Welcome to Geek Culture: the Importance of Classics In a Hipster World
Classics let you experience the very best part of geek culture. Geeky people get to be tremendously and unironically pleased by things. Within the community of the nerdy we do not limit ourselves to classics: we wholeheartedly love all kinds of things. I’ve noticed, however, that this is sometimes hard for outsiders. For them, classics are a useful gateway, because if you say “I really love Beowulf” there are surprisingly few people willing to try and shame you for your lack of reserve. If you say “You know, I really liked Frankenstein so I decided to read some Lord Byron.” there are remarkably few people ready to tell you that you are just a Byron fanboy, or that your consumer brand has less credibility than theirs.
Sure, some people just moan “Oh, old.” but these are boring people who do not understand retro. Reading classics liberates you from our current society’s crushing need to point out that the cleverest people find the flaws in things the fastest. The internet, particularly, acts as if someone gave you a bacon sandwich every time you were the first to claim that something was worthless. We geeky people know this, and we do not care. We love our stuff anyway.
So, among the many other reasons to love classics, the reason I love them is that it lets me explain geek culture to outsiders. It’s like Jane Austen, but all the time. It’s like Wodehouse in your brain, all day every day. It’s a fantastic way to live.
So, when people ask “Why classics?” I have all sorts of good answers which I might give at other times, but emotively, my best answer is this: it lets the rest of you know why being a nerd is awesome, even if it’s only for the length of a book.