Are Fake Geeks Killing Geek Culture?

SHE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Wendy

There’s been a lot of noise on the Internet for the past few months about the misappropriation of geek culture. According to some, now that science fiction, fantasy, and video games have become more mainstream, there’s an entire generation of fake geeks trying to claim the title in order to seem cool. And, to add insult to injury, there is supposedly a whole crop of women pretending to be geeks in order to land themselves a geeky guy.

Source: Comics Alliance

When I was a teenager, that last paragraph would have been an oxymoron. Trying to be a geek to seem cool? That would have made no sense. Geeks were firmly in their geek corner, far away from the jocks and the druggies and the theater dweebs. Or were they? Looking back, I remember that the druggies in my high school weren’t such social pariahs as they were portrayed in movies such as The Breakfast Club. (They were more like the druggies in Dazed and Confused.) Our school had a robust art and theater program, and members of student council regularly participated in choir, school plays, and musicals. As for myself? Well, I was a nerd who hung with the druggie crowd, danced in the high school musicals, and was the president of the Latin club…which, in my high school was actually considered cool.

Looking back, it’s hard to identify who might be considered a “real” geek today and who those real geeks would say are fake geeks. Exactly what did it mean to be a geek anyway? Is there some kind of line in the sands of coolness you had to be on the other side of in order to qualify as a geek? Because I was definitely book smart, did the National Honor Society thing, loved science, and even competed in Latin tournaments called certamen up at MIT (shut up). So where did that leave me? Was I popular? I wouldn’t say so. Was I a geek? Not really.

However, I 100 percent identify with geek culture now. I was an avid reader of fantasy novels as a child, but I didn’t really “get” that they were a genre to be worshipped. I wasn’t exposed to Star Wars until college at NYU, where I was surrounded by film school nerds who would argue that the ewoks were actually speaking a mixture of various romance languages. I played Smash Brothers with the Tisch School of the Arts kids and read their screenplays, but was I one of them? Nope. I was in the damn communications department, where dreams go to die.

I didn’t really stumble upon stereotypically geeky subject matter until I was practically an adult. But when I did, I fell in love. I love watching my husband master RPGs I can’t fathom (and kicking his ass in Bejeweled). I love picking apart the plot of Mistborn or discussing why Hollywood can’t get Superman right (What?! Blog debate to come). I enjoy working in technology product development creating interactive courseware, rubbing elbows with other tech geeks and complimenting them on their BSG T-shirts. I didn’t really feel like I fit in with any particular group in high school, but now I get a special sense of belonging each time I recognize a Firefly reference.

So does that make me a fake geek now? In fact, are any of us now that we’re adults geeks at all—even those who previously identified as geeks? Who is measuring popularity at this point in our lives? Aren’t we just adults, made up of a mismash of interests that may or may not intersect with movies, books, and games that were either undiscovered in our youth or once considered uncool?

And as far as kids go, I’ll tell you this: I would much rather that geek culture be considered “cool” than any other typical teenage culture. My 18-year-old brother-in-law will soon go to the funeral of a classmate who was likely killed by a gang member. Gangs being considered cool in his high school, this classmate dressed to imitate them. I will take geeks (and even druggies and jocks and theater dweebs) over that any day.

So maybe the masses are embracing, and potentially bastardizing, geek culture. Maybe there are a bunch of fake geeks out there who don’t really “get” what it means to be a geek. Maybe I’m one of them. But as Lester Bangs said in Almost Famous, “The only true currency we have in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.”


HE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By David Buchta

I’d like to open with a line from The Incredibles, spoken by Jason Lee’s villainous character:

Everyone can be super! And when everyone’s super… *evil chuckle* …no one will be.”

Syndrome: just a geeky, misunderstood kid

During my post-high school years I self-identified as a geek. My friends were geeks, all getting secondary-schoolin’ for various degrees in computer-geekery from web design to programming to advanced whatever.

We had LAN parties, carting our immense CRT monitors and modded PC cases into someone’s living room to play computer games and swap porn and music until we passed out. In those days you had to explain what a LAN party was, and people still wouldn’t get the appeal.

We eagerly took discarded computer junk off people’s hands and built franken-machines and servers in our spare time. For fun. We watched pirated anime in file formats so old and shitty only archeologists remember them now. We delighted in creating “dummy plugs” that would crash our roommates’ network connections during Counter Strike matches and taking a flea market taser to the guts of a running computer just to see what would happen.

