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12:28 pm - Sun 6/1/03
A Snowballs Chance in LA
Sun 6/1/03 10:05 am

A Snowball's Chance In L.A.

I came across a word yesterday, apparently coined by Nietzsche, that I like very much–Ressentiment.

The definition of ressentiment is "A twisted feeling of envy that comes mixed with moral superiority towards those one is envying"; When I read that, the first thing it made me think of was high school, and the "twisted feeling of envy mixed with moral superiority" I felt towards the popular kids. It was low-level ressentiment–I was not that much of an outsider, at least in my own mind–but ressentiment was definitely in the mix.

However other people might have viewed me, I saw myself as something of a "social hybrid" in high school. Too big to mess with, too poor/ ugly to be popular, great dancer, well known for the plays –I was the senior class "Best Actor"–maybe pitied more than I realized at the time. I had something of a "group" at one point, but lost them due to a couple episodes of flipped-out behavior on my part. It's interesting, some 23 years later, to remember how important it all seemed.

And now, for better or worse, it's just a footnote.

I was about to make a connection between my ressentiment of the "popular kids" in high school and my feelings about trying to break into the acting biz out here, but then realized it would just be a "literary device", my trying to make a connection where a connection doesn't really exist; While I certainly feel some envy towards successful actors, who are getting to do what I want to do while making money I can hardly imagine, I don't think there's much "moral superiority" going on here. Basically, I just want to be "picked for the team". Not a lot of ambiguity there that I can see.

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Wil Wheaton has written a book.

I don't know if the book is any good (Though I imagine it is. After all, he's engaging enough on his website). I don't know if I'll get around to reading it (He might pull a "Dave Eggers" and just have it be available at independent bookstores). But just that fact that he's done it adds fuel to my own desire to write something.

Kevin is writing plays. Kristie D. has written a romance novel. John C. at work writes screenplays, and has published a computer manual. Jane's written a couple children's plays. Basically, everyone has a play, or screenplay, or novel, or memoir out there but me.

So what's my problem? When's my bestselling romance novel coming out...?

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Entertainment Weekly recently had a list of the top 100 cult films.

The top 10 were:

1. Spinal Tap

2. Rocky Horror

3. Freaks

4. Harold & Maude

5. Pink Flamingos

6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre

7. Repo Man

8. Scarface

9. Blade Runner

10. Shawshank Redemption

I've seen nine of the movies on the list (Have not yet seen Pink Flamingos, and don't feel the need to rush out and rent it, just to see Divine eat dog poop). And if there's anything at all interesting about the fact that I've seen nine-out-of-ten of EW's top-ten cult movies, it's that I can't imagine I've seen nine out of ten of any other type of movie you'd care to name.

Speaking of movies...

I'm getting excited about seeing Finding Nemo (It took me awhile to stop calling it "Little Nemo"). All the reviews I've read have been ecstatic, and Pixar hasn't made a false move yet; I saw a segment on them on 60 Minutes II recently, and John Lasseter said something that I wish everyone in Hollywood would pay attention to–The story and characters come first, then you make it look good. If it doesn't serve the characters and/or the story, it shouldn't be there.

Amen!

I don't know if I'm going to get around to them or not, but I'm also interested in two other movies, Spellbound and Capturing the Friedmans, both documentaries.

Spellbound follows eight grade schoolers at the National Spelling Bee, and again, if the reviews are to be believed, it has more drama and heart than most big Hollywood efforts.

Capturing The Friedmans follows the Friedmans, a Jewish family in upper New York State, whose lives are blown apart when the father and eldest son are accused of molesting children who took computer classes taught in their home.

The most interesting aspect of the story, to me, is the moral complexity involved; In one review I read, it's suggested that Arnold Friedman probably was a pedophile, or certainly had those tendencies (A police search of the home found child pornography), but that he also probably didn't commit the crimes he was accused of; Like the McMartin preschool case from years back, there was absolutely no evidence, and the stories ultimately just don't stack up.

So you have a bad guy–or at least a sick guy–who is also likely an innocent guy. And a family that seems, at least on the surface, to be a cohesive unit, until a crisis reveals the cracks that have been papered-over through the years.

In a nutshell, this is why I've lost interest in "reality tv"; I think there are way more interesting stories to be told than just watching someone eat a bug, or vote on who's going to be the next "American Idol" (Who we won't remember a month from now).

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Well, while I wouldn't say I've been totally miserable lately, I would say I've been...floundering a bit. For whatever reason, I've been more prone to being laid low by fatigue, depression, loneliness, boredom–Or "The Usual Suspects", as I'm starting to think of them–than I have been for some time now.

On the "loneliness" front, I have started, slowly, responding to some of the personal ads on Craigslist, an online "classified section".

The personal ads I've seen so far have been pretty off-putting in one way or another–It turns out a lot of women are looking for a man that only exists in the Bizarro World–but I responded to three ads where the women seemed fairly realistic in their expectations, and were funny and self-deprecating about themselves...and didn't hear back from any of them.

(I haven't put my own personal ad up yet, because I'm trying to figure out how to sell myself without selling myself short, or out-and-out lying. When I figure out how to finesse this little task, I'm sure I'll be including the finished result here in Diaryland.)

So I don't know if that's made me feel any better, exactly–Honestly, I think I'm a little more discouraged now, over being rejected just on my words alone, when I think of words as one of my "strengths"–but at least I'm doing something. And I'm not giving up on Craigslist just yet.

And I sent out ten headshots yesterday, all for big-time films that are coming up. I've got a snowball's chance in LA of actually getting seen for any of them (I just sent them out because I had to send something out to meet my "headshot quota" for the month–a minimum of ten-and I didn't really care if they would get a response or not), but who knows?

And I have an audition Monday for an HBO promo, which would be cool to get (As a big fan of The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, HBO is a product I could happily endorse, as opposed to something like Viagra or Depends).

So, what can I say? It's somewhat bruised and battered, but hope abides.

But it's naptime for me. Catch you later, gators...

 

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