In the 21st century world of the internet, geeks, and their wannabe pretenders, thrive. We discuss and argue, disseminate ideas and opinions at an extreme rate. We have found a new and fertile breeding ground for our supercilious proclamations of mastery over our particular subject matter. Geekdom it seems now lies in how often you can make an appeal for this series to return on a production company’s facebook or how many times you can get pictures of yourself in cosplay, for some ridiculous anime series that nobody has never heard of, onto instagram.
It has to be noticed, now it seems, it has to be seen. No longer is the geek content with just having a pair of Superman boxers which he keeps hidden under his jeans, oh no, now everything he wears has to be authentic, in-universe, from the series official collection and if it’s vintage then “Huzzah” all the better. (It should be noticed at this juncture, that saying “Huzzah” rather than “Great” or “Cool” does not make you sound daring in a Victorian adventurer kind of way, it just makes you sound foolish)
It’s the same way in which every teenage girl seems to have a copy of the same Ramones t-shirt, they’re all punks! Joey Ramone would be proud! Only they’re not, they’re just following a bandwagon (with the exception of one girl I know of who’s liked the Ramones since she was six). They’ve never heard “Blitzkrieg Bop” in their life. My friend, Gary and I, once made an agreement that if you wore a band t-shirt, then you had to know at least an album’s worth of their songs before you could wear it. If only the new generation of so called geeks felt the same.
It’s fashionable to be a geek! It’s all the rage to be a geek! Join the geek takeover! Only it’s not really geekery. It’s just trendy, like wine bars and mineral water and Del Boy’s Filofax in the late eighties, it’s in! (for any non-British readers of this blog, Del Boy Trotter is a character in the fantastic and classic UK sitcom “Only Fools and Horses”,its well worth a watch if you get the chance)
This new geekdom is low effort, low maintenance and best of all will lead to absolutely no loss of social status. Which is exactly why it’s not really geekdom, Its like a hundred metre sprint that doesn’t require any sprinting. You just turn up and wear the kit.
Now the real geek, on the other hand, spends years developing their geekiness. They hide themselves away watching entire tv series in a day. They sat through all four seasons Wil Wheaton was on “Star Trek :The Next Generation” and wouldn’t dare to say “Wheaton”, with the people who think they’re geeks because they watch “Big Bang Theory”, because they actually remember what an annoying character Wesley Crusher truly was. They read the books that science fiction series are based on then they watch the series. They call “cosplay”, “fancy dress” because they know that calling it something new won’t make it cool and what geek ever wanted to be cool anyway.
The real geek understands that we do it all for the love of it. Not to be noticed. We did it only to see a bunch of people jump on bandwagons, left, right and centre. When Peter Capaldi was announced as the latest Dr Who, a female fan went on twitter and complained about the fact that “Dr Who should be fit” and I thought back to my teenage self, saving my money hard for vhs tapes of a series that wasn’t even on television anymore at that point, and I realised how much being a geek means nothing anymore. There have been 12 actors (if you count John Hurt’s War Doctor) who have portrayed Dr Who on T.V. and Capaldi will be the 13th and with the exception of the last two, none have been considered fit. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe geeks are now young trendy people with vintage moustaches and steam punk anime cosplay not working stiffs like me. Oh well, I better go watch that season of “Babylon 5” I’ve been meaning to watch all week.