Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How the Nerds Took Revenge

 

We were all once nerds, or cool kids, jocks, bullies, dorks, AV cart-pushers, theater geeks, motorheads, preppies, break dancers, valley girls, wastoids, heshers, skaters, surfers, outcasts, and teacher’s pets. Microchip technology was nascent as we learned the term “hacker” from Matthew Broderick changing his grades via modem, while Anthony Michael Hall demonstrated how hyperactive geeks could end up with the Homecoming Queen.

We delighted in watching nerds take revenge. After all, those narcissistic jocks deserved it, which became an oft-repeated trope in many films of the 1980s. The smartest, but most socially awkward would exact vengeance on anyone who previously shunned them, both men and women. While comedic in tone and extremely satisfying to watch at the time, there’s no doubt that said retribution has since morphed into something darker; the entitled psyche of yesterday’s and today’s disenfranchised.

Many eggheads of our youth now run the world’s most valuable technology platforms. With great power came their real-life payback to manipulate people and greater society. As we debate whether the centralized platforms need to be broken up as the FAANGs openly admit to controlling free speech for political purposes, (see Google’s Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020), quietly they have been steadily using their clout and muscle to turn us all, including their own colleagues, into chattel. Not to suggest every executive in Silicon Valley behaves this way, but many do. With more wealth than most people can earn in ten lifetimes, the enlightened ones turn coworkers into prostitutes by attending tech orgies; a gateway for those who want to advance their careers. The titans of Silicon Valley, well-known people, use sex for sport all while publicly advocating #MeToo and other woke platitudes to an enabling media salivating at any opportunity to interview tech icons.

Emily Chang’s book Brotopia was featured in Vanity Fair:

About once a month, on a Friday or Saturday night, the Silicon Valley Technorati gather for a drug-heavy, sex-heavy party. Sometimes the venue is an epic mansion in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights; sometimes it’s a lavish home in the foothills of Atherton or Hillsborough. On special occasions, the guests will travel north to someone’s château in Napa Valley or to a private beachfront property in Malibu or to a boat off the coast of Ibiza, and the bacchanal will last an entire weekend. The places change, but many of the players and the purpose remain the same.

The party scene is now so pervasive that women entrepreneurs say turning down invitations relegates them to the uncool-kids’ table. “It’s very hard to create a personal connection with a male investor, and if you succeed, they become attracted to you,” one told me. “They think you’re part of their inner circle, [and] in San Francisco that means you’re invited to some kind of orgy. I couldn’t escape it here. Not doing it was a thing.” Rather than finding it odd that she would attend a sex party, says this entrepreneur, people would be confused about her not attending. “The fact that you don’t go is weird,” the entrepreneur said, and it means being left out of important conversations. “They talk business at these parties. They do business,” she said. “They decide things.”

Guests and hosts include powerful first-round investors, well-known entrepreneurs, and top executives. Some of them are the titans of the Valley, household names.

In Revenge of the Nerds, the 1984 iconic comedy that spawned a few lesser sequels, Stan Gable, played by Ted McGinley (the always late cast addition to several sitcoms), was the President of the Alpha Beta Fraternity. The AB’s power derived from winning on the gridiron under the coaching of the tyrannical John Goodman. Bad behavior by both coach and team was overlooked as victories on the field gained financial support from boosters and added to the coffers of Adams College.

After being bullied and embarrassed by the AB’s, Lewis, Gilbert, Poindexter, Lamar, Booger and the rest of the lovable nerds formed their own fraternity chapter under the unlikely charter of a bamboozled black fraternity, Lambda Lambda Lambda. With Greek letters, they were now able to compete against the most respected/feared fraternity on campus. Hijinks ensue.

Because they had been ignored by girls their whole lives, they and the audience rationalized the nerds boorish behavior that is considered by some as immoral if not illegal (closed-circuit cameras of Sorority house bathrooms and bedrooms – “Pan Down!”), and even what some now call a rape scene where Tri-Lam President Lewis dons Stan’s mask and deceives the AB President’s girlfriend into having sex. Not to worry. Since nerds spend more time thinking about sex, Lewis was a pretty decent lover so Betty was all good with it. Ha! What a ruse.

If you haven’t seen the movie, keep in mind the time period, as this followed a series of similar genres such as Porky’s and Animal House, which most folks of a certain age still look back on fondly. However, in retrospect, while Stan Gable was certainly the antagonist who deserved his comeuppance, at least his coital relations were consensual.

