BlogGlue

Greetings!

Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What's in a name? (That was lame)

I realize that this blog is called "a bit of geek" and therefore what I'm about to write may seem hypocritical or counter-intuitive. This is a rant, a pet peeve irritation of mine. I do have a few specific people in mind but my "thoughts" have been applied to many situations so I'm being extremely general here. I think it's also worth noting that sometimes I myself do what irritates me in other places/people/things. Hopefully this is a sufficient enough disclaimer.

I cannot stand it when someone decidedly non-geeky declares themselves to be a geek, nerd, dork or what have you, especially when what they're "doing" that apparently calls for just such a label isn't even that fitting. I like what I do, this was covered in a previous post. If someone wants to call me a geek/nerd/dork because of my hobbies and lifestyle then whatever, fine. To my knowledge though, I don't run around declaring that everything I do is "so geeky" or, "I am just such a dork" or, "this is a nerdy thing to do". In general terms I try to just say what it is that I like or what I'm doing.

Right now I'm listening to the Ocarina of Time soundtrack.

I still haven't gotten dressed for the day because I want to keep reading the Penny Arcade archives.

Even though I'm finished with classes and I'll be graduating in just about a week, I still have final evaluations to write. I'd really rather play WoW and I've been wrestling all morning over whether or not I should do the right thing or the fun thing.

Yesterday I talked with a friend and classmate about how exciting it was to learn website coding.

This is my second or third post today on my dedicated "geeky" stuff blog. This is one of those situations where I can be called a hypocrite because I used the word geek in reference to myself. I accept that geek, along with dork/nerd, are viable words in many situations. In this case it acts as a very adequate catch-all for my delicious hobbies.

I don't want to qualify any of these statements by prefacing them with a phrase such as, "I know this is really dorky but..." and I don't want to end them with, "I'm such a nerd I know".

I will happily call my friends dorks and nerds and geeks when the situation warrants it. I have a great friend who is the president (and creator) of the Star Trek club at her University. What a dork, but man I love her and I think she's awesome. She does not go around screaming to the damn rooftops that she's a dork or whatever. She is who she is and she's awesome. It should also be noted that her boyfriend is president and creator of the Pokemon club at the same University. :D

My best friend does many nerdy things on a regular basis and I love when she tells me about it. She's in bed with her boyfriend and they're both playing Pokemon? She went to a convention dressed as Chun Li? They have more comic books than I can even count and she frequently goes "huurrr hurrrr"? I LOVE HER. I love telling her how much of a dork she is when these things occur.

These two great friends of mine are fine with who they are and they love their hobbies. Neither of them run around proclaiming their nerdiness.

It makes me happy to be able to crown these words on my beloved friends. I personally take pride when someone christens me as such. Again, I love my hobbies; it just feels wrong to self title.

When I was in junior high I was talking to a friend of mine, I forget the context of the conversation, and I said that I was a nice person. He looked at me for a second and then told me I couldn't really make that assertion, that it had to come from someone else. I could think I was nice, but until other people believed or agreed that I was a nice person, it didn't really mean anything. I remember thinking that this was extremely strange because I really did believe that I was a nice person. I still think I'm a nice person, even though I certainly have my not-so-nice moments. I'm pretty sure I see his angle though: Do self-proclaimed people have the same genuinity (that's not a word) as people that have been dubbed something by other people? This all is dependent on how that specific person feels about these labels though. I'm perfectly OK with someone saying that I have a lot of geeky hobbies or that I'm a total nerd about some things. That's fine, I would agree with that statement, in fact it makes me happy to think about someone saying it.

I am aware, though, that there are many many people who far surpass me in the geeky realm.

Did you ever know that random guy in junior high or high school who always talked about how "crazy" he was? No one ever told him he was crazy or wacky, but he sure liked to tell others that he was. He would do stupid shit and be like, "I'm so crazy I know". Everytime I see those shirts that have a computer wearing glasses with the words "Talk nerdy to me" I just want to scream.

Am I being elitist here? I'm not trying to be and now I find of feel bad. These thoughts are infecting me though, they need to be purged.

Mainly I get all riled up when I meet one person who has no hobbies related to this except for maybe they play Pokemon. Then they proceed to talk about how they're such a dork because they play Pokemon. Not that dorky, really. Or perhaps they really enjoy watching Youtube videos so suddenly they're a total computer nerd. No, no you really aren't.

