At the risk of looking like I care too much about this kind of thing, and also admitting that I’ve left it rather too late to post this, I can’t help but draw your attention to this Guardian article.

“This is a sales pitch that screams, “I have crazy facial hair, know all there is to know about the oeuvre of Terry Pratchett and am in possession both of a complete set of Red Dwarf DVDs and my virginity.”

Now forgive me, but looking round Dimension Jump last year, there were very few people who looked particularly virginial. And even taking into consideration allowances for dramatic license, considering the Dwarf DVDs are some of 2 entertain’s top-selling DVDs of all time, you hardly have to be a social outcast to own them.

I know lazy journalism shouldn’t surprise me any more. But for some reason, I keep being amazed when the same tired old stereotypes are dragged out yet again…

17 comments on “Alexis Petridis is a big rubbish

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  • Indeed. And everyone knows that Terry is using his fans to breed a new master race, how d’you think I met my girlfriend.

    Mind you he has looked at a crowd of them during conventions and commented that he sometimes feels like the mad scientist would as the monster breaks down the door and rampages off into the night.

  • The stupid thing about it is that you can deconstruct it from any angle you choose. You can do what I’ve done here, and point out that linking Dwarf fans and virginity is completely wrong (to be honest, most people at DJ seem to be rather over-sexed…) – but then, why is he having a jab at virgins anyway? Why is that necessarily seen as a bad thing? You’ll not find me at a True Love Waits meeting any time soon, the sanctimonious misguided vaguely evil wankers – but virginity in itself is hardly something to be ashamed of.

    And hey, if someone’s a virgin and is desperately unhappy about it… then that person deserves sympathy and help (!), not cheap jibes. Approach his comment from three different angles, and you can deconstruct it three entirely different ways.

    Unfair remarks can be very funny – Victor Lewis-Smith and Charlie Brooker prove that. (VLS did a HILARIOUS column once denying ME existed, which I can’t excuse in the slightest… but unfortunately is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.) But you need to be really bloody good to do stuff like that, or at least be a member of the group you’re making fun of – not just use blatantly untrue stereotypes as a cheap crutch for your piss poor journalism.

  • I thought the nerd clich? lost its virginity feature during the dotcom boom when nerds became rich and suddenly popular.

  • The only part of that statement which is true in my case is my being both a Pratchett and Red Dwarf fan… well, okay, and I *do* have one crazy facial hair that I have to keep tweezing periodically, but I am half Italian, after all!

    Yeah, the stereotypes never get more creative, they just crop up in new and different places is all. :p

  • He’s probably a Pratchett and Dwarf fan himself. I imagine he’s like one of those closet homosexuals who present an advertantly homophobic attitude as a defence mechanism. I mean, bugger me (not in that way, you big gay bastards) if I’m gonna accept that stereotype of a geek. It’s just embarrassing. Although I suppose the stereotypical Guardian reader would lap up that stereotypical view of a geek

    Sometimes I wonder whether The IT Crowd was slagged off so much simply because it had geek characters. I imagine some twats watching the show with utter disdain, contemptment on their faces, and all they hear is the white noise Jen hears (in both UK und German versions, although auf Deutsch she’s some Kraut blonde called Helga or something) when Moss (‘Adolf’, or whatever, in the German one) is talking to her about computers. Actually I’d love to see a Guardian review of the German IT Crowd. Just how long would it be before beach towels and sun loungers were mentioned?

  • Just to clear up the whole ‘virginal’ thing (sorry this won’t take long, it never does…)

    Geeks definitely get more than enough sex. Granted, it’s usually with another geek;, but think of it like this – IMO the simplest definition of a geek (regardless of the actual dictionary def) is someone who likes something that at least one other person in the world likes too. This is called having something in common with someone! If I’m not mistaken that’s a great first step towards forming a relationship with (or, let’s face it, shagging) someone. Whether you think that’s bollocks or not I don’t care.

    If you can form a bond with someone over C++ programming, Warhammer, role-playing, Pratchett, Lost, Who, Dwarf, You’ve Been Framed or whatever then that’s SURELY just as valid as if you meet your future wife at a fucking ‘exclusive’ cocktail bar kissing arse by quoting some stereotypical horseshit typed by a twathead Guardian journo in an attempt to make the select company revel in hilariously inoffensive pseudo-bigotry then SO BE IT.

    I like Red Dwarf, you pretend to like classical music when really you don’t, you just pretend to as you’re scared of being rejected by your peer group. I once dressed as a hobbit, complete with cloak, Harry Enfield-like Scouser wig and hairy feet (I just took my socks off…) and went to a 10 hour LOTR movie marathon – with my girlfriend and several other friends I might add, and yes we did have sex afterwards (not with the several other friends…sadly:) – That doesn’t mean I’m a freakshow compared to you, just because I like to do things that maybe you don’t.

    God, people are crap, aren’t they? Well…some.

  • Looking at the article I prefer a laptop bag to a briefcase because it’s less rigid and seems to be able to contain what you really need for work and that is most of the time a laptop which is portable…plus laptop bags tend to be likely plus they seem to promote professionalism more than briefcases which seems to be seen as being old, stuffy and stiff by many now.

    Times have moved on…I do like briefcases in some ways, but the laptop bag has to win.

    Quote from article: “By comparison, the briefcase suddenly doesn’t seem nerdy at all, but sophisticated, grown-up and maybe even due a revival.” – Well that is wrong now really as the laptop bag shows you are more together, grown-up and moving with the times.

    Overall, this guy doesn’t seem to realise the need for laptop bags – They are for laptops! And laptops are what people use for work…*sigh*

    Anyway, back to: “I have crazy facial hair, know all there is to know about the oeuvre of Terry Pratchett and am in possession both of a complete set of Red Dwarf DVDs and my virginity.”

    I agree with Nakrophile: “I thought that the geek-virgin connection had died out in the late-90s.”
    Because so-called “geeks” were in when I last looked, but that a while back now…I don’t tend to keep up to date with women mags and stuff, as Private eye is much more amusing to read.

  • >”I have crazy facial hair”


    >”know all there is to know about the oeuvre of Terry Pratchett”

    A fair bit.

    >”am in possession both of a complete set of Red Dwarf DVDs”

    Of course.

    >”and my virginity.”


  • Hey, I own Feet of Clay, and it’s good. But my absolute favorite is probably Night Watch. If possessing the good literary taste to enjoy the Discworld novels makes me a Yucky Ucky Spotty Icky Anorak-Wearing Nerd-Geek, well, clearly being a Nerd-Geek is a damn fine thing to be.

  • Fifth Elephant is probably my favourite, followed by Thud, then a toss up between Reaper Man, Hogfather and Last Hero. Not counting the “Science of” books, which are superb.

    This is my geek, and it is strong.

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