Being a geek my entire life, I still have a hard time understanding how much of it has slipped into the mainstream. Like some bearded long-haired hipster, part of me wants to go “this is mine god-fucking-damnit! Go get your own niche!”
Alas, I have no say in what is popular and what I can keep. Being a geek has become so mainstream I can’t tell if I belong in a niche or whether I’m just part of the rest of the population of the planet. Here’s a list of how geekdom permeates (yeah, I fucking used the work permeates in a sentence) the mainstream.
Movies and Television
Do you remember when genre movies and television were just followed by a cult following? If you’re an old fart like me, you do. I remember talking about Star Wars in highschool and no one had any idea what I was talking about. Today, some of the highest rated TV shows are Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Biggest blockbusters are routinely genre in the theaters these days too: The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, etc.
This is a bit to a lesser degree but a lot of musicians turn out to be geeks. The best example of this is Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails who also scored the music for Quake. More recently we have Amanda Palmer’s amazing Kickstarter campaign to fund her latest album and touring.
That’s to say nothing of the smaller bands and Nerdcore. Seriously, we have an entire genre devoted to geeks singing songs about geeky shit.
The United States has a geek for it’s commander-in-chief. Obama is a certified, card-carrying geek. ‘Nuff said.
Bacon and coffee and Sriracha sauce. While all of these things have always been awesome, there’s a certain amount of holiness that has been developed around it. You can get bacon in practically anything and independent coffee chains are popping up like pimples on a teenager’s face.
That was probably the least appetizing analogy I’ve ever used.
And, yet… I bet you still want greasy, greasy bacon. Mmmm… bacon…
Geeks have always had sex. The one thing you need know about nerd conventions of any sort is that there’s a lot of sex going on in those hotel rooms. But more than that, being a geek can now be considered sexy these days. You can love Star Trek and be considered attractive– not despite loving Star Trek but BECAUSE you like it. And that’s a key difference right there.
While it’s great that many of us who at one time felt excluded are now accepted and vindicated for being who we are, I still sometimes miss being the misfit outsider. Despite some of the crappy bits of it, it always felt like I was in on a secret that no one knew about.
I guess I’ll just have to learn how to share.