When I was young (sigh) the word GEEK was a derogatory term. Some people weren’t very nice to the band of brainiacs who belonged to the audio/visual club, wheeling TV’s down the hall to classrooms so the rest of us could watch boring documentaries on PBS. The guys who won the science fair and graduated with honors. We had no idea how influential these young geniuses were. The thought never crossed our minds that the world we live in was really created by them.
How self-absorbed and shallow we all were. Trying so hard to be cool, not even realizing that right under our noses, the geeks kept the world spinning for the rest of us slobs who were in pursuit of other things. Our take it and use it philosophy reminds me of HG Wells The Time Machine. We were and are much like the Eloi, tra-la-la-ing through life, using stuff and junk that was provided for us by other people. The difference is, our geek benefactors don’t do this to fatten us up so they can eat us like the Morlocks that were in essence Eloi ranchers. They do it to make life easier, more convenient and enjoyable. At least I don’t think they plan to eat the rest of us.
The geeks have always ruled the world, but until recently, it was a covert operation for the most part. It has always been the smarter, the keener, the ones with vision, drive and determination who discover, invent and craft the wonders that make life easier for us.
Everything we use, drive, eat, wear, watch, read, listen to and play with whether you want to admit it or not, was cooked up in the mind of someone somewhere who is worlds smarter than most of us. We take so many things for granted, that it’s hard to remember this sometimes.
But geekdom didn’t mean star power in days of yore. Did Trogg the caveman wish to be like Erg because he invented the wheel? Did Erg get the chicks?
What about the men and women who toiled and braved danger to tame the wild West? A shotgun, a plow, a pump to bring fresh water into the home, the railroad. The list could go on forever. All things that helped civilize our country, but that was technology we merely used as tools.
As life gets easier for us, we have more time to explore the complex thingies made available to us by the world’s best and brightest. We want to use them to their fullest and know what makes them tick. Perhaps there’s a reason for this. In the 1980′s, we learned from the mullet wearing bad ass MacGyver that we need only open the junk drawer in our kitchen to find the means with which to build our own microwave oven, race car or rocket ship.
Today, our society is completely immersed in fancy schmancy hi-tech stuff. It is woven into the fabric of our lives. Sure, we could live without embracing the geek. But not very well. How could life continue (shudder) without appliances that do most or all of the work? Cars that are so smart we barely need to drive them and a whole slew of gadgets that we grow more and more dependent on each and every day.
Not only have we accepted geek culture, be we have adopted it as our own, and now the tables have turned. It is indeed hip to be a square, and geeks, nerds, spazzes and dorks are at the top of the heap in our world.
So why is it so cool to be a geek now? Because the geeks are so smart, so crafty, so beguiling, that the shiny new wonders they delight us with now are so advanced, that mere mortals aren’t equipped to use them. The AV guys, science nerds and eggheads are now having the last laugh because, the new things we all want and need have a pretty steep learning curve.
You want the latest computer, the flashiest car, the cutting edge cell phone, etc. Are you smart enough to use this stuff? To save face,you better hope so, or you’ll be the one with spitballs stuck to the back of your head.
I for one, aspire to be a geek. I love gadgets, widgets, and anything new and cool. I have a smart phone, I have a Kindle, I have a laptop and interweb ready TV’s. I don’t need one, because of all the other fun junk I have, but gee willikers I would love a tablet. Whatever for, Cheeky, when you know what you really need is one of those refrigerators that won’t open if you’re too fat -I can hear you thinking not so very quietly.
Wow! That was way harsh!! Way to bring me back to reality and help me win the battle of the bulge, readers. Thanks a bunch!
Hope everyone had a joyous New Year’s and I will see you bright and early tomorrow for Thursday Haiku Madness friends. We will haiku the shit out of the New Year!!!! Aren’t we all happy that we didn’t get blowed up or vaporized? Stupid Mayans! Tomorrow, it’s all about hope and joy and other fun stuff to wish all of our loved ones health and happiness in this new year.
Be there or be square -Wait! Square is good…didn’t I just say that? Yeah..ahem, be there AND be square.