We’re geeks, that means a lot of things. It generally means higher than average intelligence, a more active imagination, and the ability to be obsessive about getting details right. Those are the good things. Well, for some values of good. There are some bad things too and I wanted to talk about them a little.
First things most outsiders see about geek culture has usually been simple appearance. Geeks and nerds look “funny”. A portion of this is because we don’t fit in with normal society, and it affects our style choices. Don’t interrupt me with your claims of having superb sartorial taste and excellent relations with the mundane world, a few of you do and this may not apply directly to you. My guess is that you are wrong though. I come pretty close to passing as a mundane and I can still only hold the cover to an extent.
Getting back to geek appearance after being so rudely interrupted. Most of you have clothing in your closet that no one not a geek would wear. We all envy you those items, but that is why we are geeks. I love some of my wife’s geeky T-Shirts but I am aware most ‘danes don’t “get” them. And the Browncoat clothing leaves them scratching their heads.
The really odd thing about geeks is the preponderance of body dysmorphic types among us. There is a reason for the term “Gamer large” for t-shirts in the xx range. At cons most people are either very large or very thin, or have other body oddities. I for example have Gimli’s body on Aragorn’s legs. Yep, most of us look a little off.
Why am I talking about our bodies and styles being odd? Well because it drives some other factors that affect our world views and the views the world has of us. It is also the reason we have so many flakes among us. Because we are the different, the Odd as Sarah Hoyt calls us, we have always been on the outside. So we accept outsiders from society, knowing how rejection feels.
The problem is that outsiders tend towards bitterness. They have a real hatred for the ‘danes, the normal members of society. We provide them with a sanctuary, a place to hide. They use our inclusiveness for their own agendas. And we, having been outsiders, too often protect them from the consequences of their attacks. This is why we have people like Arthur Chu and PedoPhil Sandifer among us. We protect the different. This should be a good thing, somehow it isn’t. We, as a tribe, need to realize that some people can be outsiders even among us.
All tribes have taboos. We don’t yet, we are in reality too new to the scene to have developed taboos, it is time we did.