“Geeks have doubled-down on the idea that anyone who has a problem with our culture, especially during the reign of Geek Nation, is a poseur who doesn’t deserve our title or our hospitality (such as it is). As a result, it’s undeniable that geeks are returning that exclusivity to their ranks. But the citizenship test now consists of questions that reward being exploitative, mercenary, sexist, mean-spirited, homophobic, closed-minded assholes. Some of us might try to say “Well, it’s not all of us. And there’s more good than there is bad!” And technically, yeah, maybe they’re right. But not by much. I think it’s time to admit that Geek Pride is a largely empty emotion, and “Don’t be a dick” doesn’t cut it as a philosophy or a battle cry. It never did.
So if this is what means to be part of Geek Culture, then fuck Geek Culture. I don’t want anything to do with it. You can have it back.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m damn sure not gonna stop watching movies, or reading comics, or playing games, or even going to conventions. I’m still gonna host my pub quiz, and make my podcasts, and maybe hook up a mashup or two. But I’m not buying into this toxic Geek shit anymore. None of the stuff I like needs to be a part of your insular, suffocating culture to succeed. I don’t need to look at things through that filter to better understand or like them. The stuff that works? It works just fine without you.
I’m honestly thankful that the Geek Renaissance was there to obliterate the unnecessary barrier to new forms of media for millions of people who otherwise would have never had their lives enriched in a multitude of ways. But I don’t think I belong here anymore—not if something as simple as enjoying some comics comes with a cost like denying whole swaths of people their basic humanity.
Geek Culture is asking to be abandoned, and I’m amenable to their offer. It’s much more important to me that I try being a better person rather than maintaining status as a good Geek, and the effort it would take to consistently reconcile the two is better spent doing more worthwhile things:
Like, say, reading Fraction’s Hawkeye, or
Like playing Fullbright’s Gone Home, or
Like listening to some Jonathan Coulton, or
Like doing all those things and then inviting a group of friends over for a barbecue, grilling up some burgers and maybe watching a movie or playing a game or maybe just enjoying the company of people I consider good and decent for who they are, and not for what they think about a TV show. You know…
Like growing the fuck up.”
Bobby Roberts has his "Jerry Maguire” moment regarding Geek Culture™. I’m with him on this. Blow the doors off their hinges and let everyone* into the clubhouse! It makes for a way better party.
*everyone who can behave themselves and not engage in bullshit sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and/or generally shitty behavior.