Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dear Al Gore

Dear Al Gore,

Some people think you invented the internet. I'm pretty sure that's because at one point, you said something crazy like "I took the initative in creating the internet" and the majority of the American public ran with it. I'm pretty impressed by this, actually, as I FREQUENTLY tell people things that are patently untrue (i.e., "I'm the Queen of the Universe and you must obey me!") and yet somehow, not only do they completely fail to believe me, but often give me odd looks and mutter something about the need to increase my medication.


I'll humour you for a moment and say that, okay, maybe you did invent the internet. Someone has to take credit for it, I suppose, and it may as well be you -- I don't see anyone else stepping up to claim it. I reckon that in your internet inventing head, there was some sort of noble cause, like using our new method of communication to connect people all over the world as a means of stopping global warming or pooling our collective intellect to solve world hunger and oppression.

If that was the case, than LOLspeak probably disappoints you. A lot. (I can haz punctation?)

However, Mr. Gore, I don't think that you should despair, because I truly believe that the internet has done some wonderous things. Vital things. Worthy things. You may not have developed the key to saving the ice caps, sir, but you have done something marvelous, perhaps without even realizing it, and that, sir, is why I am writing. I want to acknowledge what you have done:

You have created a space where dorks and geeks can come to play.

Some people might not think this is amazing.

Those people are not dorks or geeks.

As a card carrying member of the tribe, I can tell you this: at no point in the history of nerddom has it been so incredibly awesome -- and acceptable -- to geek out as it is in the internet age. At no point, ever (with, perhaps the exception of band and/or the AV club) has it been so easy to find a COMMUNITY of geeks in which to hang out.

Oh sure, before the internet, we had a tendency to find each other.  We knew how to read the signs. (I already mentioned band, right?) You know, the "college" sticker on the rear windshield that said "Starfleet Academy" or the vanity plate that says "TMLRD".  The sight of sneaky ducking into the sci-fi section at the public library, while muttering "I know there's a Dragonriders of Pern book I haven't read yet ... where IS it?" We would find each other on trivia teams and in libraries and other dork -specific events ("Going to Comic Con! Who's IN!?").

But the internet -- oh, my goodness. The internet has become the place to let one's geek flag fly. Where the dorktastic can reign in style and relative safety. Where one can proclaim an undying and potentially obsessive adoration for all things Portal, and not only will no one care, but a) other people will join you in your obsession ("The cake! it's a LIE!") and b) the likelihood that you'll get stuffed into a locker or given an atomic wedgie is actually very slim.

There are even special dating sites for us on the internet, Mr Gore. Granted, I kind of suspect that this is to keep us out of the general dating pool and may be for our own good, as being a geek does tend to limit the things one may have in common with the average Joe or Josephine. I mean, an ability to recite pretty much everything that ever happened in the entire Harry Potter series might not win the undying devotion of a non-geek, and because of said geekiness, one might -- kind of -- lack the ability to keep one's enthusiasm for such topics to oneself. However, due to geek-oriented internet dating, geeks don't have to hide anymore! Internet FTW! (That means "For the win" by the way... it occurs to me that invention of the internets doesn't necessarily equal being down with the lingo.)

Sure, we might not have used the internet to solve global warming, but we have used it to create communities and safe places for people to be themselves, dork and non dork alike.  This might not be climate changing, but can be life changing.

Now that is something to geek out over... and you know, we'll probably get to the global warming thing eventually.

Live Long and Prosper,

Your Geek Friends on the Internet

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