Off the silver screen, this level of entitlement and abuse of power is all but real. The psychological disposition of a once-ignored, but now all-powerful nerd is a series of reasoned and merited justifications.

Emily Chang explains:

When I ask Founder X whether these men are taking advantage of women by feeding them inhibition-melting drugs at sex parties, he replies that, on the contrary, it’s women who are taking advantage of him and his tribe, preying on them for their money.

In other words, everything is transactional. If I’m seeking sex from the beautiful people who would have never glanced my way 25 years ago, they’re obviously using me for my power. Therefore, taking advantage is fair play.

Nerds were not always just the computer variety. We would see them in theater and fine arts and some would end up running Hollywood. Many celebrities and entertainment moguls turned out to be predators and sexual deviants by promising roles to starry-eyed fresh-off-the-bus dreamers as long as they perform tricks for the otherwise unattractive men and women. Imagine how many ladies would find Harvey Weinstein appealing if he was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Podunk.

Like Silicon Valley, where tech titans are gauged by their company’s stock price and numbers of users, Hollywood’s titans are viewed through the lens of box-office clout. Both have become rulers of not just those they work with, but all of us too.

While we may not have to attend chlamydia-covered mansion soirees or peel ourselves off the casting couch to ensure we can pay our mortgage, we are being throttled and demonetized online if our worldview doesn’t jibe with the cocktail circuit’s mostly progressive groupthink.

Their behavior at these high-end parties is an extension of the progressiveness and open-mindedness—the audacity, if you will—that make founders think they can change the world. And they believe that their entitlement to disrupt doesn’t stop at technology; it extends to society as well.

We can no longer see a movie without being hit over the head with woke platitudes. Among many examples, the latest Avengers random female team-up was an obvious salute to feminists which took most people out of the film. Or the “Force is Female” approach to Star Wars which caused many fans to tire of political correctness being inserted in their favorite canons.

The incestual marriage between Silicon Valley and Hollywood is where both industries can control the narrative and subsequently our ability to have a voice. Silicon Valley’s woke coding causes much of the criticism to be hidden on search engines and mostly relegated to Twitter where anyone who suggested that the Avengers all-female confab felt forced was immediately branded sexist.

If you don’t like it, you’ll be banished to digital Siberia where people lose livelihoods and reputations if they don’t play along. Except for this time, it’s not the jocks they are going after, it’s everyone. With social justice warriors in tow, the goal is to now silence all thought that is verboten.

With a little throttling, demonetizing, de-platforming and transactional intimacy, this is now a world where Lambda Lambda Lambda wouldn’t even allow the Alpha Beta’s to exist on their same campus.

Who are the bullies now?

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There are 31 comments.

  1. Bob Thompson Member

    This is really weird and these are the people with power.

    • #1
    • June 24, 2019, at 9:48 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    As a geek myself, this makes sense. The tech executives are living like Tony Stark pre-superhero – rich because they are smart, powerful with women on each arm. All the people who annoy you can be dealt with.

    The dream of big tech is a nightmare for the rest of us.

    • #2
    • June 24, 2019, at 9:49 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  3. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Well written. Porky’s! Yikes!! For every Leftist “nerd” billionaire, there are a few million “nerds” with neutral or chaotic alignment. They live in a world of Twitch and Reddit and 4chan and they are the ones that will run the world in the future or more likely build their own world. They are an unseen force to be reckoned with. 

    • #3
    • June 24, 2019, at 10:00 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Bob Thompson Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    Well written. Porky’s! Yikes!! For every Leftist “nerd” billionaire, there are a few million “nerds” with neutral or chaotic alignment. They live in a world of Twitch and Reddit and 4chan and they are the ones that will run the world in the future or more likely build their own world. They are an unseen force to be reckoned with.

    You’re not making me think our outcomes are going to be significantly less weird.

    • #4
    • June 24, 2019, at 10:03 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Bob Thompson Member

    Here’s something weird. Right now I am in the middle of John D MacDonald’s 1956 novel ‘Death Trap’ about a nerd college student sentenced to death for a rape/murder which he may not have committed-that’s the mystery to be solved. A big part of the mystery is trying to fit the accused nerd behaviors into a pattern that would result in such violence.

