I WOULD like to make a public apology for my previous blog ‘Nerd immunity is the way forward’. I realise now that it was crass and insensitive of me and I understand how the article must have caused a great deal of offence amongst the nerd community. The choice of the word ‘nerd’ to describe members of the Covid cult was an unfortunate one and I am deeply sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings. Following The Conservative Woman publishing my article, I was made aware of the fact that I did not understand the true definition of the word ‘nerd’ and I therefore felt ashamed of my bigoted views about this persecuted section of society. I decided to seek expert advice to help me do some much-needed soul-searching.
After some internet research I managed to find the contact details of Professor Seamus Forbreathing, Head of Unconscious Bias Training at the University of Upper Derone Bottom. The professor explained to me that the word ‘nerd’ had a slightly different nuance in the seventies when it was used as a derogatory term for someone who was unattractive and socially embarrassing, rather like the words ‘dork’ or ‘wally’. It later became synonymous with computer boffs and suchlike, more especially now with television sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory. He said that my apparent ignorance of the enormous contribution nerds have made to society in recent years through science, information technology and many other top professions is an unfortunate reflection of my super-cool-dude privilege. I was surprised by the professor’s suggestion that I had super-cool-dude privilege, as if anything I would place myself just left of centre on the nerd/super-cool-dude spectrum, but I wanted to keep an open mind. The professor recommended a day’s intensive unconscious bias training, which I was only too happy to sign up to.
The training was hugely beneficial and it highlighted a whole raft of social privileges that I was unknowingly benefiting from. These included white privilege, heterosexual privilege, Essex man privilege and brown hair going slightly grey round the sides privilege. The professor was forced to concede, though, that I did not have super-cool-dude privilege and that I was in fact slightly nerdy myself. I asked the professor why I would have been so prejudiced against nerds if I do not have super-cool-dude privilege. ‘I don’t know, maybe you’re just a bit of a dick,’ the professor answered. I took offence and accused him of committing a hate crime against me. Professor Seamus then grabbed me by the collar and said, ‘Listen, sunshine, I make the fecking rules around here!’
Professor Seamus Forbreathing certainly gave me plenty to think about and I have to say I came away from the unconscious bias training a better man. We’re all on a journey and I am trying to learn and develop my understanding of my place in this world every day.
I would have preferred to choose a much more insulting word for Covid devotees and as a very smart person (probably a nerd) pointed out, the only crime nerds are guilty of is having a name that rhymes with ‘herd’. Sheep-brained-pillock immunity didn’t seem to have the same comedy value as nerd immunity but poetic licence is no excuse in this instance. Unconscious bias training teaches us to delve beneath the surface of the seemingly superficial choices we make every day and language is a particularly important part of this. I realise now that I chose the word ‘nerd’ due to deep-rooted prejudices and preconceptions dating back to the oppressive times of the British Empire . . . and of course the fact that I am a bit of a dick.
This first appeared in Lockdown Satire on June 21, 2021, and is republished by kind permission.