I grew up in a fairly small, redneck town, which produced both a NASCAR driver and a bestiality scandal, which in my opinion says everything you need to need to know. Try to contain your surprise when I tell you I didn’t really fit in with a town of lite-beer drinking, Carhartt-wearing hillbillies (they’re great, really). I had one friend who liked Star Wars too, and we would play the old Star Wars CCG together, which were purchased from the Hallmark store (which wasn’t actually a Hallmark store, it just sold Hallmark cards, but that’s what we called it. But I digress). One time we were walking out, hard earned $3.50 spent on Dagobah booster packs, and a group of the passing ‘cool kids’ yelled “NERDS” at us.
It strikes me funny, in light of experiences such as the aforementioned, that now peoples ‘geek cred’ is questioned. I know the ‘fake geek’ thing is old news, but I recently saw an example of it, so you get to read this rant. Because, seriously, there is no ‘geek card’. No one passes a test. “Crap, I only scored a 25 on the Star Trek portion of the test and I don’t think Doctor Who is really that good, so my card got denied”. That’s not a thing.
There is this mentality that we- collectively, as humans- want to pretend doesn’t apply to us, and it’s twofold. On one side of the coin, there is what, in the timeframe of the first paragraph, were called ‘posers’. People who wanted to be ‘cool’, wore the right clothes, said the right things, but were still not, as decided by the cool kids. Then there is the mentality of the ‘cool kid’ themselves- that they are part of some exclusive club and they get to decide who to let in. In 1997 rural Washington, it had to do with hunting and sprint car racing. In 2014, it has to do with wearing Star Wars apparel, and god have mercy on your soul if you don’t have every line memorized, as decided by someone who does.
If you were a geek in the 80’s and 90’s, you lived through all that. Nerds were not cool at all, probably still aren’t in most schools. If you grew up in a town like me, you were an outcast, and man, you wanted to be cool, or at least, not to be ridiculed. But now, nerds are cool! We broke through! We have conventions and comic book movies are the toast of Hollywood and everything! But, somewhere along the line, part of geek culture morphed into a twisted jock superiority complex. Enjoy the fact that people want to be geeks, and stop worrying about if they are or not.