    • #5
    • June 24, 2019, at 10:27 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Harvey Pekar had a pretty good critique of Revenge Of The Nerds, in which he pointed out that even the nerds in that movie were rich kids who didn’t have to pay for anything themselves. Are any of the nerds in that movie working their way through school? Nope, or at the very least they are never depicted working a paying job. Upon graduation, they’d get high-paying jobs and end up ruling the world like jerks just like every other group of rich kids that has ever ruled the world.

    • #6
    • June 24, 2019, at 11:32 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  7. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Harvey Pekar had a pretty good critique of Revenge Of The Nerds, in which he pointed out that even the nerds in that movie were rich kids who didn’t have to pay for anything themselves. Upon graduation, they’d get high-paying jobs and end up ruling the world like jerks just like every other group that has ever ruled the world.

    I can’t find him or any review by him. Link?

    • #7
    • June 24, 2019, at 11:35 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Harvey Pekar had a pretty good critique of Revenge Of The Nerds, in which he pointed out that even the nerds in that movie were rich kids who didn’t have to pay for anything themselves. Upon graduation, they’d get high-paying jobs and end up ruling the world like jerks just like every other group that has ever ruled the world.

    I can’t find him or any review by him. Link?

    He was a comic book writer. An associate of Robert Crumb.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Pekar

    I got his take on Revenge of the Nerds from the biopic about him, American Splendor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APpxQm7sH5k

    • #8
    • June 24, 2019, at 11:42 AM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Harvey Pekar had a pretty good critique of Revenge Of The Nerds, in which he pointed out that even the nerds in that movie were rich kids who didn’t have to pay for anything themselves. Upon graduation, they’d get high-paying jobs and end up ruling the world like jerks just like every other group that has ever ruled the world.

    I can’t find him or any review by him. Link?

    He was a comic book writer. An associate of Robert Crumb.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Pekar

    I got his take on Revenge of the Nerds from the biopic about him, American Splendor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APpxQm7sH5k

    I remember enjoying the film. Didn’t know of his work otherwise.

    Why does everything have to be about class warfare? Couldn’t some kids get scholarships or take student loans?

    But yes, they were the ones more likely to succeed. Except for Booger. There was no hope for that.

    • #9
    • June 24, 2019, at 11:58 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Harvey Pekar had a pretty good critique of Revenge Of The Nerds, in which he pointed out that even the nerds in that movie were rich kids who didn’t have to pay for anything themselves. Upon graduation, they’d get high-paying jobs and end up ruling the world like jerks just like every other group that has ever ruled the world.

    I can’t find him or any review by him. Link?

    He was a comic book writer. An associate of Robert Crumb.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Pekar

    I got his take on Revenge of the Nerds from the biopic about him, American Splendor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APpxQm7sH5k

    I remember enjoying the film. Didn’t know of his work otherwise.

    Why does everything have to be about class warfare? Couldn’t some kids get scholarships or take student loans?

    But yes, they were the ones more likely to succeed. Except for Booger. There was no hope for that.

    The point is that the “Nerds” from that movie are portrayed as “underdogs”, which is arguably mendacious considering the immense advantages those characters have in life that most Americans do not share.

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with celebrating intelligence and hard work, but to pretend the characters in that movie are “underdogs” is to indulge in the sort of “victim-worship” that’s been so harmful to western society. At least, that’s the argument.

    It’s sorta kinda like how The Crown portrayed Prince Charles as an “underdog” because Prince Philip made him go to a tough school instead of allowing him to go to Eton where he’d be pampered. The heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, of all people, is no “underdog”.

    • #10
    • June 24, 2019, at 12:06 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  11. Full Size Tabby Member

    I may be the only guy my age (early 60’s) who has not seen these movies, though I think I have a modest understanding of the general theme. The problem I, a life-long nerd, have with the overall stories of these movies is that when victorious, the nerds behave as badly as, or worse than, the original “bad guys,” and they do so in the same ways. They don’t do anything to improve the situation. They just substitute one group of people for a different group of people, but all doing the same bad behaviors. 

    And that seems to be the same thing going on in the “real world.” The nerds have power and they are going to use that power to bully others, as they were bullied, rather than to improve the situation. They may have started off believing that their intent was to improve the situation, but once they got a taste of actual power, they did what humans have done throughout history, they became intoxicated with the power, and now deploy it as they have seen it deployed before. 

