I just spent $11 to watch something I already own on DVD with about 100 strangers.
It was so worth it.
I just got home from watching Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes “The Best of Both Worlds” parts one and two recut into a single movie. The event included a brand-new documentary on the making-of with new interviews, along with a gag reel and, of course, advertisements for the new blueray. I watched with some friends and about a hundred or more strangers; the theater was pretty full.
There’s something about watching a movie with a bunch of geeks.
I watched Avengers three times. Each time the movie was spectacular; the Hulk got lots of laughs, people winced at the action, and I believe there was even applause at the end of one of the showings. Yet, most of that crowd came because Avengers was simply a good movie; they weren’t necessarily lovers of comics nor of the characters. They enjoyed the movie for what it was, and that was fine.
This, though, was so cool. We all came to this one-night event because we loved the episodes in question. We knew Star Trek. Not to sound too hipster, but because this wasn’t “cool,” we shared a bond. People who had never met and may never again meet chatted amiably about actors and episodes. We laughed and groaned and applauded several times during the movie. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that much laughter compressed into five minutes in any movie as I heard during the gag reel.
I’ve heard that being a geek means loving something without reservation and not caring what anyone else thinks. I saw that in action tonight. Heck, I participated in it tonight! I laughed and applauded right along with everyone else.
As King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, there is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to geek out and a time to restrain the inner geek. (This is in my Star Trek Bible. It’s not exactly canon.)
I don’t geek out a lot in my day job. I’m a pastor, which means I must be all things to all people. Often enough, that means I listen to sports analysis or kindergarten politics. It’s not about my interests or hobbies; it’s about what the other person needs at that moment, or what bridge I might use to bring the Law and Gospel into their life.
Sometimes, though, I can let that geek flag fly. And it’s not that I’m embarrassed by it; I don’t hide my hobbies. I just don’t advertise them loudly.
Tonight I got to enjoy a night out and just be a geek. No one other than my friends knew I was a pastor, and who cares if they did? We got to enjoy a great night out and laugh and clap together.
I hope you get to pursue your interests (appropriately). Indulge in a little science fiction or fantasy. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Let your geek flag fly.