May 10th, 2004


He only wants a pretty face by him

I should be reading frantically in preparation for my third paper. Instead I'm writing this, and I'm not completely sure why. What I do know is that I woke up lonely and disaffected, and I wanted to write this. I got an extension on the paper until thursday, so I can probably spare the time. Not really, but I'm going to make time.

What gets to me are not the big things or the sexual things, they are the little lost moments. Like seeing a C. Thomas Howell movie on cable and not having anybody to mock it with. There he is, in all his C. Thomas Howell glory, up on screen acting like a COMPLETE idiot. Then he starts to rap and I look around frantically but there's nobody there to make the obligatory Soul Man cracks with. Nobody to hear me exclaim "Wow, check that out. Somebody better get this guy a major motion picture where he insults 14% of the population and elicits not a single intended laugh while immolating any chance he ever had a serious career. STAT. Oh...phew...not to worry...that's already been covered. We're good. False alarm."

In the moment it's hilarious. Outside the moment...a little less so. A little less so.

I don't know, maybe the off chance that you might see C. Thomas Howell on a television screen is not the most compelling reason to seek someone else out, but if I'm being honest it's probably the thing I want most.

As a side note, if you are ever in a confined space such as an elevator or train car with Mr. C. Thomas Howell I BESEECH you to either humm or sing under your breath the chorus of "Soul man." Just a few "I'm a SOUL MAN, doot doot doot doot doo doo (x2)"s should be sufficient. He may assault you. It may cost you your teeth and a few of your limbs. I think it would be worth it. Heck, imagine the stories alone.

"Gee Steve, I noticed your pinky doesn't bend all the way back like it should. What happened?"

"I mocked C. Thomas Howell in an enclosed space."

*grim nod* "I thought so."

Can you say Chick MAGNET? Mag-NET

The thing is, sometimes the absurdity of the world just gets to me. Someone actually decided that the best thing to do with several million dollars was to spend it producing a buddy comedy starring C. Thomas Howell, Jason Bateman (who is great in Arrested Development, but whose previous highpoint as a thespian came in Teen Wolf Too) and Johnathan Silverman (The lesser buddy in Weekend at Bernie's. He's no Andrew McCarthy and that's saying something profoundly hurtful.) This didn't strike someone as an absurd thing to do with that amount of money.

"Hi Tad. We have about $5 million sitting here. There are orphans in Belize who desperately need medicine. I'll tell you what though, what if we used the money on a C. Thomas Howell movie, and let the orphans die? Just a thought."

"Hmm...not a bad idea Thad. In fact I think the orphans would WANT us to make a C. Thomas Howell movie with this money. I think that would mean more to them than 55 more years of life. I mean they're in Belize. We're doing them a favor, honestly."

I know that the process isn't like that, and it involves a series of presumably rational decisions, but when you get right down to it what's being said is that this C. Thomas Howell movie, which some people might see but NOBODY is going to remember even 3 months after viewing it, is more valuable than the lives of strangers. I can understand this when it comes to something like Adaptation or Lord of the Rings. Art is meaningful and important and it has a value that can be comparable to medicine or science or anything else. But useless unfunny comedies with D grade stars?

Every time you spend $10 on a Freddie Prinz Jr. movie that's $10 you could be donating to a worthy cause. Do you really need to see a Freddie Prinz Jr. movie?

I don't feel like a hypocrite saying this because although I don't donate financially I have donated quite a bit of my time to the less fortunate, in the GED teaching and my summer internship. I've started to do my part. And if I ever do get wealthy I have told myself that I will donate something like half my income to charities, possibly more if I get super rich and can be set for life.

I can't see myself putting a yacht above a little girl's operation or a nice watch above corn meal for starving people. It's not in my nature.

I should get back to work. It's going okay and the argument is forming, shouldn't be too tough to hand in something decent this time.

Working in the paper mines going down down.
  • Current Music
    Spin Doctors - Pocket full of Kryptonite

Crucify the insencere.

Mornings and afternoons like today all too often fade into evenings like tonight, when I don't want to see or talk to anyone at all. It's often, as it was today, catalyzed by my mother and her arbitrary outbursts of utterly childish and out of proportion rage (and occasionally violence) but they aren't necessary. It is an internal portion of my personality, often struggling to get out. I've written about this before and I probably will do so again.

When these moods take over I see the world with a great deal of clarity (pessimism and depression are good indicators of accuracy) but at great personal cost. I wish to withdraw inside of myself and not have to deal with another living soul. During these bouts I wish I was the last man on earth in that old, Twilight Zone, albeit with unbroken glasses.

