So you let another blog die, Damian?
Neglect is a big part of my character, I guess. But really, I started this blog to focus back on topics of pop culture & entertainment analysis, not my feelings. However, after last night, I’m beginning to think there are better ways to go about this than compartmentalizing.
Last night, I ended up having a movie marathon from my DVR. Let’s see how this all lines up.
The Maltese Falcon
One of the most famous classic movies ever, I quite enjoyed watching Humphrey Bogart be an asshole to everyone around him while a motley crew of thieves and scoundrels try to pump him for information. Sarcasm keeps the film from getting a bit too heavy, though watching everyone pretend Mary Astor is some great beauty in this movie is a bit jarring.
While watching the movie, Sam Spade gets a chuckle at being smarter than everyone around him. If you’ve spent any time with me, you’ve been reminded that I’m almost always right. About everything. And that’s that.
Why am I so passionate about being right? When you’ve learned to stifle your opinion to keep the peace and stay out of trouble, you look for any excuse to show why people should have listened to you. Pettily reminding people that they could have saved time and effort by valuing what I have to say may feel good in the moment, but doesn’t deal with the actual problem of feeling a lack of power in my relationships.
Probably my favorite movie of the marathon, Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is an “ugly duckling” living with an exacting mother who has stunted her with control issues. After a breakdown is caused by an insensitive cousin and an impromptu visit from a psychiatrist, Charlotte goes away for treatment, losing some weight, getting a makeover, and being encouraged to take a pleasure cruise where she falls in love with a married man. They end up interacting over several years, but not in the way you would think.
Charlotte feels socially and sexually repressed, struggles with confidence and looks, and longs to avoid betraying her mother’s wishes for her.
After turning thirty this year, I’ve become hyper sensitive of how I present. I’ve come to resent being called an auntie. While the moniker is mostly appropriate (due to a constant need to fuss and meddle), I think it’s an underlying problem of coming across older and desexualized, especially at my current weight. I don’t blame my family for my self-esteem issues. However, I do recognize that living closeted for so long prevented me from having the necessary social interactions to develop and grow as a person.
I’ve blossomed a bit in the past few years, but there’s still an underlying need to hide and please the people who helped me get to adulthood, despite my needs and desires.
A movie director who primarily makes comedies and musicals wants to produce a heavy drama. After some ribbing from his producer and studio head about his lack of life experience, he cooks up a plan to live as a tramp to get it. He runs into a would-be actress who decides to accompany him on his adventure and hi-jinks ensue.
This movie was great fun with an interesting (if self-righteous) moral, but what sticks out about this movie was how adamant Sullivan (Joel McCrea) was about showing how hard it is to be poor. Throughout the movie, everyone from his butlers to a particularly sassy Black woman let him know that poverty is not noble.
The rich and powerful often feel the need to try and tell those less fortunate how they could improve their station while actively making it more difficult to do so. The results of the election and the resulting goals of gutting the Affordable Care Act, outright attack on women’s and worker’s rights, and the gutting of an ethics committee who might stand in the way are just three examples of the forthcoming shitshow in America.
In addition, having grown up in a single parent home and a family currently dealing with financial troubles, I can guarantee you that lack of financial freedom is not at all glamorous. The desire to present them as necessary steps in the “American Dream” allows poor people to believe this is just a step in their journey and placates them into staying in their place.
Bette Davis is back as a movie star down on her luck facing bankruptcy with no work on the horizon. She has a daughter who adores her and a family dependent on her, which drives her to drink leading to a DUI and stint in a holding cell. A former actor turned boat mechanic comes to her aid and becomes her support system through attempts at a normal job and a potential comeback.
In the movie, Bette’s character deals with her egoism and thirst to get back to being on top, no matter the consequences. She’s so self-involved, that she fails to realize the good things in her life and support available to her.
Now, I don’t believe I struggle with ego so much, but I do have a tendency to attempt to chase waterfalls when I should be sticking to the rivers and the lakes that I’m used to. I struggle with feeling as though my current station in life doesn’t match what I want. It does provide a necessary safety net that I can’t afford to lose. In my head, I’m capable of being and doing so much more. When I realize that I’m not living up to that potential, I come crashing down in a self-destructive rage.
I keep pretending someone else is coming to provide me the support Bette got in the movie, but if you can’t depend on your yourself, how the hell are you going to depend on somebody else?
Well this ended up longer than intended, but it felt good to get back into it and find some ways to tie my interests with my personality, flawed or otherwise. Let me know what you think of this format.