Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Sam Patlove, Recording mastered by Jake Moon
Some nerds have some nerve. As fellow nerds, we tend to wonder where these nerds get their balls galvanized. We wonder how they're able to build up so much of the kind of frothy, foamy saliva needed to expectorate on all of those dickwads who talk shit or would have the audacity to mock them, in any way. We wonder why we can't just embrace our lot in life - far away from the cool table - and just go about our daily business in the comfort of the familiar and non-judgmental dull white glow of the computer screen or the pale blue glow of the television screen. We bathe in these glows. They are our spinach, but sometimes it's all we have. We've got Star Wars and we've got Philip K. Dick. We've got Bradbury and Vonnegut. Fuck, we've got books, in general. We've got vampires and werewolves. We've got The Believer and fantasy baseball. We've got comic books and graphic novels. Now that we think about it, there are more nerds now than there ever have been. The freak in many has come out to play. Hell, I read the other day that Eli Manning likes nothing better than to go antiquing. The funny shit about it is that this was in Time magazine and that particular anecdote was framed as an example of the quarterback's "goofy side." Whatever, nerdy Time magazine. That's just a little anti-inclusion-ism going on. They're not letting the jock get too many nerd cool points, not that easily. He's probably got that towel twisted up into a pretzel, ready to snap on a nerd's ass right now for the infraction of antiquing. It's just a bait.
MC Chris, or Christopher Brendan Ward IV, or MC Pee Pants from the Adult Swim cartoon, Aqua-Teen Hunger Force, has made a career out of being that nerd with the guts to flaunt all of his nerdy idiosyncrasies in the face of the douche bags who probably shattered his young spirits in junior high and high school. MC Chris, however, has never sounded like a victim. His helium voice is nerdy, but there is an air of invincibility in everything that comes out of his rapid-firing mouth. He's about as confident as a nerd could be and it might just be that he's not a nerd at all. It might be what it takes to make it as a nerd - having all of the interests of a nerd and being more of an intellectual, but still looking like you might be the best customer that the UFC and every tattoo parlor you pass has ever had. MC Chris songs are filled with a blizzard of references, with details galore, making him a bonafide nerd, earning his stripes, and still they are meant, often as warning shots, suggesting to the dicks and the bullies that they don't know who they're messing with. There's a lot of self-congratulations floating around too, as everyone sorta knows that the nerds rule the world and there's a lot of satisfaction to be taken in finally seeing the assholes get what's coming to them. Chris raps on "Jelly Inside," "You're just jelly inside/I'm just loving life/My success took a long time/Not overnight/You talk trash that I jump with my motorbike/Fuck you," taking great pleasure in what he's accomplished and, just as importantly, in how little someone else has not. There are still those insecurities though, where the social anxiety and the acne are cited as reasons to just stay in your "nerd cave," not shaving or showering, just watching the flat screen with the surround sound. Even after all the fuck yous that you can muster, there's still no getting around that lingering residue of insecurity. It's just nice to know that the nerds are, mostly, winning.