This post inspired by Sharon, who commented after one of my blog posts that “dorkery is the new cool!” — to which I replied, “I wish that had been true during high school. I would have been awesome!”
Very, very awesome. And although I haven’t exactly been in a high school lately, it seems to be true: It’s not quite as terrible to be a geek/nerd anymore, is it? Maybe my perspective is skewed, because I spend so much time on the internet and the people that I e-mail with/whose blogs I read/the sites I follow are nerd-friendly, but it does seem easier to be a nerd nowadays (and that’s probably also because of the internet: there are a lot of nerdy/geeky types whose awesomeness just exudes through the laptop screen).
But I didn’t always have the internet to remind me that it’s not so bad to be a dork. No, I had Wesley Crusher.
Oh, Wesley. Now that I have the internet, I’ve learned that you were the most horrible character in the history of television (or something like that), but to a nine-year-old dork, you were a freaking godsend. There you were in your gray jumpsuit, a super-smarty pants whose slicked back helmet-hair screamed NERD! and you did stupid things sometimes, sure — but there were also times when you save the fricking day because you were a super-smarty pants.
And you were on a freaking awesome STARSHIP.
This nine-year-old girl needed that. Wesley wasn’t a joke to me — he was proof that the nerdy types go on to bigger and better things, and that it was a good thing to be a smarty-pants. (And, okay, he was cute — so I also had a huge crush on him.)
Now, of course, older and wiser and full of cynicism and irony, I should be among those that recognize Wesley Crusher character as the worst sort of Gary Stu. And I suppose on some level, I do. But I also can’t shunt him off into a little laugh-at-the-character box, because he was a figure that I desperately needed at the time. He was a dork … and I thought he was awesome.
(And, really, where else was I supposed to get that message: Revenge of the Nerds? I love that movie for other reasons (including Poindexter’s musical act) but it wasn’t exactly inspiring, because the appearance of the nerds was still a joke, even though they won. Even as a girl, I picked up on that.)
Anyway, thank you to Wesley Crusher and the internet for making it awesomer to be a dork. (And because without you, I’d never have things like this):
Effin’ awesome (and I had a striped shirt just like that).