free-geek

because cool kids are boring

A manifesto

with 5 comments

Several weeks ago Z pointed Church and I to an article over at Something Awful, titled The 8 Most Awful Minorities. Specifically, this page which talks about nerdcore.

To quote,

The genre amounts to a bunch of people aping that MC Hawking joke site from like 1998, but that hasn’t stopped Internet losers from falling head over Mass Heals for nerd rappers. Get a microphone in front of a CS major and you can rest assured that an unintentionally racist pantomime of thug tropes will come spilling out of their mouths.

Church’s reaction was a simple and elegant, “Meh. That makes us even.” I got a bit more verbose.

While the original comments were pointed at nerdcore specifically, I see it as an echo of other questions that have been floating around recently as the mainstream and underground try to grapple with the question of how to approach the alien world of geeks. We have existed outside their view for so long that now that our culture is bleeding through into theirs, they don’t know what to do with it. Consider this my attempt at shining a little light on the issue

To whom it may concern,

This is ours. It is by us, for us, and about us. You are more then welcome to indulge in our world if you want, but you must understand that it is our world. There is no use in ridiculing our actions. If you do not understand what we are doing, then you are not one of us, and so this is not for you. Your ridicule only proves just how out of step you are with us. It only serves to show that you don’t get it.

What we do is not a joke, except when it is. It is not parody, except when it is. It makes sense to us and that is all it needs to do. This is not something that we will translate for you. We will not explain it to you. Not out of spite, but because it is something that you can only understand if you are one of us.

If you can not understand why we do what we do, then that is fine. This is not meant for you, it is meant for us. We do not ask you to understand. We do not ask you to come to terms with what we are doing. We simply ask that you leave alone those things that you do not understand. Pretend that we do not exist, that is fine with us. Do not try to explain us though. Do not try to understand where we come from or what motivates us. If you are not one of us, then you will never understand these things.

This is ours. It will always be ours. You will never grok it, unless you become one of us. Do not try to make it yours. Do not try to co-opt it for your own ends. If it inspires you to create your own thing, then fine. The thing that you create though is not the thing we have created. Do not pretend otherwise.

You are welcome to join us. Otherwise, leave us alone.

The Geek Community

I’ve created a page for the manifesto itself which can be found here. That link may be a little easier to send around.

Written by Matt

October 12th, 2007 at 10:13 pm