Confessions of an ex-nerd

Went to see Tripod at the Metro tonight. Now I just thought I enjoyed their musical talents, great harmonies and clever, whimsical and piss-funny lyrics. But judging from the complete absence of fashionably (or even well-) dressed people at the gig, it appears being a Tripod fan makes me a complete nerd.

I will, of course, admit to having been a nerd in high school, although I never needed glasses or owned a pocket protector. I was in the chess and computer clubs, did the lighting and sound at school plays and wasn’t very good at sport. Guilty. But I have outgrown my nerdly ways, aside from liking They Might Be Giants, and am almost never nerdy these days. Or so I thought.

But there was no escaping the fact that only card-carrying nerds were admitted to tonight’s gig. It kicked off at the very un-rock-and-roll hour of 7.30 and Tripod were on stage before 8. Everyone was sitting down – they had even put in some plastic chairs in the mosh pit section and people were sitting on all the terraced bits further up. And because my friend and I had showed up at the venue at maybe 7.40 and stopped at the bar for a drink, by the time we got inside, all the sitting spots had been taken by more punctual and forward-planning types, which is to say, everyone else in the place.

Now I’ll admit the fans were enthusiastic. Disturbingly so, considering the objects of their hero worship. They clapped and cheered and hooted and sang along and shouted out to the band just like a normal gig . . . while sitting. But as things were wrapping up, by 10pm, one of the band members said something about needing to finish because everyone was tired.

TIRED? At 10pm on a Saturday night? Most sensible people are just getting out of bed, surely.

But the thing I found most appalling was how fearlessly and openly everyone expressed their nerdishness. While my school years were not the jocks-vs-nerds stereotype of Hollywood – I mean, where is a small private Jewish school going to find jocks? – being a nerd did you no favours socially or any other way (except academically, I guess).

Today, however, there is no shame in being a nerd. They have their own music genre, nerd rock. Everyone’s into computers. There are even female nerds, and lots of them!

What galls me is that these nerds have no idea or appreciation of the suffering and ostracism nerd pioneers such as myself had to endure to gain them these freedoms. The freedom to do nerdy things like seeing a gig and being home by 11pm with a nice hot mug of milo, posting about the great gig they just saw on their . . . never mind.

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