…you think the fact that you like Star Wars makes you a nerd.

Once upon a time, being a ‘nerd’ was a bad thing. It meant wedgies, social exile, a dearth of party invites, and endless jokes about your intact virginity. Then, a funny thing happened. A couple self-avowed, undeniable nerds founded software companies, most notably Microsoft, and became extremely, extremely rich. So rich, in fact, that they passed the Justin Timberlake/Social Network test for ‘what’s cool’, several times over.

Suddenly, being a nerd became cool.

The trend then continued in film when comic books, long the province of acne-faced, minutiae-obsessed diehards, became the primary mine of blockbuster films. Cue pandemonium at Comic-Con, cue the Big Bang Theory, cue Gleeks and their absurd demands to be included under the nerd/geek banner (There is no world in which Glee belongs at Comic-Con in any form. Sorry).

And then the world writ large suddenly decided that the entrance requirements for nerd status had become significantly relaxed even as the social desirability of being a nerd increased. Any preference for anything vaguely brainy, scientific, or otherworldly was sufficient, never mind how spurious, ungrounded, or outright idiotic it was. Never mind that the movies now being used as evidence for nerd-dom were historically and continue to be giant, massive blockbusters. Anyone with a remotely snarky Star Wars t-shirt is now, apparently, a long-suffering nerd. Nerds unite!

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t make fun of people for decades for being passionate about their preferences in life, then claim to have been one of them all along when it apparently becomes cool to be in the club.

Moreover, being a nerd requires a certain amount of taste and specialization. Star Wars, Star Trek, and Avatar were all massive, four-quadrant movies. They were made to appeal to everyone. Liking something that everyone else likes does not make you a nerd. It doesn’t even set you apart. Being a nerd means having strange, varied, and even unpopular taste. That means Firefly, that means Cowboy Bebop, that means World of Warcraft and a dozen other things you’ve never heard of. Why? Because you’re not a nerd.

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One Response to “…you think the fact that you like Star Wars makes you a nerd.”

  1. Awesome post mang

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