“If you know you can deflect it, then you’re not challenging yourself.”

From: X-Men: First Class

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Charles Xavier

The story behind the quote: The very first live-action X-Men films, which was shown in 2000, clearly showed that the friendship between Charles Xavier (who would become Professor X and the founder of the X-Men) and Erik Lehnsherr (also known as the mutant terrorist, Magneto) has ended. While they do behave cordially when they talk, it is clear that they have opposite ideals for how mutants should interact with the ordinary humans. However, the films never explored their friendship as deep as the pseudo-reboot in X-Men: First Class.

The film starts in the 60’s around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. A mutant named Sebastian Shaw is attempting to start World War III in the hopes that mutants will take over after the war. Erik Lehnsherr has a personal stake on this as he witnessed Shaw kill his mother during the Holocaust.

Since he has been training his mutant ability at an extremely young age, he believes that he has gained ultimate mastery of it. As proof, he tells Xavier to shoot at him point blank with a gun since he knows he’ll be able to stop the bullet as it fires. Xavier then tells him that, if that’s the case, then he’ll never really become as strong with his ability as he can.

Geek wisdom: It easy to play it safe and be satisfied with what we know, never really venturing outside our comfort zone. Even thinking of trying to do something that is extremely difficult makes us uneasy and, mentally, we can give up without trying. But the only way we can improve ourselves is if we try to do something difficult.

It’s like when we were toddlers; we could could move around by crawling. There was really no need to walk since crawling was sufficient. We don’t remember it but we all struggled with learning how to simply stand up and we fell down a lot. However, with practice, we all now able to stand on our own two feet.

Any task can seem daunting and even impossible. However, unless we try and practice several times, we will never really be able to say it’s impossible.

“Houston, we have a problem.”

From: Apollo 13

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Jim Lovell

The story behind the quote: The movie Apollo 13 is a bit of an odd film since it isn’t based on a success. Rather, the film tells the story about one of something that should have been very tragic. However, it is also considered to be one of their biggest victories of NASA at the same time as everyone survived the mission.

Jim Lovell (played by Tom Hanks) leads the Apollo 13 mission, which is to make another landing on the moon. However, the mission was plagued by different setback. For one, Lovell’s team was supposed to pilot the Apollo 14 mission but was fastracked to this earlier one. Ken Mattingly (played by Gary Sinise) got the measles and had to to be replaced.

The quote comes from when another accident (and the most destructive one) happens while en route to the moon. One of the oxygen tanks explodes and the crew immediately report this back to Houston.

Geek wisdom: Sometimes, we pride ourselves on being independent and not asking for help to solve our own problems. Thing is, there’s no real harm for asking for help when necessary. A lot of us think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Actually, it’s the opposite: it takes real strength to admit you need assistance.

We all live our lives surrounded by others. Yet, we still try to live and do difficult things by ourselves. Everyone has their limits and, in order to actually overcome those limits, we will need as much help as possible. That’s the only way we, as a community, can get stronger.

“That’s not a knife… that’s a knife!”

From: Crocodile Dundee

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Crocodile Dundee

The story behind the quote: This movie comes from the 80’s film, Crocodile Dundee, starring Paul Hogan. The story  is that Sue Charlton (played by Linda Kozlowski), an article writer for a New York paper, is sent to Australia to investigate the story of “Crocodile” Dundee, a man who supposedly had his leg bitten off by a crocodile. However, it turns out that the story was exaggerated since Dundee didn’t lost his leg (but he does have a scar to remember the encounter). In order to continue the report, Sue convinces Dundee to return with her to New York.

The movie was a surprise hit, not just in the United States and Australia, but around the world. One of the things that made the movie a huge success was Dundee’s general good nature (which is the opposite of the cynical behavior of the people in New York) and how he handles situations differently. One of the most memorable moments of the film (and where this week quote comes from) is when Dundee and Sue encounter a mugger with a “knife.”

Geek wisdom: It can be easy to lose perspective of what we have. Like in the clip, the mugger thinks that he can easily intimidate people because he has a switchblade. Unfortunately, for him, Crocodile Dundee sees it as a puny weapon and shows him something bigger… and definitely scarier.

Keep things in perspective.

