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Embracing Nerdage


I have always hated that word.
I still do. It rolls from the tongue like something vile, unappealing to the ear. For me, the word carries the same gravity of offense as another word used to negatively describe black people. Both words used to mean I was in for an ass whooping, and sometimes I'd be called both names while at the wrong end of said ass whooping. Try being a black kid who is enunciates his words and knows way too much about Star Trek and Star Wars, but couldn't care less about what hip-hop artist is hot right now. School was not a good time for me.
There was this one instance in the fifth grade where 'lost' toys were being auctioned off. A Stratos figure from He-Man came up, and I was the only one who bid on it. When I geeked out over winning, the entire class erupted with laughter. And later fists. Lots and lots of fists.

This little bastard almost got me SCARRED FOR LIFE.

Growing up, I always had my head in the clouds and I didn't know any other way to be other than vocal, not that anyone wanted to hear. But seriously, man. SPACE. Other planets. Badass starships. Swords made out of light and big scary dudes in black who could choke you with their minds. Guys with claws in their hands who were doing what I wanted to do to people. Another dude who could shoot webs out of his hands and was funny as all hell. How do you not get geeked out over this stuff? 

I dunno, right around my teen years is when I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I liked both girls and football. I learned to fake it real well. I learned to hide it. And I hated that I had to hide it. 

Finishing a book and raising a child forces one to face themselves, and lately, I've been seriously diving back into all of the things that brought me joy. Even more so, I've been allowing myself to enjoy these things with unbridled enthusiasm. Following The Force Awakens, I've been on the other side of the Galaxy following the adventures of Captain Picard and the Starship Enterprise. I don't 
remember the last time I enjoyed it this much. 

It may have boldly gone where no one has gone before, but it didn't make the Kessel run in twelve parsecs. Just sayin.

Yet, nerds are cruel, too. Fickle as all hell. They may not be able to physically threaten, but they know that. They're smarter than most. They know that too. And they've grown up. 

Present a factoid that disagrees with their interpretation and you will be made a pariah within that community. Disagree with the majority and face the same fate. Disagree or voice a dissenting opinion too vehemently and find your personal info strewn across the net. 

To a degree, I understand the anger. Spend every day of your childhood getting your ass beat or running from getting your ass beat, something inside you is gonna snap. Remember that, the next time you want to hate on someone. 

To be honest, that innate need humanity has to hate on things has always eluded me. When you feel like the whole world is against you, you don't want to inflict that on anyone else. I love competition, sure, but I've never understood the need to belittle anything simply because of the way it is, or that it exists at all. 

If someone enjoys something that brings no harm to others, what difference does that make to others?
I dunno, we've always been good a tearing each other down. I doubt one blog post is going to change anything, but it's worth a try. 

So. My name is Avery K Tingle, AND I AM A NERD. 

Thanks for reading. 


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