Nerd in the Country: A Blog Series, Part 1
I have toyed with the idea of doing this series for a long time. I toyed with doing it as a web-series and with writing it down and publishing it as a book. As you are bound to learn from this series of on-going articles, this is not exactly the place to do such things.
That leads me to this bit of info, the “Small Town Nerd” series of articles is mostly going to be derived from my life as a nerd in this small town. I may bring friends in to guest post about their experiences, from time to time, simply to provide another perspective. These posts are also going to seem like I am bashing my hometown simply so I can create blog posts. That is true. I will make generalizations that appeal to the vast majority of people in Albany, Oregon, as well as its surrounding areas. These generalizations, as most people in my very small nerd community here would agree, are correct in applying to 99% of the population here. Should you be an Albanian that reads this, and feels some sense of geographic pride and wants to troll me, so be it. I also want you to keep in mind, that this is about YOUR community. Should you read this and feel some sense of shame (perhaps the previously mentioned geographic pride is your defensive response to such shame) perhaps you could work to change things in this area by thinking for yourself and not just eating the load of shit that has been handed to you all your life.
Smarter readers may have gleaned from the ending of that last paragraph that I, in no way, blame the people in this area for their lack of ideas concerning anything but child rearing and/or “what jesus has done for them”. In fact, I don’t, entirely. Around here… excuse me… *clears throat* ‘Round thees her parts, we dont belief in non-o’-that fagitty bullshit! Mens is loggerz ‘n doesnt waist ther time on writin internets! YEEE-HAAAW! Alright, the portrayed linguistics are a bit over the top, but not entirely. Anyway, as I was saying, around here, people are taught that being a free-thinker is a bad idea. The majority of the population is religious, and I literally have to pass 3 churches to get to the closest corner store. I just Googled “Albany Oregon Churches” and found a list of all the registered churches in this town. The count is surprising, even to me! There are 68 registered churches in Albany, Oregon, a town in which the last census found our population to be 50,158 as of July 2010! Not that I’m trying to shit on religious people, but I guess I’m about to. I find, growing up having gone to a christian school from 1st grade to 9th grade, that religion does not encourage free thinking, but blindly following. Don’t ask questions, do what you’re told.
Also, from a societal stand point, there is a “local business community” here, but not one that is actually supported by local government… or even other local businesses, really. Keeping in mind the figures of town population that I gave you earlier, I want to let you know that Albany has a Fred Meyer (Kroger’s for most other states), Costco, Kmart, Target and Walmart. That’s just department stores! Does that seem overly excessive to anyone else? Why is that even necessary? The point being, most of our stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc. are all just smaller versions of a much larger company. Portland, Corvallis, Salem and Eugene (all larger cities within 2 hours of Albany) have a rich small business community. Around here, the entire atmosphere is not one that seems conducive to that of a person that would want to “go their own way”.
I can hear the trolls already…
Why isnt you moovin to that fagity las angels with all the other librals? ‘MERICA! -Billy Ray Shitsinhispants, Lebanon, Oregon
Valid point Billy Ray. As tempted as I am to do just such a thing, it wouldn’t be fiscally prudent at this point in my life. Oh yeah; You’re from here. So I’ll put it in terms you will understand, “I dont gots enuf monies.” I understand this mindset, as I was raised here and by people of this mindset.
That being the case, I believe I have this amazing ability to see both sides of these kinds of things. In one moment I am baffled by the idea of someone not wanting to pursue whatever it is they want, and in the next I understand the fear of “what if I fail?” As a person that has tried many different projects to find my niche in this world, I think I understand that a great deal. That fear doesn’t stop me from saying, “OK… so that didn’t work. What’s next?” I am always looking for another thing to do; another way to express my voice. So this series of stories from my personal life are meant to illustrate the many ways that being a nerd in the country can be tedious, but, sometimes, hilarious. I can only speak to my experiences. Again, I am going to speak in generalities that refer to my geographic location, so your experiences somewhere else may not be reflected in this blog. These experiences may not have anything to do with your definition of what a nerd is, but they definitely do according to my definition of a nerd. So, in the next post, I plan to layout my definition of what a nerd/geek/dweeb is. Those of you that don’t consider yourself a nerd, may want to read that… as you may be more of a nerd than you think.