Geek/Countergeek

People have labels. They help society classify different varieties of members of our species. Some labels are attractive, as are usually those individuals who are associated with them. Other labels are not as attractive, but accurate in the generalized sense.

Among these labels are the following:

Jocks
Cheerleaders
Goths
Rockers
Stoners
Punks
Playas
Pimps
Hoes
Posers
Wiggers
Freaks
Geeks

Most of these terms are, as I mentioned above, very general. Not all jocks are only into sports and possess an IQ comparable to a jar of mayonnaise, whereas posers may be really into sports, but the group with which he spends most of his time gives little regard to athletic matters.

I have been termed a geek by society, and it makes sense. I know way too much about computing technology to associate normally with the outside world without some sort of translator at my side, and I'm venting this matter through a website, coded in HTML. If that ain't geek, I dunno what is.

But then there's the subculture that geeks have developed over the years. Magic: The Gathering. Tolkien. Role-Playing Games. Comic Books Graphic Novels. Star Trek. Animè. (uggh, animè. Whole different topic of frustration).

I have a long standing tradition of making fun of those who partook in the cult of worshiping these false idols of geekdom. For example: In high school at lunch time, there would always be a table of eight celebrated nerds gathered to play Magic. The priority was not focused upon consuming food or socializing with other people, but upon destroying the person sitting across from them in some imaginary, pretend world.

(This is all hypothetical, of course. I have no real grasp of the so-called objective of this monstrous waste of time and money.)

This attitude propagated to the many offspring of the Magic family, including Star Trek and Star Wars cards (some of which are still played by the more unfortunate of those who commonly associate with myself).

As for Star Trek, I could never watch an entire episode of it or any one of its many spinoffs. Far too nerdy for myself. Too much technical talk and not enough of anything else. The legions of supernerds who have wasted their lives away learning to become fluent in a completely fictional language (my apologies to Esperanto) boggle my mind. The earth has room for such larger-than-life nerdery?

These same people who were far too into Star Trek also tended to be far too into Tolkien fiction. So he 'invented' a literary genre. Good for him. I have him to thank for those oh-so-exciting Choose-Your-Own-Adventures. ...And the Nobel goes to...

A friend of mine was shocked to learn that by mid-March (2002), I still hadn't seen The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It further shocked him to learn that I didn't watch Star Trek, never had any desire to play Final Fantasy, and couldn't stand the thought of watching animé.

What threw him off was my enjoyment of such quasi-nerdy comedy troupes as Monty Python and the Kids in the Hall. Basically, if you quote a single line from The Holy Grail, you are automatically and permanently considered a geek by all society. Fine with me.

But explain this one: After a recent brush with a fresh installation of Linux, I decided that my O/S of choice will always be Windows. I know, that makes me an inferior geek, or even a pseudo-geek, but I really prefer it that way.

Those commands in Unix are straight out of an episode of Star Trek.

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