As I drove down MD-301 back in March, I watched farms whiz by while the latest episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour played in the background. They were talking about nerd culture, and I had one of those moments where someone (Glen Weldon) makes a comment that brings all of these disparate thoughts you've had into focus. Clarity, man.
Weldon breaks down the hipster and the enthusiast in a really simple and direct manner. The nerd (particularly when defined in the context of a fandom) is essentially an enthusiast at heart, wanting nothing more to share what she loves with the world around her. The hipster, on the other hand, wants to protect what she loves from the hordes that arrived on the scene way too late.
While I would never have described myself as a hipster, I realize it's the very thing I struggle against when defined as he does. I've written briefly about my struggle with things that are popular before. It took me four years (aka while I was on sabbatical) before I was able to bring myself to watch Exit Through the Gift Shop, and I haven't been able to bring myself to admit that I've been a Banksy fan for years after everybody and their mother started being able to name check him. I've avoided books that everyone loves and have secretly gotten really uncomfortable when everyone is suddenly able to go to a restaurant that was only special to me and my friends. It's a problem, and trust me, I realize how ridiculous it is.
That's the thing though--this blog has always been the exact opposite of that. It has been a place for me to share the books, movies, and restaurants that I love and to hope that I can convince you to try and love them, too. It's basically been one great big journey to enthusiast (though I like the term nerd better).
Want to follow along? Be sure to subscribe and add me to your reader of choice.