Why is it that people who speak fluent Klingon, translate time into “star dates”, grow pasty in their solitary gaming dens; coaxed out into a world of actual human contact, only when fan expos or game releases demand a physical presence – are called “geeks”? While those who delve into ancient history, gaze at the stars, or question logistics of ancient mysteries are called “wing nuts” or conspiracy theorists?
I don’t speak a word of Klingon despite growing up on Star Trek, haven’t played a video game since Pac Man ruled the pub, and gawk in astonishment as costumed devotees line up for science fiction conventions. Before any one jumps down my pondering throat – I am speaking broad generalizations. All gamers couldn’t possibly aspire to learn Klingon or dress up for Comicon. Science Fiction and fantasy thrive on imagination, role play, escape, and wonder. It just so happens that we give the name “geek” to those people who take it most seriously.
The term “geek” evokes an instant understanding, dare I say explanation for behaviour. Free from truly negative connotations; a geek is harmless, perhaps a little lacking is social graces or self esteem, and thanks to Hollywood writers – capable of saving the day. “Geeks” are free to imagine, escape, and wonder – unfettered by a society willing to look beyond first impressions. Once labelled “geek”, behaviour is overlooked or dismissed as quirky – no harm, no foul.
I’m a geek of sorts. Living in a world of imagination and wonder – the problem rears its ugly head when my inner geek is classified as “wing nut”, or worst of all alien or conspiracy theorist. I ponder ancient accomplishments with wild abandon, don’t for one second think we are alone in the universe, scratch my head; yet not once have I entertained “ancient aliens” or conspiracies. Eyes start to roll at the mention of solar flares or near earth asteroids – all seemingly lumped in with my fondness for ancient cultures fascination with the constellation Orion.
My “geek” and Klingon geek may be like talking apples and oranges. Just the same; I want a warm fuzzy name for my geeky interests. I’m a lot more vocal than Klingon speaking dungeon masters, spend more time in science than fiction, and am quite certain my analogy will be lost on many a now irate gamer. Put your swords and magic potions away, I’m making a point.
Ponder the label geek and then conspiracy theorist. The first is passive, the later aggressive. Maybe if we came up with a socially acceptable generalization for people who marvel at the ancients or gaze at the stars, I wouldn’t be so pissed off when having to explain for the hundredth time – there are marvels beyond explanation shaping our universe. Not any God, not alien intervention – simply kick ass accomplishments that make me smile – not crazy, just a pondering geek.