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The Modern Geek Chronicles:
As I was having steaks with a very good friend and her precious geekling a few days ago I got to thinking: How does one raise a geek?
On the surface, it seems like a simple question. After all, as geeks ourselves, we know how to care for ourselves and so, intuitively, we assume that the raising of a geek is just a matter of transferring the means and methods of our own biological requirements onto them. In other words:
Feed your geek. (Soylent Green on Tuesdays)
Water your geek. (Brawndo’s got electrolytes)
Provide an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere at an optimal temperature of 25 C. (sunlight optional)
Follow these steps and your geekling will grow like the mighty oak! Right?
Hell no, actually.
Food, water and shelter do not a geek make Dive deeper…
She Geeked All Over Me
There I was, geeking it up at a poetry reading in Atlanta. My weapon of choice? A suite of superhero poems that smacked the crowd in the face like a twenty-pound halibut. None of them saw it coming—including the guy that had the job of going on after me. After I’d geeked all over the stage and blown the crowd’s mind like so much raw Spice, he stepped hesitantly up to the microphone and managed a few laughs during his 15 minutes of reading time. But when the applause ended and the house lights came up and he and I found ourselves alone in the far corner of the venue—giving one another the obligatory “Good job” pep talks—he couldn’t wipe the Geek off of his face.
I’d just Geek-bombed him and broken his sprit a little. Dive deeper…
In my continuing exploration of my own Geek, I came to realize I needed a code, an ethos, pillars upon which I may become a better geek and, ultimately, further Geek as a whole. Thus was born the 1100 Tenets of Geek.
Through these words, may the Geek flow for you as it has flowed for me.
1: Admit that you are a geek and that you are powerless against your particular denomination(s) of Geek.
2: Believe that there is a power greater than you, and it is called Geek. And though Geek takes many forms, always strive to recognize it.
3: Make the decision to turn your life over to Geek.
Over dinner with a friend recently I realized two things: 1) I am a geek and 2) I am not alone.
I say it’s high time we geeks took back the moniker that has, for so long, been a source of both pain and pride. It’s time we smile when they call us “geek” or “dork” or “nerd.”
It’s time to be Modern Geeks.
THE MODERN GEEK’S MANIFESTO
I am the modern geek.
I own a PS3, XBOX360 and a Wii. I know who the true King of Kong is. I know that the Umbrella Corporation is as real as I make it. I know what BioWare is not a fashion line made from hemp. I know that the Unreal Engine has nothing all to do with auto racing. I know that Valve is not about turning water off or on. I understand that the key to surviving life is not planning ahead, it’s ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B, A, B, A, START.
I am not embarrassed by this, for I am the modern geek.
I own a PC, a Linux box, and currently have my eyes on more than one Apple. I understand dual boot. I crash my computer(s) at least once a month, just to rebuild them. Just to make them faster, stronger; because I understand that, at some point, Lee Majors had to be beta tested. I understand that when someone spells Python with a capital P it’s not a typo and that there won’t be a single reptile mentioned in the words that follow. I understand that my computer is not magic. I concede that, ultimately, it is knowable. I build my life around this philosophy.
I am not ashamed of this, for I am the modern geek.
I workout. And I workout not because I want to be healthy, but because I realize that working out is equivalent to powering up. I understand that gaining one pound of muscle is equivalent to adding one point to my STR stat. I also understand that Gatorade is not a recovery drink, it’s a recovery potion. When I run, I’m really just side-scrolling.
I refuse to be ridiculed for this, for I am the modern geek.
I go to the movies every week. I go not only for the good movies, but for the bad ones…sometimes especially for the bad ones. I can quote every line of dialogue from Aliens, Star Wars, Dark City and Conan the Barbarian upon demand. My video game characters are always named Lawgiver because “I am the Law!” I know how many times Jeff Bridges said “Man” in Tron: Legacy. I know that James Cameron directed Piranha 2: The Spawning. I know how to spot worm sign. I know that Bill Paxton is the only person to be killed by an alien, a predator and a terminator.
I do not hide this knowledge, for I am the modern geek.
I know what the Guyver unit is. I know that there is a Ghost in the Shell. I dig Appleseeds. I know the secret identity of Racer X—even the live-action one.
I know what Helvetica is. I hate Comic Sans.
I’ve read Snow Crash.
All these things and more are within my realm of knowledge, for I am a geek. But even more important than all these things is the fact that I am not ashamed of any of them…for I am the modern geek.
I do not suffer in solitude and loneliness. While I have my nerd cave, I am not a prisoner of it. I commune with my fellow geeks. Together we are strong. Together, we are the foundation of the modern world. My fellow geeks built the internet. My fellow geeks make it better each day. My fellow geeks created and maintain Facebook, a venue of such high-geek quality that even non-geeks can use it. My brethren have sent rovers to Mars. They smash atoms at nearly the speed of light before breakfast.
I am not frightened by non-geeks. They have bullied, ridiculed and mocked me in the past, but I am the modern geek. I wear it on my sleeve. I have earned my title of “Geek.” I do not take it lightly. I strive to become a better geek.
I am strong.
I am many.
I am proud.
I am the Modern Geek.