Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. - Charlie Chaplin

Thursday, October 28, 2010


A few posts ago I tried weaving a tapestry of flattery and reverence to Buster Keaton.  What triggered this, I can't pin down exactly.  It was a bout a month ago, however, when I became enthralled with the guy and silent films.  Althought I've enjoyed silent films for a while now, I guess I never realized how amazing they were for their time until now.  Everything is relative, especially when it comes to technology and what is "modern" for the time. 

I don't want to say I chose Keaton over Chaplin, Lloyd, Arbuckle or others, but instead of.  Maybe this time next year it will be a different ball game played by a different comic that draws me in.  Though Keaton plays darn funny third baseman. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

silent shouts

As per usual I started out writing about one thing . . . then hit "delete".  I had a good paragraph going about my commute into work this morning and the trials and tribulations therein, especially concerning the rain, darkness; the strange disregard for others' well-being some still retain even while driving in bad conditions.  But, I decided to take it in a different direction.

Could be the time of day or my mood, but really I think it's my simple want to look on the bright side rather then one of many things I cannot change or help.  Movies and actors were the topics that carried the casual conversions spotting the day; them and food, but then how can't food be included when casual talk happens mostly around coffee breaks and lunch.  It got me to thinking about one of my favorite actors, Buster Keaton.  He, being a silent film actor, epitomized the word "movie" or "moving pictures".  I never really thought about the word itself; hence the description of "movies" with audio as "talkies".  Pretty simple concepts huh?

Keaton composed these "moving pictures" like a comedic mosaic utilizing subtle frowns, nonchalant tumbles, trips and falls and extreme, "rubber-band-man"-like stunts.  Like an actual mosaic it is seen not heard.  To gain a big impact the big picture must be made cohesive via all of the small elements working together. 

He certainly set the bar higher on present day comedies and really was something we won't see again . . . we talk too much these days.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

calming fiction

OK, so I'm all better after that last post, I am.  I actually was able to settle myself through talking to my wife about what exactly may have set me off into the depths of gloom, and it worked, it all made sense.  If not to her, it did to me; to just talk and be heard (I hope I was being heard, let's say I was) worked.


I wasn't exactly sure what I'd write sitting down at our computer.  My hands are slightly cold and I'm kind of procrastinating from a good bit.  I have a few projects I could work on, a book that I'd like to finish this year, some stuff to put away, dishes that could be done, oh and that Halloween party invite I drew up to scan and get out to people before the RSVP date (THAT will get done before going to bed).  I think I just needed a few moments to escape into the Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack.

I like to picture myself in a Wes Anderson movie sometimes.  Muted tones enveloping quirky, smartly witty, well-dressed, smoking, troubled individuals.  I'd take a few days ride on the Darjeeling Limited, stroll up to 111 Archer Avenue, sleeping in my eclectically decorated room, after dinner with "Steve-Z".  But for as intensely interesting the worlds he's created are, I never feel rushed by his films.  I always feel well introduced to characters, to places, to the world he's about to have me dive into for the next hour or so.  I think that's why I think I'd feel comfortable in those fictitious places and around those fictitious people.  Or maybe I just prefer fiction to fact, I dunno.

I think we all crave that "other place" and that "other you".  I think we all can even describe it if asked randomly at any given hour of the day.  I also think that if we can incorporate a tad of that in our lives we'd be happier.  It's not that you'd be "aiming high" if you say, decided to grow a beard like tennis great Richie Tenenbaum . . . just don't try to kill yourself after shaving it off.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

the fact is

We like to think we're in control of every aspect of our person.  We alter our appearences to feel better about the image we put on for others to look at.  Some change their religion many times over the course of a life-time.  Some choose not to eat meat.  Some . . . change their gender.  

So it's a funny fact, when you step back to look at the bigger picture, that we are living beings, just like snakes, just like bats, just like worms and plankton.  Humans, unlike either of those two creatures, strive to become something.  A snake eats mice (generally speaking, so I'll say a black rat snake), eats, sleeps, sheds it's skin, mates, grows and stays a live as long as it is able.  It is what it is and nothing more.  Humans seem to not be content for what they are, what they are born as.  We don't eat, sleep, live, procreate and die.  We came up with school, careers, economies, politics, monies, retirement, rich and poor.  We set definitions and parameters early on in our existence, basic ones, that now transcend cultures and countries.

We defined "happy" and "sad".  We personify everything, from making boats and cars female to convincing ourselves that Rover is saying "I love you" and not just barking in different pitches.  Unfortunately with all of the ways humans have come to make themselves, to develop in to the most "advanced" and "intelligent" animal on earth, we've managed also to create things that propigate depression, stress, discontentment and fatigue.

So, where am I going with this?  Well, I'm, at this moment, not happy.  I'm not free of concern, not relaxed, not looking at all I have done and all I own and saying, "Hey, everything's great!".  No, because I managed to create in my own head an equation that equaled out to me being distraught.   Of course I don't want to be, but in my head the events which played out, the small hints of and fatigue have comingled and left me like this.  

Fact is, I didn't have control, something in me made me react certain ways, think and do certain things and create this scenario I'm in.  Maybe I could've stepped back and thought things through, but deep inside something took over stronger than anything a therapist could have told me to revert to.  (note: I don't and never had gone to a therapist)  

Another fact:  Everything will be OK in the morning.