Friday, June 3, 2011

Must Be This Tall To Ride

Well, I just watched Reality Bites again. Dearie me, what a great movie. Except every time I watch it I wish, with all my heart, that I could find Ethan Hawke even just a little attractive. I mean the character he plays is fantastic, intriguing, and has that whole dirty musician thing that's usually my weakness. But I can't get over his greasy weasel face. Such a shame.

Anyway, watching it inspired me to write. To write candidly, and with very little censor. Well, little censor for me, that is. Going from an emotionless brick wall to a wall with a small crack might not seem like much, but take what you can get.

If you've read this blog at all, you might guess that I'm a little media-obsessed. I'm an escapist in the truest sense of the word. Well, maybe escape isn't quite right. I don't seek to lose myself in the art of the day. Actually, it's the opposite--with every piece of music or TV or movie I watch, I try to use it to figure out my own existence. In fact, this trait has been exhibited several times on the ol' Angst Muffins, and even in a previous post about Reality Bites (found here). But I'm starting to wonder if this isn't the best tactic to take. Possibly, just possibly, stories by others do not carry clues to figuring out my own puzzling situations. What a blow.

That sounded a wee bit crazy. It's not as if I take everything I watch to be some great mystical Ouija Board. I don't think that I should mimic character's actions or anything. But the reason media is fascinating is because it forms connections, and I do believe that the more you examine the connections, the better any viewing/reading/consuming experience will be.

Take this Christmas Break for instance. Things you need to know about my Christmas Break: A- Fall semester was absolute Hell.
B-Over Christmas Break, I watched the series My So-Called Life in it's entirety.

I am not proud of this statement. Mostly because, all nostalgia aside, My So-Called Life is a terrible show. No, really. There is not a single likeable character in the mix.

* RANT* Except for Ricky. Ricky is pretty great. I never really understood why he hung out with Rayanne, except for the whole momma-bear 'no one will look out for her if I don't' spiel. She's a bad seed Ricky! You are better than that. *END RANT*

But back to MSCL, as the cool kids say. Really, just an irksome show. Like I said, bad characters, sophomoric, irritating dialogue ("It was, like, so totally elemental. Like my soul was, like, all, exposed or something." I don't think this is a direct quote, but it might as well be), and episodes that seemed to jump around and were over-dramatic, over-acted, and straight up annoying.

And yet I loved it. And what's more, I identified with it. Go figure.

There were times when I would finish an episode and just sit and squirm, I identified with Angela Chase so much. You see, back then, I had my Jordan Catalano, a guy I was oh-so-into, but like Jordan, all he wanted to do was make out in the high school furnace room and ignore me in front of his bandmates (not literally, that's referencing a story arc from the show for emphasis). And that Christmas, I had my Brian Krakow, the childhood friend, the boy next door who just wanted a shot, but circled my street on his bike one too many times (once again, a show reference, not reality).

And I thought, 'hey, MSCL. These can't be the only options, right?'

So I would sit a fume and vow to find the third character. An escape route. And all this time I would sit and have internal monologues that were undoubtedly in Angela's voice, and then I would get frustrated because my subconscious sounded like a fifteen year old girl. I didn't ever want that, even when I was fifteen.

See, I think that was the part that bothered me the most about finding myself in Angela Chase. She was a sophomore in high school. And I was twenty-one and finishing up college. There should not have been any comparison, right? I should not be sympathizing with the struggles of teenagers.

Sometimes I seriously worry that I have stunted growth. That is not to say that I am immature. In fact, I've usually considered myself more rational than other people my age (she said ever so smugly). That sounded condescending, and I apologize. It's not intellectually, or physically, but emotionally. I joke that I am an emotionless brick wall, but for a long time, I think that was true. I didn't start letting people in--whether it's friends or relationships or whatever--until college. So I guess it makes sense that I'm a little behind, desperately trying to catch up to the high school sophomores of the world, to figure out how interacting with others is supposed to work. I'm working on it, but sometimes progress is slow. Sometimes, I still think it's easier to just shut everything and everyone out. But alas, as I'm discovering, I'm an unexpectedly social creature, and I don't think the arms-length method of living would be worth it in the end.

So I'll progress. Slow but steady. And who knows, maybe I'll hit where I'm supposed to be one of these days.


Andrea Cerveny said...

So what if you (or I or anyone else) can identify with characters who are less than rational? Growing up is more a function of learning better judgment than eradicating our built-in human weaknesses. We eventually learn how to live with ourselves and everyone else, too. It's just nice to see it magnified and displayed out in the open sometimes, just so you can examine it from the outside and feel a teensy bit justified... or at least, not alone.

David's Holla Atchya! Blog said...

I think you're pretty social, but in your own way. I don't see you as a huge party animal, but you like to interact with people that have similar interests as you.
I love it when a good book or a good movie motivate one to write.