Geeky expenditures not just waste of money

By Richard Raya

A few days ago, I blew $35 on something many people would call completely unnecessary and irrelevant. I blew that wad like a gambler throws away the next three months’ rent. I’m not even exaggerating that much given my massive credit card debt, the fact that I haven’t bought my textbooks yet, and the inescapable reality that for the foreseeable future I have absolutely no income stream. What did I blow it on? The Avengers Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack, duh! I think it also comes with a soundtrack CD. Come on, admit it: $35 is pretty darn fair for a pre-order of the single most obesely epic superhero cinema experience of all time. Plus, pre-ordering also netted me 32 extra Gold for the Marvel’s Avengers Alliance Facebook game, which I’m pretty into (I’m level 60). So that was a selling point. Does it matter that I can probably find the entire soundtrack and all of the DVD bonus features on YouTube, or that I don’t actually own a Blu-Ray player? If you have to ask, you don’t understand! While I’m sure you’re already hardcore judging me, I’m going to go ahead and defend myself. I find myself in situations like this a lot; I often end up putting what meager disposable income I have toward nerdy and “childish” pursuits, much to the chagrin of parents, friends, and my grumpy girlfriend. The cash I scraped together last fall from mopping up ungodly spills in Café Mac vanished in a flash of a shiny new Nintendo 3DS, and I spent months and way too much money this past summer putting together a homemade Spider-Man suit just in time for the midnight showing of The Amazing Spider-Man,which I saw at least six times, usually in IMAX. As you can imagine, these expenditures add up, and really do nothing to improve people’s perceptions of my responsibility and maturity. Gone are the dollars I could have spent on haircuts and new pants and who knows what else normal people waste their money on—office supplies or Apple products or whatever. So what, though? I love superheroes, I believe they are powerful and symbolic as archetypes and address as primal a part of the human condition as any other artistic genre. Spidey is probably my favorite character in literature, and his adventures and trials have given me as much inspiration and support as Atticus Finch, Rocky or Hercules have given to other people throughout the years. Yes, I blow a lot of cash on video games, but they’re fun, keep my reflexes and thinking quick and sharp, and are a way for me to compete and socialize with my friends and brothers. At face value, these comics, costumes and movies are worthless and a waste, but the beneficial personal externalities cannot be overstated. What if I spent this money on less childish things—clothes, an iPhone, a car? Maybe my mom would be more comfortable with these purchases, and she’d definitely make fun of me less. But I can state beyond any shade of doubt that owning a copy of Turtles in Time for NES would make me infinitely happier than having a few pairs of skinny jeans. The notion that there are interests that are more or less worthy of our age or maturity level is pretty exclusionary, and it serves to box us in nearly as much as any of the other types of labels we strive so hard to defeat here at Mac. I know full grown adults who have spent way more than I have on my Spidey costume, but they spent it on shoes, ties and crappy modern art that they’ll never really use or appreciate. I know people who buy a boxed season of Mad Menjust because they think they should, and they’re too embarrassed to just get the first season of Power Rangersthat they really want. To me, that’s just deeply sad. People should care less about what other people think, and more about what is actually significant and moving to them. To synthesize this entire article succinctly: look. You spend your money shopping online for ugly dresses and drinking way too much coffee, and I buy DVDs of underrated 1990s cartoons. Live and let live, but personally, I much prefer the path of the child. Peace. I’m going to go watch some Star Trek. refresh –>