It started when the Doctor Who revival found grown men searching for hidden clues in the background graffiti. Then dork hero movies like Superbad, Napoleon Dynamite and Kick-Ass came along, propaganda films for douche pride that made cult icons of Seth Rogan and McLovin’.
Before we knew it we had Ugly Betty, Glee, The Big Bang Theory, and the soon-come Facebook movie emerging from the previously jock-friendly US market. Though still keeping the nerds firmly at the butt end of the jokes, these are nonetheless more sympathetic investigations into the Art Of The Outsider where the bespectacled characters were rounded and imbued with personality and depth, rather than just being written in at the last minute for comedy wedgie purposes.
Music soon followed suit, thrusting Vampire Weekend, The Drums and Darwin Deez to the brim of the zeitgeist with their Paul Simon obsessions, Napoleon Dynamite-esque dancing and blatant university educations. And where are we all at now? Manically discussing the themes and concepts behind Inception: i.e. a universal appreciation of intelligence in mainstream pop culture. And we didn’t get that in the middle of 90s ladrock. We got fucking Titanic.
Even the ‘lack of sex’ drawback of chronic geekdom is turning around. Consider: every women’s magazine poll ever taken has proven that girls find men who make them laugh sexier than those with awe-inspiring genitalia, cheekbones like an anorexic Johnny Depp or a really really nice coat. And who are the funniest men on British television right now? David Mitchell and Moss from The IT Crowd. Exactly.
The final sign – the alignment of the dorkular heavens that Nostradamus’ speccy cousin Eugene had prophesised – came barely a few months ago. Devo were re-forming. For those of us nurturing an inner desire to spaz our braces off to jerky collegiate brain-pop, this was the equivalent of the birth of Rosemary’s Baby. The time had come to rise up and celebrate our superior debating skills, awkward dancing, ill-fitting novelty costumes and hay fever singing. It was time to shake our NHS spectacles with pride.
Being uncool has never been so cool, and I’m doing my part – myself and a couple of NME cohorts are launching a twice-a-month club called Geek Out! at Proud Camden this Wednesday night where we’ll be overturning decades of ‘acceptable’ indie club playlisting and shamelessly spinning ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul’, The B52’s, ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ and a Weezer song every half hour. Anyone who’s ever worn black leather or looked credible in shades is off our geek rock roll-call. Except Timbuk 3, obviously. Everybody! – “I‘m doing alright, getting good grades…”
Geek Out! launches Wednesday July 28 at South Gallery, Proud Camden with The Siegfried Sassoon playing live (and covering a Weezer song, as all live bands must).