Grok The Vote: Nerdpolitics

Grok The Vote: Nerdpolitics

Oct 29

My life experience is that nerds, as a general rule, distrust politics almost totally.

As we kick off our special election coverage, I think it’s a phenomenon worth thinking about.

Part of it may be some seething resentment about elections being little more than popularity contests, whether the vote’s being cast for President, American Idol or Sophomore Class Treasurer.  Hell, Cloris Leachman JUST NOW got booted from Dancing With the Stars and we all know that her longevity on the show had little to do with her rug-cutting ability.

But beyond that basic unfairness, it’s our (geek) media that has poisoned us against government.  Superheroes exist to do the job that the government cannot or will not do.  OMAC’s corrupt, futuristic World That’s Coming is intentionally not that far away from the world that’s here, and the idea that the only way to save the world is to have Buddy Blank tear it down – there’s an attractive simplicity to it, much like the Objectivism in Ditko’s Question and Mr. A stories.

The cinema we watch, too, is rife with irresponsible government.  No matter whether it’s action, sci-fi or fantasy, the idea that the system doesn’t work is at the very foundation of the genre.  Star Wars, our ultimate sacred cow, is a six movie fable about the consequences of bad governance.

This is why geeks love Ron Paul.  This is why we don’t bother voting.  This is why Transmet fans have pegged every Presidential candidate in the past decade as “The Smiler” – because we know that the institution produces Smilers but that the Spiders that keep them in check don’t exist, can’t exist in an ecosystem of influence peddling and blatant pandering.

Another reason?  As a bloc, we frequently find ourselves at odds with The Man, be it over the use of white spaces or videogames’ status as murder simulators (in some capacity beyond Jefferson Stolarship totally killing on back-to-back Bon Jovi tunes in Rock Band.  That doesn’t count).

I think for cynic nerds like me that this election has been energizing, what with a longshot candidate who wants to change the way things work in Washington on the cusp of victory.  And I could probably be talking about either party there.

So there’s my stodgy diatribe welcoming you all to Grok the Vote – coverage continuing through November 4.  Keep reading.



  1. Are geeks innately anti-government? | Geekend | - [...] over at alert.nerd posits that geeks are naturally distrustful of authority, particularly government. And, as usual, it’s our beloved…

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