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Geeks and Jocks: Can't We All Just Get Along?

With cosplay and other similar practices, do they have more in common than they believe?

There was an article in a prominent men's magazine that was incredibly derisive of the geeky practice of cosplaying. I won't link to it here because it was an inflammatory article which I believe was written for the purpose of getting people angry and jacking up their site views and comments, but suffice it to say the article was not flattering. Why do I suspect it was written for this purpose? Because geeks and jocks (for lack of better words) are fundamentally the same kinds of people, just with different passions. I know neither side of this article wants to hear this about themselves, as a geek I spent a huge chunk of my formative years trying NOT to be a jock (just as they had no interest in being anything like me), but it's become clear to me over the years, and through many different and varied friendships, that these words are just titles we use to divide ourselves.

WE HAVE LITERALLY NOT ONE SINGLE PIECE OF COMMON GROUND!!
WE HAVE LITERALLY NOT ONE SINGLE PIECE OF COMMON GROUND!!
== TEASER ==

Cosplaying

Pictured: Cosplaying
Pictured: Cosplaying

Let's start by ripping apart the example above: my roommate recently went to a major event where he saw people as dressing up in costumes to declare their allegiances to two different squads. They generally hung out with like-minded individuals and were derisive of their rivals, both verbally and very nearly physically in some cases. Then he saw the coup de grace: a man dressed as Jason Voorhees holding a fake head that had a hat announcing its membership to a rival group. The event was a Raiders game.

For those unfamiliar: the Oakland Raiders are an American Football team with an extremely passionate hardcore fanbase called "The Black Hole" (the Raiders' colors being silver and black) who dress in elaborate garb, usually involving spiked shoulder pads and helmets, skull masks, and silver facepaint. How is this ANY different from cosplaying? They're not actually "raiders" (in terms of either the team NOR the concept) and they all know that, but they enjoy dressing up to support and advertise something they're passionate about. That's one example, but we're only just getting started, my lovelies.

Message Boards

YOUR INABILITY TO ADMIT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS' SUPERIORITY OVER THE SAN JOSE SHARKS IS ALMOST AS INFURIATING AS YOUR LOVE OF SPIDER-MAN OVER BATMAN!!!!
YOUR INABILITY TO ADMIT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS' SUPERIORITY OVER THE SAN JOSE SHARKS IS ALMOST AS INFURIATING AS YOUR LOVE OF SPIDER-MAN OVER BATMAN!!!!

Go to a Raiders message board and declare yourself a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the San Francisco 49ers (their bitter rivals). Alright, now quickly go to a DC forum and declare yourself a dyed-in-the-wool Marvel Zombie. Not only will you elicit similar reactions but, depending on how well-moderated the forum is, you'll probably find yourself the victims of almost the same exact insults.

At best your taste and sense will be called into question, and at worst it'll likely be your predilictions for after-hours activities involving male genitalia and your mother's nightly romps. And if you have an openly feminine handle it only gets worse as in both cases you'll likely be assaulted not only by hilariously outdated sexism masked as edginess, but by numerous people asking what you even think you're doing on the board.

And it's basically the same if you went on a hockey or video game forum. This isn't a recent development either. Despite the internet having made it easier and more anonymous than ever to craft insults that would make Charles Bukowski blush, it's by no means "new." If you've ever been to a sporting event, you'll hear people insults not only at the players, but at each other, from across entire statiums. People get into fights and even seriously hurt both in the crowd and parking lots, much like how forum bickering occassionally spills into the "real" world. which of course leads me into...

The Fanboyism

The creative bankruptcy at DC is an OBJECTIVE AND MEASURABLE FACT just as is the CHEATING WAYS OF EVERY SINGLE YANKEES TEAM!
The creative bankruptcy at DC is an OBJECTIVE AND MEASURABLE FACT just as is the CHEATING WAYS OF EVERY SINGLE YANKEES TEAM!

I've always had a slight preference for Marvel over DC, but I'm very aware of it and readily admit it. By that same token, and as I've previously admitted, DC has far more stories that I'd call "classics" or place in my favorites of all time. How do I justify this? I don't need to, it's simply the way my mind works.

There are others, though, who can't see their way past justifying anything of the sort. They're so passionate about something, so utterly consumed by it, that they've lost all ability to be objective. Whether it's a sports team with a terrible record that's still the best and only there because literally every other team in the league is filled to the brim with cheaters and bought-off refs, or that Marvel has never put out a single story that is even remotely worth reading, these hyperbolic declarations are often not taken as hyperbole, but as actual, objecitve fact.

With sports this becomes MORE ridiculous because you have things like records and facts staring you in the face telling you which team actually IS the best (at least for a single season) while comic books are a subjective art form, so it IS possible, however unlikely, that someone actually believes every single book put out by a major publisher to be unreadable dreck.