Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Posts tagged “Geek Culture

A Begrudging Defence of The Big Bang Theory

I am very… very proud to be a nerd in the 21st century. Our culture, is culture, we took over in a big way, we’re not the counterculture or the underground any more. Comics break the box office, games outsell every form of modern media, we’re in music, literature, we’re on every screen, and even the geekiest of hobbies have entered the public sphere.

Back in 2007, Chuck Lorre who was still riding high on Two and a Half Men success, created a show that… yeah, let’s say it took advantage of the rise of geek culture in its early flushes, computer games were starting to get mainstream, and we’re still pre-MCU. Here comes this gaggle of guys who are painfully socially awkward, love science and comic books, and don’t understand girls, and OH NO, a girl just moved in next door and she doesn’t understand any of it, and one of those guys loves her so very, very much.

There are just… so many reasons why The Big Bang Theory is a slap in the face to geeks, and they have been described best by other people, Wisecrack are actually pretty good at pulling it apart for it’s worst aspects, and it’s not just about the laugh track. The characters are caricatures, the reference humour is reference without the humour, and while the science on the boards may be accurate, it doesn’t take too long to realise that neither actors nor writers know what they’re talking about. And Sheldon is “crazy”, at it’s most base definition, he demonstrates some of the clearest signs of inability to comprehend and function within a wide variety of basic human functions.

Personally, I got sick of it around when they started attempting to understand Dungeons & Dragons; it was like a mask had been ripped off and suddenly the hideous thing beneath was revealed. And how many times did I hear people say “You sound like that Sheldon from Big Bang you do”? That’s a kick in the face I don’t need thank you madam.

I’ll throw some links down below, that’s not what this article is about.

Geeks were on TV, and they were popular enough to endure 12 years of being on TV. They were grown men wearing comic-book logos, playing video games, making science jokes, some of which were funny, they’d watch cartoons when bored, they hang swords on the walls and behaved awkwardly in normal situations while thriving at science competitions and strolling into conventions like kings. They were the centre of the social circles at the comic book shops, they’d take cross country road trips to meet celebrities from sci-fi shows, and they’d spend their days in the lab doing science and changing the face of the world.

Ok, it was a lot of stereotypes, many of which got pretty damn hurtful, but it’s stereotypes that people understand. “Normal” people don’t want to hear a lot of science jokes, the good ones I mean, same with video game and comic book jokes, and gods forbid an anime joke slips through the editors desk… ever. But they know pop-science, and they understand the words they learned in their teens like Friction or Tangential. It’s a foot in the metaphorical door, and if it means a few more people make the brave step into the rest of the room, and much like with actual physics, they’ll learn that they’ve been taught wrong the whole time, but it helps them to understand the rich complexity that lies beyond.

And on the subject of learning physics, the Big Bang Theory has not only caused a massive upswing in interest in science among younger kids, the show has also funded its own scholarship fund for STEM students. I also found out today that the science consultants would also have their work checked by Mayim Bialik* who’s highly qualified to do so, and unlike the rest of the cast, really does know what she’s talking about.

Nor is she the only true-blooded nerd on the show! Wil Wheaton is something of a polarising figure, but there’s no debating his geeky chops, years of role-playing and board gaming and a ~cough~ “starring” role on Star Trek definitely earn him the proverbial badge, and he brings a few old Star Trek friends along for the ride. See also, Katee Sackhoff, Brian Posehn, Kevin Smith, Summer Glau, Stan Lee – The cameo king, also the kings of pop-science Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and Steven Hawking… go through the cameo list, there are some big names and many of them actually wanted to be on the show!

Most of these people are already household names, but there are plenty of them whose presence on the show brings more and more light to the geeky creators still working tirelessly in the industry to bring real nerds and nerdiness to screen, and who knows? Maybe a few TBBT fans might end up falling into that culture in time.

It’s an insult to our intelligence, it’s an insult to geeky culture, but it appeals to a particular palette that we’d reach no other way. If we are ever to strive for the great, glorious geeky, monoculture born of media domination and memes… lots of memes… we have to meet the common people on their own territory, we have to extend the proverbial olive branch and say “it’s cool, we get it” while drip feeding the truth.

Now here’s some stuff about why the Big Bang Theory is terrible… it’s just terrible. Some contain rudey badwords.

Pop Culture Detective – The Adorkable Misogyny of TBBT

Wisecrack – What Went Wrong

No Laugh Track

*Something that many people did not pick up, Mayim was referenced a year or two before her actual appearance as “TVs Blossom” when debating new friends they ought to bring into the group. Guess she was listening.


GeekOut Bristol Meet – December 7th: The Hogfather’s Here!

18+ Event

It’s the night before the night before the nigh–
It’s a number of days before Christmas and all throughout the pub, plenty of geeks were drinking and enjoying good grub. But lo, who’s that at the rear? Santa Claus? No, the Hogfather’s Here!


Kitacon Karnival 2016 – Timlah’s Gallery

DJ LastKnight

We’re home from Kitacon Karnival 2016, a convention that was very SAFE. More on that as we go on, but because we’re just back from our weekend, it’s time for us to share with you some of the images of Kitacon. We meet up with familiar faces, met plenty of new friends, swapped details with many people and found that a lot of people there read our site! We love you Kitacon; we’ll be back next year. Join Timlah through our look through Kitacon 2016.


