One of the things young nerds sometimes never learn is that a lot of shit just doesn’t matter. There are arguments not worth the time, or breath, it takes to make them. It’s important to know your audience. Unfortunately that’s not always easy to do. At this point in his life I feel like Ed probably should know when his sister is just stating things and not inviting a discussion. Then again this may just be what they do as part of their normality. These seemingly tense exchanges are a complex mechanism for bonding with one another. He says things he doesn’t think she pays attention to, but she actually remembers them. In fact, there is a lot of evidence of her actually listening to her brother when it seem like she isn’t. Ed is pretty much as he is. He’s not the kind of person who creates a false self to present to the world, at least no more than regular people. His sister is much more about the false front. At least in so far as the cartoonish self she presents to the world is not indicative of her actual intelligence. She projects confidence as an offense is the best defense strategy. Keeping people off balance with her overt sexuality. She plays at being carefree while actually bonding much more strongly than she lets on. In some ways she dislikes this aspect of herself, as evidenced by her reaction to John. They are very similar characters. The key difference is that he’s okay with himself in a way that she is not.
Ed’s instinct is to pour out trivia when someone is talking about a thing he knows about. He thinks of himself as intelligent and does things to reinforce that notion to himself and others. He doesn’t ask Jess about her hobbies, assuming that collecting clothing is simply the acquisition of a thing that is pretty and nothing else. He assumes that his thing is important and deep and hers isn’t. That is a flaw he shares with a lot of people. It might well be nothing more than acquisition, but he shouldn’t assume it is, or that she doesn’t have a similar wealth of knowledge about the thing she enjoys.
I’ve never enjoyed sport. In my youth I acted like that made me better than people who did. Partially because those people were mean to me, and partially because I was an arrogant fuck. Liking sport had nothing to do with those people being assholes necessarily. I’ve certainly met people who liked sports who also liked things I do since then. One of my nerdiest friends loves American football and the ridiculous nonsense that is the WWE. He’s not a weedy little nerd either. He just has a range of interests broader than mine. I worked with a guy who loved baseball statistics. It was more interesting hearing him explain statistics in baseball than actually watching a game to me. At some point I realized that I didn’t need to be a dick about people liking things I don’t. It took so long that it kind of undercut the idea that I was somehow superior to them anyway. Now when people I know start flipping out about sport I’m glad to know they’re having fun and I just scroll on by, without making a passive aggressive post about people being excited for a thing I’m not excited about.
I think part of why we like openly hating things is because when people agree it satisfies a deep primal urge for tribalism. Humans love separating themselves into smaller and smaller tribes and fighting about shit. When we’re done fighting a common enemy we start gradating our own group and fighting each other. It has to be something so deeply ingrained in us that we barely even notice when we do it. We see it in others, but not in ourselves so much. Like a group of goths, sitting on the steps, declaring everyone not doing what they are conformists. We can’t exist without some level of conformity. Can you imagine how tedious someone would be who conformed to nothing at all? They’d be a feral monster, farting and fighting everything all the time.