My head has been empty as a bucket for the last week or so.
It’s been nice. Generally, my head is stuffed with ponderings like an olive is stuffed with pimentos.
I went to Barnes & Noble today on my lunchbreak, because there’s one very close to my new place of employment. I think I could happily move into Barnes & Noble. I could sleep on one of the sofas in the Childrens Literature department, eat at the Starbucks Cafe every meal, and spend all my time just wandering through the books and music and sundry other Barnes & Noble-y things. It reminds me of college and writing classes and feeling the possibilities of life. It occurs to me that as a card-carrying Four, the prefab, fake-Old-World character of B&N should bother me, but it doesn’t.
Another thing: I spend so much time on the computer reading and writing that I miss paper and bound books. I have a tactile craving for the printed page.
Walking through the shelves, all sorts of fresh new ponderings cropped up like a row of carrot tops in a garden. I very nearly bought Succulent Wild Woman by SARK, except that just flipping through the pages already got my creativity and inspiration juices flowing. As I am presently out of practice at channeling them, I didn’t want to flood my poor formerly-empty-bucket brain.
So here is a little pondering, which is just big and juicy enough to pick and enjoy.
When did quirky weirdness become a culturally desirable thing?
When I grew up, nobody wanted to be called a geek or a nerd. You might know deep down in your shameful little heart you were one, but you certainly didn’t want everyone else knowing it.
Somewhere along the line, from MASH to Ally McBeal, and then Ally McBeal to Monk, weird became at least a little bit cool. Geek pride is surely a new development in human relations, isn’t it? Just yesterday, I picked up on Weird Al’s new video, White & Nerdy, a brilliant parody of Chamillionaire’s Ridin’ Dirty. I didn’t know whether to be embarrassed or proud of the sheer number of things in that song that are true of me. It’s a weird mixture of both. When there is a whole series of trashy romance novels dedicated to nerd heroes, the times, they are a’changin’.
Perhaps it’s a generational thing. I’ve often thought that my generation is stuck in a perpetual teenagerdom. It’s like the adolescent hell that just won’t end for some people. Maybe the mainstream fascination with quirky oddness is the generational equivalent of going through a goth phase. Maybe somewhere along the line, “individuality” got permanently confused with “weird.” Which poses an interesting quandary for the Four, who gets his or her sense of identity and value from their unique, flawed, quirky persona. When everyone is trying their darnedest to be quirky, how does one stand out?
There’s always the option of moving to Canada, I suppose.