Cultural Appropriation

You know you’re part of a culture when you absorb all of it, whether you want to or not.

I imagine that sports fans have a similar thing, where they know all about the activity and history of “That other sports team from way over there” or know more about “Another sport that’s not exactly what they’re into” than they feel they should, because they don’t look it up, they don’t follow it or research it, they just happen to absorb the information from other people, or through the channels that they go through to find out about those sports and teams that they are interested in.

Was that right? Did I get sports right? (more…)

GeekOut Bristol Meet 11/09 Gallery

On Friday night, we had Septembers GeekOut meetup and once more, it was staggeringly good fun! We had roughly 30 people appear throughout the night, some who came along via Twitter, most via Meetup and some who were signed up on our Facebook page. Wonderful to see so many familiar and new faces come to this event with many great comments abound, so many thanks to everyone who attended.

For everyone who has considered going to a geek meetup, I would heavily recommend it. It’s nice meeting people who are into the same things as you, no matter what you’re into. At the GeekOut meetups, we intend to make sure people can come and have a fun time in an undiscriminating environment. No matter who you are, the only thing you’ll be judged on is your interest in geek culture.

We started in The Phoenix pub, where we sat down for lunch. I was typically late, because I’m pretty good at doing that – but that was only for the pre-event (*OOPS*). If I were late to the real event, that’d have been bad! We got to the event nice and early. I would highly recommend The Phoenix pub and you know what? We might go there more often for a pre-event. Superb place. There’s free wifi (but you have to go in to find the password) and really well priced drinks. The selection is good too, so ale guys know you’ll be catered for there. The food is really good as well.

Then we walked for 6 minutes (I counted, I’m sad) to The Old Market Tavern… And that was just at a casual slow wandering pace. We had about 7 of us by the end of the pre-event and then when the night truly started, we quickly went up to 20 people. Throughout the night, more and more people joined in, taking our total to approximately 30 people (I counted 29, but I also heard a name I didn’t get introduced to from someone, so I assume 30 in total!) Incredible.

Also, big thanks to our member GhostBunny who used some apps (Meitu and Aillis) to make… Rather amusing pictures (see below).

I’d just like to give a shout out to Jason who runs a fantastic YouTube channel called VidyaSauce. Go check him out, highly informative and great fun! I hope to be able to work with Jason on various projects in the near future. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to Tom Kelly of Bristol Anime Screening Specials and the Werewolf meetups for coming along – If you’re an anime fan or a fan of/curious about Werewolf, please check out his meetup groups.

That’s it for this month, next months meetup information is now live on Meetup and Facebook. Go check it out! Were you at this event? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

Kitacon, A Summary

Back To The Kitacon has been a fantastic experience, rivalling Kitacon 2015. From the wonderful world of anime to the creative cosplayers roaming the halls of the Hilton Metropole, even a trip down to the video games room. Yes, Kitacon 2016 had it all and now it’s all over for another year. Well, not quite. We’ll get onto that later in this article, but for now, let me summarise and recap all that happened and why YOU should go to this event next year.


The next GeekOut Meetup – And some chat about the website…

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Today, I get the opportunity to chat to you all about the next GeekOut meetup!

Our meetups have been happening consistently, (I.E every month without fail,) since October 2013. Those who were here for this websites humble beginnings will remember that I said my first meetup consisted of just me and a friend, sat in a pub and chatting about all there was to chat about in geek culture. Once we joined up with Meetup, everything changed. We were recruiting people left right and centre. It seems there is a need for geek meetups in Bristol and guess what? There’s over 300 people on Meetup alone, who are willing to join in with the GeekOut meetups. Wow! Thanks to each and every one of you, I think we’re outgrowing our current venue (slowly).


Meltdown London

It’s hard finding a really good geeky bar in England. If you don’t believe me, go step outside and have a look around. See if you can find some really good geeky bars near you (and tell us all about them!)

In Bristol, we don’t have many. We’ve got Kongs of King Street and The Bag of Nails for suitably geeky pubs in Bristol… and I’m sort of accidentally on purpose changing the King William Ale House into a very geeky pub. But don’t tell them that, wait until they find this website and decide to take down our Geeky Shenanigans and make us look elsewhere. I think we should trademark Geeky Shenanigans.


On Trial – The Nightmare Before Christmas

We got into something of a debate recently. Votes were called, arguments levied, there may have been name-calling. If you read our Top 10 Alternative Santa list last week you may have noticed Jack Skellington got busted down to honourable mentions. That was not the end of the debate, so we come to you, fair readers, with a burning question.

Is “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Geeky?


Geeking Out In Public

Did you ever see someone that you’ve never met wearing a Qwertee t-shirt and want to run up to them and yell “Oh my gods that is awesome!”?

The problem is that sort of thing only seems to fly at a convention where you know it’ll be well received. On the street there is always the ever-present fear that that person will look at you like you’re a lunatic rather than a kindred spirit, where the convention crowd are almost universally open to any conversation you pitch them. Or maybe you think that other people will react negatively to a pair of geeks gushing over games or comics in the middle of town. Even though geek culture is rapidly becoming the norm, we’re not exactly forming massive crowds and taking to the streets like – say – sports fans.

I have spent a long time pretending to be confident. Eventually the pretence rubs off and you start believing your own lies. So here’s a couple of stories: