Screech from saved by the Bell, Mandork from Dexter Laboratory and Urkel from Family Matters. Nerds! We all know what they look like; box square glasses, acne infested skin, pants hoisted so high up they look like their entire torsos melted away. We might have been nerds ourselves, still to this day; buried deep down at the bottom of our closet we might hide a star trek box set with special Klingon commentary. We might still be one, might even have dated one – ha yeah right nerds dating, as if! You would say that’s the day when pigs fly and hell freezes over, well it’s 2014 and guess what? Pigs are collecting frequent flyer miles left and right centre and hell has now over taken the Swiss Alps as the most frequented ski resort, because nerds taking over!
But what happened? Last time I checked it was only 2006 and when a one hit wonder by the name of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s released a song named “White and Nerdy” that poked fun at nerd kind, mocking their obsession with Dungeons and Dragon, going to Renaissance fairs and playing ten pin bowling. It was funny because it was true! Because back in the day, the only place you would see nerds is when they were hunched over a computer screen playing Atari, after a well earned break from an intense rigorous session of Dungeons and Dragon. In between synchronized sob breaks as they contemplate a school life time of virginity, failure with woman and constantly being picked on by the popular kids. But then forward to the year 2014 and nerds are some of the richest in the world, most celebrated comic talents on TV and when you go into the high street now all the so called cool kids adorn “Geek” or “Nerd” on their T-shirts, as if it is no longer a cry to get your ass handed to you, but instead a fashion statement – Yes I did use the word and fashion and nerd in the same sentence, but no this is not an episode of the Twilight Zone. (How did I know what the Twilight Zone is? I think I’m turning into a Nerd)
The critical turning point that sent humanity into downward spiral into madness can be traced back to 2007 in a Harvard dorm room occupied by a certain nerd called Mark Zucklberg (who will go to become the supreme overload of all nerd kind). Alone in his room his nerd sense got a tingling and suddenly the gods of all nerd kind bestowed upon him a holiest of holy grails. Inside of it was the flame of Olympia, which would turn Mark Zucklberg into a John Connors of the nerd revolution and this gift – Facebook. But it wasn’t the invention of Facebook that was the game changer; it was the fact that Facebook made Zucklberg a dirty stinking billionaire. Sure there had been much richer internet billionaires before, in particular Larry Bird and Sergey Brin the creators of Google and Jeff Bezos at Amazon. But this was the first time a nerd got rich from a website that was actually not just cool, but at the very epicentre of all that was cool. No longer were nerds associated as life time occupants of their mother basemens, while they work part time in dilapidated video stores. Now nerds were seen as pasty dudes plastered in sun screen on order by their mothers, to protect them against the Monte Carlo sun as they sail their $30million yacht; equipped with a custom built arcade, a room devoted to 1000’s of Manga costumes and vault filled with special first edition of the Flash comic books. Okay they were still nerds, but now they were uber rich billionaire nerds, making the cool kids idols of Justin Timberlake and Britteny Spears with their merger earnings of 20 million a year to pale in comparison.
The next seismic shift in nerd perception came in the year 2011, when no longer were computers at home or lunged around as laptops. Soon enough every pocket, handbag and backpack had its own computer in it, but it didn’t stay there for long because every three or four seconds it was constantly taken out to surf the internet, use social media or to take selfies with. Computers in all their various forms have surpassed the role of convenience and delved into the waters of necessity along side, actual water. If you don’t have an Ipad, Iphone or Kindle; you might as well be riding a penny farthing, using leeches as an actual form of medicine and start believing that cameras can take your soul, because you my friend are living in the past. Computers and technology were once at the very core of what it was to be a nerd, but now computer are the beating heart of all that is humanity, eventually meaning by 2011 everyone technically speaking became a nerd.
So you can see that in the space of 3 years nerdom went from being a curses and signal for ridicule, to becoming the norm. But then the year struck 2013 and it became more than just the norm, it became cool and a source of pride thanks to 4 comic book loving, Halo marathon playing and equation writing nerds. Forget Mandork and Screech because nerd kind everywhere had found itself new champions! No longer shunned by the American public and regulated to mere background or made the butt end of jokes, now instead they have been thrust head first into the lime light of the media and become our modern day heroes. Have you ever heard the legend of; Leonard “The lucky to get Penny” and Sheldon“The Annoying”, Howard “The weird sex pest who lives with his mother” and Raj “whose best pick up line is……” If you live on planet earth and are in fact a human being, there is a pretty solid chance you’ve heard of the Big bang theory, and if you haven’t than with an average of 23 million views per episode something tells me that you’re lying. The show was an instant hit; the characters were sweet, lovable and intelligent. There wasn’t a fart, boob or penis joke anywhere near this show, instead you’re more likely to witness yourself having a laughter induced heart attacking as you watch miscellany of witty and quirky jokes derived from so many varied sources. Where else can you get show with jokes about Time Travel, X box and Star Trek all in the same episode!? That was also what was so great about Big Bang Theory, the central characters were nerds but they loved it and instead of self loathing they embraced it for all its dysfunction and little pleasures. I felt it was their willingness to accept themselves no matter what, that made the show and the characters so endearing, helping people realise that nerds were pretty cool people after all.
What’s next for nerd kind? World domination and Space Invader style destruction. Let me set the scene for you. It’s the year 2025; gym class no longer consists of dodge ball or track, instead it is now a heart pounding, sweat drenched, fake blood filled game of LARP. All gyms and tanning salons have been replaced by Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh card trading centres. There is no more Tom Cruz and Brad Pitt; instead the names on every new movie poster are now of Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg. Then in year 2035, every morning every human being on the planet has to do the Green Lantern oath in front of a Pac Man flag. Whilst at the same time an android copy of Princess Leia and Mario becomes supreme overloads of the planet and forces us tall all to watch Napoleon Dynamite on a continues loop. You have been warned!