12 June 2006

Crimes of Passion: A Geek Manifesto (of sorts)

So, I took the Geek Test, scoring a delightful 27.7%. (Miserable compared to my Harry Potter Obsession score, though the quiz is slightly outdated. . . . I think I get bonus geek points for actually thinking about rewriting that test.) And oddly I am only ashamed that my geek score is not higher.

Why do I enjoy being a geek? Actually, the question is why is being a geek so out of fashion? In my modernism class, we talked about our society's obsession with entertainment. One of the most important qualities we look for in people is if they are funny (ie entertaining), and the insult that can stop anything flat is "boring."

And yet, we also strangely avoid all semblance of being entertained by anything. Oh sure, you can say you enjoyed a movie, or like a particular song. But if you go much further than that, express any real enthusiasm for anything, much less anything academic, and you are labeled a fanatic (from which we get 'fan'), nerd, perhaps narrow in your interests. In other words, a geek. Really, the word geek encompasses so many interests--science, math, games, literature, music, history, philosophy, movies, theater, band, choir, books, sports--that it has come to mean anyone an abnormally large passion for anything.

And we scorn geeks.

Thus, our society has come to laugh at people who care. This can't be a healthy thing. Though some people might call geekhood an "unhealthy obsession," I certainly think over-indulging in the things you enjoy is much better than this repression of passion that we have in modern society. At least geeks are willing to admit that they care about something, and to follow through with the things they care about. They are willing to be happy, and not because of the big things either. We don't have to wait to get perfect grades, a huge raise, a trip to Hawaii, and perfect relationship to enjoy life. Geeks can enjoy themselves by learning a new word, figuring out that physics formula, watching a new TV show, getting a new RSS feed, or playing dress-up for-goodness-sake! Why does the modern world insist on being so hard to please, when happiness can be found in all these small things that geeks see everyday!

Which brings me to the centerpiece of this blog entry, which I found the other day and made me feel immensely satisfied, especially considering recent posts. I found out about this geek dating website, Geek2Geek, (not of my own accord--it was advertised on PotterCast . . . oh, never mind) built for the express purpose of getting geeks together. Now, I'm not advocating internet dating here. I bring up this website because of this list:

Top 10 Reasons Why Geeks Make the Best Catch

It’s not generally realized that geeks (male and female) are the best catches. Americans focus on the glamor of the good-looking, the male jock and the statuesque female, and tend to make fun of second banana characters like Urkel. Yet, geeks (a.k.a. nerds, etc.) provide the opportunity to have much longer, more stable, and happy relationships. Here are the top ten reasons:

1. Geeks don't cheat. Geeks know that the grass only seems greener on the other side. They instinctively stay devotedly loyal to their lovers through thick and thin. Their social skills are also not well developed enough to support an affair.

2. Geeks appreciate their mates. Since you are likely to be one of the first persons a geek has ever had a significant relationship with, you will be treated well. A geek knows that there aren’t a whole lot of other possibilities. Frankly, geeks aren't quite sure how they ended up with the person they have attracted. When you date a geek, you know that geek will be yours for as long as you wish.

3. Geeks haven't formed bad relationship habits. After years of dating other people, the socially successful have become too confident to be intimate, think of partners as being only for their self-gratification, and focus on making themselves happy. None of this is true of a geek. The lack of past romantic partners allows the geek to approach lovers with the zest of a neophyte. Geeks are not full of romantic confidence. However, once encouraged, they are eager to please and enjoy their relationship.

4. Geeks are good at the things they try. Every geek has skills passionately developed over a long period of time. It could be role playing, chess, hacking, playing video games, or the ability to properly assemble a computer. So you know that geeks won't quit until they have learned how to make their relationship the best.

5. Geeks are not interested in status. Geeks became geeks because they chose to spend their time doing things that would not necessarily make them popular with everyone else in school, like sports and fashion. The ability to resist peer pressure is important to geeks. This means that a geek is more interested in your happiness than in looking good to others.

6. Geeks have imagination. Boredom is important to avoid to the game playing geek. A geek will seek new and creative ways to play, and this translates to relationships as well.

7. Geeks are happy and successful in their chosen field. No matter what their education level, geeks are able to make good incomes doing work that they enjoy. That eliminates one of the most frequent causes of relationship problems, since people who don’t like their jobs may take it out on their significant other.

8. Geeks are analytical. If they don’t get it right the first time, they look at what they did and figure out what to change. And when they DO get it right, they still keep finding ways to improve on it.

9. Geeks can concentrate. Geeks can focus their energy on one task with total intensity. Granted, the task they are focusing on may have more to do with writing new software for their Blackberry, but the fact remains that a geek, once set upon a task, tirelessly sets about to achieving a goal.

All of which means that…

10. Geeks want to be the best at what they do. So they try harder. And they never stop trying.

Amen to that. This list can really apply to anything geeks do. In summary, geekhood may not be the only path to happiness, but it certainly is one that works. Geeks have the power. Embrace your inner geek.

(If you need somewhere to start, you should check out Avant Game, which was recently highlighted on Blogger's Top 10 List. This whole pervasive gaming idea is awesome! I've been doing some geek-like exploring of the genre, and found several really cool ideas. If you'd like to get started on alternate-reality gaming, try one player games like Planetarium or Conspiracy, go in deep with EDOCLaundry, or start out small with this riddle game (I'm still stuck on #1).

Anyone for Tombstone poker? I'd have to learn poker first, or modify it for another card game, but it might be worth it.)

Seriously, be a geek. You will feel better.


Katherine said...

Though it was far less intelligent or articulate as your Manifesto, the first post I ever wrote on my blog was about embracing my nerdiness--so I back you up completely here. It is easy to find someone a bit odd when his or her chosen passion isn't something you particularly understand or enjoy--I can't deny sometimes falling into the trap of stigmatizing some of these, but I say being passionate about anything makes life worthwhile.

And while we're on geeks, remember how in elementary school we were the BIGGEST GEEKS EVER? I mean, we tagged insects at recess. And gave offerings of Cheetos to a rock with a snake-lizard drawn on it with colored Sharpies. Who does that? Yet we enjoyed every minute of it, and those are some of my favorite memories.

Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Liz Muir said...

Dude, I still have that rock. :P

Katherine said...

Um, so do I.