Screw Hot Topic!

I have this strange confession to make. I love going to the mall, not to shop mind you, I just like wandering the mall. And, the more sleazy the mall the better. Hence why folks will often find your friendly neighborhood Geek in Lloyd Center Mall, but never within the frosted glass walls of Pioneer Square Mall (besides, walking by the Bose store and not being able to afford anything really bums me out). There are very few stores in the mall that I enter; in fact I have them mapped out in my mind in a strange holding pattern… Enter the first level by the postal store, hang a left and ride the escalator to the tobacco shop, slip into the software store that smells like gamers, over to Spencer’s (for no more then 2 minutes), cut over to Suncoast (and hope my ex’s roommate isn’t working), back down to the first floor, zigzag to Excalibur (drool at the Lord of the Rings props), cut to Hot Topic (my eternal quest for more flame shirts), and then about face and leave… But, I may have to change my pattern. I may have to take Hot Topic off my list.

Friggen posers.

I am sure that I will be mocked for even admitting that I frequent the store and honestly, I probably should be. I don’t care. I know the place is shamelessly pandering to a demographic that will wear a Motley Crue tour shirt without being able to name a single band member beyond that dude who showed Pamela Anderson his “Oh” face. I doesn’t bother me that people STILL put down cash for yet another version of Brandon Lee as The Crow action figure, (heaven forbid they make an Ernie Hudson figure…or that hot Asian sister/lover chick). I can even get past the fact that they took my favorite 80’s toys, Transformers, and gave them the “Old Skool” treatment (although, the Megatron Hawaiian shirt is sweet). So, what new bit of corporate pandering have they done to make them dead to me? Dirty sons ?o bitches had the cojones to sell a “You Know You’re a Geek When” shirt. That’s right, like a second rate Jeff Foxworthy (who is a third rate Jeff Foxworthy who is a…you get the point), those jag offs have attempted to make my people cool and ironic.

Screw that!

They didn’t even get the list right. It foolishly combined elements of Star Trek, math, Star Wars, comics, physics, Dungeons and Dragons, computer programming, hygiene, Dr. Who, Weird Al, and others. As has been explained many times over, having mad love and knowledge for any of the above does indeed make you a Geek, (except math and physics…those are NERDS), I still found the shirt to be strangely offensive. Why would I though, if so much of what was listed was true? Simple, as I’ve stated many times, Geeks kinda’ like being on the outside. We like to mock our own. It hones our defensive and offensive skills against the outside world that likes nothing more then to taunt us. After all, if we can fire back at barbs by people who know us the best, what the hell can the no-necked jock say to us that we can’t handle? (Apart from their boot). The main reason though?

Geeks are never ironic.

When we wear a shirt, or hat, or place a bumper sticker we aren’t trying to be “cool or hip”. Geeks are very honest and open about their loves (at least, the ones who are out of the basement). Geeks don’t get the joke about such shirts, hell; we don’t even see it as a joke. It might be funny, but it certainly isn’t a joke. That’s not to say that Geeks don’t have their own insider items. We do, in fact, they are so inside that the straights simply brush them aside; you try to explain the “+20 shirt of smiting” to non-gamers. Nothing but a sea of blank faces and crickets. There in lies the problem. The majority of people who buy that shirt won’t get it. They’ll just see it as yet another item they can use to try and be hip. A hipness that will come at the cost of us Geeks. Before you know it, people will begin to claim that they always liked D&D, or that they been a fan of Trek since the original series. Mark my words, come this summer we’ll hear interviews from Jessica Alba claiming she’s read Fantastic Four comics for years. Well screw that. The line must be drawn here-ah! This far, and no furth’ah!

Anyone know where I can find flame shirts now?

Until next time…Shop smart…Shop S-Mart!

About Aaron

Aaron Duran is founder and head writer of, a website devoted to the latest in movies, comics, tabletop games, digital pastimes, and all things Geek. His fascination with comics, film, music, and obscure trivia has transformed into a lifelong pursuit of pop culture knowledge. A precocious writer who started out by spinning elaborate stories based on his favorite sci-fi and adventure franchises, he befuddled his grade-school teachers, who were convinced that no child could write that well at such a young age. When not hard at work on his plans for world domination, Aaron creates highly acclaimed independent films, freelances in many forms of media, explores the minutiae of pop culture, and shares his love of all things Geek with the world through his writing.
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