Nerds, We Must Do Better
I like to root for the underdog. We all do, because it’s fun to watch them win when they’re not supposed to, and it’s intrinsic to humanity.
Do you really think a Patriots’ or Yankees’ fan realizes and accepts that they’re the evil empire? No, of course not. They feel like everyone’s hating them and no one really believes they have a chance, or that all the good players retired or were traded and that they’re going to shock the world this year.
No one thinks or even wants to be Drago; they want to believe they’re Rocky.
More than anything else in my life, except, perhaps being a Loman, is as big a part of my identity as being a nerd.
I was dorked from birth, and if you want to talk about playing with a handicap, live life as a dork. If you’re really into your local sports team, you’re passionate. If you’re really into Star Wars, you’re obsessed. You can live to play football, but you’re wasting your time if you’re into table top.
However, at some point, historians put it between the first two X-Men movies, dorks made it. Nerds were in. There were brief flirtations with it in the 70’s when everyone saw Star Wars, and again in 1989 when Batman came out and all the dudes shaved Bat symbols into their heads and pretty girls wore Batman t-shirts.
Both times it went away.
But not this time. It’s an ongoing renaissance of nerdom as we went from X-Men/Matrix, to Spider-Man, to Star Wars prequels, to Batman, to Avatar. Not only are all these movies blockbusters by they are impacting culture. Halo and Call of Duty are setting and then obliterating sales records for media launches. It’s no longer considered weird to wait in line for videogames to come out. Stupid? Yes. Truly outside the norm? Not at all.
This is a bad thing.
Nerds used to go from very young nerds to old nerds. They didn’t grow out of it. Look at Rush. Those guys are supremely talented musicians, but they are the biggest freaking bunch of nerdos to ever live. However, that made them great. They became so good at playing music that being a nerd either didn’t matter, or they layered it into the music that no one really noticed. See also, Led Zeppelin.
Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg are both giant dorks. They used that obsession with the minutiae and nerdy stuff that most people can’t be bothered with and become unbelievably wealthy and powerful in their respective fields.
Call it isolation from the distractions of life. Call it being so smart that they couldn’t relate to people easily. Call it passion. Call it having a chip on their shoulder and something to prove from a lifetime of being on the outside. Whatever you want to label it, it worked.
However, nerds have gone mainstream, and now that fire’s gone. We’re not hungry, because we’re comfortable. We’re wasting time chasing leaderboards in Halo, or doing whatever the fuck is going on over in World of Warcraft. There is currently a production of Dickens being done in Klingon.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to learn a foreign language? I know some people make it look easy, or they were raised bi or trilingual, but the fact of the matter is, being able to fluently speak, write, and, most importantly, THINK in a foreign language is a display of an incredible amount of brain power.
Instead of learning Spanish to communicate in the America of tomorrow or Chinese for the economy of the future, they learned Klingon.
Now maybe some of them do speak two or more languages. Well, they still translated, rehearsed, and performed, in front of people, a play in Klingon.
Anyone who could understand what’s going on on that stage is already in the fucking cast. Unless they live in a hot bed of Klingon speakers, in which case things are much direr than I thought.
Guys, we have to do better. The captain of the football team isn’t going to unlock nanotechnology for all, and the prom queen isn’t going to work on gene therapy to cure hereditary diseases. We’re the ones that will create the satellites to terraform Mars, and we’re the ones who will invent a pill so no one has to work out ever again.
Granted, one of us will be the one that creates the self-aware computer, thus jump-starting the war against the machines or will clone dinosaurs and for our hubris, be eaten by them, but you take the good with the bad.
Posted on December 8, 2010, in Comics, Matt Loman, Movies, Pop Culture and tagged bill gates, dorks, geeks, klingon, Matt Loman, nerds, seriously get back to science guys. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.