Bwaahahahaha! That is my sinister world domination laugh. I have been practicing it for over 40 years just waiting for this moment.
The moment when we, the geeks and nerds, would take over the world!
The moment is nigh, as in Bill Nye. At last, it’s the revenge of the … oh, you get the point.
I should point out there are differences between geeks and nerds. Geeks are fanboys and girls; they have a vast knowledge of pop culture and obscure facts related to their particular genres or areas of expertise. There are all kinds of geeks: movie geeks, technology geeks, even food and wine geeks.
Nerds are, well, nerds. The word “nerd” was first used in 1954 and was created by a geek doctor with the name of Seuss. They tend to be brilliant and focused on more academic pursuits, such as math and science, and less focused on social interactions. The word nerd often is described as a four-letter word with a six-figure income.
While geeks and nerds have many differences, they also share many traits and are of the same genus, if not species.
Here is how geeks and nerds took over the world, by the numbers. (Nerds love numbers.)
Geeks and nerds have long dominated technology. Nerds build it, and geeks use it. We all use it.
That cellphone you use every minute of every day, your TV, DVD player, computer, Facebook and Twitter, all were nerd-designed. These inventions have created nerd kings living in tech-filled houses built on top of mountains of cash. In each of these houses, a replica of Captain Kirk’s chair sits in the entertainment room, because that is the very first thing rich and powerful nerds do.
Bill Gates, Steve Jobsand Mark Zuckerberg all likely survived the slings and arrows of outrageous wedgies only to rise up and crush the jocks who mocked and ridiculed them in high school! Because that is the second thing nerds do when they become rich and powerful.
Technology is the most obvious place for geeks and nerds to rule. It satiates their natural inclination toward things that light up and go “bing.”
Every year, Carnegie Mellon University replenishes the nerd and geek ranks with new techies who will go on to develop the latest robots, software, gadgets and so much more. Geek culture relies on such universities to breed new geeks and nerds, as they are often unable to find mates to reproduce.
I’m kidding! Geek is hot now! Geek is chic. Geek is sexy. Geek is good!
The nerdy glasses that once inevitably led to getting a swirly are now considered high fashion. The fashion industry is trying its best to fake nerdy by pushing plaid pants and button-down shirts. Models who couldn’t tell you if Han or Greedo shot first are wearing shirts that say “talk nerdy to me!” By the way, Han shot first.
Fashion and technology are just two aspects of the geek-domination blueprints smuggled out on an R2 unit. Ultimately, he who rules the media rules the world.
Geeks have taken over the entertainment industry.
Of the top-grossing films of all time, eight of the top 10 are “Geek-centric.” “Avatar” is joined by superheroes Batman, Iron Man and the Avengers, then Harry Potter and Transformers, followed by the ultimate gadget geek, James Bond. The remaining top 50 films fill out what we call the multiverse. It is a universe where Trekkies, Whovians, Superheroes, Dragons, Stormtroopers, Ghostbusters and all things geek reside.
The geek domination of the film industry plays out every year at San Diego Comic-Con, where movie makers employ top stars to hawk their latest creation and lure fans with a plethora of swag — all in the hope that the comic-book nerds will call it the “Best Movie Ever.”
The power that the comic-book and film nerds wield is as mighty as Mjolner (that’s Thor’s hammer for the uninitiated). With a simple Facebook post of “I hate the costume,” geeks can alter the very fabric of time and, well, fabric, as studios rush to appease the rabid fanbase! It was nerds, after all, who invented social media and immediately made George Takei, aka Sulu, its leader.
We live in a geek-centric economy. Geeks were long ago trained to save up their dimes for Wednesdays, when the latest comics would be released. They are a patient bunch who will spend much on their passions.
Comic-Con, for the Muggles among you, is the mecca of Geekdom. Where cosplayers (people who dress up as their favorite characters and heroes), Furries (you all know who the Furries are), comic collectors, movie fans and more walk amongst the gods — stars from the latest Avengers film, legendary filmmakers, authors and, blessed be his name, Stan Lee!
Comic-Con is big business, bringing in more than $163 million every year! If you just pictured Dr. Evil laughing after reading that number, you, too, may be a geek.
It isn’t just film; the most popular TV show for the past few years has been “Big Bang Theory,” a show about geeks and their culture.
And now, at last, a geek has topped the pop music charts, with “Weird Al” Yankovich taking his rightful place on the Billboard throne. Weird Al, the king of parody who wrote the geek anthem “White and Nerdy,” has outlasted many of the musicians he lovingly mocked. His latest album, “Mandatory Fun,” sold more than 100,400 copies in its first week.
Then there is the $93 billion video game industry. Video gaming, like comics, is built upon a geek and nerd fan base. It owes its success to the same geek consumers trained to reserve money for the things they love. They begin discussing the latest game a year in advance, line up the night before its released with cash in hand and tweet their thoughts about it as soon as they get home. Word spreads rapidly through the geekvine and can make or break a game in no time. Reward their loyalty and ye shall be rewarded, but incur their wrath and they shall destroy you quicker than they shall destroy you quicker than crossing the streams on Gozer the Destructor.
The final One Ring in the geek plan to rule all others is political power. We now have a geek in the White House. President Obama once joked that he was sent here by his father, Jor El, from the planet Krypton. He has posed in front of a Superman statue in Metropolis, Illinois. He once flashed the Vulcan salute to Leonard Nimoy. He confessed to having collected comics, and he has a passion for technology.
In short, we have a geek leader of the free world. Technology, fashion, gaming, comics, film, television, politics, literature — the list goes on. The era of geek overlords has begun. Resistance is futile.
Now, if only we could learn how to throw a football.
Joe Wos is executive director of the ToonSeum, a geeky nerd job if ever there was one (toonseum.org). A museum dedicated to the comic and cartoon arts, the ToonSeum is located at 945 Liberty Avenue, Downtown.