May 25th is a day like no-other in the world of all things geekery. For it is written today is Geek Pride Day. Originating in Spain 2006 (though there were several marked festivals prior to this in New York) Orgullo Friki compiled the manifesto that saw the basic
human geek rights and duties established. What is interesting is how, in just the last 6 years alone these rights that stem from a minority-mentality have become mainstream acceptance in many parts of the Western world. Ultimately it has made some rights semi-defunct merely through the shift in social stigma towards acceptance vs. the outcast that we were dogged with many moons ago.
The rights, obviously, still stand because, after all, they are rights and foundational and people (aka fools) will always try to oppose. However, all my friends who might have embraced the “right not to have a partner and remain a virgin” have grown-up to become geek-breeding moms and dads – a far better scenario, in my mind because now is the age of the Family Geek Model.
The “right to have few friends (or none)” again semi-implodes on itself as social media, teh interwebz and networking brings like-minded people closer together. Suddenly you are not alone and you are not the outcast. Nor do people question the possibility of friendships via the world wide web – hell, my best friend, à la rogue, married a Paladin she met in an online gaming world – and they have the most adorable kid on the planet who gets to sit in the Captain’s chair!
Sidenote: My little nippers also hold the join-title “Most adorable kid on the planet” but they have not yet sat on the Captain’s chair. I digress.
This is a good world to be raising a new generation of geeks. It isn’t just the geeks who will inherit it – but ultimately if anyone can, it will be the geeks who can save it. By way of virtue they are granted right #11 (the right to rule the world) because they saved it from extinction/destruction/aliens/zombies (chose your own adventure apocalyptic scenario – you are welcome).
Of all of them I find #8 to be the most intriguing. The “right not to be fashionable” is increasingly impossible to uphold because geekery is fashionable now. Pop into your local Target, head to the adult clothes section and rows of (and in the case of ours, a wall of) geeky-themed clothing stands tall and proud. This is also enforced by the rise of prolific geeky-celebrities such as Wil Wheaton, Simon Pegg and Felicia Day to name but a few, as well as the positive portrayal of the geek-types from Leverage’s Alec Hardison (played by Aldis Hodge) through to the genius (playboy, billionaire, philanthropist) in the guise of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr for those who have been hiding under a rock).
All of that, combined with the reach of the internet via twitter, reddit, tumblr and must-visit websites such as ThinkGeek, GeekDad, G33kWatch and my new-found collaboration favorite Geek & Sundry and suddenly being a geek is a healthy lifestyle – and the norm. I can say with some confidence (but with totally invented percentages) that over 90% of the gear from ShirtWoot is geek-themed with inside jokes.
Geek Pride Day lands on the 25th for several reasons. First of all, in 1977, Star Wars IV was released (just a small milestone in cinematic and geek history then), Douglas Adams (who died May 11 2001) is remembered with Towel Day and The People’s Revolution of the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May provided to us by Terry Pratchett from his Discworld series – all the more reason that it is a day we should not forget.
So remember, today, carry your towel with pride, wear lilac and be proud.