BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER, WATCH THIS VIDEO TO THE END SO YOU CAN HAVE A LITTLE BIT MORE CONTEXT TO WHAT THE FUCK I’M ABOUT TO RAMBLE ABOUT.
My immediate response to seeing this video was to post it on Twitter, or Retweet it, whatever would have made me look cooler. After listening to the song and watching the video, I realized that both are kind of lame. Despite not being all that good for a wacky song (I direct your attention towards Garfunkel and Oates for that), I wanted to post it for the message it was getting across: NERDS ARE COOL, THINGS THAT AREN’T NERDS ARE NOT COOL. It’s something I’ve been concerned with and interested by for a few years now and it’s a topic I enjoy discussing with people. I think the initial response would be “duh”, but I think the topic deserves more discussion than that.
Before I had ever heard of “The Guild”, I had heard of Felicia Day. I didn’t know why I knew her, but I saw lots of people retweeting her messages. Considering I follow a lot of people who could be described as “nerdy”, I figured I’d do some investigating. Ms. Day is the mastermind behind the webseries “The Guild”, which follows the trials and tribulations of a group of online gamers. The series was initially written, filmed, and starred the person responsible for the finances of the series, which was Ms. Day. After a few episodes, there was some fundraising, and more episodes were made. More people saw more episodes, and, well, I think they are on their fifth season. I watched the first season or two, and although I understood why people find it funny and enjoying the concept behind it, I wasn’t really interested in pursuing it further. However, I’m very impressed that for an authentic “geek”, Felicia Day has been able to build a huge following (close to two million Twitter followers) and turn her videogame addiction into something productive and financially productive.
If I didn’t really like the song and I am not a huge fan of The Guild, then why the fuck was I going to post this? I feel like this song and video, which is also marks the debut of the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel dedicated to nerd culture, marks the defining point in “nerds” being ostracized by the majority of people. It wasn’t really until junior high that I realized I was much more interested in things like Star Wars or videogames than I cared about sports, but was lucky enough to never really suffer ridicule or torment from people who considered those things to be “nerdy”. All of my friends were into the same kinds of things, and I was able to quell my true passions long enough in school that the more popular kids never really bothered me for what I liked. I don’t think it was until I was an adult that I realized how many people thought it was most appropriate by starting conversations with “Did you catch the game the other night?”, and actually expect an answer. I don’t really know shit about dick when it comes to sports. I know they exist, and lots of people enjoy watching them, but as far as what teams are good and what time of the year things happen, really no idea. Yet the further and further I get into my adult life, the more I get nervous to tell these people I have no fucking clue what they’re talking about.
Maybe I should get to the point. The point is, that there was a point where people who might describe themselves as “geeks” or “nerds” or “dorks” might be described by other people as “losers”. It wasn’t cool to like things that weren’t part of popular culture. I don’t need to go into detail about the the different ways our current society looks towards counter-culture to figure out what the next trend will be so it can be exploited. Think of how many movies based on comic books have come out in the past ten years, or the huge successes of things like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or Game of Thrones. I have complete faith in the belief that at a different time in American culture, were you to say you love reading about knights and swords and dragons, you’d be mocked. Instead, you get to talk about how big of shitheads the Lannisters are. I remember the first time I saw an Affliction t-shirt, as it was only four years ago. My first thought was that it was some sort of nu-metal band who wanted as many skulls and swords and tribal designs as possible on their merchandise, but unfortunately, things weren’t that simple. Instead, this was a clothing company who were somehow convincing people that THIS style would make you cool. Add in that Ed Hardy bullshit and you’ve got yourself a magical potion of douchebaggery. Despite the nausea this “fashion” trend created, there seemed to be a market for it. I thought I was an outsider in thinking only assholes wore this shit, but appears the tides are turning. Ed Hardy is quickly becoming synonymous with the term, dare I say, “loser”. On the other end of the spectrum, at least in regards to fashion, I remember a few years ago really wanting a Star Wars shirt and having to find one online that wasn’t for kids. Compare that to what you’ll see if you go to any Target or Kohl’s or other department store, the amount of graphic t-shirts that have been able to combine stereotypical nerdy imagery with some sort of ironic slogan. I’m pretty sure you’re all picturing Darth Vader with the slogan “Who’s Your Daddy?” underneath him. It wasn’t really until this video that I have come to the realization that the tides have turned, and given enough time, being a nerd will no longer be cool.
And now to tie it all together in one big, sappy message. I know that some purist nerds would argue how the saturation of this nerdy things in popular culture will cause more and more poseurs to pretend to be interested in things because it’s cool. Ya know what? I COMPLETELY AGREE. Tons of people will buy glasses that don’t have frames or pick up a shirt with a superhero logo on it and yes, you can hate people that rape and molest things you’re truly passionate about for cashing in on something you used to be mocked for liking. HOWEVER, what I hope this video, this message, this idea, will help teach the impressionable young kids who are all over the internet and get bullied that you really need to be yourself, do what you want, like what you want, and anyone who gives you shit for it can fuck right off. I’m sure there will be people to argue that every example of nerdy things I listed aren’t truly nerdy, and they are all pop culture, which can of course be argued. If I say Star Wars is nerdy, someone could say Star Trek is nerdier. Someone could then say Babylon 5 is nerdier. Some would then say that Battlefield Earth is nerdier, and we call those people Scientologists. Whether you agree with the examples or not, whether you like sports, whether you hate nerds, whether you’re into cosplay, if you juggle, if you go to raves, if you’re a furry, FUCK WHATEVER ANYONE ELSE THINKS, BE YOURSELF, AND MAYBE THAT THING YOU LIKE WILL ONE DAY WHAT GETS YOU A SHIT TON OF FRIENDS BECAUSE IT’S BECOME WHAT’S COOL.