Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where I alienate more of my friends

I guess it's important to distinguish the difference between a 'nerd' and a 'geek' before we go too much further.

Viva had this useful insight : "A nerd is someone who can apply their knowledge in a useful ( and money earning ) way. A geek has impressive knowledge and skill - but not in an especially practical sense".

I hope that's a definition you can live with - because it's what I'm using here. I'm pretty sure there are some of you thinking "Hey! By that definition I'm a nerd! I don't wanna be a nerd ! I always thought of myself as more a geek - that sounds slightly sexier ! Don't take my slight sexiness away ! Please !!!". Well, tough luck nerd ! Suck it up and deal ! Sheesh ! Freaking nerds...

Anyway. You'll see that my strata of geekdom is generally split among 'gamers' and 'fanboys'. Enough of the preamble ! Onto ...

Seraph's pecking order of Geeks (v1)

2. Comic aficionados

Comics are great. ... Well, some of them anyway. Your 'Comic Aficionado' ( henceforth 'CA' ) knows this, and knows it well. They are well versed in various important story arcs, writers and illustrators - sometimes to an obsessive degree. The kind of CA who ranks in highest in this subgroup is the one with a diversified portfolio - one who will follow a good story indifferent to the publishing house. They display ( usually ) a levelheaded individual, displaying creativity, imagination and an appreciation of cool art work.

BUT. Dragging the whole group down are the more 'rabid' fan-boys. The ones who will ONLY read the publications of ONE imprint, or ( worse ) only read ONE comic ( buying ten copies of the same issue because they have different covers, for example ). These 'rabid' CA's are usually identifiable by the maniacal gleam in their eyes, but a more telling test is by t-shirt. If you see a CA wearing two different t-shirts which bear characters from the SAME comic - they are rabid. Anyone under the age of 14 is exempt from this rule.

Another good test ( though slightly harder to administer ) is the tattoo test. Do they have a tattoo of a super-hero of some sort? If so - they're rabid.

NB: REAL 'red-lights' here are tattoos of Wolverine, Spiderman and the Green Lantern. They must be of the actual character though. The 'red-S' of Superman, the 'bat-symbol' or the 'lantern symbol', do not necessarily denote rabidness ( though they don't discount it either - whichever way it goes, they're not particularly smart ideas for tattoos and might get you into intellectual property right hot-water ).

Rabid CA's are best left alone. They take their devotion a little too far into the 'crazy-zone', and do not appreciate good-natured jokes about their favourite hero guys or gals ( and, in my experience, it is ALWAYS a superhero which is the object of their fevered worship ). If you happen to notice the rabid CA's knuckles turn white if you say hero guy/girl's arch-nemesis 'rocks' - run. Run and don't look back.

Okay - so there you have the second tier. Who will be number three ? Tune in again and find out !


BubbaJay said...

I would offer another way to differentiate Nerd from Geek. But to do that we all have to accept there is a little of both in us all.
For example nerd/geeks are people who have a passion for a topic (nerd) but who fail ignite in others this passion (geek).

If I may expand, BubbaJay watches Star Trek and enjoys the episode. So he tries to tell Mrs Bubbajay, his enthusiasm is not contagious. But BubbaJay doesn't notice and keeps talking and Mrs Bubbajay loses all respect for him.
At that point he has crossed over from just plain old nerd to the real deal geek.

I suggest this rule of thumb can be applied to fishing, golf, rugby, Holden cars, politics, religion and office work. To name but a few.

Seraph said...

An interesting thought, Bubba. However - I remain unswayed. I must stick fast to my original definition. Nerd - interests outside the norm, bordering on obsessive - but able to serve mankind in a practical sense ( computers, hi-fi, cars, model making, etc ). Geek - interests outside the norm, bordering on the obsessive - but are driven more from interest and passion, rather than any kind of practical use of payoff ( film buffs, gamers, etc ).