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
Drinking movie suggestion: Bottle Rocket
Benedictions and Maledictions