Friday, September 28, 2012

Podcast Excellence

So I am a big fan of podcasts.  This started when I got my first MP3 Player in December of 2007.  For the uninitiated, a podcast is an audio or video show that is distributed via the internet.  Podcasts come in many formats, dramas, audio literature (books and short stories), Talk shows, sketch shows, comedies and many more.  I can blame  90% of my podcasts on two shows. Cort and Fatboy show here in Portland, it started out as a terrestrial radio show.  They started podcasting the conversations that were going on off the air between the on air segments, they are now a strictly internet based podcast.  The Other show was City of Heroes Podcast with Chooch and Vivid.  They are a married couple that podcasted their tips for the game. 

Cort and Fatboy led to Geek in the City, Rick Emerson Show, Chronicles of the Nerds, KA Podcast, Big and Loud Podcast, The Mediocre Show, Funemployment Radio, Boy Howdy Podcast, Ham Fisted Radio, Portland Sucks, Uni-Bash Radio, and more.  They were my introduction to the Portland Geek Community.  Thanks to them I have become involved in the greater Metropolitan Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, WA area.  I got involved with Geek Trivia, Listener parties for the various shows, Midnight Movies, Geeklesque (geek themed Burlesque by Critical Hit Burlesque), various local conventions (Wonder NW), comic book release and signing parties, and many more local events.  I have even been approached to help out with Portland Geek Council of Commerce and Culture.   I have made friends; I have been given a pirate name, and created new social connections I would have not made otherwise. 

The City of Heroes Podcast led me to Chooch and Viv’s other show Into the Blender.  They had various promos that led me to various Podcast Dramas, Podcast Novels, and Podiobooks. The Podcast writers, sites and shows that they led me to are:, Philippa Ballantine, Tee Morris, Nathan Lowell, Christiana Ellis, P.G. Holyfield, Scott Sigler, Matthew Wayne Selznick, Mur Lafferty, Jared Axelrod, J.R. Blackwell, J. Daniel Sawyer, A.P. Stephens, Basil Sands, Bill DeSmedt, Drew Beatty, Steve Saylor, Prometheus Radio Theater, Seth Harwood, Paulette Jaxton, Brad Gamblin, Patrick McLean, Phil Rossi , Tuning into SciFi TV, Angle Between the Lines, Buffy Between the Lines, Mark Eller, Lindsay Buroker, M. Terry Green, Paul Elard Cooley, Abigail Hilton, John Lenahan, Nobilis Reed and many more.  Thanks to this show I was part of the City of Heroes Podcast community.  I have not only discovered new innovative writers and their works, I have been given ideas how to approach my own writing career.  I have made friends here too.  I have not met many of the folks on this branch of my podcast community.  I did get to meet Scott Sigler and some Portland area Junkies.  They have me wanting to attend Balticon and Dragon-con someday.  I also feel the need to try the local conventions I have missed, Rose City Comic-Con, OryCon, and Stumptown Comic Con.

When I first was introduced to these, I was in a bad relationship and bad work situation.  Both of those situations have improved since, I left the relationship and changed bosses.  All these shows and folks gave me hope and something to aid me in dealing with life’s garbage.  Not all of this will be for you, but there is something for most people in these artists and shows.  That is My Not so Humble Opinion.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nerd versus Geek

A lot of people not in Geek Culture ask me a question:  What is the Difference between a Geek and a Nerd?  Many people have many answers.  Mostly Geeks are seen as obsessive about their interests to the Nth Degree.  Nerds are intelligent and very studious about their interests.  Can one be both a geek and a Nerd? Yes, they can.  Many a Physics Nerd is also a Star Trek Geek.  In my experience a Nerd can have knowledge and know how to use his knowledge in a practical was.  Computer Nerds can field strip a PC blind folded.  A Computer Geek can make a cool website, but does not know how to parlay that into a career.  Some geeks can use their knowledge practically.  Harry Knowles has done that with his website Ain’t It Cool News.  For Example I am a Comic Book and SciFi/ Fantasy Geek, but I am also a Mythology, Folklore, and Literature Nerd.  I have both the training and education in those fields.  I am more scholarly in my Nerd interests, than is not to say one cannot be scholarly about comics and SciFi/Fantasy.   Many Comic Book Professionals are also studious about their Artistic Format of choice.  Mark Waid and Kurt Busiek are examples of this.

I recently took a Geek/Nerd/Dork test online.  My Results were: 65 % Nerd, 48% Geek, and 26% Dork.  According to the test, a Nerd is passionate about knowledge in an Academic way.  Geeks are passionate about obsessions, many of which are obscure or socially scorned. Like I said in my Geek Button essay, Goths could be seen as Geeky.  Hell, Abby on NCIS straddles those two worlds wonderfully.  Now we are in Geek Renaissance, it is acceptable to be geeky.  It is becoming part of mainstream culture.  This has the old school hardcore Geeks up in arms.  Another difference between Geeks and Nerds in my experience, Nerds want mainstream acceptance and Geeks are torn by it.  Geeks don’t want to be ridiculed, but they don’t want to share in their obsession either.  It is theirs; they feel they have a right to say who is truly into and who is a poseur. 

My Opinion is it does not matter what other people think, even other Geeks or Nerds.  Are there poseur glomming onto Geek Culture, because it is the new big thing?  Yes, those folks will not be around in five years.  The True Believers will still be around once the dust settles.  Is it possible to both a Geek and a Nerd?  Yes, most Nerdy and Geeky people can be Nerdy about one thing and Geeky about another.  Does it Matter? No, be happy regardless.  They are just labels; never let labels define you completely.  Remember it is part of who you are.  It is not all you are.  That is My not so Humble Opinion.