Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Geek

I have a confession to make.

Some of you may already suspect this but I am going to tell everybody anyway.

I think I am a geek.

There – I’ve said it. And do you know what? I don’t really care.

Some of you may disagree with me, based on some of the crap I’ve written in previous posts, but for you doubters out there I have compiled proof that I am indeed a geek.

I wear glasses

With that statement I can imagine that there are rational people all over the world complaining that if you wear glasses it doesn’t necessarily mean you have crossed the nerd line into fully fledged geekdom.  There may be an element of truth in what you say, particularly since wearing spectacles became cool some time in the last ten to twenty years, partly because super cool and extremely handsome celebrities started to wear them.

When wearing glasses became cool...
I didn’t start wearing them to look cool; I was forced to wear them as an 8 year old and there have been many years of pain because of them. Believe me in 1970 wearing glasses WAS NOT COOL! I had to suffer lots of abuse such as "Hello Four Eyes!".

Glasses added more to my geekness than just appearance. For instance, I love football but playing football in glasses is not only stupid but also likely to get them destroyed by a wayward ball blasted at your face from close range. Without glasses I may as well not bother because I simply cannot to see a ball hurtling towards my face until it is around two feet away, by which time it is far too late.

And this is why glasses wearing geeks are crap at sport. They simply can’t see and therefore have to pursue more cerebral pastimes.

I have abominable hair.

If left unchecked my already unmanageable hair mutates into a blonde mess that kind people would say is a white afro. Sadly most people just say “get your hair cut you bloody freak”. Combined with my glasses my long curly hair makes me look like an insane version of Einstein without the vast intellect and vast moustache.

I have played dungeons and dragons.

In my youth I succumbed to temptation and joined a bunch of sad individuals in a basement room in the student union at Liverpool University and played a stupid role playing game consisting of cards and dice whereupon I did battle with crazy imaginary creatures such as gargoyles, goblins and griffons. I found myself arguing with another sad individual about who should open an imaginary door and confront the troll we knew was lurking behind.

I am ashamed. 
I have since seen the light and although it was 32 years ago, I still cringe inwardly when the memory surfaces of rolling dice to help me fight a dragon. 
Maybe there’s hope for me.

I love science fiction.
I love science fiction so much that I actively spend my time surfing the internet looking for information about my favourite science fiction TV shows and sequels to my favourite geeky movies.
I have leapt on my soapbox to point out flaws in movies like Jurassic Park and Independence Day because of plot holes so vast you could steer a planet through them. I have watched all manner of garbage on the SyFy channel in the hope that it can satisfy my weird craving for wonderful monsters, aliens and space operas.
Some of my favourite authors write vast series of novels with more than a thousand pages in each book spanning millennia and universes.
I love shows like Star Trek and Dr Who and avidly watch any other strange series that come to my attention.
I draw the line at visiting conventions dressed as my favourite characters – thankfully.

I work in IT.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s software engineering (or as it was known then computer programming) was a career reserved for geeks. Over the years, the stigma of geekdom has drifted away from IT. Nevertheless, there are still people out there who associate sitting at a desk all day, trying to get computers to do as they are told, with sad nerds.

I love gadgets.
I have a collection of gadgets that I simply cannot do without, including my smartphone, Kindle, iPod, tablet and PSP. There are numerous other gadgets knocking about my house and I am always on the lookout for the next big thing. 

I am quite clever.

One of my female friends once said to me: “I wanted to speak to you but I was scared of you.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you look so clever.”
I have often wondered whether that was my problem with women in the past. Either I look too clever (the stereotypical mad hair and glasses as described above) or they simply don’t like geeks. 
I am quite clever but in some aspects of like I am totally thick – like dealing with and understanding the fairer sex.

I have friends who are geeks.
Not only do I have friends who are geeks, I actively join in sad conversations that only geeks understand. I also work with geeks (anybody reading this who works with me – I am not talking about you). 

