Friday, July 27, 2007
Except When I'm Not
Once I saw Jim Belushi on a night-time talk show, appearing to be a little stoned. His successes, such as they are, were being enumerated (remember About Last Night anyone?) and then he was asked about his brother John. "John was the boss of the family because he made the most money and supported everyone. Now I am." This frankness seemed to surprise the interviewer and made me think about the late, great John Belushi in that predictable way that everyone remembers him -- so talented, so funny, so absolutely addicted to everything bad for him. And nobody to tell him no, of course, because he's the boss of his parents, his siblings, his wife. That's the way it is when the divide from where you came from and where you end up are so great. Jim B. continued to talk at length, laughing a lot about the miseries of his growing up in that way that people do when they've got some distance and can see how funny everything is. I like this way of dealing with things, of turning pain into something else because as Jesus said about the poor, pain is always with us. There's never a shortage as with so many things and if the plethora of self-help books (The Secret being the most egregious offender at the moment --you want something -- imagine it's yours! You want to lose weight -- don't look at fat people! This kind of stupidity makes me want to stab someone and since I am visualizing it, maybe it will happen!) is any indication, nobody ever lost money underestimating the misery of people and the lengths we'll go to change it.
And, of course, there's the tabloid darling of the moment, Lindsay Lohan and her struggles. Clearly, she's in the John Belushi role with her family, the sole supporter, the one that has all the hopes pinned on her like some leaden weight that threatens to sink her, addictions by the score already, that deep sense of loneliness that permeates from her, demons all around. I'm not surprised by the public's lack of sympathy for her -- we imagine how well we'd do with all that money, beauty, opportunity, how we wouldn't fuck up or run away or snort enough cocaine to satisfy all the members of Fleetwood Mac in the seventies. We wouldn't want to get out of our own head, wouldn't want to quiet the voices telling us what to do at every minute, the pressure to be on all the time. No, we'd be a good boss if that were our role. We'd never get out of control and tell ourselves that we deserve another drink or some chemical relief because of all the stress. Nope, I've never done that. Been devoted to nothing but truth and beauty, except when I'm not. At least that's what my publicist would say.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I give so much pleasure to so many people. Why can I not get some pleasure for myself? " John Belushi
Drinking memoir suggestion: Secret Girl Molly Bruce Jacobs
Benedictions and Maledictions