For all the sand that the in-crowd kicks in the faces of we coolness challenged individuals, isn’t it something how they always come around and commandeer the stuff we find fun and interesting?
The dirty little secret of the universe is that there is something universally appealing about genuine nerds and their pursuit of the joy and happiness brought about by a relentless pursuit of their own interests and in the camaraderie of like-minded fellow travelers. Sure, they take a lot of grief for having priorities that don’t align with those of the normies stuck in the status rat-race, but deep down everyone can respect a man who properly prioritizes his own interests over the demands of the status seeking members of the mob. It takes some time, but eventually the world always comes around to the nerd way of thinking.
There was a time (before Hugo Gernsbeck) when tinkering for radio and tech was for losers. Now everyone has one in his car. There was a time (before Arnold Swarzenegger) when we Charles Atlas wannabes and swole as hell bodybuilders were considered weirdos. Now everyone wants to get ripped. There was a time when Star Wars and comic books were for booger eating dorks. Now (for a little while anyway) they are the biggest draw at the box office. There was a time (pre-YouTube) when D&D was the sole purview of mathcentric Tolkeinphiles who had to take their Mom to the prom*. Now (an empty simulacrum of) D&D features in dozens of podcasts, webcasts, and streams, and Hollywood celebs brag about their campaign the way they once bragged about their cigar and whiskey collections.
But Ozymandias will not be denied. Radio gave way to mp3s, lifting heavy gave way to yoga, and Star Wars gave way to Kathleen Kennedy. The mob is fickle and constantly demands new and different soporifics, and who do they look to for the creative impetus for crafting these new and different soporifics?
The single-minded nerds who chased our own dreams and pursued our own fun for years while the masses played with whatever toy they took from us last time. We are the candle in their creative darkness, and the ones to whom they look for guidance. Not because they think what we do is particularly fun, but because we have so much fun doing what we do that they can’t help but want to slice a piece of fun out of our recreational cake.
Which is great news for civilization, because when you watch the news you see two kinds of crowds. When you read social media, you read two kinds of crowds. On the one side you have bitter and angry leftists pouting about the Golden Emperor’s latest tweet, sneering at goodness and decency, and smugly celebrating the demolition of cherished American idols. Their recycled jokes fall flat, their anger feels hollow, and their passion is as wet as a post-wall ingenue in a room full of Hollywood billionaire executives. They crafted their whole personas around appealing to the cool kids table and are utterly miserable in the house of lies that is what passes for their life.
On the other side you have the laughter and creativity of the Trumplords. They laugh in the face of danger, throw dangerous meme-bombs into the woods of social media, and embrace the fun of fighting as a nothing-to-lose underdog beset by the Official Tastemakers and in constant risk of ostracism from conventions, websites, and the pinky-lifting pearlclutcher cocktail parties for which “journalists” these days sell their very souls for a mere invitation. The Trump crowd doesn’t care what the shaved and dyed haired Dean Wormers of today think, and the normies see that swagger and the choice is clear.
The Trump nerds have more fun. And they will lead the mobs into the promised land of American Reborn in the same way that the D&D nerds led the mobs into the promised land of superheroes, adventure, and (maybe in the post Kathleen Kennedy years) Star Wars.
It’s also great news for tabletop RPGs. Because all that fresh meat sucked in by the Live Play videos of community theater and improv club rejects – seriously, how do you get rejected from those groups is beyond me, they’ll take anybody with a warm pulse – will find GirlD&D kind of cute. But after realizing how vapid and empty GirlD&D really is, some of them will glance around the cafeteria and notice that those ill-dressed poindexters huddled over their 3d6-in-order character sheets sweat the most, laugh the most genuine snorts of laughter, and cheer their victories the loudest. And then they’ll come a-callin’. They’ll wonder how Those Losers could possibly be having so much fun, and they’ll listen for the code words. OSR? D4 Thieves? Random first level spells?
It’ll take some time, but they’ll come around. They always do.
*She was a very good dancer, I’ll have you know.