Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

The Dorks Sneaking Up From Behind

About mid-June there was a livejournal meme that had a brief spurt of popularity among some teenagers I know: List 5 Reasons Why You Are a Dork. One of the reasons I find livejournal memes to be eminently ignorable is that they are a sort of focused self-absorption in a medium that is defined by self-absorption in the first place. But this one amused me in concept, because its very premise is self-deprecating and because it's a fertile ground for wit.

It was my friend Jim who pointed me to this meme, in his daughter Gretchen's livejournal. Gretchen herself was present at the time, so this is hardly sneaking behind her back. I told Gretchen, on hearing about this, that this was the first such livejournal game I actually would have enjoyed, and she said she knew that and she had even thought of tagging me as one of the people she challenged at the end of her entry to take up the thread except that she knew that I don't regularly read her journal. (It's a tricky thing and a topic of its own, but a while ago I decided that following the journals of the children of friends of mine is probably something I should shy away from, even though in Gretchen's case there is no chance whatsoever that she would publicly reveal things that I would think better kept private.)

Jim went off and printed Gretchen's list. Her very first item was the perfect reason:

1. I had fun on the calc AP test.

I mean, you don't even need to see the rest of the entries for proof of dorkdom, although entry 5 is notable:

5. I can list all the British monarchs from Henry VII to the present. And tell you how they are a product of the Enlightenment. (Even the ones that were pre-Enlightenment. :D )

That's also notable as background to something Gretchen wrote two weeks later, on a list of things her week consisted of:

...discovering there's a biology placement test I need to take. I remember almost nothing from biology. For that matter, I remember nothing except Rosalyn Franklin. I believe I may just write an essay on how Rosalyn Franklin is a product of the Enlightenment and hope they like it.

Dork-defining as Gretchen's first entry was, her friend Rhiannon gives her a run for her dork money:

1. I have been obsessed with Napoleon and the French Revolution since I was eleven. I cannot read enough books about them and I cannot control my urge to talk about them. I would love to write a doctoral thesis on Napoleon and the French Revolution. History gives me a hard on, as it were.

Plus this:

4. I enjoy watching six hour specials on the Roman Empire, non-stop, and do so every summer. Even though I often end up hurling things at the lousy historical interpretations presented by the "History" channel.

One of the friends who took up Rhiannon's dork challenge in a comment to her entry began thus:

1.) Ditto on Napoleon/French Revolution

These are kids after my own heart!

But not all the dork lists were so successful, I found. I mean some of these kids just aren't dorks (not that there's anything wrong with that). Gretchen's friend Lucie, for example, is the most wonderful, luminous, greatest kid you'd ever meet, but she's just not a Dork. Lucie's list began:

1. I love languages, and have been known to beg people to say something, anything, in another language just so I can listen to it. I do the same thing with signs in other languages. I also listen to music in Spanish on a regular basis.

That's very sweet, and very Lucie, but Dorky? Nah.

Anyway, I'm not even going to bother putting together my own list. For one thing, in my case Dorkis Ipse Loquitur. Besides, how could I possibly top "Ditto on Napoleon/French Revolution"?

There's hope for the future, I say.
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