Last week, a friend pointed me out to a list: 150 ways to tell if you're a true geek. Of course, I had to take a look. While some of it was amusing, and some of it truly far out, at some point, I had to pause and ask myself: Why am I taking this test? What do I even care?
If you think about it, "150 ways to tell if you're a true geek" sounds very much like it would have come out of women's magazines that feed on the insecurities of their target demographic from their cover blurbs alone: "10 Ways to Tell If He Truly Loves You", "Are You Too Fat? Are You Too Thin?", "How to give a better blowjob", and so on. (Of course, the one question they never really ask is: "Do you take too many quizzes? Take this test to find out.")
Really, it's just sad.
So I submit, along with all the references to Star Trek, Zork, Apple ][, Lego, and Mythbusters, item number 151: "You don't care if other people think you're a geek or not."
Back before the term became fashionable, I did all the geeky stuff because they were fun and thought-provoking and challenging and, let's face it, a little different from what the rest of the world did. I didn't do them for anyone's approval. Be darned if I'm going to start now, just because some opinion poll says so.
These days, you can practically buy your way into geekdom. Want to be part of the geek set? Buy an MacBook, an iPhone, an iPod Touch, a Blackberry, and a DSLR. Worship and discuss anything that Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams will turn out, even if it's utter crap. Read the latest juvenile novel or anime, fangirl or fanboi about the brooding hero or heroine, and dress up like they do.
There's no more heartache in being a geek because it's already so fashionable. Heck, you'd be way out there if you didn't have any public quirk. And gone, along with that tiny bit of angst, is that joy of discovery that someone else out there shares your secret passion because, hey, all you need to do is just check if the group already exists on Facebook.
Being a "geek" nowadays is just too much work, because there's so much to keep up with and so many expectations to live up to. The geeks never really had their revenge; instead, they were coopted into the mainstream. They sold out.
That just breaks the spirit of what it is to be a geek.
Am I a geek? Are you a geek?
I don't care. I really don't care.