Are You A Geek.. The “New”, Sexy Kind?


What is geek? Or who.

 

 DISCLAIMER:  The opinions and views here, as always, are those of our contributors and not our organization as a whole.  That said, this editorial is meant to provoke and inspire..  Join the conversation.  Labels are never 100% accurate but they do help us connect and identify with each other, no?

If you don’t understand half of the jokes on The Big Bang Theory, that doesn’t mean you’re not a geek. If you can’t explain why Captain Picard is superior to Captain Kirk – that may be a problem. And it’s a problem because geek can be cool. Geek can rock.

You want to rock – don’t you? In other words, you want to be accepted, loved and honored – right?

It’s been suggested that the historical usage of the term, geek, refers to 20th Century circus performers that challenged conventional perceptions and experience. The bearded woman. The dwarf. The man or woman who would bite the heads off of live chickens. But the term, geek, came back into currency in the last twenty something years and it came back to mean something else entirely.

On the one hand, geek came to be substituted for nerd – a socially  and emotionally challenged, highly intelligent, obsessively compulsive, introverted, fearful personality type. At least that’s what Dr. Seuss seems to imply. [grin] But the present usage of geek is almost sexy and, almost, cool. Geeks can be desirable and geeks might just save the world. Or, at least, we would like to believe that geeks will save the world.

While nerds tend to barricade themselves in their domain of interests and ignore the challenges of ordinary human experience, geeks want to live and they want to feel alive. Geeks get excited about the things that people get excited about – supercars, intercontinental business class flights, and attractive, exciting lovers.

All of which means that the geek wants to own acceptance, approval, praise, celebration and, oh yeah, a whole lotta love.

Both geeks and nerds will overthink things. They are information junkies but that doesn’t mean they know how to effectively use information, filter and sift it, make good decisions or act upon it. The geek, however, makes a better effort to derive some kind of value from the data collection. Their motivation to do so, of course, is money, power and influence. Of course, most of them won’t admit to their ambitions. Because it would look bad. It would look Chatlanian.

Beyond the general distinction between the nerd and the modern geek, there’s several behaviors by which you can recognize the new, sexy geek.  Below are six clues that I have observed.

Grooming

The new geek knows how to groom and dress up for the occasion.

They don’t have to turn it on all the time but when they do, they do it well. They go for the cut, color and style and you don’t get that at a barbershop or low cost, franchise hair cuttery. Male geeks get manicures and pedicures on occasion. They shower daily and know a little something about maintenance cosmetics and fragrance.

 

miss-rohr-and-the-woodsmans-pal

 

Of course, you are likely to find them in a bathrobe, underwear or birthday suit at home where no one sees them.

Relationships

The new geek knows how to relate to people that are interesting to them – colleagues, friends, lovers, successful geeks, fans and followers.

They have some understanding of how to respect, cherish, support and savor the people meaningful to them. They try to remember birthdays, they choose and give thoughtful gifts and they expect likewise. They can be devoted friends and lovers but only as long as their friends and lovers are interesting, intense, and live up to their expectations. How interesting (not weird) are you?

 

Pray

 

The 30 something new geek has 3 or more friends, was involved in 3 or more romantic relationships and has more than 100 “friends” across social media. They talk about the bad shit that is going on in the Ukraine, Egypt, Nigeria and elsewhere. They do road trips to Star Bucks, Krispy Kreme, In and Out, and White Castle.

I fondly remember geeky road trips from Los Angeles to the burrito place at the Santa Cruz bus stop.

Neo-hedonism

Though it might be tempting to suggest the new geek is a neo-epicurean, modesty and, perhaps, virtue is not basic to the new geek think.

Like the neo-epicurean, the new geek is a materialist. They love life, the world, and the unrestricted promise (false or otherwise) of happiness and pleasure.  Obviously, the new geek makes a poor missionary, patriot, revolutionary, saint or soldier.

Unlike the neo-epicurean, the new geek seeks self-gratification with a little (or lot of) license and zeal. They gush about the things that give them happy – Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest give them a voice for such material, self-centered self-expression. They make passionate customers., but also fickle if you can’t keep it interesting.

 

birthday lobster

 

Any kind of spirituality a new geek does always comes with a heavy handed materialism. Not a shallow or ruthless materialism – but an undeniable interest in the physical world and one’s physical well-being. The new geek is very comfortable with the paradox of wanting to save the world without the self-denials that come with a deep spirituality.

Gaming

Geeks love games and not just computer or traditional parlor games.

They love to game life, excel, compete, and receive honor for their achievements. Every geek has to know and have played Sid Meier’s Civilization and played God-level and won against near impossible odds. It’s the ultimate litmus test of geek sexual performance. Or I jest.

 

Pandamonium Hearthstone Card Back Faryna

 

Seriously, the new geek games in one way or another. Everquest, World of Warcraft, Poker, casino games, day trading, etc. – two or more of these things should evoke nostalgia, fond memories of glory and comrades, and a shit-eating grin for the new geek. Candy Crush and Farmville do not count.

Higher Consciousness

The new geek is not simply egocentric, but his/her egocentrism expands to the far reaches of the universe, multiverse, life, time and extra-dimensional cultures.

So, yeah, the new geek likes sci-fi, fantasy and/or end of the world content. The new geek knows something about Doctor Who, Mad Max, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Terminator, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Any of which can seem outrageous when such higher consciousness is self-expressed in cosplay or other geeky antics.

But there’s another side to this higher consciousness that is sensible – curiosity, open-mindedness, problem-solving, creativity, empathy, and a deeper connection with the world, with others and with creation. This is often expressed by a desire to do the right thing, save the world, or make a difference.

