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7/22/05 Apology and Movie Motifs
7/22/05 Apology and Movie Motifs
Last night I watched the film I Love Huckabees. A pretty unusual film. A comedy that deals with some of the metaphysical concepts behind eastern religions. (although in a fairly simplistic manner)
I have been attempting to study mainstream films to discover mythological motifs that underlie them. Perhaps 30 to 40 per cent of mainstream movies have a theme that embraces family as the greatest good. Recent examples that come to mind are Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and The Incredibles. (Although The Incredibles had another almost Nietchian theme of conformity of the extraordinary.)
Another popular theme in Woman’s movies is the taming of the wild man. A recent example of this is Something’s Gotta Give. This is actually just another form of the motif of embracing family. In Something’s Gotta Give Jack Nicholson’s character is a lifelong bachelor who dates young beautiful women. When he meets Diane Keaton’s character he suddenly realizes that he wants to change his ways and settle down with an older woman. The last shot of the movie finds Nicholson at the kitchen table holding a baby up in the air above his head adoringly.
Yesterday I discovered a packet of writing I did about ten years ago. It was scribbled on sheets of paper that were never transferred into the computer. The writing was meant to be the second half of the Apology writings that I did just before I came to New York. They sheets started at page 55 which leads me to believe there is another 50 pages floating around somewhere.
The Apology writings were done during a very trying time in my life. The Imperial Orgy has just had its first flush of local success and was now dissolving into chaos among the first band members, even as we planned to move to New York together.
I was living in poverty and was eventually homeless. At the worst times I was barely eating or sleeping and was under intense stress. I spent my time floating in public and my evenings drinking with the girls that followed the Orgy.
At the time I was physically ill and not doing so well mentally either. At the same time my mind was racing. I was more perceptive than at any time in my life. I was in some kind of zone where I could read people in an instant, and people seemed to open up to me as soon as we met. And by ‘open up,’ I mean pouring out their darkest secrets to me at first meeting.
I felt burdened by all this. As if I were carrying everyone’s pain. The air in those days was filled with emotional longing and sexual tension.
In the midst of this I was in an intense affair with an Indian woman from a wealthy family. In her parent’s eyes I was too white and too poor. As her mother said, “it would be different if he was a doctor or lawyer.”
She was 22 years old and the strain on her was more than she could handle. She was paralyzed by fear that her parents would disown her. Apparently this is a common threat in Indian families.
The last time we saw each other she had a breakdown while driving in my car. She liked to lay her head in my lap and sleep while I drove. On this night she stripped bare and began masturbating with her head in my lap. After she came she began to cry. “I don’t want to lose my mother,’ she sobbed. “Why do I have to be a woman? I pray every night I’ll get in a car wreck and end it all.”
A few days later I got a call that she was in a car wreck and broke her back. When I spoke to her I said, “Please don’t pray for anymore car wrecks.”
“What? I didn’t say that,” she responded. Then after a moment’s pause she said, “I can’t talk to you anymore.”
And she didn’t
All in all, the Apology writings chronicled a very dramatic time in my life. The writings were designed as a means of deconstructing myself, of annihilating the ego in the Buddhist sense. Due to this the writing process helped lead to my own psychological disintegration.
In total the writing might have come to about 200 pages without any real narrative ending. When I look back on them some of it is pretty good, some of it is awful. Some of the most interesting parts are literary flights in a stream-of-consciousness style influenced by the author Henry Miller.
I often try to figure out how to work the writing into something worthwhile to release in book form, but so far I have not found the time or energy to do so.