Geek Insurgence

by Jack Gayer. 0 Comments

The rapture must have come and went as it appears the meek have already inherited the earth. They have at least saturated pop culture. Nerdy and geek are no longer pejorative but coveted labels. Some of the most popular comedians like Louis C.K. and Larry David capitalize on their uncouth demeanors. Unpopular is the new popular. For every stylish and feminine Carry Bradshaw character, there is now a Liz Lemon or a Lena Dunham to grace the small screen with their beloved social ineptness, and sexual shortcomings. The nerds have proven with their wallets that they are not a silent minority, the highest grossing movie of 2012 was about superheroes.

Taken individually these are not bad things, but as a whole our culture has embraced the outcast to the extent where to fit in is the exception not the rule. The nomenclature is shifting. Words like "geekdom" and "fanboy" are ubiquitous. From there we have neologisms like "geeking out." Everyone wants to be an iconoclast and no one wants to wear uninteresting glasses. And it’s about time we started embracing "real women's bodies" as Huffington Post and feminist icon Gloria Steinem have been eager to point out. This statement that is both a weak compliment, and a condescending reproach. Not to mention hypocritical, this is coming from a news source that has been reporting on celebrities "great bikini bodies" quasi-daily.

It can be argued that these are not new phenomena. Self-deprecation is no stranger to stand-up comedy and the largest demographic for theaters are 14-25 year old boys.

Is this a fad or trend that's here to stay? It used to be that sometimes the underdog won and sometimes he lost. The playing field has become a murky one. The field can give the illusion of success as 30 Rock did with critical acclaim, all the while it is being sucked into the depths by low ratings. Sometimes the playing field can be kind and spit out a defeated warrior; I'm referring to the likes of popular cartoons Family Guy, and Futrama, and the live action Arrested Development. All became cult classics after they went off the air and the legions of pale-skinned and un-athletic scored major victories when they went back on.

The instance of being a majority is a curious achievement and not necessarily a positive or influential one. The majority of Americans supported back-ground checks for firearms but the law wasn't passed. So while us video game playing, sports avoiding, humans may be scoring points towards national influence, it may not be as lasting, or decisive as we may think.

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Jack Gayer writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.

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