Friday, August 13, 2010

A Day in the Life

Woman: "you shouldn't say such bad things about him, he's your friend isn't he?"
Man: "of course he is my friend, I just don't like him very much."
Woman: "what? how can you say that? that makes no sense."
Man: "Oh, it is ok, he doesn't like his friends very much either."
Woman: "Oh"

I won't divulge whether the little chat above was had BY me with someone else, or was ABOUT me, and reported to me later. It does make a lot difference if you are the object of the above conversation, or if you are the subject of the above conversation. Or, at least it should, I am not for certain that in my case that it does. Which, I think, says a lot about my current situation. Of course, I am not fully aware of my current situation, and that says a lot about me. I have been told, by more than one person, that I am "the smartest person they've ever met." Sounds awesome doesn't it? Well, since I am a bit of a cynic by nature (who would have guessed that?) that comment made me think two things. First, they were lying their asses off, or two, they really haven't met that many people, and should get out of the house around adults more often. Because if I am the smartest fellow you've ever met, then the world is in a LOT of trouble. And, I do mean a lot of trouble.

But, if we take these people at their word, and they were quite insistent that they weren't lying, or that they had not spent the last 15 years surrounded by "special needs" pre-school children, then I weep for the world. Mainly because, and I say this with a great deal of confidence, I am an idiot. Not the drooling over himself type of idiot that spends his days near the window in some rest home staring out into space until the staff comes to feed and change him, but a full blown, "should know better, but doesn't do better" type of idiot. I figure on the idiot scale, if such a thing exists, my type of idiot has to be at, or near the top.

My type of idiot skates very close to Einstein's definition of insane. Which is "doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result." That's correct, I am the dangerous type of idiot, both to myself (no loss there), and to others (where the potential for mass destruction lies). The type of idiot that you do not want near sharp object, fire, and/or your children. In my wake, I leave mountains crumbled, milk curdled, crops failing, wells poisoned, and livestock barren. In many ways I am the anti-Bond, stiff, classless, clueless, rude, and coarse. It is quite a burden to bear, but I made it so I have to shoulder it myself. A better comparison would be with The Groke, and if you get that obscure reference (without having to Google it) then you are miles ahead of me in the cleverness race. Of the two choices I would pick The Groke, because, at least as far as I can tell, The Groke isn't to blame for the devastation she causes. I am pretty certain that the devastation I cause is almost entirely my fault.

That is an important difference, and I compound that particular crime by having a certain degree of fore knowledge. I seem to have a knack for creating disasters, and I make it worse because most of the time, I KNOW that I am creating a disaster, and run the risk anyway. That is almost as bad as a war crime, and I should be taken out, stood up against the nearest wall, denied the use of a blindfold, and shot like a dog. There is really no defense (even if I chose to provide one) for this type of behaviour. It is reprehensible, and it makes me one of the worst human beings that I have ever had the (dis)pleasure to know, and I know a lot of really bad human beings.

There are days, and I am sure we all have them I just seem to have more than my share, where everything I touch becomes a disaster. It is like a plane falling out of the sky onto a two trains that have wrecked into each other that happened in the middle of a hurricane. However, I do think that sometime before I passed out, err fell asleep last night (eventually) I may have stumbled upon one of my core problems. At least I think I did, I am hoping that it wasn't one of those discoveries that are just so perfect just before you drift off to sleep, and then look retarded in the bright light of day. I have not had a lot of time to test my idea, since I did actually have to drag my ass into work, and work just has a nasty habit of getting in the way of a lot of things.

I have made the statement before that I believe that one should attempt to see one's life from the outside. It is difficult, and it takes a lot of imagination, but I think it is possible. I believe that you should be like a film director when it comes to your life. That way, you are on the outside looking in rather than trapped on the inside where you lose perspective. And it is perspective that is critical, you have to begin to see other people (certain ones more than others) not as "actors" making a guest appearance, but as "co-stars", people who are going to do more than a one off episode in/of your life. Then you have to realize, you can't "direct" them, they are like free radicals, and are going to make your orderly little "set" experience some major upheaval.

It will be this upheaval that will be your introduction back into life, back into being more than an outsider. Once you break the fourth wall, and start talking TO your audience or co-stars, rather that AT them, or using them as props in your own one man show, then progress can be made. It is going to be difficult, but most things worth their salt are difficult, and you are going to face a lot of change (and you probably fear change). But, it is something that must needs doing. Once you manage it, if you manage it, you can be both star (or at least co-star), and director of your own life. Remember that creative control is about both being creative, and being in control, and sometimes you have to sacrifice one for the other. Just make sure the candle is worth the game before you do.

And whether you turn your life into a sparse production a la Bresson, or some grand epic like DeMille, is entirely up to you (and the number of co-stars you have). Be aware you don't get the 50 retakes that Bresson demanded of his models, and you probably won't have the budget that DeMille was working with. Keeping it on budget, and getting it in one take is essential, in fact, you only get one take, so you had best make it a good one.

P.S. this has been the work of three days or so, and I saved it I couldn't just go another day without posting. I miss my heroes.


tideliar said...

Ditto. Mostly.

Anonymous said...

To win, you have to risk. Or at least play. Other options are safe, not as hard or risky, but not having a chance of winning.