One Sentence Per Day. The Recommended Amount at the Prescribed Rate.
Doors Open and Doors Close
Richard Linklater's film Everybody Wants Some!! is the story of a college baseball player learning to navigate around a new campus, a new town and-- most importantly-- a new group of dudes; while there is a main character (Jake, a freshman pitcher) the story is less about him and more of an allegory, it's the early '80's, it's Texas, it's a group of college athletes, and class has not yet begun-- so they're not learning anything academic, but they are learning how to get around (as Russell Ziskey says in Stripes, "We're not homosexuals, but we're willing to learn") and all doors are open for these young men: they visit a local bar, a disco, a honky-tonk, a punk show, they host a baseball party-- which is very fratty-- and then, the climax, they really stretch themselves socially and go to a drama party . . . they change superficially for each event by literally changing their clothes-- and Linklater captures the fashion melting pot disaster that was the early '80's, and they also change mentally, and learn to understand the hierarchy of competitive dudes and thrive in it-- as they move through the layers of the campus and the town, the scenes are superfast and various, just as you might remember the first weeks of college, old school college, before honors programs and tiger moms and high school AP classes and incredible tuition costs, back when college was a time to experiment not only with learning, but with your personality . . . you could be anyone you wanted, and move through a frenzy of settings, barely connected by any through plot; the movie almost has a detached documentary feel, there is a time stamp in the corner counting down to when class begins . . . though I wasn't heavily emotionally invested in the characters or the plot, I loved the movie, and I highly recommend going on this optimistic cinematic adventure . . . but if you're in a more dour mood, and want think about doors closing, because of age, situation, and personality-- and you want to laugh like hell about all this existential misery-- then watch Season 5 of Louie . . . Louie also navigates a complex and variegated world, but it's a darker universe than the bright Texas sun in Everybody Wants Some!!-- Louie gets beat up by a trashy girl, spends some painful and enlightening times with a hack comic in Oklahoma, visits a chanting cult by accident, awkwardly attends a school potluck, tries (unsuccessfully) to NOT interact with his driver while he's on the road, bores the hell out of his psychoanalyst, has an intimate encounter with a pregnant surrogate, spends an awful evening with a childhood friend who is now an incompetent and depressed cop, takes an old time picture with some nice ladies, and travels through all the odd, weird, and often inscrutable layers of New York and beyond, and he's barely able to comprehend any of it, he can't seem to fit in or get comfortable, he can't find a bathroom, disappoints himself, his daughters, and his lover, and then takes this misery and processes it into stand-up comedy . . . now that I've sat down and written this reflection in contrast, I'm a bit sad and nostalgic: I miss the opportunity and flexibility that youth and college offers-- or once offered, those days might be gone . . . they are certainly gone for me, and they might be gone for everyone except the ultra-rich-- and I can see my future and it's not bright: the world will get more and more confusing, more and more closed off to me, as I grow older and my neurons stiffen and my ability to tolerate new situations gets worse and worse . . . I don't even know how to write myself out of this corner.