Revisiting Pleasantville

The movie, not the town up the road from here, after having read ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author‘ by Luigi Pirandello, I feel like I’m caught in a matrix. Who is real, what is real. Does anything affect anything, anyone… Truly?

Of course the answer is yes but wow. What a day.

In class we discussed many ideas on what is real and what isn’t. Of course it’s all academic. There is a reality, and there is a world we all try to live in. Even if only for moments during the day. This would be rare but hey it could happen. Human beings wear masks so often we seem to forget to take all of them off. At some point in their day or even their life. Today I read a very interesting article linked from /. about how the unconscious mind makes better decisions than the conscious. Strange and interesting. Do I believe it? Very much so.

In the present US culture we, the people, don’t seem to know what we, as individuals, really want. Sure we’ll all make a fuss and scream and shout at one another. Blah, blah, blah. Take off the mask, sit beside someone, and speak plainly, without anyone else ready to back you up, and see how far you go. How long into the conversation can you go without giving a safe answer and actually answering how you truly, wholeheartedly, unabashedly feel? One minute? Two?

We are so defensive and scared to speak our true minds it makes complete sense to me that the unconscious mind makes better decisions. The conscious is too busy worrying about who might be upset if something is said, or worse! Implied! Oh NO! Then we’re worried about who we really are. Am I okay as a person. Is this immoral? Did I leave the stove on. What about lunch, did I bring it. Should I be eating this… Again? Uh, I hate those stickers. Watch where you’re going you idiot! Hey, be quiet. Uh, I hate this song. Where did I see that movie again? Was it 42 times or was it 64 times we did that last year. Wow! Yea I said I’d do it so give me a few minutes okay?

Right, so we’re all good with making a sound, comfortable decision with all that going on… Yea, I thought not. And what do we do when we get a chance as well? We step away from the daily grind. I read comic books, read news on-line, read plays, watch movie and T.V. shows, etc. Recently I realized I hadn’t read a comic in over a month. How’d I notice? I finished reading Wizard magazine and felt a release of stress. It was a feeling I needed and it was a world I missed. Another world. Characters with traits I hope attain and retain while doing my best to unlearn traits I dislike that I see as well. They seem so real. Characters. They’re living a life we mundane can only dream of. Never is a moment wasted. Every word spoken has a life and death significance. It’s all on the edge! The place we say we want to be but rarely ever find ourselves. It’s okay to admit it even though few will.

Pleasantville’s characters live and die by their choices. That’s what they think at least. Bud’s mom is so ashamed of her appearance that she hides it from her husband.

“Hide me, hide me! I want to be important and unique but you need to know I’m just like you see.” = ) Nobody famous said it. I’m just making a point.

I love films like Pleasantville. Having watched it again it definitely falls into the top 5 of my favorite films. Crimson Tide, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Iron Giant, Pleasantville, etc. Yes I only wrote 4. I don’t have a list here that is official and sealed.

A smart, funny, challenging film that echoes my favorite quote: “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes – US author & physician (1809 – 1894)

We need alternate realities or we seem to lose focus on the one reality we actually live and breath in. I wonder if studies have been done to restrict people from having the freedom to read, watch, etc. other realities compared to a group that is allowed the choice to read, watch, etc. Hmm. I cannot get enough of compelling characters and stories. They reach me in ways daily life seems unable. Stretching, pulling, inching that extra tiny bit we never think is possible and then going further. The life they ‘live’ IS something extraordinary. It’s everything compressed into a slice. And that slice is what we want (deep down inside).

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