Sunday, May 18, 2014

on the fatuous irrelevance of 'finding yourself'

facebook post: on the fatuous irrelevance of ‘finding yourself’.

Saw 'chinese puzzle' at angelika yesterday at 5:30 pm. because the dance party/parade across the street from me in tompkins square was so effing LOUD I decided I had to escape for a few hours. Plus I'd seen the ny times review of it which made it seem like a sweet thing about Europeans in NYC, and how could I not want to see that. But escaping to Angelika plunged me again into this odd relation I have with movies, or maybe with shared reality culture of pretty much any kind. Maybe it's my upcoming cataract op & the fact, in fact, that I was able (being over 62) to pay 11 bucks, not 14, at Angelika for a ticket, but I'm sort of entranced/bemused by -- & more than a little curious about -- my increasing sense that movies aren't being made for me. That is, even smart sensitive funny/real dimensional foreign flicks like this one which I suppose I've always counted on categorically to be 'interesting,' now seem to me to reveal their game plans right off as -- well, about the strained exertions of 20-somethings/30-somethings/40-somethings trying to find themselves. I don't claim to have 'found' myself - merely to have bumbled into the deep understanding that the very search, or anyway framing it as a search to "find yourself", seems fatuously irrelevant to actual life. "I don't know who I am!" is supposed to be the great existential anguished cry. But to me, forgive me, it now seems like the silliest five words a human being can say to her/himself. It's so myopically self-involved that it stops you from seeing anything. My 'self' is the least interesting part of my experience of living. It would be as if a violin couldn't stop wondering why (or if!) it was a violin. The purpose of the thing is to PLAY. Not worry about some abstract idea of its identity. "Finding oneself" does, however - mixed with sex (thank heavens for that anyway) - seem to be the animating impulse of very nearly every movie & novel & other art aimed at the world. I dunno, honeys. I think you just sort of drop all that crap after a while, don't you? It's like staring at a door knob. Grab the thing & open the door!

"Chinese Puzzle" was interesting, though, in its french take on nyc, which kept it largely in chinatown. I thought that was pretty funny. And the main male character is frenchishly hot. But otherwise, oh dear.

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