And this is only one small sub-genre of geek. There as many different types of geek as there are types of electronic music, which are innumerable and overlapping. I never got into fantasy like Dungeons and Dragons or Tolkien, or sci-fi shit like Star Trek and that other famous one. I loved anime, sure, but I was never INTO it like true fans are. I was into comic books for about five minutes in middle school, and as soon as I discovered astronomy and the other sciences that relied heavily on math, I was out.

But I was still a geek. Not a jock or a goth or a stoner (as they were called in my south-east Idahoan school) or a drama nerd or choir dork (although I was in both). A geek, subspecies, computer.

We had a culture, still fairly obscure even in the early 2000s, and it was our own. We had shared experiences, international inside jokes, a belonging. By and large we were the cute friend-zoned people who weren’t popular unless a computer was broken or someone needed our notes. “Geek” was semi-derogatory, but we wore it like a badge of honor.

And then they started mining us.

I can’t go two steps—on the Internet or in real life—without having some kind of “geek” reference throat-rape me. That shit is everywhere. A reference to Star Trek/Wars or Firefly or whatever used to be a little treat, a hidden gem, all the more special because it was unexpected. Now if I don’t see fourteen references to a bunch of other shit I’m surprised.

It’s not about measuring popularity, or feeling special. It’s about taking something so intimate that it permeated every facet of many people’s lives and stealing it, repackaging it, and wholesaling it to the masses. The same masses that bullied, shunned, or scoffed at geeks in the first place.

I didn’t have it too bad growing up. I’m too lazy to go bonkers over things like a lot of true geeks do. I’m charming and have a well-honed sense of disarming humor (read: self-defense mechanism). Sure, some ladies turned down my buck-toothed advances because I was a nerd, but whatever. That’s life.

But I was never bullied. A lot of geeks didn’t have it so easy. They had to escape into the inviting fold of Geekdom, the people who understood what they were going through. I’ve heard more than one lucky young man or woman tearfully admit that without the support of their fellow geeks they wouldn’t have made it through adolescence.

And now that shared culture, which literally saved some people’s lives, is hawked at fucking Hot Topic. The current iteration of asshole hotties now sport fake faded Star Wars T-shirt and wear nerdy glasses and act like they’re sooo obsessed with obscure shit. Cuz it’s cool now.

Corporate America and pop culture have taken something special and whored it out. Everyone can be a geek now, even those who have never felt the pain of being a social leper because of their tastes.

Being a geek used to mean you had a posse. The world was cruel, but you had a crew, a family. You earned the right to count yourself among the geeky through trial by fire from the same people now lapping up the preprocessed sludge of what used to be your culture.

The word and the community it used to represent are meaningless now. Because when everyone is a geek, no one is.


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48 Responses to “Are Fake Geeks Killing Geek Culture?”

  1. alex

    I’ve never really felt like I’ve been here nor there until I got to college. I used to play soccer in HS but it wasn’t considered the cool sport so I was never in with the jock crowd. I wasn’t a social outcast either so a true geek would probably tell me I wasn’t a geek at all. I was into video-games and sci-fi/fantasy books but they didn’t consume my life. Even then, I had very little time because I was busy with my soccer schedule.

    After I hurt my knee in College and made some new friends, I was heavily into a lot of geeky things. Anime, gaming, LAN parties, computers, hardware, and movies. To this day, I still am and consider myself a Browncoat but I’m sure someone who thinks of themselves as a true geek would probably tell me I am not a geek at all. I’m ok with this because my “geeky” hobbies are a huge passion for me and I don’t need anyone’s approval.

    Still, I agree with Dave on this. Jocks earn their stripes by being good at sports, and geeks earn those stripes as well. The new geek is just a giant poser.

    Reply
    • Ozzy

      But there is nothing that says a true geek needs to be a socially awkward fat kid with glasses that lives on his/her computer all day and isn’t active. You were/are a geek. Period. You don’t have to be all that to be considered a geek.

