Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Geek Power

It's official. Geeks are the new tastemakers, as a New York Times slideshow on nerd chic makes clear. We're everywhere with our glasses, esoteric obsessions and black Chuck Taylors. Hollywood is cashing in with comic book blockbuster films and all things Judd Apatow. Comic-cons are becoming a little too mainstream for some of us.

I'm not sure when the shift began, but I can't lie: It's nice to be recognized. When my design associate sister (see: "unfriendly black hottie" cafeteria table) assembled a style inspiration board last year, she tacked up an old picture of me wearing pigtails and a serious pair of Coke-bottle glasses. Apparently, she thought it was cool. She scooped the Times!

The only bad part is that everybody wants to claim nerd/geek status now. Every other model and beautiful actress is all, "Oh, I played the clarinet and the popular girls poured milkshakes in my backpack." I call bullshit. Geekdom is in the blood; it's not some condition you outgrow and cast off once you get Lasik surgery. You can't just throw on a "Star Wars" T-shirt, throw out some Yoda quote that even my 3-year-old knows and claim membership. No. It is earned.

Were you home reading Tolkien while the cool 12-year-olds were coupled up at the skating rink? Did asshole jocks, upon seeing your glasses, stop and check their hair as if your lenses were storefront mirrors? Did said glasses get broken during a kickball game (for which you were picked last), requiring you to finish the day with them taped together? Did you silently practice instrument fingerings or listen to Weird Al Yankovic cassette tapes on band bus trips? Did you love "Star Wars" so much the first time you saw it that you came home and wrote your own (illustrated) fan fiction? Do you insist that Han shot first? When it's freezing outside, do you say, "It's Hoth cold"?

Don't get me wrong. I am very happy that my fellow geeks have inherited the Earth, "Drillbit Taylor" notwithstanding. But now that we're in charge, someone's got to police the velvet rope. I'm volunteering my services.


Sghoul said...

You do realize you are being just as eletist as those whom you obvoiusly took issue with back in the day?

I say bring them on. Sure, call yourself a geek. But the ammout of cred you have in the community will refect in what you do or know. Besides, can't someone just be a casual geek? Like casual sports fans?

Does someone have to devote their lives to comics to claim that they enjoy them? Did they have to ostresize themselves socially to also be in band?

I mean, heck, half of your qualifications don't match me, and while I may or may not be able to trump you in star wars, I could TOTALY smack you down in the broader Sci-Fi area, Fantasy, Anime, Gaming, Video games, and probably even comic books (select characters not withstanding).

This is your chance to show all of those johnny come latelies that those years of snubbing us? Well, we aren't going to be the jerks that they were.

EDP said...

My dear sghoul, I AM an elitist. You know me too well not to know that. I agree that we don't have to be jerks, but my point is that being a geek wasn't always fun or cool -- at least, not when I was young. So yeah, I have some resentment issues toward people who don't fully appreciate what it means.