Monday, June 4, 2012


Geek culture, nerdery, geekdom, fanboyism. Call it what ever you want, we all know what you're talking about. It's sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes, video games, movies, books, tv-shows, comics, toys, gadgets, technology, collectible everything, enthusiastic about anything.

I collect comics, among other things. What does that make me, but a comic book collector?
I like that last word: Enthusiastic. A person needs a passion or two. Not excessive passion, which can be unhealthy. But I prefer to be around people who are passionate and enthusiastic, almost regardless of what the subject is. A person who collects vintage tea spoons? I love it! A person who's heavily into paranormal activity? Awesome! A person who watches obscure Italian sci-fi movies? Tell me more!

The last years, Nerd Chic has become a thing, a fashion, being a nerd has become cool - to a certain point.
Not too much, just enough to be in the loop with the most mundane terms and the absolute basics of the culture.
You totally recognized Thanos. Show some enthusiasm!
And I'm not sure why, but it rubs me the wrong way. It's popular to ironically associate with enthusiasts such as myself, but these "hipster geeks" only scrape the surface of what they consider to be the fanboy/girl culture.

In essence, the term "geek" has become cool, but only for extremely popular aspects of the culture (reading Lord of the Rings = cool. Reading amazing comics like Smith's run on Green Arrow = Lame), and threading past those limits (like LOTR cosplay) are still considered "lame". Maybe I'm a bit indignant over the fact that the hipster geeks doesn't dare to show their true colors.

So you went and saw The Avengers, and laughed ironically afterwards over what you described as a "kid's movie"? No. You loved it. Now go home and dig up your old comics.

Don't get me wrong, my best friends are all collectors, gamers or true enthusiasts of some sort, and the girls who are legitimately into "geekdom" can be cool. 

But every once in a while, I run into people like the "Idiot Nerd Girl".

I get the idea of labeling yourself, it's an important part of identifying with specific groups of people.

But more often than not, it's painfully obvious that the self-diagnosis is a way to ironically distance themselves from being who they truly are, and being legitimately proud - and most importantly - relaxed about their interests.

So, I'm sorry, but if you read Harry Potter you're not a nerd. You just happen to read an extremely popular fantasy book. If you like Star Wars, you're not a geek, you just happen to like the most popular movie franchise ever. You played a video game? Good for you, but does it really make you a geek? Are you sure now? 
You think toys are only for kids?

Anyone who are even remotely into Lego - or superheroes - should have these sets and be proud. You won't get a label from me, apart from "awesome!"
I must admit, I don't like labels, because we all have such a specific set of interests. But for all I know, "geek" may have a completely different meaning than the connotations that seem to be the consensus.
I guess people can call themselves what ever they want. But I'm not impressed by the guys and girls out there who are simply following the latest trend, instead of being honest about their interests and what they actually like.

A good example of that honesty is my sister. She's heavily into novels (books without pictures!) and movies, she likes the occasional superhero and watches an imperial ton of British TV-shows. She doesn't make a fuzz about her enthusiasms, nor does she brag about being a geek, even though I assume she would be considered one. Why would she? She's just a girl who loves cool stuff. I categorize her as enthusiastic, with a healthy amount of awesome interests. Does she engulf herself in very particular subjects from time to time? Oh yeah, but it's usually a phase.
She's proud of her passions and regularly share her enthusiasm for her - as well as others' hobbies.

For my birthday, recently, my sister finished some needlepoints for me. I had drawn the pattern, and she uhm.. stitched them. I'm really pleased with how they turned out, and I'm going to frame them individually. I'm sure she would argue that this is something out of the ordinary, that anyone making – or owning such needlepoints has to be enormous geeks, but it really isn't so. There are few guys my age in the western world who doesn't recognize these symbols.

Finally, do I consider myself a nerd or a geek? Well, let me put it this way, I barely even know what the words mean, what the difference is, of if there is a difference. Read through my blog and you'll probably have a better idea of who I am than I do myself.
I'm consider myself an enthusiast. I have many interests, all which are awesome. (And my sister is kind of awesome too for making me Transformers needlepoints)

No comments: