Rene Magritte, The Human Condition
Is it possible to plagiarize yourself? If so, we’re probably doing it constantly. I know I am...imitating myself, as well as being highly critical of what are often shoddy, dissolute, unconvincing performances. I am not, I’m afraid, anything like my own Tina Fey. Then, isn’t much of life little more than bad acting? And isn’t that understandable, with such nonsensical scripts? Like Liam Neeson playing a Jedi knight with a mullet more appropriate for a monster truck rally than inter-galactic combat, aren’t we simply working with what we’re given? People talk a lot about the importance of being yourself—from Polonius’ to thine own self be true to Mr. Rogers’ you’re special! to Monty Python’s “You’re all individuals!” “Yes! We’re all individuals!” to those lame-ass red and white Be You t-shirts for sale at the Boston University bookstore when I went there....so, whoever the hell you are, it’s obviously pretty damn important. I will not speak lightly of it. Trust me.
I accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me. I know some people are terrified of the bomb. But then some people are terrified to be seen carrying a modern screen magazine. Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.
A sudden death in the family is upsetting for lots of reasons, of course—a lot more than I’m about to go into here, and, anyway, to communicate any fraction of them effectively would be to tell the complete life stories of all involved, and even then there’d be countless unfillable holes in the plot...the conclusion in particular not making one lick of discernible sense...like if Moby Dick had ended while they were right in the midst of chasing the whale, or the closing credits started running on Gilligan’s Island while it still seemed like they might get off the island this week....All in all, it’s difficult to shake the idea that life isn’t a novel or sitcom, or anything else that might have any chance of obeying the narrative rules we try so hard to lay down....There are a lot of ends, but few satisfying conclusions, and more perfect comebacks are spoken in a single Oscar Wilde play than you’re likely to manage in your entire life....