Sunday, October 25, 2009

DorkFest '09!

Gentle Readers, here we are once again in October. It's a magical time, this mid-season of college football, a time for rediscovering the joys of raking, for a better-than-usual spot market for pumpkins, for depressive meditations on the deteriorating weather, and for teaching our children how to beg aggressively in costume! But best of all, it's time for DorkFest!!!

DorkFest '09!

DorkFest is many things to many people. Really, it is; I realized this when I Googled it a few minutes ago. It's a failed gaming blog! It's a San Fransisco Indie Music Festival! And another one in North Carolina! Plus the Urban Dictionary has some typically lame definitions. But what we are talking about when we say "DorkFest" here, of course, is the sacred annual celebration of personal dorkitude and the mechanism by which this Blog selects its high officers:
The L&TM5K Dork provides a range of ceremonial functions within the L&TM5K community, most of which are fulfilled merely by existing as the Blog Dork. The Dork must also be prepared to take on occasional practical tasks, such as picking a random number to determine the next book on the Reading List and so on. During one's tenure as Dork, one is expected always to act in a dorky manner befitting the high intellectual and moral standards of the L&TM5K readership and the larger dork population.

The L&TM5K Vice-Dork must stand ready to assume all the responsibilities of the L&TM5K Dork in the event of the Dork's incapacitation, decapitation, or defenestration. The Vice-Dork may also be asked to pitch in with the practical tasks as well. During one's tenure as Vice-Dork, one is expected always to seethe in resentment of the Dork, who is clearly not nearly as qualified for the position and is not doing nearly as good a job as one would have done oneself.
But let us first pause to salute the 2008-09 officers, who have served bravely and well. I speak of Lame Duck Dork Rex Parker, and Lame Duck Vice-Dork Rebel. They have trod with distinction in the footsteps of '07-'08 Honorable Dork Emeritus g and '07-'08 Honorable Vice-Dork Emeritus Fingerstothebone.

By the bylaws of the blog, the sitting Dork is not eligible to run again for the year immediately after his tenure, but will instead assist me -- michael5000 -- in the selection of his successor. The Vice-Dork, however, is free to return to the fray, seething with resentment that she does not automatically ascend to Dork. Past Dorks and Vice-Dorks are also eligible.

Are You Dork Enough?

For the remainder of the week -- through Friday the 30th -- we will be accepting submissions of evidence. These may be in any of the following formats:

  • DorkFest Classic: Back in the days of the very first DorkFest, most contestants made a few dorky assertions about themselves in the comments, then compulsively returned later to disparage other peoples' entries and puff up their own dork credentials. This traditional form of entry still retains its charms.
  • The Dork Resume: A resume laying out your training, experience, and special skills in the field of dorkiness may be sent in .doc or .pdf format to M5KDecathlon {at}
  • The Dorky Post: You may make a case for your own dorky qualifications on your own blog, or any other publically available website. Just don't forget to post a link in the comments, to make sure it gets seen by the committee.
  • The Multimedia Dork: Songs, videos, photoessays... Post a link, or send 'em to M5KDecathlon {at}

  • Combinaciones: Combinations of any of the above are perfectly acceptable.

What is Dork?

During past fests, complaints over the uncertain definition of "dorky" has been an entertaining sideshow. But this year, for no particular reason, I provide the following definition: The essence of dork is an esoteric enthusiasm. A dork partakes of a passion for and/or special abilities in one or more fields of endeavor which the majority of their peers would reject as obscure, marginal, or potentially embarassing. Classically, although not necessarily, a dork is also characterized by a certain degree of social awkwardness.

Fair Notices

Anything you submit to the M5KDecathlon address might get posted.

The L&TM5K is not responsible to any damage to reputation, self-esteem, or social "pull" you may incur due to participation in DorkFest '09.

If you decline to participate because you are afraid you might lose and be very sad about losing, you probably deserve to win. But you can't, because you declined to participate. This is what is termed a "Catch-22."

The decisions of the Dork selection committee are final. Dorky as it might be to have a long, running battle about who is really dorkiest, it would distract from other, more important issues that we will need to address, such as my opinion of obscure old movies that nobody cares about.

Material Reward!

Per tradition, the winner of DorkFest will be awarded the Third Annual Mr. Shain Memorial $16.40 Starbucks Gift Card!!!


Yankee in England said...

Last year after figerstothebone dissed me for using the second toilet stall in public bathrooms and pointed out studies have proven the first stall is more sanitary I now compulsivley use the first stall.

Anonymous said...

Does putting on the contest itself make you an automatic winner?

mrs.5000 said...

Hey, I MARRIED the man who puts on Dorkfest. That should make me an automatic winner, too!

fingerstothebone said...

Hehe, it would appear that my dorky influences reach far and wide.

blythe said...

i've been waiting all year for this.

Bridget said...

I have been trying to figure out if I'm really a dork or not. The definition was helpful. Thank you. I will continue with my analysis based on those clear parameters.

Rebel said...

I think there should be a subcategory for International Dorkitude. I have been socially awkward in at least four different cultures this year!

Yankee in England said...

@ fingers- yes far and wide across the pond even.

@ M5K If I find you the perfect flapjack recipe and promice to send you the secret ingrediant (yes there is a secret ingrediant and no you can't get it in the US) can I get extra dork points? What about the package of flapjacks last Christmas? Can I get points for that?

Rex Parker said...

Still waiting for that gift card ...

Michael5000 said...

@Yankee: Impressive! And disturbing! Also, I have ceased to believe that it is possible to create flapjacks in North America. And you don't have enough time to airlift any actual flapjacks. Although, I wouldn't fault you for trying.

@Critical Bill: The privilege of keeping this blog makes me an automatic winner. But not of DorkFest.

@Mrs.5000: I like to think that you, too, are an automatic winner. But not of DorkFest.

@fingers: Noted.

@blythe: Your enthusiasm is contagious.

@Bridget: I'm here to help.

@Rebel: I'm socially awkward in up to a dozen cultures every day of my working life. But good point, good point.

@Rex: Sir, the Second Mr. Shain Memorial $16.40 Starbucks Card was in the mail to you within 24 hours of your ascension to the seat of Blog Dork!! Can it be true that you didn't receive it? I am disproportionately horrified!

fingerstothebone said...

Hmm, did you leave out the competition deadline, or am I just blind?

Michael5000 said...

@fingers: Blind. As a bat. "Through Friday the 30th."

Jenners said...

For your consideration:

Aren't we all in the running just by having blogs?

And does it count if you know me in a past life when my dorkiness was on full display every day? I haven't changed much.

I submit one of my latest posts for consideration for this dubious title. I think the unicorn costume alone should get me at least Vice Dork.

And I clearly stated that I was dressing up as an Uber Dork in the same post.

Here is my submission post:

A Post I Already Did Masquerading As My Dorkfest Entry

Kate said...

After reading the definition, I was afraid that I would be morally compelled to enter. My husband has helpfully clarified, however, that my obscure academic pursuits do not yet approach the level of dorkiness. Geekiness, perhaps. Sorry to disappoint.

If you would like to send me a Starbucks card anyway, it would be put to good use as thesis fuel.

fingerstothebone said...

Tada! My entry is up. Weep, all ye wannabes, weep!