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"What? You... a geek?"

The American mind has been convinced that you are a geek by your outward apperence, I say, "Poo on you" to those people. I only recently was faced with the reality that no one except geeks really understand what it is all about. Note:(More follows)

Recently I was playing with the idea of making a t-shirt for some of my friends that was a geek pride t-shirt. Well, when I showed my mom my design, she quickly responded, "What? You... a geek?" Was I really that hard to pin?

Yes, I am usually dressed in very hip preppy clothes (a la khakis and shirts from the Gap, Bananna Republic, or A|X) and I find myself performing on any stage I can find. All of these things are not in the American psyche as being "geeky". After my mom had said those words, I was on a mission. I just had to show her what was already there. I went into my room and came back in with an arm full of things (NOTE: These are just a portion of the things I have!). I showed her my programming reference books, my Linux books, my ASP and PHP books, and my networking books. I brought out my entire collection of Monty Python movies and the entire DVD box set of the Flying Circus. I asked her what she thought I would be doing on my perfect Friday or Saturday night. Would it be hanging out at parties? Was it hitting on girls? No... she said, "You would go sit in front of your computer, eating pizza, and drinking Mountain Dew."

She then furrowed her brow and looked at me... "You are a geek." A smile spread accross my face. She still couldn't understand why I was proud of that. She didn't get it.

Uhhh... these normal people.

Anyhow, I don't know what the solution is, but we kind of need to redefine who we are. Oh yeah, dude maybe we should tweek the geek definition to this: "geek - One who enjoys the thrill of learning"... its really more true. You see I'm still geeking when I'm reading literature... those of us that are technophiles would have been book geeks (or are) before there are computers. The quest really is for knowledge and computers provide an oppertunity to learn and stimulate us intellecutally more than any other medium.

Its not really that important, but it is just something that I think is actually more of a misconception.

Comments

First off, I'll have to say that I disagree with your comment about the Bannana Republic, preppy clothing not being part of the American geek stereotype. Preppy clothing is number one on the list!


Second, I wouldn't define Geek as "one who enjoys the thrill of learning". I have an intense love of learning, but in no way would my perfect night be pizza, soda, and computer. I am also not a technophile (far from it, unfortunately!) though I was a voracious bookworm for most of my life. Now I'm stuck on the net. It's like a constantly renewed book.


Actually, I'd always understood the word "geek" to mean someone who,well, looked geeky;such as the original Geeks who were carnival performers,who were unkempt and scrawny,and bit heads off of chickens for the audience's viewing pleasure (no joke!).


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