Editor’s Note: At Electroshadow, we’re always looking for new talents to provide their own unique perspectives on all things film-related. So we’re pleased to have a fresh contributor, the lovely and talented Marie B gracing our hallowed (and undermanned) halls. In the first of what will surely be many charming, witty pieces, she chimes in with her experiences on becoming and being a film buff, aka the Film Geek.
I was never considered a geek. Nerd, yes. Geek, no. There’s a difference, you see.
Nerds were those of us who sat in front of the class, eagerly raised their hands to answer the teacher’s questions (think Hermione Granger of Harry Potter) and took inner pride at being the ones classmates ALWAYS wanted to copy answers from during exams.
Geeks, if I were to offer a description, are nerds with specialisation: the wonderful world of science. It doesn’t have to be the real sciences like physics or chemistry. It extends to the fantastic sciences, the final frontier, going where no man has gone before and the ones from a galaxy far, far away.
As a nerd, I feel a certain affinity to the geeks. They were my not-so-distant relatives. Together, we made up that group of people in the outer fringes of the circle of the cool kids. It was only natural then, I suppose, that we would gravitate towards each other. Throughout my lifetime I have often found myself in the company of geeks: a Trekker, a Batman fan, a Superman expert, an owner of a custom-made Darth Vader outfit and an even anime fan. Inspired by her love for Sailor Moon, our group went through our university years with “goddess” nicknames: Fire Goddess, Rain Goddess, and Love Goddess (*ahem*me*ahem*). They were to me, what gamma rays were to Bruce Banner, what the radioactive spider was to Peter Parker and what the yellow sun is to Clark Kent. You get the drift.
Here, let me prove it to you.
1) I know what “constructs” refer to in the Green Lantern universe.
2) I know what Skynet is, and
3) I know that in the original comic version, Clark Kent and Lex Luthor were childhood friends and that Clark accidentally singed off all of Lex’s hair when he tried to save him from an accident. THAT’S the real reason why Lex is so pissed. He liked his hair. True story.
Now that I have all this information stored in my head, I’m not quite sure what to do with it. A friend named Joe once said that knowing is half the battle. But at this point, I have no clue what this knowledge is going to help me win. So far, the main benefit it’s given me is that I can watch the “Big Bang Theory” and laugh at all the punchlines. After all, a 30-min sitcom featuring the daily exploits of 4 geek friends isn’t exactly man-on-the-street fodder. But when they joke that a robot hand may go back in time to kill Sarah Connor, I laugh. Or when they propose selling Sheldon’s virtual presence device to the Jawas, I laugh. And periodically I even hit the pause button so I can take a closer look at the Han Solo figure that’s in the background. Yes, I know what a 1/6th scale collectible is.
I have become an impressive conversationalist on the topic of Geek. Once, while out for drinks, my date and I ran into his friends from high school and they joined us at our table. The conversation turned into a discussion on planned movie adaptations of their favourite comic book characters. I no longer remember what I had said, but it must have been reasonably impressive because the guys looked at me in surprise and complimented my knowledge of the genre. “For a girl,” they said.
I was a Padawan growing in the ways of the Force.
More recently, I went to watch “Captain America” with a couple-friend and as the movie ended, the husband and I began talking about our theories on the “The Avengers” movie. When the wife asked who Hawkeye was, I launched into this answer, my words tumbling over each other. “Hawkeye. The archer of the team. Played by Jeremy Renner. Remember that scene in Thor? When he was trying to take back his hammer from the camp? The guy who was on the crane aiming at Thor.” Then, without thinking, I stretched out my arm and made the gesture of aiming an arrow.
As the wife looked at me in my archer’s pose, it dawned on me what I was doing and what I had just said. We burst out laughing. My assimilation was complete. The Borg would be proud.
To be honest, I am too. Knowing your science fiction is like knowing cars or knowing gadgets. It seems to make you sexier in the eyes of the opposite sex. I like the stunned look guys get when I tell them that I was always the Paladin when we played D&D or when I opine that Boromir’s death scene in “LOTR Fellowship of the Ring” (the movie) reminded me of Sturm Brightblade’s death in the “Dragonlance Chronicles” books. Besides, it’s fun when you’re the only girl at the table who can keep up with the conversation. But I will admit that sometimes, as I listen to myself talk, an amazed little voice inside my head is going, “I can’t believe I’m actually saying this…”
This is probably what a lot of my girl friends end up saying too, when I attempt to start a geek-laden conversation. Knowing all that I know about the fantastic has not made me anymore interesting to my own kind. Although two of my best friends have married men straight out of the “Big Bang Theory” universe, I know better than to discuss aliens, comics, elves and dwarves. With them, I revert back to my mild-mannered alter ego, interested in shoes, bags and the life they lead as mothers and wives.
I was sharing with a friend my realisations on this newly-discovered side of me and she wondered why I was so surprised. She thought that my love for the LOTR movie commentaries was a dead give-away that I always had it in me. I think she could be right. Apparently, the Geek is strong with me.
Hi, I’m Marie B. I’m a geek.