Entertainment, Humor

An Open Letter to America: Stop Trying to Make Nerds Cool

18 Jan , 2013  

There’s never been a better time to be a dweeb in this country. There’s no point arguing this issue anymore. The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular sitcoms on television. Later this month, TBS is premiering a reality show called King of the Nerds where a group of slide rule toting protagonists compete to see who’s the most awkward. Bill Nye is worshipped as a minor deity in certain internet circles. The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and a Spiderman franchise reboot all came out in the same summer.  According to Box Office Mojo, they earned a combined trillion and a half dollars. Hell, even the appeal of organic food is science based.


“omg, I’m such a nerd” she says to herself, alone in her bedroom.


And the thing is I get why you did it America; I understand. It makes a whole lot of sense to idolize nerds right now. By the time you finish this sentence, a new Apple product will have been released (and subsequently have become obsolete). With technology advancing exponentially….oh God, I’m starting to sound like them…. I mean, faster and faster and faster, it makes sense to emulate the people who create it: Nerds.

Early iPod

Inforgraphic showing ten seconds in the life of the iPod.


I could talk for hours, maybe days about all of the reasons we shouldn’t try to be like nerds. They’re bad at sports, they struggle with social norms and find it difficult to relate to people, they make more money than me, they have asthma, they produce inordinate amounts of saliva- they’re just not good role models for children.

Rosa Arteaga & Lance Armstrong

You should tell your kids to look up to someone who is athletic and succesful!


But the real reason that we shouldn’t try and be like nerds, is that it’s not fair to them.  Let’s face it, this is a fad. We’re totally faking it. Don’t think so? They didn’t think leg warmers were a fad either. They thought they were boss. They used the word “boss” in that context completely without irony. It was the 80’s; that shit made perfect sense.  Everything that is later stupid seems like it will be popular forever at the time. Except for Soulja Boy. He wasn’t fooling anyone.

watch me do

He’s wearing it ironically


Go out into whatever city you call home and go to the most hipster bar you can find. You’re probably already there, reading this on an iPad mini, you cretin. Do you see a lot of thick, “ironic” Buddy Holly glasses delicately resting on the noses of all those anthropomorphized trust funds and liberal arts degrees? Now count how many of those people would still be considered nerds if you removed that single piece of affectation. Not very many, are there? Even worse, some of these people are probably the tall, muscular, traditionally good looking people who once stuffed geeks into lockers and toilets. They’ve now pulled the adult version of a swirly, by hijacking nerd-style now that it’s popular.

White Toilet Bowl in Malaysia

Welcome home, Nerd.


It’s like that episode of Doug where everyone starts dressing in a green sweater vest and khaki shorts because some guy on TV did it. Doug, very rightfully, says “what the hell”, but one else seems to realize the irony of the situation. By pretending to be a nerd when you’re not,  you are everything wrong with this country. You are Roger Klotz.

The Banker

I bet this guy would react the same way Doug would if everyone started dressing like him.


Let’s go back to The Big Bang Theory, a show that claims to be sympathetic to nerdism and its followers. Watch that show for 10 minutes, and you’ll notice that the smart people depicted are the butt of every single joke- even worse, they’re the butt of every joke because of how smart they are. Not traditionally masculine, asthmatic, troubles romantically, all of that crap I jokingly listed above- that’s the basis for all of the humor on that show. These smart people have nothing to teach us. They just suck at some stuff, then occasionally spout technical gobbledygook to remind us that, oh right, I guess they’re geniuses. By the way, that gobbledygook is the physical basis for the universe, and it’s said in a way that’s designed to be so incomprehensible that we just ignore it. That’s not particularly appreciative of geekiness, is it?

Space Elevator GEO Station

Shown above: Gobbledygook


We’re only teasing nerds with the prospect of true acceptance. Pretty soon, the beautiful and charismatic will decide that they’re bored, move in the opposite direction, and everything will be good again. We’ll have an era of athleticism, height, anti-intellectualism, a Cold War with China, and nerds will be right back where they started, making nuclear reactors out of junkyard microwaves and playing one person games of Dungeons and Dragons. The best thing we can do for these poor, inferior creatures is to start heading toward that end now. Put them out of their misery. It’s for their own good, really.




Totally not a nerd.

, , , ,

Paul Alexander By
Paul has a full beard and wears your grandfather's shirts. And no matter how much he would enjoy it, no one will ever mistake him for Paul Newman. He's dead. Follow him on twitter @PaulAlexander90