The word geek has become something of an everyday term.
You can buy T-shirts with it on, proudly telling other people you are one.
Big Bang Theory is a good example of how the term geek has been taken, packaged and sucked into popular culture as a kind of identifier for anything ranging from those who collect tea leaves to those who name their first born Dr Lazarus.
It wasn’t always so.
Growing up being a geek got you (at worst) a punch in the face or (at best) a sneer and a snigger.
One thing was very certain. Being a geek wasn’t cool. It was actually the opposite of cool.
Being a geek was to be a square, smelly guy who played in his bedroom with Star Trek toys and had never kissed a girl. (Those Star Trek toys were all I needed OKAY?)
We sci-fi fans used to own the word geek.
It was our little badge.
Then, when our backs were turned, everyone stole it, and it somehow went mainstream.
First Joss Whedon (Head Geek of the Universe) took Buffy onto prime time and was quickly followed by Gillian Anderson (STILL not my wife) appearing in GQ magazine.
Our geek Gods were becoming popular to (lets name them) the NORMS.
Before we knew it, Doctor Who was running around in Converse and a cool quiff.
Hang on a minute….
Our brief joy at seeing all the things we love being validated, turned into full-on mainstream acceptance.
It burns. It burns!
Now everyone wants to be called a geek.
Well. Newsflash. I’m sorry. Many of you are not.
You’d like to be, I get that.
But have you earned the right? I don’t think so..
Have you queued up at a DVD store at midnight to get a signed DVD of something thats being broadcast anyway the following day?
Have you not slept with someone dressed in the same alien costume as you, because if you did it would break the code of convention established by that alien race you’re both dressed in? (DOH!)
Have you gone round a friends house to watch something with him, because you NEED to tell him exactly when to look away from the onscreen credits because there’s a spoiler that would be better as a surprise?
THAT’S being a geek.
Which brings us to spoilers.
The last bastian of the geek.
If you know a friend is about to watch a boxset of a series, then its your God given duty to Geek-buddy her/him to make sure they stay spoiler free.
Thus preserving all those essential WTF moments.
Similarly, you must offer your services by being there on the end of a phone/text/message for those important moments where they just HAVE to talk to someone about what just happened.
Or they may need counselling after a particularly shocking character death.
Its like being on 24-hour geek duty.
Now here’s the thing…
A geek will seek to watch a show as soon as its released. preferably even before.
And of course, we can’t wait to share what we see.
The true act of a geek is the poker face when asked what happened.
HIM: “Hey dude! Who died?”
YOU: Not even a flicker.
Our niche as geeks may be diminished by the appropriation by popular culture.
But we remain loyal to the cause.
For we are the silent guardians of the spoiler.
Preserving it for our geek-buddies, across all platforms. (we don’t actually speak to each other you know)
When “Geek” goes out of fashion, we will still be here. And we shall STILL not tell you what happened in last nights episode.