Tuesday, October 23, 2007

All the World's a Stage

I was thinking today about roles.

As post-modern as society likes to think it is, we still all love our absolutes and slapping labels onto people.

When I got to school, I was the innocent. I'd have been the ingenue, but I wasn't blonde enough and I had braces. Ingenues are just out of braces.

Over the past two years, while I am still considered The Innocent, I've also built up a reputation. I am now The Scholar. The intelligent, unintelligible one who inherits the drive toward grad school from her professors' encouragement.

What do I do if I don't want to be that? What if I want to, just for a day, be The Slacker, or The Arachnophobe, or The Narcoleptic?

I was talking about being pigeonholed into being the Smart One (even though, in the words of Leaf Coneybear from the musical "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," I'm NOT THAT SMART) with this guy who'd just told me that I talk above his head in Theatre History class. He said, "Well, I think it would be a bad thing to want to be less intelligent than you are," which I guess is right.

But can't I be the Nice One? The girl who makes everyone feel like a million bucks?

How about the Organized One? I used to be SO GOOD about making my bed but now I just want to sleep in it.

Why can't I think of myself outside of labels? Why can't I process all the idiosyncratic facets of my personality, which I happen to like a lot, and let myself be a 3-dimensional character?

We codify too much.

We are all bad actors, offering a simplistic view of ourselves to ourselves and the rest of the world. It's not fair to me, it's not fair to you, it's not fair to a God who made us in color and with idiosyncratic facets.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


So, I watched Transformers for the first time and I continue to be confused by one thing.

Early in the movie, Josh Duhamel's character is shown interacting with his wife and baby daughter. I'm really confused by this scene; I find it completely unnecessary.

As a filmmaker, it is generally wise to establish relationships for characters at the outset of the movie so that later on, when they face almost certain disaster, you will care about them and want them to live.

However, we're talking about Josh Duhamel and that doesn't really apply.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are wildly attracted to Josh Duhamel and would want his character to live regardless of the character's actual background (we generally call these people "women"), and those who are merely watching the movie for the robot death matches, so who cares about Josh Duhamel's back story? (By the way, we generally call these people "men.")

So this leaves me with the thought that they gave Josh Duhamel's character a back story so that Josh Duhamel the actor would have something to fight for. It raises the stakes. If the stakes are higher, the acting becomes more fun as the actor devises methods for the character to achieve what they want, and the performance ultimately becomes more convincing.

However, this is Josh Duhamel we're talking about, and acting doesn't really apply. Do we EVER watch a movie with Josh Duhamel in it for the ACTING? It would distract from the beauty!

So, maybe they gave Josh Duhamel's character a back story so Josh Duhamel would continue under the delusion that he is a real actor and not just a pretty face.

Heh heh. That's kind of cute. It's like one big corporate movie-making fantasy world.

popularity contests.

If my home-church pastor, The Right Reverend Ben Cotten, stands up in church and uses his God-given authority to command me to leave, what is he doing?


Now that you've all had a bit of a laugh-laugh, I wanted to talk a little bit about popularity.

I was homeschooled. This is not to say I didn't know about popularity.

Peter Kreeft talks about different worldviews emphasizing different "slices" of God.

I knew a slice of popularity. Maybe two slices of popularity.

Now I am in college and I know all.

We just had nominations for homecoming court. My sophomore friends are upset because the sophomores who got nominated are pretty faces but not really known for doing substantial things on campus.

By the time you're a junior or a senior at college, it's not quite so high school and the girls who get nominated are the ones who say hello to everyone and are active in everything.

That makes me happy to be a junior but I'm a little confused as to why we have homecoming court in the first place. Vestiges of my homeschool days? I think yes.

Side note: To the four people who voted for "Claire Ashton" to make homecoming court, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you. You're cute. Learn to spell my name right for next year.