The Popularity of Geek

Lisa Respers France’s CNN article “Geek now chic in pop culture” seems like just the latest in what seems like a large number of contemplations in regards to the fact that all of the sudden geekiness seems quite the popular thing.   Personally, while I find it all quite interesting, I ultimately must deem this sudden awareness of the popularity of “geek” as ridiculous.  The reason is that I think that things that are seen as geeky have long been a very developed part of popular culture, it is just that in the modern day and age, with all our ways of communicating and sharing information, there is an appearance of a huge increase in the “popularity” of geekiness.

And here is the question I really have: does not the “popularity” of geekiness in some way render it not truly geeky?  Are we witnessing the onset of Post-Geek culture and the development of Neo-Nerd theory?  The reason I ask is because it seems to me that one thing that always previously distinguished geeks and nerds from other “normal” (yeah fuck that normal, most of the jocks I’ve known in my life have been the most disturbingly un-normal people I’ve ever met) people.  You see the thing that nobody seems to be bringing up is how the act of deeming “geek” as “popular” in fact changes that thing which is assumed to be “geek.”

I would also put a lot of weight in regards to the gradual generational shift that is currently in progress.  We are not just living post-Cold War, but also post-9/11.  New insecurities are present within our culture that do not seem to be as easily averted by mere strong muscled machismo or some semblance of “stable normality.”  Our lives are wreathed in drastically advancing and changing technologies (what, you can read a book on a fancy-dancy little fucking hand held computery thingy now?).  We are uncertain about the safety of our economy, our nation, and our world. And in many ways we are nostalgic for that better, simpler time (which never actually existed btw).  In that sense the geek creates the perfect modern everyman/woman.  Skilled and intelligent, albeit naive and unsure of themselves.  Aware that the world moves faster than he or she can keep up with it.  So they resolve to settle into the only comfort that can be found in the overall unawareness of their own social quirks and failings.

That being said I think that I might like to pursue a degree in Neo-Nerd/Post-Geek culture/theory.

~ by Nathaniel on May 6, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Popularity of Geek”

  1. I agree it is a fascinating study. However, people that try to act “geek-like” for the sake of being ironic need to be punched in the head by everybody.

    • Agreed. And once the head punch has felled them let us commence with the standard groin kicking.

      It’s interesting that you bring it up, because I think that that is yet another problem with the nouveau-geek pop. That a lot of people like to associate with this pop concept of “being geeky” or all things “dork” but miss the fact that none of this is really geeky or dorky at all, it is just pop cultures attempted verisimilitude of those things that might actually encompass the being of “geek.” Of course this is delving into the depth of the theoretics of Neo-Nerd cultural criticism. Needless to say, any dumb bimbo or troglodyte jock saying “Yea I’m such a geek,” truly deserves a good ol’ slap and/or punch in the face.

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