N. Renee Brown

Part-time Author, Full-time Book Junkie

Signing Up for Some Geek Pride, Thank You…

I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately…just a slurry of issues roaming around in my head that I want to address, but I think the first one is going to be this big brew-ha-ha about “I’m the One That’s Cool”. In case you don’t know, it’s a song put out by “The Guild”…which is a cute little web series that is aimed at those of us who are still geeks.

Or, rock out to it here:  http://youtu.be/jFhgupR565Q

Well, the story to the song is something like this: You were cool in high school, but I’m still just me and guess what…now geek is cool, so I am cool and you aren’t.

To which some people have responded with really negative remarks (here) and less negative remarks (here).

BUT I think these people are missing the point…well, a couple of points.

#1: There is a little insight into the song at the very end of the video, and it is so quick I wonder if people even realize what it is really saying. Let me explain: after the music ends, we see all the “cool kids” gathered around a TV playing this song on Guitar Hero. And one of them says, sort of in awe, “That song is awesome!”

To me, this is something very poignant…something so insightful and amazing that I’m proud to claim that song as my personal geek anthem. The person who made this video is recognizing that everyone out there feels inferior to someone else–feels like they need to live up to someone else. In short EVERYONE feels like a geek to someone else. EVERYONE!

Geekdom isn’t the sacred vessel of the boy with glasses and a pocket protector…or the fat girl playing MMORPG’s…or the comic book collector with acne that keeps his comics in acid free containers. Geekdom belongs to us all. Everyone out there thinks they are a little bit of a geek sometimes…everyone has that one thing that they are almost ashamed to admit. (MMORPG’s for me!) We aren’t alone, hell, even our President is getting his geek on.

And because of that, everyone has access to this song…it is an anthem for anyone that has ever been embarrassed about something they love. Speaking of love…

#2: Geek pride is a form of geek armor (+5 to parry, baby). Exposing things, things you love and are protective of is tough…why? Because people aren’t always nice about those things and when they are attacked you feel attacked.

Case in point…I am BIG into DubStep. Love it! (Shout out to my personal favorite Excision!) I like the heavy industrial shit that sounds (according to the web) like Transformers having sex. I shared DubStep with my wife and she hated it, she often tells me how it has no melody. She KNEW it was special to me, since it was the first music in 5 years that I have taken a real interest in, but she was more concerned with making her opinion known than caring about my feelings. It (and she even admitted this part) invalidated my feelings about and responses to DubStep. Oh but then it gets worse, I went to a gathering of friends and I played them a song by Skrillex (something I thought was a little less hard, and a little more accessible). Not only did each and every one of them hate it, but more than one of them made fun of me. Here I was sharing something that I cared so deeply about, and these people – MY FRIENDS, MIND YOU—had no desire to do anything but deride it.

Now replace those friends with a group of people that have no personal stake in what the person “in the spotlight” feels. What sort of massacre are you inviting? Well, if you don’t have some sort of armor (aka geek pride), you’re asking for a slaughter. If you have nothing between you and them you’re going to find yourself carrying your heart home in a basket. Hell, I was with friends and I cried a little on the way home. Yeah, not even +5 to parry can stop some of the attacks…

Even worse, what if you replace those friends with people that are not nice at all (for whatever reason)…what if you replace those friends with people looking for a reason to tear you down? Which leads me to my final point…

#3: This song isn’t about Geeks being better than everyone else…it is a banner against bullying, a tale of caution for those in high school now that are playing the part of the jock or prom queen. Watch out, or those that you belittle and torture will turn on you and bite you. It may take a while, but a teased dog may eventually attack, and are you sure you want to be the hand taunting it at the time?

Seriously, if you think about the lyrics, this is a highlight reel of all the things geeks have had to suffer through growing up. Welcome to class, here let me take your soft little geek heart and stomp on it…and while I’m at it, I’ll stomp your face too. It happens, it is out there, and it is something that the media has really latched onto lately. (And why wouldn’t they, when kids are throwing themselves off bridges , and shooting themselves , and hanging themselves EVERY DAMN DAY because of it!?!?!?!)

And if you want to be a bully again and take away this song from every kid out there that looks at it and sees a glimmer of hope, an outlet of anger and pain…well you go right ahead, channel that high school asshole you surely were and play those mind games again.

Me, for one, I’m going to distribute this son of a bitch everywhere I can. I’m going to tell all of my little geeky friend with little geeky children to rock this shit full volume and scream BITE ME at you and all the other naysayers.

Now, I’m the one that’s cool, and I’m proud of it.  MMORPG, FTW!

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    2 comments already | Leave your own comment

  1. 4/19/2012 | 10:04 pm Permalink

    Just as everyone is someone else’s geek and cool person, I think almost everyone is a bully and was bullied in turn. Not always to the extent of physical assault or intentional humiliation, but one of the things I remember most about my teenage years was the casual cruelty. When you’re a self-centered kid it’s hard to realize that your offhand remarks can have real impact.

    To play devil’s advocate re: your wife and friends, I think that because so many geeky sorts define themselves by what they geek out about it’s almost inevitable that there’s some self-definition from what we DON’T like. I know I’ve done it (ask me about metalheads and country music fans sometime) and while it’s not the best first reaction I get why it happens.

    Loved the video. Not as good as “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar” but quite clever!

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  2. 6/10/2013 | 1:17 pm Permalink

    And because I’m a geeky girl, does that automatically imply I need to dress in fandom t-shirts all day? Why can’t I look like a “proper lady” and love geeky things at the same time. I do express my love for my fandoms, but more subtle. (I have a Tardis as a necklace, I have a small skull in my ear for my love of pirates of the Caribbean, and I have an anti-possessing symbol tattooed on my foot) It’s those little things that I love and make it special for me.

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