i don’t want to be a great story
I remember when I was in Woodstock, Illinois two years ago--that's the filming location for most of Groundhog Day, if you must know, this blog's namesake and the film I watched for 365 days in a row and still come back to at least once a month--and I imagined being stuck in that location for a repeating day, and there was a "homeless" guy--really, he was just out of work and had made his way to Woodstock from a nearby town because he knew the crowd would mean he might be able to get more handouts from sympathetic passersby--that is, more people overall, more sympathy just by playing the percentages not that he was as cynical about it as I think I just sounded in describing it--and he was a nice enough guy, but unfortunately, I couldn't give him any cash because I saw him on my third day in Woodstock and I had run out of cash--I did offer to buy him Starbucks, I think, because I had just emerged from Starbucks, which is right by where Phil Connors hugged Ned Ryerson and the often (in this blog) cited as offensive "homophobic shock" though, of course, the Starbucks was not there at the time, and to be honest I'm not even sure if I offered him Starbucks--that might just be me imagining a better version of myself, like it's Day Two or Day Three of my time loop in Woodstock and I've seen this guy, I've talked to this guy and I just know that what he needs is Starbucks because all too often in my life of teaching and parenting and studenting I absolutely need Starbucks, need the caffeine, not to wake up exactly but to keep myself from coming back down from the excitement of the day too early because I've got classes to teach, damn it, classes to take--except, I don't have any more classes to take, just a thesis to finish writing, a thesis defense to manage with aplomb, and then I'll be out there looking for a job (or jobs) as a teacher, but in the meantime, it's writing and writing and more writing--between this blog (yesterday's entry was somewhere above 2500 words), my political tweets and rants and occasional entries in my old political blog, and my thesis (somewhere around 30 pages written so far, expecting it to come in around 100)--plus I'm still toying with ideas of where to take this blog, or rather my interest in film and leanings toward--well, it's not criticism, exactly (though I would certainly be open to being some sort of film critic if I could get paid to do so), but whatever you want to call it--talking about film, after the third year is complete because, yeah, I could just keep doing this same thing, watching movies, writing about them, I could do this for years, but at some point you gotta want something more and I wish often for a wider audience (not that this particular entry is the kind of thing that will pull in the masses, or really are most of them, as they can't all be well-timed #OscarsSoWhite entries, or earn yearly pageview spike I get on the Groundhog Day holiday, but sometimes these things are so dense, or just so damn long, that to expect anyone to casually happen upon them and choose to stick around even to the end of that particular entry, let alone to read another entry or to come back another day and another day and another day is madness) and a wider audience cannot really be found in blogging, not unless this blog got picked up by some larger website, and I don't think that the rambling, meandering nature of this blog, drifting from one movie to another and another, while avoiding most of the time what constitutes film criticism is conducive to getting picked up, which means it is not conducive to a particularly wide audience, but don't get me wrong, I've got regular readers, but not a lot of them, and since Maolsheachlann has taken a vacation from the internet it seems like no one wants to comment on entries anymore, so there's that, but I want more than that, something like a podcast audience or a YouTube channel audience, but then I get self-conscious about how I'd look on a vlog or what have you, or how I might sound on a podcast, even though I make a living talking in front of crowds, and I know I should be better than that, or at least I want to be better than that because I'm forty fucking years old and if something I want is a recording (or a series of recordings) away, I should just get on with it, but first things first, finish the thesis, then toy with the idea of a Groundhog Day Project book--based mostly on entries from the first year as well as some of the content I'm putting together for my thesis and some in-between sections looking back at the experience with a bit of my self-help, preachy tone that shows up in this blog from time to time, and Jesse and Celine are in the cemetery now in this third day with Before Sunrise, and I'm wondering if you've even read this far, if you get it, if you by chance were here yesterday for the Joyce discussion or just recognize the stream-of-consciousness approach to writing as a poetic echo of both the love-affair-in-a-day premise of Before Sunrise and the fix-your-damn-life-in-a-day-or-do-it-again-and-again premise of Groundhog Day, but also an echo of this whole blog, the nine hundred sixty four entries that came before this one, the hundreds (hundreds?) of films (not to mention the thousands of films I have seen in my life), the arguments about gender and race and life and film and especially the recent line that all movies are part and parcel of one big movie, one big story, and we are all both audience and participants, characters within and lookers on without, because I've got a hippie sort of thing going on in my head where I have so much trouble with war and violence (in the real world, at least, because, growing up on American films, especially action films in the 80s, I have less trouble with war or violence as storytelling devices) because we would all be so much better off if we just accepted that we were in this together, but then again, I am a hypocrite because I can preach such bullshit easily enough, and I can watch Groundhog Day, which is all about appreciating the people around you, for an entire fucking year and yet I still don't even know my neighbors, nor do I have many friends that I do things with regularly, because I am far from the social beast I wish I were, so much so that--coming back around to my Woodstock story (and also, finally, bringing this comfortably into Before Sunrise before I move on to Before Sunset for tomorrow)--it's no wonder that after I saw the Old Man stand-in and may or may not have offered to buy him Starbucks because I didn't have any cash (but, in retrospect, I'm remembering that there may have been a bank right off the town square, and surely it had ATMs, but did I even check, or was talking to the "homeless" guy just something to tick off of some mental checklist for my Groundhog Day pilgrimage?) and then I saw my Nancy Taylor stand-in a block off the Square, while I was heading off to find the public library because I had heard there was a Groundhog Day exhibit there (you can see the library photos in an old entry in this blog, of course), and of course, I didn't approach here in the present, because imaginary time loop and whatnot, I could catch her on the next resumption and figure out what makes her tick, what makes her make noises like a chipmunk, if you will, or maybe we'd just wander the town like Jesse and Celine, live our entire relationship in the remaining hours of the time loop because, on the one hand, why stretch shit out for a second or a third day, or a week, a month, a year, an actual lifetime, when surely it is possible to get to know one another in just one day of walking and talking, and you don't have all the deeper attachment that will make departing such sweet sorrow, except there I go countering my own point by referencing that Romeo and Juliet line, because isn't that line from that first night Romeo and Juliet meet, the balcony scene, and isn't the deep connection the damn point to the walking and talking, sharing, dating, holding hands, kissing, hugging, fucking, or is it really just that initial madness that makes all of life worth living, and love just a twisted form of obsession (and a reunion in the vein of Hedwig's (by way of Aristophanes, or Aristophanes by way of Hedwig, I guess) "The Origin of Love" between incomplete people, where maybe the length of the reunion is not so important as the vitality of it) that can have mind blowing and life altering power in a moment as much as in a day as much as in a lifetime?
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