Hi! I’m Tim Long, a colleague of Matt Selman’s on The Simpsons writing staff. I’m subbing for Matt today while he works on next week’s blog post, an elaborate parody of X-Men Origins – Wolverine entitled, Breakfast Men Origins – Chocula.
My subject today is this:
“I can’t deny that I’m a nerd” – Katie Holmes
“I was a nerd in school” – Zac Efron
“I’m a big nerd!” – Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling
“[I was a] nerd to your language, yes” – Jean-Claude Van Damme
“Oh my God, I’m such a nerd!” – at least one good-looking person at every party I’ve attended since 2004.
Why, exactly, do beautiful, popular people keep insisting upon membership in the Geek Nation? Probably because it’s a social twofer: by claiming to be a nerd, Jean-Claude Van Damme gets to appear self-deprecating while at the same time vaguely implying that he’s a genius – a view that might not occur to anyone who’s seen Time Cop.
The problem, of course, is that it impoverishes the language: if we let Katie Holmes get away with calling herself a “nerd”, then we no longer have the perfect word to describe Steve Wozniak. It’s also offensive to all the real nerds who get swirlied, wedgied, nerpled, and kancho’d all over the world every day – often by lunks who look just like self-proclaimed nerd Curt Schilling.
Now, I’m not denying that a guy like Zac Efron probably felt like a nerd in high school; everyone does at some point. I’m just saying that he should keep it to himself. Zac, you’re already Fonzie – do you have to be Potsie as well?
As a bonus, here’s a clip from the best movie ever made on the theme of nerd revenge, Revenge of the Nerds. I very much doubt that Katie Holmes could name the sorority or the fraternity that’s “clapping along”: