This week while drawing I’ve been watching HBO’s 24/7 about the lead up to the Rangers and Flyers Winter Classic and I had a thought solidified. Most athletes are pretty good dudes. Sure, you get a few who are jerks but most of ‘em are nice enough guys.

Just like life, most people are good and then there are some that make you want to… vent your frustrations through the judicious application of fisticuffs to their facial areas. You see this in every group of people too, most are great and a few are not so great. Geek culture (and I’m speaking here as a geek. After all if you’ve written and starred in a Star Trek parody you just might be a Trekkie. If you know the difference between Trekkie and Trekker and care enough to argue which label is applicable to you; you might be a Trekkie.) is pretty much the same thing: A few jerks, mostly good people and the only problem comes when the outside world thinks that the jerks are the standard and not the outliers.

But I’m not sure if that’s a problem in geek circles, because the way we’re often represented to the culture at large is fairly positive. Not totally, but fairly positive. Geeks are the stars of a lot of books, a lot of movies, a lot of TV shows, and even when we’re not portrayed as nice, we are portrayed as smart and capable. Socially inept, I grant you.

Then you get jocks and I’m not sure if they get the same treatment. They’re often portrayed as stupid, shallow, and incompetent. I find that to be both unfair and incorrect. I know a lot of jocks, most of my family would be considered jocks, their friends would be considered jocks, and you know what? They’re good dudes. Every now and then you get a twit or two but so what?

Twit happens.

Jocks aren’t stupid, they aren’t shallow, certainly not incompetent (a lot of the principles that make someone good at a sport also tends to make them good at a wide variety of tasks), so why are they portrayed as they often are?

I think it often comes down to the writer; a writer needs a villain, a jock tormented them in school, ergo jock as villain. Ah, but that jock was a villain, you say? True, that one was, my point was about the majority.

Jerks happen.

Also it helps if the villain is in some way better than the hero, and making the villain bigger and stronger is a fair way of stacking the deck against the hero. Unfortunately that means the jock has to be dumbed down because the jock being bigger, stronger, AND smarter would make it seem unlikely that the geek could win.

Is it just geek writers getting some post-adolescent revenge? No, but I think it’s clearly part of it. A lot of writers associate themselves with their characters and if they happen to be a geek (and a writer as a geek is not unthinkable)? They will write a geek.

Is it understandable? Absolutely.

Fair? Probably not.

Fun? Okay…, sometimes.

Yours;

Steve