Thursday 15 January 2015


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People say it like it's a bad thing.

I'll admit I am a nerd in some respects. I know my way around a computer fairly well, dealing with 'smart' technology doesn't make me hyperventilate and I love me some books. None of this is bad.

One of the guys from my class at school was the ultimate nerd but hated to be called it as if being intelligent, enjoying learning and having the ability to retain everything was to be ashamed of. Everyone took the chance to pay him out for it, albeit in a joking way and he took it as a joke. He was also one of the most popular guys in the school so one might say that he had it all.

When I think nerd, I get an image of that squeaky voiced character from the Simpsons who worked at Krusty Burger well into his 20's, possibly 30's. I also think of a potentially unattractive person wearing glasses and holed up in a corner with a book. Again, neither of these things are bad.

I loved reading books and will forever be grateful that I have the ability to read and also feel a similar level of gratitude knowing that my father, being a computer tech support person, always had a computer in the house so I was never a stranger to technology and wouldn't have a worry if it stopped working.

There's always been a longstanding negative connotation with words like 'nerd', 'geek', 'freak', 'weird', etc when really it's just people who go along with what society says they should do and labeling others for not doing the same in an effort to make themselves feel better. It doesn't make anything better.

As soon as I could, I clung to books. I loved escaping into various worlds and getting to see myself as a character that was completely different to the person I am, or maybe they were similar but living in a different circumstance, either way it was all fun and exciting.

In an episode of Pretty Little Liars I saw recently, one of the deceased character's mother's gave her daughter's friend a book and told her that her daughter loved books, sometimes they were all she had.

This made me think of my childhood and early teen years. I used books to escape into different worlds so I wouldn't have to think about or deal with the world I lived in and couldn't understand. When my so-called friends decided they had better things to do than hang out with me, I grabbed and book and everything was okay. They were like a security blanket, warm hug or a soft toy which helped deal with the injustices of the world a little better.

In every movie or TV series, mainly teen-focused, that I've seen where there's a nerdy character, they're always placed at the bottom of the food chain and everyone takes their pick off them, usually to make themselves look cool or more esteemed in front of their peers. Most nerds depicted on screen don't stand up for themselves out of fear or lack of physical endowment, so continue skulking in the shadows with their books or electronics, whatever makes sense and brings happiness to their world.

It's almost comical the kind of revenge that nerds are able to get though. They invest more time into learning which affords them ultimately greater opportunities providing they're willing to take a risk every now and again to come out of their shell.

Given how much of the world and today's society is technological, nerds, or more specifically, tech nerds are in the ultimate power. Everyone wants the latest and greatest gadget usually regardless of the cost and they're the ones who create it, run it and fix it. If a piece of technology fails, you're at the mercy of the tech nerd who presumably knows the item inside and out. I highly doubt any amount of popularity will afford you similar knowledge or power (aside from corruption and bribery of course).

A good friend of mine for the past 2 or so years takes the highest level of pride in calling himself a Super Nerd. He loves his computers and bits, his comics and stuff, anything that doesn't lump him in the category of stereotypical alpha-male, he's all over it. I must admit I admire his passion for what he believes in, especially since not many other people that I've met are like him. The idea of going out to a pub or bar has very little interest to him, he'd much rather spend that time and money rebuilding a PC or buying anime or comics or whatever. It's quite refreshing giving the current generation's penchant for 'wasting' time and money in bars and essentially writing themselves off as well as an entire day or 2 from the aftermath. I've never understood the fun in killing brain cells with expensive liquid and feeling like hell the next morning because of it.

Whenever I think 'nerd', I think "the meek shall inherit the earth" as much as I dislike quoting bible verses, it seems applicable. Being smart, having intelligence, knowing stuff; the quest for knowledge, to learn more, these are noble traits that should never be taken for granted or looked down on because some status quo doesn't think they're cool, despite the fact members of the status quo "can't do English good broo".

One of my favorite movies 'Sydney White' tells the story a Sydney (Amanda Bynes) who tries to follow in her late mother's footsteps by attending the same university and becoming a pledge for the same sorority. When the popular girls decide she isn't 'suitable' for them, they humiliate her and kick her out which sees her living with the nerds, geeks, freaks, dorks and weirdos on campus. They're all great guys and have some redeeming qualities, although it's obvious why they're on the outcast list.
At the end of the movie, Sydney wins over all the other sororities by taking the time to get to know them and what they actually do. Her only concern was that she felt comfortable in who she was and that she did her best to follow in her mother's footsteps and doing what she thought was right. Of course she wins the guy, one of the dorks becomes a multimillionaire and they all live happily ever after.

Never be ashamed of having intelligence, a mind of your own or wanting to do things outside the box. Screw the status quo! Nerds/dorks/geeks/freaks/weirdos rule!

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