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Coming Out as a Geek

I had an epiphany last night. During my religious pilgrimage to the Rammstein show, I realized something about myself. I need to come out of the closet as a geek.

When Mr. G and I arrived at the Palace of Auburn Hills, we were puzzled to find ourselves surrounded by more Dream Theater t-shirts, ill-fitting corsets, and Hot Topic accessories than we had ever seen in any one place, including comic book conventions and Ren Faires. (Yeah, we were 13 once, shut up.) "Scheise," we whispered to each other. "These people are NERDS!"

It should have occurred to us that an extremely theatrical act performed in a European language would attract theater kids and, you know, people who like to talk in European accents. Gamers, historical reenactors, RPG players.

And Mr. G and I were freaks among the geeks. While just about everyone in the entire arena wore black, we went for a "Mein Land" look riffing off of the latest single's retro beach themed video.


Lead singer Till Lindemann wrote the song "Mein Land" after getting harassed on a California beach for being a foreigner. Even before that incident, Rammstein had been reluctant to perform in the United States after some arrests in the '90s for the lewdness of their performance art. Mr. G and I were most appreciative that Rammstein not only came back but brought with them 25 18-wheelers full of explosives to set off on our fifth wedding anniversary weekend, so we thought we'd go all happy technicolor.


We were surprised that nobody else did this, although some bro dudes in the hotel elevator were dressed up in homage to the end portion of the "Mein Land" video, which involves Jokeresque evil clown makeup. That was pretty excellent. Did I just mention the bro dudes? Yes, there were also bro dudes at the show, and whole families with children, and grandma geeks with coral lipstick and grandpa geeks with septum piercings. And as we stood in line to buy t-shirts and rode the shuttle buses and climbed into our seats, we also found ourselves talking excitedly to all of these people about our shared obsession. Despite sticking out like beach balls on an oil spill, Mr. G and I came to understand that WE ARE THOSE PEOPLE. We are Rammstein geeks.

The Mary Sue defines geekdom thusly:
"The thing that all geeks have in common... is not what we are interested in, but how we go about consuming our interests. 'Consuming' is the perfect word for it, because geeks are rarely a passive audience. We devour our interests... It isn’t enough for us just to enjoy something. When something piques our interest or elicits an emotional response from us, we have to know why. We have to dissect it, put it under a microscope, and come to understand it on a molecular level. This mental process is the same, regardless of whether we are talking about breaking down narrative structure or sequencing a genome or designing a costume... The more details there are, the happier we become. This is why we love things like DVD commentaries... We are, perhaps, the most enthusiastic people on the planet."

DAS IST MEIN TEIL. For the past week, Mr. G and I have been watching Rammstein DVD commentaries every night after the baby goes to sleep. We are super enthusiastic about our favorite band.


From the moment the set began with "Sonne" and columns of fire blasted heat into our faces from full across the mosh pit, we were in ecstasy. The show was everything we dreamed it would be--a masterpiece of pyromaniacal opera buffa mixed with skull-crushing heavy metal, sprinkled with glitter, and topped with penis cannon foam spray. Till was as charming as Hannibal Lecter. Flake was frenetic. Richard was adorable and flirtatious. Ollie's torso was mesmerizing. Paul was goofy. Schneider was a cross-dressing, masochistic doll.

When Till said "We love you" in English at the end of the set, I melted like combat boot soles under a magnesium flare.

Because I am a geek.

And I'm okay with that. I'm not the same kind of geek, exactly, as the man in the utility kilt or the woman in the purple furry boots and fishnet arm warmers. But we all geek out for Rammstein. If The Mary Sue is right that being a geek means being fully engaged with an interest, devoted to details, and liking "something so much that a casual mention of it makes your whole being light up like a halogen lamp," then I'll wear the label with pride.

After all, if I ever wrote a book that got readers this geeked, I would consider that the greatest accomplishment possible as a writer.

What do YOU geek out about? Does it inspire you? How does it influence what you write or create? Come out and be proud!

Comments

  1. OK, nerds. This post has a super high view count and nothing but crickets chirping down here. If you don't want to admit your geek streaks, fine. But know that it's not wrong. It doesn't make you smell bad or require you to attend Star Trek conventions or sit in a puddle of your own filth and Mountain Dew playing Warcrack. It makes you interesting on the inside, which has nothing to do with your outside. (Hence the stereotypes of geeks who are oblivious to their outside appearances and social mannerisms.)

    I just read a Carrie Underwood interview in Glamour in which she got defensive about not writing her own songs and called creative people who write alone "weird." I say, let's own our weirdness, fellow geeks. Forbes advocates for it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2011/11/30/how-to-be-interesting/

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  2. I have most definitely learned to embrace my geeky side. Your adventure sounds amazing. It was fun to read about.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for standing in solidarity, M Pax! Embracing your inner geek seems to have worked for you. You are creative, prolific, and interesting to many fans.

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  3. Look chick, I have a lot to write about being a geek (I cry at ALL concerts, I cried @ Frida's house, etc etc...) so lot of thought needs to go into replying, is all I'm saying.

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  4. Esperanza! You expand the definition of "geek." You are a beautiful, highly social, stylish, elegant, artistic, hard-partying woman who loses her shit over all things that touch the soul. I feel cooler already having your company in the geek category.

    BY THE WAY, I just went over to see J-D's gorgeous house, which she has de-fairied (the woman who lived there previously was a fairy muralist) and then filled with unicorn knicknacks. Haha! To each their own geekdom.

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  5. Love that definition of being a geek! I geek out over Harry Potter and Doctor Who at the moment. Love them!!

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    1. Yayyy! I very much enjoyed the Harry Potter series and can't wait to read them to my daughter. I have an aunt who is a talented artist and Doctor Who's biggest fan.

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  6. Chiming in with mutual Rammstein geek love... Love your writing style as well, glad I stumbled across your blog! I am recovering from a week of R+ gigs (Vancouver, Tacoma, Anaheim and Phoenix) followed by a total hip replacement at age 44. Your blog has brought some much needed R+ entertainment into mypost-gig depression! Danke!

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    1. Hallo, Kel! Getting a total hip replacement at 44 is SO METAL. Seriously, that's hardcore. I hope you are doing well and able to rock the eff out for another 44 years.

      So please tell me something, rock and roll lifestylist! Is it true that Till's gory chest/shoulder/arm lacerations were caused by an accident tearing down the set after the Vancouver show? Word on Till's Facebook comments is that he was infectedly bleeding all over the place during the subsequent few shows. True?

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  7. Like many others, I've also stumbled across your blog recently and I can't get enough of it. Very informative and a fun, interesting read! I also went to the show at The Palace in Michigan, so that's mega cool. I think the theme of your outfit is funny and refreshing! You always end up seeing the same thing at Rammstein concerts, such as chicks dressed up as Snow White, dudes dressed up as Die Meister Butcher, and a lot of black/leather. I fall into that third category myself, haha. I also had the tremendous honor of meeting the band that night - one of the single best experiences of my life that I'll seriously never forget. Anyways, great blog and geek pride all the way. (:

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    Replies
    1. I am so jealous, Tatercakes! But--geek love from the Dirty D. <3

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