Okay, am I a nerd?

The author as Chewbecca... I'm behind Pac Man.Yesterday, the writer Becky Flade mentioned me in a blog post on her site.

The post was called “The Blog that Wasn’t” (which you can find here) and she said this about me and my site:

“When I need a nerd fix, Scott’s my man.”

Nerd?

Nerd!?!

Now, I’ve considered myself many things in my life; but never “nerd.”

Yes, I would say I’m a snob. I can get behind “snob.” I have all the earmarks of a snob! I could have it tattooed on me without a problem. It could be on my arm near where my sweater vest ends (yes, I am wearing a sweater vest), or even above my reading glasses, right on my forehead. Let me give you some examples of my snobbery:

  • I have in my dining room pictures of some of my favorite authors, and many times I have used them as a test for visitors. If, for example, you call Mark Twain “Einstein” well, you might not be invited over again.
  • I have been known to tease my friends who praise Twilight on their Facebook pages. (And they should be teased, especially if they are an adult.)
  • I write novels (while adventurous and surprising) that contain art, music, and literature references.
  • On my desk I have a Shakespeare action figure and an autograph of Woody Allen.
  • Oh, did I mention I have a master’s degree?

You see, I sing snob!

But nerd?

Growing up it was never hard to pinpoint what makes a nerd. We had the film Revenge of the Nerds for that. Now while I could never consider myself very athletic, I also wasn’t Arnold Poindexter. I never had a pocket protector, but I was an introvert; usually choosing a book over interaction with others. For example, when I was reading too much, my mom would sometimes send me out of the house to visit a friend; but many times I would bike over to the park, find a tree or park bench, and continue to read that very book. And when I did this, let me note, my shirt was not all the way buttoned to the top.

Yeah, I was not a jock, nor wanted to be one. I only attempted once to take part in sports in school. It was track and I made the “misfortune” of choosing hurdles. Once I scrapped up my knee doing it, I was done. No letter was worth that! And while I had no problem walking away, I know my dad (triathlete and all-around jock) died a little inside that day.

The funny thing is that the stuff that people consider “nerdy” today I fell into, not choosing to follow the fads like everyone else… and I might have written about some of them already on my site. (Okay, a lot.)

  • Star Wars? I grew up on it. And while I disliked the prequels, I am excited about the new upcoming films.
  • Star Trek? I saw and owned the movies, but I didn’t watch all of the shows on TV. I loved Deep Space Nine and Next Generation, but Voyager I thought was silly. (Seriously, how did they keep bumping into the same people if they were speedily flying towards home?)
  • Lord of the Rings? I adore the films, but I grew up with Tolkien’s Middle Earth, reading the books almost yearly. I knew hobbits when they only could exist in my mind, as compared to in Lego.
  • Sherlock Holmes? Again, I found this series as a reader, now the dude is everywhere.
  • Game of Thrones? Recommended by a friend to read, but I would never consider myself a super fan. I’m more intrigued to see where Martin is going and if he can pull it off. Right now, honestly, I am skeptical. (Let’s be honest, the last two books were pretty weak.)
  • Science Fiction? My favorite stories of Ray Bradbury were not the space ones. Dandelion Wine is a masterpiece. (His sequel to it is an embarrassment.)
  • Superheroes? Well, that is more tricky and I blame a pediatrician.

I found superheroes around the same time I became a dad. My son was about one or so and his doctor recommended we find something for him to sleep with, claiming it would help him get through an entire evening. He told us as well to not choose a plush toy, try to find a solid action figure.

Well, when I took my son to the store, he immediately latched on to a Spider-Man and an obsession for him began. When he was able to talk many of his questions were around superheroes. I knew some of it thanks to movies growing up (Christopher Reeves as Superman for example), but I was never a collector save during that summer when Batman (with Michael Keaton) came out. But all of my friends were doing it! And I buckled under the peer pressure; then later selling all of those comics on ebay.

I have a friend who is a diehard collector and I have been known to reach out to him for answers to my son’s questions, but suddenly I found that they began to inspire my own questions.

Green Lantern Hero's QuestNow, I still don’t collect comic books, but I do have my own quirks around them. For example, I love Graphic Audio’s audiobook productions (you can read a post I wrote on them here with recommendations; seriously check them out)… Yet, I do have Superman socks (a Christmas present from my kids), and one or two shirts, but they are mainly only to be worn on the weekend.

Superman has become my favorite superhero. There is a wonderful loneliness quality to the character that I find intriguing. In some way, it is the dark version of Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey (you see, another snob reference), since he is so alone and will always be alone. And while I think it would be fun to write a screenplay around Captain Marvel (I wrote about that here), there is something really inspiring to me around Clark Kent.

What do I mean? Well, consider this question- Is he Superman pretending to be Clark Kent or is he Clark Kent pretending to be Superman?

I love that!

And you can see that question play out in the hundreds of different interpretations of the character. (Truthfully, I think he is somewhere between the two, again a lost soul finding his way.)

