This is a revised post from last March, before I had readers. It gives me bliss to repost it.
The Big Bang Theory is one of my favourite television programs. I wish I could say it brought out my inner nerd, but I am not smart enough to be a nerd. Unlike many, I find the term “nerd” complimentary, but I always think of it in a scientific, mathematical context . I looked it up in my thesaurus and its synonyms are highly questionable: drip, bore, geek.
The Encarta dictionary calls it an offensive term and defines a nerd as a “single-minded enthusiast” who is “considered to be excessively interested in a subject or activity that is regarded as too technical or scientific.” (My argument—if we did not have people interested in the too technical or scientific, where would we be? We would still think the earth was flat, and the stars made up of fairy dust.)
I think the term nerd needs a “redo”, and the guys from The Big Bang Theory are just the guys to do it. Sure, they are overtly intelligent, some (Sheldon in particular) not socially attune, but I just love these guys. Is it an accident that the program is a particular favourite in Canada? I think not—we just love underdogs, and even though most of these guys have reached doctoral status, they are entertainingly sweet (most of the the time).
I think many of us are jealous of nerds and the things that they understand easily that we don’t. I was a particularly poor student in both science and math, and regret it somewhat. Shakespeare and I get along just fine, but Einstein and I are unfortunately not on the same page.
On a shelf above my head is my bobble head of Sheldon–a gift from my youngest son, who sometimes calls himself a nerd. He is not as enamoured of the program as I, as he says that it makes fun of nerds–in effect, laughing at them, not with them. I think I have a different perspective–I admire exceedingly intelligent people even if they have some quirks. Let those among us who have no quirks cast aspersions.
Are you a fan of Big Bang, or do you think my son is right? Can you cast aspersions?