Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Revenge of a Nerd


There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you. My name is Samuel Dylan Murray Preston and I am a geek. While my pre-teen peers were awkwardly fingering girls in the alley behind the Spar on Ham Road, I was awkwardly fingering the fret-board of a hand-me-down acoustic guitar and watching the Dark Crystal. I certainly groped enough boobage and rummaged around in enough young vaginas to satisfy a healthy sexual curiosity but I have grown into an adult who balances sex with episodes of Battlestar Galactica and the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft. I struggle to defend myself for having spent my life thus far desperately covering signs of nerdery behind an unconvincing swagger and dropped ‘H’s but I am consciously putting an end to all that.

Next time you hear an interview with Mike Skinner et al. please remember this; In order to cultivate the skills necessary to competently write and perform music and lyrics one must sacrifice some of the glue sniffing orgies (I’m pretty sure that’s what kids get up to) in order to spend thousands of hours sitting quietly in a darkened room mulling existentially whilst studying chord shapes and generally feeling like you don’t fit in. The reason that Rock Stars have such a nihilistic reputation is because they are busy compensating for the sex and drugs that they missed out on in their teenage years. Years they were busy analysing Beach Boys harmonies and learning twenty inversions of the same guitar chord. Time spent alone by no means guarantees an interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy but it they seem to be somehow fundamentally entwined.

Now you know my dirty secret let me tell you how I put it to daily use. When I am lying in bed my train of thought will often steam off in dark, unwanted directions. I will consciously begin to piece together a Sci-Fi fantasy world so alien and mystical that there is no way that my accountant could invade. I am so adept at this skill now that it has become as immersive as Avatar minus the terrible plot and characters. I walk around in my make-believe setting, hanging out with weird goblins, until I am worn out and fall asleep (probably under a tree with giant purple, hand-shaped leaves). I told you I was a geek.

It’s frustrating that imagination and a respect for the imaginations of others has such a fracking (nerd joke) stigma around it. I am not fat or staggeringly ugly and I don’t sweat more than I should. I have friends that I love very much. I jog. I DJ. I wear nice clothes. I do not dress up as an Orc at the weekends and re-enact battles from World of Warcraft. However, I refuse to let go of the child-like ability to become lost in imaginary worlds. I think Science Fiction exercises the appropriate glands to keep that sense of wonder alive. I wish someone had told me when I was a youngling (Star Wars reference) that being cool and popular in school pretty much guarantees becoming a tedious adult. If I had known that then I would have happily been away with the faeries (but not the ones in The Labyrinth that bite) rather than pretending to like things I hate and hiding my love for music and puppets and all the other weird shit that is undeniably wonderful! May the force be with you.