Epic Immuno-Suppressing Battles
Someone stuck my voodoo doll into a bottle of Benadryl, probably about forty-five minutes ago. I am all woozy and vapid.
Last night I set about arranging our two bookshelves to reflect two epic battles: Monkey vs. Robot, and Hipster vs. Nerd.
Monkey vs. Robot (available as a live-action or animated short film, compact disc, or comic book in addition to the representation on my shelves) was a relatively straightforward task: you’ve got the automotive maintenance, electronics, computer programming (robot), the paleontology, neurobiology, anthropology, tree-identification (monkey), and the computational neuro-stuffs (like Buddha, hybrid monkey robots transcend eternal struggle).
Hipster vs. Nerd was much trickier. While monkeys and robots duke it out in art and culture, in full view of society, the battle between Hipster and Nerd takes place deep within individual souls. Some have clearly been won to one side or the other – Kerouac is a hipster, Carl Sagan is a nerd – but others have taken up wildly waffled positions: technophilic hipster-nerds (Neil Stephenson, BoingBoing), double-crossing triple agents (Philip K. Dick), etc. Some authors appear to be casualties of the war, reduced to completely non-ironic pieces about life’s simple pleasures. I was unable to classify several items:
- A scholarly biography of Galileo – the exact title escapes me at the moment; it conveys the subject matter while simultaneously being bland. Galileo himself was probably more Nerd than Hipster, and we can see this by comparing his career to that of Copernicus, who averted theological problems by accepting a foreword to his heliocentric masterwork asserting that nothing he wrote actually had anything to do with reality. It’s not quite the multiple levels of ironic self-detachment attained by modern hipsters, but the spirit is the same. Anyway.
- Douglas Coupland – though I firmly maintain that Generation X is easily hipster, Peter kept stubbornly bringing up Microserfs just when I thought the conversation was over.
- The Iliad – I met a classics major once, at Stanford. He was a nerdy guy, but humanities nerds are really a separate breed if you don’t count philosophers. Most philosophers are well aligned with the Nerds on pure wanking.
I have Internet at home now (yay!) though I still need to purchase a longer ethernet cable. Perhaps I will go back to starting, finishing and posting entries in one day rather than three.