Okay boys and girls, get your commenting caps on. I want to know what you think of this video I found via wilwheaton.net.
About 10 seconds in I was thinking to myself, “Look, just show me the logo for Axe, or Gillette fusion Gamer or whatever you’re trying to push on me. Don’t preach to me about what I am or am not.”
While agree with the video’s overall message, the presentation comes off as a little dishonest. Unlike the “I Am Canadian” commercials on which this video was based, geek stereotypes aren’t just based off the conjecture of people refusing to see beyond their overgrown lawns. I happen to fit in to some of the stereotypes that the those so-called geeks dismiss. I play D&D whenever I find a group. My wife knows that when I’m plugged into my iphone, that DOES mean I’m not listening. Most of the clarifications in the video sound derisive and condescending (“It’s pronounced MEEM not MEEMEE!”). With all of the specialization that goes on in Geek culture, I take for granted that I will have to slow down on the jargon at some point.
I’m not even sure there is a need for such a thing as a Society for Geek Advancement. Aren’t we a society for advancement, period? Aren’t we geeks all ready to wrestle with something that’s complicated and unfamiliar just because it’s there? To me, the geek life is the last bastion of the frontier spirit. In the past, if you wanted to explore the unknown, all you had to do was get a horse and keep riding over the horizon. Now, with the entire world explored, we are left to satisfy our mental wanderlust with computers, handicrafts, literature, science, and technology. We toil and struggle with whatever we’re obsessed with and more often than not we acquire more knowledge that we use to get ahead. It doesn’t even have to be a new invention, because if you are the only person in town who knows how to string a CSS together, chances are you’ll be able to make some money from that.
While we geeks struggle to find our place in polite society, we don’t have to make any apologies for who we are. Geekiness is not a curse, it’s a blessing. The fortitude and discipline to follow your passion can sooth any swirly and weather any wedgie. If society has grown to depend on our knowledge and our inventions, we can handle a little stereotyping now and then.