And you wake up, scared of living.....


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In a vain attempt to stave off monday morning and to wring the last seconds out of sunday night (waste not want not), I find myself at the local video store, and as is the dilemma time and time again, my eyes roam across shelf after shelf, deluded into thinking they might actually stumble across something worth seeing. Why can't I just take a movie out and watch it for the sake of watching a movie? You overly analytical, pseudo-intellectual moron, just stick your hand out and grab the closest cover and whatever it is, you will rent it....you made it through Harold & Kumar with minimal scarring, you can do this....oh wait, this shows promise...... And it's name was Prozac Nation....... As the credits rolled, I wondered if it had been the eighties (and late seventies) that started it. Had John Hughes been right in giving Cameron Frye's neuroses the proper context by juxtaposing him to Ferris, or was Cameron really Donnie Darko , had we been so busy wishing Ferris actually existed that we completely missed the origin of a generation defining moment? Somewhere between the parental 'enlightenment' that kids could respond to therapy and drug treatment, and the facade that would define the eighties as the 'inside joke' of the 20th century, something insidious slipped through. And it has since been bequeathed to the generations following, an inheritance of Boards of Canada and Andrew Largemans. I remember the first time I heard Papa Roach's Last Resort: "I never realized I was spread too thin Till it was too late And I was empty within Hungry feeding on chaos and living in sin Downward spiral, where do I begin It all started when I lost my mother No love for myself And no love for another Searching to find a love upon a higher level Finding nothing but questions and devils" What could this guy truly know of suffering and emotional pain? Virgina Woolf, now that's suffering, that's feeling until you choke on it, until it consumes you completely and utterly. But aren't we defined by our private realities? Isn't that why we can never compare living an adult life as the product of a broken home, to living an impoverished life in a tiny fishing village? At the risk of sounding cliched, we play the cards we're dealt and what may, in the light of an event such as the Tsunami, appear to be insignificant obstacles are in the end just as real a struggle. As for those who will comment that it's the decline of family values that is to blame: The 1948 International Congress on Mental Health, London, ". . . the family is one of the major obstacles to improved mental health, and hence should be weakened, if possible, so as to free individuals and especially children from the coercion of family life." G. Brock Chisholm, co-founder of the World Federation of Mental Health, "We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday School teachers, our politicians, our priests, our newspapers and others with a vested interest in controlling us." (yes, yes, I am stirring as if my little life depended on it) So where does that leave us? Perhaps Donnie has the answer..... "Do you want your sister to lose weight? Tell her to get off the couch, stop eating twinkies and maybe go out for field hockey. You know what? No one ever knows what they want to be when they grow up. You know it takes a little, little while to find that out, right, Jim? And you... yeah, you. Sick of some jerk shoving your head down the toilet? Well, you know what? Maybe... you should lift some weights, or uh, take a karate lesson and the next time he's tries to do it, you kick him in the balls." .......'cause I certainly don't. (If you're interested in Elizabeth Wurtzel, try here and here.)


4 Responses to “And you wake up, scared of living.....”

  1. Blogger Roger Stevens 

    That was a long road from your Video Store to the World Federation of Mental Health.

    So, what movie did you watch?

  2. Blogger Beelzebabe 

    I read the book Prozac Nation awhile back. I didnt know it was made into a film, now I'll have to rent it! I only hope that unlike other book-to-film attempts, this one holds true to the original autobiography. (which was, IMO, an excellent view of depression in younger adults)

  3. Blogger Fence 

    Donnie Darko is a great film. Must see if I can get the dir. cut version. Have heard from some sources that it isn't really an improvement, but then again others say it is. Man! people and their opinions.

    Course I find it really hard to rent videos/dvds. I mean there are so many there, waiting to be seen. Mostly crap, but what if I pick the wrong one, and instead of finding the "best film ever" I choose the supposed comedy that turns out to be nothing but idiotic scenes that resemble "man getting his in groin with football". Course that might keep me amused too.

  4. Blogger Nome 

    Very well said.

    Donnie Darko is a wonderful film. I own it and I watch it over and over. I feel I understand it on a deeper level than other films. I haven't yet seen Prozac Nation, but I will try to find it for my next movie night.

    You're quite right about private realities and how very tempting it can be to dismiss your own problems as melodrama when on the other side of the world hundreds of thousands of people are dead, injured, or homeless. But problems have a funny way of spiralling out of control when you spend all your time convincing yourself that you don't matter in the scheme of things.

    Yours are some wise insights, indeed.

    -N

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