Friday Five, Randomly Awesome

Pfft. And you call yourself a nerd. Tourist.

“The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.” – Chanakya

So very many things to do today, so unfortunately not a whole lot of time to dedicate to the kind of works of literary art you’ve come to expect from us at PSS, but I want to start a conversation still, because those are fun. Or something.

Geek chic is weird. Now that we’ve been thrust into the limelight, we find ourselves in recent years held under the same kind of scrutinous bullshit tests of nerd purity that other social cliques have been dealing with for years.

Guys? I saw the DM's notes earlier, and I think we're going to encounter a MAGIC DRAGON.
Guys? I saw the DM’s notes earlier, and I think we’re going to encounter a MAGIC DRAGON.

We don’t do so well with it, because well, part of what nerd identification is about is counterculture. I’m not talking about going against the grain for the sake of Sticking It To The Man, but the simple fact that ten out of ten times, I’d rather convene with some friends and pretend I’m an elf for a few hours than go to a dance club. And actually, that has exactly fuck-all to do with any of the things you read in my Healthy Gamer pieces. I like socializing, I like music, and yes, I like dancing.  This is simply about preference of activities.

Anyway, so being neck deep in the zeitgeist I’m going to go ahead and out myself on some things that will bring my nerd credibility into question.

1. I’ve never seen Blade Runner. It’s one of those things that’s on the list of things I should check out but I’ve never made it happen.

2. I hated The Goonies. To be fair, most Goonies aficionados (read: 95% of my goddamn generation) saw it in their childhood, which is probably a great time to see it and really create some fantastic memories. I saw it at 30. And thought it was painfully stupid. Also: fuck some kids that make the fat kid dance for their entertainment before he can come in.

Fashion Protips: 1. 99% of the white guys with dreads look stupid. 2. Don't have dreads with a forehead that's actually more like a five or sixhead. 3. When you're that white, don't dress like that. For fuck's sake.
Fashion Protips: 1. 99% of the white guys with dreads look stupid. 2. Don’t have dreads with a forehead that’s actually more like a five or sixhead. 3. When you’re that white, don’t dress like that. For fuck’s sake.

3. I didn’t think The Matrix: Reloaded was all that bad. Yes, there were some plot holes and  some things were amazingly stupid (“You won’t truly know someone until you fight them.” What the fuck?) but I found it to be largely enjoyable. It’s a shame they utterly destroyed whatever potential the trinity had left with a horrendous third film.

4. I don’t do Trek, and I barely do Who. When TNG (regarded by most modern nerds as the best of the various series) was new, it played opposite SNL, and that was back when SNL was still consistently funny. I’ll always choose to laugh. Over just about anything. Yes, I could catch up via Netflix, but if I were doing that, I would have even less time to do the things I am fighting to keep up with. I’d consider a Trek internship under an established master. I’ve watched about halfway through the first season of the new Doctor Who, and whereas I’m digging it, spare time is a luxury I can rarely afford. 

5. Not a comics guy. I know enough to get me through any conversation with non-nerds and most surface level conversations with comic nerds, but if it goes any deeper, I go into smile and nod mode. I did thoroughly enjoy the Preacher series though.

So, uh…yeah. Those are some of my deep dark nerd secrets. What are some of yours? Join the conversation below!

4 thoughts on “Pfft. And you call yourself a nerd. Tourist.

  1. I’m not really a nerd–I just end up involved with them. I hate almost all of nerd culture, including most of those things above. It’s all very surfacey and mathematical to me, even in its creativity. To me, the redeeming parts of nerd culture are as follows: the now defunct BBS scene, altered states, a “stick it to the man” theme, DIY mentalities, Neil Gaiman, Game of Thrones, zombie stuff, dystopic future stuff, conversations that are rooted in rationality, Settlers of Cataan, good jobs that support a family, and that’s about it.

    1. You forgot Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Butcher and (to a lesser extent) Ernie Cline. 🙂 You definitely raise some excellent points about the more serious sides of nerd culture, and those are traits that we can all be proud of. They may not be specifically unique to nerds, but we claim the lion’s share of them for sure. For this, I was mainly speaking to the entertainment media, as it is the most relatable easy subject to discuss. Thanks for reading!

  2. I have a difficult time accepting Geek Chic because it mainstreams something that we have used as our identity for so many years. An identity that we kept despite being picked on, teased, or ridiculed for finding something painfully uncool to be so awesome. However, part of being geeky is getting excited about teaching others of our ways and accepting people for who they are. With that being said, there are several irks I have when people question my nerdiness when I explain, no I do not play video games, I don’t watch the Big Bang Theory, and I’m just not really into Harry Potter. Oh, and anime is not my forte.

    1. It was never something we aimed for, no, it was just kinda how we are wired. There have been a number of entertaining articles written on the subject, my personal favorite was by comedian Patton Oswalt here

      It’s a curious time in geek culture to be sure. I go back and forth with my acceptance of the changing times. In my experiences, it’s funny in that people want to identify with it but only on a surface level. When I start talking about things that really interest me and why, their eyes glaze over and they nod until I bring up something they can tie to a Big Bang Theory reference. Which I can’t help but think of as blackface for nerds. I’m not a hater on the show. I’m not a regular watcher, but a few people have shown me episodes and admittedly, I laughed a few times, I didn’t find it uniquely awful, but it was not something I would go out of my way to watch. Like Community.

      I don’t really do anime either, although I saw Ghost in the Shell under the influence of a hallucinogenic as a much younger man. Whoa. Harry Potter is pretty decent though, and good for a lot of jokes.

      I live in the past where video games are concerned, although I am threatened under pain of death to play the Mass Effect games, so I’ll be giving those a try because I want to live. Most modern games just don’t appeal to me, and that’s what “gamer” has come to mean these days, which is another source of mild confusion for me. Thanks for reading!

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