Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Pariah's High School Musical...

...Would be a miserable, melancholy song of miscomprehension, silly fights, medals for academic achievement, prize-giving night, dealing with foolish social epithets, suicidal thoughts (yes ashamed as I am to admit it) and all sorts. But ohhh my am I glad it's over. With two full years experience into the real world, I'm feeling a little retrospective and this article perfectly highlighted some of the qualms plenty of losers, nerds, freaks, pariahs and outcasts experienced in high school. That ridiculous little environment where you spend five years either conforming to the popular traditions of people pleasing or choose to join the minority of kids who actually study. Lessons learned and a lot of laughable memories. Whether we like to accept it or not our adolescent years do a deal of a job shaping what types of adults we choose to become in future.
Paul Graham's thesis on Why Nerds are Unpopular was a fun read and clarified for me what I have always pondered in secret as the reason for the constant dislike of nerds. Of course, it doesn't end at high school. There are anti-intellectual adults in the real world. I have claims on head-on experiences with a couple and it was nothing more than repulsive not to mention disapointing because you thought you really thought that the foolish game was over once you were handed your Matric-certificate. You still get a weird look for carrying a copy of the Mail and Guardian, for admitting that you'd rather chill home with a good book some weekends than go to a club and wear yourself out on the dance floor (not to say that that isn't good fun every now and then because it is but three times a week is just lame straight up and down. Then there are 30-somethings (how i detest thereof) who see you as "self-focused", "apathetic" and only concerned with matters of popularity and maintaining an incredible social life by a mere statement of age. Forget those oldies, what do they know anyway. But again how can you blame them when the majority of the youth are out there on some strong I mean STRONG anti-intellectual tip. Sounding statements that intellectual issues are boring, that there is something "wrong" with young people concerned with these issues and continuing to label us losers, nerds, geeks and freaks. If that's what it means to read extensively, have an immense thirst for knowledge, use big words because you can, refuse to subscribe to the mainstream musicians vacuous philosophies, stay home watching cult movies on a Friday night, quote Shakespeare maybe because he was just the epitome of literary dopeness, not conform, be an eccentric or become subject to endless demoralizing social epithets and straight-up disses all for the sake of choosing the path of the intellectual then yes, yes I am a nerd and I am heck proud of it!

The telling rewards of slogging through school and maybe even college (depending on where you attend) with a nerdy status.

Now he wouldn't go down as a quintessential nerd but he's reading that's a massive deviation from the unfortunate "black male norm" (not that I ever agreed with it, please don't get it twisted) so yes he qualifies!

Women can be nerds too but for some reason I can't really think of a prominent example of one. Why is that. Even when I refer to myself as a nerd, it's somewhat strange. Perhaps the defintion should not only apply to those that take interest in computers/technology but any individual who undertakes extensive intellectual reading in any topic for that matter. Music nerds, theatre nerds, wikipedia nerds, political nerds, physics nerds, geology nerds etc etc The list goes on.

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