the greyfeather federation

If you’re not a fan of going meta, skip this post 🙂 I’m going to ruminate a bit about where this blog started and where it is going.

This blog began as an outlet for my creative side, to give my soul a break from the politics and culture wars. As a Muslim American, an economic liberal, and a social conservative, I am basically standing at all possible frontlines simultaneously. This is my safe space and I have welcomed my fellow travelers here. I started the blog by delving into Anime as a fledgling otaku, and awhile back promoted myself to otaku-kun. I have Wil, John, Shamus, J, Steven, Mark, Ubu, Don, Auston, and many others to thank for inspiring me to start this blog and I am astonished to realize that it is now been over ten years since I started.

I named this blog for Haibane Renmei, the anime that got me started on anime. At the time, I identified with the whole emo vibe. But today, a decade later, I identify for a different reason – at age 42, I have a lot of gray feathers myself, and I want to build a federation of my own brand of otaku.

I’m gonna quote Wil Wheaton, at his address to Mensa this month, because this applies to me, and probably to you, too:

So when I think about what it means to be one of us, when I think about what it means to be a geek or a nerd or a dweeb or a dork or a doofus or a weirdo, I think that it means that we love things in a uniquely enthusiastic way. And we get so excited about the things that we love, that we can’t help but share them with other people, long after they’ve lost interest and really just want us to tell them if we want the sandwich toasted or not.
And I can go on and on about how those of us who are elder geeks probably feel like it’s just so damn easy to be a geek right now, the damn kids today don’t know how good they have it! And if everything is geeky, maybe nothing is geeky, and that means that gatekeeping in geek and nerd culture is a pointless waste of time. So when someone tells you that they love X-Men, or Game of Thrones, or Star Wars, or learning to program in Python, the best way to respond is with a high five (or sci-five), not a pop quiz and a summary judgement. Because every single one of us, when we were protonerds, we met someone who said, Oh, you like this thing that I like? Cool! Let’s like it together, and meet some other people who will like it with us. And, BOOM: the first Star Trek convention happened. And it was awesome, and then there were conventions everywhere for everything nerds loved, and it gave us a place where we could be who we were without being afraid of the cool kids making fun of us.

This is why I have invited new voices to the blog – Jonathan and Kim are just the first, hopefully. Their interests do overlap mine but also bring wide, vast new vistas of geekery to the table. If you are reading this, then I invite you to join the haibane renmei and submit a post of your own. Email me at apoonawa (dash) blog (at) yahoo. You like this thing I like? Cool! Let’s like it together and meet some other people who will like it with us. And like it in public, no less 🙂