There are lines from the movies that creep into our everyday speech. When someone acts all-knowing, not because he knows shit but because he has internet access, I like to quote the first line from Rutger Hauer’s famous monologue in Blade Runner.
When something is wrong, it’s more dramatic to quote Obi-Wan Kenobi than to just say “Something is wrong.”
And when you’re mad about someone and you want to acknowledge its cosmic significance while mocking it at the same time (Nabokov noted that only one letter separates the cosmic from the comic), you can quote Marty McFly’s future father (because Marty was in the past) in Back to the Future:
Today I heard myself saying a line from Almost Famous. It goes:
“These people are not your friends.”
That’s what Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) tells young William Russell (Patrick Fugit), who’s been sent to write a story about a rock band and finds himself with conflicting loyalties. Here’s a snippet from the film.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the exact scene with that line, but you get the drift.
Sometimes when we are bored, susceptible, or wish to escape from real life, we latch onto something or someone we barely know and become fanatics. The objects of our devotion may be movie stars or musicians or sports teams or even writers; the point is that they exist outside of our lives, no matter how close they may seem. Never mind that they’re “just like you” and you’re sure that if you spent any time together you would be best buddies. Never mind that they seem to be really nice, or that they say exactly what you’re thinking. There’s nothing wrong with admiring them or taking inspiration from them, but you have to remember:
You are not them.
I have to say this because I feel responsible. Maintain perspective. Remember when you had a life and interests of your own? You used to be fun; now you’re one of those tiresome people who can’t go two minutes without babbling about your idols. Ask yourself why you’re so consumed. Are you using this fixation as a substitute for something?
These people are not your friends. The Lester Bangs character goes on to say, “You wanna be a true friend to them? Be honest and unmerciful.”
That’s good advice.