There’s a video making the rounds where nerd icon Wil Wheaton tells the audience why being a nerd is awesome. I’m not going to link it because there’s no need to; it’s all over the place and you can imagine what the answer is. Being a nerd is awesome because nerds are intelligent and want to understand the world, not just disinterestedly ride the planet through space. It’s got people all teary-eyed and flutter-hearted over the joy and wonder of being a nerd.
My stance on this kind of stuff
is pretty well known, so I don’t really need to go into too much detail here (some would say I don’t need to go into any detail at all, we get it) but boy, I always love the idea that people who aren’t nerds just shuffle morosely through life wishing they too could like stuff. I mean, they say they’re into gardening or carpentry or sports or eye surgery or hiking or TV shows but they don’t have any t-shirts or action figures or amusing headwear about it, so they can’t really be enjoying anything. We all know that what Wil means by “liking” things is “liking liking things”.
It’s also nice to hear about how intellectually curious nerds are, unlike everyone else. This is especially good coming at the beginning of the summer movie season, when we’ll hear time and again, “CAN’T YOU JUST TURN YOUR BRAIN OFF AND ENJOY THE RIDE?” Movies about superheroes and robots and robot superheroes will abound, but you’ll find the intellectually curious nerds instead watching documentaries in art houses.
Once more, let me make it clear that if you dig on this stuff, that’s great! You have a great time! But let’s not give ourselves too many pats on the back for watching box-office smashing genre films and buying branded merchandise. If you enjoy watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” then hey, so did I, but that doesn’t make either of us some kind of brainy seeker of the mysteries of life. You don’t really get to dump on anyone who doesn’t like “Doctor Who” or play boardgames if your primary intake of media is shouting “AWESOME” every time your amygdala fires for 3 seconds because you saw something from when you were a kid.
My beef with Team Nerd remains the same: let’s just be into things without having to be into being into things.