Spoiled Children of Divorce

Nerd Culture Symptom of Divorce?

A new book called American Nerd: The Story of My People written by Benjamin Nugent. Passed by it in the bookstore and on a hunch had to grab it and check — a little birdie told me that the Cool Nerd Culture is in part a product of growing up in Divorce. It sort of connects in with that thing where I couldn’t find famous intellectuals who grew up in Divorced families. I know they’re out there. I grew up with them. And, yes Alice, here they are, in this book, writing their little hearts out about the culture they’ve created for themselves. In American Culture, when your biggest strengths are your mind, you’re a bit of an outcast. Tear the family in two and, voila, a culture of alienation that’s going to love themselves as they are in spite of the all bullies.

American Nerd looks like a very entertaining book. In the back, Nugent talks about his upbringing. At Age 8, in despair over not being able to ride a bike, he threatened to kill himself with his Swiss Army Knife. And so a Trip to Therapy.

At Age 9 Nugent’s parents divorced. I guess this is proof that kids are already screwed up before the Divorce. Divorce doesn’t make them any worse for wear. Nugent appears to be doing just fine now. Here’s his description of life at Age 9:

My parents split up, and Jonah and his friend use me as a starting point for a discussion on the negative effects of divorce upon children. At our cafeteria table at lunch, they put on skits in which they play my mother and father.

Jonah: Ben’s an imbecile.

Nick: No, Ben’s a gay retard.

Jonah: Fuck you, we’re getting a divorce.

I learn that real life is not something you should talk about with your friends. From this point onward, our mode of connection will be Dungeons & Dragons, the Nintendo, and the Apple IIe. So begins the age of teh oak table at the Jones Library. My father buys me a Nintendo, and I am only allowed to use it at his house, where I live on week-ends.

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