As long as I’ve known about Star Trek, I’ve known I am not interested in Star Trek. My idea of this kitschy television show from the ‘60s — a time when super heroes squared off with bad guys using campy dance moves and foxy remarks — was about space captains and sexy sidekicks wearing tight, condiment-coloured felt costumes. No offense to any Trekkies out there, but to me, it always seemed a little… cheap. That is until, after a little prompting, and the promise of all-I-can-eat buttery popcorn, I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness this past summer, and I have to say — I liked it.
Suddenly I was thinking about the U.S.S. Enterprise, Klingons, The Wrath of Khan, and I wondered why? Was I suddenly becoming a geek? Or had it been in me the whole time?
What I discovered — like the hipsters who emerged from their plaid-filled closets before them — geeks, were now rising from their parents' basements and letting their geek flags fly. It appeared, this one-time counterculture, was now gaining mainstream momentum and being a geek was not only worth admiring, it was worth emulating.
So, from the barmaid with the retro Spock tattoo on her leg, to the barista lamenting Ben Affleck as the new Batman, I began wondering, who’s really a geek, and who’s on trend? As a self-proclaimed book reading, losing-days-to-a-good-read, kind of nerd, I thought I’d explore the appeal of this sudden spike in “geek culture”, and do it in a truly nerdy way: I’d read, I’d research and I’d dissect. In the spirit of "geekin' out”, I’m putting on my proverbial “Spock Ears” and boldly going where, well, many have — but this girl — has never gone before.
Through Batman, Superman and of course the aforementioned Star Trek, what I will discover and you will too, is there’s a lot more than gadgets, space travel and punchy captions to “geek culture”. The things that geeks really love about their beloved heroes are the same things I love about the characters in my books: their struggles, their relationships, their humour and how they fit into this world or the one they live in. Geeks, unlike most nerds however, just happen to be tech-savvy, and thanks in part to the Steve Jobs’ and Bill Gates’ of this world, have been able to get their interests out on a massive scale. While intentionally or not, geeks have managed to foster a now très sheik “geek culture” and the once hidden, bullied and pocket-protected geeks, are now the cool kids on the block.