When you hear the words ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’, often the image of the socially awkward, glasses taped in the middle, brainiac comes to mind. Maybe you think of math lovers, D&D gamers, Trekkies, or technophiles, But really, that’s just the gateway stereotype to a whole huge spectrum of people out there. My current favorite ‘definition’ of nerds or geeks comes from our Nerdist inspirational dude Chris Hardwick who says we geeks and nerds are ‘people who are unabashedly obsessive and creative.’ Amen and yea verily. I love this for one big reason: it’s so inclusive.
Geekdom ain’t what it used to be. The terms geek and nerd used to be bad things. Being called a geek was a slam and something you avoided. These days it’s a kind of badge of honor. Like anything that goes mainstream the terms are often misused, but we are talking about inclusiveness here so we’ll ignore that aspect for the time being. Seems being a geek is the new black. It’s everywhere. And lo, this is a goodness. But it can feel like a game of who is the bigger nerd at times. Ironically, the ubiquitousness of geekdom can leave one feeling EXcluded.
I’m a geek from waaaaay back. I saw Star Wars in a theater seven times in ’77 and stood in line with Darth Vaders and Boba Fetts playing with Master Replica sabers before seeing ‘Revenge of the Sith’ a couple of decades later. I wear glasses and have a Mario mushroom candy tin on my desktop case. But even I sometimes don’t feel I have enough anti-cool cred to be one of the cool geeks. I don’t have an iphone and I couldn’t care less about Playstations or Wii’s.
There are lots of things I am unabashedly obsessive about. Things that on the surface might not seem to fit in to the geek jello mold. Cue Hardwick’s defintion. Huzzah! I can once again lay claim to the label ‘geek’ just by virtue of the thing I am happily allowing to eat my life right now: Poi.
Allow me to share with you my current pron: Costa Rica Flow
Know how long it takes to be that good? The Gladwell formula of 10,000 hours comes to mind. If that isn’t obsessive and creative I dunno what is. Even so, it still feels a little ‘non-geekish’ until you see these:
Many people aren’t familiar with poi, a dance that, at its bare essentials, involves creating patterns in space by swinging a ball on a rope in each hand (replace the balls with Kevlar, add kerosene and you have fire poi). Much of it is surprisingly scientific, incorporating concepts like centrifugal force.
Aha! Geometry! Centrifugal Force! You Tube! So it IS geeky! Not that I needed proof, but validation never hurts. But, if you’re still not convinced I’d challenge anyone to not see the connection in The Duel of the Fates choreography and this.
The world just got a whole lot smaller and expanded all at the same time. I love it when that happens.
Kink In Motion
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- Google+: My First Impressions
- Webcomic Review – Riot Nrrd
- Book Review: The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman
- Nerd Rap: A Gateway Drug That Won’t Put You In Jail.