I started following the John Hodgman tumblr after he posted a link to my friend’s Tin House blog. This is something I’ve been avoiding for a very long time. Hodgman, you see, touches some kind of nerve inside me that I can’t quite place. I think he’s often funny. I find his day-to-day values and opinions top notch, and he’s very talented, and very clever. But something about him has always put me off. I wish him success in everything he does, and I really think he’s a stand-up, genuine guy, who knows how to communicate what’s important to him, even through complicated characters who are often assholes. But I have an unshakeable feeling that if we had to spend any time together anywhere for any reason, I would have nothing to say to him and would find eye contact very uncomfortable.
What is it I don’t like? My first instinct is to see where we overlap, like a what-I-hate-about-him-is-what-I-hate-most-about-myself type thing, which I’ve learned is what makes me uncomfortable talking to my brother, because we both mumble and it’s a habit I’ve tried to break based on admonitions of several past girlfriends and when I hear him do it in the same way I do it, it drives me bonkers. So maybe Hodgman is the uber-nerd that I feel like sometimes, that I am embarrassed about being. Maybe I’m still upset I never joined the NBA like I promised myself in fourth grade I definitely would, even if I didn’t grow up to be 6'3" like I definitely would. Maybe I see him act in ways I’m still not comfortable acting. Nerdy. Uncool. Unsmooth.
Or maybe I still associate him with being a PC. Who knows.