Culture Is Vacuous-And By Culture, I Mean…

Maybe it is just my age…but I am genuinely tierd of listening to people go on about how vacuous our culture is and how it ties to societal ills.  Not because our culture has no facets that are vacuous.  It certainly does.  But usually when people are making that criticism, they really are decrying that people might take the time to discuss stuff they find unimportant.

It is also a criticism I see friends and aquaintences making based on stuff they see on VH1 and E!  And that is kind of the problem.  If your criticisms are based on shows dedicated to light and fluffy material, it is going to heavily skew how you are perceiving the culture at large.

While it can be amusing to shine a light on a dumb tweet, Facebook post or news story, that makes for a terrible jumping off point for cultural commentary.  I mean, do people post dumb things on Facebook and Twitter?

But you know what?

People also post witty, thoughtful and good things on Twitter and Facebook.  I see thoughts and ideas that challenge the status quo, that make me think about how and why I believe what I believe.

And unsurprisingly, those people complaining about the vacuous nature of society never see themselves as part of the problem.  Instead, they are the ones “shining a light” on it.  They are not expressing an epiphany borne of introspection.  Rather it is merely a chance to lash out at “culture”.  The commentary is often vague complaints about Kardashians and the so on.  Maybe the fact that I read nuanced thoughts and discussions regarding problems within culture leave me simple wanting moer than complaints about how hollow culture is in general.

As frustrating as some of those vacuous regions of our culture can be…the critics can be equally frustrating.

Shameless Promotion: The Nerd Patrol

No lie…I kind of wanted people to pass this around…I am  not as clever as Ty Templeton (dammit)…but I gave it me best shot.

Confused?  Check here, here and here.

I would like to point out that Harris pretty much invited  the controversy as he asked people to retweet his comments.

So, here is my rant from last week (With some edits):

I said it yesterday…but after reading various follow ups I feel it needs to be said.  The “Real Nerd Girls” thing…I see guys trying to say it is true.  They point out that Tony Harris says there are exceptions…so he is not slamming all cosplayers as being “fake nerds”.  But here is the thing…an exception is a small minority.  So, he is slamming the majority of cosplayers as fake nerd girls.

The complaints about hanging on to guys they would not give the time of day to (so uh…what exactly is the motive here?)…shaming the women for not being as attractive as we assume they think they are…it is bitter and ridiculous.

And really?  Who CARES if they are comic book fans?  Who CARES if they like to wear a skimpy outfit?  They like to dress up as cartoon characters, but are not into comics…so?  What kind of self righteous shithead thinks it is their job to decide who is a legit geek?  I could care less why someone cosplays.  If that is something they enjoy doing?  More power to them!  Guys, gals,short, tall, thin, overweight,average looking,conventionally beautiful…if these folks get joy from it?  Why is it anybody’s job to take that joy away?  To shame them?

It was not worth Tony Harris and Dirk Manning bringing up…it is not defensible.  I’ve interacted with both guys online over the years and found them amiable and nice enough guys…but that does not make this recent commentary from them not a moment of douchebaggery or misogyny.  What was said was most certainly a misogynist rant.  We have all said things that might not reflect us overall…but the measure of a person is whether they can understand why what they said is problematic and step forward, rather than dig in and defend themselves for their douchey commentary.  And not only did Harris and Manning dig in, their supporters did as well.  Way to class it up, folks.

Seriously, why is it such a threat to let women in the nerd/geek family?  Why do they have t jump through hoops to prove they deserve to be allowed?  Why is there need among some guys in the geek community, professional and otherwise, to jump up to judge women on their looks and whether they are allowed to dress as certain characters?

And in regards to the girls who might not really care about comics or cartoons and maybe just are looking for an opportunity to dress “sexy” while hanging off of nerds?  WHO THE F**K CARES?!  It is not hurting anyone.