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

From: Star Wars

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Yoda

The story behind the quote: Most people agree that the original Star War trilogy was a great series of films and also introduced us to story of something that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said for the prequel films. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any meaningful quotes that can be captured from them, though.

The quote comes The Phantom Menace and it’s delivered by Yoda, the swamp dwelling Jedi Master who gave us another quote before. As this is set before The Empire Strikes Back, he delivers the quote from a more comfortable setting… in the hall of the Jedi High Council. Qui-Gon Jinn is requesting permission to train Anakin Skywalker (SPOILERS! He becomes Darth Vader) from the Council. Yoda looks at the boy denies Qui-Gon’s request as he senses that he is afraid… and being afraid will lead to bad things…

Geek wisdom: The most heinous of acts in the world can be caused by simple fear. It could be the fear of our own insecurities, fear of the unknown, fear of things we can’t understand and the like. Like Yoda said, this fear can take on a life of its own and grow into other negative reactions, like the aforementioned anger, hate and suffering.

Now, most of this fear can actually be controlled with some understanding. Once we get past the fear and actually try to understand why we are afraid of something, then that’s the time we can conquer the fear.

“I’m an old man… filled with regret.”

From: Inception

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Dom Cobb and Mr. Saito

The story behind the quote: This is the second quote that I’m pulling from Christopher Nolan’s brainy movie, Inception. We’ve already delved into the premise of the film before when we discussed the “A single idea from the human mind can build cities” quote last year, so I won’t be discussing that. I will, however, be discussing how deep a movie it is.

It turns out that, in the dream world, time lasts much longer than in the real world. So, a single minute of real time may feel like a couple of hours in the dream world (which is pretty true since you can experience an entire day’s worth of events in a real dream). Now, if you dream while in a dream, time will seem even longer, making it possible to experience an entire lifetime… which is what essentially happens with Mr. Saito and Dom Cobb (played by Ken Watanabe and Leonardo DiCaprio, respectively).

In this dream within a dream (within a dream apparently), Saito’s dream self has grown extremely old because of the length of time he’s been there. Dom, because of the trauma of “dying” in another dream (long story), has forgotten that he was supposed to save Saito from being trapped. However, when Saito delivers the quote, Cobb immediately remembers that what his purpose of him being there.

Geek wisdom: It can be easy to believe that we have all the time in the world. However, this is just an illusion. Time is very fleeting and can catch up with your almost instantly. And, before you know it, you’re, well, an old man filled with regret.

We only have a short time in this world; let’s try to make the most of it. Take some risks and enjoy life to its fullest.

“Arnold doesn’t dance! He can barely walk!”

From: In & Out

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Narrator for the Exploring Your Masculinity audio tape

The story behind the quote: In and Out was a film that was pretty much a breakthrough for its time because it used homosexuality not as a punchline. Rather, it uses homosexuality as the main plot point. Not only that, it never used (outright anyway) the gay stereotype.

The story is about Howard Brackett (played by Kevin Kline), a teacher from middle school. One of his former students won the Best Actor award during the Oscars for his portrayal of a gay soldier. During the acceptance speech, the student thanks Howard Brackett for helping him… and tells the entire world Howard is gay.

Howard quickly denies being homosexual. However, after an encounter with reporter Tom Malloy (played by Tom Selleck), where he gets kissed by the gay reporter, he starts to question his manhood. He then rushes home to play a tape to try to reaffirm his heterosexuality… with poor results.

Geek wisdom: People are generally paranoid of what others think of us. So, we try to convince ourselves that we are “normal” people. No, we don’t really like comic book because “comics are for kids.” I “used” to play Dungeons and Dragons but I don’t anymore because, well, that would be ridiculous! We try to act “normal.”

The thing is, we are all normal. Our interests and likes make us what we are. However, the first thing we have to do is tell ourselves that our interests and likes are okay.

Be happy with who you really are deep down inside. In fact, you should be proud of who you are inside. If you wanna dance, go ahead and dance!

“One million dollars!”

From: Austin Powers series

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Dr. Evil

The story behind the quote: If you don’t already know, the Austin Powers series is a spoof of James Bond movies of the 60’s and 70’s and spy movies in general. However, while it is the hero that is the main star of the James Bond movies, it is the main antagonist, Dr. Evil that usually steals the spotlight. Not because he’s one of those villains that are just pure evil. Rather, it’s his incompetence on actually being evil.

