Why you Nerds be Haten?

I wanted to get something off my chest for a while, and now it is time.

Dear Nerds, my brothers and sisters, why are so many of you judgmental assholes?

Let me take a step back. I love to share information with people on facebook on twitter. I find something I love, and I post about it. I love music. I love Star Wars. I love working out. I love my San Francisco Giants. I love humor. I love a lot of things. I find that I am a much happier person when I spend more time celebrating life rather than criticizing it. There is a time and a place to be critical, especially when it comes to my self improvement, but for the most part I don’t relish in negativity (or the negativity of others).

So many people use social network platforms, and other methods of communication, to spread their negativity  and to put each other down. I sometimes see  negative conversations manifesting when people try to have political discussions, or deeply personal conversations about ethics, religion, and morality. I can understand why these conversations become so negative, because they are so deeply personal, but surprisingly I see it more when one of my fellow nerds try to rip on something someone else loves. I see it with my fellow nerds more often than any other group I follow on Twitter and Facebook.

The criticism normally comes as a statement that suggests it is a statement of fact. A good example would be:
“I think people who like Baseball are idiots.” or
“People who enjoy Power Rangers need to grow up,” or
“I don’t understand why people even pay attention to Star Wars anymore,” or
“People who LARP are losers.”

Or just people who who make open comments about art and artistic things like:
“I hated that movie, it sucked.” (Where’s your movie?)
“That TV show was the worst thing I ever saw” (where is your Television show?)
“That was the worst album I ever heard” (where is your record deal?)

I see those type of comments and feel sorry for the person who says it. Why? Because I know that person is actually hurting inside and is a very insecure person.

When I was much younger, and I had a head of hair, I was insecure about the fact that I wasn’t very “cool,” and didn’t believe that I had very much talent, or was good at anything. My main obsession was music, and I would spend about 50% of my income on buying CDs (that’s right kids, people actually paid for their music!). Whenever I had free time, I would listen to music, and just day dream. I had a passion for music, it was MY THING!

Whenever I listened to other people talk about music, it often triggered a mental response in the back of my mind where I thought “But wait, I LOVE music! I spend all my time understanding and finding new music! This is MY THING! Not yours! Mine! What do you know?!,” and I would spend time defending my space by critiquing other people’s tastes, as if the topic was my territory and no one else. I was insecure about myself. I had no confidence, and I sought to put other people down because it was the quickest way to make myself feel better.

Did it make me better as a person? Nope. Did it make my friends  feel better when I made fun of them for loving something? Nope. It was a lose-lose situation. I simply choose to hurt my friends feelings in order to feel better about myself, because I was weak. Did it work? Oh sure, for like five minutes, then I would have some awful fallout with a friend and lose an opportunity to have a good relationship with someone.

When it comes to art, sports, and media, it is all very subjective. People like what they like. If my best friend wants to love football, how does that honestly impact my love of music? It doesn’t. What my friends love and like doesn’t have any impact on what I love or like; other than the possibility that I may like or love once they talk about it, and if I don’t, then who cares?

It’s totally fine to dislike something, or even say something like: “Meh, I didn’t like that song too much,” or “You know, football really isn’t my thing,” but if you don’t like something – then move on. Why spend the extra energy putting someone down for liking it in the first place? Isn’t it better to know someone, like someone, or love someone who has passion for life rather than someone who doesn’t give a damn about anything? Why spend the extra time to hate something? If you didn’t like something in the first place, why spend any more energy on it?

My nerds, you need to stop spending so much time ripping other people down for what they love. You should be spending more time loving yourself, and work towards improving yourself so that little voice inside your head that says “It’s time to strike and be critical” becomes a afterthought. It is harder, believe me, to criticize yourself and accept your short comings (and try to over come them)…but in the long run, you will like yourself better for it. You may even discover that the world is a much brighter and better place when you don’t fill it with your black clouds.

 

 

This is the only kind of story that can happen in a Dennys in the middle of the night in Los Angeles

I won’t get into “why,” but I was stuck overnight in Los Angeles (specifically the LAX area), and decided I was going to pull an all-nighter so I can catch the early flight. Much to my dismay, the options around the airport at 2:30 am were limited. My only real option was a Denny’s.

I wandered over to the Denny’s and noticed it was surrounded by two strip clubs and a hotel with a hourly rate. I knew that this was going to be an experience in it of itself. When I went inside the diner I saw that the restaurant had two sides, filled with a group of people wearing all blue, a group of people wearing all red, and a group of people who wear all purple. Since I grew up in LA, I wasn’t clueless about what I was walking into. The entire place was filled to the brim with gangs from different parts of the area. Generally when I see something like this I would expect fights to break out, but everyone was keeping to themselves and eating. I decided if they felt safe, I have nothing to fear, so I took a seat on the bar stool and ordered some really gross greasy food (it was amazing!).

To my right was a group of guys who were all wearing purple colors. I didn’t know which “group” purple belonged to since I only know the gangs that were around when I was a teenager. One guy looked at my jacket and saw my Automattic jacket, and I was wearing my ‘Happiness Engineer’ T-shirt. I’m sure I stuck out like a sore thumb.

The purple guy finally asks me “Hey man, what’s with the hoodie? Which crew are you with?”
“Crew,” I said “well…I’m part of the store crew,” which is the name of my team at Automattic.
“The store crew, shit man, can I buy some beer from you then?!” The purple guy starts laughing.

I can’t help but laugh back cause hearing people laugh usually makes me laugh too, even though the jokes are often on me.

“So where’s your hood at,” he asks. Normally a question you ask when you try and figure out a gang’s ‘territory.’
“Well, we don’t really have a hood, persay…we live all over the world and gather a couple times a year and do our thing.”
“Holy shit man, youz are like a secret group, like cross and bones or some shit.”
“Sort of like that…I suppose…..”
“Like, do you guys like….go banging and shit, or what?”
“Nothing like that, but we do use software that has taken over 20% of the internet.”
“holy shit man, that sounds crazy.”
“It is, it really is…..hey, do you like to blog?”

I start showing my new friend how to use WordPress, and the guy starts coming up with all kinds of ideas. I hear comments like:
“Dude we can put our demos on the site!”
“Fuck man, we could put those hot pictures of your girl on the site!”
“We can build a site for our friend who died!”

Before I realized it, I had a crowd of people looking over my shoulder watching me show the guys how to use WordPress. Blue, Purple, and Red….they all watched….And it was pretty cool.