I’ve been behind the scenes, workshopping an idea for a post here at NoE for awhile now. I’ve been intellectually curious about a group of words that are sometimes put together to mean similar things. Words like nerd, geek, dork, and dweeb.
My thesis is that these words do in fact have distinct meanings (or at least connotations) in our pop culture vernacular, even though we don’t use dork or dweeb much anymore. But there’s a broader question that has reared its head and must be answered, and that question is, “What, exactly, is nerdy?”
Put a different way, what is “nerd culture?”
I don’t have a solid answer to that question. So, we’re going to crowd-source that portion of my research for the piece on definitions.
This marks the inauguration of a series called “Is This Nerdy?” wherein we will present a piece of pop culture, however esoteric, and invite you, our Readers, to weigh in on whether or not it qualifies as Nerdy. Hopefully we can come to a better and possibly broader understanding of what it means to be a part of Nerd Culture.
Is this Nerdy?, pt. 1: Jon Sudano and His YouTube Covers
I have been fascinated with the YouTube channel of a guy named Jon Sudano for the last week or so. Jon does videos of himself singing famous songs, but with a twist. I think it’s awesome. Here are a couple of examples of what he does, after which I’ll tell you what I think.
You get the idea…
I think this is brilliant, and I do think it qualifies as nerdy. Here’s why:
- I think Jon is fully aware of the ridiculousness of what he’s doing here. I think he knows it, and is embracing it, and is loving it.
- Maybe I’m giving him too much credit on this, maybe it is just something to do when he’s bored, but I think he’s making a statement on some level about his dissatisfaction with pop music. Maybe…?
- I think there’s a thoughtfulness about it that is sort of uniquely Millennial. It’s banal, but also wry. Jon takes a song that is catchy as all get out, but not really a great song, and is very committed to the joke, which I always appreciate.
It’s this sense of being creative and taking two things that seem incongruous, and mashing them up in a way that is somehow still pretty incongruous, and using that to say something you think is important, while also being funny… That just feels nerdy to me, in a very good way.
But what do you think? Does Jon Sudano’s YouTube channel qualify as Nerdy? We’re handling the voting on our Facebook page. Here is a direct link to the post so you can cast your vote!