Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: In Defense of Nerds

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

In Defense of Nerds

As a group, I must come right out and admit, that Nerds don't get a whole lot of respect. And probably for some very good reasons. We, as a group, tend to be humorless and just a tad dogmatic when in the throes of our particular area of nerdish expertise. And yet, I say, cannot this be said of just about EVERYone? Engineers tend to wax eloquently and earnestly on the tensile structure of bridges...not a lot of room for chuckles there. Same thing with Rocket Scientists and Brain Surgeons. And so on and so forth.

This morning, whilst idlely cruising the internet, I happened across an article mocking Trekkers, as written by a Helen Popkin. It was a mildly amusing article, holding up various Star Trek fans to ridicule because they had reacted strongly to an inaccurate article written earlier by someone else, that said that Captain Kirk was head of Picard's Enterprise...or something of that nature. I'm a mild Star Trek fan, although I tend to like TNG better than the originals, because those were the ones that I saw the most. I'm not a hardcore fan, but even I know that Kirk and Picard are from two different eras.

It wasn't the article poking fun so much that annoyed me. It was all of the commments about the article, very few of which were from Trekkers and most of which had comments along the lines of "Get a Life!" and "40 Year olds living in their Mother's Basement!". and more of the usual. To be fair, I can understand that a Trekker's single mindedness...OR a Comic Book Fans...can be intimidating to quite a number of people. There is also the almost irrisistable urge amongst most people to mock that which they don't understand, and to bask in the glow of feeling "better" than those sorry losers who care so deeply about something so silly.

I'm sorry, but this kind of attitude is just Rude! Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE should have at least ONE totally ridiculous obsession in their lives. It doesn't have to be the same thing for all people, some prefer Star Trek, some prefer Star Wars, some like Dungeons and Dragons or Warworld, and some...like myself...prefer comic books. Collectively we are called Nerds and looked down upon by the rest of the world, who are secure in themselves and their superiority. THEY don't get all enraged by minutiae about such ridiculous things.

And yet...and yet these are the same people who know every statistic about their particular baseball or football team, and will hold forth about it ad nauseum to anyone who will listen. But somehow it is more acceptable to be a sports fan. Or there are people to dress up in Civil War outfits and obsess about what kind of buttons were used by the CSA, and whether or not they should march barefoot into battle like the REAL soldiers. There are people who like to golf. I am not one of them, and quite frankly, I think that golf is a pretty weenie sort of game, but if they want to don absurd pants and run around a nice field hitting a small ball over and over, then more power to them. But none of these activities are any more or less ridiculous than being a Nerd.

Someone also raised the point that wouldn't it be nice if all of that Nerd Rage and energy could be harnessed and used to solve "Real World Problems!"


Well...probably not. Nerds don't LIKE Real World Problems...which is why we are Nerds in the first place, that comic book, that movie, that television show, that game, are our ESCAPE from the Real World. The Real World is pretty awful, but Green Lanterns are pretty snazzy in comparison. Furthermore, our obsessions tend to keep us off of the streets and on our computers, and therefore out of trouble. You rarely find gangs of Nerds, except at Conventions, or occasionally book signings in Comic Book Stores, and although we can be surly and occasionally unwashed, we don't go around shooting people and robbing them, hurling molotov cocktails or otherwise making monumental pests of ourselves. Some of us have even grown up, and left our mother's basements and are holding down nice jobs, raising families and otherwise being model citizens.

In short...Nerds are simply finer people.


Because really, this sort of thing is AWESOME!


At 1:01 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

I started writing a comment and it got too long. So I'll just post it over on my blog and link back here. :)

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Saranga said...

here here! well said sally. why people feel the need to mock others for liking something different (or for simply having a hobby) is beyond me.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Magnificent, Shelly!

Saranga, there was just so much...smugness in putting down all the nerds in the comments on that particular article. I don't usually mind a little bit of smugness, I suffer from a tendancy to smuggery myself, but this was more shadenfreude than smug.

It was mean.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

Thanks, Sally. Blogger seems to have eaten your comment, so I copied it from the email I got and pasted into a comment from me. Hope that was ok.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

And as soon as I post my comment here, Blogger resurrects yours on my blog. *sigh*

At 2:13 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Ah, the joy of computers.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Sea-of-Green said...

Nerds, or geeks? I don't consider myself to be a "nerd," because "nerd" implies the person in question has no social skills. I AM a geek, though -- a full-fledged geek, and fiercely proud of it! ;-)

Regardless, people who bother to waste time and space making fun of geeks and nerds are nothing more than bullies trying to boost their own, pathetic egos.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Are nerds and geek interchangeable? Actually I think that a geek is slightly higher on the evolutionary scale, but I just like SAYING nerd. It flows from the tongue.

But I digress. You're right Sea, the comments were simply dripping with "holier than thou" ness.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger LissBirds said...

I love this post so much, Sally, that I was telling someone at work about it (who had gotten poked fun of for knowing so much about comics.) And your reasoning about football stats was brilliant! We all have our little obsessions that we care too much about, and what makes sports cooler than comics?

At 9:48 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Well, I suppose that sports ARE a little more "mainstream". But really, anyone can be a sports fan. It takes true dedication to be a comic geek.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Shelly said...

There are sports fans and there are sports fanatics. Shaving your hair in the logo of a sports team takes a major commitment. ;)


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