Friday, July 31, 2009

Life imitates art far more than art imitates life

Oscar Wilde once said it. I figured it would be a good quote to kick off this entry, which may or may not result in a barrage of entries.

On a whim I went to go see "Funny People" earlier tonight. The movie itself was nothing great - a few good laughs, halfway decent storyline, but it just dragged on. One thing that kept me interested enough to stay seated was the connection I had to the characters and situations in the film. It was nothing very deep, just being able to relate to Adam Sandler's character who blew it with his one and only true love, neglected family and friends, and in turn was left alone in despair at what seemed to be the end of his life.

Okay, so I am not a lonely, dying, world famous comedian, but as far as relationship regrets go, I have mine. I may or may not have let that "one true love" go, I am pretty sure I have neglected family and friends, resulting in strained relationships, and it is for certain that I have had moments, if not hours, days and weeks, of desperation. But, I have gotten through it all, I feel it has made me a better person, and I am definitely in a better point, if not the best, in my life.

But, I will get into the details of that stuff later (in future entries). Back to the topic at hand: life imitating art.

So, while "Funny People" was not worth an hour of my hard labor, there was an inkling of a lesson to be learned from it. (TEASER ALERT: Skip to the next paragraph if you do not want to ruin the end of the movie.) After an extremely long drawn out series of events, "George" (Sandler's character) ends up without his ex (the love of his life). Not what you would expect from your typical romantic-comedy (which, despite what the trailer may want to believe - this film is). It's kind of refreshing, the not-so-happy ending. (Oh god, how badly I want to see "500 Days of Summer")

If you've ever read "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs," or have half a brain, you know that media, or "art" has so much influence on our lives, on so many levels of consciousness. Hence, life imitating art, in my humble opinion. In other words, I almost forced that connection I had with George. I took the character I felt I associated most with, and made him, me; or me, him. Either way, I checked my id and ego at the door and let "George" and Ryan become one.

This is not the first time in recent memory that I have let myself slip away into the oblivion of media: television, film, music or otherwise.

I have been making an attempt at songwriting lately. Problem is, I am not a musician. I consider myself a decent poet, but I lack the ability to put my lyrics to any sort of beat or melody. In other words I can not make art of my life (musically), so instead I take music and relate it to my life. I listen to songs and figure out how they relate to my life. It's not hard to do, considering the things I've been through in my 25 years, but it just seems so lackluster, so pointless. It can be very therapeutic, and at times even inspiring, but I fear that my art is simply an imitation of someone else's art, which might be an imitation of yet, someone else's art.

So, in a way Mr. Wilde makes a point. But I only think his words are true because life imitates art far more easier than art imitates life. To put it another way, in a society such as ours - full of capitalists, uberconsumers, wannabes, celebrities, celebrity wannabes, posers, robots, ignorance and the like - original thought is a dying art, like letter writing or chivalry.