Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The things we think and do not say

"You...complete me. Now where's a couch to jump on when you need one?"



There's a scene in Jerry Maguire where the ruthless sports agent has a sudden life realization and starts typing furiously on his laptop, spitting out what he called "A mission statement". The 5500 word essay, in which Jerry chews out the profession that has brought him endless success, opens the door for some to see him in a brighter light, but also well as leave him open to get destroyed by his co-workers. Nevertheless, the fake mission statement becomes an integral part of the film, emerging as the base for what Jerry believes in, and also the reason why he gets fired from the agency.

The title of the paper always stuck with me though; the things we think and do not say. What he was trying to say, in my opinion, was that the words he put to paper were what everyone in his career of choice had on their mind, yet were too afraid to come out and say. This was evident when he walks into the lobby the morning after printing that mini-bible and putting a copy in everyone's mail-slot, being greeted by mass applause. Despite the clapping, everyone secretly knows that sooner or later, Maguire will be fired.

But what do I know?

Back to the title -- the things we think and do not say -- there is just something catchy about that (probably why the movie was nominated for so many goddamn awards). Cameron Crowe wrote the script, so what did he mean by that title? There is no way that an object (the purpose statement) that was so influential, could have been thought up without some background from his life. Has he had something on his mind that he was too afraid to say? Was there someone in his past that couldn't muster up the confidence to speak what they thought?

So I decided to get on my keyboard and have my own Jerry Maguire rant. I opened up my laptop, clicked on WordPad, and thought of a title. Hmmm, what to name it...how about...

The things we think and do not say -- By: Hunter Crowther

Oh, you're so fucking original, Crow.

This is what I hate about writing. Trying to think of something to write when nothing comes to mind. I don't buy the our-minds-always-have-something-brewing-and-that-if-we-just-use-our-imagination-anything-can-happen bullshit. Writing is tough, I don't care what anyone says.

But what about the title, the things we think and do not say? Shouldn't I be writing about something that is on my mind? That is one of the reasons why I re-booted this blog; to write what I was feeling. Even though I seldom update it, the things I do post here are things I take great pride in. The comments and feedback I receive isn't always encouraging, but is that the point? Do we write for acclaim? So we can feel better about ourselves?

I write for relief. I rarely say out loud what is on my mind, unless it involves a puck or a ball. Even then, I normally use my 2000-something Toshiba laptop as a loudspeaker for a virtual audience, so I can reach a wider group. But is that the only reason why I write?

Pieces like Jerry's essay are so rare that when they do come out, they have a profound impact on whoever reads it. But is he doing anything different that what we should normally be doing when we write? He was saying what not only he, but everyone was thinking, and it was historic. At least in a small, fictional sense. But why should it have been?

Back to my "rant", or lackthereof, and I can't think of anything. Am I sub-consciously a pussy? Or do I legitimately have nothing to say? I don't know, but I do know this -- it's 2:27am, and I'm fucking tired. This article could have been one of those 5000 word stories that people gather round the metaphorical watercooler and debate about, but not tonight. Instead of digitally venting to a blank white page about why I can't get a girlfriend or why the world is so effed up or why the "?" on my keyboard sometimes comes up as an "É"...well, that is for another time.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a quote that I just made up by myself. I'm sure if you put some famous writer's name at the end of it and make it your facebook status, or tweet it, you'll look a bit smarter. Or, you can just enjoy it.

"We write what we see, what we do, and what we feel; we do it because we feel an urge to make someone smile, to educate someone, or to just simply get our point across. Anyone who doesn't acknowledge at least one of those traits should have their keyboard taken away from their possession."

Goodnight, Planet Earth.

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