Or How Evie Watches Movies and Series.
I try to just watch a movie or a TV show without some little nitpicker sitting on my shoulder. I love to lose myself in a show. I think a lot of people feel the way I do. That’s why a bunch of us still love a darkened movie theater and why those movie houses probably won’t go away.
So when I read that somebody saw somebody’s haIr extensions and they didn’t have that blonde hair dye back in the 1800’s or they don’t like the way somebody sounds “cuz my Momma is from those parts and she don’t sound like that”, I just let out a big sigh.
When in doubt turn to the Greeks:
“The whole is something besides the parts“, said Aristotle a long time ago, in his wisdom way.
“The whole is greater than the part.” – Euclid said, in his mathy way.
That’s right. Most of the time the whole is a whole lot better than each individual little part. So savor the meal and stop picking nits. And, for good measure, kick that sucker off your shoulder and give him the boot.
And Clay feels the same.
There are quite a few lines in the incredibly visually rich movie “Nebraska” that resonated with me. Though the characters speak few words, when they do, you listen. It’s funny how most of us don’t think too much about our parents’ inner lives until we are much older and when it’s almost too late as they “can’t remember” when you ask questions. But David “Davey” Grant gets to have a few exchanges with his father, Woody, that move this story along emotionally. One such exchange is when they are looking out on to Nebraska farm land with the round bales of hay lying across the horizon and the pasture dotted with black Angus cows.
David asks his father:
“Did you ever want to farm like your dad?”
“I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter.”
In the script David asks again if his dad had it to do all over would he have stayed here and farmed. Woody replies that you can’t “do it all over”.
But people try to “do it all over” in many different ways. When I was an actor and director in New York City in the 1980s, I directed plays by a wonderful playwright Jack Heifner. Jack’s play “Vanities” held the record for longest Off Broadway run for quite a few years. It is what made Kathy Bates a star. I directed a one act play of his called “Twister”. It was about a small plain town in Texas that is wiped away by a tornado. It looked a lot like the desolate town of Hawthorn in “Nebraska”. There are only two people left, Betty and Roy. When they find each other after the storm, Roy says he wants to find their stuff like her stuffed animals and a mattress and then bring them to where their house used to be. He wants to rebuild it exactly like it was. Betty doesn’t want any of the “stuff” because it’s just junk. She wants to go away and have a brand new prettier life. She wants to be born again. At the end she leaves and Roy is left alone with the rubble.
Jack returns to this born again theme in several of his plays. There are many times that people want to reinvent themselves and be “born again”. Sometimes it’s as simple as going off to college or moving to another town or state. Sometimes it’s getting a divorce and starting a supposedly new life.
More often than not no one can do a complete do over of themselves unless they are actually making it all up like a grifter or con artist or someone mentally ill like Cate Blanchett’s character in “Blue Jasmine” who announces “People reinvent themselves….I met someone. I’m a new person.” But for most people, you don’t really reinvent yourself, but you can come to terms with who you really are. Carl Jung called this process “individuation”. It’s “getting to know you, getting to know all about you.” It’s accepting the quirks that make you an individual while at the same time seeing what makes you part of the whole of humanity. In the Bible, Paul says that we are “all of one body, with gifts differing.” We each have different gifts but together we make a whole. Good marriages and partnerships work that way.
In “Nebraska” “Davey” Grant finds out a whole lot about gifts and giving on this road trip with his dad. He has inherited his Dad’s kindness and sense of humor and that’s the payoff. Is it better than a million bucks? Doesn’t matter. It’s a great story.
A Note: I am going to try like heck to take a break from this kind of writing and am going to post stories of my life that some people think are worth jotting down, like the time the boys in 6th grade locked me in a pit. So look for that short story called “The Pit and the Playground.” Or the time Roger O hit me with a baseball bat (although it wasn’t his fault. I was chasing after Johnny M. and ran across home plate.) Or when Qwenny R pushed me over the bridge into Tinley Creek and why I deserved it. Or when Barbara Van hit me over the head with a rock and why I deserved it. Or why Miss Bloemendal kicked me out of my 3rd grade classroom every week for things like marching in the opposite direction to “Onward Christian Soldiers and why I didn’t deserve it.” Or why 30 years later I got kicked out of a Hollywood talent agency for having the Puck Syndrome and why I didn’t deserve it or maybe I did. Or why after a meteoric rise in politics I left the Democratic Party because I saw it was a coop and not a co-op and more like a Roach Motel. Why like a Cicada I lay low for awhile and then go all buzzy ape sh*t crazy every 17 years. Find out how this Hollywood agent ended up on a cattle ranch in Montana. Join me on the “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” that has been my life. ©
Most of us at one time or another experience a cooperative organization as opposed to one of hierarchy. In smaller cities especially in rural America there are food cooperatives and banking cooperatives. There are also insurance cooperatives. That’s how “insurance” started hundreds of years ago amongst merchants who sailed the seas and had to worry about shipwrecks. Farmers would lend each other seed if one’s own crop was destroyed. They pooled their machines. Continue reading