Tony Ballz

Screw the election, I want to take a moment to talk to you about an important subject, nerds. Nerds are not sexy. Sorry, ladies, if you are an attractive single woman who owns a “Nerds Are Sexy” t-shirt, you should come over to my house. My roommates go to bed early and I have the director’s cut of Buckaroo Banzai always playing in the background. Bring tequila.

The word “nerd” brings to my mind an image of Harvey Pekar’s pal in American Splendor. Ladies, if you want to have sex with that guy, more power to you. You’ll make his day, no question. Nerdiness is not a fashion, it’s a state of mind. It’s an attitude, much like punk rock. Just as putting your hair up in a mohawk doesn’t make you punk, putting glasses on Brad Pitt does not make him a nerd. It’s only Brad Pitt, devastatingly handsome and famous sexy guy, wearing glasses.

And fellas, I don’t know how to break this to you but… Zooey Deschanel is not a nerd. Neither is Olivia Munn. They’re nerd fantasies, sure, but definitely not nerds. They constitute what is commonly referred to as “babes”. They don’t play World Of Warcraft for sixteen hours straight; they have something called sex for sixteen hours straight. They have no time to reread Star Wars novelizations or practice the accordion. They hire assistants to do that stuff for them.

At some point in the past decade a certain coterie of young hipsters decided they wanted to be nerds. God knows why. So they started referring to themselves as such, and pretty soon everyone with a hobby was now “nerding out” on it and Hollywood gave Star Trek a gazillion dollar facelift and everywhere was nerds, nerds, nerds, and eventually you couldn’t throw a Harlan Ellison anthology in the air without it landing on some trendy jerkoff in $1500 black framed glasses cranking Weezer in his convertible and blowing through stop signs because he’s busy texting his girlfriend (who’s in the passenger seat) and “nerding out” on his iPhone!

Then somewhere in here Paris Hilton, or whoever ultimately decides these things, went “OMG, nerds are like SO HOT!” on her Twitter account and all this narcissism came to a head with the “Nerds Are Sexy” t-shirt, best worn by super cute stuck-up twenty something girls who say puh-LEEZE and begin every sentence with that little (tsk) sound and an exhale.

“I’m heading home to nerd out on my O.C. box set!”

“Well, I have to go to the library to study for my test, I’M SUCH A NERD!”

No you’re not, honey. You’re an attractive popular young college girl with a social life and more cash on hand than most nerds cough up at a dozen comic-cons. You’re on the other side of the schoolyard from the nerds. Nerds are society’s outcasts. As adults, they stay at home 95% of the time. They are usually unattractive to look at: either grossly corpulent with all the hygiene problems that follow, or painfully emaciated with Adam’s apples resembling Fukushima-style Granny Smiths. They may have somehow managed to achieve coitus with another humanoid, but possess nothing resembling a sex life. They have zero dress sense and are generally completely devoid of social skills. They don’t “party” on the weekends, or ever. They certainly don’t play drums or any other instrument in an indie band. Many still live with their parents. They masturbate A LOT. Women usually refer to them as “that creepy guy”. And they would never ever have the cojones to call themselves “sexy”, unless there were buckets of sarcasm on the side.

If none of the above sounds like you, guess what?

The irony of “Nerds Are Sexy” is this: the lack of attention from the opposite (or any) sex is one of the major contributors to a life of geekiness. A fairly steady supply of you-know-what helps keep the psyche balanced, boosts the ol’ self confidence, and it feels real good too. It’s also an excellent reason to leave the house, unless you ladies are going to start delivering, like Meals-On-Wheels for horndogs. To most nerds, the constant humiliation and rejection associated with approaching a potential mate isn’t worth the trouble, so when Buckaroo Banzai is over they would rather just walk up to the TV and hit replay. And when they do go out, all the prettiest girls—the ones who would rather choke on their frappuccinos than be seen talking to a loser like you—are wearing “Nerds Are Sexy” t-shirts.

Mmm, irony.

So the next time you females out there spot an obvious pocket-protector high-waters zitface dorkeroo in a public place, don’t be shy. Walk up to him and stick your tongue in his mouth. Let things progress naturally from there. You bought the shirt, now take the next logical step.

Folks, it’s time to give nerds back their nerddom. It’s all most of them have, and you hipsters can find another subculture to co-opt and slap on a t-shirt, there’s hundreds to choose from. How about Migrant Workers Are Sexy? Albinos Are Sexy? Aging Metalheads Are Sexy? Bestiality Enthusiasts Are Sexy? Parrotheads Are Sexy? Hetero Men Who Speak With A Lisp Are Sexy? Clowns Who Smoke Meth Are Sexy? White Sox Fans Are Sexy? Middle-aged Twilight Freaks Are Sexy? Sexy Grandpas Are Sexy? Come on people, be creative.

