Sunday, September 16, 2012

On Nerds

Your Dear Blogger has been very lazy of late. Dancers! Did I tell you to stop?

A blog I've never heard of before has a great analyses of The Big Bang Theory. In a fairly remarkable show of self-awareness by the nerd crowd, she rejects how the show portrays nerds (as something to be laughed at).

The Big Bang Theory and its British predecessor, The IT Crowd are both comedies poking fun at nerds. Sometime in the late '90s and early 2000s, the Star Wars generation turned thirty and found that, after college, they had to get a job. A great influx of the modern nerd was injected violently into mainstream society, and the NORPs have had to find some way to cope. These shows are a manifestation of that reaction.

At some point, though, someone discovered that these shows which cruelly poke fun at nerds could be marketed to nerds. Nerds are unused to exposure and fame, and so even this very negative publicity was welcomed with open arms by them. Thus, you can find a booth for The Big Bang Theory at Comic-Con.

I don't find these shows fun to watch or at all clever. They're a gas relief valve for people who have a hard time with that weird guy at the office who collects action figures. If you've never had to deal with that, or simply don't care, that humor has a decent chance to not resonate with you, and the somewhat hackneyed writing behind it doesn't have anything to hide behind.

Somewhat predictably, though, if you are the weird guy at the office who collects action figures, you stand a decent chance of selling out. Any time in the spotlight tastes as sweet as chocolate to an impoverished African child, no matter if that time is used to jeer and laugh at you. This urges no cause, spurs no activism, requires no awareness to be raised. It's just a fact of life: For the monkey, no publicity is bad publicity.

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