been a big Kevin Smith fan since 1996, but my geek-outs have cooled in
recent years, mostly due to the burgeoning fan base that gives normal nerds
a bad name. I'm referring to pretty much anyone on Talkbacks and message
boards. Smith himself has now taken
to the trenches of the boards to defend his honor, and all
of a sudden you see the profanity-laced posts disappear, replaced by heaps
of praise. Many of the posts are along the lines of "I've always
been a fan Kevin" and "Let me post using Kevin Smith’s
diction and self-deprecation in hopes that said man will respond to me!"
There's something sad about the whole thing, but it's hilarious to read
Kevin Smith addressing specific fans. It got me thinking, and I realized
there's a certain evolution of the Kevin Smith fanboy. His films bring
out the best and absolute worst in pop-cult followers. Emphasis on cult.
I now present the Four Phases of Kevin Smith Fans.
Smith meets fans head-on
1: Normal Human Being
As a normal human being, you have no knowledge of Kevin Smith, except
that he's a movie director. An independent movie director. And, as a
normal human being, you shy away from anything with the word independent
in it. But hidden deep inside you, there are nerd tendencies waiting
to burst out, Alien-style.
2: Mallrats x 36
It all starts when someone introduces you to Mallrats (or Clerks). All
of a sudden, you have a realization that Brodie Bruce is the greatest
character on the planet, and damn does he talk cool for a nerd! So you
watch Mallrats 36 times, and you only watch Clerks 15 times (cuz it’s,
you know, in black and white), and become obsessed with all things Askew.
You sign up on the message boards with a name like Brodie_Nootch, and
start gushing about your love for "dick and fart jokes." You
read all about the crossover references and point them out to your friends
as if you discovered them. And you suddenly change your inflection of
the phrase "Holy shit."
Ah, young love.
3: Chasing Gaymy
Then you discover Chasing Amy. This is the pinnacle of any Kevin Smith
Fan's Career. You feel like you're growing because the movie has a deeper
message than Mallrats. You now know all the stories about Superman,
Fletch, and Green Hornet. You spend a lot of time convincing yourself
Banky's not gay because damn, he’s cool like Brodie! At the same
time, you're developing a strangely homo-erotic relationship with Kevin
Smith and his work. Luckily, your 'not gay' argument stands firmly on
two words Banky utters at the end of the movie. "Thank Christ."
It's not until Phase 3 that you realize the truth.
By the time you move to Dogma, your use of the English language has
grown exponentially, even though you still don't understand half the
words you are saying. Then a strange thing happens. You don't watch
Dogma 30 times. You laughed, maybe even gained "insight" into
religion. But you can't bring yourself to watch Chris Rock give another
bad facial expression. Then you catch Clerks: The Animated Series, and
shield criticism because that second episode with "Who’s
driving? Oh my God bear is driving!" was the funniest fucking thing
you’ve ever seen. Your old Mallrats days of geekdom are restored
briefly for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, but you can't bring yourself
to watch Silent Bob give another bad facial expression, and you think
the music is downright cartoony. Plus, you find out Banky WAS gay! You
go on the message boards and blast Kevin Smith for always going to the
dick and fart jokes. For falling back on Jay and Silent Bob. And for
exposing your previously concealed gay side. But you see Jersey Girl
on opening day anyway, groan at this departure from dick and fart jokes,
and realize you'll only watch it three times in your entire life. Then,
you stop writing on the message boards altogether. You stop visiting
ViewAskew.com. All is silent.
1: Normal Human Being…Kinda
And now, you've come full circle. Kevin Smith and his movies have the
ability to bring out the greatest addiction for nerds: loyalty. You
get hooked on his early movies, share them with friends, say things
like "If that tubby bitch can do it, so can I!" Because Smith
is so open and accessible to his fans, you feel a kinship. But with
all overly passionate fans, there's disappointment. It can’t be
helped. Kevin Smith isn't disappointing the fans. His fans are building
up ridiculous expectations and disappointing themselves. And just when
you come down from your wild fanatical ride and think everything is
back to normal, Kevin Smith brings it full circle by making Clerks 2.
All of a sudden, you're buying the 10th anniversary Mallrats DVD. You're
dusting off Brodie_Nootch, telling Smith you were a fan all along. And
you're finally admitting to people that you love the cock. Welcome back.
for me, I have been through the phases (minus the message board stuff
and the cock-loving). I love his movies, I love his stories, and I love
that he's a self-confessed nerd. But more importantly, Kevin Smith is
still the only celebrity to sign my poster "To Steve, a really
big asshole." Tom Green wouldn't even do that! That alone always
has me in a perpetual state of Phase 2 Fandom.
you never realized how bad Jeremy London stinks at acting until your
37th viewing of Mallrats, Guerrs@thedeckingcrew.com
has a stink palm for you.