Do I consider myself to be a nerd? Nerd culture has drastically changed over the years and some even consider it to be the new “IT” trend to seem popular and what not. But what the fuck is a nerd?
When I hear the word nerd I get a visual depiction of a “Steve Urkel” character. I’m talking full suspenders, high water denim jeans, collard shirt buttoned all the way up and tucked in, neatly pressed, with a pocket protector full of ball point pens. Wikipedia defines the term as “a person seen as overly intellectual, obsessive, or lacking social skills. Such a person may spend inordinate amounts of time on unpopular, little known, or non-mainstream activities, which are generally either highly technical, abstract, or relating to topics of fiction or fantasy, to the exclusion of more mainstream activities. Additionally, many so-called nerds are described as being shy, quirky, pedantic, and unattractive, and may have difficulty participating in, or even following, sports.” The dictionary defines this term as “a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.” So I read these statements and ask myself again, do I consider myself to be a nerd?
It sounds like it should be a simple yes or no answer, but honestly how can someone answer this question with all of the variables that come into play? I’m a guy that has been interested in anime since I was a young kid running home after school to hurry up and catch the Toonami line up. We all rushed home to see the newest episode of Dragonball Z. Remember? It was the Buu Saga and Vegeta was about to sacrifice himself to save the planet? To this day I still watch anime religiously, even sporting a catalog of AT LEAST 120 different titles watched and a lot of rewatches. Neon Genesis Evangelion, Eden of the East, Sword of the Stranger, Ghost In The Shell, etc… Anime isn’t the only “nerdy” sensation I take interest in these days though. I read Japanese manga and some Korean manhwa. I listen to Japanese Visual Kei Rock and also tune into some K-Pop from time to time(Girls Generation and Kim Tae-Yeon is that baby). I read comic books as much as I can and love to debate about the current MCU and DCEU titles. I’m a moderate gamer with an arsenal that ranges from FFXIV Heavensward and Overwatch to FFXV and Destiny. Now from hearing shit like this you would probably conclude that I am an overweight 5’5 virgin that lives in his mothers basement and never sees the light of day. SURPRISE MOTHER FUCKER! Wrong. I’m a 6’2 290lb weight lifter with a wife and daughter, a son on the way as I type this, retired street ball player and bone collector(I’M THAT NICE), avid KDM and JDM street racer enthusiast with an interest in American muscle, and Hip-Hop audiophile. I like to think of myself as an expert all-arounder.
Thing is, a person’s environment can play a huge role on the outcome of that person’s personality. Think of it as incorporating your surroundings into your soul and representing the place that raised you. Where I’m from, most of the black men here don’t live to see the age of 21 or older. I see myself as one of the lucky few that made it out but I also wouldn’t have made it out if it weren’t for the streets that raised me. By the age of 10, most of my friends were already doing horrible in school. They would skip to sell drugs or make money while I would be in class studying the solar system. After school for me would be homework, cartoons, and then rushing to the playground to collect some ankles on the basketball court. Regardless of how much I wanted to stay in and watch some Digimon, I ALWAYS wanted to be good in sports so I took a liking to basketball, waiting for my turn on the sideline while I traded Pokemon cards with my peers. Even though my friends are different people, we always shared similar interests so I was never left out, regardless of them knowing my likes. High School came about and I was still watching Anime, but this time I JUST started reading manga. I was probably the only one fucking with manga at the time. I was playing ball heavier and also started listening to Hip-Hop much more seriously. I had the Big L albums on deck with some Big Pun and Tragedy Khadafi on the backlog next to the Cormega discography. My friends always called me weird but nevertheless fucked with me because I was always hip to the culture. I would recommend them what to watch and they always came back with some positive reviews, and even threw some underground music at me to discover. I would stay up at night and dance with the devil while reading Bleach and looking at pics of chicks trying to perfect a swagger I thought I achieved. College is when I really took shit to a new level. I was playing Halo 2 and 3 HEAVILY while lifting weights every morning after my 8am class to whatever was in rotation on the radio or clubs during those days. By that time in my life, I probably hit about 60 different anime titles and just started reading Naruto after my 11 year old cousin put me on. I met a lot of important people during this point in my journey and just discovered Japanese Visual Kei Rock. I got a few looks from my friends and even comments like “bro, what the fuck are you listening to man?” and I would reply “some real shit” and we would just proceed with the day because no matter what I watched or listened to, I was one of the homies. One thing that did change was my homies weren’t just selling drugs anymore, they were stealing, robbing houses, other things I can’t mention. I never involved myself in those activities because even though we were friends and had some similarities, we had different hobbies and goals. Split apart during the day to go about our lives, and meet up at night to relax and just hang out. Have you ever seen a four way chess match between a computer building weeaboo , an aspiring rapper, a cocaine addicted drug dealer, and a correctional officer? I have, and regardless of who they were, I have never been called a nerd ever in my life. Closest I can probably say was a nickname I was given called “The Computer Man” because I used to always fix and build them.
Fast Forward some years and now I’m a family man that watches anime, reads manga and comics, and goes to the gym more than ever. I drive a turbo boosted sports car, and listen to all genres of music more than ever. Talk about rambling on, but I still don’t know if I can answer the question easily. Do I consider myself a nerd? I don’t dress how they are depicted and I’ve never had female problems so I could say no. On the other hand, I love computers and consider myself some sort of weeaboo so I could say yes. HOWEVER, I’ll just say I’m a guy with a wide variety of interests. Do you consider YOURSELF a nerd?
Shoutout to Young Luga. Illuginati.