    • #11
    • June 24, 2019, at 12:27 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  12. Vance Richards Member

    I guess the first nerd orgy ended with someone saying,”Hey this was OK, but I really wish we could find a way to get girls to show up to the next one.”

    • #12
    • June 24, 2019, at 1:42 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  13. Vance Richards Member

    Dave Sussman: When I ask Founder X whether these men are taking advantage of women by feeding them inhibition-melting drugs at sex parties, he replies that, on the contrary, it’s women who are taking advantage of him and his tribe, preying on them for their money.

    When the #MeToo thing hit I wondered, for everyone that was hit on by a sleaze like Harvey Weinstein how many women have thrown themselves at producers with the hope of getting a role?

    • #13
    • June 24, 2019, at 1:46 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. Bob Thompson Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    I guess the first nerd orgy ended with someone saying,”Hey this was OK, but I really wish we could find a way to get girls to show up to the next one.”

    It looks as if they have solved that part. Show me the money!

    • #14
    • June 24, 2019, at 2:06 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Guruforhire Member

    Dave Sussman:

    Emily Chang explains:

    When I ask Founder X whether these men are taking advantage of women by feeding them inhibition-melting drugs at sex parties, he replies that, on the contrary, it’s women who are taking advantage of him and his tribe, preying on them for their money.

    In other words, everything is transactional. If I’m seeking sex from the beautiful people who would have never glanced my way 25 years ago, they’re obviously using me for my power. Therefore, taking advantage is fair play.

    They aren’t wrong.

    • #15
    • June 24, 2019, at 2:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Jimmy Carter Member

    Dave Sussman: We were all once nerds, or cool kids, jocks, bullies, dorks, a.v. cart-pushers, theater geeks, motorheads, preppies, break dancers, valley girls, wastoids, heshers, skaters, surfers, outcasts, and teacher’s pets.

    And Ropers. 

    • #16
    • June 24, 2019, at 2:30 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Another critique of the Revenge Of The Nerds movie: If those nerds were so dang smart, why the heck did they choose to attend a university that put such a huge emphasis on athletics?

    If they were poor then one could argue that maybe it was the best school they could afford, but it’s already been established that they weren’t poor. Therefore, it stands to reason that they weren’t smart enough to get into a more academically-oriented school.

    So, arguably, they weren’t even genuine nerds. They were merely dorks.

    • #17
    • June 24, 2019, at 3:06 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Vance Richards Member

    As Ogre would say . . .

    • #18
    • June 24, 2019, at 3:13 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer Member

    So according to Google facts are not “fair”.

    https://twitter.com/Grummz/status/1143146466715717633

     

    That is some serious Orwellian thinking going on there. 

    • #19
    • June 24, 2019, at 3:13 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  20. Kephalithos Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I may be the only guy my age (early 60’s) who has not seen these movies, though I think I have a modest understanding of the general theme. The problem I, a life-long nerd, have with the overall stories of these movies is that when victorious, the nerds behave as badly as, or worse than, the original “bad guys,” and they do so in the same ways. They don’t do anything to improve the situation. They just substitute one group of people for a different group of people, but all doing the same bad behaviors.

    Precisely. There’s a real difference between people desperate to climb the social ladder (but inept at doing so) and people who don’t care a whit about the social ladder.

    Besides, real high school is nothing like a John Hughes coming-of-age film. The student body is fractured into a thousand tiny cliques, each with its own internal hierarchy, and each paying little attention to any other. Jocks don’t actually bully nerds; rather, jocks bully other jocks. And prom queens bully other would-be prom queens — with extravagant cruelty.

    • #20
    • June 25, 2019, at 4:44 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Great post, Dave. More good reasons for me to have left CA. Then again, with the pervasiveness of social media, I wonder if Florida has its own kinds of degenerate enclaves. (I was especially impressed with your suggesting the relationship with men who were nerds in their earlier days taking revenge in the current lives.)

    • #21
    • June 25, 2019, at 6:35 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Great post, Dave. More good reasons for me to have left CA. Then again, with the pervasiveness of social media, I wonder if Florida has its own kinds of degenerate enclaves.

    Too… many… snarky… comebacks…

    ;)

    • #22
    • June 25, 2019, at 8:45 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Great post, Dave. More good reasons for me to have left CA. Then again, with the pervasiveness of social media, I wonder if Florida has its own kinds of degenerate enclaves.

    Too… many… snarky… comebacks…

    ;)

    Hey, watch it!

