really have to go out and do anything, so that's nice. On the other hand, Sundays seem to based around guilt. As I sit around playing Neverwinter Nights (or whatever) and enjoying myself I'm repeatedly bombarded by thoughts of what I should be doing instead. "It's Sunday I should go to church." says one part of my brain. "Nuts to that, I'm about to level up." says the other. "Sweet jumping monkey, this apartment is filthy." says the first. "I'll clean it up uh, on... the... weeke..nd... yeah..." says the second. And so on.

And therein lies the problem. Saturdays are great for the reason that if you don't get something you intended to do on the weekend done, well, you've always got Sunday. Sunday is more of a day to reflect on the miserable failure you've become, unable to even pull yourself together long enough to clean your room. Nevermind that your feet are lost amidst the sea of empty coffee cups, it's Sunday afternoon, the weekend is pretty much done with. You've lost any chance to redeem yourself. But then on the other hand, there's always next weekend...

(Side note: I actually did clean my room today... take that Sunday!)
Matt on 01.25.04 @ 02:32 PM PST [link

Saturday, January 24th

First Post

Listening to: the Tragically Hip
Current mood: Bored

Well, here we go. First blog post ever for me. Enough of my friends are running blogs now that I was beginning to feel left out. Eventually there's supposed to be more on this site than just a blog though. I had in mind a music section (5c11 is ostensibly the name under which I'll be doing electronic music), an art section, etc. If I ever actually get around to doing any worthwhile music or art that is. Emphasis on worthwhile. And of course the template isn't even close to finalized yet, but I was tired of working on it and thought that actually posting sounded more interesting.

Well, it's been a lonely day for me today. Saw my roommate Pat for about 30 seconds, and pretty much no one else all day, unless you count the lady who runs the japanese place I had dinner tonight. But then that's what this is all about right? The whole blog phenomena, really the whole internet for that matter is nothing more than millions of lonely people looking for whatever it is that they can't find in their regular lives, be it friendship, sex (that's a big one), or in my case the ability to complain and pretend that somebody out there cares. We're all just screaming out into the digital void and dreaming that those bits will bounce off someone's eyes somewhere and mean something to them.

Well, that's it for me tonight, can't go too crazy on the first post now can we?
Matt on 01.24.04 @ 09:38 PM PST [link