Their Time Has Come: Bad Cinema Nerds as Late-Capitalist Paradigm

2017-05-22T04:29:50Z (GMT) by Mark Steven
Anybody engaged in serious thought about American culture would do well to re-watch the opening scene of Jeff Kanew's directorial magnum opus, Revenge of the Nerds. The sequence introduces Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowell, the eponymous nerds who are leaving their parents' homes to board at college where they will both study computer science. Within the film's first three minutes – which ostensibly depict little more than Lewis and his father collecting Gilbert from a suburban home – Revenge of the Nerds presents a peculiar though telling series of events. Gilbert reveals a well-nigh pathological reluctance to leave his mother and unconvincingly attempts to mask this condition with concern for her wellbeing, he and Lewis laugh about ARVs ("average restroom visits"), and with Lewis' father they crack jokes about genitalia and speculate that soon their greatest concern as "college men" will be "getting laid."