Friday, October 19, 2012

Nerds and Nerdhood evolving in Pop Culture

"You're such a nerd", this statement today would illicit an "Awww so cute" or an "OMG me too", but in the days of yore, being a nerd was looked upon with disdain and more often than not contempt. Has pop cultured evolved or is this fascination with video games and super heroes just a new fad for studio execs to cash in on? I honestly don't know..

Comic Books have always been considered, a nerd's domain. If you read comics, you were a nerd and a loser with no social life and no date for the prom. But today, if you say that you prefer Jim lee's art complementing Scott Snyder's epic storyline, you'll probably get laid. Ok, that probably may not be true, but you're guaranteed to get some tongue action at least.Joe Kubert passed away recently, most people who watched the Avengers or the dark knight rises may not, scratch that, do not have any idea who he was. Joe Kubert was a comic book artist who pencilled iconic characters like the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. It wouldn't be hard to imagine that first editions of Kubert's rendering would go for a hefty price nowadays

You see, today, nerd culture has changed, propelled forward by shows like The Big Bang Theory. The YOLO generation has no idea what the Golden Age and Silver Age of comics is. They go around wearing t-shirts with quotes like "Beam me up Scotty",  when they have no idea that the original line from Star Trek was "Beam me up, Mr. Scott", and if you make the mistake of pointing that out, may god have mercy on your soul, because these faux nerds are worse than grammar nazis when it comes to protecting their false nerdhood.  In the days of yore comics and video games were never part of pop culture, they were pursuits followed by kids or weird creepers in basements. Which in itself was such a base and misguided generalisation.

But now, every one plays video games, if you don't, then you're not socially balanced or better yet you're weird. This may be a sweeping generalisation but its true. These days playing video games is equated with letting off steam like watching football and yelling at the screen was a way of letting off steam in the days of yore. If you're a true nerd today, you would still cherish the joy of blowing into cartridges (get your mind out of the gutter i meant blowing air), okay that didn't come out right, if you're a true nerd you'd get what i'm talking about. Anyway If you're a true nerd you'd still enjoy selecting games from a menu, still enjoy hannah barbera classics, and truly enjoy iconic characters that you have aspired to be like before they hit the mainstream and started making big bucks for movie studios. I for one have been a fan of Batman ever since i was born, literally since i was born, not figuratively, but literally, but that is a story for another post. And now i see my friends who can't differentiate between the riddler and the joker (i mean c'mon) talking about how they have been life long fans of Batman comics. When in reality, their exposure to Batman goes as far as the Arkham games and Christopher Nolans epic rendition on the big screen.

Though i really appreciate that comics, video games, and action figures have hit the mainstream in a big way. I still can't help but feel, that all this hullabaloo is a passing trend. Its just the band wagon picking up the latest trend and once its done with it, true nerds will be condemned to the basements and labelled immature like they have been in the past. While the jack asses who claim to be true nerds will jump ship like scared rats.

So this is me, a guy who really enjoys comics and video games saying, if you question my leisure interests with any kind of judgement, you may live to regret it.

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