Chaos in Print: The Further Adventures of the Scarecrow — Lifeless Edition

Greetings, y’all! ‘Tis I, the Scarecrow, here once again. Before we get to my column, there is just one thing I want to say. Thee are two rooms on campus that I have to say are my genuine favorites. The first one would be the station, and the second would be the Dag office. It’s just a difficult feeling to describe. When you walk into these places, you just look at the decor, smell the air, and you instantly think “Here thar be students.” They are the two places where the student is the complete boss. The cafeteria is close, but the mouth-watering aroma of grey stuff on a shingle kind of overpowers the sensation. The coffee house is OK, but it’s too social. No, the best places on campus are the station and the paper, because there every student feels that sense of belonging.

It is of that sense that I speak to you tonight. Just the other night, I was harassing our esteemed editor as he was helping wire the upper floor of Faith and Life for the school’s computer network. Up there in the Dag’s offices were the editors of the Bug. (For those of you who don’t care, the Bug is the high school paper for Camrose School Division.) One of those editors is a huge fan of Sailor Moon, and was able to lecture me on the differences between the original Japanese comic, the original Japanese cartoon, and the watered-down series that we Canucks get. She then filled me in on plot lines that we will probably never see over here. After this, our editor and the Bug’s editor had a lengthy discussion on previous X-Men storylines, and drew comparisons to Star Trek episodes. This got me to thinking “What does it mean to have no life?”

Don’t get me wrong. I am just as bad as those two. I can drone on about what magical items from Gargoyles are required to make you the most powerful sorcerer/sorceress. I can quote Batman villain origins backwards and forwards. And, most important of all, I can tell you the merits and weaknesses of every one of the Power Ranger’s Zords. So, for me to condemn these people would be too hypocritical. I am one of them. So, this “no life” concept has me bugged. Can I know what it is to have no life if I don’t have one, either?

I mean, face it. Usually the people who loudly proclaim that we don’t have a life are the ones who claim to have one. They have even come up with a wide variety of words to describe the ones without a life: trekkies, fan boys, geeks, nerds, the list continues. Now, the people that I went to high school with would tell you that having a life would mean screwing your studies, seeing how many beers you could drink before class, and how many “dates” you could have on the weekend. Here at college, those with lives are pretty much the same, only they don’t screw the studies as badly, and they save the drinking for Thursday nights. So, if I understand this correctly, to have a life, you must be a beer-guzzling nitwit with a severe lack of priorities. And to have no life, you must be knowledgeable in realms of fantasy, leading to a minimal grasp on the real world.

Minimal grasp on the real world! They say that those with no lives are those glued to a screen in the computer lab playing hours and hours of Void. That, or they are stuck in a floor lounge watching Star Trek. But, in each case, they are in a lab, or in a lounge. They are out there, interacting with people who have no life. And where are those with lives? In a bar, drinking and partying.

So, we have established that those with no lives do get out, they just do other things besides waste their money on booze. They waste their money on comic books, Magic cards, and videos of cartoons from the eighties. These are the staples of having no life. You must spend several hundred dollars a month on Spawn, X-Men, and many other smaller, lesser known titles that I can’t go into here. You must constantly be buying new packs of Magic cards to keep your Mana up and crush the opponent. And, you must obsessively tape every episode of Batman: TAS, Gargoyles, and The Weird Al Show. These are the requisites of no life. Now, let’s compare this to those with lives. Those with lives waste their money on booze, issues of The Hockey News, and videos of sports bloopers. i.e., You must spend several hundred dollars a month on Molson, Pilsner, and many other smaller, lesser known brands that I can’t get into here. You must constantly be buying The Hockey News so you know how your team will crush its opponents. And, you must obsessively own every copy of Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey. Am I drawing a comparison, here? You betcha.

Now, let me flip-flop here. Not all people with lives are involved with hockey. I say this because I know many people whose lives revolve around baseball, politics, movies, and membership in many committees. Plus, there are a lot of big, mean hockey players who live in my dorm who would beat the living tar out of me if I insinuated what I’m insinuating. But my point, and I do have one, is that those with no lives do in fact have lives. They just have no interest in the lives of people who claim to have lives. They have found the groups who share their passions, and not something as violent and loathsome as hockey.

It is that constant looking for a group to belong to that pushes us forward. Some find it on a hockey team, some find it in the backroom of a comic book store. True, some lives just appear to be more productive than others. For example, hockey players could potentially go on to make millions in their sport. Those who frequent bars could pick-up a great knowledge of how to mix drinks and dance steps, making him/her the swingin’est bartender around. And those of us with no lives? Well, look at it this way. The editor of the Dag reads comic books. The station manager for CLCR plays Magic: The Gathering. I am up at eight on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. So, while those with lives are content to be part of the world, those of us without lives are striving to change it. So, go ahead, play your hockey, got to your bars, and continue calling those of us who have no lives trekkies, fan boys, geeks, and nerds. But, remember this. Next time you are about to call someone a nerd, recall this quote from the cartoon Freakazoid!: “Who writes all the best selling novels? Nerds do! Who directs all the blockbuster movies? Nerds do! Who writes computer programs so incredibly complex that only they know how to run them? Nerds do! Who runs the world? Nerds do!” Goodnight, everybody!

Don’t forget, if you didn’t like this article, then you’ll probably hate my show, Chaos in a Box with the Scarecrow, Wednesdays at 9 on CLCR.

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