October 18, 2011

Trivia Blog: Are You Ready for Some Footb- Hold On, My Asthma's Acting Up...

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Oddly enough, both groups prefer face painting, costumes, and hero worship…

I was able to experience a wonderful contrast of cultures over the course of the last two days.  On Sunday, I went with some friends in town from Ohio to the NYC Comic Con, and followed that up by going out to the Meadowlands last night for the Jets-Dolphins Monday Night Football game.  To say that these are two diametrically opposed groups is like saying that the Israelis and Palestinians are two diametrically opposed groups.  At the former, I was able to immerse myself in the warm embrace of geek culture.  A place where people can fully express and celebrate the things they love.  A place where you can turn a corner and run into Casey Jones and April O’Neil from the Ninja Turtles, or a creepy old man Zangief from Street Fighter, or a full-on Quidditch tournament.  A sexy Freddie Krueger?  Why not?  And do you have a picture with Fake Mr. T?  I pity the fool who don’t have a picture with Fake Mr. T.  See, I never had to deal with anything like it, but for a lot of these people, comic cons provide a sense of relief at being able to be who they are without being picked on or bullied like they were (or are) over the course of their lives.  It’s this amazing, pure expression of joy that you can’t find anywhere else.

Unless, of course, your source of joy is getting shitfaced on NJ Transit tallboys and going to football games.  If you’re like me, of course, and happen to root for the lowly Dolphins, it might lose a bit of its luster.  Hasn’t been a fun season for me.  And yet, there’s something great about football that lets us throw off any semblance of being responsible, respectable members of society in favor of being as loud and obnoxious as possible in support of our teams.  But sometimes it’s easy to be too loud and obnoxious.  I love sports and I especially love football–and I’m biased against Jets fans, obviously, so don’t think I mean this just about them–but for some reason, NFL fans seem to represent so many of our worst sports fans.  Like the guy last night who continually yelled, “Dolphins SUUUUUUCK!” every 5 minutes before half-throwing up on himself.  Or the random guys who go to games just to get drunk and fight visiting fans.  I’ll never understand that.  And honestly, given how much sports-only fans outwardly love their teams, it’s funny to me that they so easily dismiss members of geek culture.  They’re so similar in so many ways, and yet, historically, the former group always seems to be the one that has oppressed the latter group.  All because the one thing that they love above all others is different from what the other people love.

I guess I wanted to write about all of this to, in a roundabout way, graze over something that always comes to mind during our little weekly trivia gatherings, and that’s the ever-dissolving idea of being a well-rounded person or a holder of many diverse interests.  The rise of the Internet and the propagation of niche culture has grown in such a way this past decade or so that people who just want to dabble in a bunch of aspects of pop culture are looked at as posers or “not devoted enough.”  It’s especially prevalent in geek culture, where people who once used to find common ground in really loving and delving into the specifics of things like movies, books, comics, TV, etc., now ostracize each other for not knowing and obsessing over every aspect of that culture.  “Wait, you watch Mad Men and Breaking Bad but you’ve NEVER seen Justified?  What the hell?  How have you not yet consumed the totality of television?”  That old adage, “Jack of all trades, master of none,” doesn’t seem to hold much water anymore.

So I can definitely say that I find solace in our Trivia Nights.  I try to spread out the categories from week to week and always have a nice range, so that in order to win, you have to know as much as possible about as many things as possible.  I want Trivia Night to celebrate the pursuit of knowledge in all its forms.  Just because you’re awesome at our many movie categories doesn’t mean you then get to slack on topics about books or science or music.  I guess the short version of what I’m saying is that you guys are our last, best hope.  Or, you’re just really good at knowing the different between Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman.

No comments: