From: Demolition Man
Who said it?: Erwin
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the Sylvester Stallone film, Demolition Man. The movie tells the story of John Spartan (played by Stallone), who is tricked by Simon Phoenix (played by Wesley Snipes), the main antagonist of the film, into making it appear that Spartan accidentally killed some civilians. Both Spartan and Phoenix were frozen for their crimes. In the future, Phoenix manages to escape imprisonment (long story) so Spartan is thawed out as well to capture the criminal.
The quote comes from the middle of the film. Since the film is set in the future where a lot of technological advancements (and “peace” has been “achieved”), Spartan is still having trouble adjusting to the culture. He mentions that there is no toilet paper in the bathroom. Lelina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) explains to the rest of the police force what toilet paper is. Spartan then quips that, instead of toilet paper, there’s a shelf containing three seashells. Erwin (Rob Schneider) snidely remarks that Spartan has no idea how to use the seashells.
Spartan then gets to talking to a police officer he knew as a rookie and, while reminiscing, gets fined for using profanity. He then goes up to the machine printing out the tickets for the fines and uses a few more expletives, collecting a huge wad of paper. He then comments that he doesn’t need the seashells, implying he’s going to use the tickets as toilet paper.
Geek wisdom: Sometimes, we may come across situations that we have no knowledge on how to resolve (like how to use the three seashells). In these situations, we have to rely on our creativity in order to get around these issues and figure out alternative solutions to the problems.
While John Spartan will eventually figure out the three seashells, he needs to use the toilet now. So, even though he does get fined, he managed to get his own version of toilet paper in the future. He managed to address his need immediately by using a creative solution. We need to go look for alternative solutions to problems, especially if the direct solution cannot be figured out immediately.
From: The Social Network
Who said it?: Mark Zuckerberg
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the brilliant film, The Social Network. It is a dramatized version of the story of how Facebook came to be. While a lot of the actual events have been spiced up to make the story much, much, much more interesting, a lot of the story is based on some fact.
The quote comes from when a lawyer questioning Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and Zuckerberg casually commenting that it’s raining. The lawyer, apparently annoyed, asked Zuckerberg if he deserves his full attention. The soon-to-be billionaire turns to the lawyer and frankly tells the lawyer that he believes that he doesn’t deserve his full attention. Most of his energies are focused on making sure that Facebook continues to develop and create new and amazing things for the public to use.
Geek wisdom: Sometimes, unimportant things will try to grab our attention to sidetrack us from a goal or a task. These unimportant things will try to do every thing in their power to avert our eyes from the prize. We shouldn’t let them do it.
When we put all of our blood, sweat and tears into something and it may feel impossible to actually accomplish it. At this point, we may actually want the distraction! However, if we do push through the hard times and devote the time to what we want, we can achieve it.
The thrill and feeling of achievement that comes from reaching a goal will definitely feel much better than the temporary relief that a distraction can provide.
From: The Matrix
Who said it?: Some kid who can bend a spoon with his mind and Neo
The story behind the quote: We’re already talked about The Matrix before on how it was a groundbreaking film. What we haven’t really discussed is how many memorable quotes there are in the film. So, here’s another one.
Neo (Keanu Reeves) goes to visit the Oracle, a wise person who can see the destinies of people. While waiting for his turn to talk to the Oracle, Neo sees a little boy bend a spoon effortlessly through pure thought alone. The boy, seeing that Neo is astonished by his feat, explains to the hero that there is actually no spoon to bend; it is the person that bends. With this in mind, Neo then proceeds to bend the spoon with his mind as well.
Geek wisdom: A lot of the things we think is impossible is because we doubt ourselves. In the movie, it is easy for the kid to bend the spoon with his mind since he was taught that it is possible to do so. In the same way, Neo finds it incredible that a child can bend the spoon easily with his mind alone since he was taught that it is practically impossible to do it.
The child bending the spoon can refer to the thoughts that our dreams and aspirations are impossible to achieve. What we can learn from the quote is that there are no limits with what we can achieve if we really put our minds to it. In fact, we may find that attaining our “impossible” dreams are effortlessly achievable. We have to think that we can accomplish the impossible and get rid of self-doubt in order to reach for our goals in life.
