zerode – a sensibility


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Nerdware: Now more than ever, with The Big Bang Theory

With the continuing success of The Big Bang Theory and the popularity of everyone’s favorite über nerd, Sheldon Cooper – whose wardrobe consists largely of comic book superhero t-shirts and old-school golf slacks – it seemed long past time to return to the subject of nerdware…

Contrary to the overly familiar icons and images on Sheldon’s t-shirts, I think it is of the essence for the true nerd t-shirt to be obscure, the image only recognizable by a proper fellow nerd – like these, maybe:

In case these are too obscure for you, they are both icons from the short-lived sci fi TV series, Space:1999, starring Martin Landau, which ran  for two seasons in the late 1970s. The show had great production values and a look influenced by 2001: A Space Odyssey, but was marred by occasionally uneven acting  and an initial premise – the moon being blasted out of orbit by a series of nuclear explosions – that many simply could not accept.

Back here on Earth, Big Bang and its cast just made a big splash at Comic-Con, with the cast talking about the big cliffhanger in the Season 4 finale (Season 5 premieres Thursday, September 22, 8/7c). Big Bang  was ranked 19th in the Nielsen ratings for all primetime TV shows through July 24 [here]. That sounds okay, but not great – until you look at the other top shows. Big Bang is the only sitcom in the bunch, and one of only 6 scripted/fiction shows (that is, not reality TV, sports or news) in the list. (The other five are all one-hour cops shows, including both versions of NCIS, CSI, The Mentalist and Criminal Minds.)

Years from now, when Big Bang Theory is long cancelled and only occasionally shown on some nostalgia cable channel (which by then will probably be beamed directly to our retinas or something), the show’s iconography will be obscure enough that its t-shirts will be able to count as nerdware, like this one:

But until that time, no. Fanware but not nerdware.  You’d be better off wearing a periodical table t-shirt.

For more…

Filed under: Fashion, TV, , ,

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Creative Commons License
zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows


is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

tweeting my mind



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