    • #23
    • June 25, 2019, at 8:47 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  24. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    From a nerd, once scorned and the butt of jokes, some innocent, some not, I applaud your twist on the dilemma now facing our society.

    • #24
    • June 25, 2019, at 11:39 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Unsk Member

    I once knew one of the writers of Revenge of the Nerds. I don’t think it was meant to be as deeply analyzed as it is here. It was a light hearted comedy after all, written over 35 years ago and yes it was a funny commentary on the Soc/Nerd divide, but that divide was not nearly as highly charged then as it is now.

    All that said, the new Revenge of the Big Tech Nerds is not funny at all. The undercurrents of the social scene described in Emily Chang’s Brotopia are quite ugly and downright nasty, and I think there is more than a tinge of revenge in the treatment of the beautiful women now pursuing these now powerful Nerds, but who once ignored them.

    But that goes to also to what I think is the motivation of many of these new Big Tech Nerds- a lingering and often very angry resentment of all those who perpetuated their imagined and quite real emotional assaults from these Nerds childhood and that includes all those from the mean hotheads who bullied them for their nerd- ness to the more normal people ranging to the Average Joe’s and Jills to the In-Crowd Soc’s who just dismissed them as weird. This group of people, ranging from the mean, to the normal to the Soc’s form I think what these powerful Tech Nerd see as the “deplorables” in the population and this group of “deplorables” still inspires anger and resentment in the Tech Nerds after all these years no matter how powerful or wealthy the Tech Nerds are now.

    The attacks on free speech, the ever growing threat of spying on average citizens and the grasping of control over much of people’s lives by Big Tech I think is a result of the resentment many in the Big Tech Executive Suite still feel against much of the population.

    • #25
    • June 25, 2019, at 12:43 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. I Walton Member

    When I was a kid, meaning high school, college, not graduate school that was after several foreign assignments. In high school nerds simply didn’t count. The best students in high school were also the best athletes. By graduate school there were no athletes and you couldn’t tell a nerd from a non nerd which wasn’t true in undergraduate school a decade earlier. Nobody used computers in undergraduate school because they didn’t exist, or drugs for that matter or even much alcohol except at frat parties and athletes generally didn’t indulge much. Life really changed fast from 16 to 26 so external stability was probably important. I wonder if that is still true.

    • #26
    • June 25, 2019, at 1:01 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Richard Finlay Member

    Burwick Chiffswiddle (View Comment):
    Besides, real high school is nothing like a John Hughes coming-of-age film. The student body is fractured into a thousand tiny cliques, each with its own internal hierarchy, and each paying little attention to any other. Jocks don’t actually bully nerds; rather, jocks bully other jocks. And prom queens bully other would-be prom queens — with extravagant cruelty.

    That may be true in today’s typical high school, but in a small rural school in the 60s (My class numbered 32, only 16 boys.), we couldn’t afford more than 2 or 4 cliques. Being academically gifted and athletically challenged was not a status-enhancer.

    • #27
    • June 25, 2019, at 1:05 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Al Sparks Thatcher

    At the moment, I can’t reproduce the articles, but I’ve read on National Review and other conservative sites that sexual activity is down, and that includes older groups beyond the teen years.

    Apparently this includes unmarried couples living together, which is significant since the number of married couples is also down.

    Another consequence of Nerds running things. It sort of fits the stereotype, doesn’t it?

    • #28
    • June 25, 2019, at 1:39 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Another critique of the Revenge Of The Nerds movie: If those nerds were so dang smart, why the heck did they choose to attend a university that put such a huge emphasis on athletics?

    If they were poor then one could argue that maybe it was the best school they could afford, but it’s already been established that they weren’t poor. Therefore, it stands to reason that they weren’t smart enough to get into a more academically-oriented school.

    So, arguably, they weren’t even genuine nerds. They were merely dorks.

    IIRC at least the main two were going there because their parents had; presumably at one point it was a place for nerds before the jocks took over and thus the need for revenge.

    • #29
    • June 25, 2019, at 3:17 PM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Henry Castaigne Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    Upon graduation, they’d get high-paying jobs and end up ruling the world like jerks just like every other group of rich kids that has ever ruled the world.

    Poor people who get rich can be jerks too. Usually they are less jerky but human evil is in everybody and always will be. 

    • #30
    • June 26, 2019, at 10:55 AM PST
    • 3 likes