Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Geek Chic?

It's come to my attention that in the last couple of years, not only has being a nerd become a bit more socially acceptable, it's fashionable??? Ok, well that's strange. A big part of me thinks that this is an awesome development for a number of reasons. First and foremost, kids won't have to be bullied and tormented for being open about the geeky stuff they're in to. When I was a younglin', a big part of my hatred for school was do in part to the crap I dealt with on a daily basis. Crap from everyone who called me a nerd and picked on me because I was unwilling to hide my love for X-Men, Star Wars, Mel Brooks movies, Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, video games, reading, cartoons, etc. But now, it's cool to be a nerd?! Alright.

But a BIG part of me is irritated by this whole "geek chic" thing. Most of these people who are claiming the title of "geek" and "nerd" are just part of yet another trend. Riding the wave of whatever is popular at the moment. Hey "nerds", I've got news for you, YOU ARE NOT A NERD and I'll prove it to you.

The thing about being a nerd that the Pop Culture machine missed is that being a nerd or a geek for or about something is by no means a casual affair. Being a nerd or a geek means that you can deliver up the most obscure trivia at will and on command. That the interest you have for whatever you're into borders on obsession. That you've given up not only a part of your life in it's cause, that you've given up a piece of who and what you are. That your irrational interest in this thing has alienated you from your friends and family, turning you into a nerd-rage filled hermit. THAT is what makes you a nerd. Not your plebeian interest in the Harry Potter movies, or your Pokemon t-shirt. Oh no. You've got to earn the title of geek. One does not simply claim it, it claims you.

Of course, there is a certain degree of sarcasm in the previous paragraphs. You don't need to have had your social life decimated by your interests in order to claim the title of Nerd. It certainly helps to beef up your geek-cred though.

I'll end this with a quote from the indomitable Simon Pegg that sums up the view I've always held about Geekdom. Enjoy.