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May 29, 2013 / TeknoKai

Why I Am Proud to Be a Geek and a Dresden Files Fan

Something happened to me today that I think I have been subconsciously hoping for all my life, but I wash’t sure I would have the wit and honesty to explain it if if it did, until it actually happened.  Today.  Thankfully, I passed my own inadvertently created “Life Lesson”. I am so proud, and I owe it all to my pride in myself for being a geek, and my love of the wonderful world of the Dresden Files, created by one Mr. Jim Butcher, whom I humbly bow to in respect.  The following incident that occurred at approximately 2:00 CST today, is why.

Most of you that know me know that I am a hardcore “DresdenPhile” as I like to term it.  I have been enjoying the exploits of that most honorable, because he is at core most truly human, fictional wizard from the great (created) land of Urban Fantasy Chicago.  I have followed through all of Harry’s exploits, and every year when a new book comes out, I get the chance to revel in my adoration even more.  Yes, Harry is a fictional character, but he is also the embodiment of who I would be, given the chance to truly choose my own destiny.  Yes, scars and all, I would love to be like Harry Dresden.  Because he is one person who has never shied away from his role as a protector of those in humanity who can’t fight for themselves.  Even if the evil is knowledgably greater than himself, he will act as the human sword and shield with every conviction, tool, and trick at hand to protect the innocent, and most of all, those who just be plain be victims.  Yes, I admire him, and I admire his creator for imbuing him with the ideals that he has.  It is truly a “once in a million” shot that Harry ever came to exist, as it is with every human life, And I am so very glad that he did.

As a member of the fandom, and most especially a geek, I like to enjoy a bit of cosplay (costume play) daily.  One item of jewelry that I always wear, is a silver necklace with a pentagram in a circle, just like Harry.  Harry uses is as his focus for what he believes is his “faith” – the belief that all power can be used by human will to create, to protect, and to save.  It is more a symbol of his belief in himself than anything else.

I wear mine, firstly because I like to think that if it were possible, I’d be like Harry, but more so that I can remember why he wears his.  And in a way, I wear mine for the same reason.  Here is the interesting occurrence that proved me right in my convictions.

A few days ago when I was up town, in a department store buying supplies (like I do every week), I chanced upon a new girl at the checkout counter.  I think she was may just now starting her first job – be it during her summer break or after graduation, I’m not sure – and she was full of the fire and talkativeness of youth.  One of the first things she said to me was “Are you Wiccan?  Because that necklace is really cool.”  I answered her that no, I am not “Wiccan”, but I am what most people would call “Pagan” – though I grew up Southern Baptist, I just don’t have the unbreakable mindset that proscribed religions do – I like to think I am open minded enough that I would never persecute any person or group because something in religious teachings told me to. Now, when I say Pagan, most religious people will gravitate to “The Dark Side” – the first words to cross their minds are “Devil” and “Demonic”.  I could see in this young girl’s eyes a flash of that thought – I’ve seen it all before.  Unbelievably, there was no one in line behind me, so I had a couple of minutes to chat, and I explained to her that my personal belief is that, yes, there is a God, a Creator.  Yes, I worship him.  But my creator has never told me that I can only be, do, or, receive something if I will be, do, or act a certain way towards an individual or group of individuals whose only difference is that they don’t share my same belief.  Thus I fall back on the old use of the word “Pagan” which Christianity created to mean “any power that is not the one we acknowledge”.  And I’m OK with that.  I told her that I wore my necklace for pride in myself, but that it actually served a dual purpose – is was a “stage prop” that a character in one of the book series that I love to read wore.  And then it hit me – Harry actually wears his for THE EXACT SAME REASON.  It felt like the universe had doubled in upon itself for one moment, and I was at the epicenter.  I cannot describe the energy of the though flash that sparked across my mind – it would have powered mankind for centuries.  So I explained to the young lady about the Dresden Files novels.  I told her that if she would read it with an open mind, she would truly see reflected in the pages what a lot of people here in reality strive to be.  The only difference is that across that literary barrier, anything really is possible because magic exists.  However, I like to tell myself that we have a magic on our side as well – maybe just not as flashy.  But belief in the human condition, and the striving against all odds to be the moral character one wants to be, is something that Both Harry and I share.  And I was able to explain myself to this young person in such a way that she could not only hear my words, but read (albeit a fictional) version of the same convictions that I uphold.

The point I’m trying to get to is this – today at approximately 2:00, I ran across this young lady in town, but at a different location, and she made it a point to come up and thank me for recommending “The Dresden Files” to her.  I think she is already on the fourth book by now.  But she told me that had we not met, she may never have known about it’s existence, or of the depth of morality that this fine work explains.  Now, far be it from me to ever call this series a Bible, but modern society, I honestly feel like it reaches more of my innermost feelings of “who I Want to Be” than anything else.  I do not wish to upset any person with my views, because at the core – they are MY VIEWS.  Anyone on earth is allowed, nay encouraged to, disagree if they see fit.  But I feel like the new generation that is growing now is going to have, more than ever, to look hard to decide what path they will take, for it will ultimately lead to the true destiny of Humanity.  And I, for one, am glad that there are people with the moral compass to create the characters with the moral compass that I can enjoy and look up to.  Everything is a story, and stories are how we learn.  Some of us just realize that the story is still occurring – it didn’t stop (as with traditional Religious literature) and wait for a maybe-never-to-happen doomsday.  But I will do the best that I can for my fellow man, at cost to myself, not because of a discipline that drills it into me, but because I have learned from the things I enjoy, and do it out of choice.  And that, is the heart of the matter – when the choice is presented, everything in the universe goes away, except for your decision.  And I like to think that whenever I face any minor choices, or major choices, I can draw upon my personal beliefs, and the things I choose to surround myself with, like “The Dresden Files”, to empower me to make the “Right” choice.  And I think Harry is a lot like that.  So, in essence – I am proud to be a geek who feels strongly for something I love, and I am proud that I am able to pass what I consider to be lessons for proper moral behavior to the next generation.  And I was able to do so to a person who never would have known such a thing existed, had she not seen the one little piece of “cosplay” jewelry that I choose to wear everyday.  From now on, I have a true story as to why I wear it, and I wear it more proudly than ever.  I wear it with the hope that it will break the ice between me and anyone I meet, and hopefully encourage them to ask about it.  The Creator works in mysterious ways.

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Terry

Author’s Note:  I know that I am not the only person on earth who feels this way.  Too many pop culture events are occurring at once, like the ongoing “Dresden Files Novels”, the “Nightside” novels by Simon R. Green, and the Supernatural TV show, which have at heart the same basic philosophy I detailed above.  There is a “Big-Bad”, (war, pollution,famine,neglect; whichever face of evil you choose to see) out there, and man must fight to survive.  We use our stories to give us hope that we can, and will, come out the victor.  I’m very glad that I have my hope, though many people think it is unrealistic.

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