5.19.2006

Hey, Fake Geeks - Fuck You.

(Allow me to clarify this really quickly.

This post is not about "young geeks" or "new geeks" or "Geeks-in-training." It's about fashion geeks - the geeks who only spout off to seem like they know what they're talking about; the ones who couldn't compile their way out of a foo statement, and the ones who just want to look the part so that they can appear to be smarter, more hip and more in touch than you are. Suddenly, it's hip to be "internet-aware" and "technology-dependant" and whatever else. I mean... G4TV! JESUS... Do I need to say anything else?

And with that being said, that's all the clarification I plan to give. If you are still offended by the end of this rant, guess what? You're one of its' subjects, and I'm not sorry.)

Fuck you, fake geeks.

Yes, that's right. FUCK YOU.

Oh, don't act so surprised. You know it's been a long time coming. You've been waiting for quite a little while now, wondering when it was that one of the REAL geeks was going to take notice and call your little punk asses out. Well, here it is - I'm that guy, but I'm not alone. I'm speaking for an entire community of folks who spent YEARS being looked down on and made fun of for doing exactly what you're standing there trying to look cool doing. We're sick to death of your pseudonerd attitude and your high-and-mighty bullshit. You made fun of us for standing in line at midnight to see Empire Strikes Back in 1980, yet you do the same thing for Episode 3 - and you ACT like you did it back then! You go around, claiming how "geeky" and "nerdy" you are, pretending it's some sort of self-effacing commentary on how downtrodden and cast-out you are because you're SO MUCH SMARTER than us, the local hoi palloi dotting the surface of the planet living our normal lives.

You look at us, driving pickup trucks or wearing flannel with a "Burton" snowboarding cap, or simply not knowing how to match our shoes to our button-up Oxford shirt, and you think "Jock" or "Redneck" or "buffoon" or "Iron Worker". When we approach the little group you have hanging on your every word as you describe the latest gadget you supposedly know about but really just read about on Engadget, you sort of sneer and nod in our direction, shifting immediately to an overly passionate description of your guild faid in World of Warcraft the night before - adding extra emphasis to show just how much you LOVE your online world, as if none of us could ever understand how you could.

And as you stand there in your "Got Root?" T-shirt you bought at Hot Topic and checking your missed calls on your RAZR, We're sitting there thinking exactly the same thing skaters around the nation thought when they see some flatfoot wearing Etnies and a Birdhouse tee, or the same thing hardcore kids think when they see some prep wearing a swingset chain as a belt and a brand new pair of Doc Marten's, or the same thing bike messengers think on the Tuesday night ride when the art-school kid with no talent and rich parents rides up on a brand new, $2,000 fixed-gear to join them on a bash:

"Poser."

Get your fscking -head /out of your -a^$$.

You're sad, you know that? You think that, just because you know how to misplace a 3 in the middle of the word "The" over IM that you're the be-all, end-all of the internet - and you make damn sure to let all 12 of your MySpace friends know it on your blog. You wax philosophic on the newest gadgets, using the exact same headline you JUST read over at Engadget. You openly say "ORLY?" in verbal conversation and you talk about the image resolution on your brand new Canon Eos Rebel SLR like you even fucking understand what the hell "aperture" is.

Guess what? FUCK YOU, that's what.

Long before you were joining Johnny Popular on guild raids in WoW and making important business contacts in Another Life, WE were losing a girlfriend and a job - simultaneously - to Everquest and Ultima Online. And before that, we were failing out of college due to all-night MUDding sessions - and before that, we were falling asleep during class thanks to being addicted to anything put out by InfoCom. Before you found that nifty little blog that listed the site where you can find 101 Wordpress themes, WE were finding ways to hack Javascript to extend commenting past the editor window's code block so that ads wouldn't show up on our Tripod account's free page. Before you found it "cool" to ask your friends "Got Rewt?" knowing fully well they had no clue what the hell you were talking about (as if YOU do), we were asking our friends the same thing - only we were serious, we were doing it on a dial-up BBS with a cloned switch at the telco (thanks to one of the board's founders working there), and we were talking about our high school's AS400 server.

WE watched The Screen Savers on ZDTV. You watch it on G4. And WE remember when Leo Laporte had hair. And yeah, WE might look like a deranged redneck jock truckers, or mathematicians, or iron workers. We like hockey. We like football. We like parties. We like working out. And some of us hate all of those things and like just sitting at home and hacking out more code. And We're two-hundred-million times the geek you will EVER be. When WE played D&D or Chess in the lunchroom in the mornings during school, it wasn't cool - it was the thing you did to take your mind off of getting your ass kicked before first period for simply enjoying what you enjoy. When WE were writing a "clock" program in BASIC on our Sinclairs and Commodore 64s, it wasn't because we thought the people on my online-friend-community-website-du-jour (where 95% of your "friends" are bands that thrive on another form of ripping off the authentic to market themselves, but that's another story) would think it was cool - and it CERTAINLY wasn't on 'rails'.

Because being a "geek" isn't a fashion. It's not a movement. It's who you ARE. Your brain is wired that way - and before it was hip and cool and those who couldn't ever understand it were able to buy their way into faking it, we were excited and passionate about our ability to expand our minds in the pursuit of technical coolness. We looked at $14.95 walkie-talkies at K-mart and we didn't daydream of using them to ambush the weak kid in the neighborhood with water balloons filled with shaving cream - we thought "how can I get that thing to pick up cordless phone conversations?" 2600 wasn't a number we quoted to the unwashed to seem cool - it was a SECRET, and one you'd better keep damn well - because the law and the jocks hated you for even knowing what it was.

WE paid for our passion in fear and loathing. You pay for your 'passion' with dollars and cents. And now, it's just a "look" for you... Something you use to make you look smart, so that you can hide how much you are JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

So, I say again - Fuck you. You might have the others fooled, but not us, because we have to walk right by Urban Outfitters on the way to Radio Shack when we need supplies to build the device we're going to use to clone your RAZR, so we've seen the ironically hip shirts hanging on the wall, so we know what they look like.