Friday, June 23, 2006

Do not underestimate the passion of a geek

Hey, I know I'm a geek. You're going to see that all too well next week, as the days lead up to the release of Superman Returns.

Kevin Antcliff (who's declared next week "Superman Week," by the way) and I will probably be insufferable over the next five days, as we see whose geek flag flies higher. (His flag's always going to look far superior to mine, however, thanks to the brilliant designer he's married to. I'll probably just draw a "S" on something with a red Sharpie. Or just walk around all next week with a red towel safety-pinned to my shirt.)

But no matter how much of a geek I am, I will still stand tall, with chin up and hands on hips. Why? Because I know that I'm not out in the woods with my digital video camera, making "Star Trek" fan films. No way I'm as geeky as these guys, profiled in last Sunday's New York Times. I'm not running outside in a homemade Starfleet uniform, or pointing a phaser at someone.

The last time I pretended to shoot a laser gun was when I was 10 years old. And you know what? I got in trouble for it. Someone in our townhouse complex complained to management about kids running around the buildings, hiding behind fences, and screaming laser noises at each other. So the manager told us to break it up, scolded us, and dragged us back to our parents. And really, that just pissed my mother off because I had to make all my laser gun noises in the house from then on.

Though I point and laugh, there's an ethos among these fans that I kind of admire. The writer and director of one of the fan films is quoted in the NY Times article as saying he and his peers do this because networks and studios aren't giving them the "Star Trek" they want. So if they can't get it, they'll just make it themselves. Now that, I can get behind. Such a sentiment reminded me of the blogger's "manifesto" I posted last week at my sports stepblog, Sweaty Men Endeavors.

So I can't make too much fun of these guys. Besides, if people run around re-enacting Civil War battles, why can't "Star Trek" fans dress up as Klingons on a Saturday afternoon? Maybe we Superman fans should do the same thing.

But I'm warning you right now, Antcliff: I ain't playin' Lois Lane.