The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth
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It’s a Thursday night, a night when many young adults decide to head to their favourite nightspot and paint the town red. Me? I’m glued to my computer monitor, wearing my Killer7 t-shirt (Google it), entranced by Skyrim, the latest chapter in the venerable role-playing series The Elder Scrolls.
On May 25th the geek community will be flying their Rebel Alliance flags to celebrate Geek Pride Day, an event cultivated to promote geek culture around the world. The day, which started in 2005 in Spain before spreading via the internet (how else?), is a culmination of the rise and rise of geek culture in the 21st century. Geeks have finally hit the mainstream. That homemade Bane costume you plan on wearing to the Dark Knight Rises midnight screening will more likely attract a high five than look of despair.
As both a long-time geek and ignorer of trends, the recent rise of geek culture greatly piques my interest. For one, it seems strange that a culture that for so long has been coupled with anti-social tendencies has been brought to the forefront of society. It’s like walking outside into the sunshine after spending hours in a dark room playing Silent Hill – nice, but overwhelming. One phrase in particular stops me in my tracks.
‘Geeks are Sexy.’
Sexy? Geeks? It seems like an oxymoron to me, but apparently those strong with (knowledge of) The Force make pretty young things weak at the knees these days. Does this mean that I go walk up to a woman at a bar and sweep her off her feet with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quotes? Can a heated argument on whether Han Solo or Greedo shot first lead to an intense make-out session?
That form of utopia has not yet been realised. While a deep knowledge of science fiction and the ability to cure an ailing PC is far more appreciated these days, the spoils still go to those brimming with confidence and bravado. Yet the tide is slowly turning in favour of my kind.
Mainstream TV is currently being taken over by the for-geeks-but-not-by-geeks Big Bang Theory, showing the world the humorous side of geekdom even if it isn’t entirely accurate (multiple major nerd buddies with way out of their league hotties, I wish). And don’t forget the meteoric rise of the smartphone. Everyone and their kids and their dogs owns an app-filled time-suck. My dear aunt, after spending over two decades wondering what the fuss is over her son’s and nephew’s TV-hogging pastime, seems to be perpetually glued to her iPhone flinging birds at unstable structures.
There’s even a trend amongst young girls that involves feigning geekiness to lure in hopeful males, because the only thing sexier than a geek is a girl with a push-up bra, thick-rim glasses and a stretched-out Pikachu emblazoned on her chest. It seems exploitative of a culture that favours passion and knowledge over vanity but it’s comforting that fashionistas and/or attention-seekers are now looking at my clique for inspiration.
In the Bible (a book many geeks think little of) Jesus states ‘the meek shall inherit the earth,’ and at the rate and direction popular culture is moving, they just might. From bottom feeders to trendsetters, geeks around the world should wear their finest cosplay with pride revel in their achievements on Geek Pride Day.