From: The Wizard
Genre: Movies, Video Games
Who said it?: Lucas Barton
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the movie long Nintendo commercial, The Wizard. The story of the film is a “special” kid named Jimmy who wants to travel to California to put pictures of his dead sister in a dinosaur. His half-brother (played by Wonder Years’ star Fred Savage) breaks him out of the institution where he stays to help him get to California. Along the way, they meet a girl named Haley and they find out that Jimmy is a “wizard” in playing video games (get it?) so they enter Jimmy in Video Armageddon, a video game tournament with a prize of $50,000 going to the winner.
The quote comes from one of the “villains” of the film, Lucas Barton. Lucas encounters the trio and exclaims that he is the best NES player ever since he has all of the Nintendo games ever made. To emphasize this even further, he produces the Power Glove and uses it to play Rad Racer. After completing the race in the game, Lucas turns to the audience, delivering the quote and plugging the Power Glove to the young kids who are watching the film.
Geek wisdom: While it may seem like arrogance, it’s actually a good thing to take pride in what you have. Whether it be material things or your personal accomplishments, you have to be proud of it. There’s actually nothing wrong with what Lucas did in scene shown above. He’s just stating that he loves the Power Glove… and he proved why it’s awesome.
From: The Legend of Zelda
Genre: Video Games
Who said it?: Old Man
The story behind the quote: This is a classic quote from the first Legend of Zelda game, a classic game for the NES. It’s also hard to believe that a simple 8-bit game revolutionize gaming as we know it with the ability to save. Before, gamers had to write down a password (which were usually incredibly long) when they had to continue where they left off. The Legend of Zelda changed all of that since the cartridge had a battery which allowed you to save the game. Oh, and it also helps that the game was just plain awesome!
While there have been several games (and reboots) during subsequent releases, the general plot remains the same. The hero of each game is an elf boy named Link. The kingdom of Hyrule is under attack by Ganon and Link goes on a quest to defeat the evil wizard and save the kingdom and Princess Zelda.
Anyway, the quote comes from the start of Link’s 1st quest. He enters a cave where he encounters an old man who tells the hero that the world is filled with monsters and he will need a weapon to defeat these evil creatures. Link gladly takes the sword that is offered and (like all other objects he finds along the way) raises it up in celebration.
Geek wisdom: Simply put, no man is an island. A lot of times, we do feel pride and we think that we can take on the world with no problem. However, there are going to be some instances when it’s simply not true. We will need assistance and every little bit helps.
Even if we are confident and sure that we can take on the world, it doesn’t hurt to be ready for unforeseen circumstances that can prevent us for success. That’s why we would need every little advantage to make sure we will do well.
Who said it?: “Dom” Cobb
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the smash-hit Inception. One of the highest grossing films of all time, Inception tells the story of Dominic “Dom” Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a professional criminal who enters the minds of his targets to steal their ideas. However, Dom’s team has been hired to do the opposite; instead of stealing ideas, their job in the film is to actually implant an idea in the target’s mind.
The story goes deeper into that just that. The director of the film, Christopher Nolan, weaves a brilliant tale regarding Dom’s backstory about his life and why he decides to take the job. Inception is a film that is thought provoking and something that should be seen by geeks and people who love movies in general.
Geek wisdom: It’s hard to underestimate the power of an idea. A lot of our modern culture is actually derived from ideas. The airplane came from the idea that people can fly. Even simple conveniences that we take for granted, such as paper, were derived from the idea that we should be able to write on something light and portable.
We all have ideas. No matter how small they are, we have to nurture these ideas into maturity because we can never know how great the idea actually is until we make the idea into reality.
From: Star Wars
Who said it?: Obi-Wan Kenobi
The story behind the quote: If you haven’t heard this quote before, you may be on the wrong site. Kidding! Anyway, the quote comes from the first Star Wars film (technically called Episode IV: A New Hope) of the original trilogy. While the Force is mentioned several times throughout the film, the most iconic time it was uttered in the movie was during the attack on the Death Star.
