Geekdom: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

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August 25, 2013 by mtteaton



I watched the 1997 documentary Trekkies today, which I somehow had not seen yet, and I have to say I was disappointed.  While the film offers an often entertaining look at fandom and the greater impact of the Star Trek series, I couldn’t help but think that the filmmakers were taking a “Hey everyone!  Look at the nerds!” approach during most of the film.  Meanwhile, judging from the last section of the film, it appears that the filmmakers also want viewers to learn that fandom unifies people no matter what differences they might have.  While I certainly agree with this viewpoint, it doesn’t come off as a genuine sentiment after about an hour and a half of making fun of geeks.

I’ve had the same feelings as well about The Big Bang Theory after watching multiple episodes of the popular CBS series.  While the show features a sampling of jokes that only geeks will understand, at its core, are we still just laughing at the nerds because they are, well, nerds?

As nerd culture has grown into becoming a significantly large part of the mainstream, we’ve seen an acceptance of media that used to be considered uncool.  At the same time though, other aspects of geek culture have definitely remained more or less marginalized.  For instance, compare someone who enjoys video games to someone who enjoys LARPing.  Which one would you consider more “normal?”

At the end of it all, does it really matter?  Of course not.  They’re all still people.  We all have our obsessions, we all have our quirks, and we all have our differences.  Let’s take Star Trek’s idea of “infinite diversity in infinite combinations” and celebrate each other’s uniqueness.

Using that same sentiment, we have to realize that we all do or say something that someone will laugh at us about and that’s okay, acceptance is key.  We shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously or be upset if people think we’re ridiculous for dressing up in a costume or knowing more about a superhero’s family tree than our own.  That said, I can’t say that I have plans to watch Trekkies 2, but who knows?  Maybe I’ll run out of Justice League cartoons to watch while I type on my laptop.


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