Quick Thoughts: The End Of Tour
A writer, David Lipsky, interviews the recently successful David Foster Wallace on the last leg of his book tour.
A friend recommended this film to me recently and it really struck a chord. Firstly, it’s because this is a film about two passive egos fighting – just really going at each other, but pretending that they’re not, like eyes closed, mouths open they step into a ring and begin swinging, refusing to hear the crowd around them as they push for the blindfolded hook to end it all. This means that this film is, if you want to see it as such, quite pretentious. It’s falsely modest at the same time, much like it’s characters, and by the end pats itself on the back. I loved this aspect of the film. I loved it because it’s simply how people work and led up to a rather compelling idea of what a writer, what a person, is. And it’s here that the film struck its chords. I see myself in Lipsky for reasons right before your eyes. David is using another person, using his words, his image, his standing, and regurgitating them, well, filtering them through himself – all as a convoluted form of self expression. I do the same thing with these 100 odd posts, I speak for films that have their own messages, that have their own voice. What this made clear to me is that people find a certain degree of purpose in being a cog in a social system. People love to be the mediating factor between something greater than them and someone on their level. And it’s recognising this social paradigm of the film that you can transcribe the characters presented onto everyone. We all want to be a cog in other words. We do it in everyday conversation about current topics, we do it with a retweet, with a like or share. It’s about binding your personal character to someone else’s presented self. And, what makes sense to me is that this, despite seeming pretentious, fake and so on, is simply the only way people grow. We find ourselves, answers, meaning, every single existential fulfilment our minds crave, in the world around us, in other people’s lives. This seems to be the best reasoning behind why we all like art, like to read books, like to watch movies, like to consume nonsense on the T.V (like Wallace). It’s all about being apart of something, about finding your place in the world – not yourself.
The lasting message of the film is then that whilst we are products of our environments, imitations of what we think is great – and that this is fine – it shouldn’t be all we want to be. On top of accepting our core selves as a plagiarised speech, it’s also important to shut up once in a while and simply try to get on with our day. Be a cog, but there’s not always a need to say or recognise that fact – fight the passive aggressive fight if it feels good.
American Psycho – The Plight Of Evil
Jason Bourne – Meh
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