      Yes, much our childhood was spent playing soccer and hanging out with our friends outside playing football, hide and go seek, etc. Sure you didn’t attend any LAN parties in high school but you sure did other stuff that eventually led you to attend LAN parties. You know what other stuff I’m talking about? We spent hours with our close friend at the time trying to get a computer game to work over dial-up so he could play from his house half a block away and we could play from ours. Our phone would ring for a straight 30 minutes and we would yell at our mom not to pick it up because it was our friend trying to connect to our computer. We spent nights at the same friends house and get zero sleep cause we were watching anime porn and replaying the same level of the Command and Conquer demo that took our friend hours to download on his 56k internet connection (seriously, I think us 3 were the only ones that knew of CnC at that time). We would fight over who’s turn it was to play The Legend of Zelda. We couldn’t have $30 dollars to our name cause we’d go spend it at the arcade or argue which game we should buy. We watched plenty of geeky movies in our childhood that was pretty rare for kids our age to watch because they had zero interest such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Wizard, Labyrinth, etc. So by my definition you were/are a geek. Most of us if not all of us here are in some way.

      Reply
  2. echavez

    I agree with Dave 100%. To be a true geek you MUST have both primary characters of Intelligence and Social Awkwardness.

    Wendy defiantly doesn’t have Social Awkwardness, so she is out of the club =)

    I really would not label any of my friends as a true “geek”, maybe Tugel.

    Reply
    • wtg22

      See, that’s what I’m talking about! Just because I’m not awkward, I’m killing geek culture by liking things primarily attributed to geeks? That’s just ass-backwards logic.

      Reply
      • Ozzy

        +1. I agree with you, Wendy. I believe out of our whole group of friends we are all a little geeky. The definition of geek has definitely changed over time and I don’t believe there is any 100% correct definition online when describing a geek. I believe there are different levels of geekiness in my opinion.

        But I will say that these bitches slapping on a pair of reading glasses and learning how to use a smart phone doesn’t make them geeky. It just makes them dumb bitches.

        Reply
      • Robert

        Wendy and Ozzy are exactly, right. That logic is really wrong. And Eric can’t even include himself as part of the club. By his own logic, he is also killing “geek culture”.

        Reply
        • alex

          Eric is not saying he is a true geek. His pasty skin might consider him one in the community but his love of scarfs clearly disqualifies him.

          Reply
        • echavez

          I do not consider myself a GEEK however, i am the ONLY one of us that is a Programmer, besides Ravi. A Programmer by profession is a lot higher on the geek rader than all your jobs put together. I am not killing myself geek culture because i do not identify as one. Sure i have “geeky” interests, most people do and that is not Dave’s point. Wendy is only killing “geek culture” by going out and telling people “Oh, i am a super geek” which i don’t think she does anyways.

          Reply
          • Robert

            But, you don’t even do a good job at supporting Dave’s point. If you really want to “defend geek culture” than it should be done by a 100% geek, which Dave isn’t, by his, yours, mine, and Wendy’s arguments. I mean, he’s quoting The Incredibles! A product of one of the most mainstream corporations in the world, Disney. What 100% geek would do that?

            And way to contradict yourself there, buddy. “I myself do not identify as a geek, but I’m way geekier than all of you”. Typical Eric. :)

          • echavez

            LOL, u can’t quote something i never directly said, nice misuse of “”s

            your still not a geek =)

            only absolute, Michael is a flake

          • Robert

            haha the quotations were meant to put that sentence into an “Eric voice”. Because we can all imagine how whiny/douchy it would sound.

          • wtg22

            Who goes around saying “I am a super geek”? Anyone who does that…regardless of whether they are a geek or not…is a douchebag.

  3. Robert

    I’m going to agree with Wendy on this one because I know and have been a part of both sides. Growing up, I’ve always been book smart and that immediately earned myself the title of nerd and/or geek. Heck, I didn’t even play video games, really watch sci-fi or have any other “geeky” hobbies, but because I was “smart” and probably didn’t have the best choices in wardrobe, I was a geek. I was made fun of every once in awhile. Aacceptance is something most kids strive for and while I felt it was hard to gain, I don’t think I had it harder than any other kids because you will find friends that will accept you.

    Elementary school, (K-5), you usually don’t have set defined groups yet because kids are kids, any one who will play with you will do. In middle school (6-8), I definitely hung out with the more “nerdy” crowd, but because a lot of kids from elementary school went to the same middle school, I was still friends with even the “popular” kids. High school would be more of the same because those same kids, went to the same high school. Sure, I developed a love for sci-fi, Magic, and computers, but I also had something else.

