by The Pirate
I’m watching a movie-The Illusionist. The movie is paused, mid way. Nothing of note has yet happened, though I wouldn’t give away any of it’s secrets should I possess them. Rather bad taste and possibly rude to do so, don’t you think?
However, the beginnings of the movie have me pondering a question. We are all human, full of hopes and dreams, tales of woe and longing and sometimes triumph over that which would oppose us. You know the sort. You get the girl, the prince chooses you at the ball, the raise, the promotion, the dream job, a fulfilling career, loving spouse, 1.5 perfect children and today a security guard and a stone wall replace the white picket fence. The one that got away, or the man of your dreams who married a starlet; unrequited love, forever to mourn. Getting fired, lost, divorced, beaten, battered, or watching your best friend down a bottle of sleeping pills and saying his, or her goodbyes. Battling cancer and making the commercial that says, “Hey cancer, remember me? Fuck you, I win-you lose” and not having to neglect mentioning you lost a testicle, or a breast, or a portion of your mind. All these events that make up the sordid tale of who we think we are.
Just a few short weeks ago I asked you what you would do if given the chance to have a new career and really it’s a rather dull and shallow question, isn’t it? The more intriguing question lies in the magic and mystery that we would weave to change our lives in an instant, if only we could. From a young child, I saw what regret could do to a person, how it might eat away at that which makes us what we are. That which makes us strive to achieve, change or experience, that which makes us vibrant, real and alive. I have always tried to live my life with little, or no regret. I regret that it is not possible, for we all make mistakes and wish for the magical “do over” here and there. Some more than others and I like to think that I am one of the others with fewer, true regrets. Perhaps I am. Perhaps, not.
To the question dangling, precariously as I ramble-
What would you do with the power to change things in your life? Magic, if you will. What are those regrets? Would you change a past love? The one you loved for the person you thought they could be, but never became. Would you change the birth of a child that was, or never was? Make that special someone disappear? Reappear? Never be? We all know it's good to be king, or perhaps godhood suits you; though I think most would end up regretting the responsibility and day-to-day hassles that must be part and parcel with such a lofty position. Kingship, or godhood, anyone?
Perhaps you’re a bigger person than I and would disdain all that for a chance to change the world in place of your own fortune, or past. Alvin Lee wrote:
I’d love to change the world
But I don’t know what to do
So I leave it up to you
What shall it be, then? World peace, famine as a thing of the past, disease and poverty but a whisper of memory? Go away, think carefully and come back in a few hours after you roll it around on your tongue and get a feel for it, before you answer. What would you really do?
Me? I’ve a month’s captivity on the high seas to contemplate this, so I’m in no hurry and besides, I’m asking the questions, here.
What would you choose to be that one and only thing-the act of an illusionist who deals in the stuff of life?
Hmm... Off to think...
Posted by: Freddie | April 17, 2007 10:36 AM
I definitely would have had sex with those two chicks who were all over me at that college party instead of being loyal to my GF who broke up with me a month later...
Dammit. Stupid loyalty.
Posted by: Ernie | April 17, 2007 11:39 AM
If I possessed the type of "movie magic" you refer to, where you can do anything - I'd have to say that I'd want the power to force people to feel, even for a moment, the pain they cause someone as it happens.
I think if people were more aware of the pain they cause other people, by what they say or do, than we would treat each other better and possibly have a better world.
Posted by: jo (from Amie) | April 17, 2007 4:12 PM
I'd only mess it up but I like Jo's idea.
I dunno..... make the Golden Rule instinctual, or moreso? Something like that?
I kind of like the idea of eliminating peoples' desire for vengeance too but I think I'm slowly chipping away at our sense of self here.
Posted by: Dan | April 17, 2007 5:12 PM
I've only watched The Illusionist once, but I really want to see it a couple more times. I wish I had a tenth of the talent Ed Norton has.
Posted by: Timmer | April 17, 2007 11:57 PM
I'm not sure who has the better answer there-Ernie, or Jo;)
Dan, my "self" is screaaming for vengeance, so I wouldn't get chipped at-I'd get crumbled.
Timmer, I take it Ed Norton was the Illusionist? If so, he was damn good. Better than damn good. I usually struggle with suspending disbelief enough to enjoy most movies. Not so with this guy-he sucks you right in.
Posted by: Pirate | April 18, 2007 1:47 AM
Jo has the best answer I think you could give.
Me? I was going to do Jenifer Aniston.
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