Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Tragedy and Comedy Masks






I once took a psychology of death and dying class and at the start of every class period my teacher would announce that after this class, we'd all have two less hours of our life to live. It was a sobering way to start the day, and the class elicited strong emotions which is a nice way of saying that mostly everyone thought everyone else was an asshole. I, like many others, couldn't understand the enormity of the subject and made glib assumptions about how people should deal. I'd been around a fair amount of death, but still. During the course, I went through a sad romantic break-up, the kind of grief that stays in a locked box of the heart, thumping around like a bad engine. I saw my beloved everywhere. Soon he would be dead, but I didn't know that, of course. He hanged himself in his parents' house, ending his eternal debate about whether his life and art were worthwhile. A young man, he'd made the most dramatic statement he could.

And so goes the Owen Wilson saga, another comic actor plagued with hosts of demons that drove him to a suicide attempt. Everyone is shocked, of course, because his talent was in hiding his pain. So much of art is that, the seemingly simple transformation that makes people believe everything is fine, funny, not so bad. It takes a lot of bullshit to keep this going, a lot of energy and time and brilliance and sorrow and you get eaten and your soul begins to rot and die even as it's struggling to keep going. Because there's always two sides, the comedy/tragedy masks that show up in so many bedrooms and on necklaces. People wear so many things around their necks! We shouldn't be surprised when those things begin to strangle them.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
“It's funny how it usually works out that I end up dying. It sort of works out, because by the time I die, I'm usually tired of working on that particular movie, so I look forward to it." - about how a lot of his characters end up dying. Owen Wilson

Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Bottle Rocket

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

23 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I took a class on Death and Dying too, a very interesting one. Maybe we should consider putting one in at Xavier. Might be worthwhile.

Antigone said...

It's all downhill after me.

Detroit jawbreaker said...

I took the black pill in M*A*S*H*.

El Sordo said...

I was a horse's ass at my last shootout in "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

R.P. McMurphy said...

The chief suffocated me.

Caligula said...

I slit my wrists and took a bath.

Achilles said...

Damn those heel-shot poisoned arrows!

Emma Bovary said...

Rat poison sucks!

Jay Gatsby said...

I just went for a swim with my new inflatable raft and the next thing I know I hear this gunshot and then everything turned to black.

Myrtle Wilson said...

How was I to know that blond bitch was driving!?

Joseph Heller said...

Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Christopher Moltisanti said...

Tone, call me a cab.

Tony Soprano said...

You're a cab.

Tony Soprano said...

Also, let me just tweak your nose slightly.

R's Musings said...

The sooner we face our mortality, the quicker we can get on with whatever life we've got left.

the walking man said...

Death is a lesson for the living. After all the dead one no longer has any worries or fears or pain.

I sometimes have thought about the mortality rate within the entire community of artists, no matter their media. Is it that we feel things more intensely allowing us to bring reality from seemingly no where?

How many writers, poets, film people, painters have done themselves in at the pinnacle of a career or at the end (or what they consider the end)of a fine if not exceptional body of work?

Then the question is the fame and paparazzi worth it, look at the self destructive behavior of not only the teens and twenties of Hollywood but their fans that seem to want to mimic their every move. How many people suicided after Kurt Cobain's self inflicted death, because of it?

r's got a point though, the sooner you overcome your fear of it the sooner one can just get on with life and let destiny take care of the rest in peace,

sorry couldn't help that last line
but I hope it has special significance for Mr. Anonymous who seems to be back to work and once again has access to a computer he's to cheap to buy himself.

Peace

mark

flic said...

The only thing left for you to do is sing a song

Pythia3 said...

Wow, great post. I love this post Michelle...and written so well like always.
So sad about Owen...the sadnesses we carry around like cement boots - or at least I can relate. Sadness and pain are inescapable, but suffering is optional. Being that I am an indulger (and the Greek tragedy drama queen), I usually end up suffering.
I think what makes me even more depressed at time is when my smile has people (fooled) telling me that I have it so together when I really feel like I am coming completely unglued.
I love life for the most part, but that is not to say that death hasn't looked more appealing on certain days.
Oh, the art - everything in the name of art - oh, how we suffer. (she says...tongue in cheek and noose around neck)

Cheri said...

If only Macomb offered such interesting courses!

Stephanie said...

"We shouldn't be surprised when those things begin to strangle them"

I love this. We are the architects of our own demise.

You have the most interesting anonymous commenters. I take it this is a seasonal thing?

they call him tripod said...

"the comedy/tragedy masks that show up in so many bedrooms..."


what a strange thing to say... are you referring your encounters with micropenises??

*rimshot*

HEYY-OOO!!

bokonon said...

BTW, I heard Owen Wilson's suicide attempt was triggered by watching "You, Me and Dupree".

Ropinator said...

I really like Owen Wilson's movies