Writing for HoboTrashcan is one of my favorite things to do each week. It gives me a chance to be creative and have some fun without censorship or constraints. My column is always about food + pop culture, the two things I love most. I love to discuss upcoming films, televisions shows, comic books and music with you all and share a relating recipe. Today, however … I’m taking a bit of a detour. Never fear, I promise to circle back with a recipe.
What are you picturing? Sexy girl, black-framed glasses, long, dark hair and a skimpy cosplay costume? Sure. That sounds hot. That may or may not be who we are talking about here. A lot of people jump to the conclusion that that girl is “faking” it for attention. She might be, she might not be. You don’t know her, so don’t judge her based on her appearance.
What are you picturing now? Frumpy girl, tortoise shell glasses, blonde-and-pink ponytail and a baggy men’s Wolverine shirt? Is she nerdier? You don’t know, you don’t know her.
The thing is, the word “nerd” is so loaded these days. It’s usually a person of intellect that has an interest in/and a relationship with multiple, pre-approved facets of pop culture.
A portion of nerds in our culture have been taking it upon themselves to decide:
1. which facets of pop culture are acceptable to herald the title of nerd
2. what percentage of said facet you must show supreme knowledge in, in order to herald the title of nerd
3. what the variable due to your gender and appearance will be: i.e. an attractive female must show at least 15 percent more knowledge of said subject in order to herald the title of nerd (otherwise she may be posing)
Here’s what I have to say to that. Fuck the fuck off.
I’m not even going to speak for all women, because (um, hello!) you can’t do that with gender or any other sort of demographic-based group. I’m here to speak for myself. I’m a female who happens to have an interest in comic books, Doctor Who and video games. I have these interests because they interest me. I do NOT have these interests because I’m awaiting a guy to come test my knowledge of the subjects or make me prove my worth to them as a nerd.
I have these interests, because in the little spare time I have in my life, I like to spend it deeply engrossed in the adventures of feuding mutants or time-traveling in a police call box. I like to escape into worlds that intrigue me, captivate me and make me happy. Nowhere in any of that escapism is a dude coming up to me and asking me probing questions to prove my nerdom or telling me that I need to know storylines X, Y and Z in order to be a true fan. I don’t care what fake geek girls you’ve come across in your life (probably none), that doesn’t give you a free Asshole Pass.
Sidestepping, I feel as though I need to explain the following: growing up as a little girl in the 80’s and 90’s, I watched the X-Men cartoon, I played Mortal Kombat, Sonic the Hedgehog and tons of Mario and I slept with a gigantic, stuffed Donatello every night. I loved it. But I likely wouldn’t have had access to them if I didn’t have an older brother and close dude friends. When it came time for birthday gifts, I got a lot of Barbies and My Little Ponies. (To this day, I also still love Barbies and My Little Ponies.) My access to the genres of media I’m primarily interested in as an adult were limited as a child. I’d even say I’m at an advantage over the guys who grew up with the stuff because I have countless hours/days/months of entertainment ahead of me because I didn’t get to read the comic books as a child. Am I “behind”? Or do I just have so much more ahead of me?
To say I’m less of a fan, less of a nerd because I don’t have the same knowledge as someone else is the dumbest, most asinine thing I’ve ever heard. You consider yourself a nerd? Then where does that intelligence play in? What part of your little brain is failing to tell you that everyone comes from different experiences, has different interests/lives/obligations and cares about different things? How dumb do you really have to be to think you can judge someone’s worth as a participant in this culture based on the knowledge you have of everything BUT the actual person you are judging? Your lack of intellect may even cause me to think you aren’t qualified to be a nerd. Perhaps you should just go home and read a book about it.
I’m aware that a large percentage of my readership is male. I am by no means accusing all men of this behavior. The men that I choose to keep in my life are completely the opposite: open-minded, well-rounded and eager to have conversations that result in mutual benefit. To all of you beautiful, non-judgmental, nerdy men: I love you.
I am quite intrigued to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to leave comments below.
Also, here’s a recipe … cuz I promised. It’s from my first-ever HoboTrashcan column, a Star Trek-themed post. Enjoy!
The Wrap of Khan
(Recipe adapted from Bacon and Legs)
- 1 lb boneless/trimmed New York strip, top round or London broil, cut into thin 4-6” long strips
- 1 lb applewood smoked bacon
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp black pepper
Sriracha Peanut Sauce
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- 1 lime, juiced and zested
- 2 tsp Sriracha
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- chopped peanuts and chives
Combine marinade ingredients. Pour over beef strips in a freezer bag. Seal, place in a dish and refrigerate. Let marinate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. Soak bamboo skewers in water for a least a half hour so they don’t catch on fire.
Preheat oven to 450°. (Or start up that grill.)
Time to stab some meat. Take a skewer, stab one end of the bacon slice, followed by the beef. Ribbon the beef onto the skewer. Follow that up by tightly wrapping the bacon up and around the beef. Secure the bacon on the pointy end. Place each finished skewer on a metal rack, placed in a baking dish.
Once they are all assembled, cook them suckas. Make sure to flip half way through. You’ll need about 20 minutes for each side in the oven.After the bacon is crispy and you can’t wait anymore, plate them up and garnish with chopped peanuts and chives.
Sriracha Peanutty Goodness
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.