    What did my hobbies include? Sports. Baseball, football, basketball. I played them since I was 5 and I loved them. All the way through high school. So, with playing sports, I was friends with the jocks and popular crowd, but I also hung out with my own nerdier crowd all the time. I participated in both worlds and I always considered myself a nerd.

    So, when Wendy says there is no clearly definition, she is right. And more importantly, who is to say who is a nerd and who isn’t? I know a bunch of kids I’ve grown up with who were smarter and “geekier” than me and were some of the more popular kids just because they had the type of personality that could overcome those characteristics.

    And I also do not agree wholeheartedly with Dave that the media pushes traditional “geek” things to make them seem cool. They are cool on their own, sometimes people just need to be reminded. When Star Wars came out it made $797,900,000 worldwide in 1977, which in today’s dollars would be…$3,093,877,814!! It spawned a multi-billion dollar business on its own. Star Wars references are never “little treats” or “hidden gems”. They are timeless references that a whole lot of people know whether you learn it at a young age or as an adult like Wendy. So, if you want to say that corporate America has “whored” out your beloved Star Wars. I agree, it started with its much hyped release and success in 1977.

    So, I’ll end with everyone has a different set of hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. And guess what? Some “geeky” things might well be a part of that. And hell, some “geeks” might even play sports just like I did. The definition is not so clear and never will be. Your “new geek” is not a poser, they are just a person. And they definitely don’t need your approval.

    Reply
    • alex

      Your description of your HS self sounds close to mine in that we weren’t or wouldn’t be considered true geeks. Your love of Star Wars doesn’t make you a true geek either, maybe just a fan. If anything, you sound really nerdy based on your badass intellect.

      Being a geek is more like being an Otaku. Someone who is obsessed with certain hobbies and those hobbies tended to label you as a social outcast. Whether they were sci-fi, comic books, gaming in your basement and never seeing the sun, they meant people shunned you for those hobbies. I don’t think either of us are true geeks, we just happen to like geeky things. And, again, this is perfectly fine. We don’t need to be labeled.

      I’m going to call us Unlabeled!

      Reply
      • Robert

        haha I like that!

        But, I’m just saying that Dave holds these certain hobbies as something that only “true nerds” can have, like Star Wars. And in trying to define a 100% geek, that logic is completely flawed considering its huge commercial success.

        Reply
        • alex

          He doesn’t even like Star Wars for the same reasons you described above. He is a Star Trek fan through and through.

          Reply
          • Robert

            haha he mentioned “Star Trek/Wars” references in his piece, so if he includes it, I’ll assume he enjoys it.

          • alex

            I think he included it for people who were obsessed with it at the time, as he is with Star Trek. Now that Star Wars is huge, there is nothing they can do about it’s vast success. I’m sure a lot of geeks weren’t all that happy with Star Wars being so widely popular. Geeks are tough crowd!

        • David Buchta

          It’s not the hobbies or interests in themselves that can define geeks, but how those hobbies and interests are perceived by mainstream society and how the enthusiasts are treated as a result.

          Example:
          You can be just as geeky about sports as you can about Star Trek. Fans memorize stats, plays, dress up (not unlike cosplaying), etc. They go bonkers over their sports team.

          But sports have always been widely accepted by the mainstream, so a person obsessed with football isn’t going to become an outcast. A person obsessing over something “weird” and obscure like anime or Klingon probably will.

          The obsession and its object(s) aren’t what make a person a geek, how they are treated for it does.

          Reply
          • Robert

            I don’t agree with that logic either. Perceptions change constantly and what was once “cool” may not be cool anymore, just like what was once “geeky” may not be years down the road and vice versa. Therefore, the treatment of people will change as those perceptions change.

            I understand that a level of obsession is important within a culture, but even then, what was once “weird” may become mainstream because it is something more than “cool” — because it is good and useful. So, the treatment of people would change as well.

          • alex

            Yes, you are right. Those things change but you can often times tell a geek apart from just a fan. Like, you might like Star Wars and have some shirts you bought and even a phone case but that is nothing compared to the guy who has a room full of Star Wars action figures, a Jedi Robe, Lightsabers, etc…

          • Robert

            That is true, you can definitely tell.

            But, I’m really trying to get at the real argument of Dave’s post, which is:

            1.) The killing of geek culture
            “The word and the community it used to represent are meaningless now. Because when everyone is a geek, no one is.”

