Monday, June 22, 2009

The New Nerd

"It did the best a musical has ever done at the box office, I know," I said about Mama Mia!, "but I don't know why they'd put it up against The Dark Knight."
"Brandon," my mom admonished, "not everyone wants to see a Batman movie."
"Well, It's made over a billion dollars, so, yes, they do."
Congratulations, Reader: you are a nerd (you're reading my blog, after all). You, friend, boosted Batman to the top spot. You are making video games an industry to rival film and television. You, yes you, made sure Star Trek opened at the top of the box office. Scientifically, Star Trek is to box office as matter is to anti-matter. This stuff is for everyone, and everyone wants it now.
Notwithstanding my prior comments on the proliferation of nerdom, I'm pretty happy about the way things are right now. I'm a lifelong Batman fan, so even though the comics suck right now, I've been getting a lot of other media to keep me elated. Be sure, I have the collector's edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum pre-ordered. I have been Hitleresque in my nerdiness. Society has proven a capable David Lloyd.
The benefits aren't just mine, though. I have no love for Transformers or G.I. Joe, but they're both stepping out this summer. I have a great love for Terminator, and my dad and I finally got our movie focusing on the war with the machines. With that and Star Trek, it's been a sexy summer, and the bikini of pop culture is revealing, flattering and one size fits all.
Even the cool kids. My dork brethren, you have been trading blows with me about the Star Wars Prequels for a decade now. You're established. It's everyone else who just showed up to the party, and we need to welcome them, putting aside past abuses and usurpations. The new nerd is the Halo fanboy, who is also on the football team. He mixes this up with some Gears of War, but XBox exclusives, either way. Christian Bale is dreamy, Heath Ledger was riveting, and the sorority sister has recognized the allure.
This isn't a one-way cultural diffusion. Indeed, none are. Those "regular" people we supposed to have existed are invited to Comicon this year. "Hope to see you there!" Edward Cullen smiles his fangy grin. New Moon is making its debut at the Seder of nerdism. Twilight is appearing with the spandex-clad and gun-toting heroes of our extended adolescence. Of course "normal" people are coming into "our" culture. We've invited them. They're the cool kids (check out Rayne Summers of Least I Could Do. We're all the cool kids.
Which is good. Twilight, not so much, but what these trends represent is. It's not just that nerds are now more accepted. That's becoming old news. What's exciting is now, we are going to pick up new habits, pass times and fandoms. Me, I work out, and have become something of an athlete. I've even watched a couple of football games in the past few years. I'm reading different books, seeing different films. It was in my supposed nerdy differentness I got engrossed in a lot of the same. This culture is growing, and we need to be inclusive. Except for, you know, the kids who wear cosplay items in public. Everyone else is in.

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