Earlier in the “Fun” realm, I discussed Renaissance Festivals and how they bring together the diverse demographics of American geekdom. As the Negroes say, I can pass—when it comes to geekiness. Perhaps, I have full-fledged nerd street creds, but I never really fit well in any crowd—even among the social pariahs of yesteryear who have now come into their own, as David Brooks wrote some months ago, “The Alpha Geeks” in that Graying Old Whore. Well, I am glad that the alphas now have a safe haven from the benighted epsilon-minus semi-morons. Yet, didn’t all that social ostracism give nerds the necessary time to innovate and to make America technologically superior? If potential Bill Gates get peer respect and girls, then we might as well send the White House’s keys to the Peking oligarchs now; the contest is over.
Brooks’ account of nerd ascent misses entirely the covert nerd integration into mass consciousness through the work of Led Zeppelin. What? Did I just call perhaps the greatest rock band ever a bunch of nerds? Yep! In what might be the best executed stealth maneuver in pop cultural history, Led Zeppelin succeeded in bringing geekdom to the masses in the language of rock, thus paving the way for George Lucas’ Star Wars. I know the accusations of heresy that I shall incur from the dogmatists. Yet, I stand and can do no other: “Before there was Hans, there was John Bonham.”
Should you have any doubts, consider Robert Plant’s fantasy sequence in Led Zeppelin’s movie, The Song Remains the Same:
Even without mentioning Tolkien, the defense rests.