So while, I am a a fan of that character and some of his DC friends, I couldn’t tell you what the Speed Force is that The Flash uses, why the Green Lantern has issues with wood, and exactly why Bruce Wayne never had a therapist growing up (Alfred dropped the ball on that one).

(Oh, and also, I now have Superman checkbooks, but I had no choice really. My wife and I both had checks that were the exact same and it made life a little confusing. So I had to get a different style to make it easier. And the bank happened to have Superman checks. That is all. No biggie. You don’t need to look into that at all. Superman checks. Yup.)

When a person points to nerds today, they turn to The Big Bang Theory. It’s a weird show in some way, not certain exactly if we are laughing at the smart members of our society and mocking them (making us the jocks in the Revenge of the Nerds) or if we are rooting for them. See, I can’t really say. It seems to change from episode to episode.

Whatever the case, I can’t consider myself part of their fold. Honestly, I’m not that smart. I have very little logic residing in my brain, and if I didn’t make lists I would get lost or forget most things.

So wait! Should I be aspiring to be a nerd?

Argh!

Things were so much clearer in the 1980’s.

Alright, maybe I am a nerd…

If you liked reading this post, why not check out one of my books? I’ve had three novels published in the last few years, A Jane Austen Daydream, My Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my amazon.com author page here, or as an eBook on Google eBooks here.  Thanks for reading!…

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40 responses

  1. Okay, so I MAY have a Shakespeare bobblehead on my desk, and an artist mashup of Disney Princesses with a Tardis on the wall in my house (and yeah, I also snicker at the adult love of Twilight)…and I just might be having a bunch of girls over the house on Saturday for a “Star” themed party (star as in all things space themed, not celebrities)…

    I guess that makes me a nerd, too?

  2. I pegged you for a nerd, as soon as you said “sweater vest”. Nothing wrong with that, I have suspenders and I’m a girl. Oh, I had a sweater vest at one time, but my son stole it from me and never gave it back. I considered myself a Judy, but without the glasses.

  3. anyone with an Shakespeare action figure is a nerd. (having worn the moniker since literally my 1st day of kindergarten, I’m in the position of knowing) But take heart, looking back on the fossil records of all life on earth, it is not so much survival of the fittest as It is revenge of the Nerds.

  4. I guess having, unintentionally, started this, it’s only right that I make my own true nerd confession, eh? I geeked out so hard when I saw the preview for the new Superman movie during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises [Christopher Nolan helming a darker more tragic Superman with Kevin Costner playing the doomed Jonathan Kent, come on?!?!], that I bit my tongue.

  5. This is a great post! I really love the way you found comics. While the catalyst is different for us I think the experience is similar to my own, which I am in the process of writing about for my own blog soon. I look forward to reading more of your work!

  6. If I wasn’t so sick I’d be jumping up and down, shrieking….. OMG! OMG! OMG! Somebody else thinks Dandelion Wine is Ray Bradbury’s best!!! I thought I was alone in the world. And only the nerdiest of us nerds like DC comics and superheroes of any stripe.
    However, I don’t come here for the nerdiness. I come here because you are one of the cool kids in school and I’m sort of hoping a little of your glitter will blow my way.
    I think it’s your photo. You remind me of my first boyfriend who drove a badass Harley.

      • Oh you shouldn’t be. It would add to your look. I also meant to say you nailed George R.R. I started reading the series back when the first book was released. I think…what… three or four generations have grown to adulthood since? The last two books? Thumbs down. Running in place.

      • Definitely right about running in place! Really nothing moved forward (save the Jon Snow bit at the end). You should check out a post I wrote on this site (linked to it in my post above), where I break down the good and the bad of the series.

  7. I’m not a nerd, but I am a mini-geek. My areas of Geekness are SartTrek:TNG, James Dean and Jane Austen.

    I also think people hear that I’m a librarian and just automatically assume either nerd or geek. I mean why else would we be in this profession.

    • mini-geek? That is awesome. Is it weird to say I am a bigger fan of Next Generation after they got the collars on their shirts?

      If I worked at a library I would never get anything done and I would glare at the people taking books out that I consider less than great.

      • mini-geek compared to my friends…I sent them a link to a book I thought they would like about Link (game character) and within 2 minutes I had no idea what they were talking about.

        I spend most of my time on the computer working in either working in Publisher and Excel or doing some sort of collection development. When I’m out front I’m either helping people with their e-readers or mentally questioning their reading choices.

  8. I would have to say, the little I know about you does make me suspect you are nerd. But today’s nerds are cool. Why do I consider you a fellow nerd?
    You like Dr. Who
    You have a Darth Vader vs The Black Night T-shirt -which I just bought for my son and now I am the coolest mom- his friends took a vote.
    You know the Big Bang Theory is a show
    You worry about the label nerd.
    By the way, having a masters makes you smart:)
    You are a published author -way smart
    Rock on cool smart nerd!!!

  9. Pingback: Further Proof of My Nerdom « The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

  10. Pingback: Robert, My Dog is a Nerd Too | SUSAN WINGATE

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