An example of his incompetence would be his blackmailing the world. In the first movie, after being frozen in the 60’s and being thawed out in the 90’s, he attempted to ask all the world’s leaders for the sum of “one million dollars” and the world leaders got a good laugh out of it. It’s because, while one million dollars was a lot of money in the 60’s, it’s not that big of a deal in the 90’s, especially for the world economy.

When he went to the past, he tried to blackmail the world again, this time, he asked for 100 billion dollars (which is the new amount he asked for in the 90’s). The world leaders in the 60’s laughed at this amount as well since, well, that amount of money didn’t even exist yet!

Geek wisdom: There are always going to be changes around us. These changes will happen whether we accept them or not. So, the best thing to do is to always try to adapt. Without us even trying to know about these changes, we ourselves will never evolve.

We can try to cling to the thoughts of the “good ol’ days” all we want. It doesn’t change the fact that changes will happen. We may not always agree or even like the changes, but we do have to at least learn these changes.

“You can’t handle the truth!”

From: A Few Good Men

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Col. Nathan R. Jessup

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the film A Few Good Men. While this may be considered spoilers since it happens pretty much at the end of the film (and is actually “the big thing” of the entire story), a lot of people don’t seem to recognize this fact.

Here’s a quick summary of the scene…

Lt. Jr. Grade Danny Keefe (played by Tom Cruise) has pretty much determined that Col. Nathat Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) given a “code red” (essentially an order to punish soldiers without any hearing) which led to the death of Officer Santiago. However, Keefe is without any form of proof. He devices a plan to call Col. Jessup to the stand during the trial and get him angry. In this way, he hopes that Col. Jessup will incriminate himself by admitting that he ordered the code red.

Keefe’s finds a flaw in the Col’s initial statement that Santiago should have been safe since there were orders not to harm him. Yet, at the same time, there were orders that he should be transferred for safety reasons. Keefe repeatedly asks the Colonel why would there be a need to transfer Santiago if there were standing orders not to hurt him. He eventually gets Col. Jessup to admit that he ordered the code red. However, the Colonel makes a speech saying that he gave the order to make sure that our freedoms are kept safe.

Geek wisdom: There are actually two pieces of Geek Wisdom we can pull from, not just the quote, but the entire monologue…

Like Col. Jessup said, there are some secrets that you think you want to be privy to, but in reality, the weight of those secrets can be too much to bear. There are going to be things that we believe that we can handle but we really can’t. We will have to rely on others to bear these (sometimes) terrible burdens and perform terrible actions because of them.

However, as Col. Jessup also said, we do have the liberty to condemn others for doing these terrible things, but we don’t know the full story. We may think that there may have been another way to prevent such horrible actions but there may be details that prevented a peaceful resolution. We do have to keep that in mind before we totally rally against something.

“A roofer listens to [his heart], not his wallet.”

From: Clerks

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: A customer from the store

The story behind the quote: Kevin Smith is a pretty popular filmmaker now. However, in 1994, he started out as a literal unknown and used up a lot of his personal savings to create his first movie, Clerks. The film tells the story of a day in the life of Dante, a down-on-his-luck clerk at a Quick Stop who was called into work on his rest day.

The quote comes from a specific scene where Dante and his friend (and clerk of a video store) Randall are talking about the construction of the Death Star in the third installment of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi. Randall comments that since the Death Star was still being constructed during the Rebel Alliance’s attach on the station, there must have been some innocent contractors on it when it got blown up.

A roofer who happens to overhear the conversation then interrupts and states that, since he is a contractor himself, his political beliefs actually contributes to his accepting of a job. He then tells the story when he was asked to repair the roof of a certain house and he would be paid much more than what he would usually charge. However, he found out that the house belongs to a dangerous mob boss so he decided to refer another contractor to do the job. Unfortunately for the other contractor, a rival mob decided to attack the house and was killed. The roofer then points to his heart and states that he listens to that when it’s time to select what job to take.

Geek wisdom:  A person’s integrity should not have a price.  There have to be certain limits to what we will do for material items. If you believe in something, no amount of wealth should be enough to change your mind. If there is a certain amount that will make you throw away what you believe is right, then you didn’t really believe in it in the first place.