Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Trivial pursuits

I suppose it's no secret that I know the names of Chewbacca's extended family. It's not a stretch to assume that I would be able to rattle off the members of the founding Avengers team from 1964. Likewise, it's also a good bet that I'd be the guy you turn to if you ever needed to know what the names of Voltron's five pilots were (Pidge, Lance, Allura, Hunk, and Keith... and Sven, for extra credit).

So, what I want to know is how these bits and bytes of information somehow neuter me in the eyes of my fellow man -- more specifically, my fellow man who sees no conflict of interest in himself memorizing every erg of baseball ephemera, post 1981.

Is there really some qualitative difference between what you specialize in and what I specialize in? I'll give you, dear reader, a snippet of actual dialogue from an encounter I had last year with an all-around decent gent who wouldn't process this duality:

Me: OK, I'm a fag for waiting in line to see "Revenge of the Sith" in Jedi robes (which I didn't even do--Ed.) and half-a-man for getting excited about "X-Men 3." How does that vary from your obsession with fantasy baseball and football stats?

Him: Because those are sports.

Me: Granted, but it's just as detail-oriented and irrelevant as my hobbies.

Him: No, I don't think so.

Me: You don't think so?

Him: Yeah, not so much.

Me: How do you rationalize the difference?

Him: (getting defensive now) Because sports are something that men do.

Me: I'm a man. This is what I do, and level of detail is equal to your constant nattering about E.R.A.s.

Him: There's no comparison. Sports are for men, comic books are for nerds.