Geekitorial: Are Geeks an Victory for Individuality or a Victim of Conformity?

Why does Geekdom, a group that prides itself on originality and being who you are, demand such strict levels of conformity?

For myself, and several others I know, being a geek came with consequences.  I did not fit into the popular click, I did not fit with the jocks, and I fit with the boarders, instead I was an outcast.  There were a few like me in school, driven by their loves and fandoms, who also did not fit in.  So what does one do when they can’t get into the party?

They make their own party, with blackjack and hookers!!  Wait….forget the party!

The outcast went and became friends with each other.  We started our own group and were happy.  For thousands of people across the globe this process is familiar.  This process, which resulted in people who refusing to conform to what people expected of them and instead choosing to do what they enjoyed and like what they enjoyed.

We choose individuality over conformity, if this is true then why does Geek Culture have such a strict demand to conform?

If you hang around the geek world you quickly learn the phrases that will call down the wrath of the Authority, the unseen force that governs all geeks by choosing what they must and mustn’t like.

I think the new Battletstar Galactica is killing sci-fi. This will get you in trouble.

“I don’t like Johnny Depp.” You can be hung for this one.

And only god or Cthulu can help you if you even whisper this one “I didn’t like Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.”

Why is it that geeks must all like the same things?  Why is it that we verbally strike down those who do not enjoys what others do?  Or those that like what we do not?

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog:

This online sensation combines the powers of geek favourites Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, Joss Whedon, and Neil Patrick Harris (known by his initials as NPH – worst nickname ever) to form a musical concerning a comic book super-villain battling his arch-enemy, and trying to gain admittance into the Evil League of Evil all while building up the courage to talk to the girl he likes.  They also sing alot.

This is a geek favourite and a ‘Must Like’ by all in the geek world.

I don’t like it.

I find the plot to thin, the acting of Neil Patrick Harris (I refuse to call him NPH) as a love struck super villain who wishes to do no harm to anyone very unbelievable, and in Joss Whedon standard format each of his character’s speech patterns and mannerisms to be identical to one another, nobody stands out.

Then they sing alot.

I have never been a big fan of musicals, but those I like I like because of the story, characters, and memorable songs.  A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  How do you solve a problem like Maria? Getting to Know you! Wouldn’t it be lovely! Be our guest. Hakuna Matata.  All of these songs have memorable lyrics and songs that fill your head for years to come, and will little effort.  Dr. Horrible lacks these.

And they sing alot.

Yet despite my arguments, and my dislike of musicals, I am required to like Dr. Horrible or be insulted when I claim I don’t.

Oddly enough geek culture is the only fandom that requires this uniformed enjoyment.  You don’t see this level of conformity in the world of literature.

“You don’t like the writing of Shakespear? You’re an idiot.”

And you never witness these same demands on the music world.

“You hated Get a Grip by Areosmith?  Shut up…just don’t talk to me.”

So why geekdom?  Why that fandom over any other?

So in my closing statements I will tempt fate by saying the thoughts that normally cause an uproar and see what happens

I think the new BSG is killing Science Fiction.

I think Phantom Menace was a better movie then Return of the Jedi

Dr. Horrible lived up to its name: Horrible.

Heath Ledger did not play the Joker very well but he played an excellent Anarchy.

I love the ideas and concepts Joss Wheddon comes up with, I just dislike his writing and directing and I fear that he will ruin The Avengers movie.

Let’s see if I survive!

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2 Responses to Geekitorial: Are Geeks an Victory for Individuality or a Victim of Conformity?

  1. I both agree and disagree. That is, I really did enjoy Dr. Horrible and Heath Ledger. I don’t think BSG is killing Science Fiction. I am open to the Phantom Menace/Return of the Jedi thing however (but Empire is freaking brilliant). Now, for what I agree with – conformity is huge in geek culture. We are very, very cliquey and that is to our detriment. I have my stuff that I don’t fit in with in geek culture, as do all of us. Personally I can’t stand MacGyver. In fact, I can’t really deal with Richard Dean Anderson at all, which lead me to a complete rejection of Stargate. Even worse, I think Star Trek is kind of stupid.

  2. Pingback: Geekitorial: Is Battlestar Galatica Killing Sci-fi? | 42 Webs

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