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The geeks shall inherit the Earth

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At this very moment, in a high school somewhere in the world, a geek is being picked on. They were probably debating their friends on the merits of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” vs. “Star Trek: Voyager” (“Voyager” is better by the way), when a jock overheard them and began the age old battle of jock vs. geek.

What that jock doesn’t know is that the geeks are the ones who rule the world, so it’s time for them to get some respect.

For quite some time, the mainstream public has had a love and hate relationship with the subculture of geeks. Once regulated to being on the fringes of society, geeks were often poked fun at for being socially inept individuals who had way too much time on their hands.

At the present it seems that the country is getting stupider by the minute, especially when one takes a look at current headlines that show a gradual decrease in IQ points.

People want a reprieve from all the idiocy that plagues a lot of American pop culture. Perhaps they’re tired of the Paris Hiltons, Heidis and Spencers of the world, who usually prompt an instant palm-to-face reaction.

Stars like Tina Fey, Jon Stewart and Natalie Portman have all done great wonders for people who identify themselves as geeks. These stars have proven that in Hollywood, having a mind (that actually works) can be lucrative, as well as entertaining.

What was once considered geek territory in terms of film is now suddenly cool, as every year Hollywood decides to reach into the archives of beloved stories to make summer blockbuster hits.

Films like “Iron Man,” “Sin City” and the ever popular “Batman” franchise demonstrate that even outside of the geek environment, these storylines are good material to be shaped into films that intrigue and entertain.

Shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Heroes” show that the appetite for geek, themed shows is always growing.

Online role playing games, such as “World of Warcraft,” had it debuted years ago would have been shrugged off as another “Dungeons and Dragons” style game that geeks play in their basements. Yet, “WoW” is such a cultural phenomenon that it seems like everyone and their mom is playing this PC game.

It’s so popular that even celebrities are getting in on the action; the “Prince of Darkness,” Ozzy Osbourne, even filmed a television commercial for the game.

One can’t talk about geeks and not mention San Diego Comic-Con, that for years has been considered the gathering place for all things geeky.

Comic-con used to be an exclusive geek event where fans would purchase mint condition comic books and rare episodes of beloved shows.

Now it’s a place where fans of pop culture in general can go to see snippets of blockbusters before they become mega hits.

In other words, geeks have become trendsetters, a label that was usually reserved for the hip and cool. In a strange turn of events, it’s become cool to be a geek.

The same people who used to get pushed around during PE in high school or made to feel inferior for their love of “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” are now the same people who are making significant changes in technology and media.

Geeks like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Al Gore are now the ones with power who use their geekiness to shape the future of the world.

Gates and Jobs were at the forefront of the personal computer boom, while former Vice President Al Gore won a Nobel Prize for his environemental work.

Jobs also gave the world the iPod and most geeks their computer of choice, the Mac.

With the proliferation of technology into everyday life, geeks now find themselves holding all the cards as inventors and programmers.

But why the newfound love for the geek?

Geeks have long been thought of as social underdogs, and it’s a common thread in many novels, movies and TV shows that everyone roots for the underdog. It is not the atypical jock or cheerleader character that people empathize with, it’s usually the geek.

Perhaps at the heart of it, deep down inside, we’re all a little geeky.

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