Those nerds are a threat to our way of life.

"All jocks ever think about is sports. All we ever think about is sex."
~Lewis Skolnick

"No one is really going to be free until nerd persecution ends."
~Gilbert Lowell

OK, so I was watching Revenge of the Nerds with Steve yesterday, and we were talking about how fucking depressing these "triumph of the loser" movies from the 80s were.

Facts of the case: Revenge of the Nerds is packed with Asian stereotypes ("what the fuck is a frush?"), black stereotypes, gay stereotypes, jock stereotypes, and chick stereotypes, all parading in a movie about the victory and ascension of the "little guy." But the nerds, the heroes of the movie, the people we're supposed to be rooting for? They're fucking worse than the jocks. Way worse. The jocks are just bastards and idiots, cruel but relatively run-of-the-mill. The nerds are actually unflinching and impenitent criminals, Enron types who use their genius to wiggle into a position of power at the expense of everyone else, under the guise of fair play. The plot of the movie is, the jocks steal their dorm and the Greek Council doesn't want them to start a frat. So........

They sexually assault an entire sorority. "Step aside, mama, I wanna see some of that muff!" says Booger, trying to get by the zaftig sister to take a svelte one by force. They spy on the girls with hidden cameras. They record nudie pictures of them. They sell hundreds of copies of the pictures to win the homecoming carnival to take control of the Greek council. In fact, they cheat in nearly every event they win, and essentially steal the competition (except for the belching contest, and the talent show, in which they perform a song that features rapping and breakdancing from, you guessed it, the black guy). They give pills to Takashi so he doesn't get drunk in an event that's all about getting drunk. They give Lamar a javelin that, thanks to his limp wrist, will outdistance the All-American quarterback's. In effect, they steal the election so that the next year they'll be able to treat themselves better and punish the jocks who punished them.

At the Tri-Lamb nerd party, Lewis, the head nerd, has sex with the cutest Omega-Mu, the sorority made up almost entirely of gawky, chubby, gangly girls. Afterwards, he follows her down the stairs, smoking a pipe in a silk robe. We never see her again onscreen, because she's not a real character. She's a plot device to get Lewis rid of his hypothetical virginity. Betty Childs is the romantic female lead. Not because Lewis likes her, but because he wants to fuck everything she represents. And that's the cherry. Lewis rapes Betty Childs by dressing up in the Vader costume and mask her boyfriend was wearing and making her think he's actually her boyfriend. You know, the guy who played Jefferson on Married With Children.

She even asks him to take off the mask, and he says no. Actually, he doesn't even say no. He just shakes his head. Then, when she realizes she's been raped by a man she's loathed for the duration of the film, it's no big deal, because he's really good at sex. All nerds, as it happens, are really good at sex. Which is great, because until she's raped by Lewis, she despises him to the point that she is willing to humiliate him on several occasions (mostly by convincing him that she likes him). She openly mocks him, until they have sex. Then she says, "I'm in love with a nerd," despite the fact that nothing else has changed in their relationship. This is the film's triumphant, climactic moment, when it turns out the omega-male Lewis has somehow managed to wheedle his way into alpha male status by cheating, conning, raping, and lying to the people who belittle him for his ostensible weakness. Bettie Childs doesn't pretend to like him because she hates him. Not anymore. Now she loves him because he raped her. Now he's a big man.

Then, at the end of the movie, Anthony Edwards gives a speech. He says, "No one is really going to be free until nerd persecution ends." He's been allowed to make this speech because a line of a dozen black guys, none of whom have any lines, have marched in front of the stage to light exploitation funk to block the horde of football players who want to kick his ass. They act as enforcers, stupid muscle just there to scare the white jocks while Lewis gives his impassioned monologue about how "there are more of us (ugly people, nerds) than there are of you (hot men, cheerleaders)." The black guys just stand there, staring straight ahead, flagrant stock characters trapped by the movies assumptions. And why? Apparently, it's because nerds aren't free. Nerds, it turns out, are the ones who have really got it rough.

It looks like nice guys really do finish first, as long as they're fucking assholes who walk all over everybody.

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