Latin: /'vɒks pɒpjʉliː/ VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"There's an Albino in the cupboard and I've misplaced the keys" by Peter Viljoen

Before I begin, no this is not the reiteration of a particularly wild Saturday night filled with hilarious and cliche moments like "Dude, where's my car?" Nor is this going to be some sort of really odd "coming out of the closet" story filled with innuendoes that will leave some sniggering and others blushing. No, this is a pointless descriptive article about a creature prone to the outskirts of the social savannah; living separated and rejected by almost all walks of high school life...the nerd.

What is a nerd, how is he made? Does he slowly morph into his true form, or is a Nerd born, as it were, fully-spectacled? Some say it is purely contextual, the environment of the youth determines the outcome e.g. social evolution where all the big fish grow legs and one decided a retainer was in order.

Others believe that it is genetic. A person who is categorised (for my convenience) a nerd is usually a person lacking fundamental or basic social skills. Can it be that if we were to dissect a specimen we would find a smaller or larger brain, weaker eyes, skewer teeth and in some cases (Thank you Ronald Dahl) a broken heart?

Can it not be that we who are the oppressors are in the wrong? That we are in fact missing out on countless new and anti-social ways to ... um, socialize? Maybe... but let's just think of it like this: why should they be like us and why should we be like them?

We spend our breaks and free time gossiping, spreading lies, slandering and being wicked. But why not? These conversations are the ones that are normally the most fun to listen to and easy to contribute to, and in fact it has become part of our culture. But before you start feeling guilty just ask yourself this: When you sit down in the IT room and find your screen sending you angry messages in Brazilian, or flashing colours the eye was never meant to see, is it a coincidence that my bespectacled friends in the corner are giggling into their retainers?

The truth is that they are who they are and who they are is who they want to be. So leave them alone. My philosophy when it comes to the high school Chain of Being is simple: leave well enough alone. Everyone is exactly where they want to be and if they're not, then they're just not trying hard enough.

I respect the humble nerd, they have a hard time, but they are not alone or few enough in number to feel truly disliked, just different. We don't all have to be pals, so long as we can all just do our own thing, hey, leave them alone - they have World of War Craft and I have a tan.


  1. Totally agree with you Peter. As Bill Gates said "Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.” x

  2. This is really good :)
    very insightful!!

  3. hahaha! So funny...but very cleverly written :)

  4. very funny! well written :)

  5. That was prity cool. I like the way it was written. It was danm funny!!!!!!!!

  6. A Different PerspectiveSeptember 2, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    To start off with I'd like to say that I own a WOW account and a tan...

    But that's not really important. What is important is the fact that Peter has made some interesting and well thought out points about 'Nerds'

    Although I was greatly entertained by the article there are one or two things which I don't totally agree with.

    The one thing is the description of nerds, "usually a person lacking fundamental or basic social skills." While this is more or less accurate it feels like an incomplete definition to me.

    Included in the description should be the reason WHY nerds are considered antisocial. And this is because they CHOOSE to pursue technological or intellectual activities RATHER than taking part in what the 'COOL' kids do. (In this respect I consider MYSELF a Nerd)

    Also, while I agree it is unrealistic that we "all have to be pals" or say nice things about each other all the time, I do feel that people could try a bit harder to not break others (nerds) down constantly.

    The fact is, that someone who is socially and/or physically awkward is someone who is easy to make fun of, and sometimes, (like Peter pointed out) deserving to be made fun of. BUT in my experience, when a large group of teenagers continually mock, taunt and tease others (especially if it is aimed at one person in particular) it can result in that person having ZERO self esteem and becoming depressed.
    Meanwhile, if you had just been a little more gentle with the jokes, that person would have had more opportunities to make friends.

    I don't expect everyone to start hugging each other, but maybe just avoid constantly rejecting and belittling those who don't fit in. Who knows, you may have more in common than you think.

    I have often found that nerds are the ones with the best sense of humour and with an interesting point of view.

    I am not defending 'nerd rights' or anything, I just don't agree to the encouragement of ridiculing some, for the entertainment of others.

    In any case, this is only one person's point of view, and I have not intended to criticize anyone.

    I have only intended to provide, A Different Perspective.

  7. Firstly there are three groups whom you have put under the bracket of nerds
    Geek: They all have different niches but the most common kind of geek is the computer geek.
    Nerd: They are above average intelligence
    Dork: Uncool not really good at anything most probably rejected by the geeks and nerds.
    Secondly it is unrealistic for society to accept us. The popular people don’t find value in our skills and enjoy taunting and bullying us. I guess we just have to learn to cope someone has to be the school punching bag after all.

  8. This is great :) It totally makes you aware of what you are doing to the "nerds". Plus its entertaining and well written. :)

  9. I agree with what has been said. "Nerds" choose to not take part in what other people (or "cool" people) are doing, they don't label themselves. They could easily concern themselves with getting a tan rather than a computer, BUT... They don't, so let them be...


  11. Hey Peter Viljoen here, just to say that i intended the piece to be a laugh, if it wasn't your personal brand of vodka, sorry but remember my type of writing is pure escape-ism, no frills:)

    Thanx for the feed back!!

    p.s. the last comment was also mine