            And

            2.) The definition of a geek
            “The obsession and its object(s) aren’t what make a person a geek, how they are treated for it does”

            I agree that people can like geeky things and have geeky aspects of their lives and not ruin geek culture. New geeks, part-time geeks, whatever. 100% geeks are going to be different (as Alex said, you can tell!) and have friends that still maintain this aspect of the culture. Whatever corporate America is repackaging are all aspects of the geek culture that are on the periphery anyway; the most visual and basic parts. What makes the geek culture so special is the level that it is ingrained into geeks daily lives which lies at the heart and soul of the culture, and no one can take that away except yourself. I mean, unless people of the true geek culture are turning to the dark side (heaven forbid a Star Wars reference) and Justin Bieber mania is invading by saying “I love Selena Gomez” in klingon, then you might have a problem. Otherwise, geeks that feel that their culture is losing meaning because of pop culture are becoming hispter and mainstream themselves.

            Example: I liked (insert geek subject here) before these people did. People don’t treat me like shit anymore. People think I’m cool.

            If that’s your problem after years of ridiculing, then nothing is going to make you happy. And if how you’re treated for your geeky obsession defines you as a geek, then not being treated like shit anymore may just throw your identity into a whirlwind. Or it may not because how you’re treated shouldn’t and doesn’t define all of you. It may define some of you, but it shouldn’t define all.

            The heart of geek culture is going to be just fine despite what pop culture and mainstream corporations are doing. True, it’s annoying, but it’s not infiltrating to the very levels in which you live your life. The true geeks will live their lives the way they always have, identify as such, and the geek culture will remain. And now, without the harsh treatment for their geek obsessions. Shouldn’t life be like that anyway?

            If this geek culture is yours, then rock it proudly. Your geek posse, friends, family will still be there. That’s something pop culture can’t take away. You might not bond over being ridiculed for your geek obessions, but nothing bonds like a good LAN party.

    • echavez

      Robert, your not a geek either. Sorry, not socially awkward and great with people (like Wendy).

      Geeks don’t run marathon, they only do marathon code sessions. Once Mark Zuckerberg does a marathon, holla.

      Reply
  4. gaby

    Drama Nerd?! WTF, there’s such a thing?! Now I’m really confused about my identity! First I’d like to start with two definitions of the word:

    Miriam Webster defines a geek as: “1. a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake; 2: a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked; 3: an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity .”

    Google’s definition is: 1.An unfashionable or socially inept person. 2.A person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest: “a computer geek”.

    Before the soul-crushing realization that Drama Nerds are apparently in a league of their own, I would’ve associated as a geek. I’m unfashionable and socially inept and am/was into pretty geeky things. I’m sure that if you saw photos of me in high school, you’d at least think I was a nerd. To me, the definition of geek and nerd is up to the interpretation of social groups, generations and even the group that would be considered geeks themselves. What for us growing up in the 90s might be considered geeky and uncool might not be for future generations. What in one part of the country might be considered a group of Drama Dorks, could be a subgenre of geekdom in another school (KCHS). I understand where Wendy is coming from, but I also have some personal, territorial desire to keep people who wouldn’t have associated with being nerdy/geeky out of something that, for many, was a way to have a place of acceptance in a social setting that really doesn’t allow for people to be an individual, lest they be ostracized for it.

    Frankly, being part of a group of people who didn’t belong, yet was around many popular people, I understand Dave’s frustration with the repackaging and commercializing of Geek culture. During my senior year of high school, there was an infiltration of “cool” girls into our geek/nerd/drama dork group. Sure, in drama and in band/choir, there were always cool kids who participated. They were nice and friendly and we’d do things together, but there was also a social line we didn’t cross. Just because we could have our cast party at their house, or went swimming together after rehearsal didn’t mean that we’d be invited to their popular people gatherings. We’d be out of place. They knew it and we knew it. This infiltration was different. Cheerleaders were hanging out with our geeky guy friends, taking them for their own. I recall a time when I was at a good friend’s house. We were singing and acting parts of Les Mis, a normal activity of ours (don’t judge). Suddenly, cool cheerleader came in and wanted to participate. WTF?! No bitch! You can’t hang around my friends and act like you enjoy listening to us sing along with Javert and Valjean. In the past, you’d laugh at us and act like these guys were invisible.

