If you don’t have an Alamo Drafthouse in your area, I pity you. It isn’t often that Entertainment Weekly and I agree on every point, but I can say when they named The Alamo Drafthouse as the best movie theater in the county, I had no arguments. This is the only theater in my city that I attend, and for good reason. Sure, when you see a movie anywhere else, you see the same movie that I do, but there is something to be said for style.
The Drafthouse is by far the most fun and relaxing theater to attend. But on top of that, they have free events such as the Doctor Who meetup events like the one I attended tonight. (I love these guys.) Every third Wednesday in San Antonio, the local meetup group hosts an event at The Westlakes Alamo Drafthouse where they show 2 Doctor Who episodes, totally free to anyone who wants to attend. I will say it again, this is 100% free. You can watch 2 Doctor Who episodes on the big screen once a month with a bunch of other Whovians and pay nothing, unless you choose to buy food and drinks.
So, tonight, I attended one of these events that I don’t make it to nearly enough, and while waiting outside I met a young man that made me smile. Fully decked out in his 10th Doctor pinstripe suit, he and I were side by side looking at a table full of Doctor Who colectables, when he looked at my beer in my hand and pointed his sonic screwdriver at it, and raised an eyebrow as if to say “Do you feel lucky, punk?”
So, for the sake of my own safety and that of my beer (not necessarily in that order) I said “Nice sonic screwdriver, I have one at home.” Without missing a beat he said “Why don’t you have it with you?” I tried to explain how I had come straight from work, and didn’t want to take it to the office for fear it would get broken.” His immediate response was “That is no excuse.”
I cant argue with the kid, and I gave this some thought. You see, this particular Drafthouse location has a comic book store in the loby, and while waiting to attend this screening, we decided to take a look around. My girlfriend and I always joke about how I converted her to the geek side and I normally think nothing of it, but as she paid for a Doctor Who TARDIS lunchbox, I had a huge grin on my face, and she asked why, forcing me to think about my own motives. And I realized something. I always identified myself as a geek, but on occasion (being the internet celebrity that I am with three people reading my blog) I get asked “What defines a geek?” and I never had a good answer. Now I do.
So what is a geek? I realized tonight, waht makes a geek isn’t loving sci- fi. It isn’t being a social outcast. It isn’t being smarter than the crowd around you. It isn’t just if you like comics, or are a cosplayer. What makes a person a geek is loving something deeply, and not being afraid to say “This is what I love, this is what I obsess over, this is who and what I am.” That is who we are. That is what being a geek is. We are us, and we are legion, screw anyone who doesn’t like it. We love what we love, and we will talk at length about it at the drop of a hat or sit in our rooms and just love the things that make us happy.
Some of us are comic geeks. There are movie geeks. We have trivia geeks and geeks that obsess over certain TV shows. Sports geeks that can tell you more stats than you ever wanted to know or car geeks that can explain compression ratios with love and passion. The one thing we all have is common is an obsessive love for things that make us happy and the drive to share it with others with our endless discussions on the topics. Or there are those of us with secret obsessions, you are geeks too. We knit. We make art. We watch movies. We kick ass at Trivial Pursuit. We play tabletop games. We are who we are and we know what we love.
So I plead to you, be who you are. Embrace it. Love it. Share it. Be a geek and be proud. Love what you love. Share it with the world, do it in private, I don’t care. Just as long as you are you and you do it with passion and without apology, you are a geek. Wear that badge with pride. So go out today, and let your geek flag fly. Tell the rest of us why you are a geek, and do it without shame or apology. Share who and what you are with the world. I don’t care if you are a boy or a girl, a sports fanatic or a comic book geek. Just be you, because you make what is normally a hard and cold world a brighter and more beautiful place. Thank you for being you.