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Why Geek is the New Cool

<em>FHM</em> photographer and <em>Geekology</em> author, Jay Tablante, explains the world of geeks
by Gelo Gonzales | Dec 12, 2012
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Jay Tablante, the lensman behind local man-milestones, The Jinri Experience, A Weekend With Ellen, and countless FHM babe shoots, is a geek. He doesn't look like one. He doesn't wear thick glasses, doesn't have his pants up to his belly button, his hair isn't parted flat in the middle, nor does he live in his parents' basement. So how could he be a geek if he doesn't fit all those shortsighted stereotypical indicators we've just mentioned?

Okay, here's one: Jay has just released
Geekology, which is a collection of his most intricate work in cosplay photography featuring the likes of Rhian Ramos, Daiana Menezes, Bianca King, Solenn Heusaff, and, of course, Alodia Gosiengfiao. The attention to detail and the amount of craftsmanship that obviously went into these shoots are evidence enough of Jay's passion for nerddom. But we weren't satisfied, so we asked the man himself to write about what it means to be a modern-day geek. Below is his take on the subject (and also his photo of Jinri Park portraying Voltes V's Jamie, which he shot shortly after we got this geek writing for us):

Geek is the new cool, but as social cliques blur over the years, being a geek has evolved from being social outcasts to having a badge worn with honor.

When I was young (I'm in my early 30s) getting hooked on Star Wars, or collecting crazy amount of comics, and having intense knowledge about these fantasy worlds was, in itself, a form of social suicide. Now, the comics, video games, and all these paraphernalia and collectibles have become the mainstream. Now, if you have extreme passionate knowledge regarding a particular topic, you are a geek—and people will love you for it. Once,  “geeking out" might have been synonymous with "social retard." But in today's information age, "geeking out" equates more to learning on steroids.

Watch a bit of TV, and you'll see the transformation I'm talking about. Comedies like the Big Bang Theory sometimes make you feel that if you’re not smart enough, you ain’t cool. Mythbusters shows how experiments would be done if the guys in Jackass were just a bit smarter.

And wasn't it just a couple of years ago when only geeks tinkered with their computers and home tech kits in their rooms/basements/garages? Now, most everyone you know are holding a computer of some form in the palm of their hand. Computers and tech are things that once connoted pure geekdom but it's now the norm, if not an absolute necessity. Geeky endeavors such as this have taken hold of society, and has assimilated themselves like the Borg in Star Trek. We don't even call the gadget-obsessed people degrading names anymore; they go by the chic term, "techies."

If you think you’re a geek, I'd suggest reading this website: the geekcode, where you can pinpoint what kind of a geek you are. The geekcode claims that all geeks could be codified into a definitive set of variables that allow a geek to sort of stand out among the sea of geeks, which is an act that screams geeky as well. This entire business of being a geek has expanded to a level that we must now be classified like subspecies under a genus.

And you would be surprised who the geeks are now.

Sports, once the realm of the '80s geeks' biggest adversary, the jock (who also used to be at the opposite end of stereotypical geekery, hence more "cool") has been invaded as well. The “Crossovers,” we call them—the perceived to be “cool" people, but are actually geeky. A few examples: Former NBA big man Shaq went back to school to earn his PhD. UFC Welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre would rather watch the Discovery Channel and talk about dinosaurs than sit through a football game. Tim Duncan plays Dungeons and Dragons. Heck, model-actress Mila Kunis is addicted to World of Warcraft. You would be surprised with what the sports site, The Bleacher Report, has compiled on the subject matter.

More than anything, being smart has always been cool; some were just too stupid to realize it. The revenge of the nerd (which I would just like to use for the sake of a familiar movie title, but the term “nerd” is a point of contention for some geeks) wouldn’t come until years and years after, when what you actually know between your ears counts for a huge chunk of your success. Foremost and extreme examples include Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, all of whom are just about as geeky as geeks could go. Not only are these guys rich now, they molded the future, and have become much-revered idols for many.

Which leads us to this conclusion and valuable lesson: Be nice to geeks; one day you just might work for one. Or, you know, you might realize you're one of us.

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