One of my first impulses is to shut down my livejournal, or at least purge my friends list. The only reason I don't do this is that I feel like it would be giving up on some level. I remain prepared to if the urge becomes overwhelming. That's one of the reasons I don't have any mutual friends where I initiated the process, juvenile as that might sound. It's meaningful to me because it means that while I am open to interaction and I never intend to make this a private journal (unless I encounter a scenario where having it interferes with my life in a meaningful way) I also don't owe anyone anything, and can write or not write and read or not read what I like with impunity. That is something very important to me in life, not being in debt to other people. Not having to curb my own self-destructive or isolationist tendancies out of concern for how another person feels.

I feel angry, sad, and impotent all at once right now. I know that I should move out and on with my life but I'm terrified. I'm terrified that if I go out on my own and put my own money where my mouth is that I'll be a miserable failure. I like the comfort of the elite education, being around Columbia where there are high expectations of success and just being part of the community makes you a somebody on some level. If I pursue film at Podunk U. then how will I get any attention?

I should probably give up on my dreams of writing or directing, since I haven't any talent and I don't have the schmoozing or personal skills to make it as a hack. I should probably resign myself to a life of grey drudgery. Mid-level corporate work with ill-fitting suits and 12 hour days spent doing the white collar equivalent of pushing food around on my plate to make it look less empty than it really is. Nights by the glow of a television screen watching the polished products of those who had not just my dreams but the character and ability to achieve them.

I have seen my future and it is measured out in microwaveable dinners and trying to kill 30 minutes between the end of prime time and the start of Leno. God, Leno. That meagre talent and monstrous chin, a numbing agent before sleep. The cerebral equivalent of novacaine. "Sure he's mildly entertaining at best, but he WON'T make you think. That's the contract baby. An hour and a half of blissful ignorance about how pathetic you are in exchange for exposure to advertisements that WILL call you pathetic, but not in any real way. You'll worry about your kitchen not being clean enough rather than the fact that your complete contribution to society rests in managing shoelace distribution for a nationwide retailer. If you died tomorrow and they couldn't replace you the worst that would happen would be someone would have to go an extra 1/4 mile to get new shoelaces. We can take that all away and replace it with comedy so bland it uses wonderbread as a flavor enhancer and a silly concern that your vacuum cleaner is less powerful than your neighbor's. Just sign on the dotted line's not necessary. Just pick up your remote control."

Eventually I will die alone, one of those people where the neighbors gather uncomfortable and say "Well he wasn't a BAD man, he helped me with my groceries once."

"Oh yes, and he held a parking spot for me. That was nice."

"Sometimes played the music too loud but usually turned it down when asked."

"He found my wallet in the hall and returned it promptly."

And that's it. A distorted corpse, not found for a few days, maybe chewed by a pet if I get one. A funeral of coworkers and a few distant friends I haven't seen for years. A pedestrian gravestone proclaiming the most basic temporal facts of my life that nobody will want to read but that a tender will come by on occasion to clear off because that's his job and he can't discriminate between those who did something with their lives, meant something to somebody, had an impact, and those who just existed. That's NOT his job.

I won't even die young enough for them to say "He had such promise, he had such potential." I don't even know if they'd say that now. Do I? Have promise? Have potential? At times I think so, but so do many of the crack addicts and 50 year old grocery clerks stocking the shelves at your local A&P. I'm not saying that they didn't or don't have potential, but that potential is meaningless. Does anyone care that the dead catapiller could have been a butterfly given time? Is he any more beautiful for what he would have become?

I know I should move out, start the process of my fall from where I sit now near the top towards the bottom where I will inevitably find myself, but I'm scared. Fortunately, or un depending on your opinion, I won't have the choice for long. Bill is moving in, this summer it looks like, and I must find a new place to live. With it will come responsibilities, bills (Oh the punnery), and the slow strangulation of hope.

At times like these I don't want love or affection, god knows I don't deserve them and probably never will, I want inspiration and work. I want something to delve into beyond a school project that nobody but the professor will ever see. I want to throw myself into creation, emblazon a mark of SOME KIND upon the world even if just to say "I WAS HERE" defiant, eyes ablaze staring down the future with eyes wide open and fists clenched tight. I want to vow to go down swinging, to pursue my dreams no matter how far away they seem on the horizon, chase them until my feet bleed and my legs are game. To stand fast on the battlements of my life and repulse the horde of Leno nights that threatens to engulf the future me.

I don't think it will matter but it's better to go out on your back than on your stool.

Keep the towel on the side a bit longer. I'mma go eat some leather.
  • Current Music
    Smashing Pumpkins