14 July 2007

Some More Thoughts

Yep, another MySpace blog re-post, this one done just a few minutes ago there.

While no one's yet asked me this question, why do I compose and post blog entries there, and re-post 'em here, and not the other way 'round, if not making original posts exclusively for one location or another, I want to head that off by giving ya the answer now.

There are some MySpace friends of mine whose opinions and friendship I respect and esteem whom, I hope, will see these pieces and comment on 'em.

So, I post there first, then take what I consider to be the best, most personal posts, and stick 'em here for those who aren't on MySpace to see and judge for themselves.

That said, let's get to the heart of the matter, shall we, and it lies just below this last sentence. Hope you find it of interest.

Just received a response from my therapist about my recent blog posts, here and on my other blog.

She generally enjoyed them, and felt that there were signs of "growth and maturity" in them, though she also felt that the last post, the one just below this here, had an "everything is about me" quality to it that annoyed her somewhat.

Well, I have to say that she's right about that quality being in that particular post, and I can whine with the worst of 'em, when I want.

Especially, when I'm feeling very frustrated, as I was at the time I posted the thing.

That said, it brings up another point I thought about, but neglected to state in that last essay, and that's, as she pointed out with events in her own life, that people have their own joys, problems, crises, whatever, to deal with, off- and on-line, and that, while there are times that I mayn't like it, they take ample precedence over reading or viewing someone else's essays, photos, etc, etc, and this goes for me, as much as anyone else.

That is, however basic, a natural fact of living, and there's no getting around it.

I can find it to be very frustrating at times, but that feeling's something I have to acknowledge, and deal with as best I can without going all aggro on other people, whether on- or off-line.

To be honest, it's one of the more unpleasant aspects of my personality, and I know it.

But, part of the risk of the new direction I'm taking in writing about myself, my life, feelings and all that, is revealing, however slightly, at least some of those aspects.

Not everything is, or can be, to everyone's tastes, nor should they be.

The same goes for people, and aspects of their personalities, public and private.

I can be a very acquired taste, and not always a pleasant one in the mouths of some people.

That is their right, just as it's yours, mine, and everyone else's.

One of the reasons I dis-like Jackie Chan's film persona as intensely as I do(I know nothing about the gentleman off-screen, and have to hand it to him for doing the incredible stunts he does on-screen), is because his characters are generally horribly over-played, "nice" guys, designed to win as much sympathy as possible from film audiences.

That's part of the film business, in Hong Kong, Hollywood, and elsewhere in the world. The main characters MUST be likable, or, if not initially likable, become so to the audience, at least in most commercial feature films made 'round the world.

So, this means finding writers, directors, editors, and, especially, acting talent who have the abilities to make and convey, through script, direction, editing, and the actor's physical attributes, vocal abilities, facial expressions and dialogue, that likability, or at least those qualities of likability that the film-makers, the producers and studios behind them, audiences, and the cultures that spawn them think are likable.

The problem with that is that, unlike in real life, where people are often complex, ornery critters, who can be alternately charming, funny, sweet, heroic, likable souls at at least some points in their lives, grouchy, self-pitying, griping, miserable sad sacks of wet shit at others, and can occupy various points in between and sideways of those extremes at still others, film characters are, depending on the sort of film, and the skills of those involved in their creation, often two-dimensional images of what a given culture considers to be good, bad, heroic, villainous, comic, or tragic at a given point in time.

That's fine, and there are, and have been, some fine exceptions to this general rule.

But, they are exceptions, nevertheless.

I don't particularly care for, though, depending on the story and the skill with which it's told, can get wrapped up in, the kind of film characters and stories described above.

People, in my general experience, don't entirely work that way, for reasons I've stated above.

Each and every man- and woman- Jack and Jill of 'em, even the worst of 'em, have days, or at least moments, where they can be whatever qualities that personal choices and circumstances allow them to display.

Some display personal qualities that a given culture or sub-culture considers desirable more often than others, and some display quite the opposite qualities more often than others, too.

It's a blatantly obvious fact, yes, but, sometimes, even the most blatantly obvious facts need stating and re-stating from time to time, because some people and cultures can, if not reminded, forget them in the daily rounds of doing whatever bits of business that they do.

As for Chan's characters and myself, well, I guess I've stated, perhaps over-stated my reasons for disliking 'em.

It just seems to me, though, that no one, and given the number of cops and other authority figures that Chan's played over three decades now, can always be as damned nice and apologetic as his are, and that very unreality, of character and performance, just irritates me to High Heaven.

That, like every form of criticism, probably says more about me, and not necessarily for the better, than it does about Chan and his screen personae.

I can be very cynical, and I think often ignorantly so. I can be bitter, frustrated, or whatever negative personal quality of which one could conceive, on any given day, depending on my mood and circumstances at the time.

I can also embody quite the opposite qualities, or a mixture of both, also depending on time, mood and personal circumstances, in which I'm encountered, like anyone else.

I can only hope that, in my postings here and elsewhere, that I can be as honest with you all about as many of those various qualities of my soul as I can, and to minimise, both on- and off-line, my negative aspects, without trying to hide, or otherwise be dis-honest about 'em.

No one is all saint or devil, though there are folks who try their damnedest to embody one or the other, for reasons of their own.

Those are their choices, as is their right.

As for me, all I can hope to be is who and what I am.

In closing, just wanna say that, while am going forward with this new, more personal direction of blogging, I don't want to get exclusively into the kind of self-involved, navel-gazing sort of blogging that some people can.

I am more confident, especially after these relatively few and recent turns at it, about how well I can write about myself, my life, feelings and all the rest of that, and that's fine.

On the other hand, especially when it descends into the "poor me" school of writing, which I can do at my worst, it does a great dis-service to whomever reads that kind of post, and to the author him- or herself, because it neither enlightens the reader about a particular subject, but subjects him or her to tales of woe-is-me ad nauseum, and, by over-indulging the author's penchant for a particular kind of self-pitying narrative, can cause the author to fall into a mental trap, in which he or she is always the heroic, or down-trodden, little victim, whose woes are never, ever, even for a New York second, partially of their own making.

Sometimes, I can, and, if I allow myself to, will fall into that intellectual tiger trap.

That's going to take a bit of tough-minded intellectual and emotional rigour to avoid as much as I can.

But, it's also part of the obligation of writing for an audience, no matter how small, and it's one I hope to generally up-hold to you out there.

Just also want to say a very heart-felt thank you to those of you out there who've responded to my blog posts, both here and at my Blogspot one, and especially to those of you who've responded to my most recent and personal posts.

Thank you for your comments and responses to them, and for taking the time out of your lives to do just that.

Even if it seems I don't always appreciate them, I do, especially because you DIDN'T have to do that.

You did it, because you WANTED to, and that means a lot to me.

Again, thank you very much.

Be seeing you.

No comments: