Don’t Hate; Congratulate

Happy Memorial Day, Folks!

Today is the first Monday I get off for Summer break WooHoo!

It’s also the Monday after Phoenix Comicon, so I am flying high right now.

And the thing I am repeatedly reminded of at Comicon?

Don’t hate; congratulate!

I’m a horrible snob. It may not seem like it to my readers, but I assure you it’s true.

I’m a book snob, theology snob, geek snob, movie snob, gaming snob, EVERYTHING snob.

John Scalzi is not, and he gave me an indirect Pauline rebuke. In response to this thing that Joe Peacock wrote, he wrote this thing that basically says, “Hey, I am the nerd of nerds and thus outrank you and proclaim that anyone who wants to be a nerd shall be one, because we don’t hate, we congratulate!” Sadly, I even read Scalzi’s response when he first posted it to the interwebs, but I didn’t think much of it – I evidently needed Scalzi to yell at me in person so that I would get it.

You see, being a teacher, I have the unfair and unrealistic expectation that teenagers will either cease to exist during the Summer, or at least avoid all locations I visit over the Summer.

So, there we are, walking around the most crowded Phoenix Comicon that’s ever occurred, and the teenagers were all gray and horned, because the Homstuck nonsense is the easiest cosplay in existence, and all I could think was, “Why did Phoenix Comicon have to grow so much?” It was delightful and awesome that first year I attended, because I got to play Rockband with Wil Wheaton, with Felicia Day and Scalzi as back-up dancers. I was not excluded from any panels I wanted to attend. No one stepped on my toes, and I did not have to have my bag searched every time I entered the building. And then, there was that chunky, adhd teenager who had a cheap, foam-like samurai sword that he was swinging like crazy in the middle of a crowded hallway, and I nearly applauded when the volunteer guy explained to the idiot that what he was doing was clearly stupid and unsafe.

And my heart shrunk three sizes that day, because I honestly felt as if I had more of a right to be there than the chunky kid… because I completely forgot that even though I’ve become a relatively normal-looking adult female, I once was a chunky kid. Had I never been a chunky kid, there’s no way I would be at Comicon for the fourth year in a row. There’s no way I would have over-paid for a light saber because the durability demonstration was just so damn impressive. There’s no way I would have over-paid to meet Jewel Staite or rushed down to the exhibit hall after Scalzi’s talk just to get him to sign my copy of The Android’s Dream. Because there’s no way in Hell I would have known who Scalzi is.

So, thank you, Scalzi, for setting Mr. Peacock and me right, because the thing I most loved about my first Comicon was the kindness others showed me and their joy in bringing me into their community.



Here’s a video of Jewel Staite before she was a nerd Goddess, because in between watching episodes of the Next Gen, I watched Mary Kate and Ashley Movies, as well as Flash Forward. This is the one where she gets to kiss Ryan Gosling before he was famous! I’m starting you in the middle, but feel free to watch part one for context.

(It’s blurry, but worth watching anyways.)


One thought on “Don’t Hate; Congratulate

  1. Pingback: Assuming We’re the Same | Still Growing

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