Sunday, February 15, 2004

I've heard it said that geeks are adults who set their childhood aside for a while till the time they could afford it for themselves. Quiet and unassuming, they spent much of their time dreaming of what should be. They bury their noses in books and burned holes in their pockets buying trinkets that fueled their musings. The present crop of geeks and geekettes were born during the 1970s and came of age in the 80s and the early 90s when comic books were at its peak and novelty culture was the rage. John Byrne and Chris Claremont was taking the X-Men off the ground at breakneck speed, as was Spider-man and Daredevil with John Romita Jr. at the helm, while DC Comics had its moment with Crisis On Infinite Earths. While on the side of television, Transformers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and G.I. Joe fought for domination as the best cartoon available. But given the fact that kids could only only afford so much from the wealth of comics, cartoon-spawned action figures, and RPG player manuals available at the time, what were they to do? It's more likely they postponed their childhood, focused more on their studies and tried to survive school (with all those bullies and terror teachers running around).

Fast forward a decade later and geeks are now running the show, dare I say, the world. Whereas before the same geeks who hid themselves in the closet for fear of ridicule are now coming out in numbers. The once derogatory term they all despised is now a badge of honor. "Where art thou beautiful people and jocks who used to ridicule us? Behold the face of tomorrow!" is something they could now gloat. Without the original geeks who worked in the realm of technology we wouldn't have our cellphones, personal computers, cyber space, simulated reality, and the rawking video games we're enjoying right now. Geeks working in the executive levels of Hollywood are the ones dictating the trend for making movies based on comic books and fantasy stories cool. Movie Directors like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, and the Wachowski Brothers are some of those who commands respect in the hallowed halls of Hollywood. Not to mention crossover comic book writer/scriptwriter/Producer/Director/businessman/etc. Kevin Smith who is also powerful in his own right. Cartoon Producers and Directors like Genndy Tartakovsky, Matt Groening, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich are some of those who have successfully carved a niche among fans of animated features and comic artists Scott Kurtz, Berke Breathed, Bill Watterson, Gary Larson, Mike Krahulik & Jerry Holkins, Frank Cho, and Jeff Smith have the respect of their peers are but some of the powerful geeks working in entertainment today along with numerous model makers, animators, costume makers, special FX makers, set designers, storyboard artists, publishers, etc. The venerated old comic book geeks who preached to the masses now hold office in the lofty halls of Marvel and DC while a new generation of comic creators are creating their own armies in preparation for war. Locally, comic book geeks are beginning to command attention for churning out quality works that win awards in the once snobbish world of literature. Geeks are featured on the news for organizing conventions and awarding ceremonies they once dreamed of. After so many years of envying and looking towards the west for inspiration, like Neo, they're beginning to believe.

Yes, I do believe the Golden Age for geekdom is in the offing. But if they're to successfully raise heirs to continue their legacy they would have to pass on the true reasons for being a geek. For it is not enough to be called one nor is it easy to assume the position. Like the one ring, the unlimited power the position holds can easily sway an untrained novice to the dark side. To be a true geek one must undergo the same rigid training their predecessors has undergone to learn that true geekiness comes not from the illusion of self-grandeur. They must also learn that it has to come from a sense of innocence that gives wings to unlimited imagination, a true love for all good things that man has made. One's talents have to be offered in service of God and man or else the geekiness would corrupt the bearer, to ultimately be driven mad and destroyed by its power. Failure to raise an heir will result in the fall of the geek empire and this present generation will be on the endangered list.

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