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Fandom 0

Fandom: The Ultimate Security Blanket

Note:
The following is a text version from episode 65 of my friend and I podcast,The Swarthy Nerd.  It has been edited for this blog.  You can listen to the episode in full by click the link above.

Please enjoy!

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We all need a sense of security: may it be for home defense, personal space, finances, etc. Security allows us to have a sense of safety and the confidence that no harm will come to us.  With security, we won’t be able to subscribe to ill thoughts and of being violated, unprotected, and insecure; as long as our  security doesn’t get compromised. Fandom in nerd culture could be considering a form of security.

Nerds use their fandom to protect themselves from outsiders and anyone else who may try to enter a fandom will ill intent.  Acting as a security device, a nerd’s fandom can serve to help one escape the harsh realities of the world (crime, violence, systematic white supremacy, etc.).  While using fandom to escape and defend you from this world has some benefits, there are faults to relying on it.

To quote the late film critic Robert Ebert in his review of the 2009 film Fanboys,

“Extreme fandom may serve as a security blanket for the socially inept, who use its extreme structure as a substitute for social skills. If you are Luke Skywalker and she is Princess Leia, you already know what to say to each other, which is so much safer than having to ad-lib it. Your fannish obsession is your beard. If you know absolutely all the trivia about your cubbyhole of pop culture, it saves you from having to know anything about anything else. That’s why it’s excruciatingly boring to talk to such people: They’re always asking you questions they know the answer to.”

Harsh, but truthful.

In today’s episode of the Swathy Nerd Podcast, we will break down the security blanket that is fandom, why lonely loser nerds use fandom to escape from reality, and why it’s too easy to use somebody else work to build your own sense of self and security.

PART ONE
HOW FANDOM SERVE  US

Fandom as a security blanket serves us through three means:
1. Creates a culture
2 A sense of self
3. A sense of protection

It’s no secret that most nerds don’t fit into other groups due to their quirky, obsessive nature. They (usually) cannot relate to mainstream topics such as the latest celebrity gossip, sports, pop music, and so forth.  Therefore, they seek to find comradely with like minded peers: building a culture and support system around their love for pop art and culture.  With this, a nerd could use this newfound comradeship to form social circles that otherwise would be “impossible” to obtain outside of using pop culture reference and fan familiarity

Less energy and effort can be exhausted on staying within one’s comfort zone. Why expand your mind and broaden horizons by going out of your way to do something new and meet people outside your normal social circle when you can use your endless supply of The Office quotes with those who too quote form overrated T.V. series? You don’t have to think on the fly like a smooth, charming player if you remind within known topics.

However, there’s one major drawback to relying on that trick: Things will get boring quick.

How long will it take for the other person you’re talking to until they wind up getting tired of your pop culture references?  Why do you refuse to let go of a topic that nobody is interested in other than to stroke your own ego?  People are drawn towards those who know about more than one topic – especially if it’s outside the realm of pop culture.  Not everyone loves and operate on the same level of stableness and security you run on (pop culture).  Eventually, you’ll need to disrupt that sense of security if you want to attach others to you.

Nerds believe that their hobbies, attractions, and interests are small bits of the larger picture of who they are as a person; a sort of sense of self to say.  There’s some truth to this. I do believe that what you’re into have an impact and reflect on your personality and psyche.

Example: A Black nerd may relate to the comic series X-MEN due to the elements of racism within the series.   That black nerd understands to the X-MEN being treated like outsiders because of his racial background. They might collect figurines of characters such as Storm, Gambit, or Wolverine because to that Black Nerd, that’s a form of self-empowerment.

It’s not to say that these nerds couldn’t tap into their spirit for self-empowerment nor do they don’t, BUT, you must admit that it’s goofy for a grown ass man to be empowered by fiction and fiction alone.  Of course, it’s much easier to use somebody else’s work to empower yourself than to get off your ass and work on yourself and your purpose to empower yourself without external influences.

