March 31st, 2006

River brainkiller

A Horse Is a Horse

Tonight, I saw a production of Equus, the play about a boy who blinds six horses. Oh, so provocative. I'm beginning to think that every play is about discovering someone's childhood trauma. I liked how said trauma was intertwined with sex and religion and horses, but even that seemed kind of...pedestrian.

The crux of the play centers around the idea that life is not worth living without passion. But do you really need a whole play to say that? Angelus sums it up pretty well in one short monologue. And yes, I know Equus predates Buffy, but that's not my point.

I think I'm becoming tired of art. Or maybe I'm just not getting it anymore. I saw V for Vendetta, and I really liked it as a movie, but it didn't really speak to me. I didn't grasp more than the superficial message of "Hey, totalitarianism is bad! Maybe we should do something about it!"

I don't understand. I'm supposed to be the intellectual type. This is supposed to make me think, make me feel. I have an English major. I read Glengarry Glen Ross and think, "This won a Pulitzer Prize? What the hell?"

If I want to write a great play, do I start with some simple, universal theme, and then surround it with psychological trauma? And have the characters repeat the theme of the play every two scenes? What is there left to be said? Why must we use stories to get across such simple ideas?

Do you know why people enjoy comedies? Because laughter is an eruption, it's creation, it's sound and air and motion and everything mixed together. Laughing, that's being alive.

Maybe it's the stories that don't say anything that say the most. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind comes to mind. Stories that don't tell you what to learn but instead tease the knowledge out of you. One of my college professors, probably Dr. Mitchell, said we were born with all the knowledge in the world and we spend our entire lives discovering it inside ourselves.

Is this why we need art? To provoke such self-awareness? To flick the switches we otherwise wouldn't even be able to see?

I haven't written a piece of fiction in nearly three years. I don't even know where to begin anymore. What stories do I have to tell? What stories does anyone want to hear? How am I going to make my mark if I can't figure out why those who have made their mark accomplished it?

I really do love words, you know. I just wish I knew what to do with them.