Last week I suggested we Purge the Stereotypes of ‘Geek’ Readers. But not with complaints, or by forsaking your own identity, or by removing all official genre distinctions.
This week I found new appreciation for several people: a coworker I haven’t met, Answers in Genesis founder and infamous creation-activist Ken Ham, a street-preacher acquaintance on Facebook, and Reformed rapper Shai Linne.
Last night before I left for work, I glanced over to said coworker’s desk and noticed a tiny toy C-3P0 and R2D2.
Yesterday I was arranging real-estate listings and re-listening to “Lyrical Theology, Part 1” by hip-hop artist Shai Linne and several others. I’d either forgotten or missed these lines:
My job is done if this encourages you to commune with Him
To get a bigger view of Him we gotta dive in deeply though
Six million forms of communication like C-3PO
That was from Linne’s “Table of Contents.” Three tracks later in “Active Obedience”:
Although we’re born into a unholy environment
A Holy God can never lower His requirement
You think God’s accepting something less than perfection?
You must be living in a dream world like Inception
Yesterday AiG founder Ken Ham, who’s preparing for a public debate with evolutionist Bill Nye, posted an image and link to a debate spoof. Ham showed less of a “you evolutionist kids get off my lawn”2 side and more of his kindly-geeky side:
At last, theistic evolutionist Dr. James McGrath and I agree about something concerning creation/evolution! McGrath […] often writes scathing blogs against me and Answers in Genesis.
Today, I decided to share a recent blog by McGrath (he did it as a spoof) with you, primarily because I love the science fiction TV program “Dr. Who.” […]
Now, it would be great to have a TARDIS machine to travel back in time, but we have a far better “Time Machine.” It’s called the Bible. […]
Enjoy his “Dr. Who” illustrations—I did! See:
Finally, from my street-preacher acquaintance’s FB page which more often features verses, evangelical devotionals and theological texts:
Disregard geek-grumpiness; acquire delight
What does it all mean? If you’re a professing “geek,” you already know.
- Who is my coworker? You don’t know, and (so far) neither do I. But you already feel a kinship. She likes Star Wars! And enough to place little Star Wars toys in her workspace.
- Who is Shai Linne? You may not know, but I described him as a “Reformed rapper” and either word — “Reformed” or “rapper” — may conjure all manner of meanings, some of them negative. Then again, he cleverly worked in references to Star Wars and Inception.
- Who is Ken Ham? That grumpy creationist guy who hates anyone who disagrees with him and gets especially cross with Christians who happen to hold different views on evolution.3 But wait a moment. There he is showing that geeky side — a little overly “evangelical” about the time machine back to Genesis and all, but still more appealing.
- Who is my street-evangelist acquaintance? Or the person/page who shared the image? You don’t know (and I don’t know him that well). But especially if you’ve had bad experiences with evangelicals or street-preaching Christians, you may have assumed this person is another hellmonger. Now you may not be so sure. As I said in response: “At the risk of ruining/over-explaining … organic and delightful pop-culture referencing + Biblical truth + fun = awesome. More of this from street preachers, please.”
There is something tremendously appealing about anyone who shows that geeky side.
I don’t mean the grumpy geeky side, the side that demands right continuity or nitpicks the science or rejects a derivative/bland/mass-marketed fantasy. I mean the delighted geek side, the kind that shows enjoyment for stories over industries, imagined worlds over the encyclopedias about them, and finding other fans rather than Being a Part of a Fandom.
Nobody ever hates a Trekkie. Only stereotypes them. And better Trekkies laugh right along, not to be hipster or defuse discomfort, but simply because they’re having a good time.
With that in mind, which of these two geek approaches is more appealing?
- “Christian fiction is way too sentimental. I’m sick of our stories not having the right kind of realism or Challenging Content. I’m tired of people laughing at Christian art. I’m fed up with subpar creativity, always running behind the creative and popular and soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture secular fantasies and sci-fi. I hate all those Amish novels and cozy romances and sanitized less-than-G-rated claptrap in the Christian bookstore.”
- “I love stories! The more fantastic, the better! That one I read/saw the other day was so excellent because [appealing reasons for awesomeness]. There was some challenging content. I realize that’s not for everyone. But it worked for me because [a little more, such as: I wasn’t tempted to sin but instead found I loved God more for His redemption from such things]. You want to read or watch that story? Here, I’ll loan it to you. Or we can read and discuss it together. Again, it may not be your thing. But why not try?”