Sunday, November 15, 2009

One of the reasons I'm on Facebook is to play Wordscraper--a Scrabble rip with lots of extras. I like to make high-scoring boards, which I invariably lose. The play's the thing--it's fun to unwind with. Today I accidentally started two games (rather than the one I'd intended) with someone looking for them. Sure, she said--as long as I didn't use word-finding websites. I said I didn't. I used to do that when I first started playing these games online (Scrabulous before Wordscraper), but there hasn't been any need to in a long time. The comments boxes became the site of a stupid verbal joust (I played the word "joust," actually, which is probably why I used it just now) in which I was accused repeatedly of "copying" words instead of coming up with them on my own. The evidence? I wasn't "hooking" words into one another--playing like a pro or semi-pro Scrabble player, in essence. And if I knew longish words but didn't hook them, I was clearly a "copier." Advice: If you're going to impugn someone's verbal skills, make sure you don't spell it "defanition."

This is minor, but it reminded me, yet again, how sad geeks are when they presume that people who like the same things they do, but don't have the same level of obsession, are somehow illegitimate. Because, of course, I used to do the exact same thing myself. My train of thought, though I would never have put it so baldly (I figured my thinking was more nuanced than this, and it was, but it ultimately didn't matter), went something like: If you want to express yourself on the subject of pop music then you should go pro or go home. And if you go pro, you should adapt yourself to these specific tenets that I go by. Or else you're a LIAR. This is pretty standard behavior--go look at ILM sometime if you want to see it writ large (go look at things I've written on ILM in the past sometime if etc.)--and you can put it down to basic youth/immaturity; you can hope so, at least. But it breeds bitterness, which doesn't look good on anyone.

That doesn't mean that everyone who calls bullshit on something is wrong--suspicion can be a healthy thing. But when it's merely disguising self-interest and/or self-regard it takes a turn for the creepy. The other thing that made me think of ILM was when the woman told me that my name had made its way around a list of 50 regular Wordscraper players as a "copier." Nothing like a cabal to keep you on your toes, right? Next they'll be conducting one-person dialogues with me in their comments boxes.