Happy Geek Pride Day!

In a way, we're all really geeks...

I'm a geek. I suppose I always have been, but it's only been in the last 10 years or so that I've been OK with admitting this. 

I remember the exact moment, actually. December 19, 2001. The movie theater at the Lehigh Valley Mall. A midnight showing of The Fellowship of the Ring. As I waited in line, a high school girl -- arm-in-arm with a letter-jacketed boyfriend -- walked out of another theater, and looked at us like we were panhandling.

"Who does this?" she hissed.

"I guess we do, apparently," I said, more to myself than anyone else.

"Yeah!" said a guy behind me, full of joy and defiance. "Geeks like us!"

"I suppose I am a geek," I thought, with something like peace. I walked into see Frodo and the Fellowship, under the hum of conversation that was 90 percent Simpsons references.

I'm telling you this story because it's National Geek Pride Day, and the world seems more geek friendly than it did at the "who does this" moment 10 years ago. 

And why shouldn't the world be more open to us? We've already conquered it.

We've got Hollywood (a double-edged sword, to be sure), and -- if we're to believe stories about Barack Obama's Spiderman and Conan collections -- the White House. 

Here in the Lehigh Valley, we have some none-too-shabby geek touchstones. Star Trek actor/director Jonathan Frakes grew up in Bethlehem. So did Lost actor Daniel Roebuck.

Another Lost castmember, Daniel Dae Kim, is from Bethlehem Township. (Bonus geek points: he was in Spider-Man 2, Hulk, and had a recurring role on Angel.) Even Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson -- yet another Bethlehem native -- has geek credentials, given a lot of his filmography. Heck, professional wrestling itself is kind of geeky, what with the elaborate mythology at work.

See, that's the thing about being a geek: it's not just comic books and sci-fi and swords and orcs. You can be a geek about anything you're passionate about. I mean, is being able to name the Final Five Cylons from Battlestar Galactica really any weirder than knowing, say, the starting line-up of the 1988 Atlanta Braves?

So bask in your geekiness today, no matter what form it takes. The National Geek Pride creators apparently came up with a manifesto, which I must admit not really adhering to.

(For example, the other day, I overheard a guy refer to the superhero as "Shazam," and I totally failed to correct him. The proper name is "Captain Marvel." "Shazam" is the word he says to transform into his superpowered alter ego.)

In lieu of following any sort of commandments, just do something you really love today. In other words, geek out. With pride.


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