The existence of ANY form of hierarchy of geeks/nerds/dorks (I’m tired of people trying to make them mean different things, they don’t, if they ever did they evolved and don’t now) is ridiculous. I’m gonna go a bit sideways and over serious about this but hear me out.
I get really disgusted and lose massive amounts of respect any time I hear a nerd (of any kind) use another nerds geekery as an insult or even in a patronizing way. If you spend 90% of your free time playing FPS games on the play station network, hearing you say something like “Magic is such a dumb game, the people who are obsessed with that have no lives and have definitely never seen a boob” just makes you look UTTERLY lacking in self-awareness. If you’re a furry, talking shit about Bronies is really fucking sad.
We are nerds. All of us. I suppose there’s probably people out there who have no geek in them, but I really don’t want to get to know those people, unless it’s to help them FIND their geek. Because THIS is what it really means to be a nerd: there is something that exists in the world that makes you STUPIDLY happy. Like, inexplicably, all out of proportion happy. Like, you hear the WORD(S) and immediately your pulse quickens, you start smiling without even realizing it, and even if you were having a shitty day you automatically feel less awful, THAT kinda happy.
That’s it. That’s ALL it means. The reason dorks get trash talked is mainly because the thing(s) we happen to get that stupid happy about don’t necessarily make OTHER PEOPLE feel like that, and that confuses people. And if they can’t understand, they can’t empathize, and when people can’t empathize with something, they have a terrible habit of deciding that that thing is “weird” and therefore bad, and that they need to do something to make sure people know THEY aren’t weird, so they trash talk that thing, to make sure everyone knows “I’m not like that weirdo”
But the thing is… they ARE. YOU are. We all are.
We all have SOMETHING that makes us just as irrationally excited, and we ALL have had people see us “geek out” and be completely unable to understand what the hell is wrong with us for caring that much about whatever it is.
So if you see someone enjoying the elation their particular geekdom brings them, and it happens to be something that you just do NOT care about and can’t understand why anyone WOULD care about… don’t try to DISTANCE yourself, just realize you don’t need to love the SAME thing in order to empathize as long as you love SOMETHING just they way they do! And be happy for them that they are getting to enjoy it, and fuck, let them geek out to you even if you can’t get it, you never know, you just might end up finding that you DO get it, and then have a whole NEW thing to get deliriously happy about, and a friend to share it with!
And if you’re a DC nerd and you hear a friend trashing someone because they are a Marvel geek (there’s a difference between friendly rivalry/ banter and legitimately insulting or degrading someone) SPEAK UP! Tell the person the crap I’ve just said, point out how counter productive it is for them to put down someone the way THEY get put down, because they have a different THING. They might continue to be douchey, some people are just dicks and aren’t interested in being anything else, but maybe they’ll hear you, and maybe if we all try to defend each other a bit more, maybe eventually people will just sort of STOP thinking that it’s got to be “weird” or “uncool” or “stupid” or “immature” to be FUCKING HAPPY over something.
I’m sorry for ranting but I really think this issue is a massive problem, and although I do understand that the meme was meant to be light hearted and playful, and I am able to enjoy it as that, it brought all of this stuff to mind for me, and made me want to talk about it. Because this “hierarchy chart” may be just a joke between friends , but there are WAY too many people that genuinely think their IS some kind of like, Caste System involved, I mean, I’ve heard COMPLEX discussions about warhammer players being nerdier and almost less human than magic players, and I’ve heard D&D guys shit ALL OVER LARPers, and there’s probably hundreds of examples of that kind of crap, and it’s so FUCKING SAD!
I have a very close friend who’s pretty obsessed with high end DJ equipment… I barely have ANY knowledge base about that stuff, and I’m not particularly interested in learning about it… but when he gets a new toy, or reads an article on a new method of doing something, and he starts spewing technical verbal diarrhea at me about amps and hrtz and WHATEVER… it makes my day. Because I have no FUCKING CLUE what he’s saying, and I don’t have the ability to be excited about what he’s excited about… but it is really wonderful to see his eyes light up or hear his voice get all squeaky high pitched or (fuck ya’ll, one of MY geeks happens to me EVERYTHING interwebs and I fucking love communicating through messengers, ok!?) even seeing his sentences start ending with a larger than normal quantity of exclamation points… because someone that I love is happy. And wants to share that happy moment with ME. And I don’t understand how anyone can ever NOT think that’s fantastic.
So, yeah… sorry for carrying on, and if you’re still reading, thanks for giving me your time… and just think about it all… and know that I love you and I love that you’re a dork, and I love whatever you’re a dork OVER, because I love knowing you have something that is wonderful TO YOU, whether it is to me or not. 😘