Finally, fandom creates a sort of protection.  Most nerds (who don’t have a pair of balls/ovaries), have been bullied for their interests.  Therefore, they create walls and barriers to protect themselves from outsiders.  Other nerds have struggle with dealing with real world issues, or dealt with hardships in life (child abuse, absent parent, social struggles, etc.), so their fandom is the perfect tool for defense.  It’s all-to-common to hear a female felt empowered by magical girl series such as Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura in her troubling youth.

We all heard tales of men (who only watch entry level Shounen anime) whose favorite anime is Dragon Ball Z because somehow, a cartoon show them what an alpha male is supposed to look like.  They may not actually put in the work to be as alpha as the fictional characters they admire (hell, they even hate on anime fans who don’t live vicariously through shounen anime and put in hard work to become greater than their fictional icons).

They rather live through their heroes than to  like them.

 

PART TWO

DISRUPTING SECURITY

Let’s visit an earlier statement from this “essay”: “Not everyone loves and operate on the same level of stableness and security you run on (pop culture).  Eventually, you’ll need to disrupt that sense of security if you want to attach others to you. ” Sooner or later, security will get violated.  It will get disrupted it; causing you to be on edge.

We’ve seen this with COVID-19 forcing pop culture conventions to cancel their events this year.  Stores catering to nerd culture, such as Japan LA and Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore  have been torched by protesters seeking justice for the racial murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless mores.  Nerdy brands have shown solidity with Black Americans (if they’re being sincere or just doing this for money is up for debate).   2020 has proven that you can’t use your fandom as a shield to protect yourself.

You will need to embrace that. Hiding from it not only makes you childish – it makes you weak and a coward.

We don’t even need the onslaught of chaos that 2020 given us so far to destroy your sense of fanboy security.  Remember: a madman in July 2019 decided to burn down Kyoto Animation.  You know, the same anime studio that produces media to help keep otakus and weeaboos globally distracted.

You couldn’t go anywhere online or offline without being reminded that Kyoto Animation was burned down and 35+ of their employees were murdered. This is no means a form of disrespect towards those who lost their lives in such a senseless way, but it’s a grim reminder that your distractions can be taken away from you.

Look, what I’m telling you guy is this: you have to accept the fact your hobbies and passions will never protect you in the long run.  Reality always has a way to rear its ugly head into your fantasy, la-la land (or even in the real world itself). We’ve heard stories of Black nerds going to nerdy conventions thinking they can escape racism for a few days only to experience it by racist white nerds. You always have these racist white nerds who will attack Black nerds for cosplaying outside their race or simply being at a convention.

My fellow black nerds: if you think your geekiness will override your Blackness, you are fucking retarded and deserve a Negro wake up call.

Logging onto Animal Crossing or whatever the latest distraction is won’t fix nor lessen your issues. How the hell you’re more concerned about some fictional tanuki motherfucker breaking your kneecaps if you don’t pay them rent, and yet, you haven’t pay rent to your real landlord?

It’s so wild that we have people out here who have all the courage in the world to solve the problems of fictional characters, but somehow, they can’t be bothered to fix their own.  Guess it’s easier for some socially awkward nerd fuck to solve worse girl Futaba from Persona 5 or worse girl Bernadetta from Fire Emblem: Three Houses social disorder issues than for them to solve their own to better themselves as a person (it’s also easier for fans of those two to smell like corn chips, hot dog water, and ass like those two shut-in losers as well, but that’s for another essay).

In conclusion, I say this: You’re not Linus from Charlie Brown.  Stop relying on such a pathetic security blanket such as your precious little fandom geek shit to guard you from the realities of this world.   You need to grow beyond it so that you can have more friends or whatever.  Learn to embrace that this world is horrible and bad things will happen. It’s not to say that you should be horrible in kind, but you have to deal with it to grow as a better person.

You cannot escape life.

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The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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Freewriting 0

Playing The Long Game As A Nerd (Freewrite)

 

“You still watching Dragon Ball Z, nigga?  Grow up!”
“Stop acting white! You’re too old to watch cartoons!”
“Go get some pussy and stop playing video games!”

Growing up as a (black) nerd in a backward ass Midwestern city was rough (in the early 2000s). Throughout middle and high school if you had nerdy interests, you were deemed a loser amongst your peers.   Nobody (outside your fellow outcasted nerds) wanted to fuck with you.  You were bullied, teased, and taunted for your nerdy passion.  I too dealt with my fair share of bullshit from normies who didn’t have the balls to step out of their comfort zone; unlike us nerds who didn’t fuck with that fitting in shit.

