Attack on Geeks from Seville

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Kassidy
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Post by Kassidy » Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:05 am

Preamble: "Escaparate de Sevilla" is a monthly Spanish publication from Seville that covers pretty much everything going on in the area, and recently hired Sara Gallardo Bejarano to cover items that would be of interest to youths of today. This publication is available online in PDF format also, and this article in particular has been doing the rounds on the internet.

The original is available here: http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l92/y ... TETICO.jpg

From Volume 8, May 2007, of "Escaparate de Sevilla".

Geekism, a new way of life.
by Sara Gallardo Bejarano (column "Hairpins and Beauty-spot")


Note on the translation: All grammatical errors are purposely carried over from the article, as well as malformed sentence structures. This is not a translation error.

The era of new technologies has brought an infinity of changes. We are before the boom of the Internet and, of course, the fullest period for the geeks. They've been climbing the ranks and, after years of fighting, the geeks are now socially recognised and even have the Day of Geek Pride, who would have told Larry that, eh! Since George Lucas wrote the first script for Star Wars, the geeks are going in crescendo, more motivated than ever and with the dream of someday turning into a mega-geek. These crazy, nerds are addicted to the most extravagent, strange and useless things. In fact, the cult to that which is useless is and will be their first commandment.

A geek without a computer is like a punky without a piercing. And I ask myself... what do these little diabolic machines have that is so appealing to these lunatics? Unsolved mystery. They spend all day role-playing; they create blogs about Manga videogames, comic; they do Cosplay -dressing up as well known characters like Yoda, Darth Vader or Chewbacca; they invent IT jokes that only one of the people in their little group is capable of answering with a laugh.

There isn't a physical stereotype for the geeks, but as a general rule they are tall, skinny, with greasy hair and more often than not long, and with a slight hunch that they show off proud caused by insufferable hours in front of a computer screen. The geeks wear clothes made by and for the, and... never said better! Although the clothes of this do not require much ornamentation, they look after their t-shirts well. There are places where you can only by geek clothes (obviously through on-line shops). They dress heavy style, in other words, jeans and black t-shirt, although not an XXL. They're also not really attracted to the idea of piercings or chains.

But there is something they have in common that is obvious from metres away, the acne. I don't know if they're trying to simulate a walking crater or something like that but it's curious that puberty seems to extend for these little characters more than any other individual. Although they barely participate in society, the geeks consider consider themselves comunist-republicans and, obviously, against any religious inclination.

Within this sinister group are leaders whose fruit and nut caseness goes beyond the rest. I'm referring to the ultrageek, or, according to the geek lingo, the friki. The respect that is given to them is total lunacy. They level of knowledge about computes, comics, rol games, mangas, animes, magic cards, and, inevitably, about films like Superman and Star Wars goes beyond that of any other. These are exempt from all ridicule and from them will always come the latest geek-tendencies that will be taken up by the rest with great euphoria. Aren't they special!

But the geeks, in reality, are good people. They don't pick on anyone, or have a group to hate, like the scruff and the snobs, or heavys and rappers. They spend their lives inventing those wastes of time that are worth nothing. They're proud to be geeks and don't try to hide it, they've exited that dark tunnel in which they used to hide to mix with the rest of society, they believe, with feet together, that one day they'll take over the world -with the help of their aliem friends, oh yes- and try to gain prestige this way. Be careful, this is like a sect, once you're in it's difficult to get out, and, if you do, the aftereffects are irreversible.

All that's left is for me to say, is that showering is free! -or nearly- and these guys were last near water when they got christened.



Well I decided to write to the publication about this... Needless to say, this is one of many letters that the publication has received, as everyone and their dog is writing in to them at the moment.

E-mail from Kassidy to Escaparate de Sevilla, dated 15th of June, 2007
To the Director of Escaparate de Sevilla (direccion@escaparatedesevilla.es), Mario Niebla del Toro y Carrión
Re: Complaint about the article "Geek Culture" from May's edition of Escaparate de Sevilla.


To the attention of Sara Gallardo and the director of the publication.

Dear Sara and Escaparate de Sevilla,

I hope you are not surprised to receive this letter from myself after having published such a harmful and disrespectful article toward a large part of modern international culture, but I find myself obliged to do write to you in protest of said "article", if one can call it that, about the "Geek Culture". It is nothing less than an insult, not only toward those people, yours truly included, who proudly classify ourselves as geeks, but toward the general world of journalism. Please explain to me how in the days we are living a report that clearly reflects such a lack of journalistic investigation and verbal proficiency, as well as blatantly mocking and discriminating a specific demographic group, can be published!

How do you justify this? In the third paragraph, after informing the reader that "There isn't a physical stereotype for the geeks", we find ourselves classified as dirty, odorous and unkempt hunchbacks that suffer from a skin condition far surpassing the horrors of known leprosy cases, and who only dress "heavy style" (which obviously our friend Sara has neglected to investigate also). If you were to be so bold as to print an article in your publication with such calibre of misinformed defacing about homosexuals or black people (to name two examples of groups that have been victims of unjustified abuses from the rest of society in the past) you would find yourselves in court under accusations of homophobia or racism.

If this were not proof enough of her lack of respect toward those different to herself, as well as superb demonstration of her lack of conviction to maintain a coherent article from one line to the next, we are criticised as having a "cult to that which is useless". You will have to forgive me, Miss Gallardo, if you think for one moment I have fallen to your level, but I can't avoid posing the question, who the hell do you think you are to criticize others lifestyles that do not affect you in any way? What we all do in our homes, or with those that share our interests, if it neither interests, harms nor threatens you, what right do you have to criticize it? Should I publicly ridicule you and your hobbies or habits? No, I should not and will not, because it does not matter one iota.

And please forgive me for not wanting to invest more time in analysing point by point all the factual errors in the article, such as the beginning of geek culture being the moment Star Wars was written, the existence of a genre of videogames called "Manga", the limitation of alternative clothing to online purchase, and the fictitious levels of geekism. Which reminds me, by the way, that had she taken the time to search the relation between "friki" and "geek", she would observe that, in fact, they are differentiated only by the language, with "geek" being the closest English translation of the term "friki" (and not "freak" which is derogatory, irrespective of who it refers to). I will limit myself to declaring that the contents of this article are nothing more than a long list of lies.

And in case you are interested, I shower every day.

Now I ask you, what do you plan to do about this? I demand a reply to this communication with your intentions as to how to remedy your lack of professional etiquette and act of public defaming of a collective of individuals that do not deserve to be insulted in the way Miss. Gallardo has. I think the contents of this letter reflects, and not in its totality, the general discontent that "Geek culture, a new way of life" has caused among the community.

Awaiting your prompt and satisfactory reply, please receive my kindest regards,

-Mr. Kassidy M Kearey
Self-declared geek.



I am yet to receive a reply, but I suspect one will arrive sometime next week.

Quemaqua
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Post by Quemaqua » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:37 am

That's interesting. You don't see that sort of "geek"-hate much these days from any particular circle given the fact that things which were once geeky and looked down on are generally becoming more understood, sometimes even popular. Your response was good stuff. If they get more than a few letters like that, I'm sure they'll be rectifying their attitude in short order.

The only thing I'd have added to that is that the "geek" culture is really no longer a geek culture... it's an aspect of daily life that many people subscribe to. These days you don't see as many "pure geeks" with bad clothes, pocket protectors, and study books strapped to their backs at all times. In fact, most of the "geeks" I know and associate with now are active people both physically and socially, and I'd even classify some of them as jocks. It's no longer truly acceptable to lump people with "geeky" interests into a single category as we now come from all walks of life. I myself am a geek to the extreme if you're going to talk about things like computers, movies, games, what have you, but I'm also rather large and well built, I work out every morning and lift weights, I have long hair and am a musician who plays and listens to heavy metal (amongst other forms of non-geeky music), and I'm also a writer of poetry and have a burgeoning career in written fiction.

Talk about not doing any research. This person clearly doesn't have much grasp on reality. I think you need to live under a rock these days to not see how far the culture once considered "geeky" has come. People have embraced it and turned it on its ear. There's nothing socially unacceptable about being a gamer these days, and stuff like an interest in anime only has mildly negative connotations in certain circles. This chick is way off base even from a non-"geek" standpoint.

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Post by The J Person » Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:37 am

I certainly take offense from this article, as others tend to classify me as a geek - and that descriptor alone being subject to prejudice offends me.

I consider it appropriate to call the writer of this article a wanna-be geek; while she is at least capable of picking up a pen and putting it to paper, she lacks any amount of tact, and shows a distinct lack of knowledge regardless of what aspect of "geekishness" she attempts to describe. I seriously doubt she possesses any notable degree of skill in anything at all - certainly not writing. I could go further, but beyond descriptive slander I really have no patience for dwelling on someone who's no better than a common schoolyard bully.

If she has talent, it is wasted. For example, she could certainly put more effort into her research of the subject matter. I personally classify "geeks", "nerds" and "technophiles" with several different sub-levels of identification. A few of them follow:
- "Standard Nerd": These are people who are geekish just for the satisfaction of self-indulgent social purposes. You may see some of them wandering around convention halls, and plenty of them have the potential to make great friends, even if you are not yourself a geek. If proper attention is paid to them, they may even rise to the level of the Standard Geek. By way of their virtues, they try to be "different" from other people - as all geeks do - in order to stand out and make some sort of impact on the world around them, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that.
- "Standard Geek": This is what might fall into the category of stereotypical, if all geeks still wore pocket protectors and the like, as Quemaqua so adaquately stated. While they are generally intellectual, they do at least have some social common sense, and they tend to be just as productive as their non-geek counterparts in most aspects of life. They are, generally, cool - even if they bathe every other day.
- "Geek Above Average": Like the Standard Geek, but more focused and more productive in their areas of interest - be it socially, economically, or scientifically, or whatever else happens to be appropriate. They also have a certain dedication to their jobs, and a strong work ethic, so they could probably be classified as "Valuable Geek", if one wanted to be bold.
- "Noble Geek": I guess researchers, scientists of all varieties, and especially physicists and the like - who make valuable contributions to society by tapping great mental power (be it their own or someone else's, or several peoples' collective minds at once), and thus benefit everyone - are worthy of this title. I actually know a few of them personally, and at least know some through other people. If anyone should take offense from slander, it is them.
- "Foreignophile": These people are maybe exaggerated instances of geekishness. They're infatuated with all things foreign to them - a degree of open-mindedness that such people as the writer of that article could benefit from. They don't fall neatly into discernable levels of intellect, so it seems appropriate to lump them together here.
- "True Nerds": The stereotype (which still exists in small numbers, one can presume) to which the writer of the article should have directed her slander. Albeit I can't say they're deserving of it, any more than the rest of us, their unwashedness is their quality that is perhaps most worthy of criticism. Even so, their focused proficiency in the subjects of their interests might make it forgivable. These are people who could write encyclopedias, if they had any desires to do so. If any of them are indeed worthy of slander, it is those who make no contributions at all while burdening others with supporting them - and hopefully they are few and far between.

Perhaps if she researched and comprehended such descriptions, her article might not seem so... pathetic. I do hope she learns something from your response, Kassidy.

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Post by Kassidy » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:18 am

The opening letter to the latest edition of Escaparate de Sevilla from the director of the publication:

Before signing off this letter, I would like to humbly apologize, in name of the team here at Escaparate de Sevilla, to all the people who felt offended by the article in last month's edition by our companion and friend Sara Gallardo entitled "Geek culture, a new way of life" and informed us of this through the several hundred letters that you have sent me and the numerous calls to our offices. Here at Escaparate de Sevilla I have the honour of working with great people, who being human share the virtue, and not the defect, of making mistakes. This is a moment to ask forgiveness, and now I publicly do so in name of the team that I represent.

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