Day 144

I grit my teeth during the Squid & the Whale, though not necessarily because of the movie; Jeff Daniels's role as Bernard Berkman made me squirm. Why? He's the embodiment of everything I wish not to be.

The list of offenses is ginormous, but where it cut close to the bone was his cruel opinion and snobby attitude. He constantly railed against people he dubbed Philistines (those who don't read books or watch "interesting movies"), vomited his opinion upon anyone within earshot, and elevated his opinion and its worth on to a pedestal covered in flashing lights.

I stopped writing reviews because I'm terrified to become this man; I may've been this man in the past, and that makes me sad. I've had a few people tell me they got that impression from me, like self-importance wafted off of me like wisps of steam brought from rain on hot blacktop.

And people still ask me for music or movie or book advice or suggestions. I don't mind giving it. But every day I dread that I'll lapse into something I don't want to be, and in the end I just want to keep thoughts to myself.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 1/28/2007 12:35:00 AM,


At 10:14 AM, Blogger ~greg said...

The most important thing to remember is that of caring for others. It is one thing to know a lot and have an opinion, it another to use it as a weapon rather than a responsibility of caring and loving one's neighbor.
Nobody respects Bernard's opinions becuase they do not feel cared for...even his son eventually see this.
sidenote: Academia is a hard place to try to do what I just said. Maybe someday...

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Michael said...

That movie was extremely hard to watch... for a number of reasons not mentioned in your article. I remember watching this movie with my brother and just hating every character in this thing. Plus knowing that some of the events were based on the author's real life just made it creepier.

But don't worry... I've never thought of you as any Jeff Daniels character.

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The son reminds me in ways of myself in high school- the wannabe intellectual kid- especially when he describes the metamorphosis as "Kafkaesque" and his girl-interest says that it has to be as it is written by Franz Kafka. That made me laugh.

Overall, I was not overly wowed by the film.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Big Al said...

1. I agree that that movie is extremely hard to watch. And I made the mistake of not knowing anything before hand and then watching it with a bunch of students. Bad idea, always censor a movie first.

2. I really enjoy the comment from Greg, there is a lot of truth to be said about knowing and what you do with that knowledge, then how you treat people from that...maybe that is defined as wisdom.

3. You say you want to "keep thoughts to yourself"...funny how you posted that on blogger.

I ask you music and book advice b/c I trust and respect your opinion.

At 12:42 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Posting that I want to keep thoughts to myself and posting the thoughts are two different things. (though I do chuckle at what you're saying, Al


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