Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Liberating the (fish) net: Part 2

In the same way that Geek Gorgeous 2006 wondered “why should all the ditsy girls have all the fun?” the first question answered in the Girls of Geekdom universe is "are they real?" except they’re not referring to silicon enhancements; it’s “geekdom” they’re selling.

The producer of the calendar, in this case a male, goes to great pains to assure the consumer that the girls are genuine geeks. Presenting himself as the final arbiter of these matters, he pits the girls to a grueling test that rivals even the Princess and the Pea:
I asked for geek credentials, discussing "Last House on the Left" with the Horror Geek, talking endlessly about Star Wars and comics with the Comic Book Geek, asking about costume creation from the Renaissance Geek, discussing MS-DOS with the Computer Geek, looking at the Video Gamer Geek's Tri-Force tattoo, trying to get the Online Gamer Geek to get off her World of Warcraft game long enough to take the picture, choosing books from the Book Geek's LIBRARY, paging through the Pin-Up geek's collection of pinups, trading Ghostbusters quotes with the Movie Geek (who also makes movies), talking about Dali with the Art Geek, discussing craft and the usage of first and third person with the Writing Geek and having the RPG Geek explain why she needs so many dice. I'm not being snarky here, just assuring you all that these girls most certainly ARE geeks.
Gee. I’m so impressed with the depth and breadth of his experience and learning. Someone hose him down and bring him to my room immediately. Though I am a bit confused about the use of the word geek here. What the hell is a pinup geek? Someone who collects pictures of pinups? Has geek become a term that can be applied to anything? tells us that geek means:
1a. A person regarded as foolish, inept, or clumsy.
1b. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.
2. A carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.
which is followed by interesting paragraph on the circus origins of the term.

And all is confirmed in the Girls of Geekdom geek manifesto: "Once upon a time, it was a name for a sideshow attraction. These days it describes a whole subculture, a world that the non-Geeks fear and wish they could just sweep under the rug."

Yes David dear, but not for the reasons you’d think…

Rather tellingly, the latest headline of news on the site is “7th girl shot” which says it all if you ask me. But, like the previous calendar, it’s all a bit tame, including the Retro Gamer Geek who seems to be just about to fellate a game gun while staring at the camera with all the docility of Bambi - really she could be anyone’s daughter. Compared to that, Online Gamer Geek looks positively scary, with her scarlet bustier and word bubble icon that seems to say “insert your disk here”. Smokin’!

We never actually hear from the girls themselves. However we’re safely in the hands of “self confessed ubergeek” David Grelck who is both producer and photographer of the series. Apparently what makes David a real live geek (rather than a nerd, like his real-live rocket scientist brother) is his obsession with “NASA and space stuff”. “I'm a geek because I'm obsessed with things I should have no reason to know about. You're not a geek until you take your obsession beyond socially acceptable levels.”

I’m glad he cleared that up. As it turns out, I’m a geek too and didn’t even realise it! My specialism is men with vegetables. Perhaps I’ll apply for a grant or something.

So in my mind the whole thing is best summed up by the quote at the end of the article about the calendar which really does say it all:
"The geeks will inherit the Earth, that's true," Grelck says. "We're smarter and we'll live longer. We'll know what to do if a comet destroys Earth."

Merci beaucoup to agkamai for the fabulous space babe

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