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I am anti-geek pride, posted by Derek

I know, controversial title, right?

So, today is a very geeky day.  It’s Star Wars Day #2, because Star Wars was released 33 years ago today.  It got overshadowed by Empire day, but….  It’s also Towel Day, because DNA (Douglas Noel Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and other books author) died two weeks ago, and today is the day to remember his death, and to carry your towel.  It’s also the Glorious 25th of May, which for Pratchett fans, means you can wear the lilca if you were there.

Because of this, it’s also also also Geek Pride day.  Apparently this is a newish holiday – it’s maybe 5 years old.  In principle, I’m all for this.  Celebrate Geekiness.  Hell, that’s kinda the point of this blog.  In practice, I hate it.

Here is the wiki page.  I call your attention, specifically, to the manifesto.  I’ve bolded the parts that particularly offend me.


  1. The right to be even geekier.
  2. The right to not leave your house.
  3. The right to not like football or any other sport.
  4. The right to associate with other nerds.
  5. The right to have few friends (or none at all).
  6. The right to have as many geeky friends as you want.
  7. The right to be out of style.
  8. The right to be overweight and short-sighted.
  9. The right to show off your geekiness.
  10. The right to take over the world.


  1. Be a geek, no matter what.
  2. Try to be nerdier than anyone else.
  3. If there is a discussion about something geeky, you must give your opinion.
  4. To save and protect all geeky material.
  5. Do everything you can to show off geeky stuff as a “museum of geekiness.”
  6. Don’t be a generalized geek. You must specialize in something.
  7. Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every geeky book before anyone else.
  8. Wait in line on every opening night. If you can go in costume or at least with a related T-shirt, all the better.
  9. Never throw away anything related to geekdom.
  10. Try to take over the world!

 Let’s examine them individually after this broad comment: I get that geeks can be repressed, feel like outsiders, not fit in, etc.  I was a geek, but I was generally able to fit in.  I know it’s hard out there for a geek.  But if it’s ever going to *not* be hard out there for a geek, we’re gonna have to do more than just quietly sulk.

The right to not leave your house.
Seriously?  This isn’t good.  I know the instinct.  I’ve had days when I just didn’t want to talk to anyone but my family, and I just wanted to sit on the damn couch, play games, and have pizza delivered.  YOU CAN’T DO THAT.  As much as it’s enjoyable, you can’t let yourself do that.  You’ve got to get out.  You don’t want to, but YOU HAVE TO.  Encouraging people not to is actually not so good for us, as a … species?

The right to have few friends (or none at all).
Don’t revel in this.  Seriously.  It’s not good.  It’s not healthy.  I know.  People are idiots.  They’re annoying, and difficult, and it’s easier to just play games.  DON’T.  I’m not saying join a dance club.  But you can find some people you can stand to hang out with for a few hours from time to time.  If you’re painfully awkward, use the internets.  Kids these days have it easy. and have a great source of social networking. does too.  And when all else fails, you still have a FLGS (Friendly Local Game Story).  Apparently going out to meet new people is hard.  DO IT.  They’re geeks.  You’re gonna play DnD.  It’s the most tailor made social situation you could find.  And occasionally, you’ll be shocked to find out you actually like them.

The right to be overweight and short-sighted.
I’m back and forth here.  I know.  We need glasses, we’re out of shape.  And you need to be comfortable with who you are.  But maybe just a little star afterwards that says *But we’re trying, okay?  I’m not thrilled with the idea of geeks going “I’m fat, I’m slovenly, and I’m proud of it!”  DON’T BE.  Our places should not have to have signs that read “If your odor or hygiene offends, you may be asked to leave.”  Seriously.

Try to be nerdier than anyone else.
Don’t.  Be yourself.  You’re nerdy.  Trying to out-nerd everyone is fun for a bit, but it doesn’t build any actual relationships.  You just end up competing, and then you’re done, and you go home with no friends.  Be who you are, embrace your nerdiness (although really, I prefer geekiness, but….), but don’t try to turn it in to some weird point of pride.  Because then, that’s all you’ve got, and that’s not good.

Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every geeky book before anyone else.
This one is just being picky, but – we’re not a monolithic, homogenous group.  As evinced by this blog (if anyone else posted), geeks are a diverse group.  Some geeks aren’t going to want to see things you want to see.  It’s okay.  We don’t need to be creating inter-geekdom rifts over whether How To Train Your Dragon is a geek movie, because it has dragons and animation, or if it’s a kids movie, and only idiots want to see it.  Go see movies you want to see, and take your friends.  That being said, if they make another Serenity, you all better fsckin’ be there opening night, next night, and all week.

I hate to say this, because it will sound flip and disrespectful, but it’s the same sort of thing as other minorities go through, though on a lesser scale.  Be harassed for who you are.  Band together to stop being ashamed, and embrace your uniqueness, and revel in it.  Then come over the top of that, and become a full person, who has things that inform who they are.  You can debate where the balance between embrace and inform is, but at some point, pride can cross over to isolationism, and then you’re unhappy.    I know, I’m over simplifying, but that’s what worked for me.  I’ve integrated geekiness in to my life now, and it makes me much much happier than when I defined myself solely by my geekiness.

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