    What changed? I don’t know. The petty girl in me would say that those “whoores” had gone through the group of cool guys and now needed new meat, leaving girls like me with little prospects with even less guy options (not that it’d matter, couldn’t date, but whatever). Maybe, maybe not, but it was frustrating as a geek to know that someone who wouldn’t have thought this to be cool and would’ve made fun of us for it, could all of a sudden come in, take part and be accepted. All the while, still hanging out witht he cool kids.

    Yes, this is petty and as an adult it shouldn’t matter, but high school is tough and sometimes how you’re treated takes a while to leave you. You want to be accepted and when you’re not accepted by the popular kids, you want to carve out a space for yourself. That space is scared, so when people who don’t traditionally accept that space as “cool” come into the space wanting to identify as similar to you, it sucks. I don’t see anything wrong with geeks feeling a need to protect “what’s theirs”.

    As adults, though, maybe you like geeky things or finally feel comfortable admitting you like Firefly. That’s cool, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you know what it’s like to be a young geek kid. I’m not saying I know this feeling 100%, but I can tell you it is incredibly frustrating to see a “hot chick” rocking a Sailor Moon outfit for Halloween when they probably don’t know wtf that show is really about.

    Reply
    • Robert

      Yeah, but that hot chick sure looks hot. That’s really all that matters.

      Reply
      • gaby

        And I’m sure most geek guys wouldn’t give a crap if she’s a fake geek. It’s like when Rachel wore the Slave Leia costume for Ross: he didn’t seem to care that she’s not a nerd.

        Reply
    • echavez

      Gaby hung out with the geeks and nerds. She never tried or like the popular crowds. So she can play that “geek” card. I am ok with her playing it but i still don’t consider her a true geek. Like i said, Zach and Gaby are probably the two people i would say can use the label of Geek.

      Reply
      • gaby

        Oh definitely not full geek. I’m sure there were people far “geekier” than I was who would consider me a fake geek.

        Reply
        • wtg22

          But isn’t that the case with any subculture? There’s always someone who’s geekier, who’s more “legit”, who’s looking down on everyone else for “not getting it.” By that standard, are these people any better than the bullies/popular kids who didn’t let the geeks into their crowd?

          I understand wanting a sacred space, I do. If you’re a minority–and this really applies to anything, not just geekiness–then having a safe place where you can just be yourself is really important. For example, I was reading an article recently by a gay woman who basically wants straight people to stop coming to her bar for the “novelty” of it. And even though I’ve been to gay bars with my gay friends and have had an absolute amazing time, I get it. If a bunch of straight people kept coming to the gay bar, then it wouldn’t be a gay bar anymore, it would just be a bar.

          However, “geek” is something I think a lot more people can identify with on some level. I am most definitely a straight woman–my sexuality is pretty much black and white (and is for many, if not most, people). However, I have been socially ostracized. In middle school I was a joke and had very few friends. Glasses, braces, dressed weird, and got made fun of on a daily basis. It was miserable. And I don’t think I’m alone. I think A LOT of people have been in that situation.

          Reply
          • gaby

            I definitely agree on many of your points. When I was reading this, I kept thinking back in college and about this imaginary measuring tool when it came to how Chicana/o one was. I constantly was told I wasn’t Chicana enough because my hair was too short, I didn’t like guacamole or some other b.s. Yes, there will be a-holes in each group stating you can’t be a part of something becuase it’s theirs and they’re just as horrible as others who aren’t part of the clique. But that’s not everyone. Just like not every cheerleader who hung out with our drama friends was a whore.

            And I think you’re right that geek fits more people than other identities do. Where I see the difference and the potential frustration with “fake” geeks is the acceptability of the thing that makes you a geek. Sure, there’s no geek checklist, but I think that most of us can associate the word with a certain set of characteristics. If someone’s walking around in a Sailor Moon shirt and wearing glasses that I got made fun of for wearing while calling themselves geek, I’m going to question their true geekiness if it’s someone who seems they’re doing it as a trend or in an ironic fashion. Like, I’m not going to buy a vintage D&D or Mario Brothers shirt and call myself a geek. That’s just straight posing.

            For me, it’s like those kids who buy NKOTB shirts nowadays. Take that shirt off! You don’t know what it was like to pine over Jordan Knight (or Donnie Wahlberg, in my case) or know any of their songs, so you have no right!

            Is it right? No. Is it petty? Definitely.

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