OK boys and girls … to see if you really are a nerd, here’s a quick quiz (answers have to be off the top of your head, no Googling or any of that lifeline crap):

  1. What is Captain Kirk’s middle name?
  2. What is the square root of 169?
  3. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which troupe member plays Patsy, the guy with the coconuts?
  4. Who was the inventor of Dungeons & Dragons?
  5. Tell me, how many lights do you see?
  6. What the HELL is Buckaroo Banzai?

And these are EEEEEASY ones, kiddies. Baby steps. OK, here’s the answers:

  1. Tiberius
  2. 13
  3. Terry Gilliam
  4. Gary Gygax (R.I.P.)
  6. A flop 1984 sci-fi film about a particle physicist/brain surgeon/rock star/comic book hero/time traveller/genius/Zen master/stud/coolest dude in the universe/renaissance man and his motley crew of fellow scientists/band members/misfits/best friends battling to save the earth from the evil red lectroids from the 8th dimension starring Peter Weller, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow (in the performance of a lifetime), Christopher Lloyd, the guy who played Carla’s shifty ex-husband Nick on Cheers, and the guy who played the teacher in Fast Times At Ridgemont High (not Mr. Hand, the other one with the curly hair and the hot wife who was the chick that Phil Spector killed).

The whole concept and design for the flux capacitor in Back To The Future was outright STOLEN from BB’s oscillation overthruster (they call it an homage), and if there was ANY JUSTICE IN THE WORLD, this charming and witty low budget film would be just as popular and beloved and obsessed over as Star Wars and they would have made the further adventures of Buckaroo and his buds into sequels like the end credits promised … but NOOOOOOO, instead we got pathetic whining sissy-boy Anakin and stupid Jar-Jar Binks and the God-damned Ewoks, God DAMN I hate those little furry mother fuckers, they suck SO BAD, those piss puddles nearly RUINED Return Of The Jedi, what the FUCK was Lucas thinking?

I mean OK, the guy has this opportunity to tell the back story of his hands-down best character, an orphaned boy who grows up to be the most vicious sadistic feared son of a bitch in the galaxy since Cheney, a hideously deformed half-human half-machine clanking around in black armor strangling guys without touching them and blowing up ENTIRE PLANETS of innocent people … adult men are quivering like little girls and shitting their pants in his presence…and the kid’s nickname is ANNIE??!! FUCKING ANNIE??!! REALLY, GEORGE? Not Damien or Beef or Thor, something like that? Annie, huh. You don’t think that tends to undercut Vader’s whole satanic living-embodiment-of-pure-evil vibe and makes his character, I don’t know, KIND OF A PUSSY?

No wonder he changed his name. “Darth Vader” sounds like someone who’s about to rip your head off and shit down your neck, but “Annie Skywalker” sounds like an intergalactic hooker who will blow you for pocket change. “Uh-oh, Chewbacca’s been with Annie Skywalker again, hope the whole crew isn’t infected. Get the penicillin.” Annie? Give me a break. We should have known everything was doomed when those goddamned Ewoks showed up. Assholes.

Well, you can bet your balls there’s no cuddly little squeaky cocksuckers annoying you underfoot in The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (full title), just a bunch of badass shit going down and some of it makes absolutely no sense and there’s a few dead spots and it could have used a better soundtrack and the special effects aren’t that great either and everyone’s wearing white shoes and, although Ellen Barkin is a very attractive woman, she can’t act her way out of a paper bag … but none of that matters because the coolness factor here is off the charts and MAN, it still had the potential to become one of the greatest franchises EVER. I think “Laugh while you can, monkey boy!” and “The deuce, you say!” could have been awesome ’80s catchphrases and Weller is perfect in the title role. I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing better, and Goldblum is transcendently goofy as always and there’s great gadgets and dozens of in-jokes and you bet I’ve got a t-shirt.

And hell yeah, Buckaroo could kick Han Solo’s ass AND nail Princess Leia without scuffing up his white loafers or getting a wrinkle in his pimp Versace suit and, oh sweet Jesus, EVERY WORD out of Lithgow’s mouth is freakin’ GOLD, PURE 24 CARAT GOLD, that man is an ARTIST, A MASTER OF HIS CRAFT and …

Where was I? Oh yeah, nerds.

For that last one, the following answer is also acceptable:

  1. The greatest movie ever made.

There, how’s that for nerding out? Am I getting you hot, baby?

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