Today’s rant is brought to you by Avengers: Endgame (not really though–it’s just a gag)
At first, I found it ironically funny when I heard about people lining up for the latest Marvel movie days in advance or when I saw someone wearing an Avengers t-shirt.
When I was younger, I read comics, wore superhero t-shirts, and had other Marvel/DC merch. And everyone, and I mean everyone, would pick on me. I was called a geek or freak. I was told I was lower than pond scum. I was called a monster, an alien, and a few not so nice things.
Teachers and everyone would say I couldn’t read because I read comic books, sci-fi, and fantasy. Even though I would be sitting there reading War of the Worlds or Lord of the Rings, everyone would be like, “Pfft, he can’t read. He stupid.” Even though I got straight A’s and was in the top ten percentile in mathematics for the nation.
If I said my favorite show was Batman The Animated Series, I’d get all sorts of name-calling. For years, I thought I was the only person on the planet who liked the show.
So when people started talking about how awesome Marvel movies where or that Batman The Animated Series was a great show, I was like “Whaaaaat?” Then I found out about a thing called Comic-Con. I thought, “There are other weirdos like me out there?” It felt like I’d just discovered extraterrestrial intelligent life. I was close to running down the streets shouting, “I’m not an alien! I’m not an alien!”
At first, I figured everyone was liking Marvel movies because that was the latest “thing.” Just like how everyone suddenly liked wizards after Harry Potter or vampires after Twilight. But I slowly began to realize that they were “True Believers.” They were geeks!
But…why had I been so ostracized for liking fantasy back when I was younger? For years, I seriously thought that books like The Time Machine and Around the World in 80 Days were considered garbage by society–because that’s what people (including teachers) told me. I never suspected them to be classics. If so many people liked fantasy and sci-fi, how had I been a freak?
Finally, I figured it out. It wasn’t the genres; it’d been me. The bullies didn’t think I was stupid. They knew I was smart–smarter than them in most cases. I also didn’t go around bragging about being smart. Finally, it was because I did wear the novelty t-shirts–publicly. I let my geek flag fly. I wore what I liked, not what was cool or “in.” They were closet geeks while I was proud of my pocket protector (symbolically of course, I never wore a pocket protector).
That’s probably why Harry Potter, the MCU, Fortnite (and other video games) and so on are so popular–people can publicly “nerd out.” It took me years to figure out why everyone loved Harry Potter and what was so special about it; it was the “first” time it was socially acceptable to be a freak. Forget your Inner Child, people could let out their Inner Nerd!
So thank you Marvel Cinematic Universe for bringing us all together and showing us that we are all indeed…nerds.
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