I have no idea, because I’m not one. Next topic.
Which is, thanks to Kurt Busch winning this past weekend’s Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the topic of geeks. Entire books have been written on the subject, but not a single person has read them: because if you’re not a geek, you don’t read all that much, and even if you do read, you sure as hell don’t read about geeks. So what is the story behind this mysterious enigma? Should they be feared, revered, or just made fun of? And who in God’s name is voting for Scott Savol?
For their first five or six years of life, geeks are pretty much just like everybody else. They laugh. They cry. They eat cake at birthday parties. But then, for the 96% or so that must face their true destiny, they are introduced into the public school system. It is there that the life-altering process begins. Now, I’ve heard that many people look to the great artists and entertainers of the world for the most original works of creativity known to man. I’m sure that on the surface you would agree with this. But I’m here to tell you that’s not where ultimate creativity lies–it lies in the hands of the grade school kids that make fun of geeks.
Think about the problem: you have little Edward, sitting in the back of the class, never really saying much but constantly writing English papers for fun. He writes twice as many as he has to turn in. Now, Edward isn’t going to speak often, or change a whole lot in his twelve years of public schooling. But the kids that tease him…well, they have to come up with original jokes and pranks for twelve whole years! They pretty much get a free ride in Year One, the Year of the Wedgie. But it gets much harder from there. Day in, day out, new lines and new jokes must be in the making. There must be more tears than Young and the Restless, which their moms rave about every day and always provides good competition. And they succeed. The same kids that can’t draw a square in art class turn out to be the most creative kids on earth.
Somehow the geeks struggle through the first few years, though, desperately clinging onto games that allow them to defeat large monsters with simply a roll of the dice. That sure doesn’t happen with Big Johnny during lunchtime–after trying that once (and only once) the dice were never seen again by anyone but a doctor. But such geeks continue to excel in school, thankful that if nothing else the teacher still likes them. On the inside, however, a divide is growing…one that slowly takes hold without their conscious knowledge. And that path can only end in one of two destinations: they either make a ton of money or write clever software viruses that repeatedly crash your home PC. You see, you can always tie spyware back to a Big Johnny.
In the end, though, with no way out, the school system becomes what really amounts to Little People Incarceration. I mean, think about it. You’re required by law to go, you can be put in solitary confinement, you always have someone telling you exactly where you are allowed to be, you get a small window of envigorating but very short “outside time”, you can easily be denied permission just to use the restroom, and of course the people serving food kinda look and sound like individually tailored versions of the Grim Reaper. Do you remember that large, absolutely evil beast that terrorized the city-dwellers in Return of the King? Do you remember the screams? Tell me you didn’t have a lunch lady that looked like that. But I digress.
Anyway, geeks endure all of this, but not without effects. They become soft and squishy on the outside, but on the inside a few are hardening into what the corporate world now knows as Super Geeks. For the 8% of such kids that make it through school without serious emotional scarring, they go on to rule the world.
Have you been back to a high school reunion lately? Don’t you see who’s driving the Benz with two ladies on each arm? It’s Edward, still writing papers but this time for multi-million dollar mergers. And oh, he’s grinning. Life has been good. And the next day, after Edward has returned home triumphantly, he will sit down at his company’s supercomputer to try to weed out yet another hacker. He knows who it is–it’s the other kid in his English class that everyone picked on. And thus an epic battle ensues, and the rest of the world just becomes a sideshow.