Thursday, December 20, 2012

The New Cool

When I was in high school myself and a few other nerd refugees would take shelter on breaks and lunches behind one of the school buildings. Sun, rain, snow or hail we would gather to talk comics, sci fi, movies and all other manner of geekery. We worshiped in this church of geekdom in private, in secret, away from the main stream because we weren't the cool kids, and our religion wasn't allowed to be public. 

Times have changed! These days the passions that were secrets to be kept are almost main stream. The internet has revolutionized how people can interact, find communities and talk about their interests. No longer do people have to wonder if they are the only ones,  where the like-minded are hiding or if they are forever doomed to live a life on the fringe. 

It used to be that the bullies, the conformists, dictated what was cool and what wasn't. Those chains have been broken for so many. Even those still living in cultural wastelands can find connections to others of their kind through social media. 

Its now our job as a community to govern ourselves. Not all of us are free. With every rise to power there is the urge to marginalize those who we deem to be unworthy of the title. We will never truly be free till all of us are free to practice and enjoy our nerdiness however we want. Fake and real have no place in our new society. Real is in your heart, fake is the dark side. 

Living in a “post cool” society is the utopia that myself and my fellow refugees dreamt of on those cold days. Huddled together under the overhang, reading our comic books or playing Magic the Gathering. So, live your passions, find your communities and love being the cool that you are.


  1. nerd culture has been popularized and have become mainstream. I don't know how I feel about it though.

    You'd think that it would be all pros and sunshine BUT I don't feel that way. I'm not trying to sound cynical, but there was something special about playing pen and paper D&D back in the day. Buying comics was rare for most people who would look at them and say how cool they were and would never say - oh right, like the movie!

    And I'm not trying to sound elitist, I think anyone who enjoys the new-cool should in any capacity. It's like the nerd stained veil has been lifted and anyone can enjoy these nerdy pursuits.

    It just isn't as special

  2. I think it's great that we're living in a culture now where things that people "like" or "don't like" are being judged less than they used to (I'll go with less, as there will always be judgement). It makes me happy to see people trying comics who never would have otherwise. Heck, I AM one of those people! I only got into comics because of Bryan Singer's X-Men movies, and now I'm a full-on, every-Wednesday, podcast-having comics-a-vore!

    The only thing that makes me sad about this is the reaction of some members of the comics community. The recent trend of trying to divide "real geek" from "fake geek" is distressing, elitist and off-putting for potential new fans that could keep the industry afloat in future years.

    Still, I love seeing people expressing enthusiasm for our hobby. It's a great time to be a fan!

    1. And I think its our job as part of the community to not let people divide us into real and fake!

  3. I know that you know that I know what it means to be one of "those still living in cultural wastelands" as it is the same cultural wasteland which you reference above.

    As evidence to support your thesis for this piece, though, I now teach a "Graphic Novel" class at a High School in said cultural wasteland, and it is one of the most popular electives on campus.

    Go figure, Meyers. The times, they have a'changed.