A Geek IconIt makes me a little proud to see geek culture coming into its own.
For years and years, my people were isolated and hidden. We gathered in small groups and huddled around the glow of the gaming systems and computers that were the symbols of our society.
Quietly, we planned our eventual global domination.
Being a geek was something to be feared, something to be ashamed of. The word itself was wielded by our troglodyte oppressors like a weapon.
And we hated it.
As years went by though, the world changed. While our culture stayed very much as it always was, the world came to accept us.
I think the Internet helped.
Basically, I think the foundation of our culture's progress came down to three universal truths:
1) people love porn
2) the Internet is free porn
3) geeks control the Internet
The hand that controls the porn is the hand that rules the world.
You just probably don't want to shake it.
Now, years later, we live in a world that embraces the geek. Our people are respected and revered in ways I could only have dreamed of during my own early years.
We even have our own geek celebrities, our own geek icons.
Among those icons, there are few that stand as tall as Wil Wheaton.
For those of you who are new to or are unfamiliar with geek culture, you may recognize Wil as the guy who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
From those humble beginnings, Mr. Wheaton has risen to the highest echelons of geekdom.
I, personally, have a great deal of respect for him.
If I had had to spend my puberty playing the awkward geeky son of the ship's hot doctor, I don't think I'd be as well adjusted as he is.
He was the geekiest guy on a starship.
Think about that.
And that included an android and a guy with a headband attached to his face.
The fact that he'd even show his face after the show ended tells you what kind of balls he must have.
But not only has he re-entered the world of celebrity, he's become an icon to our entire geek culture. He's a voice for our community and is one of the few celebrities that genuinely embraces everything that makes being a geek so great.
Now, that I've said all of that, let's get to the problem.
You didn't really think I could get through an entire post without bitching and moaning about something, did you?
Are you new?
Mr. Wheaton is an admitted geek. He speaks openly about his geek ways.
The thing that bothers me though is that he constantly has to reinforce his credibility as a geek.
Every time I've seen one of his speaking engagements, he has presented a laundry list of reasons why he belongs to our culture. He explains his experience with obscure computer systems, his fascination with classic games, and his deep knowledge of everything science fiction.
His geekery is incredibly extensive.
But as he's rhyming off his geek cred, I can't help but think one thing...
No one is even questioning his status as a geek. We are all very aware of that fact.
He freaking played Wesley Crusher.
That fact alone more than proves his membership.
Hell, that could be his entire speech. "Hi, folks. I played Wesley Crusher. Good night."
Geek status established.
Yes, yes. The other stuff is incredibly interesting.
You used a VIC-20? Fascinating.
Not really necessary to the conversation.
Say you played Wesley Crusher, make some off-hand Star Trek references, and move on.
People don't line up to see William Shatner because of his successful music career.
They're there to see Captain Kirk.
He doesn't need to sing.
Or talk, technically.
He's Captain Freaking Kirk.
That's all we need to know.
And he knows that, too. He says his name, says Captain Kirk, yells Khan, and then heads over to the line of hot chicks waiting to sleep with him.
The line of chicks doesn't care that you still have a Commodore 64.
The line of chicks doesn't care that you own every Atari 2600 game ever made.
The line of chicks is civilization.
You played Wesley Crusher.