Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Of Geeks, Snobs, and Critics

Geeks are cool. They know their stuff- whether it be computers, HAM radios, literature, sports, music, films etc. It's fun to play audience to their verbose diatribes on whatever particular interest/genre they're passionate about. I mean that. I've met people that can tell you everything you didn't know you didn't know about "Star Trek", comics, or the 1968 World Series. Geeks inform without the pervading pretense or condescension that you'll get with snobs. Surround yourself with a few geeks and you'll be the smarter for it, all while having a great time!
Then you got your snobs. These are the folks that equate their ridiculous knowledge of a particular interest with an intelligent quotient. They believe that by rattling off obscure movie titles, directors, or writers that they have something over the "masses". You can spot these folks by their overt disdain and repeated use of the term "mainstream" in the pejorative. I do my best to avoid these types, as their only purpose is to promote their ego. My "bullshit detector" goes haywire around these people, whether in person or in "blogdom".
Finally, there are the critics. The critics are not as fun as the geeks, more genuinely informed on their particular subject than snobs, but most of all they usually get paid to do what they do. I respect critics, but prefer geeks.
Not everyone fits neatly into a particular category, but the discerning factors are evident enough to point you to the right direction along the spectrum if you're paying attention. Unfortunately, not all critics get their due. My buddy Joe should be writing for "Film Comment", or a major publisher, but he is the exception. As the rule goes, geeks know they're geeks, but snobs think they're critics. I fall into that category of knowing a little about a lot, but mostly keep my ears open and get my information from the pros- the geeks and the critics.

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