Today, everyone is a geekoid. To be one is to voluntarily join a pithy club, complete with tech-themed clubs with names like Djørk, overpriced consumer-grade accessories available from your local Mapple “genius” (Seriously? Genius is now discounted?) and a monstrously lucrative industry growing around the need for all said-geeks to gather in a convention hall multiple times a year. Of course, if you’re a Goodluck Gander, the club also comes with a small but swell selection hot mamas with a hankering for quants and policy wonks. Here’s the kibosh, though. If everyone is a dork, nerd, geek or dweeb of some sort … is it really as unconventional and novel as one thinks? Further, if everyone is on the guest list, who’s left outside? The real ones, the true intellectuals and experts are like Superwonks; so deep into and dedicated to their fields, like Bill Gates and Dr. Michio Kaku, they could care less what they’re labeled and probably don’t care what color their earbuds are.
From what I can tell, geek is now partnered with just about any hobby, career or obsession known to mankind: orchestra geeks (known as orch dorks), pep club geeks, comic geeks, science geeks, math geeks, music geeks, fashion geeks, retro geeks, car geeks, goth geeks (just goth, please), ghost geeks, film geeks, TV geeks, gamer geeks, history geeks, book geeks, grammar geeks, sci-fi geeks, fantasy geeks, role-playing geeks, Faire geeks, cosplay geeks, Disney geeks, chess geeks and so many more. Who’s left? Jocks, professional fishermen, Wall Streeters, Prince William and 10thC. vikings may be the only folks left whom don’t categorize themselves as geeks.
Now, Webster’s will describe a geek as:
2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.
Good Noah also lists all interchangeably as synonyms: incl. such derisive terms as jerk, schmo, grind and swot.
Happily, the flip-side to the fad is said-terms have become less hateful and derogatory. To wit, my dear pally Jennifer Susannah Devore, a self-professed history/film & TV/Disney geek, might be part of the problem. How much blame she shoulders, I shall not say. She has, however, taken the very geeky effort to compose a list of things White & Nerdy people like. Her original post on the matter is an homage to Christian Lander, the original Stuff White People Like creator, and can be read in full at her highly-popular-in-Russia-Germany-and-Finland site: Of Course, What Do I Know?
Check the list below, wheats. Are you White & Nerdy? Ask yourself before you toss around terms like geek, dork and nerd so willy-nilly … Am I really White & Nerdy? If so, own it. If not, you’re just embarrassing yourself.
Stuff White & Nerdy People Like (In no particular order)
- Comic Con (What kind of W&N would my pally Jen be if she hadn’t been published in the official Comic Con book?)
- The Big Bang Theory (incl. memorizing the Barenaked Ladies’ theme song)
- CNNGeekOut blog
- Bill Nye the Science Guy
- Steve Martin
- Sci-fi and fantasy novels with anthropomorphic animals
- SyFy Channel
- Star Wars
- Star Trek
- Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock (no Googling the rules – either you know it or you don’t)
- Periodic Table of the Elements (Fun idea: claim a corr. birthday element, if you find numerals offensive)
- Crafting historical and theatrical alter egos (incl. learning Elizabethan English, Klingon, swordplay, spells, etc.)
- Wired magazine
- Swedish Fish
- Michael Cera
- Dr. Michio Kaku
- Action figures
- Weird Al Yankovic
- Notating in journals (yes, ye olde quill to parchment) and memorizing things like Pi, Drake Equation, hierarchy of performance art, accurate recall of the British monarchy since 1066, etc.
- Making and wearing costumes
- Using “one” as opposed to “you” or “I”
- George Noory
- Grant Morrison, Supergods (You doth rock, Sir … dig the accent, too!)
- Ghost Hunters (not Ghost Adventurers … there is a difference)
- George Lucas
- Skywalker Ranch
- Mystery Science Theater 3K
- The X-Files
- Renaissance Faire
- Semi-audible snorts of derision
- Jokes involving German, Austrian or Swiss scientists
- Bill Gates
- Reminding people Bill Gates saved Steve Jobs and Apple from oblivion with 150 million cabbages
- Jokes involving Windows Vista, DOS, neutrons or nematodes
- The IT Crowd
- Microsoft-blue button downs
- Any and all digital media
- Fry’s Electronics
- Hello Kitty
- T-shirts with math or code humour (skeletal humour works, too, as in “I find this humerus”)
- Goths (Yet, we also like the originals: roaming Visigoths & Ostrogoths of the Roman Empire)
- Voyager Golden Record
- The Simpsons
- Comic books (yes, they are different)
- Saying Linux
- American Dad!
- Historical- and/or technical-inaccuracies of any kind (so we can first laugh, then correct them)
- Bad grammar (ditto)
- George Will
- Peppering conversation with foreign language-bon mots
- Shot-for-shot remakes (exclnt ex: Opening sequence to Indiana Jones I, stop-motion w/Hasbro figures)
- Memorizing, then sporadically reciting, TV and movie quotes (incl. full dialogues with multiple characters)
- Acquiring movie props (incl. the front-end of a film reel, cut and tossed, from an X-Files episode)
- Complaining about tech support
- Making lists
Did my pally omit anything? Let her know @JennyPopNet because I’m off to Antarctica!
Abyssinia at the South Pole, cats!