American Dream Confusion
by, 07-11-2008 at 02:10 PM (2663 Views)
I watched Hancock yesterday. A lot of people really hate Will Smith movies. I don't find that all of them are just that similar enough to generalise. I haven't seen many of his roles either though, but overall I think the best I could say was that he doesn't necessarily pick great roles to begin with. I guess some of them have been okay, one or two good, and he's been in a couple real blockbusters... nah you know what, I like him as an actor I guess, now that I look at it more. The movie took an awkward turn that I almost couldn't forgive, then I had no faith that the ending would be pulled off, but it somehow was, a little, and I ended up liking the movie, and I cried at the ending.
I was heading in another direction so let me get back to that. I'm someone that cries while watching movies sometimes. I can sometimes only watch the end of a movie and cry. In life, however, as an adult I've only really cried for example when my grandfather died or when I one day ended up back in the US and sat under the tree where my grandparents' ashes are buried and talked to them as I was here in Australia when each of them passed away. Apart from that, there have been instances while in deep depression and desperation that I cried, and probably once that I have cried to God over a life circumstance. Overall though, I'm not a person who really shows that. I never was anyway. I can't say that I'm not now, as some things change. I don't like for people to see me cry though. I don't always like my wife to see me cry even, because she'll make a big deal of it and want to hug me and share in some sort of drama that often isn't really anyone's but mine to have, and as such it isn't something I can give away or share. Of course she means well.
Working slowly toward where I'm going with this though, I'll reiterate that I'm much more likely to cry while watching the television or a movie than when something real happens.
It was a fantastic production. At times, and much of the time, it was incredibly boring, at times the shenanigans of the campaigning in the primary elections of the Democrats was pathetic and made me feel ashamed to be a voter registered as part of the Democratic party (this means far less than it does in Australia though), and it was yet another wake up call about just what a world we live in and just what a country I come from. It's really easy for me to point the finger from all the way over here but the overall reality is that I'd have to concede that people themselves are the same regardless of geography.
So at times it was a production that smacked me in the face and dissapointed me, but I have to talk about the ending and say that it's sort of now just left me with a more realistic perspective... perhaps. Also, at times it was a production that was exciting. It's embarrassing to admit (a little), but the reality is that... ah crap I got distracted for only like 5 seconds and forgot what I was thinking.
Yes, so it was a very long production as well. At times it made my arse numb. Not really but metaphorically. There were moments of vengeance, for example when Hilary was defeated, when the votes weren't yet counted enough to make an accurate prediction but the Obama victory could still be smelled, tasted, and almost... almost savoured. That feeling of almost savouring though, that wasn't the same feeling of what was actually to come.
It was an expensive production. That it happens at all, the way that it does, is really something to scratch my head at, but that it happened this time the way that it did was just something else entirely.
I was happy Obama came along in the first place. He seems like a humble guy when I consider all that he's been through to become the victor, and his ongoing attitude from what little of the production I watched (and even watching a little is like watching a full length movie). I shouldn't have started this paragraph. I'll just say that I could go on for quite a long time about why I didn't like Hilary Clinton and that it had less to do with politics than it should have, why I despised John McCain for political and non-political reasons, the incredible circus act that went on as a whole.... but it would be boring, and much of it would be to just state the obvious.
So when the production ended, when the movie was over, for me as a liberal American, and from the sound of the news room's republican's achors' voices it seemed they felt the same way too, and as someone who can merely watch the end of a movie and cry, I felt that I had just reached the end of an epic production of an incredible story, and even now I hold back tears so that I can see the keyboard in order to keep on typing.
When I watch a movie and cry, I know that its temporary, that its fake. When the reality of the Obama win hit me... I was alone and I was glad for that because I did let many many tears run down my face for quite some time. I was fatigued and had forced myself to stay awake for quite a while waiting for the outcome, but I didn't care, and I didn't care that I knew, as with all good movies, this one would lose its meaning when I woke up and that I was soon to go to sleep. As I watched the TV, they showed a lot of people feeling the same way I was. They showed a lot of black people celebrating. The news anchors were really at a loss for anything good to say because no matter what they could express, I knew that I knew it already and that so did a f*** load of other people... most people who were watching. I wouldn't have wanted to have their job... they had to hold back their feelings so the coverage could continue... they had to stop feeling so that they could do their jobs. They were robbed.
As I watched the camera's pass by a lot of black people smiling and celebrating, and when they cut to footage of Jessie Jackson trying to speak but balling his eyes out, I couldn't help but to think “Is my joy really that warranted, comparatively?” I wondered if I really should be taking as much joy as I was in this Hollywood happy ending. I say “Hollywood happy ending” because it is just one day in what will be many days of a presidency and I know that I may be very unhappy with the decisions made by the guy at a future date.
I very quickly decided that “No”, my tears of joy running down my face and over the sides of my smile were mine, that they surely weren't taking away from anyone else, though it did remind me of the racist world that I come from and that as such I am a product of, that I had to second guess myself to begin with. I couldn't help but to wonder what sort of head trip Jesse Jackson might have put himself through after running for president and losing, knowing he would lose, and really never getting any proper credit for what was undoubtably also a historical contribution. “Did he have conflicting feelings? Was part of him secretly bitter at the Obama win?” I hope not.
This Obama victory was one of the few things in my life that I allowed myself to really take a lot of joy in without my own personal bullshit... the sewage of society... taking control of and ruining for me a little if not at all. I have baggage. I finally did go to bed shortly after, exhausted, though I still had a smile and I still had tears of joy here and there. I wish hadn't been so damn tired and sleep deprived so I could have enjoyed it for longer. Even the best production doesn't last much longer than one sleep.
Without a doubt, the Obama victory was the best production I've ever seen, and I'll always remember it. From here, it has the potential to go on to be a really really bad TV spin off show, and to even further divide the country racially, as racism in the US seems to be more about the anxiety of racism than anything else most of the time... I thought I should share what it meant to me when he won though, and the reality is that unfortunately it isn't even possible to explain. Its as if I tried to throw a rock in the general direction, but hit something else that only shares a slight aspect of the thing I was aiming for. So basically all I've been able to convey is that in the movies, good guys win and dreams happen, and that is what I experienced, except that it was not a movie. Since it was not a movie, the reality is that the story does not end, and that does ruin it.... but to say this still doesn't even come close to just what the “significance” is, or more accureatly just what this symbolises for me, and why. I feel I'd have to write an entire novel just to come close to explaining myself. For now, this will have to do.