We’ve got a new series of posts starting, and I for one am pretty excited about them. The series will be called, ‘Nerd Virgins.’
I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not that kind of nerd virgin. We will be wasting no time discussing the idea that nerds tend to be socially awkward and thus have trouble with the opposite sex. No, these posts will be written from the perspective of people who have little to no conscious experience with geek culture, and are willing to give it a try and tell us about their experience. (And speaking of the word ‘geek,’ is anyone familiar with how the word went from referring to someone who bit the heads off of chickens at the carnival, to referring to someone who loves something much more than your average jane? If so, fill me in!)
I will be the knowing guide, carefully teaching these nerd virgins about the ways of the force. The first two guinea pigs who will be trying this out will be my wife Emily, and my best friend Brian.
Fortunately, this journey into nerd culture will be pretty a easy one. The divide between nerd culture and popular culture simply isn’t as clear as it once was. The list of the highest grossing films of all time is mostly filled with sci-fi, boy wizards, and superheroes. Lost is a widespread phenomenon. Jocks loved The Dark Knight just as much as anyone else. So, for Emily and Brian both (as well as anyone else who ends up writing for this series), they are already familiar with plenty of things that fall under the category of nerdom.
I think the primary difference between nerds and non-nerds is passion, attention to detail, and a vast knowledge of meaningless trivia which only helps us have fun conversations with other nerds. We are the ones mentioning where Chris Nolan borrowed from Frank Miller and Jeph Loeb. We are the ones rolling our eyes when someone asks if we have seen the “new trailer,” which we have not only seen, but have seen 13 times two months prior. We are the ones who can talk for hours about the smallest narrative minutia, and we love every minute of it.
That is why I will be the guide. I love film, books, comics, video games, and all that other shit enough that I would love to spend the rest of my life writing about it and showing other people how awesome it all is.
In case this blog so far hasn’t convinced you that I am a qualified nerd, let me give a bit of a resumé. I am certainly not king of the nerds, or anything like that. Yet, I think I can more than hold my own, certainly enough to fulfill my role for these posts. I own not one, but two different Lost t-shirts. I am currently in the midst of my second playthrough of Mass Effect II. At the moment, I have 19 graphic novels out from the library. I have spent a good portion of my life waiting on lines at movie theaters to see a movie opening night. I own Batman action figures that I purchased in my 20’s. There is an entire shelf in my house taken up by my comic books (it’s just above the shelf taken up entirely by my baseball cards). If that is not enough, feel free to email me and I can provide more proof, as well as plenty of references.
As far as our two writers are concerned, they are really just quasi-virgins. They are the teenage youth group, or Christian college, “everything but all the way,” type virgins. This won’t entirely be their first time, but it will the first time they have gone quite this far.
Brian already loves nerd culture much more than he realizes, he loved Kick-Ass, he is looking forward to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (which is basically a feature length homage to nerdy awesomeness), he loves Wes Anderson (hipster nerds are still nerds), he enjoys the zombie genre, and he once whispered when he fell asleep on the couch that he would give anything to become Hank Pym, so he could spend the rest of his days on missions with The Avengers. Okay, so that last one isn’t true, but I still argue that for Brian this is more of an intervention to allow him to embrace his inner nerd than a true introduction to nerdom. Either way, I am honored to be a part of it. So far we have discussed him reading and/or watching Harry Potter, and watching Lost. Although, I am sure some comic books and video games will be included as well.
Emily is basically just interested in doing this to see what all my ranting and raving is about. What gets me so excited about all this stuff anyway? She will soon find out, for better or worse. She is going to start with comics and go from there.
So, anyway, I know I am going to enjoy this ride, wherever it takes us. Here’s to hoping you do too!