Monday, October 23, 2006

The Thin Line Between Geek and Nerd Pt. I

The Thin Line Between
Geek & Nerd
Part I

I'm a geek. Always have been, always will be. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this many times. I only want to proclaim it once more. However, there isn't much a difference between the two - and I feel its about time that somebody point it out. Throughout the posts, I've listed different clues or Exhibits of what makes me a Geek. (Exhibit A: Sharing unwanted knowledge that seems absolutely frivolous for a person. Exhibit B: Using words such as "frivolous" and "subculture"):

"...a person who is fascinated, perhaps obsessively, by obscure or very specific areas of knowledge and imagination."
- Wikipedia
See that ladies? That's a geek.
Whereas a nerd is:

...refers to somebody who pursues intellectual interests at the expense of skills that are useful in a social setting, such as communication, fashion, or physical fitness."
- Wikipedia
See that? That's a nerd.

I know the sources aren't at all that reliable - however, these sources are ones many people can refer to and that many are probably actually willing to look up. However, the line between Geek and Nerd is quite thin and obscure - many people confuse a Geek for a Nerd, and vice versa. As to quote an entry:

"Unlike the word 'nerd,' which is always pejorative, 'geek' often carries a positive connotation when used by one of the group."

I'd like to point out once again - Geek, good. Nerd, gross. One specific "Geek" clique that a lot of people should be familiar with is High School Band. What makes Band so great is the same reason why even the most popular people who also happen to be in the High School Marching/Concert Band brand themselves "Band Geek" proudly - or at least have a friend in band. Because after all, there are many different kinds of cliques in Band that all come together all for the common pleasure of either a) the pleasure of playing music or b) the pleasure of mingling with so many people in band. Because of this, Band Geeks have the best connections with people - you're bound to know one person in band, even somebody in the football team or track is in band. But of course, the High School Band Geek Experience is going to have to be a topic for another day...

Nevertheless, Band Geeks are an example of how the term "geek" is a positive connotation of people with a strong intellectual interest (as said by Wikipedia) - in this case, it would be musically. To draw upon celebrity images and examples, Kevin Smith is a large (no pun intended) Hollywood Geek. With a very large fanbase and several great box office and controversial hits (Clerks, Dogma, Chasing Amy), he innovates his knowledge of the Geek Subculture into his movies. For example, in the movie Clerks there is a conversation centered around Star Wars. In Mallrats, there's Stan Lee, the great and awesome Comic Book Legend right next to Jack Kirby (Exhibit C: I actually know who Jack Kirby is) and in the Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back movie, there've got lightsabers. Yet, his movies still appeal. Heck, in the new Clerks II movie (Now Playing in a local movie theatre near you) there a comparison of Star Wars to the new epic fantasy/Geek movie reference of our generation, Lord of the Rings.

Stephen Colbert, for you politically active folks, is also a geek. At the age of
ten, Colbert moved to a more urban environment.Instead of making friends, he found love: a love of science fiction, fantasy novels, and, yes, a love for fantasy role-playing games, most especially... Dungeons and Dragons. However, thanks to Dungeons and Dragons, it has attributed to his interest in an acting career and his improvisation skills. He's worked as an understudy for Steve Carrell, and hell, even wrote for Saturday Night Live. He is now dubbed as one of the 50 Most Influential People of all time by Time Magazine, he has now grown in the eyes of politicans and Hollywood proudly thanks go Dungeons and Dragons. That's right bitches, Dungeons and Dragons.

An extensive knowledge of different kinds of media and Geek culture can be implemented in life - as proven by Colbert's life. Geek culture can also be implemented in one's work, appealing to a certain audience of people who "get you" while at the same time reaching out to those who don't understand your arcane jibber-jabber. In a way, it makes you chic - being able to understand something that many don't. It gives us that special connection to some - a common interests. And to be able to pull that off while at the same time appealing to those who don't understand your talk - being socially felicitous - thats what defines a person as a nerd or a geek.

Next time on Part II of The Geek/Nerd article: Quentin Tarantino, and more on nerds

*Note: The bolds are merely to make the article more bearable to read. In articles that I plan to make from now on will have bold words just to get some key points across

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