Mar 202015

surrogate familiesThere have been many tears shed and much ink spilled on the internet over what makes one a Geek. I’m not here to wade into that debate, but I will say that there is one experience that seems to have been shared by all geeks – isolation. The sense of being an outsider, not fitting in anywhere. Not even within one’s own family. It’s one of the more painful aspects of geekdom.

Over the lifecycle of a geek, as we mature we often break from our parents and siblings and create new families for ourselves. Families we don’t share blood with, but which are much closer to us than the people we were raised with. Unable to fit into the home we were born into, we create a new home for ourselves, where we can at last feel understood and accepted.

All of Joss Whedon’s best works share this core aspect – a group of misfits who come together and create a new family of themselves. A surrogate family. It is my contention that this is the thing that makes Joss’s work so beloved by geeks, more so than any other single factor. The families aren’t perfect, they have as much dysfunction as any other. But they are home, and those emotional bonds are what we love to see on TV.

So it’s tragic and infuriating when the mundane society that left us feeling so outcast in the first place comes back and tries to destroy what we’ve created for ourselves. You’ve probably already heard of the Scarborough Street Family, but just in case not – an intentional family of eight adults and three children who bought a large home to renovate and live together in are being forced out by neighbors, citing a zoning law that disallows more than two “unrelated” people from living together. Mother fuckers!

Dunno if it’ll do any good, but here’s a petition.

Probably more importantly, here’s a place to contribute to the legal fund. I did.

What kind of assholes come around and try to break up families like this?? Family values my ass.

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