Monday, March 25, 2002

I love the Oscars. At our house, watching the Oscars means a whole lot of pretending I know what I'm talking about.

Says my geek husband Gary to his geek friend Todd:
"Was it John Smith who was nominated for best supporting actor the same year that Julie Duncan won best actress for Unreachable? I remember Alexio Boudreas was up for best director…"

"No no, you’re thinking of Jim Smith, who was in Backwater Blues with Nancy Mulgahey. Which, coincidentally, was co-produced by Michael Joe Matthews – the father of the guy who wrote the screenplay for Under Cover, which Boudreas directed."

"Really? Under Cover was one of the three films ever turned down by Robin Oswald’s sister, Jane Oswald Lewis, who was in Blanco de Viso with Rich Taylor. You know, he played the old guy in Coumadin Creek with Marie Lancaster." Geek husband turns to me and says, "Were you with us when we saw that in the theater?"

At this point, I want to say, "No, that wasn’t me… that was the niece of Angela Gadsbury, Mickie Livwell, who also played Jane in Ghost Rider with Lance Criton and went on to marry the guy who wrote the score for Purple Sunrise in 1997 before co-staring with Tom Bigalla in Roses for September. She was the girl with the one eyebrow and the shoulder harness, remember?"

It’s not that I don’t like movies. I just don’t pay attention to anything beyond A) the story, and B) the execution. If you’ve explored both A and B, then you’ve reached the limit of my ability to discuss the film.

Gary and his geek friends are self-confessed movie geeks. In a way I envy that. I couldn’t know the amount of film minutia they know if I spent my entire life studying it.

Geek. \geek\ n [prob. fr. E dial geek, geck fool, fr. LG geck fr. MLG] : person who has vast and impressive knowledge of useless info that is important to few people outside of a particular geek genre (i.e. movie geek).

Note the important clarification in this definition: geek genre. There are many species of geek in our society, but the geek language is not universal. A movie geek and say, a math geek might empathize with each other on certain aspects of geekness, but they could never truly share the specifics of their own genre.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m not a geek, I’m just not a movie geek. I am a Lord of the Rings geek.

In my geek prime (age 11-16) I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy no less than 7 times consecutively. I knew every nuance of the middle earth cultures. I studied maps. I translated English characters into runes. Under my breath, I once called a teacher the Orc equivalent of a pig-sniffing demon wench.

It was a magical thing, seeing the Lord of the Rings translated to the big screen, sitting there in the theater – geek husband and geek wife – side by side, each immersed in his and her own geek world… we were almost able to connect on a transcendent geek level.

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