Bug Sex and Me
This morning I had to go to work at 7:00. When working the early at Harmons the grocer in your neighborhood, one can expect that the first two hours will be relatively slow. It's always nice to be scheduled with checkers who are reasonably cool because it gives you somebody to talk to and help the time pass. This morning I was working with a checker named Tiffany. I was telling her about a movie called "Microcosmos," which I watched yesterday. It's a French documentary about bugs. The only human dialogue in the entire film is at the very beginning when a little girl sings a really weird song about bugs, and at the end when an old woman reads a really weird poem about bugs. In between is the sound of fluttering wings, of pitter-pattering ant feet, and of classical music. We quietly behold the microcosm of the insects. This film, incidentally, contained the first, second, and third times I ever intimately watched bugs have sex with each other.
I told Tiffany about this film, and she asked the eternal question: "Why would you watch something like that? It's weird."
Why would I watch something like that? Furthermore, what would I find enjoyable about it? Why are 10 million Americans watching King Kong while Tyler watches amorous ladybugs?
"Why," asked Tiffany, "do you try so hard to be different?"
It's not often that I'm left quite speechless by a line of questioning, but this was a striking inquiry today. Indeed, why? Why anything? Why everything? Do I strive to be different? Do I partake of insect pornography just to be able to talk about it tomorrow? just to assert my uniqueness to the robots I perceive all about me?
The answer is ultimately no, that I don't view such things in order to assert individuality, (though I am a staunch individualist.) I think I have pinpointed my disease. It's my sick addiction. I am addicted to newness, I am addicted to ideas, and for some reason it's very difficult for me to embrace the formulaic.
Now I believe that all of these questions have something to do with the last post about conventionality in art, and namely, our boy Elliott Smith. I've listened religiously to Elliott for a long time, much more so lately. This, for me, is a complicated paradox, as we have identified him as a fairly traditional singer/songwriter type and my entire post is about my obsession with experimentation.
I'm in the middle of Persona right now, so I'm gonna cut this short and remain intellectually woven in this confusion. But maybe it's no paradox at all. I just love what I love and eff what anybody else thinks about it. Strange though.