EWF: Revenge of the Nerds Slide Night, Workers' Club, May 30
Nerds. Now, you’re either thinking about the purple and pink Wonka confectionary, or Star Wars and Lord of The Rings. Granted, these are typical nerdy pursuits, but these associations miss the core of geekdom. The essential element of any nerdalicious pastime is the primal passion that fuels that interest – God help anyone who mentions Alien to a cinema geek; they will talk at you, bug-eyed, limbs gesticulating and spit a-flying until you share (or at least feign-share) their enthusiasm.
This is precisely what happened at the Revenge of The Nerds Slide Night at Fitzroy’s Workers Club last night. As part of the Emerging Writers Festival, a room crammed full of friendly square-types were treated to eight pecha-kucha style (20 slides; 20 seconds per slide) presentations. The presenters, all brilliant emerging writing talent, detailed their wholly uncool and completely over-enthusiastic interests.
Host Ben McKenzie provided his endearing take on the nerd staples; Dr. Who, Douglas Adams, dinosaurs and Dungeons and Dragons, while the other guests shared with us their socially unacceptable obsessions. Melissa Keil has a girl-turned-woman crush on the much-hated Star Trek character Wesley Crusher and the actor who played him, Wil Wheaton; cycling-mania turned Brendan Bailey from an eff-ing cool punk to a leg-shaving velodrome square; Meg Mundell lives with an unhealthy-yet-hilarious enjoyment of lists, colour co-ordination, meta-lists and organising meta-lists; Jess McGuire was taken into an overwhelming ‘Cole-hole’ by her interest in Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole; and Andrew McClelland is so excited about computers that there was a fear he might slip into presenting in binary code.
Their excitement was infectious, and the sense of camaraderie in the room manifested in the moment when it seemed that McKenzie might call for audience contributions; you could feel the crowd lean forward, arms poised to shoot for his attention in the truly nerdy “Pick me! Pick me!” of the primary-school classroom. Alas, no. Please excuse us; we need to reorganise all of our computer files into folders titled with Arrested Development quotes, and research our trip to Comic-Con 2012.
WORDS: Lauren Bertacchini