Am I worried about posers? Geek posers? Yikes.

Maybe I can liken it to music enthusiasts. They're very particular about their bands and their scenes. They don't take very well to over rambunctious newcomers who claim their "title" right off the bat.

I think that's how I feel here. I think I feel a little better too. I could really use some feedback, if anyone would like to provide.

EDIT***

If someone just is a huge fucking dork, it doesn't bother me if they call themselves a dork. It's legitimate and it's true. It's not like people need my permission anyway, this is a rant afterall.

EDIT2**

I keep thinking of more things. I WANT to be a huge nerd, I just want to earn it. Does that make sense?

-MJ

Just for funsies.

11 comments:

Hmm. I can't really give you feedback in the way that you mean, but I'll share some things:
I tell people that I "aspire to be a nerd." People with hobbies such as yours are more interesting to me than say, someone who is very into sports. When I call a person "nerd", or "geek", I say it because it is my absolute favorite quality in that person. I call myself a dork because I am awkward, not because I play video games or read Twilight (although I do the latter). Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time reminds me of being a 7th grader and watching my mom play in the evenings. She recently divulged that when I was very little, she would tell me stories about a cat named Zelda and how they were terrible, on the fly stories, but that I really seemed to like them. I have no recollection of that, but knowing it now makes my heart swell 10 sizes.
Maybe other people feel the way I do, and want to feel like they belong in the Cool Kids Club. I don't think you're being elitist -you are just expressing your thoughts, but don't forget that some people with your interests ARE snobby and exclusive.
Also, I LOVE the "talk nerdy to me" shirts. I think they're really cute. The irony is that I can't communicate on a particularly knowledgeable level with my boyfriend on any of his his favorite video games, and have only the most basic understanding of what he does as a digital artist. I would love to be able to talk nerdy to him. Maybe he'd be really impressed...

I think I'll go out and buy a "I <3 nerds" shirt. Because I really do.

I think what bothers me about the Talk Nerdy shirts is that they're not aimed at the people who would actually wear them or utilize nerdy speak. At least that's how it seems. I have a shirt that says "I <3 My Nerd", so I don't want it to seem that I'm shunning that category entirely XD

I agree with you about the favorite quality! I think geeky/nerdiness is an excellent quality and it makes me happy to see it. Thanks for the input :)

SUPER CUTE about your mom telling you those stories, by the way!

I'm gonna completely ignore the majority of this post and just say that, The Song of Storms is my favorite Zelda song <3 haha

Friends mentioned: Eve/Brit - Star Trek/Pokémon Fan Clubs!
Jacki/Blake - Comics Galore!
Danny "Face" O'Hair - Almost asshole-ish comments!
Me! - Music Enthusiast!

I don't recall seeing you wear that "I <3 My Nerd" shirt.

If you didn't want them called out, I apologize.

Me! - Tasting my foot! It's in my mouth!

Well Sam at least there was something there you liked XD

I haven't worn The "I <3 My Nerd" shirt in a while, I know I've worn it with you around though. I believe it got packed up because of the fact that I didn't wear it often. I think it was a little small. It was also purchased while I was still dating Joey. So... there's that.

I don't particularly mind that you called them out, they most likely wouldn't care :P

Lol, I did read the whole post and did like it but once I got to the end and saw you had that song on there I forgot what you were talking about and thought of the first time I learned that song from the guy in the windmill and how angry he was, then I started singing it to myself completely forgetting the fact that you had the song itself embedded there hahaha

Haha! XD Alrighty then!

Awww you mentioned Britt and myself! How sweet! :D And you're my Zelda-loving video gaming friend that I've known since 7th grade and I love you too!

I try not to be bothered when people do the "I'm such a nerd I know!" deal, because I don't think most people think about it as much as we do. They just say it. I think that when people say things like this they believe they're being modest and they don't realize they come off as jackanapes. However, it's usually a useful clue as to how much of a nerd they're not, or that they're expressing some apprehension or embarrassment of whatever they're talking about.

