Obama and Harper: Geek vs. Nerd

Geek Culture


I’ve been reading all the posts (like this one and this one) on President-elect Barack Obama with a great deal of interest and perhaps a slight tinge of jealousy.  As a Canadian, I don’t have a direct stake in what goes on in the US, although everything does have a substantial ripple effect North of the 49th so it’s more than mere spectator sport.

While Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not known to have flashed any rivals a Vulcan salute, he is widely known to have been a big fan of Star Trek (the original series); as a matter of fact, he is rumored to have attended conventions in full Star Trek drag in his youth.  While Harper and Obama -who it was recently announced will be meeting this April in President Obama’s first state visit- apparently share a fondness for Star Trek, Obama manages to pull it off with full Geek cred, while Harper seems doomed to headlines referencing his "Nerd" qualities.  Probably few photos illustrate the gap between these two more effectively than the infamous shirtless Obama on the beach shots and the hapless Harper crammed into a too small leather vest while rocking a big cowboy hat snap

I couldn’t dig up any photos of Mr. Harper posing near Superman (or any other superheroes for that matter), but did stumble across this wonderful portrait of the PM in full Spock mode by illustrator Jamie Tucker.

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