I feel the need to add some things to my last post, but to keep on editing it would be confusing, so here it is. To get this out of the way, I finished Juliet, Naked and it is a horrible book. It certainly has its funny moments, the style is consistently decent and entertaining. Nick Hornby is very skilled at depicting awkwardness. What he fails at, in this novel, are the characters. They are annoying, self-pitying, useless losers, and I see no reason to sympathise with any of them. Worst of all is the depiction of men and women as opposite concepts. I am offended by how he portrays the male nerd as being unable to take care of his life in any way. I am offended by the stereotypically horrible image of Annie as a woman. I don’t wish to go into too much detail here, but I needed to get that out of my system.
Now, onto the topic of girls and the nerddom. I find it so weird that this particular sub-culture seems so bent on defining itself as a consistent, coherent whole, when there is hardly a group of supposed homogenous members that is more heterogenous! How often have I talked to my “video games” friends during my internship and found that none of them ever played board games, let alone role-playing-games. Most of my RPG-buddies aren’t into comics or Star Wars. Some of my geekiest board-game-pals have no interest in video games, Star Trek, and so on and so forth. Who defines what belongs to the “nerd” canon?
For example, as I already mentioned in a comment, I am a great fan of pen and paper RPG, but I’ve never been able to warm up to all kinds of computer-RPGs. I played Fallout 3 and really enjoyed that, as well as the Elder Scrolls games. But I never got into Baldur’s Gate. I tried several times, because my nerd friends made it sound like I was missing out on something that transformed all of their lives. Well I didn’t get the game, not when I was 14, and not now. Does that make me a bad person? Does that revoke my nerd-club-membership? Some people don’t like Minecraft and I don’t think it’s necessary for me to chastise them for not seing the genius. (It’s pure genius though, let’s be honest here.)
Honestly, who cares? I am part of a nerdy sub-culture whether that sub-culture wants me in or not. I feel culturally more at home in the internet than in my native Germany, despite the fact that the internet pretends I don’t exist. (Since there are no girls on the internet.) I cannot conform completely to what society thinks I should be, which I guess is some kind of super woman who bears children has a great career, buys health insurance and at the same time has a relationship with a doomed nerd man who would be totally lost without me – oh wait, I think I am bringing in some Hornby here. Anyways, I hope I made my point. Nerd on, and don’t be so fucking exclusive about it.