“My love of cinema supersedes all moral considerations.” –Alfred Hitchcock
There are many different opinions on this, all of which would undoubtedly be geeky to discuss at length, but in my opinion, a geek is someone deeply obsessed with a particular field of knowledge.
As opposed to, say, a nerd, who excels at all things scholastic and probably ends up owning a Fortune 500 company.
Or a dork, who most likely spills a drink all over a beautiful woman in his eagerness to buy it for her.
A nerd or a dork could also be a geek, but the terms are not interchangeable, nor are “dweeb,” “spazz,” “melvin,” “poindexter,” “four-eyes,” “putz,” or any other similar nomenclature.
There are many different types of geek, and most of us dabble in more than one, but I am first and foremost a movie geek.
Now, before you start throwing your figurative panties at me in adulation, let me just say that this is not necessarily an enviable position. Sure, I’m able to hold my own in the arcane movie quote competitions that pass for conversation amongst my fellow geeks, but in other situations, I might say something as recognizable as, “What ain’t no country I ever heard of! They speak English in What?” or “I am seriously beginning to doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!” and are met with blank, uncomprehending stares.
If I had a dollar for every time someone has incredulously asked me, “You went to a movie by yourself?” I would take all those dollars and go see a bunch of movies, by myself. Crazy as it may sound to you non-geeks out there, I do not go to movies to hang out with people. I mean, it’s not like we can talk or anything.
Or at least, we’re not supposed to.
I remember reading in the news about this man who shot another moviegoer who wouldn’t shut up during a screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button during the holiday season of 2008 (the holidays are always so stressful). As the rest of the theater evacuated, presumably screaming and otherwise continuing to disrupt the film, this man calmly sat back down and resumed watching.
I wanted to lionize this brave warrior with T-shirts and wheat pastes all over the country.
“Here is a man who would not take it anymore” (Taxi Driver, 1976), a man who struck a blow for all of us true movie geeks who have to endure the idiotic yammering, text-messaging, and gluttonous feeding noises of the horrible rejects who populate the average movie theater.
Sure, a man had to die, but we’re talking about one measly little life compared to the uninterrupted first experience of a new motion picture. Let’s get our priorities straight, people!
And I swear to Stanley Kubrick, if you bring your crying baby into a movie I actually care about (you know, enough to see it by myself), I will smother that thing like we’re in a Cynthia Ozick story.
That’s right, I read too! (Seek out Ozick’s excellent 1981 short story “The Shawl” to find out exactly how tasteless that joke really is.)
Now, some of you might think I’m extreme. Well, fuck you!
Hitchcock would understand.