Having a collection of mint-condition Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and bragging about your shiny Charizard (which I actually had at one point, swoon) used to be a social faux pas, unless of course your goal was to hang out exclusively with the Hot Topic crowd at lunch and never get invited to parties. Of course that’s a bit on the stereotypical side, but humor me here—is it just my imagination, or has being a quintessential nerd, dork, or geek become strangely cool in the current collective? Think about it: reboots of classic comics and sci-fci franchises previously fawned over behind closed doors by those once considered losers are dominating box offices and on-air ratings. The Walking Dead, Daredevil and Marvel Studios movies, J.J. Abrams rebirthing your childhood space fantasies? If you don’t pander to some traditionally “nerdy” canon in this day and age, you’re probably living under a particularly isolated rock.
You might think that this trend of embracing what was previously shunned begins and ends with visual media, but that, my nerds of the new millennium, is where you’d be wrong. The world of music has not escaped the revenge of the nerds either. Don’t believe me? One need look no further than the realm of mash-ups and remixes for proof. For exhibit A, we turn to the infectious and astoundingly harmonious mash-up which proves that even Juicy J can survive a healthy dose of nerd, or, in this case, of Zelda. Bandz make Link dance in the Lost Woods apparently:
And the trend continues throughout various other nerd Meccas as well to the point that almost no fantasy, sci-fci, or anime series has remained untouched. Pokémon? Somebody had better get their Blastoise to use hydro pump because the trap remix of “Psychic Type – Victory Road” is FIRE. Mortal Kombat? Skrillex just caused a fatality in your eardrums with “Reptile.” The Walking Dead? UNKLE added some things and stuff to the remix of the opening theme and made it twice as haunting. Star Wars? Noize Tank injected the Cantina band with a concentrated dose of midi-chlorians for your listening pleasure.
Okay, I’m done now. I promise. But as you can see, interests, series, and past times that were once open season for ridicule are becoming, well, cool in the modern age. Which should send all the kids who were ever shoved in a locker for building a to-scale model of a Nazgul into a fit of “I-told-you-so” dancing à la this:
You have to admit though that it is interesting that electronic music is the go to genre for these kinds of nerd-tastic re-imaginings of iconic franchise themes. Maybe this trend of nerds out-nerding themselves with remixes and mash-ups is just one more vote for electronic dance music’s versatility. Maybe this is a sign that we can expect more integration of nerd culture into the music of the future—if that is the case, then EDM is certainly a good horse to hitch the nerd wagon to. So, in summation, nerds might not be so nerdy anymore. And if these examples are any indication of what to expect going forward, I have to say as a lover of nerdy indulgences, I am all for it. And may The Force be with you.