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We were all once nerds, or cool kids, jocks, bullies, dorks, AV cart-pushers, theater geeks, motorheads, preppies, break dancers, valley girls, wastoids, heshers, skaters, surfers, outcasts, and teacher’s pets. Microchip technology was nascent as we learned the term “hacker” from Matthew Broderick changing his grades via modem, while Anthony Michael Hall demonstrated how hyperactive geeks could end up with the Homecoming Queen.
We delighted in watching nerds take revenge. After all, those narcissistic jocks deserved it, which became an oft-repeated trope in many films of the 1980s. The smartest, but most socially awkward would exact vengeance on anyone who previously shunned them, both men and women. While comedic in tone and extremely satisfying to watch at the time, there’s no doubt that said retribution has since morphed into something darker; the entitled psyche of yesterday’s and today’s disenfranchised.
Many eggheads of our youth now run the world’s most valuable technology platforms. With great power came their real-life payback to manipulate people and greater society. As we debate whether the centralized platforms need to be broken up as the FAANGs openly admit to controlling free speech for political purposes, (see Google’s Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020), quietly they have been steadily using their clout and muscle to turn us all, including their own colleagues, into chattel. Not to suggest every executive in Silicon Valley behaves this way, but many do. With more wealth than most people can earn in ten lifetimes, the enlightened ones turn coworkers into prostitutes by attending tech orgies; a gateway for those who want to advance their careers. The titans of Silicon Valley, well-known people, use sex for sport all while publicly advocating #MeToo and other woke platitudes to an enabling media salivating at any opportunity to interview tech icons.
Emily Chang’s book Brotopia was featured in Vanity Fair:
About once a month, on a Friday or Saturday night, the Silicon Valley Technorati gather for a drug-heavy, sex-heavy party. Sometimes the venue is an epic mansion in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights; sometimes it’s a lavish home in the foothills of Atherton or Hillsborough. On special occasions, the guests will travel north to someone’s château in Napa Valley or to a private beachfront property in Malibu or to a boat off the coast of Ibiza, and the bacchanal will last an entire weekend. The places change, but many of the players and the purpose remain the same.
The party scene is now so pervasive that women entrepreneurs say turning down invitations relegates them to the uncool-kids’ table. “It’s very hard to create a personal connection with a male investor, and if you succeed, they become attracted to you,” one told me. “They think you’re part of their inner circle, [and] in San Francisco that means you’re invited to some kind of orgy. I couldn’t escape it here. Not doing it was a thing.” Rather than finding it odd that she would attend a sex party, says this entrepreneur, people would be confused about her not attending. “The fact that you don’t go is weird,” the entrepreneur said, and it means being left out of important conversations. “They talk business at these parties. They do business,” she said. “They decide things.”
Guests and hosts include powerful first-round investors, well-known entrepreneurs, and top executives. Some of them are the titans of the Valley, household names.
In Revenge of the Nerds, the 1984 iconic comedy that spawned a few lesser sequels, Stan Gable, played by Ted McGinley (the always late cast addition to several sitcoms), was the President of the Alpha Beta Fraternity. The AB’s power derived from winning on the gridiron under the coaching of the tyrannical John Goodman. Bad behavior by both coach and team was overlooked as victories on the field gained financial support from boosters and added to the coffers of Adams College.
After being bullied and embarrassed by the AB’s, Lewis, Gilbert, Poindexter, Lamar, Booger and the rest of the lovable nerds formed their own fraternity chapter under the unlikely charter of a bamboozled black fraternity, Lambda Lambda Lambda. With Greek letters, they were now able to compete against the most respected/feared fraternity on campus. Hijinks ensue.
Because they had been ignored by girls their whole lives, they and the audience rationalized the nerds boorish behavior that is considered by some as immoral if not illegal (closed-circuit cameras of Sorority house bathrooms and bedrooms – “Pan Down!”), and even what some now call a rape scene where Tri-Lam President Lewis dons Stan’s mask and deceives the AB President’s girlfriend into having sex. Not to worry. Since nerds spend more time thinking about sex, Lewis was a pretty decent lover so Betty was all good with it. Ha! What a ruse.
If you haven’t seen the movie, keep in mind the time period, as this followed a series of similar genres such as Porky’s and Animal House, which most folks of a certain age still look back on fondly. However, in retrospect, while Stan Gable was certainly the antagonist who deserved his comeuppance, at least his coital relations were consensual.
Off the silver screen, this level of entitlement and abuse of power is all but real. The psychological disposition of a once-ignored, but now all-powerful nerd is a series of reasoned and merited justifications.
Emily Chang explains:
When I ask Founder X whether these men are taking advantage of women by feeding them inhibition-melting drugs at sex parties, he replies that, on the contrary, it’s women who are taking advantage of him and his tribe, preying on them for their money.
In other words, everything is transactional. If I’m seeking sex from the beautiful people who would have never glanced my way 25 years ago, they’re obviously using me for my power. Therefore, taking advantage is fair play.
Nerds were not always just the computer variety. We would see them in theater and fine arts and some would end up running Hollywood. Many celebrities and entertainment moguls turned out to be predators and sexual deviants by promising roles to starry-eyed fresh-off-the-bus dreamers as long as they perform tricks for the otherwise unattractive men and women. Imagine how many ladies would find Harvey Weinstein appealing if he was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Podunk.
Like Silicon Valley, where tech titans are gauged by their company’s stock price and numbers of users, Hollywood’s titans are viewed through the lens of box-office clout. Both have become rulers of not just those they work with, but all of us too.
While we may not have to attend chlamydia-covered mansion soirees or peel ourselves off the casting couch to ensure we can pay our mortgage, we are being throttled and demonetized online if our worldview doesn’t jibe with the cocktail circuit’s mostly progressive groupthink.
Their behavior at these high-end parties is an extension of the progressiveness and open-mindedness—the audacity, if you will—that make founders think they can change the world. And they believe that their entitlement to disrupt doesn’t stop at technology; it extends to society as well.
We can no longer see a movie without being hit over the head with woke platitudes. Among many examples, the latest Avengers random female team-up was an obvious salute to feminists which took most people out of the film. Or the “Force is Female” approach to Star Wars which caused many fans to tire of political correctness being inserted in their favorite canons.
The incestual marriage between Silicon Valley and Hollywood is where both industries can control the narrative and subsequently our ability to have a voice. Silicon Valley’s woke coding causes much of the criticism to be hidden on search engines and mostly relegated to Twitter where anyone who suggested that the Avengers all-female confab felt forced was immediately branded sexist.
If you don’t like it, you’ll be banished to digital Siberia where people lose livelihoods and reputations if they don’t play along. Except for this time, it’s not the jocks they are going after, it’s everyone. With social justice warriors in tow, the goal is to now silence all thought that is verboten.
With a little throttling, demonetizing, de-platforming and transactional intimacy, this is now a world where Lambda Lambda Lambda wouldn’t even allow the Alpha Beta’s to exist on their same campus.
Who are the bullies now?