Archive for geek

Thematic Thursdays: Is That Yo’ Chick?

Gone are the days when geeks kept their freak flags folded neatly and tucked inside of their latest issue of Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes. There is no longer shame in being an adult who watches anime, reads Southside Nefertiti, or plays Call of Duty until numb in the thumbs.

Even with Donald Glover starring in Community weekly, Cornel West in frequent political debates and Mos Def dropping knowledge on the daily, the term “geek” still conjures up images of Steve Urkel in his Sally Jesse Raphael glasses or Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Black geeks in the media are nothing new, though. KRS-One, Poor Righteous Teachers, and even Kwame outed himself as a comic book geek in 1989 with “rhymes like the thunder bolts of the Mighty Thor.”

The geek chic stylings of a skateboard toting Pharrell Williams, Chris Brown’s skinny jeans, nor Kanye’s oversized glasses seem to have helped Black geek guys realize that they can attract black women. The question is, “Do they even want to?”

Without delving too deeply into Jim Crow Laws, forbidden fruit, the media’s perception of beauty and the “pure white woman” ideology, which are all difficult to negate in interracial relationships in general, some Black geeks, particularly those with a geeky profession believe non-black women are more “supportive” of their nerd tendencies.

Joseph* a technology and video game journalist from Brooklyn writes, “Yes, I have dated outside of my race. White, Hispanic, Asian.” Joseph is not alone. Fifteen of the twenty men interviewed for this article were married to non-black women and eighteen had routinely dated outside of their race. Joseph is single and claims to “maintain a sense of self in all situations.” He is currently dating a Serbian, an African, and an African-American. He says he has definitely experienced a lack of tolerance from Black women with regards to his geekdom. “You have to remember, non-geek girls didn’t appreciate geeks until recently…There were no “I Love Geek Boys” shirts when I was a kid! But, as comics, gaming, sci-fi, and fantasy went mainstream, their eyes were opened to hobbies we already dug.”

Tim*, an illustrator in the Atlanta Area, says, “I needed someone who would stay out of my way and not require much of my time, so I married a Japanese woman. I crank out several pages per day some days, and I couldn’t find a sista who would deal with my lack of availability. Our marriage just works.” He went on to state that he needed a relationship that required less work, because he places his career first.

Ironically, the majority of the men interviewed currently fight for racial equality in their respective fields (film, comics, etc.). Only one of them shows any pictures of his white wife on the web.

John*, a fantasy/sci-fi writer in San Francisco, wrote:

“My problems with the comics industry, and entertainment in general, are focused around Blackness because that impacts my career and forward motion, but what we go through is even worse for Asian Americans and, bizarrely, gay people (considering how many gay people are in the industry in positions of power). What I really am about is a flat playing field for everybody.

To me that’s what the struggle was always about; not asserting Black dominance but simply forcing the nation to live up to the sign over the door. I don’t want anything extra. I want a fair shot. A flat field means I win, because all I have to worry about is being good. Which I am.”

John’s wife is Irish-American and she is “SO not a geek.” John also asserted that his wife is “in no way passive” and that she was just there for him during some really tough times. He argues that, “The question isn’t ‘Why are so many geeks with people of other ethnicities than their own? (because all those ladies are also bucking their cultural systems too), but how [do two geeks of color] find each other in that crazy rainbow when there are so few of us present?'”

Is there really a deficit of Black geek women? Moreover, if most of the current non-black wives are also non-geeks what difference does that make? Why not find a non-geek Black wife? Well, two out of the twenty interviewees did. Their wives are displayed proudly on their Facebook pages. Brandon,* who works in entertainment law, has also dated outside of his ethnicity. Though he found most of the Black girls he dated couldn’t cope with his comics culture, he was happy when he met his Black wife. Theo,* an avid comics reader and sci-fi flick viewer, has never dated outside of his ethnicity. He has also never had an issue with any of the Black women he dated dismissing his dorky side. He says that he “felt that it accentuated [his] appeal.”

None of the wives were interviewed, but this quote from Susan Crain Bakos at the New York Press was rather enlightening:

“We look at one another and exchange a visible frisson of sexual energy in the lingering glances. And our attraction is based first on race. We are not those couples who “happen to fall in love” with someone of a different race or more purposefully come together but out of some greater sense of interracial understanding and respect. Not as politically-correct men and women do we seek one another out. The Internet has made it a lot easier for us to find each other now. Men advertise: ebony seeks ivory. Women write: seeking tall, dark, and handsome. Very dark. We are not the same people who say: Race is not important. It is important to us. We have race-specific desires.”

Also, this movie adds some comic relief to the subject.

*Pseudonyms have been used for all interviewees.

Comments (2)

Thematic Thursdays: Get Outta My Way Bicycles!!


Have you noticed an abundance of bikes on the road since gas prices shot up to “Oh crap, gasoline hates my existence?” I have too, and a lot of the time, they are in my way. It’s already difficult enough to tell what other drivers are thinking, and they have signals, brake lights, and reverse lights. A bicyclist is just a person on a moving object, who is liable to do anything — including cross over three lanes of traffic to make a left turn (True story. Welcome to Santa Monica).

I looked around the net to find some cool gear that bike riders can use to help drivers not have a conniption and also not kill them. Here’s what I found. Unfortunately most of it is future technology.

