December 19, 2011 by

Intelligence, smarts

Women tend to list “intelligence” as one of the Big Three attractive traits of a man. This is awesome. If they listed “football”, I’d be screwed.

It’s just another step forward in the Nerd Revolution. The saying “Nerds are the new jocks” is spreading like acne. I don’t know if the saying is true, because I haven’t been a high school student for a while, but the signs are everywhere. In the movie “Kick Ass”, a misfit nerd actually has to get nerdier by becoming a superhero in order to get the girl. Adidas has released a new line of Star Wars-based clothing and shoes. Robert Pattinson is a skinny, pasty British kid for whom young women the world over would sacrifice their eternal souls. Lastly, everything is based on comic books oops, sorry, graphic novels. (Kick Ass, the most recent Bruce Willis movie, The Walking Dead on AMC, Watchmen, 300, Sin City, Iron Man, A History Of Violence, Jonah Hex, The Losers, The Mask, The Rocketeer, Road to Perdition, V For Vendetta, Wanted, X-Men, Men In Black, The Dark Knight, etc. etc. etc.).

Does nerdiness equal intelligence? No, but all of my nerdy friends are pretty sharp. To be a nerd you have to have room in your brain for all kinds of made up shit, as well as an interest in learning new things. If your brain has enough room and enough retention and enough interest to learn, say, the Elvish name for Mount Doom, it probably has the capacity to learn and retain real shit as well, like the fact that cumulonimbus clouds mean that rain is imminent.

The odd thing is that in a lot of ways remembering real facts (about cumulonimbus clouds, for example) is as nerdy as knowing that Robin’s real name is Dick Grayson and that he was played by Burt Ward in the original Batman TV series. The problem is that intelligence is an asset whereas nerdiness can get tiresome. Not everyone needs to know that after Han and Leia got married they had twins named Jaina and Jacen.

To reiterate: Nerdiness does not equal intelligence! The Big Three is not “Sense of Humour, Confidence, and An Extensive Knowledge of Star Wars”. Being smart is one thing. Telling your date that she reminds you of Luthien Tinuviel is something else.