Earlier in the week, I saw that the reoccurring debate about “real geeks” cropped up again with a notable geek girl publishing a post on Forbes called “Dear Fake Geek Girls: Please Go Away”. For those not in the know, there are three groups within the geek culture who are involved in this debate: people with supposedly questionable geek credentials (usually “fake geek girls”); people who hate the questionable geeks for their presumptive intrusion into the culture; and the people who hate on the haters for being elitist and exclusive. This debate provides an ugly undercurrent that circulates throughout all corners of the geek culture, with a certain ersatz level of acceptance that this is the way things are and should be.
Personally, I think there’s rich irony in people who often grew up as social outcasts turning around and being dicks to those who want to dabble in their world. Admittedly, as a bloke, I’m never going to receive the same level of vehement rejection as a woman will, but I can’t help but think that sometimes a girl who says she likes to read comics just likes to read comics — she’s not a power challenge to the male-saturated culture of geek.
To the haters out there, here’s an overly simplified message for you: Don’t Be a Dick. Because of you and your crass sense of over-entitlement, there are people exiting the open geek culture in droves, leaving you to stew in your stagnating world. Yes, this may suit you, but your wonderful culture will be reduced to a point where it implodes. I used to think the geek culture was open and embracing (and there are still those who try to keep it that way), but now I’ve gotten to the point where I like a number of people within the culture, but I don’t like where the culture itself has gone. I’ll admit it — I’ve moved on already.
I think if you want to join in the geek culture — even dabbling — then these simple rules apply (you could almost call them life rules):
- Be who you want to be.
- Like who or what you want to like.
- Screw anyone who says otherwise — life’s too short to worry about haters’ opinions of you.
My musical find this week has to be Of Monsters and Men and their debut album, My Head is an Animal. Coming from Iceland, their music has faint notes of some of their fellow countrymen’s music e.g. Björk and Sigur Rós, but their overall sound is more in line with The Decemberists and Mumford & Sons. Although there is an element of mainstream polish about the recording, the album has a solid indie folk feel and the music is totally infectious. Between the six members of the band, they provide a great variety of instrumentalism, and I’ve personally fallen in love a bit with the mixed vocals, especially those of Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir. My only fear about this album is that the music has the instant appeal of Arcade Fire, but I grew weary of them quite quickly, so my hope is that the same doesn’t happen with Of Monsters and Men — they’re just too good at this stage.
Other notable listens this week:
Andrew Bird — The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Wooden Wand — Death Seat
Split Enz — History Never Repeats