The 1984 movie Revenge of the Nerds was much more premonitory than anyone thought. Sure – the average ’80s dweller could abstract a bright future for computer dorks. But deep down we all knew the real cool guy in the movie was Stan Gable, the pleasantly tanned quarterback with all the right friends and the prettiest cheerleader.
Since then the tables have turned on “cool.” Now, cheerleaders are sorta quaint, football is for those who don’t mind brain injury and tanning is nearly synonymous with skin cancer. Now, it is better – cooler, more impressive and nobler – to be versed in computer programming and Batman story arcs than vested in certain college football programs. Of course, ROTN predicted the revolution, evidenced in the movie’s final act, as the nerds upstage the jocks’ pep rally, and nerd leader Lewis Skolnick steals away Gable’s girlfriend.
So … what happened? Why are there more fine ladies at Nerd-dom’s ground zero – ComicCon – than your average NFL football game? Here’s a brief history: An alien race from the Andromeda Galaxy, known as “Drogbas,” infiltrated the Clinton Administration via Gennifer Flowers, who sprinkled Al Gore’s Wheaties with a genius serum, leading the then-vice president to create the Internet.
But it wasn’t just the Internet’s celebration of geek knowledge that changed things – it was the fact that geek stuff got better – starting with the Michael Uslan-led Batman in 1989. We didn’t know it then, but the film symbolized the death of the “old” cool.
If anyone needed evidence of this, it’s now everywhere – from the multi-story Batman murals plastered all over Times Square to the The Dark Knight Rises hype throughout the media. It’s been especially exciting here at EMSI — Michael Uslan is one of our clients, and the man has been in hot demand for weeks leading up to the July 20 movie premiere.
From Fox & Friends, to the New York Times to Fox Business News and “The Mancow Experience” on radio, Uslan has become just the kind of super hero he idolized as a kid, though he’d never admit it.
I say that because what he’s promoting is not so much the film as it is inspiration. He says he wants to show young people that, with hard work, their dreams can come true. He tells the story of his dream to show the world the real Batman in his memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman.
“I want young people to know their dreams are worth pursuing. They need to hang onto them, be tenacious,” he says. “If I could do it, they can, too.”