And finally ...
Having said all that, there are many aspects of my life that are not geeky at all. For example, I love to go out for beers and talk about football, I used to play a fair amount of sport and I haven’t been a single man since the age of 21. 
Nevertheless, the geek within me surfaces fairly often and I spend far more of my life being a geek than not.
I guess I really am a geek.
How about you, dear reader. Are you a geek? 
Do you have geek tendencies?  
Would you confess to being a geek even if you were?
Have I made a colossal mistake admitting to a personality that exhibits elements of geekdom?
Do I care if people think I am a geek because of this post? 
Probably not – because I think being a geek is OK!!


Big D said...

I think I may qualify.
Wore glasses since I was 7.
Abominable hair
Abominable facial hair
Played D&D - once. preferred GURPS.
Love books with maps in the inside cover and teh good guys need to find some magic maguffin before the big bad can get it.
Home decorated in bookshelves and boxes of comics.
Know Wolverine's real name.
Yep. Geek and proud of it.

Ich bin ein geek...

mrs pm said...

You missed out being a heavy metal fan ... That is soooo geeky - mrs PM x

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bid D,

I wouldn't dare attempt to grow a beard again. I've done it a couple of times and it is beyond awful.

I've read a few fantasy books with maps but prefer the space opera with so many characters they have to be listed at the beginning.

I think I know Wolverine's first name - but I'd have to check.

Wir sind Geeks!!!




River said...

I'm not a geek, although I do have a few geek tendencies; I wear glasses, I prefer internet over face-to-face, I love my kindle (and my real books), I watch shows such as Dr Who, Eureka, Fringe, Warehouse 13, Haven etc, I prefer text messaging to actual speaking, but that may have something to do with my not-so-good hearing.
But I'm not clever, if I was I'd have a job in IT, but I get by, with a foot on each side of the normal/geek fence I guess.

Elephant's Child said...

I certainly have some geekster tendencies. Which doesn't bother me at all. Just another label. One of many.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hello dearest,

Heavy Metal is not geeky.

Not in the slightest!

Well maybe a little!



Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Fringe was fab!

Warehouse 13 is also good - particularly Joanne Kelly (very nice!).

Using a computer a lot counts too.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I have many labels too.

And deep down I think everyone has an inner geek!




jeremy north said...

I am not a geek.

Being a geek is not about having glasses or mad hair.

Being a geek is not about being clever, nor is it liking sci fi or gadgets.

Being a geek is about being socially awkward, and blame it on the above.

I tend towards the idea that geeks are shy people, and that shy people expect everyone else to make the effort.

However Mr PM, you put a shift in, which to me seems that you are not a geek, but you like things which geeks like, but they bring nothing to the table, unlike your good self.

However, you did say that you work in IT. Work you say?? Ever had a blister other than a burn from the coffee machine?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jeremy,

Well believe it or not, I am inflicted with shyness too - though I have conquered it just about, over the years.

Ha ha - not had a blister from work thankfully.




Pandora Behr said...

I'm a nerd rather than a geek, though I have many many geek tendencies - glasses, strange hobbies, work on the fringe of IT, reasonably clever... Nothing wrong with being a geek at all - great post

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Now you say that I'm not actually sure what a nerd actually is. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

I might be a nerd too ...




H2B said...

I think I am a geek but I am not sure. I have perfect eyesight, wear trendy clothes, love the limelight, never played D&D. But I am an intellect with crazy hair, booklish, love sci fi, spend 90% of awake hours on computer and .

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi H2B,

I think you definitely have geek tendencies.




monkey_gamer said...

My personal definition of geek is someone who likes the things you mentioned. My definition of nerd is a smart geek. So all nerds are geeks but not all geeks are nerds.

I found this on Google.
It's okay but I think it makes nerd sound a bit negative. There's also this info graphic someone made. Yet again I'm not sure if I completely agree with it.

Great post!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Monkey_Gamer.

I read the link and that makes me believe that I am a geek - though I am fairly smart (but definitely NOT a rocket scientist).

Thanks for the interesting links.




Chauncey said...