Monday, May 21, 2007

The Dr. Sparky Interview

So Vince wanted to interview some of his blogging pals, and I volunteered. Below are my answers to his questions.

1. There is a storage problem in the world and something has to go. Either all books will be destroyed and lost forever or all porn will face the same fate. It's your call. Which wins out, intellect or lust?

I thought this would be a really tough question, but, after thinking about it for a second, it turned out it wasn't: intellect/bibliophilia wins. I could live without porn, or at least live without it until a month or two later when there would be a billion movies and magazines out (porn abhors a vacuum, you know). But I already worry about a new Dark Age in which most books and knowledge are lost (that's why I'm so insane that I have two, three, sixteen, or over twenty copies of the same book), so of course I'd go with the books.

2. Do you have a secret crush on any of your blogging buddies? You don't have to reveal names, but I'd encourage it. I like the drama.

Good Lord, who don't I have a crush on! Let's see...Well, of course I'm madly in semi-quasi-sort of incestuous love with Scott, but that's hardly a secret. There's you, Vince, of course (if I ever get to Chicago, I am totally crashing on your couch). GayProf, though I think we're too much alike to ever have a relationship (our combined gravitas would collapse into a black hole). However, a wild, torrid affair followed by years of friendship could work. Eric and I would also not work as a relationship, since our combined neuroticism would probably rip a tear in the spacetime continuum, but also because I don't know enough languages to keep him satisfied. Another torrid affair it is, then! Bigmouth and Gunn and Note and GothamWhore and Hubbard intrigue me because I know so little about them, even what they look like. Rich is brilliantly funny, which is, of course, sexy. And his kitties are the most adorable things ever! Bigg because I fantasize about what the name refers to. Homer is just plain humpy. Momo is fascinating; I love a man with lots of stories to tell. Pete's dirty, almost scary sometimes, and that's exciting. I've long been in total lust with the vlogtastic Tony Hayden, and in love with his dog. And, though I know Scott will go totally ballistic, I think Joe is beary, beary fine.

I'm not one of those gay men who fixate on straight men. I don't feel it worthwhile or seemly, when it's almost always a fantasy that won't come to fruition, and can very likely lead to discomfort on the straight side and extreme disappointment on the gay. Now, that isn't to say I don't appreciate an attractive straight man and don't sometimes say to myself, "If [insert name here] were gay, I'd so be on that!" So my straight-blogger crushes include: Chris Sims, who is not only funny, but totally cubby. Dr. Rundkvist, because who doesn't love a really sexy Swede? Who doesn't like a redbearded Canadian Ninja, for that matter? 'Ranter has the badass cynic thing going for him. Phil Plait and P.Z. Myers and their atheistic/skeptical beards are kinda sexy, I think. And, of course, there's Dr. Dave, who I know he would be very hurt and complain-y if I didn't include him.

In reality, though, every proprietor of a blog listed in the sidebar links, I have an intellectual crush on, have a [whatever the equivalent of a mancrush or girlcrush is for a gay man who adores a straight woman], or just think is plain nifty and would love to get to know better. Really, I love you all! (And don't be mad at me if you don't see your name listed! This question's taking long enough already and I'm sure I'm forgetting people.)

3. Are all the horrible things I've heard about New Jersey true?
If they are, I really need to book a flight out there!

When people think about New Jersey, they think about North Jersey, even really just Northeastern Jersey, and maybe Princeton. Much of Northeastern Jersey is not-so-nice, with its chemical plants, waste incinerators, and such, and such lovely towns as Newark and Jersey City. But most of the state, including much of "Sopranos New Jersey" is really rather typical suburbs and not that scary at all.

4. Your readers know a lot about you (assuming they pay attention). One thing I have no clue about is your taste in music. What does everyone's favorite nerd like to listen to?

I'm honestly not a big music buff. I also don't listen to music the way most people do. I own I think three CDs, have no mp3 players, and have never downloaded music in my life. I occasionally watch a music video if I'm flipping through the channels and MTV or VH1 or Logo (which has a music hour) are actually playing a video at that moment. I do flip through the non-video music channels that I get through Comcast Digital Cable frequently, but mostly I get in the car and flip around until I find something I like the sounds of. I don't have favorite genres or anything; I'm just eclectic and listen to whatever tickles my cochlear.

In my goofy/mystical moments, I think that all music, all sound really, contains strains of the Music of the Spheres within it, and that the songs that resonate with my atoms' own frequency of the Music are what I enjoy. Or something.

5. Speaking of nerds, what is the difference between a nerd and dork? In your own words, please. As a nerd, I know you are itching to pull out your dictionary.

The semantic, cultural, and social distinctions between "nerd," "geek," and "dork" are complex and controversial. (Not especially surprising when one thinks about the people to whom these terms are applied, eh?) I've talked about the issue before. But, succinctly, I believe "nerd" and "geek" are
grossly synonymous, with just a few connotative shades separating them. Both apply, I believe, to people of above average intelligence who have a high level of interest in at least one, or usually several, subjects that society or specific peer groups deem non-mainstream, at least above a certain level, such as science fiction/fantasy, computers, books, chemistry, anime, band, etc.

"Nerds," in my opinion, are generally humanistic, in that their interests are mostly literary and pop cultural; "geeks" are more technically and scientifically minded. Both tend to be awkward socially, at least at some point in their lives, and often aggregate into myriads of subcultures, such as Trekkers, anime fans, robotic competitioners, etc. Again, though, many participate in more than one of these subcultures, and the levels of their participation vary greatly. Because there is much crossover and bleed-through of the "nerd" and "geek" groups, any rigid classification scheme is virtually impossible, but I believe the scheme I've outlined is broadly correct.

"Dork" is, to me, more just a general put-down than an identifiable group label. Though it is often leveled at nerds and geeks, it is really just a term of scorn or derision used against any less-than-popular or fringe individual, usually in childhood and adolescence when those distinctions matter most. Basically, anyone you don't like or is in some way Other is a dork.

So, there are my answers, Vince! Hope I answered them to your satisfaction and provided a more in-depth peek into my inexplicable psyche. Thank you for the great questions!


GayProf said...

Torrid affairs are useful...

Dr. Sparky said...

That was awesome! Although I do have to admit that the thrill of seeing you have a crush on me was diminished by the fact that there doesn't seem to be anyone you DON'T have a crush on. But my couch is still yours whenever you may need it.

Frank said...

GayProf: Indeed they are!

Vince: What can I say, I'm just a blog crush whore. I hope you can still respect me. And I'm totally going to use your couch someday.

Anonymous said...

Before reading your response to #5, I spent a moment trying to figure out how I would answer. I admittedly was excited when I saw we defined these terms exactly the same!

This puts me squarely in the "nerd" category, right? However, I'd argue I also fall under another category: loser, as in the "get a life" variety.

A Female Reader