Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nerds Of The World

Nerds used to cower in fear whenever the local jock passes by. In other words, it was never cool to be a nerd. Especially in the 1960-70s. Just ask Steve Ditko. Or better still, read about Peter Parker. In the 1980s, we had the attack of the super-jocks. The Stallones and Ah-Nolds and Willises (howcum that last one sounded like something dirty?) ruled the box-office with their countless one-man-versus-a-whole-fucking-army movies. Then came the Van-Dammes and Lundgrens, pretenders and jesters. (OK, I will not mention Lord Steven for once so don't crucify me!)

It was cool to be tough in the 1970-80s. Cooler to be tough without brains. The decade of toughness came and went. We moved on into a world of connectivity and search engines. In the 1980s, there was only one nerd and he didn't really hit it big. He created "Tetris" but other people took it off his hands. In the 1990s, Bill Gates was god - then came all the endless law suits and monopolies. In the 2000s, we suddenly woke up in a world ruled by nerds who created Google and Facebook, wrote the best comics and made the biggest movies. Even ol' Brucie took a step back and allowed a nerd to step all over him in "Die Hard IV". Kevin Smith became the poster boy for nerdy-intelligence. Jack Black became a star. "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Superbad" became the new "Blade Runner" and "Taxi Driver", cult films for a new generation.

The nerds were no longer fighting the establishment. They BECAME the establishment. Half-assed morons became bloggers who rewrite their "Institutes Of The SIN Religion" with every new entry, analysed it and meta-defined it and then anathemize anyone who disagreed. Edward Norton became the poster-boy for nerdy "toughness" - see "The People Vs Larry Flynt", "American History X", "Fight Club" or even "Hulk". "Iron Man" became a box-office hit proving that one needn't pump iron or be a Kryptonian in order to fight crime, one simply needed to put all those nerdy-powers to work to construct a power-suit. Speaking of the old Kryptonian, Superman used to think that it was funny to pretend being a nerd (Clark Kent) since in reality, he's really Superjock. He's up for a rude awakening! It's cool being Clark Kent these days (word has it that kids are buying more Napoleon Dynamite figures manufactured by McFarlane Toys than they are Superman figures). "Jeremiah Blues" is the battleground for nerds who don't have much of a live outside of their Arkansas fantasies and fighting SIN fundamentalists (and porn, who can ever get too much porn?) Nerds are making themselves heard. Nerds who conquered the Nintendo are now writing books like "Techgnosis" and "Testament" - blurring the lines between spirituality and technology. There's a new "G.I. Joe" movie coming soon but it's quite unlikely that it'll hit the numbers that the "Transformers" movie did - speaking of which, that was another nerd movie with a nerd as the lead (Shia LeBouf), who went on to steal the thunder from Harrison Ford in "Indy IV" (even having the audacity to try on the fedora hat in the final closing scene). CGI (another nerdy invention) allowed puny shits like Keanu, the nerd from "Bill & Ted" to be an action star. Who needs real-muscles when you can have virtual-muscles?

As I write this, I'm smiling and thinking about some Pltypian dude in SIN who's really a combination of a jock-nerd (like his namesake, who probably had two creators). Fitness freak who read 2000 A.D., Brian Wood, Jonathan Hickman, Enki Bilal and Warren Ellis. Another one works for Koreans as a nerdy engineer but dreams of being a Drow in the Forgotten Realms. Me? I've never been a jock. This is my world, my wet dream (you guys are just living in it). I'm relishing every single moment and pollybagging the latest issues of "Runaways", "The Initiative" and "Thunderbolts" featuring characters that are so bound-up by "continuity" that no true-blooded nerd will ever be able to unravel (even with the aid of the nerd-reference called Wikipedia).

No comments: