Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nerds and assholes

The passing of Steve Jobs reminded me of the theory I've had for a long time that everyone's a nerd. Anyone who's not is an asshole. Maybe I just want everyone to be a nerd. Maybe it's my only way of feeling superior. No matter the case, it's just how I feel. I'll tell you why.

When one thinks of a nerd, it's usually someone with glasses, smart, bookish, socially awkward, and likes science fiction. A more detailed portrayal often has zits, tape on the glasses, a slide rule, messed up hair, and a nasal laugh. I've never seen Dr. Who or played Dungeons & Dragons, but nobody would deny my nerdiness. Years ago I did a cartoon showing that even within that subset there are different kinds such as dweebs, geeks, etc. Whether or not someone's a nerd is not black and white. There are many varying degrees. I'd add that jocks are also a kind of nerd.

William Shatner SNL skit Get A Life 1986-12-20 by efly2020

Jocks are often thought of as the opposite of nerds. Strong, dumb, males into sports. They're nerds too. Just nerds who can beat you up and get laid more often.

Nerds just the same. Star Trek fans are seen as fanatical devotees. But how is that different from fanatical devotion to sports? People chanting at games painting themselves blue? It's equally pathetic. “Who are you calling a nerd?”, you may ask. Well, for one thing, you're associating with me, so that automatically makes you one. That's non-negotiable. You still say you're not a nerd? Okay, then you're an asshole.

Revenge of the Nerds is often seen as a paean to the oddness in us all. But seeing it again through adult eyes the opposite sides are really just the same. They go to the same college and take the same classes, so they must have similar aspirations. They're both in fraternities, which is not the majority at most colleges. The nerds take the jocks' Barbie-doll girlfriends (the one-dimensionality of women in teen movies is an entirely different topic altogether) and dump the ones they have. They both compete in the same events. The nerds are just jealous that they're not the jocks themselves. Both are assholes when it comes down to it.

I defy anyone to find someone that's not a nerd or an asshole. I brought this up on a Facebook thread a couple years ago, and someone said Dean Martin is neither. He was in the middle of the Rat Pack pecking order, not pushy like Frank and not wimpy like Sammy. When he was teamed with Jerry Lewis he was the superior male, though often not a cockblocker like Bing Crosby. People who worked with him may beg to differ. When he did his TV show he didn't rehearse with the rest of the cast. But most of them are dead so we'll never know. But in the meantime, everyone's a nerd, asshole, or both.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your theory, it applies to women too. Nerds or Bitches.

    Good points about Revenge of the Nerds, but I think all nerds want the same hot girls that the assholes have.