Goonies and Geeks.

Posted by Hello

I have a theory about the movie The Goonies.

I say that for any sufficiently sized group of people (more than 4, less than 12) that have known each other for a while, each person worth something can be modeled by a hybrid of no more than two Goonies characters when they find themselves in an 'adventure' sort of situation.

For example, I am Mikey, with a little bit of Data thrown in. I used to be Chunks. I have a friend who is exactly like Brand. I have another friend who is Steph, and another who is Andy. I imagine that if you thought about your core group of friends, and the big things you've done together, you'd start to see which were Goonies, and which goonies at that. Some people aren't cut out to be Goonies. They don't have the constitution for it. But the ones that do are easy to identify in the face of difficulties--Goonies never say die.

Of course, it's possible you haven't seen the Goonies, or not recently: Go hunt it up. It's a great movie from my generation's childhood, and we grew up on it. While our babysitters were watching the Breakfast Club and identifying with the Princess, the Brain, the Jock, The Criminal, and the Psycho, we were in the next room watching the Goonies. Each generation has movies that define them. Movies that speak to their most stereotypical and elemental members.

I got to thinking a few months ago about a movie I haven't seen in a long time, that I nearly wore out the VHS tape for in our old VCR. It's called Space Camp. It was The Goonies for Geeks.

 Posted by Hello

There are five kids. The incredibly-young Star-Wars geek, the "I'm too cool for this" geek, the earnest and hard worker, the photographic-memory bubblegum girl, and the Geek-with-a-Dream. On a weekend drill mission where a group of space camp kids actually run through a launch simulation, a technical error forced by a robot named Jinx puts them in orbit.

Growing up, I was Max, the smart but immature kid with the big imagination. But just like with the goonies, each of these archetypes can be applied to most members of a geek gathering. Maybe you'll have to combine two of the characters, but normally not more than that. Of course, if your friends are not all geeks, some of them won't fit into these molds. Fact of life. Just like those with weak convictions can't be Goonies, it takes a certain kind of person to fit the space camp mold.

Each of us has a movie that helped us realize who we were. We let the movies reveal to us who we could be, and sometimes we use the movies as guides for our lives. What role models have you chosen because you thought they reflected who you were, instead of who you wanted to be? Have you sold yourself short? I hope not.

I'm not Max from Space Camp anymore. I don't ramble on about Jedi Knights and The Force these days. I'm not the brain from the Breakfast Club anymore either. These days I see different films and recognize myself in different faces. But a trip down memory lane opened my eyes to some interesting habits of mine, and the movies that spawned them. What will you realize when you take your own journey?

Monday, May 30, 2005


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