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Why is everybody fighting to be called "geek"?

Date/Time Permalink: 07/26/12 12:16:58 pm
Category: Geek Culture

OK, everybody explain it to the dumb guy. Let's try it that way.

Yesterday, I saw the latest hissy fit thrown on CNN about who gets the "privilege" of being called "geek". I wrote this post.

Now, the battle rages on. Wahhhh! I'm a geek, you're a geek, no you're not a geek, no I am and you're not, wahhhh! Felicia Day is pissed. Booth babes are pissed. Women are pissed. CNN troll bloggers are pissed. Developers are pissed. Small, furry creatures from Alpha Centauri are pissed.


What are you fighting over?

What is SO SPECIAL about this one stinking little word?

I started this site some six years ago for geeks. "Geeks" as I had it in mind, were, as I indicated in yesterday's post, people like Cody Brocious. To me, it's a profession. It's something you do. Had I had the foresight to know that in six years, world war three would be waged over the World's Most Important Word, I would have chosen a different word. Which still would have meant what "geek" used to mean.

Why do people want to be called "geek"? Why do they complain that they're being "excluded"? "Excluded" from what?

Does it give you a break on your taxes?

Do you get the A-table at Spago's without a reservation?

Do you get your own jet fighter?

Does it get you out of jury duty?

What is this special advantage to being a geek that makes everybody desperately claw and grab at it like it was the ring of Mordor? Why this word and not "dog catcher" or "president" or "Rastafarian"? Because none of those titles have any more prestige than any other, either. The difference is in your mind.

What is this imagined prestige that this coveted title of the word "geek" begets? Because I've never seen it. I still have to pay for my groceries at the store like anybody else. I imagine Cody Brocious does, too, unless he rigs the Arduino to hack the cash registers next.

Why does Felicia Day want to be called "geek"? What's wrong with calling her "an actress and writer"? Being an actress and writer is nothing to be ashamed of! Why do video game fans at the convention want to be called "geek"? What's wrong with calling them "gamers"? Being a gamer is nothing to be ashamed of! Why do the women who just show up to try to pick up a geek want to be called "geeks"? Why wouldn't they be happy to be known as "groupies"? Being a groupie is nothing to be ashamed of!

No, I actually want this explained to me until it makes sense.

Why does everybody want to be named "Geek"?

Commenters, you have the floor.

EDIT Great, first time I've ever done a public poll and now Disqus cratered the comment reply form. EIBANOKW. (Everything Is Broken And No One Knows Why) TO COMMENT, GO TO THIS POST, the previous one. Its Disqus comment box is working; this one isn't. They both have the exact same code. (In fact, all posts on this blog use the exact same code - this is how all blog software works!) Yet that one works and this one doesn't. For no reason.

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