The Passionerdly Manifesto

I am in truth, a geek. No, do not even try to conjure up thoughts in your head of a madman biting heads off of chickens and other creatures. With the introduction of ‘artists’ such as Mr. Osborne or Mr. (or should I say Miss) Cooper the idea of such bizarre behavior as being against the normal grain of human society has left the building. For them such behavior has come to symbolize the rebel and the criminal; two of the most accepted archetypes in America and the World.

Yes, I am a geek. A term that once meant one of the strangest carnival attractions has now come to stand for people like me.

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Embracing “geek’dom” is not a new subject. With movies such as Revenge of the Nerds and successful business men like Bill Gates being the most culturally recognized voice there is still so little that the world realizes about geeks--even less so that the geeks realize about themselves. Perhaps that is where one should start and since I am willing I will disclose my own opinions on the matter. There are three types of people in the world: the geeks, those who don’t think they are geeks, and the geek unrealized (could almost be a poem….crap, it already is).

Obviously you have your preconceived ideas of what a geek is; America loves and loathes the geek. We love to see them make fools of themselves like pitiful clowns. We love to make fun of them and make them the butt of jokes and yet we love it when they succeed. We find the story of geeks in love entertaining and heartwarming. We enjoy it when we scoff at their intelligence and yet smile at our own incompetence when we call them boss...or so I

"Those who don’t think that they are geeks” takes me back to my fraternity years and roleplaying Warhammer. I will in respect to them not disclose what fraternity I was part of, I am certain they take offense. I was often reminded as a pledge that I was in a “fraternity” not a “frat”. One does not call their “father” a “fat” or their “mother” a “mutt”—so strange that I noted out loud that I call my “sister” by the term “sis”. They didn’t seem to take that well, so more than likely stories that lack of pure testosterone and respect won’t be taken well. However, this was my introduction into true geekiness. In truth the core values of being a geek is found in the company of delivery pizza and often a complete lack of tidiness. So in truth geek is but one step from Greek by that standard. By the way, yes, I am an elder of that frat to this day—the frat that got me hooked as an adult on games that I had not played since my youth.

The geek unrealized is in my opinion, the individual without passion. Are you surprised that I would refer to the nefarious populous of gamers and collectors as passionate? I suppose that is what causes all of the hysteria. It is socially acceptable to be passionate in love, passionate in life, and passionate about building small, tiny boats inside of glass jars (well, maybe less so). Heaven forbid that you are passionate about something else.  What happens when one thinks that in order to be happy they have to give up what they are passionate about? If your passion festers like a sore in your mind begging to be itched or removed, I feel that one could never find happiness (crap, another famous poetry reference!).

So have you now come to the realization that you too may be a geek? Good, because in your heart you are: all of the awkwardness, the uncertainty, the dream, the passion, and that nagging feeling that ‘only you _______’ are in truth human emotions that everyone feels. So get used to it.

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This certainly does not mean that you must embrace every facet out there. One redneck in grease stained t-shirt once told me “one may only truly be of Star Wars or Star Trek not both”. Like most of the wisdom he dispensed he was partially right. Do what you like; forget what you don’t like. You don’t need to stop taking showers and wear really bright colored anime button up shirts (I am certain that everyone would prefer one less person in the world doing that). If you don’t do what you enjoy for fear of what others might think; then you’re a coward. I have friends that collect video games and toys, but refuse the thought of playing a roleplaying game. They’ve at least explained for them they just wouldn’t enjoy it.

You might be surprised to find out that America is embracing the geek in ways that it never has before. The other day I was standing in line at a movie theatre for another humdrum summer blockbuster and two letter jacket jocks were talking about their favorite video games and how cool they were: both the games and themselves. A few years ago this could have caused huge social ramifications now they are the fledgling new breed of geeks.

There are many breeds of geeks and many more being created every day. We are the testers of fads and sadly the same ones who hang onto them long after they’ve gone out of style. So please heat up another slice of pizza and settle down for a while—read what I have to say and enjoy being the geek you are!