I have to admit this first thing: I’m a geek, and I’m completely unashamed. Were there a geek army, I’d enlist.
I’ve taken my nauseating high school angst and every beating-induced neurosis and turned it all into a shimmering pride. Even geeks think I’m a geek.
This is why I celebrate every geek victory as if it were my own. And Fox Interactive Media’s premiering Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan on MySpace is a geek victory, my friends.
The only way you can figure out where to see the film, and when, is through your computer. You have to be a Black Carpet friend. Ha ha. Geeks win.
Why does this affect me so? Why am I celebrating this event?
Number one: Sasha Baron Cohen is freaking hilarious, and I’d bet my entire collection of European techno CDs that he is, or was, a geek. I don’t know his personal history, but you don’t go through school anywhere with a name like “Sasha” and not get the crap kicked out of you.
Number two: IMHO, his comedy is the product of geek rage. Anybody who can create and live through situations that are almost too humiliating to watch from the safety of my own sofa has, first, been humiliated and, second, enjoys visiting humiliation upon others while further humiliating himself. That’s geek rage, right there.
Buy why am I celebrating this as a geek victory? Who’s the bully?
OK, I don’t know about you, but when I think of Hollywood I instantly get a bad, brown-Necco-wafer taste in my mouth.
I picture people endlessly greenlighting sequels to movies that were too bad to exist in the first place; I picture stars pampered and catered to in ways you and I can only imagine, demanding salaries twice the size of most third-world countries’ GNPs and phoning in performances; I picture the incessant strip-mining of my childhood (poor, poor Fat Albert); I picture the Mr. Show skit (oh, Mr. Show, I miss you so much!) in which a group of Hollywood executives sue the American public for not seeing “Coupon: The Movie” and win (“we’ll sue their pants off, and then we’ll sell them pants!”). I see, with a few shining exceptions, bullies sublimating geeks.
MySpace’s Black Carpet is, in my mind, a way to subvert the Hollywood bully paradigm. Connecting, through MySpace, with a bunch of other geeks, and giving them the gift of seeing the film before it hits the theaters to compete with whatever J to tha Lo is in (is she even in stuff anymore?) is a nod to the networked proletariat. It’s an Internet marketing coup. And it makes perfect sense.
It’s a revolution. Join the geek army!