star-trek“Babe, there’s something I need to tell you,” I said to Kate as we sat down for lunch. “Mmmhhhhmm?” she said, her eyes looking over the menu. “Anything important?” she inquired, paying more attention on trying to figure out what to order than what I was saying. “A little,” I said, adding: “you might get mad at me.” At that, she looked up at me. I saw her mind began to put it together. Asking her to go lunch in a public place, where we could “talk,” so she wouldn’t create a scene. “Wha…what do you need to tell me?” she asked. I took a deep breath. “Kate,” I said. “I’m a Star Trek nerd.”

Kate’s mouth dropped open and her eyes widened as tears began to form. “I knew it!” She yelled, slamming her fist down on the table—rattling the place settings and silverware. Obviously, the girl had no qualms about making a scene. People began to turn and watch. Kate bent down low and spoke in a harsh whisper. “I told you when we got together that I could only handle dating a man obsessed with one science fiction franchise,” she hissed. “You said that it was Star Wars. I wore that Princess Leia gold bikini for you!

“I like Star Wars too,” I replied. That seemed to make things worse. “You lied to me!” She moaned before burying her head into her hands. “I didn’t mean to,” I said. “I used to be into it as kid. My parents took me to see Voyage Home (the one with Whales) in the theater and I watched TNG with my Dad. But I thought I grew out of it.”

“Wait…” said Kate, “what’s ‘TNG’?” I paused, knowing that she wouldn’t like the answer. “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” I said. “Dear God,” she muttered, “you’re already speaking in anagrams.” After a few minutes of staring at our drinks in silence, Kate spoke again: “So how did you realize that you didn’t outgrow it?”

“The trailer for the new J.J. Abram’s reboot,” I said. “It looks so amazingly awesome. I can’t wait to see it.”

“Who’s J.J. Abrams?” she asked.

“He’s the creator of the TV shows Alias and Lost. He also directed Mission Impossible: III and created Cloverfield—that Godzilla like monster movie that…”

“Shut-up, nerd!” Kate screamed.

It seems that one of the worst thing you can call someone is a Star Trek (or Star Wars) nerd. The connotation is simple: you dress up in as character as you wait in line to see horrible movies created just to make you pay to see them (Star Wars) or go to conventions to pay money for cheap crap as “memorabilia.” These people deserved to be pointed out and mocked. As such.

How did this happen? Both franchises were meant to inspire and get people to imagine the possibilities of the future—to see what adventures science can eventually take us (humanity) on. It used to be that if you were a Star Trek fan that meant you ended up working for NASA as a rocket scientist or that you wanted to be an astronaut. Instead, losers and outsiders adopted the mythology and hero worship of a fictional universe to create common ground amongst themselves and thus form their own sense of community. The hardcore Star Trek fans who wear Vulcan ears, learn to speak Klingon, and get into raging debates about the childhood of Captain Picard, betray everything the franchise stands for. They’re not real Star Trek nerds. They’re posers