Luna Moth 3 Faryna May 2014

 

The new geek gives money to causes because that’s how we live out our secret super powers. Batman, Superman and all the X-Men may inspire us, but we can slap down the spare change and make things happen. Five bucks here for Bloo, 20 bucks there and $100 elsewhere – more than a few times in a year. They might not have the time to give to the homeless, poor or whatever but they know if they don’t throw money at several causes and fundraisers – they aren’t doing what they can.

Mommies and Daddies

The new geek could be a mommy, a daddy, grandparent or alien from P9C-372.

They may remember Tom Baker playing Doctor Who. Or the PBS telethons that did the Whovian marathons. They may even remember previous incarnations of the Doctor.

They may find it difficult to admit that Picard is superior to Kirk, but as long as they know a little something something about TNG, Babylon 5, Farscape, SG1, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones – they’re doing something right. [grin]

Yes, they have to know about the X-men too – not just Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Wonder Woman.

Are you the sexy, new kind of geek?

Is there anything else that you would modify or add to this list?    Share them with us in the comments! Because the new geek makes awesome comments.

 

 

Stan Faryna is a sexy geek. He’s writing an epic  sci-fi, fantasy, end-of-the-world story that is going to be a multi-week New York Times best-seller and hit HBO TV series. Or so he hopes.

Support our ad partners and/or leave comments below!

About Stan Faryna

Comments

  1. Great editorial, Stan!

    I like what you said about the origins and perhaps etymology of the word “geek”. I certainly agree that, though it can be seen as synonymous with “nerd”, the traditional definition still applies. Geeks are passionate about unconventional, perhaps non-mainstream things. We challenge conventional thoughts, innovate, and inspire. Certainly, that is the definition that we try to project here at Geeky Antics.

    Interestingly enough, while the term “geek” has been embraced more and more, “nerd” can really set people off. Our own Chris Gannon of the Gaming Death Podcast deplores the term. It’s understandable because labels attempt to put us in a box and lead to gross generalizations. I feel like being a geek and embracing that helps us connect further. It’s a movement.. The GEEKY movement!

    #GeeksUnite

    I consider myself a geek 24/7 and a nerd at times. To me, they are both compliments, even if someone slaps the labels on me with some ill intent. The negative connotation of “nerddom” is that it assumes passion to the point of obsession. Geeks tend to be more balanced with their passions, even if they make certain interests into lifestyles. Like you said, we’ve adapted to be more outgoing and extroverted. Even introverted geeks are more socials these days.

    Gaming is certainly a major facet of geek culture. I’d say you can be geeky about just about anything. We have discussed that sports, politics, and religion may be exceptions because those are things that are so pervasive that just about everyone gets roped in somehow. That said, perhaps certain topics or tangents thereof can be geeky.

    This is a very personal, subjective thing of course. For example, I can’t see someone saying, “That guy is a real geek about sports – he goes to every Falcons and Dawgs game there is!” I *can* see someone saying, “That’s a real geek – he/she knows all the stats and wins fantasy football every year!”

    There is a certain aspect of geek culture that can be seen as “hipster”. You know, liking things before they become mainstream. We certainly do like our niches because I think every geek, to some extent, wants to be a pioneer in their own way. We want to explore new things, provide fresh perspectives, and share our passions with the few that can relate. We don’t expect everyone to agree with us; in fact, it could be said that we thrive on disagreement. When we finally find congruent thoughts, we form strong bonds.

    I believe you captured the essence of GANG here bro. This my vision and my core principles in a nutshell. Though, I must admit, I am no longer in my metrosexual geek phase.. These days, I sometimes like like Chewbacca. I’m okay with this. =o>

    Perhaps the greatest challenge we find is aligning our passions with our work.. Or at least striking a balance so that we don’t get too consumed by any one thing we are geeky about. I think we can all relate to marathon runs and hardcore indulgences.. Gaming as a lifestyle itself is a big pitfall for us.

    For example, and this is just my personal experience, I find that Playstation gamers tend to be more anti-social (they kinda exist in their own little bubble) because they are so immersed in single-player, narrative-driven experiences.. Let’s face it: when it comes to gaming consoles, no one has the deep pockets and infrastructure for online gaming like Microsoft.. Now let’s see which geeks come out of the shadows to counter that point.

    Passion – it’s a beautiful thing.. GEEK ON! =oD

    • Stan Faryna says:

      That is quite a gauntlet to throw down – console or PC game. [grin]

      Here’s my take: the great challenge that console has not overcome is the social factor. The console environment is not conducive to connection, friending and, dare I say it, love and rockets. Google plus also faced the same challenge and has yet to succeed in it’s attempt at social gaming.

      #Geeksunite

      Oh yeah! [said Koolaid style]

      Beyond my provocations and tongue in cheek, soul searching is the last thing that geeks want. Let alone a light shone unto their dark places. But there’s a reason we all would take Q to the prom or class reunion (in the appropriate gender to our preference) and that reason ain’t pretty.

      Just think about it. [grin]

      As for the metrosexuality, I do fear that it doth decline as we age and build in character, good sir. Good wine comes in dusty bottles.

  2. This is such an enlightening and enjoyable piece.

    I’ll be honest, I’m no nerd nor geek, and I don’t mean that in a “better than thou” type of way either. I was the kid who truly toed the line and never really fit into the cool kids group nor the nerd or geek group.

    So for me, I find it so interesting to learn more about geeks and nerds. I really liked that this piece differentiated the two without poking fun or being disrespectful.

    I really enjoyed learning more about geeks, especially such positive things. It has truly given me a new perspective on who geeks are and why they should be loved and respected.

Trackbacks

  1. […] reflected on what a geek is here. I plunder the mojo of the new geek. And geeks got really, really […]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...