Have you been following The Great Nerd Backlash over the past year?
Personally, I’m not actually surprised. After years of sitting in the un-cooler, geeks, otaku and nerds (I prefer ‘nerds’) have gradually become a bankable commodity. The big-media vampires have sat up in their coffins and thought “E/OMG, we can make a EXPLETIVE DELETED load of money from these dweebs”.
How did this happen? Well, I ranted about geek fakers ages ago. But first, here’s an example of what it’s really like to be a proper nerd-
I had a friend in school who was even more overweight than me, wore those terribly huge 80s black, plastic specs (that, infuriatingly, are now considered retro-chic, damn you Superdry), had perennially greasy hair, was an early home computer adopter (ZX 80, Spectrum etc…) and, ingeniously, had rigged a hyper-sensitive electronic early warning system under the carpet of the stairs leading up to his bedroom so that he would be alerted to impending parental intrusion and could hide his stash of eh, ‘pictorially rich male-oriented literature’, should the need ever arise (and it seemed to arise fairly frequently from what I remember during a sleepover at his place). His cardinal sin in school was to be friendly, even in the face of quite nasty jibes. In the few years that I knew him his character never changed and he never seemed to push back, whereas I just became angry.
Eventually we both got jobs and, last I heard, he was a successful dentist. I had also brief period of relative financial well-off-ness in the 90s too and I’m guessing that graduating from mere pocket-money to hefty moolah meant that nerds like us suddenly had vastly increased economic muscle. We could suddenly buy all the gadgets, toys, consoles, computers, comic books and videos that we’d ever dreamed of. I certainly spent like there was no tomorrow.
And that’s probably when the fakery started. When big biz suddenly realised there was a potentially bottomless market in selling increasingly crap stuff to dorks. Now everyone’s a nerd because nerdom sells.
But, the truth is that, as a nerd, I’d sometimes rather be anything but, at least in appearance. I’d prefer chiseled looks, no astigmatism so I could wear contacts, no flat feet so my knees and hip wouldn’t be buggered and I’d like to be taller too. The point is that it really, REALLY sucked to be a proper nerd growing up (and a working-class British Asian nerd too. You want to talk about a minority within a minority?). Megan Fox in a Star Wars tee-shirt? Yeah right.
Captain Roy is going to see Skyfall with his mum and dad on Monday.