I remember being eight years old and running around to all the kids on the playground asking if they wanted to play Pokemon with me. No one knew what I was talking about. You see, the other day my sister had come home with a cute yellow stuffed creature and told me that its name was Pikachu and it was a pokemon and there were a bunch of them. That weekend we watched the show, my first episode was the introduction of Vulpix (a fast favorite since foxes are my favorite animals).
Throughout most of my conscious life I was obsessed with reading, learning, fantasy worlds, anything off the beaten path really. When I was three my dad showed me how to install things using floppy disks so that I could play computer games. There were a couple stages of my life where I liked something because I thought that was what I was supposed to do, or where I would claim to not like something because it wasn't "cool" enough.
But I was always a nerd.
I had to suffer for my love and passion. I had few real friends and I carried a dictionary and book of Grimm's Fairytale's (the original stories, brutal as they were) with me. I was made fun of, picked on and bullied. I never felt like I fit in and I never understood why. Sometimes it would torment me - the stuff I liked was interesting! Why didn't the other girls like Gargoyles?
When I got to the point where I not only accepted my nerd status, but embraced it I finally made a couple real friends (including my sister). That didn't stop us from being alienated from everyone else. We got used to being called names and scoffed at for playing Yu-Gi-Oh cards or obsessively bantering about Harry Potter trivia and Lord Of The Rings.
We developed a complex - obviously those other people are idiots and don't know what they are talking about. We were the real cool ones.
As we continued to age into our late teens we noticed a growing trend. It was no longer difficult to find paraphernalia. San Diego Comic-con was becoming exceptionally crowded. Forums that were once practically bare became inundated with mindless babble that caused the true fans to desert. Things that were not "nerdy" so much as "trendy" became incorporated in what WE loved to do. Inuyasha, I'm looking at you.
It all reached a peak with Twilight at the 2008 Comic-con. Nerds everywhere got fed up.
I completely sympathize with this.
I suffered for my love and dedication. I spent most of my childhood and much of my adult life with select few friends because of my interests. Misunderstood and alienated because I dared to love freely. Now that it's considered "cool" to be a nerd it's suddenly okay for people to take over? I am stripped of my special status and being lumped in with them!?
When a so-called-fan can't even tell me what the Green Lantern's alter ego is named I draw the line.
You are NOT allowed to claim to be a nerd, or a geek if you didn't suffer. This a badge of honor! A purple heart! If you did not suffer you will never understand! You do not get to play Halo for eight hours and claim to be a nerd. You do not get to watch Star Wars, rip on Trekkies and then call yourself a nerd.
When it's no longer popular and you find yourself obsessing over Vampire Diaries you will know the truth, as will we all already do. You are not a nerd. We will go back to suffering in silence. We will go back to our pride and knowledge that the true fans... we are better than you.
You know who you are.