I’m guilty of loads of things, and one of the many of which I am acutely aware is thinking about myself in terms of the things that I am attracted to. There’s no shame in finding friends or lovers who listen to the same bands as you do, or read the same books, or prefer their coffee made in a press versus the greasy sludge pumped from the Bunn commercial coffee maker at the corner Speedway, but there is something of the regrettable hipster in giving oneself gold stars over your vinyl collection. Not that hipsters give themselves – or each other, for that matter – gold stars. But if they did.
My point is illustrated thusly: M and I, after much deliberation, saw a midnight showing of Tron last week, and while I’m far from regretting the opportunity to ogle Sam Flynn and covet a light cycle of my very own, we rarely leave such gatherings of geeks unscathed. This time, as I’m waiting for the show to start and checking Facebook on my snail of an Android, a young man leans over his date in the seat next to the empty one I’ve saved for M and asks, “Do you have Google on your phone?” I replied that yes, I did, but it was extremely slow. If there was something he wanted me to look up before the film started, he should’ve asked an hour ago.
But as it turns out, it wasn’t about actually needing the information. It was about making sure that I knew and everyone within hearing radius knew something truly special about him.
“I just want to show her,” he gestures to the pitiable female in the seat beside him, “a picture of Daft Punk. I could care less about Tron, really. I’m here because of Daft Punk.”
What I wanted to say was something along the lines of Like-I-Give-A-Fuck, but I was spared by a fella sitting in front of me who had an iPhone 4 and thus, a real connection to the World Wide Web.
He didn’t stop there, of course, and when M settled down we both had a nice laugh about him when he went on to assume loudly to his girlfriend – for her sake, I hope not – that he didn’t think anyone else in the theatre even knew who Daft Punk were. I kept waiting for him to use the word “plebians,” but was sadly let down. The things is, we were both biting our tongues because we did and do like Daft Punk, but to say as much would be to align ourselves with this silly prick. To not say anything was, conversely, to let him number us among the drooling masses. Who isn’t, though, for a kid like that? And why did I care?
It’s one thing to pat yourself on the back, I guess. It’s another to verbally grope yourself in public.