Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Ticking Crocodile

I was telling Angelyn the other day -- and later telling a few friends -- that I've begun to worry I've lost all human empathy. Hmm. No, that's not right. I began to worry a while ago. I am well into the process of being worried for some time now. I suppose it began with 9/11 and has now resurfaced with the whole tsunami situation.

After the towers went down, I was stunned, sure, but I wasn't really sad. It was something other, something beyond. I never connected to it. A friend and I were talking how the world was blowing up around us, and we were in our apartments pretending to practice our Jedi moves.

Well, when this tsunami thing hit, I understood the devastation, but I did not feel it. I never cried. That's the nail in the coffin, I thought. I no longer have a soul.

Then tonight I remembered something. I cried in FINDING NEVERLAND. Now, better filmmaking minds have told me this film was no good, but I was moved by it. I cried at the sad parts. I got chills at the happy parts too. Is this not evidence of a soul?

So maybe I've become conditioned somewhat by movies. Maybe I need a swelling score to really feel the impact of death. This is something of an irony to me since I'm always conscious of my own mortality. One of the reasons I work so hard at all these ideas of mine is because I'm convinced I will die at any minute. I can always hear the ticking of the crocodile in my head.

We gave a little bit of money to the tsunami fund. I've been hearing now that in fact they have too much money, more than they can spend, and that other charities are suffering in the wake. Charity too is theatrical. Americans give money to people in need the way they buy fast food. We look for brand recognition.

1 comment:

  1. I was also very disconnected from the events of 9/11. I don't know anything about this tsunami, and I've never even seen Finding Neverland. I can't recall a movie ever bringing me to tears. The closest I've ever been was in Titanic, when I felt sad not for the 1500 souls lost, but for Leonardo DiCaprio.

    In fact, the saddest moment I remember experiencing after 9/11 was when one day the newspaper published pictures of all the people who died on the planes, with their names under them. That was pretty sad. I didn't cry though. But it has nothing to do with losing human empathy. I think it helps me live my life to prevent myself from imagining any bad thing ever happening to me. It's going to hurt enough when someone close to me actually does die. And thanks to this brilliant idea called mortality, that should be relatively soon.

    But look on the bright side. Teri Polo is posing for Playboy next month. That's fun!