Attention Nerds (a light rant)

by Wells

Yes, actually, we do get it.

The joke is on us.  You were ostracized in your youth and now look what’s happened.  The tables have turned.  The nerds and the geeks are in charge.  In fact, the nerds are now the cool ones.  Congratulations.  The bums lost.

But you need to stop gloating about it.  Every time  you indignantly ask some square, “You haven’t seen MST3K?!”, I die a little inside because I also enjoy that show, and I’m not indignant about it, and you’re an embarrassment.  Your nerd pride is sullying all the very few benefits you and your so-called nerd brethren are privy to.

America cannot survive by nerds alone.  This world needs people who don’t realize that Weird Al also wrote a bunch of original songs.  These people enter your data and talk to your customers.  They are your customers.  They raise the kids that will be your kids’ classmates.  They vote.  So drop the condescending tone and pretend you know what social cues and fashion are.

Which brings me to my next point: just because a person is an expert at something does not make that person a nerd.  I realize this is semantics, but nerds are nerds because they’ve been shunned by popular society.  When it became cool to wear thick plastic glasses, it ceased being nerdy to wear thick plastic glasses.  This is the way it has to be.  Go ahead and learn Perl, but you’re not a nerd until you know Perl and you sing TV theme songs at work without realizing it bugs the shit out of people around you.

So you go to Renaissance  Faires in costume and get drunk.  Maybe you hack Super Nintendo roms.  Or you consider yourself a theatre nerd, or a football nerd, or a food nerd.  At least you have a hobby that brings you out into the light every now and then.  You have your nerd pride but deep down you don’t think of yourself as uncool.

But imagine the people that you, a cool nerd, shun.  The coworkers who never hang out.  The smelly guys with no personality.  The loud eaters who pick their asses at bus stops.  These are nerds.  They don’t even have to know Perl.  Why are you defending these people?

Look, I own and play an orange ukulele.  I do improv comedy.  I’m adapting a film into poetry.  But I’m not a nerd.  I’m a square with interests.  And so are most of the self-proclaimed nerds I know.

Nerds aren’t ironic.  You are*.  Nerds are not proud of themselves.  You are.  If everyone who likes computers and felt vulnerable during adolescence is a nerd, then no one is.

*(This includes tweeting about nerdy things you’ve done to let everyone know how nerdy you just were.  “Imagine!  I just did that!  Ha!”)