A tale full of sound and fury told by a nerd signifying meaning: (Or how fanboys have hijacked my identity)
When I was growing up, when you entered the mean streets of high school you inevitably knew that you would fall prey to the categorization process. Nobody escapes. This is where kids are mentally rounded up like cattle and corralled into the various social paddocks where you would remain for the rest of your school career.
There were the Jocks, powerful and mighty. Their physical attributes enabled them to kicketh many a rear end of a student whom should dare to attempt to rise above his or her station. With muscles the size of grapefruits I can stand up and say… that I would and will never be confused for a jock.
Then we had the goths, who pretty much kept to themselves in a tight knit group. Smoking and black coffee were the order of the day and I was not deemed fit to clean their sacrificial daggers (I may be using slight creative license here but who cares its my article.) [Only if I say so 😛 – ed]
The Princesses who all of course thought they ruled the roost. Lacking the basic requirements here I was of course excluded
And then we had the nerds. Now I am not claiming to have been King of the nerds. In fact I was probably not even Count or Duke; I suppose maybe the town crier or village nobleman. Ah I can’t lie to you I was pretty much the Jar Jar Binks of my school. And meesa not exaggerating you betcha betcha.
So needless to say my school days were about as much fun as trying to remove dingleberries from a Wookiee that has just consumed a tin of Brooklax and about twice as painful, but there were always my after school activities to keep me going.
Yes while I was mild mannered Joshua by day, by night I was a Starfleet officer. Not a real one of course. My height put me at a slight disadvantage. And my fear of heights. Not to mention a fear of being blasted out of the escape hatch. Come to think of it, at that age I would have made a horrible Starfleet officer.
But my chances of enforcing the prime directive slim or not my father and I had our nightly ritual where we would sit and watch an episode of Star Trek. We saw them all From Kirk to Janeway (At that stage Voyager was as far as we went) and it was a magical time for me. In those moments when I was watching those intrepid men and women boldly go where no one had gone before life seemed to be full of possibilities and the escapism from reality sublime.
Star Trek was my gateway drug.
Soon I entered the field of Star Wars, The Lord of the rings, Red Dwarf, and Doctor Who I was unstoppable. I eventually graduated to comic books where I threw myself into Marvel and DC like a man possessed and I soon found out what exactly drew me into the world of geekdom in the first place. This was deeper than fandom or escapism. It was a word I had always known but never experienced before. Acceptance.
The friendships grew with people from all walks of life. We would meet in comic book stores, Play Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons and have intense debates on the merits of our favourite heroes and that camaraderie has always stuck with me.
I do however feel that as nerds/geeks we have allowed our culture to be hijacked by those who seek to use its status only to punt products. Sure some who sell to us are passionate about our passions and we commend them for it. However a rather large contingent simply want to make a fast buck, and they are selling out our cultural identity.
When I was growing up as a nerd I used to get the tar kicked out of me. Nowadays it’s cool to be a nerd and I am not going to lie- while happy for no longer getting beaten up (it doesn’t hurt that I am now also 6ft and 84 kilos,) I feel that we are becoming so mainstream that we are in danger of losing what made us unique in the first place.
Be a proud nerd because the world is a much brighter place with us.
Guest post by Smack Talker Skywalker