Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Geeks vs Hipsters


It's a word with associations of skinny people with large sunglasses and vintage clothing posturing ironically to the music of bands you've never heard of.

I've done my time among the hipsters. I even tried my best to be one for a short time after college.

The thing about a hipster is that the primary motivation is "cool", which presupposes the judgment of others. Ultimately, vanity and selfish motivations and empty relationships with vacuous people result from this lifestyle.


Geeks are superior. The primary motivation of a geek is "Awesome!", a childlike wonder that celebrates the universe and the amazing things that are both possible and impossible inside that universe.

Now, there is much similarity between geeks and hipsters. "Awesome!" is somewhat synonymous to "Ain't it Cool?!. That's quite similar to the hipster's quest for "cool". But there are important differences that must be remembered.

Hipsters deconstruct like happy post-modernists. Geeks construct like happy mutants.

Hipsters search for a smirking sense of the self-awarely ironic. Geeks smirkingly point out other people's ironic failings to which they are not self-aware.

Hipsters listen to bands you've never heard of. Geeks are in bands you've never heard of, and throwdown the filk and nerdcore at conventions and YouTube.

Hipsters have iPods and iPhones because they can't identify with the Microsoft brand. Geeks have iPods and iPhones because they can't identify with Microsoft's quality control.

Hipsters are excited when they discover they have something that makes them different and more individualized. Geeks are excited when they meet someone else who shares what has always made the geek different.

Hipsters are dirty and wearing cheap, ugly clothes because they were up all night with their friends being somewhere. Geeks are dirty and wearing cheap, ugly clothes because they were up all night with their friends doing something.

Hipsters are underemployed because they can't get into the whole consumer culture, working hard for rewards mythos of American culture. Geeks are underemployed because they realize that living up to their full potential, professionally, would mean missing out on what they actually like to do with their time, and therefore seek just enough employment, but not too much... (Unless it's something awesome like game designer, or Systems Administration with all kinds of neat, geek-tastic tools and toys!)

Hipsters suck. Geeks do not.

I've located plenty of hipster bars here in Atlanta. Where are the GEEK BARS!?!?


benbradley said...

It's been a while since I went to bars, and I didn't meet many (other) geeks back when I did. But you can find them (or at least me) in various odd places, such as the (google this!) robot club. Anyone's welcome and it's free, but you KNOW there's gotta be geeks there.

if you show up, bring a copy (or three) of "Last Dragon" and I'll buy one. I still haven't found a copy in the bookstores.

Also, I hope to write another blog entry someday...

J m mcdermott said...

"Geek Bar" is actually probably not the best term. They usually happen at conventions, naturally.

You know, if you're looking for copies of Last Dragon, and you have an internet connection, you really have no excuse. What with all the copies available through Powells, Amazon, IndieBound, and all sort of various used- and new-ness keep the price range affordable.

There's even eBooks from Kindle, Fictionwise, and numerous other places that will download in any format you like for less than a McDonald's "Value" meal.

I'll check out robot clubs.

LisaBit said...

Thinking Man's Tavern in Decatur almost-kind-of constitutes a Geek Bar. They've got lots of board games and a few arcade machines, plus some great indie libations :)