Geeks claim to know what it’s like to love art that’s been neglected or reviled by their culture. Well, this is the status of fans of traditional high culture now; those who like opera, jazz, experimental fiction, theater, and other types of traditional high culture are generally ignored in our mass media. When they are thought of at all, it is as snobby and irrelevant. Geeks now need to recognize their great fortune, enjoy it and extend a little sympathy in the direction of us sad few who prefer other things.

Yet I wonder if any such recognition is even possible at this point. My fear is not merely that the geeks will never come to acknowledge their triumph, as comfortable as they are in their self-professed victimhood. I fear too that we have come to so thoroughly associate fandom with grievance that the two are now inextricable. That, I suspect, is the long-term consequence of the rise of the geeks: that we no longer know how to enjoy art without enjoying it against others. That’s a bitter, juvenile way to approach art, and if it’s the real legacy of the rise of the geeks, it’s an ugly legacy indeed.