Watching Bad Santa for what must be the third or fourth time I can't help but notice a few things. For one the script isn't as good as I thought it was. A lot of the dialogue is sort of pedestrian and works because the delivery is so spot on and because of what's being said rather than how it's being said. It's also a reminder of how hilarious AND meaningful a black comedy can be, when done right. Bad Santa works as a film despite its flaws because it says something important, which boils down to the fact that putting pretty lights on the houses and dressing up in a red and white fucking suit doesn't make the bad stuff in life go away. Our society sometimes seems to forget this in its orgiastic pagan celebration of the winter solstice. I definitely think that these film courses have given me a more critical and complex eye when viewing movies and I can see a lot more about the mechanics of this particular one than I did a year ago. I'm not prone to heaping praise upon works of culture but I really love this movie and I'm inspired by it. It's the kind of dark comedy that is still semi-taboo in America (many of our black comedies are, in fact, tan at most) and I wish it weren't. Sunshine and lollipops are frequently just a cover for the black smoke and burned flesh just over the horizon.
Of course I'm not working on a black comedy right now, but that's in part because I don't feel worthy of it. I'm offering up the least of my current ideas to the growing pains and soggy process of learning how to write. I'm at a crossroads between supreme arrogance and supreme self-doubt, and nothing anybody says makes much of a difference in either direction. There's also a part of me that thinks that if I finish a script and it's really good, or it sells for a good deal of money, it will solve many of my problems because I'll be able to reveal what I really think of myself without having others think that I am an arrogant lying presumptive prick. Maybe I want to say those things without being an arrogant lying presumptive prick. I want to take that part of me out back, put its head in a pillow case, and blow its brains out. I know that it's not true. External accomplishments don't mean that much. I won't stop feeling like a fraud until I change internally. Until I am doing all that I can to achieve what I want. Maybe until someone loves me too. I recently had an article published on Xbox.com. http://www.xbox.com/en-US/gamepartisan/20041223-beyondthecode.htm if anyone cares. It was apparently read by a few thousand people and made the front page for several days. There will be more. It didn't even register on my self-esteem radar. I can't look at it, all I see are the flaws and fallacies (To be fair to myself this was an online chat not an article I actually had time to sit and work out the wording on, and it was also pretty heavily censored for business reasons.) I'm sure it would be the same if I sold a script. It didn't register because I already think of myself as what I believe I can become. Until I become that I am living in a state of perpetual embarrassment and I feel that I am wearing a mask. In some ways it's like being the titular character from Dumas' "The Man in the Iron Mask." I want to escape my prison, throw off my mask, and claim my rightful place. I'm sure many people feel the same way, and the truth is that our place is wherever we are, we have no guarantees of a better future nor can we expect the things we feel we "deserve." We have what we have and we can work and hope and scheme for more.
I can accept who I am and act accordingly but I can't help now and then glancing in the mirror and seeing something else.