When season two of The Walking Dead premiered, we were kind of excited about Hell On Wheels, another AMC series about the building of the railroads in the West after the Civil War. Common was in it, and so was that one guy from one of the new-ish incarnations of Star Trek. It came on right after The Walking Dead, so we figured that we might as well try to get into it. But then Hells On Wheels turned out to be kind of a suck, which might be why it didn’t return when the second half of season two of The Walking Dead premiered.
…okay, I was going to go into something else here, but there’s something I need to say about The Walking Dead, specifically as it pertains to people who watch it and tell me after every single episode that they hated the last one because it was boring.
Are you people stupid or something? Far be it from me to decide what revs your engine, but what exactly do you want from this show? It’s a series, get it, an actual story adapted from a collection of graphic novels that follows multiple characters through a zombie apocalypse. Yes, you should be able to expect zombies and gore related to zombies, but, and I’m sorry to have to be the one to snap you out of your Michael Bay “everything is made of tits and cocaine” mindset, that’s not all there is. There is character development, personal conflict, foreshadowing, themes, and a motherfucking story to be told that cannot possibly involve nothing but the smashing, shooting, stabbing, and exploding of zombie heads. If you can’t handle that, watch When Animals Attack and leave me alone.
(Note: this does not pertain to people who happened to find a single episode boring. That’s fine and it means you have an opinion. I’m just talking about the mouthbreathing public masturbators who wouldn’t know exposition if it smacked them in the wiener.)
So Hell On Wheels is done, and now Comic Book Men is on. I like Comic Book Men. It’s a reality show about the guys who run Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, the comic book store partially owned by Kevin Smith in Red Bank, New Jersey. While I know that the View Askewniverse is not for everyone and certainly neither are comics, I enjoy at least one of these things and, above all, I enjoy nerds. I enjoy nerds far more than I enjoy standard pawn shop proprietors, because at least the nerds are doing it out of a weird, obsessive sort of love. I feel a lot better about Walt Flanagan telling a customer that he needs to make some kind of a profit off of someone’s semi-important Batman book than I do about some overgrown skin tag wheezing behind the counter of some seedy shop in Vegas, criminally bullying someone to low-ball them out of their genuinely valuable piece.
Last night on Comic Book Men, this hipster doofus walked into the shop with a box full of comics to sell. While I’m in no position to give anyone advice about comic books, I am in the position to advise them on business matters, specifically those related to not looking like Vincent Gallo when you want to conduct a transaction. You should also not call the store manager/chief negotiator a liar when he tells you he can’t sell your meh books for over $1,000, and you should definitely not whine that you came all the way from Brooklyn to get told that you and your books aren’t that big of a fucking deal. I’ve seen all three episodes of Comic Book Men by now, which means that I’ve seen Walt pay fair, pay what I think is a little bit less than fair when he gets agitated, and I’ve seen him tell a person not to mess with some piddly store because they should take their priceless stuff straight to an auction house. Last night was the first night I wanted Walt to slap a dummy right across the face and kick him the hell out of the store. Which he didn’t, and that bearded moron came right back and took the $310 even though he originally wanted $800. Have a nice train ride back to Brooklyn, you douche.
Here’s the thing about hipsters today, and why they’re the kind of dipshits who will pay $20 for a box of so-so books at a garage sale and act poorly when they can’t turn a profit: they were never nerds.
See, there are hipsters and there are nerds. It makes sense that nerds can sometimes gets mistaken for hipsters because they can be a little clueless about how to dress or why math rock is actually terrible. But really, nerds are just nerds. They can’t help it. It’s how they are. Some nerds are nice and some nerds are bitter shitheads, but in general, nerds are not hipsters.
Today’s hipsters want to be nerds and usually refer to themselves as such, but really, most of them are former jocks and current assholes who still get their rocks off by excluding others and trying to prove how much better they are than everyone for reasons as useless as stocking cap possession and poor understanding of the word “irony.” Want to piss a hipster off? Remind him about when he played soccer in high school, or knows the rules to lacrosse. No matter how much he insists that he only likes watching the European version of the sport, let him know that you know differently, and maybe throw in something that a real nerd would have in spades. Hipsters will tell you they are or were nerds, but this isn’t because they know what real social rejection and esoteric obsession are. It’s because they want to be in something no one else is, even though they were never nerdy enough to figure out that loneliness is what a real nerd knows best, and that unless they’re willing to give up those carefully-chosen vintage Keds and kickball leagues, they won’t ever amount to true nerd status.
So hipsters, give it up. Just go back to wearing the collared shirts you keep in your hope chests, and quit pretending that you were in Brooklyn because Brooklyn was the suburbs. You’re lying. You’re just like everyone else. You’re not nerds.