Much of my life has been an ongoing, tumultuous battle in which I’ve sought to exorcise my inner nerd.
Battling valiantly to prove and boldly display my un-nerdiness, to flaunt my amazing coolness in the hopes its mammoth nature would overshadow the slightest iota or trace of nerdiness in my soul.
I did all I could.
I raped, I pillaged, I fought, I conquered, I smoked, I drank, I scratched my balls in front of strangers. All with the ostensible aim to convince the global anti-nerd community that I, in fact, was anything but a nerd.
But sometimes, as they say, it is what the hell it is.
You are a nerd. Deal.
It is not the worst fate.
And if you can accept a life of mutually shared disgust with the cool crowd you once thought you were a part of, if you can accept a life of mentally imprisoned isolation as you whittle away the hours indulging in whatever little pathetic mind or dexterity exercise you happen to be fond of, then you are home free.
I fought it. I somehow deluded myself into believing that I was cool and hip. When I actually cared about being hip and being cool.
Well. I don’t care now. I can’t begin to convey the sense of liberation I experienced as I slowly shed the “cool” affectation and finally accepted that which I was, and in fact, learned to embrace it while discovering a sense of strength and power in this new essence. Power and pride, that’s right.
Nerd Pride. Nerd Power.
Whatever, I’m a big fucking nerd, always have been.
I’m a brown nerd. I’m a big time Mexi-nerd, ese vato.
That’s right you bastards, nerds come in brown too and sometimes they have crappy looking facial whiskers and broad-ass mestizo features.
Ha, what a tremendously messed up blog name that would be. But oh so perfunctorily cool in its own self-loathing way.
So my nerdiness…it has suffused my very soul since I was a young child.
I was plagued by that typical nerdy aloofness, that nerdy sense of intellectual impropriety. That Goddamn brainy brawn which cannot be contained, the kind of cranial overload that will eventually trip your mental wires and escape out your mouth in a wave of awkward and clueless blathering which no one in the world (of normal or lesser intelligence) can possibly identify with.
Nerdiness is bandied about and there are so many on-the-fly definitions, I don’t know what the hell a nerd is anymore. Seems there are distinctions to be made. You have the nerd, the geek, the dork, the dweeb. But the nerd is the prototypical classification and standard model, in my mind, of the socially inept miscreant who is nevertheless endowed with a tremendous intellect which alienates him from most people. The nerd’s predicament is the grand circular chicken or egg quandary.
Is the nerd’s intellect the basis of his social dysfunction?
Or is the social dysfunction a precursor to his keen mind which he was forced to sharpen in the absence of a redeeming social life?
You know something. Does it matter?
A nerd is a stain upon mankind and sadly I’ve come to realize I am part of that stain, that big brown shit-colored stain.
I’m the 7-year-old kid who, sitting in a room with a bunch of cool teenagers, suddenly piped in, when the conversation steered me onto this imbecilic course, that “bees and wasps are frequently attracted to bright yellow colors” and sat smugly as the room fell silent for wont of anything befitting a response, cool or not. The teenaged conversation continued as if this minor transgression on the little kid’s part was nothing but a disturbing gnat on the surface of the big ass of coolness they were molding. That’s me, the nerd, sticking my foot in it at ever opportunity. Always piping in my awful 2 cents, wanting to be heard; which for the most part is pretty anonymously harmless, that is, until the age of bloggery. Now my nerdiness has the opportunity to be displayed in all its blubbering and conspicuous glory to the global audience. Well, you know, theoretically.
But what I wanted to talk about, briefly, was the concept of nerd humor.
This is what drove the point home. Nerd humor is why I know I’m a nerd. It seems I share the same jolly, humorously disengaged frivolity that other nerds amuse at when an object of mutually approved comic nature arises.
There is a nerdish sense of humor I’ve learned that only nerds can appreciate. You’ll frequently spot a group of 2 or more nerds laughing self-consciously and too loudly at a joke they just traded which tickles only their fancy. Not yours, not anyone else’s. Nerds have those really atrocious laughs, as well; it sounds like a breathless but vocally bloated unsocialized yelp which cuts like a goat’s bleat.
Nerd humor is…special.
It is a different brand of humor and I frequently find myself laughing alone with the only other nerd in the room.
Nerd humor is quite unlike the emotionally and socially elevated humor most find entertaining. Common humor is born of cultural dissonances which permeate society. This common sort of humor derives its comic quality from the commonly perceived interactions which the majority of people can relate to and experience first hand and which speak directly to inner flashes of recognition on the part of the listener. For that is humor…recognition. The discovery that the joke speaks of a historical exchange within the social history which has taken place within the murky pool of one’s mind. This humor may be linear and reside at a relatively superficial layer in the stratification of comprehension required to “get” it. Most popular comedians indulge in this obvious humor, and in some cases, the extreme superficiality only signifies that the comic’s jokes are but lazy trite jabs at that which the audience can recognize in the sleepy and dusky mental fogginess of its pop culture indoctrination. .
Nerd humor is twisted; not in the common sense of the word, but “twisted” as in unemotionally stringent manner which is only lightened by a self-contained sense of flippancy. Nerd humor is frequently centered around material objects and mechanical concepts which elude humanistic nuance. Nerd humor presupposes a grand sense of holistic understanding of the joke’s esoteric context before the punch line is delivered, a context which only a nerdish-minded person can find the least bit amusing. Or worthy of note. See, this is where nerd humor crumbles for most people…the presupposition which fuels the joke requires intensive innate awareness and ingenuity which will bore most people who will view it as pointless or stupid. Thus unequipped, they lack the desire to build the foundation upon which the joke must rest. So if you have difficulty arousing even amusement from the pre-punch line situational hypothesis, the nerd joke will fall flat.
When George Lopez jokes about the popularized ostensible traits of a Mexican family, it is rather easy for the listener to manufacture the commonly perceived racial reality they have acquired through the medium of pop culture in order to make the joke work. Little mental effort is expended as the jokes have minimal layers of obtuseness between the presupposition and the punch line.
When Mitch Hedberg, one of my favorite “nerd-oriented” comics, talks about Bigfoot being blurry (really being blurry) as the reason for all the blurrry photos, the presupposition requires extra mental gymnastics many aren’t prepared to engage in. Nerd humor essentially assumes that you have already absorbed the underlying sense of irony ingrained in our existence and that the jokes will require little work on your part in order to arrive at the presupposed irony.