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Chuck Fodder

What Is A Nerd?

I recently received and angry and controversial comment about my Think Tank article. Here is the comment I received.

I hope you weren't paid for writing this blog, or possibly any other blogs. The way you "nerds" have embraced your nerdom in recent years disgusts me. There's going to be a breakaway eventually, because those of us who manage to find ourselves under the nerd/geek umbrella quite naturally, just going about doing what we love to do, are being overrun by guys like yourself who strive for the cover of the nerd/geek umbrella, for no reason other than image. I hope this show, Chuck, gets canceled and maybe the Lost team could get together and do a real show about nerds/geeks. Though whatever for anyways. If anything, Chuck tells me that my assumption that more and more nerds/geeks seek out this label than actually naturally finds themselves classified such. So yer all bleeping with my identity, and if you would please stop I'd go back to doing what I do as the vocation I chose and not the fashion statement it has become.


Carlos wasn't kind enough to use the word "bleeping" in his comment. As hateful and misguided as his comment was, it caused me to question my nerd identity, or even if I was technically part of the Homo Nerdness movement. Here is the definition of nerd in Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

Nerd: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits.

This is the definition of a geek from the same publication.

Geek: 1. a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken of snake.

2. a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked.

3. an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity.

I could not disagree more with the above definitions. Are all nerds unattractive? Are all nerd intellectual? The dictionary definition of a nerd is a stereotypical reflection of contemporary culture. Carlos is correct in claiming that "Chuck" provides a stereotypical and sometimes exaggerated viewpoint of the nerd lifestyle. However, most television is filled to the brim with stereotypes and assumptions. Do some gang bangers get offended when they watch HBO's "The Wire"? Sure they do. Are some Muslims offended because they are constantly being portrayed as terrorists on shows like "24"? And even a would be superhero might get offended when watching "Heroes". The point is, if you don't like it change the channel. Fiction television has to cater to a wide audience for financial reasons and most of us view other cultural groups by stereotype. I am not condoning this practice, but that is a fact.

The creators of "Chuck" have no moral obligation to tell an unbiased truth. This is fiction television, not a documentary or news program. I will admit that "Chuck" gives nerds a bad name when someone out there can give an acceptable definition of what a nerd is. Right now all we have are several different interpretations and points of view. Some individuals consider themselves nerds and some don't. Everyone has the right to label themselves as they please. That is the greatness of the free world, and that unfortunately, is often forgotten by Carlos and others in today's society.

Posted by Ozzy on November 26, 2007 2:58 PM
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