I still remember how my normie peers would tell me how being a nerd was uncool and that I need to grow up.  They claimed that video games and anime would never get me pussy, popularity, or money.  Of course, they were wrong.  Hell, even with my near grandiose levels of ego, I knew they were wrong. Mainly because  I spent my free-time shit posting and trolling gaming and anime forums communicating with older nerds who went through the same shit I was going through back then.   Many of them had wives, families, money, and status at their jobs.  Some even talked about how they hooked up with an equally nerdy chick or a dude at comic and anime conventions.

I mean shit, I looked up to Bill Gates when I in middle and high school.  Here was a nigga that  was a total nerd in his school days.  Was bullied for being a nerd, spent his weekends working on computers for 40 hours while everyone else was partying and doing stupid, unproductive shit. He played the long game with his brand and within a few decades, he became the richest men in the world.

So much for nerds being losers.

Reading about Bill Gates’s success (as well as the success of older nerds online) made me realize this at a young age:  If I’m going to dedicate my life to being a nerd and building something for myself off it,  then I better play the long game. I just knew deep down that nerd culture was going to be popular.  I just had this gut feeling that nerds and geeks in America will stop being bullied.  That we were going to be trendsetters. Game changers.  The dominant culture in entertainment (The Big Bang Theory doesn’t fuckin’ count).

At the turn of this decade (the 2010s),  my vision was coming true (for the nerd community). Blockbuster superhero movies were the norm.  Video games were treated as a respectful, valued form of entertainment.  Anime (and otaku culture) was accepted.  Anime and video game clubs were poppin’ up in high schools across America.  While nerds were still being bullied, it was happening far less often then decades past.  Kids were free to wear their favorite anime or superhero shirt without fear of being teased or mock.  Conventions were getting mainstream attention.  Being a nerd was now consider cool.

Playing my first long game paid off.

Playing the long game with your passion isn’t easy.  Do not think you won’t face difficulties as a player of the long game.  You are fuckin’ stupid and clueless if you think there no errors or hardships with the long game.  You will have people talk to out of your passion (as they do not see nor understand your vision).   You will get called weird, mad, goofy, insane, whatever your hopeless, average, bottom feeders peers will throw up in your face.  As a player of the long game, you need to block those people out.  Cut them out of your lives even.   Link up with other people who share your passion and understand that success takes years to achieve instead.

How do you play the long game as a nerd?  Simple: Pick something you’re passionate about.  You love vlogging about the latest episodes of mainstream anime?  Good.  Stick with it for a few years. Do you find joy in making others happy when you play video game music on your violin?  Perfect.  Keep it up for years and years on end.  Don’t expect success to come overnight.  If you do, quit right now.  You ain’t cut out for the long game.

To those still bitter about the past and how nerd culture is now popular: Good.  Stay mad.  I need bitter ass suckers like you so I don’t have to worry about fighting other nerds to get that number one spot and dominate and intimidate everyone in the culture one day. Keep being miserable.

For the normies who made fun of nerds and are only on the nerd train cuz it’s popular: Thanks for being suckers!  I look forward to making money and build my brand off yall niggas.

For the rest of us nerds who are taking advantage of this trend: Play hard.  Work hard.  Success is ours for the taking.

anime 1

What NOT To Do At Cons DJkillzone Feat. weebtrashyuki (Collab Video)

 

Audio collab between my boy DJ Killzown Jones and myself.  With the convention season well into the summer season, DJkillzown and I figure we will be nice and give nice audio guide on NOT to do at cons.

TOPICS INCLUDE:
Cosplay is NOT Consent
Respecting Personal Boundaries
Personal Hygiene
Ghosting Cons
Alcohol/Drugs Consumption
Hotel Partying
Creeping on Women

TEXT VERSION COMING SOON!!!

DJ Killzown Jones’s social media accounts:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwO0lojnveRjDrVyJyl167A
https://www.facebook.com/Killzown314/?ref=br_rs