Monday, April 28, 2014

The White & Nerdy Exam

"Weird Al" Yankovic has long been a creative hero of mine. His version of Chamillionaire's "Ridin'", entitled "White n' Nerdy", is one of his more modern genius parodies. After listening to it again, and all the wonderful geek culture references contained therein, I began to wonder how "white & nerdy" I was—in a more empirical sense. So, I give you the following self-exam.

Below are the reprinted lyrics to "Weird Al"'s parody. Simply ask yourself how much the bolded parts apply to you. If you are now or have ever been guilty of what's stated in bold, you award yourself a point (+1). You may award yourself less than a point (0, +0.1, +0.25, +0.5, or +0.75) depending on how much you estimate the stated applies to you. [I've provided bracketed comments, like this one, after each to better guide how one might consider applying what's stated.] My results are below.

[The lyrics:]
They see me mowin'
My front lawn
[I have been seen mowing my lawn before, so that's +1]
I know they're all thinking
I'm so white n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Can't you see I'm white n' nerdy
Look at me I'm white n' nerdy!
I wanna roll with
The gangsters
But so far they all think
I'm too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
I'm just too white n' nerdy
Really, really white n' nerdy

First in my class here at M.I.T.
[I was not first in my class in college, so nothing there, but I was 4th in high school, +0.25]
Got skills, I'm a champion at D&D
[That's a big fat +1 for me]
MC Escher that's my favorite MC
[My favorite MC is probably Hammer, so no]
Keep your 40
I'll just have an Earl Grey tea
[I'd prefer tea to alcohol probably 5 times out of 10, so that's +0.5]
My rims never spin to the contrary
[True, +0]
You'll find they're quite stationary
All of my action figures are cherry
[No, but I do still have a couple, +0.1]
Steven Hawking's in my library
[Nope]
My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
[No on MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter, so that's probably like a –1 for me]
I got people begging for my top 8 spaces
Yo, I know pi to a thousand places
[Let's see … 3.1412? +0.003]
Ain't got no grills but I still wear braces
[Never]
I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise
[Not all of them, but I do prefer it nowadays, +0.5]
I'm a whiz at minesweeper I can play for days
[Never much cared for it, but I know what it is and have at least played it before, +0.1]
Once you see my sweet moves you're gonna stay amazed
My fingers movin' so fast I'll set the place ablaze
There's no killer app I haven't run
[There're certainly various apps out there I know nothing about, but I'm more "cutting edge" than my parents, +0.25]
At Pascal, well, I'm number 1
[Had to look this one up, so that's a zero]
Do vector calculus just for fun
[Hell no!]
I ain't got a gat but I got a soldering gun
[Huh-uh]
"Happy Days" is my favorite theme song
[Not even close]
I can sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong
[Hypothetical; I have enjoyed playing before though, +0.25]
I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on
[Again hypothetical; but I'd be game, +0.5]
I'm fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon
[Thankfully, no]
(Here's the part I sing on)

They see me roll on, my Segway
[Never ridden a Segway in public]
I know in my heart they think I'm white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Can't you see I'm white n' nerdy
Look at me I'm white n' nerdy
I'd like to roll with
The gangsters
Although it's apparent I'm too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
I'm just too white n' nerdy
How'd I get so white n' nerdy?

I've been browsing, inspectin'
X-men comics you know I collect 'em
[X-Men, no; Batman, yes! +0.75]
The pens in my pocket
I must protect 'em
[No pocket protector here]
My ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored
[Never had one, but I do use a comfy mouse pad, +0.25]
Shopping online for deals on some writable media
[Never online, but I have shopped for CD-Rs and DVD-Rs before, +0.5]
I edit Wikipedia
[No, but I've considered it, +0.1]
I memorized "Holy Grail" really well
I can recite it right now and have you ROTFLOL
[A few lines maybe, sure, +0.25]
I got a business doing websites
[Not this guy]
When my friends need some code who do they call?
I do HTML for them all
[Not in years, and it was only ever for me, +0.1]
Even made a homepage for my dog!
[…yes, yes I did, +1]
Yo, got myself a fanny pack
[Not any more? +0.25]
They were havin' a sale down at the GAP
Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap
POP POP! Hope no one sees me gettin' freaky!
[I do like popping them, but not THAT much, +0.25]
I'm nerdy in the extreme and whiter than sour cream
[Not that pale]
I was in AV club and Glee club and even the chess team!
[No, but I was in Academic Decathlon: we did play chess, +0.25]
Only question I ever thought was hard
Was do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?
[More of a Star Wars guy]
Spend every weekend at the renaissance fair
[No, but I did go once two years in row, +0.5]
Got my name on my underwear!
[Pssh, no]

They see me strollin'
They laughin'
And rollin' their eyes 'cause I'm so white n' nerdy
Just because I'm white n' nerdy
Just because I'm white n' nerdy
All because I'm white n' nerdy
Holy cow I'm white n' nerdy
I wanna bowl with
[Do I enjoy bowling? +0.75]
The gangsters
But, oh well, it's obvious I'm white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
I'm just too white n' nerdy
Look at me I'm white n' nerdy!

[And I'll give myself another +1 for creating this exam :p]

There are 39 bolded statements. So, by adding it all up, my total of 9.403/39 = 0.241 or 24%. That makes me a quarter Mexican, a quarter Scots-Irish, parts German and Cherokee, and about a quarter White and Nerdy—good to know! How about you?