[Originally posted on Writingscape V1.0, 3/12/2009]
There are readers and writers in the world who feel they can only get The Deep and Profound from certain books or authors. Certain genres. Certain mediums. They look down their noses and scoff at anything below the level they have set. I am not one of those. I seek inspiration and education everywhere. I know you can expand your knowledge, your outlook, your thought processes, and life itself in places other folks would never consider looking. Case in point:
Barely a month ago, I asked my friend Teresa "what in the hell is all of this for." All of this being, for the past ten years, having a boxcar of people I love (co-workers, writing group members, mentors, a second father, all of my grandparents, six uncles, five aunts, two friends, and my Baby Bro) suffer and die, sometimes two or three a year. And my aunt gets cancer. My dad gets a brain tumor. Baby Bro--cancer. My mom--cancer. The amazing wife of one of my best friends--cancer. All at the same time. And of course, this also bursts the illusion of my own life being an inexhaustible well, and forces my own mortality right up into my face. So you can see, I was (okay, sometimes I am) in a right state. What was the point of even STARTING this whole journey if, even with the nice spots in between, Life is The Queen of All Suffering and then you die? Why couldn't I have just stayed in oblivion or primordial soup or whatever, and not even bothered with this pain seeing as I'm not getting out of this thing alive anyway? (Good Lord. Doesn't that just smack of It's A Wonderful Life and Jimmy Stewart? LOL Wow.) Getting to the point:
I watched two characters have this conversation on The Toob last night...
Lelouch: "You made your contract with me so you could cease to exist?"
Lelouch: "But why would you want to die?"
C2: "It's providence. A boundary. Only when it's finite can you call it life."
Lelouch: "That's wrong! We call it life because we feel it!"
C2: "Same thing. There is no life unless there is death."
Lelouch: "That's just wordplay. It's not real!"
C2: "People die. That's real."
Lelouch: "Then why are we born at all? What's the purpose of it? The meaning?"
C2: "You know the answer. Those things are all just illusions."
Lelouch: "No. Living just to die is too sad."
C2: "Without death, all we have are just random events. Accumulations. You can't call that life."
I sat there. And I seriously contemplated everyone and myself living forever and ever, our bodies never breaking down (with overpopulation problems solved). A few hundred years might be fun, yeah. After a millennia, I can see things losing some sparkle. After five millennia, would anything be special anymore? Would you even remember where you were born, people you'd met, beauty you had seen? Or would memories keep seeping out, lost and replaced by newer ones, until you weren't even YOURSELF every 10 thousand, 20 thousand years, and all you had were random events? Accumulations?
THAT is some food for thought. That has given me some calm in my storm. And that is from an Anime series from Japan called Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 2 (episode 15). The conversation is between a young man who possesses a deadly psychic power and the immortal witch who gave him that power.
Anime can be more than just a cartoon.
Finally my home turf truly has respect.
I used to be so jealous of L.A., New York, San Fran, and Chicago because everything happened there. Everything. They got all the good stuff. And who could blame the film industry for that? The Cloverfield monster volleying the head of the Statue of Liberty into the middle of NYC like a tennis ball is pretty doggone unforgettable. The Golden Gate Bridge falling into San Francisco Bay is, too. Not to mention all the iconic buildings in Los Angeles sliding into sinkholes or being shredded by F5 tornadoes.
Las Vegas, London, Sydney, and Tokyo have been destroyed on the Big and Small Screen on the regular as well. But Atlanta, despite being the Little Apple, the national/international travel hub of the South, and a music capitol that boasts an amazing skyline, couldn't PAY someone to really destroy it well.
"Why aren't we good enough?" I lamented and wept for months and Sundays. We were chopped liver. Red-headed stepchildren. I couldn't understand why no one would take us out.
Then along came The Walking Dead TV series. *insert Handel's Messiah Hallelujah Chorus here*
Tonight is the mid-season premiere of Season 3, with the series going stronger than ever (word has come down the pike that it has been renewed for a Season 4). Honestly, I couldn't have trashed Atlanta and our 'burbs better (and I trash pretty good). The writing is terrific, and the plot lines and twists are edge-of-your-seat. Watching the CDC blown higher than the sky was a treat. Watching the zombies running ramshod -- schlepping ramshod? -- downtown and outside of the city (even Fairburn Road, the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, and beyond) has been hella-fun. And did I mention that we have the best zombies this side of Zombieland? We do! These mofos are quick and hawng-gry. LOL!
No punches are pulled with the special effects, so you must have a strong constitution to watch the show. The dining on raw delicacies and dispatching of the "walkers" is ferocious. But I dare say that if you enjoyed the comic book series and stories of that ilk, you should enjoy this.
This Atlanta suburbanite feels so much love. Thank you, AMC. (Every so often, I am compelled to look out a window to make sure no one moldy and dusty-looking is schlepping in our yard... hey, you never know.)
Rick, you'd better take that Gov'na down. He has lost his way and needs to be put OUT OF HIS MISERY.