Whew! New apartment! I've spent the last week carrying boxes, stocking the fridge, and finding the perfect area rug. I LOVE this frakkin' rug. Ironic, then, that this next article is about a nerd who abandoned his material possessions... and former self.
Chicago-born Ken Goldstein (a.k.a. Kene G) is a lot of things- producer, director, mentor, author, and more. He can recount adventures involving Wizard Magazine, housing a "video game boy band," and a real alien. When I phoned him, he was simply getting a burrito with his dog in L.A.
Ken's book is called The Way of the Nerd.
It's a short read looking to "change the way you think." Its audience is "someone who does what is right for them despite the opinion of other people." The book takes principles from the Tao Te Ching and uses them to encourage triumph over bullies, awkwardness, and most importantly, the self. According to the author, "The only thing that's holding you back from doing what you really want to do is you... The Way of the Nerd is just completely accepting who you are on all fronts and being okay with the good and the bad instead of worrying so much when the bad stuff happens.”
There is a specific message for Geek Girls. Notes Ken, “Women haven’t broken through that male-dominated comic book video games kind of industry yet." A Geek Girl should be seen as "an artist and not an object," given "exactly the same opportunities." The author hopes the "totally hot" cosplayers at conventions take their costumed empowerment into "other aspects of their lives."
Finally, I asked him about The Windy City. He thanks the Midwest for his work ethic. He finds Oprah an "awesome person, kind, loving, warm." He even considers over-zealous Green Bay fans one flavor of nerd. ...I have a few other names for Packer Backers, but I'll keep them to myself.
Basically, Ken knew that his "better life" was waiting. He picked up his Star Wars action figures and pursued it. Now, he wants you to do the same. I read the book, but this isn't a review; I'll leave the verdict up to you. You can check out The Way of the Nerd online, at Chicago Comic Con, or soon at select bookstores.