I was going to write about something different over the weekend, but my love of movies brought me to watch the great film Revenge of the Nerds on Saturday morning. Initially, I wanted to watch the movie for the laughs that all the characters have brought me (I’ve seen this film numerous times), but during this viewing of it, I found myself really connecting with the message that the film was trying to give. That message is acceptance of the difference we have as individuals. I’ll freely admit that I’m a dork, a nerd, a loner, and an introvert so I’ve always felt like I’ve been ridiculed the majority of my life. It doesn’t help that I’m short AND fat, but I digress it wasn’t until I really took the ending speech of the film to heart that I realized that Gilbert and Lewis were really speaking up for people like me to the popular people, the pretty people, the whatever you want to call them that have always looked down on people like me who just happen to be different. Sure, there was a time that I felt I had to conform and try to fit in, but honestly it’s just not me. Here’s the speech I’m talking about:
Gilbert: I just wanted to say that I’m a nerd, and I’m here tonight to stand up for the rights of other nerds. I mean uh, all our lives we’ve been laughed at and made to feel inferior. And tonight, those bastards, they trashed our house. Why? Cause we’re smart? Cause we look different? Well, we’re not. I’m a nerd, and uh, I’m pretty proud of it.
Lewis: Hi, Gilbert. I’m a nerd too. I just found that out tonight. We have news for the beautiful people. There’s a lot more of us than there are of you. I know there’s alumni here tonight. When you went to Adams you might’ve been called a spazz, or a dork, or a geek. Any of you that have ever felt stepped on, left out, picked on, put down, whether you think you’re a nerd or not, why don’t you just come down here and join us. Okay? Come on.
Gilbert: Just join us cos uh, no-one’s gonna really be free until nerd persecution ends.
So, yes. I’m smart, yes I look different, yes I am a nerd, spazz, dork, AND a geek. You know what? I’m pretty damn proud of it too. While I’m on quotes, here’s another one that I associate myself with:
“No matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.” – George Carlin
Now, I won’t say that I’m with it word for word because I am a very religious man. I am a proud Traditionalist Catholic (as I’ve heard people call people like me); however I have little interest in associating myself in a group of people of any kind. I’d weird like that. I’m very much a one man wolf pack (as the character in The Hangover, Alan, calls himself). I’m not comfortable in a group setting. I wish I could tell you why, but I’m just not. I don’t want to gather together in a social setting to talk about things, I don’t want to collectively march for a cause, I don’t want to not be able to freely express my individual thoughts if it doesn’t jive with the greater message. Not to get into politics or moral ideals or whatnot, but I’m a firm believer that my thoughts and ideas on things are my own. Who am I to tell somebody else what’s right for them? And even more so, who the HELL do people think they are to tell ME what’s right for me? Even if you do know me, what you think may be right might be something that I’m not comfortable with or want to do. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. So, no. I don’t want to join your club, no I don’t want to join your stupid union, no I don’t want to go to your dumb meeting. I have no interest in it. And just like the late, great, George Carlin I too love and treasure individuals as I meet them but I could care less about their greater groups they identify with. I want no part in it.
I think that’s a pretty good reason why I find myself hanging out with the people I do. For as much as we are different, there is a bit of the “rejected by society for one reason or another” aspect to us. It could be that, or it could be that we are sympathetic to each other’s individual needs and we just click. It’s hard to tell now, but it works. It is very difficult for me to want to meet new people, and expose myself to new situations. I’m too old for that crap now, you know? And I don’t think it’s being narrow minded or whatever either. I honestly think that I’m old enough and experienced enough to know what it is that I do and do not like, so I find myself seeking out the things that I do and only branch out into the subfields of those likes. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I personally believe that my current mission in life is to be happy, so I’m going to be who I want to be, do what I want to do, and hang out with who I want to in order to keep myself happy. I’ve been down so long that I think I deserve to treat myself to that happiness. If it means that I have to be labeled as a nerd, dork, spazz, weirdo, freak, loser, etc. then so be it. I’m 2 months shy of 36 years old and I’m finally at peace with it all. Here’s to staying happy.