Does anyone remember when being a geek was stigmatized? When I was a teenager I didn’t talk about how I spent most of my childhood reenacting the Star Wars trilogy (the good one) with my action figures nor did I openly admit as a twenty-something that I was completely obsessed with Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation (shout out to Marina Sirtis for helping me come out of the closet.) It’s only been within the last ten years or so that “geeking” on traditionally nerdy SF media has become a mainstream phenomenon.
There are so many “fandoms” now, I can’t even keep track. Doctor Who has such a mainstream following, not liking it is almost more nerdy than liking it. (Okay, I like it, but I already told you I’m a geek from way back, so that shouldn’t be surprising.) Similarly, SF series that might have had a limited appeal a decade or more ago, like The Walking Dead or The Avengers films, are wildly popular. The problem with all this is that real geeks hate poser geeks for stealing our things. Okay, we don’t hate posers, but still; they stole our thing. Geeks have been forced way back into the geek closet of super nerdy-nerdom like pencil and paper role playing games, and even those have been co-opted by mainstream media, partly because of the worst sitcom ever in the history of not-that-funny television: The Big Bang Theory.
Here’s the thing about that show: If you like it and find it funny you’re probably not a real geek. Every geek I know with any “nerd cred” hates that show. Why? Because it makes fun of actual geeks. Some of us were ostracized and bullied as kids for being the kind of nerds that the show depicts. It’s not funny. There’s a difference between laughing with and laughing at. The Big Bang Theory is laughing at us. Stop that. (This blog escalated quickly, didn’t it?)
In summation, Counselor Troi is an empathic goddess, Tom Baker is the best doctor ever (because scarves are way cooler than bow ties), and please stop stealing our things.