Luke Skywalker flies his X-Wing into the trenches of the massive space station to fire a missile into a hole “that’s no bigger than a womp rat” (meaning its pretty small). While there are computers on board his X-Wing to “accurately” fire the shot, an early attempt failed even with the equipment. As Luke approaches the hole, he hears the ghost of Obi-Wan, his mentor, to turn off the targeting computer and let the Force guide the shot. He does follow the advice and manages to score a direct hit, obliterating the Death Star.
Geek wisdom: All of us have the potential to do great things, but we are sometimes hindered by the thought that we can’t do it. We essentially don’t believe in ourselves anymore. Sometimes, we have to forget modern conveniences and actually perform the things we need to do by ourselves without assistance.
From: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Who said it?: Ferris Bueller
The story behind the quote: One of the most memorable films from John Hughes. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is the story of the titular character, played by Matthew Broderick, skipping school for one day to enjoy life. Ferris manages to coax his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), and “spring” his girlfriend, Sloan (Mia Sara), from school to take the day off from school.
The quote is actually mentioned twice. The first time is when Ferris a few minutes into the movie, after he convinces his parents that he’s sick so he can stay at home and “recover.” He walks around the house, talking to the audience to deliver that piece of advice.
The second time the quote is delivered is at the end of the movie. Ferris successfully to return home before his parents get home to check up on him. After his parents leave the room, he looks back to the audience and tells the quote to the audience again.
Geek wisdom: In this day of age, we tend to take life too seriously and postpone our happiness. We think that, once we do this or achieve that, then that’s when we’ll be happy. Well, what’s wrong with being happy now? It’s always a good idea to take a break from the hassles of life once in a while. Take the time to appreciate what life can bring us.
Live it up a little. We only have a short time on this Earth. Take the time to revel in all the good things it can offer because we never know when it’ll be over.
From: Back to the Future
Who said it?: Marty McFly
The story behind the quote: The Back to the Future series of movies was pretty awesome, however, it wouldn’t have been possible if the first film wasn’t so awesome to begin with. It established great characters (Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly and Chrisopher Llyod’s Doc Brown) and even terms from the movie, such as “flux capacitor, ” “1.21 gigawatts” and “88 miles per hour” have been ingrained in geek culture.
The time machine is another reason why the film is so popular. Doc Brown built his time machine from a DeLorean DMC-12, which is pretty odd if you think about it since most time machines before were, well, stationary objects. In fact, after their first test run, Marty also exclaims that he can’t believe that the car was actually a time machine.
Geek wisdom: Sometimes, we gotta go with style over substance. Sure it may seem shallow, but as Doc Brown said, its good to add some flair as well. While it does pay to be practical most of the time, it can be boring. We all want to get things and do stuff that, in the long run, are not really useful. Buying an expensive shirt or eating at a very fancy place may seem useless. However, if you do enjoy it, then there is some use to it.
Life isn’t just about surviving. Life is also enjoying living. We all have to balance our “fun” and “survival” in the right amounts.
From: Calvin and Hobbes
Who said it?: Calvin
The story behind the quote: Calvin and Hobbes is a very creative comic strip from Bill Watterson. Unlike most comic strips, the jokes and stories never patronize the intelligence of the audience and can be read (and enjoyed) by kids and adults alike. Calvin is a very active kid and is best friends with his stuffed tiger, Hobbes. Since he is just a kid, he is very imaginative and constantly dreams of impossible adventures, such as being in outer space in his Spaceman Spiff persona. Most of the stories and gags usually revolve around Calvin’s imagination and how it gets him into trouble. However, there are a lot of philosophical ideas as well. Calvin and, by extension, Hobbes observe things with remarkable insight for a little boy.
The quote comes from the very last strip that was released. It has Calvin and Hobbes walking in the new fallen snow and exclaiming that the day is so full of possibilities. They then both ride on their bobsled, eager to look around the world and find new and exciting things.
Geek wisdom: We have to treat each day as a new adventure. As Calvin said, the day is always full of new possibilities. A lot of us have become cynical and actually dread and worry about what tomorrow will bring. There’s a lot of things the world can offer us and we sometimes close ourselves to the possibility of actually going out and enjoying ourselves.
All of us should take the time to remember that each day brings us new opportunities. We should not hide from these opportunities. Rather, we should chase after the chance a new day brings us.