philosophy

An N word

12:11:00 PMConstrux Nunchux

Bullies, you need to begin targeting nerds again. In the past decade, we've seen a decline in successful and intentional nerd-bashing which is due to several factors, including diffusion of target demographics, with splinter groups such as the sexually ambiguous, the comically corpulent and the perpetually apprehensive growing in numbers, or at least in recognition. Another major factor has been the acceptance, or at least perceived acceptance of nerd culture as mainstream culture, which is probably the largest as well as the most offensive component of the nerd movement. As a bully, a clear definition and plan of attack may become a difficult gray area to comprehend and compose, especially for someone so mentally impaired as to rely on reactionary brutality as a primary implement for persuasion, so the following discussion is aimed at clarifying what a nerd exactly is, why it isn't cool to be a nerd, and why nerds, as defined below, should be pummelled with out question or guilt.

Nerd culture is undoubtedly a global phenomenon, but seems to me, perhaps as a result of my geographic, technological and logical limitations, to be punctuated by a caucasian suburban culture. Those with few problems, paradoxically as a result of an abundance of money (rather access to an abundance of money without any of the responsibilities--bank accounts sans accountability)and therefore lacking the need to develop a true philosophy and relying simply on easily and widely accessible pop culture without forming a true identity. More simply and clearly stated, a nerd comes from a culture where the devaluation of stance, be it political or environmental/social, has left a vacuum filled by was until recent years considered disposable entertainments. This culture developed largely in the suburbs and is still comprised largely of white, neo-liberals devoid of devotion to anything other than what reminds them of their own idyllic childhoods, focused on that to the point of obsession. I'm no socialogical theorist and I don't deal in numbers as their manipulation renders their implementation pointless. So, while this demarcation may seem drastic and over-analytical, nerds themselves provide the evidence by advocacy of their particular and by defining, even comically, what one is, the implicit acknowledgement of what one chooses not to be is made. A willful disengagement through dismissal, mockery and adaptation occurs wherein one is not culpable for one's own opinions and the opinions one embraces are selected as to be unassailable on the basis that the uninitiated don't understand.

Nerds are not the ostricized, maligned minority of outcasts who desire, deserve and pursue their own redemption that formulaic popular media. Nerds are the result of privileged youths with vague differences of opinion and few responsibilities as well as a generally hostile society (hostility pointed in every direction) that inflate these characteristics to riotously self-righteous proportions, truly a modern product. Nerds embody exclusivity and elitism, avoiding and rejecting common practices as beneath them instead of developing physically or mentally and maturing spiritually or emotionally in order to handle the fact that the world is mobile and rapid and as a direct result of the constantly changing and coflicting subjective truths, frictional.
I'd say nerds are worse than hipsters, but here we encounter difficulty. Through the contemporary adoption and posturing by hipsters (and normal people) of the phrase and terminology, an elusive, evasive, frustrating definition has formed. The idea of nerdiness as an ironic or even proud character trait has mitigated the offense the term carries, perhaps the first time successfully that a slur has been fully reclaimed as a seemingly positive attribution. Both nerds and hipsters (still, thankfully a dirty word) pick waveringly and without discipline from a world rife with culture and roots the most transient and bland aspects, ones that purport the most familiarity, ones that require the least imagination and principled firmness--readymade worlds of escapism are fast held as substitutes and keen social comment. Where the two groups differ is whereas the hipster (still a dirty creature) aims to dismantle meaning from the grave and sincere, nerds imbue the pointless and disposable with a sense of heroic grandeur.

A nerd is no longer one who possesses a wealth of intelligence and no atheletic skills, as has been a common misconception for decades prior. A Nerd replaces true knowledge with mere trivia. The importance has been shifted to facts, formless, insubstantial packets of useless information. And the world in all its clamoring rapidity embraces the expedience of facts without research. This has made it easy for nerds to reduce the overwhelming intagible greatness of life and the weight of seemingly endless possibility into finite compartments of finely filed dead ends, plausibility and probability. The world as a whole with all its superiority to an individual is too much for these weak-minded individuals, so they continue to protect themselves with self-referential and self-aggrandizing (even while often simultaneously self-effacing) systems of information. Ideas become artificial and superficial for fear of revealing too much about one's inner monologue and being reviled. Nerds are so focused on validating themselves through prefabricated knowledge of cultural by-products for so long that they become convinced their interests speak innately to universal human experience, creating ad hoc arguments for their cause.

So, a smart person is not automatically a nerd, and a nerd no longer needs to be genuinely smart, or even physically inept. The difference is that a nerd is a useless member of society, concerned primarily, or solely, with establishment and protection of a singular ego through imaginary, and therefore it's assumed unassailable, means. The knowledge that a smart person pursues may be repurposed for the expansion of that initial education for public benefit. In essence, while a nerd and a smart person may study in the same field, the intention of the study is really the defining factor. Is it being studied only to be memorized and flaunted by rote in a demonstration of feigned intelligence or is it actually an attempt at cultural betterment or investigation of the human condition? Does a given presentation of this information center on or include long overtures of nonsensical jargon which requires copius background information? Is this necessary background provided within the context? I'm neither a nerd nor a smart person, so, like a substantial (though quickly diminishing) portion of the population, I'm exempt for this categorization.

It pains me to see otherwise sensible people, be they smart or not, refer to themselves as nerds. In the modern age where clear definitions are regarded as archaic restrictions, the word becomes confused, conflated or merely inflated with an idea of passion or devotion. Even fleetingly, or singularly, the word can be used in reference to a specific aspect of an individuals interests or activites. But a nerd quite assuredly has no passion for any subject or object. A nerd proceeds through life feeding off of others' work, attaching to it like lampreys, and building an insulated, isolated sub-or-super-terranean individual metaverse wherein each reigns supreme. These are the lookers, not the leapers, to borrow shamelessly from the cliched world, too nervous and self-important to ever immerse themselves head first into the cold, confusing world, knowing they'll be bruised. So be passionate, be devoted, be exciteable, and even geek out about anything the world has to offer, but not at the exclusion of reason and connectivity, which is what a nerd does. The word is as bad as any other slanderous tag. Nerd was created as an indictment of impotence (in all senses) and so to reclaim the word means nothing while maintaining the purposeless persona. Don't change how you perceive the word or what it means to you, but change who you are. When normal people call themselves nerds, it sends a mixed message that it might in fact be okay to use the world and all the beauty and quirk it has to offer for separatist, elitist and solely selfish gains. As an example, for myself, words and language intensely interest me, but I would never call myself a word nerd (even though it rhymes), I would simply say, "Words interest me. Thanks."

Nerds are not a pitiable, prospectless minority. Nerds, in fact, hold a number of the highest paying jobs and determine who under them is qualified to join their ranks, choosing in all but the most indefensible cases, other nerds. what at one point existed as a sneering subculture designed to console those in self-exile has grown, sneakily under the guise of downtrodden benignity lacking in dignity, in to a method to oppress those incorrectly identified as persecutory simply for living their lives. useless members of society, contributing nothing, existing simply to absorb and critique, to leech from active participants, embracing only a solipsistic image, defending a hyperactive ego, and justifying an ineffectual existence. Nerds are the ultimate haters, resisting and refusing, with a false sense of superiority born out of a perceived larger social neglect--itself being nothing more than laziness, self-absorption, amplified by self-pity--an inherent responsibility to their environment. If this preceding is not enough to cinvince anyone, if the subversion and subjegation has permeated too too far, then I understand there's little else to be done, however, anyone calling me a nerd within earshot will be summarily and expediently dispatched.

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