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Nerds hurt too

Letter to the Editor | Monday, March 10, 2008

Last I checked, which I do at least six times a day, The Observer was “an independent newspaper serving Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.” It’s right there on the cover, so I don’t know why I’m constantly checking that, but that’s a separate issue.

Despite this stance, The Observer forces its audience, practically at gunpoint, to turn against itself several times a year. I agree with Liz Froehlke’s view (“Offensive comic strip demeans women,” Feb. 27) that the Viewpoint has been pretty dull lately, what with there being no comic strip controversy in the last several months. In fact, it rarely stirs an exciting debate, outside of politics, campus traditions, the Vagina Monologues, race and gender issues, and religion – which certainly speaks to the actual intellectual vigor of its audience, you bottom-feeders, you – but publishing a truly offensive comic that not only is disparaging to, but also “disparages against,” nerds and so many of the students whose petty whims you supposedly “serve” should not be your fall-back for increasing readership.

The “nerdy-guys-commenting-on-girls’-frigidity” comic published recently (“Lollerskates,” Feb. 26) actually hurts the opposite group that it intends to insult. It makes active, “cool” people with real lives – like comic writers – look like arrogant bullies. And we all know that a bully is really just insecure in his newsprint core. How pathetic that a person who has actually spoken to a girl before feels the need to pick on a group of nerds that even U.S. News and World Report’s rankings – and they totally make them – would not place in the same category, namely “appealing people.”

So pathetically pathetic.The saddest part of all this, for me, is that nerds make up part of The Observer staff. I can’t believe any self-respecting nerd…actually exists. But if he did, he would never allow this offensive material to be a part of what he represented. At least not after he stopped crying.

I love Notre Dame. Carnally. Possibly because of that, I don’t actually have any close “cool” friends, but if I had some, you popular Observer people would be making them look ignorant and arrogant. Hey, come to think of it…

Anyway, Notre Dame is like a red giant in a small spiral galaxy: South Bend. (Astrophysics metaphors always did it for me better than outdoorsman ones.) Outside of this star cluster, there are much bigger ones in which you “interesting” people (who leave your rooms on Saturday night) would feel much smaller. Remember that, and stop trying to instigate a debate that isn’t even valid, that has been beaten into the ground, that no one wants to have, and that I happen to be participating in with great vehemence and verbosity.

If The Observer’s mission is to serve Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, and me personally, but mostly just me, then I suggest it start promoting the shared and unique aspects of both “cool” people and nerds that we all have to be proud of, whether we like it or not, and stop encouraging material that turns this community against itself in an infinite regress of inward turns spiraling into nerd-hate oblivion.

Bow to my hypersensitivity!

Andy Gray


Siegfried Hall

Feb. 27