Posts Tagged: ‘geeks’

The “Geek is Chic!” headlines have been making the rounds — this time around — for more than a decade now. And it’s probably not surprising to anyone who has been listening to PopStuff that Holly and I both have geeky tendencies. But we don’t mean this episode to be a giant celebration of all things geek, or to appeal only to the geeks in the audience. For the non-geeks: What’s this “geek culture” that keeps making the news? And for the geeks: What’s up with this idea that being harassed and stigmatized — and doing work to maintain geekiness — is some kind of prerequisite? And how is the harassment and stigma harmful (beyond the psychological health of the little geeks and nerds in question)?

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Before I even left the house this morning, I saw someone I follow on Twitter retweet this sentiment from actress Jenny Wade: “hey attractive girls who say ‘i am such a nerd’ we get it, no amount of male attention is ever enough.” It has, as of 9:30 this morning, more than 100 retweets.

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I first heard about the Geek a Week Project through TechStuff’s Jonathan Strickland, but a shout-out from prompted me to take a peek at this innovative year-long project highlighting the accomplishments of geeks from a variety of disciplines. For a sports fan like me, though, the appeal of this project came down to three words: Geek. Trading. Cards.

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As I said earlier this week, social dancing is a lot like gaming, in part because both pastimes seem to attract lots of people of the geek/nerd persuasion. For example, one of my current teachers? Rocket scientist. I don’t know whether he classifies himself as a geek, but at the same time … rocket scientist. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve also danced with plenty of people who aren’t geeks, but none of them have made fun of me for showing up to the dance wearing “Star Trek” earrings.

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If you follow my personal Twitter, you may have read my blathering about swing dancing and the awesomeness therein. I took my first swing class in April from a group called Down South Swing, and since then, things have … escalated. I’ve taken all the swing classes Down South Swing currently offers, plus courses in Charleston and Lindy hop, and I have more classes on the horizon over the next couple of months. This weekend, I made it to a dance at Georgia Tech, and while I was there, it struck me … social dancing is a lot like gaming. Find out how after the jump.

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This past Saturday, geeky music fans in Chicago had a choice. They Might Be Giants was playing at Vic Theatre, as part of a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Flood.” (Rolling Stone has a great track-by-track retrospective about the album, which is ironic since the magazine panned it back in 1990.) TMBG has been touring most of the U.S. (except for Atlanta) and playing “Flood” from beginning to end, and the Chicago stop was scheduled for Oct. 10.

On the same night, Jonathan Coulton was scheduled to play his own show, along with Paul and Storm, at Park West. JoCo noticed the gigs’ overlap back in August and, knowing how many geeky people are fans of some combination of TMBG, JoCo and Paul and Storm, joked that he might have to play “Flood,” too.

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Every now and again, something happens that makes me feel like I somehow missed out on one of the formative influences on my generation. Yesterday’s death of John Hughes was one of those events. Hughes’ ’80s-era movies simultaneously defined and reflected the high school experience of a lot of people my age. But I didn’t end up waxing nostalgic along with much of Facebook and Twitter.

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Not too long ago, I was trying to figure out how a Tesla coil worked so I could write about it for Discovery Channel’s “Time Warp.” For a while, I was stumped, so I did what I’ve been doing for the last four years whenever I’ve failed at wrapping my brain around something. I IM‘ed my brother. In spite of what I used to tell him when we were kids, he is smarter than I am.

His response? “You should put the Tesla music in there.” I grew up during the ’80s, so it took me a minute to realize he didn’t mean the band behind the power ballad “Love Song.”

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With E3 going on, video game news is dominating the headlines this week. TechStuff’s Jonathan Strickland is on the scene, though, so I’m leaving all the E3 reporting to him. (It helps that he already has his eye on a lot of the announcements I’m most excited about. “The Beatles: Rock Band,” anyone?)

Beyond the bounds of E3, a couple of roundup lists have been stirring up controversy. One, Topless Robot’s “Pop Culture’s 10 Greatest Nerds” counts down from Gordon Freeman (“Half-Life”) to Willow Rosenberg (“Buffy”), making a stop through Urkel on the way. Any list like this is bound to create a storm of discussion about why characters were or weren’t included. But this one’s compounded by arguments about who is and who isn’t a nerd.

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One of the things on my to-do list this weekend is seeing Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse on Saturday. My introduction to JoCo was that “Code Monkey”/”World of Warcraftmachinima that made the rounds a few years back. I was hooked … but it’s not just the music. Here are my top 5 awesome things about JoCo.

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