Essays on Technology and Culture

What Was the Nerd?

Today’s American fascist youth is neither the strapping Aryan jock-patriot nor the skinheaded, jackbooted punk: The fascist millennial is a pasty nerd watching shitty meme videos on YouTube, listening to EDM, and harassing black women on Twitter. Self-styled “nerds” are the core youth vanguard of crypto-populist fascist movements. And they are the ones most likely to seize the opportunities presented by the Trump presidency.

What Was the Nerd? — Real Life

This hurts to read, but it rings true. I was a bullied nerd—fat, unathletic, and into sci-fi and computers—but that was before the Internet, social media, and 4chan. I had no one to blame but myself for my torment, but took solace in some of the same nerd oppression narratives Osterweil discusses. God knows what would have come of me if I had access to 4chan as a teenager. Nothing good, I expect.