PROJECT AURA

Imagine if a cyclist did have brake lights. Project Aura sort of provides that in addition to make cyclists more visible.

We accomplished this by expanding the surface area of light emitted through the use of RGB LEDs inside the rims of the wheels that change from red when slowing down to white when at cruising speed.

Though the product makes the peddler more visible to others, it doesn’t replace the headlight needed to help the rider see.

Project Aura: Bicycle Safety Lighting System from Project AURA on Vimeo.

BLINK HELMET

Turn signals, brake lights, and a head light all in a helmet. Win!!! Except this bike safety technology hasn’t technically been created yet.



THE INTERSECTOR

Once the “Intersector” is universal, cyclists will be a lot safer.

Pleasanton is the only city in the nation using a new radar-type device to make street crossings safer for bikers. The city began testing the “Intersector” — a microwave motion and presence sensor — for that use in January 2010 at one of its 104 signaled intersections. The device monitors the intersection and can differentiate between vehicles and bicyclists crossing the road and either extends or triggers the light if a cyclist is detected.

If none of this works or is affordable, dude, there’s always putting out your damn arm like motorists do when their lights are out. #imjustsayin

In the event that no bike riders read this blog, and we hit them and they’ve “fallen and they can’t get up,” there’s always this helmet that will call the paramedics upon impact.

Leave a Comment

Marital Mondays: Our Complicated Marriage


Hannibal wanted to name our baby Tennessee and I wanted to name her … something that didn’t remind me of country gravy and cornbread. When we were planning our commitment ceremony, I wanted six people standing on each side and he wanted one. It’s almost never easy for us to reach a consensus, work together, or even agree on what toothpaste to buy. Why are we even married then, right? Duh, because we can just buy separate toothpastes.

We’re also committed to the process. We can sit for an hour hashing out the same issue or we can go back and forth over email until it’s a twenty-seven messages long thread. Even though we have very contrasting design styles, writing styles, etc., we value each other’s opinions and we’re able to sit, listen, and debate in a respectful manner.

It is with great pleasure and pride, after honing this tedious process for the past five years, that I report that Hannibal and I are finally working together successfully on something (I can’t believe I’ve only known him for five years). We are in a partnership with Jeff Katz (Wolverine producer, Geekweek Online owner) on the site Komplicated.com. The website is put together by and for black geeks. It makes me tingle, because no one else is doing this. We’re creating a space for black geeks to discuss comics, music, movies, poetry, fashion, pop-culture, cosplay, technology — name it — we’re covering it.

I love the content, the design, and working on the show It’s Komplicated every Sunday for the past four weeks has been both hilarious and informative. It gives me an opportunity to embrace something besides my design work and my children. While we’ve had our technical difficulties (Time Warner Booooooooo), the show is growing into a nicely shaped piece of work. I’ve never done anything live before either, so that’s a hoot. It’s very hard to watch my language, though. Very. I try to pretend there are kids in the room, and I think the worst thing I’ve said on the show is “Hell!”

We had 1,275 views in the first two hours this past Sunday. The jump from 147 views during the first show to over a thousand by the fourth show speaks to our success. I’m happy to be partnering in work with my partner in life.

Oh, P.S. I cut all my hair off.

Leave a Comment

Thematic Thursdays: Don’t be a Retrosexual!

This is not about decorating your wee-wee with flowers and peace signs or jacking off to Jimi Hendrix. It’s about how often you decide to go online and flirt with your ex after “kicking them to the curb.” Whether in a new relationship with a mole covered hag or drop-dead gorgeous brainiac, it’s hard for people to ignore the power of having an ex a few clicks away. Don’t let Facebook ruin your new joint, here are some tips for putting out that digital “old flame.”

Don’t be a Retrosexual!

1. Remove his/her special ring tone from your phone. As a matter of fact take their picture off of your wallpaper, and delete their number too!

Sidenote: Gmail has a feature, where you can auto-delete emails from specific senders. Go ahead and set that filter, and you never have to see an exes email again!

2. If you can’t muster up the courage to delete them, put them in an “Old Business” Facebook list that can’t see your status updates and hide their status updates in your feed.

Sidenote: Stop looking to add that broad from three exes ago. You left her for a reason. Remember?

3. Don’t go on MySpace. No one does that anymore anyway. There’s nothing but skeletons and forgotten STDs there. Stay away.

4. If you have his passwords … Why do you have his passwords??? You’re a stalker. Get help. I can’t save you.

5. Don’t look at pictures of the two of you together, because that will only make it worse. Fortunately, the “Photo Memories” feature on Facebook won’t show pics of people you’ve listed as “in a relationship.”

Leave a Comment

Thematic Thursdays: My Top Video Game Characters of All Time

Here they are in no particular order, because I don’t really have favorites other than the color lime green.

Mario – Does Super Mario Brothers really need an explanation? Really?

Ryu – Hadouken!

Zelda – This game never got boring to me. It holds a special place in my third heart. 😉

Solid Snake – There was nothing like being seven years old and playing with my Snake in Metal Gear. While I’m sure the series, which is now in it’s fourth edition, has come a long way, my only experience lies with the original.

Pac-Man – Nom nom nom. Classic!

Sonic the Hedgehog – I freakin’ loved Sonic! What’s better than a ball of blue fur spinning around? It only took a day and a half to beat, though. When I first saw him tap his foot impatiently, I lost it!

Leave a Comment