This is in defense of nerds. Yes, I’m a major Big Bang Theory fan. You may not be. So I’ll be brief in describing one of the scenes that begins my point. Actually I think it’s been several scenes where the girls are constantly wondering why highly intelligent guys, like their men, still play with comics and toys and spend so much time on science fiction. This is scene as childish and stupid.
In one scene before Leonard was even with Penny, she grew angry enough about his playthings that it made him feel ashamed and think about selling all of his collection so that the girl won’t hate on him. In the end of that episode, Sheldon quite deservedly pointed out her hypocrisy because of all her stuffed bears and ponies and such. She relents, but let’s face it, they never stopped ridiculing the boys over these things. And okay, maybe they carry it to silly extent, but it’s not hard to understand why.
These boys have this thing in their head. It’s called a brain. And when people start using that brain thingie, others start using these things called biceps to beat them for the sorcery that scares them. The world loves the shit smart people make, but hates the smart people who make them. So in science fiction, it makes perfect sense that the boys would feel a strong attachment to the world and characters in it who were also intelligent, and where intelligence was honored. It makes so much sense that you have to be incredibly stupid and insensitive not to realize it.
In a Sheldon-esque slam at the hypocrisy, I should point out that the girls do the same. How many times do they fantasize about standing in the rain and professing their love to whoever the hell that was in Notebook, because of his eyes, the things he says, and the washboard abs sticking out of his wet shirt? How is that not childish and stupid? A fantasy world where their stupid girliness isn’t something a guy just wants to hit, but actually cares about. He’ll be there to hear her inane ramblings about shoes, and to give a shit about what Stacy said to her the other day that was just so mean!
Rom coms have given us nothing new. Nothing. Except maybe the idea that a wedding planner can wear a tool kit and plan that shit like Batman. But even that innovative chick couldn’t think of taking her foot out of a damned shoe before a runaway dumpster kills her!
Science fiction inspired people, since its conception to now, to visualize progress. Not just progress in technology, but progress in social issues. It was in science fiction that a black woman held power and made out with a white man, or where gay men and women would see it argued the ridiculousness of gender being a barrier for love. It was in science fiction that you see doctors practice the ideal of people being healed of unknown diseases, rather than judged for having them by anti-intellectuals who didn’t bother to understand or give the benefit of the doubt, giving those suffering depression and anxiety hope. It was in science fiction that we learned about xenophobia’s destructive tendencies, where we plunged boldly into the unknown and learned about ourselves as we learned what was out there.
We had Spock. He taught us to control emotions, but also to value them. We had Yoda. He taught us not to judge by size, because great wisdom and power can come from anybody. We had Indiana Jones. He taught us how anthropologists apparently take anything from excavations without conviction, but hey… he fought nazis. Actually anthropologists wouldn’t be honored at all for that kind of reckless abandon, but, you know. I guess they can’t all be gems. My point is that we had role models there that inspired us to fight injustice and change human history. And okay, we play silly games and dress in goofy costumes and roll dice and argue over who can defeat whom in battle.
You shop for shoes and try to make yourself look amazing for jock athlete men who have no value for you whatsoever other than you have a vagina they want to borrow. You then ridicule the very boys who would worship you the way you imagine washboard boy would do because they have a Batman cookie jar.
Science fiction has carried wonder and intelligence forward. You now use, every single day of your life, a device that fits in your pocket and gives you any information you want, or gives you the ability to communicate with anybody who will actually pick up their similar device (which is nobody because everyone lets it go to voicemail). Romantic comedies have given us nothing to advance romance. You have silly, fake ideas of romance that only ruin what’s real for you, but sci-fi makes its imagine become real every single day.
You might be able to get that kind of productivity out of porn, but not out of romance.
So checkmate, rom-coms. We got you beat.