Remember when “geek” meant a mutant who worked for a circus and bit the heads off chickens? No, I don’t either, but I do remember when it was a seldom-used word that was mildly insulting – not as bad as “nerd” (or “knurd,” as I learned to spell it – which is “drunk” backwards) but not a compliment.
These days it can be worn as a sort of badge of honor, as this column demonstrates – thanks to the fact that the Internet has made some tech-knowledgeable people rich. If something makes you rich, it must be admirable.
I mention this because a TV quiz show called Geeks Who Drink is bring its “pub quiz” format to New Hampshire for the first time. (Oct. 6 at Peddler’s Daughter in Nashua: details here.) These quizzes are held at bars around the country; people answer questions about geeky pop culture (“Game of Thrones,” not “Upstairs, Downstairs”) with sex jokes sprinkled in to show that even though the show self-identifies as geeky, it’s not, you know, dorky geeky.
There’s been a mild backlash against this geek-persona thing: “fake geek girls” was a discussion point a few years ago, and there are plenty of sites like “how to tell if someone is a fake geek.” But I think that wanting to be geek-like, even if you don’t learn to program Pearl or speak Elvish, is better than wanting to be Rambo-like, so bring it on!