Whoever told you you can't call yourself a nice person is wrong, though I hope they've changed their opinion since Jr. High, and here's why: your worth is NOT determined by what other people think of you, in fact your own opinion of yourself is worth more than anyone else's. I can see the thought process behind it, and how it must have seemed "profound" at their age, but excessive worrying about how you are perceived by other people only leads to problems. I remember once in high school listening to some dumb radio talk show, it was one of those man-centric ones like Howard Stern (I hate those shows and I don't remember why I was listening to it, I think I was in someone's car and they were listening to it) and the host was insisting that a man's status or worth is decided solely by his job/income. The argument was that people who make more money work harder so they're better blah blah blah, I really hated it and I hated that his ideas were actually being accepted by people. Anyway, I was reading this story earlier today (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/fashion/02love.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all) and the husband's crisis is rooted in how he thinks other people think of him. Not to mention that confidence in yourself is an important part of success in one's career and relationships since you can't love someone else unless you love yourself first, well, not healthily anyway. Therefore, MORE people should think that they are nice people. If not for their mental health, then for the self-fulfilling prophecy factor, if you THINK you're something, you're more likely to BE that thing, or become that thing via your actions. The human brain is a pretty easy thing to manipulate in that way. I know myself and my strengths and my weaknesses and this gives me an advantage over people who convince themselves they're something they're not. For instance, I make the decision on an almost daily basis not to wear make-up. The factors considered are the time it takes to put it on, the cost of using it everyday, and the minor increase in attractiveness is not worth it to me, I'd rather just look really good occasionally. But some girls I know CANNOT go out without their make-up, they would rather skip class if they don't have time to put their make-up on. To me, that screams of lack of self-esteem and an over-emphasis on how other people perceive you. I do understand that young people, especially teenagers and indeed many people our age are trying to figure out who they are and they'll grasp onto words that people use maybe once or twice to describe them like "sorority girl" or "hippie" or in the cases we're talking about, "nerd", "otaku", or "gamer" and explore that identity thoroughly. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so, it's a process that many people go through and it generally leads to a better understanding of themselves. So while it's annoying to have to listen to people shout that they're a geek from the rooftops, they're merely cementing themselves into an identity regardless of if they fit into it not. They'll play that roll for a while but it tends to fade away with time as they find out who they really are. I.e., no one is -solely- a gamer, no one is -solely- a sorority girl, etc.

I got cut off... where was I?
I see this post as a continuation of your identity post from earlier, so here's a few comments I think are relevant to both. Geek, nerd, and dork have different connotations these days than they did a decade or two ago. Here are the top urban dictionary definitions for each:

Nerd: One whose IQ exceeds his weight.

and

An individual persecuted for his superior skills or intellect, most often by people who fear and envy him.

Geek: The people you pick on in high school and wind up working for as an adult

Dork: Someone who has odd interests, and is often silly at times. A dork is also someone who can be themselves and not care what anyone thinks.

They're all positive in some way. You mentioned that there are many many different categories of nerd/geek and I agree, but I think the defining factor is the amount of work put into a hobby/interest. The labels nerd and geek seem to imply an intense interest or effort in a certain area. So, I would argue that these labels do have prerequisites and that calling oneself a nerd just because they've played a video game before is not justified.

If you want to call yourself a geek it's not hypocritical, you earned it! Besides, it's pretty obvious within minutes of talking to one of us about our hobbies that we ARE nerdy. It cannot be helped!

Sorry for writing so much, I guess I had more to say than I thought.

Eve thank you so much for ALL of that! I really really appreciate your always thoughtful point of you. You make such good arguments, I like it when whatever I'm saying can be challenged without attacking me XD

I wish that it didn't bother me so much because I know that the people, like you said, don't think of it the way that we do. I don't want to be irritated that someone is trying something on for size; they have every right to! It frequently helps me to let go of a hang up, such as this one, if I share my thoughts with other people.

All of your information about self-worth is so... relevant! Maybe that's where my irritation stems from? I like who I am, and so do my friends (both liking themselves and liking me). When I hear someone saying, "I'm such a nerd I know" in that self-depreciating, embarrassing sort of way, I think I get angry that they're acting as though it's something to hide or be slightly ashamed of.

I wrote about this school year being an identity crisis of sorts, and since writing that post and really grabbing my identity in a meaningful way I have felt happier and better about myself than I have in a while. I wouldn't say that I was feeling negative before, but there developed this new level of happiness, I suppose it would be pride, comfort, satisfaction. I don't want people impeding on that! I can't control what other people do though, just my responses to them. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to let go of this before too long :)

Thank you for the urban dictionary definitions. They align well with the notions I had in my head, it's very useful to see them laid out like that though!

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