The Geek and You

The portrayal of geeks by mainstream media is a constant source of frustration and anger for me; we’re usually shown (or, in reality TV shows, implied) to be socially inept virgins who live in our parents basements. We pass our time cataloguing our Star Wars memorabilia, correcting people on the proper use of the word “midichlorion” Slave Leia costumes. If you happened to see last night’s American Idol, you will have a fair idea of what I’m speaking of.

Really, fuck that.

I’m not going to deny that there’s an extreme fringe among geeks who even I find creepy, but guess what folks, there are yiffs, sodomites and masochists in all of the walks of life. I’ve personally known one completely ordinary appearing person who had tastes and interests that left me feeling physically sick, but they had the gall to smirk at me because I have a deep and abiding love of vintage science fiction. Thank you.

Myth 1: We’re socially backwards.
We’re not socially inept; most of us simply prefer to interact in means that we enjoy more. Internet discussions, instant messaging, text messaging, etc. You need to understand that we don’t talk for the joy of talking; we use it to communicate. Maybe it’s why we’re seen as so dysfunctional. We’re not so much ignorant of social norms, as we are aware of them, but we simply don’t care. Get the fuck over it.

I much prefer to deal with other geeks in social situations. Pleasure for me is playing network games with them for a few hours, sitting down around a table to play a pen and paper role-playing game, reading the latest part of a length email correspondence, or talking to them on an instant message network. How is going to parties and functions, for me and us, supposed to match this?

Myth 2: We have no friends.
Rubbish. Kaede lives in Japan, Michelle, Mike and Eileen live in Ireland, Flemming lives in Denmark, Gabi lives in Oklahoma and Jennifer lives in Texas. I keep in touch with them regularly both through the phone and internet, and I’ve had as many an enjoyable evening with them as I’ve had with any friend in the flesh. Actually, our relationship goes a little bit deeper. We don’t have the inhibitions that being in person brings, and the fatigue that seeing each other every day brings. It runs deeper and truer than many flesh and blood friendships and relationships that I’ve had.

Myth 3: Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons are the be-all of our interests.
For sure, I enjoy both of these, although most people’s interests in science fiction and fantasy run past these. I’m a middlingly-successful photographer, I’m teaching myself to write lengthy pieces and I love all kinds of science fiction and fantasy more than anything else. Star Wars has flashy special effects, but how is that to compare with the Book of the New Sun, The Night Land or At the Mountains of Madness?

Myth 4: We’re fated to die virgins and never know the comforts of the opposite sex.
I’m married to a wonderful wife and have a beautiful daughter. Enough said.

So get over it already. We have a mark of strangeness upon us, but we wear it openly and proudly. Without geeks quietly beavering away you would not have computers, or the television, or the internet. We are the people who work behind the scene to make sure the trains run on time, who make sure that supermarket stocks your favourite brand of biscuts, and geeks always have been at the heart of the entertainment industry.

by Mark Grealish

in me

Dashing brigand, handsome rapscallion, father, crazy cat lady and the world's greatest lover and liar, living in Dublin, Ireland.

Have your say on 'The Geek and You'

  • Lette on

    well I fall into the geek catagory ands I wholeheartedly agree with you!! Im not socially inept, I have many friends both through the net and in reall life, I go out regularly with these friends, and would be lost without it,

    I adore science fiction, mostly more modern day stuff admitadly, like Battlestar galactica, Torchwood, Dr.Who, even star trek, and I love star wars!

    I adore alternative movies, like Japanese and movies from all over the world, anime and manga, and I love cartoons!

    as for games, I am a freak!! I cant go a day without playing something, admitadly not PC games, and I have never played an online game, but I adore Halo, Halflife, Portal, the Ledgend of zelda series, Mario and Metroid. I collect vintage(ish) games consoles and between myself and my fiance we have everything from the Nintendo entertainment system uo to the modern day Wii and all the gameboy and Nintendo memorabilia in between… I have all the T-Shirts!!
    We also have an Atari! and an old space invader table top arcade from the 70’s, some collector handhelds from the 80’s too!

    as for sexlife? I have a fiance and we are very … am… active, thats private so nuff said! and besides that I very much know the comforts of his love outside of sex too, id be lost without him :)
    so feck that people thinking geeks are wierd unsociable wierdos! at least im not like all the other sheep on this earth, id hate to be part of that, and id rather be Unique anyday!

  • Jen on

    I have no friends and I sit alone at night playing WoW while furiously masturbating.

    Oh, wait.

  • Mark on

    I knew it!

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