Shades of Geek

Need another sign that you or someone you know are steadily moving down the slippery slope between interest and geekdom?

The refusal or hesitation to open things.

Here’s the deal: in the cultivation of my ever-growing trading card collection, the local comic shop guy* gave me a great deal on a couple of sealed boxes: Star Wars 30th Anniversary Cards and Wizard of Oz, Series 2. We’re talking more than 90 percent off the sticker. He said he ha ordered them for a customer and had gotten stiffed. They had been sitting there for over a year gathering dust.

I was happy to take them off his hands.

However, now that I have them home, they remain unopened. I’d like to look at them, but something is stopping me. It’s this faint voice in the back of my head telling me the cards are “more valuable” kept in the box. The voice calls them an “investment,” and that I should sit on them, as is, and when the “market is right,” sell the sealed box to a willing audience.

Of course, part of me also knows that the boxes are bound for a yard sale table erected in my honor after I’m dead and gone. But a guy can dream, can’t he?

And it’s the dream that moves me toward geekdom.

John Fiske alludes to this conundrum when he speaks of a “shadow economy” of fandom; basically noting the difficulty of turning high popular cultural capital (knowledge and possession niche trading cards) into economic capital (money).

In other words, it’s hard for the ordinary geek to get rich. Don’t I know it.

I mean, they don’t call it “Get Geek or Die Tryin’,” do they?

*For the record, being on a conversational basis with your local comic shop guy is another sign.

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2 thoughts on “Shades of Geek

  1. That sounds just like me. I’m always excited to get this stuff home and then when I get there I can’t bring myself to actually use it.

    Still, it can just be a joy to know you have it there, right?

    • You’re right. There’s something about just having it around … “just in case” … (as the voice always says!)

      Thanks for the comment!

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