I know some of you might be expecting a blog about the Iron Cupcake Madison event. Well, that’s more of a thing for the Zombie Cakes Madison blog. Not to mention I still have to get around to writing that. This is more on the Zombie Joe/Geek side of things. If you’re not hanging out in geek areas of social networking, well… honestly… you’re probably not reading this. In the event you’ve been under a rock or without wifi for the last couple weeks, there has been an explosion of rage over the hate that has been travelling around due to an article telling “Fake Geek Girls” to “just stop.”
This innately bothers me, and only slightly due to the number of geek girls I know. I am also concerned on the level of a parent of a geek, a son who would would likely be excited that there are geek girls out there. Not to mention as a concerned community member, as it is apparently not in my nature to be indifferent towards the communities I am involved in. I want to see my fellow geeks happy. And finally as a grandparent who wants to see his granddaughters have the opportunity to let their geek flag fly if they so choose.
Back around five or six years ago, we had one of our grandchildren come and stay with us for a while. I forget how long exactly, but it was measured in months, not years. We went around to setting up a room for her (as our house at the time had 4 “bedrooms”. (One had doors leading to a second story three season porch and stairs to the third story attic.) We went to the store and allowed her to pick out a bed. We figured we could manage this as toddler beds are mostly plastic and it would help her feel like it was her room and not grandma’s room. At the store she passed up the princess beds, the tinkerbell beds and proudly announced that she wanted a Spider-Man bed!
At this point my wife looked at me. You guys know the look. The one that says, “What the hell did you do?” I simply threw my hands up in the air and told her I had nothing to do with this. Keep in mind that my wife really didn’t have a problem with her getting the Spider-Man bed, it was more the point that she was claiming I infected her with “geek cooties.” Yeah, no matter how I write that it makes her sound bad when really it wasn’t. Moving on…
We have her room set up with a Spider-Man bed, a table and chairs and everything was great. She was with us over Christmas which meant I got to play Santa Claus again (and also meant there was more money spent at Christmas that my wife didn’t know about until Christmas morning), so she also got a Dora the Explorer play house with some figures. See? She liked Dora AND Spider-Man. It is possible!
Anyhow, after her time with us she came back to visit and told me that she didn’t like Spider-Man any more because she was a “girly girl.” While I’m all for them making their own minds up about what they want, I know I am unique in that view at times. Frilly dresses became the order of the day and princesses were more girly-girl than Spider-Man. Basically my step-daughter wanted her girly-girl.
In her defense, she has learned a lot in the five years since then. Like the last special (read: sculpted) cake my wife made for the granddaughter’s birthday was a zombie cake. Seriously, she wanted one just like the one Grandma made for “Grandpa Zombie,” complete with a headstone. I even went out and got her a molded chocolate black cat for the display. Her birthday is near Halloween, so the whole spooky theme makes sense really.
As a geek parent and community member, this hipster-like attitude that many of the geeks and gamers are displaying towards the “fake” geek girls is rather counter productive. In the last 5-10 years I’ve more than once overheard guys at the gaming shop or comic book convention complaining about the lack of girls in all of their interests. One of the biggest claims is how everything would be so cool if they could find a girl who was into their particular flavor of geekery. So then why is it that they feel the need to test every one they meet or instantly place doubt on their pedigree?
For some I think it may be a defense mechanism. That girl is cute/hot/breathing, so therefore would have not interest in me, so therefore she can’t really be a geek, right? Granted there are more than a few geeks out there that treat even other guys that way. They’re what we like to call douche canoes.
Seriously, way back (when GenCon was in Milwaukee) I was working as security in the “Alien Archives” (museum of scifi related props) and someone was asking if the props were real. Grabbing the clipboard of information given to me I answered that of course they were, like the Klingon pistol on the second shelf was used… “That’s not a pistol!” You can already see where this is going. And I quote…
“Yes, like that Klingon pistol on the second shelf there was used in…”
“That’s not a pistol!”
“That’s a distruptor!” (Cue his companions rolling their eyes.)
“Right. So that Klingon pistol there was used in Star Trek IV…”
Seriously, all it takes is a little bit of that old saying my mother taught me when I was younger. “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” Or, as Wil Wheaton puts it, “Don’t be a dick.” (For the record, my mother had some other adages that ranked right up there in the PG-13 status as well, but those are another story.)
In the process of writing this, I was given a harsh reality in just how ridiculous it has gotten. The Geek & Sundry channel opened on YouTube. The first videos were episode 1 of Tabletop where Wil Wheaton plays board games with guests, a Guild music video and a vlog where Felicia Day learns blacksmithing. For my own part, the music video is the best one they’ve produced yet and I am waiting to see Jim Parsons come on Tabletop for a rematch with Wil Wheaton. (Life imitating art anyone?) In the comments on YouTube there was someone who voiced that the channel was so “commercial” there was “no way [it] was made by real geeks.”
Seriously? Who in their right mind is going to claim that Felicia Fucking Day and Will Fucking Wheaton are not real geeks? (By the way, the previous was used in the ideal of Amanda Fucking Palmer, not William Fucking Shatner for those of you familiar with Wil’s stories. Rockstar Middle Name Status more so than what-a-dick status.) I have some college stories that involve hearing about Wil Wheaton’s geekyness and I know that Felicia Day plays D&D, computer games, console games, and reads more scifi/fantasy novels than even I do in a year. But, again, that is a story for another time. For now I leave y’all with a piece of advice that will help you get ahead, make friends and maybe have a chance to talk to some geek girls before complete pissing it off. In short, I end by reiterating Wheaton’s Axiom:
Don’t be a dick.