Yesterday I tweeted “Mad Men + White Collar = Suits” referring to the new show on USA, Suits, but I think my equation was a little off. My first impression upon watching the pilot was that Suits wasn’t much more than a White Collar clone. The two shows share the same network, and given the success of White Collar it wouldn’t be surprsing for the ntweork to try something the same but different. The shows are highly similar: both are procedurals that revolve around a masculine duo of mismatched characters engaging with the law. Suits’ theme appeared to have ditched the White Collar’s goofy dad character Peter Burke (played so well by Tim DeKay), instead opting to split the White Collar’s Neal Caffery (Matt Bomer) character into two different characters. One, Harvey Spectre (Gabriel Macht) an intensely handsome and impeccably dressed uber-lawyer, and the other Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) a near-do-well with a photographic memory.
Archive for July, 2011
I have believed for a long time that one of the greatest influences on American Gen X/Y culture is an older Japanese man by the name of Shigeru Miyamoto. His name may be unfamiliar to the majority of the people that he’s influenced, but his fingerprints are everywhere in American culture. Most of us know his creations far better than we the man himself: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad and Bowser. You might also know Donkey Kong, Link, Zelda and Yoshi. Miyamoto-san is the creator of Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, Legenda of Zelda and their many, many sequels.
I have a hard time with science. It was never a subject I paid much attention to in school, mostly I presume because it wasn’t one that excited my imagination, to the point that I did the exact same experiment for my 7th and 8th grade science fair. The trouble I had with science then is the same trouble I have with science now: it doesn’t give satisfying explanations for things. Why does a plant grow? Why am I conscious? Why is the universe here? Science purports to explain these things, but never seems to get around to doing it. That’s part of why I love mythology: it plugs all the holes. Why is humankind here? A big cow licked us out of an ice block. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s immensely more satisfying than ‘an unexplainable large explosion.’
I am anxious this evening. I am finding it difficult to keep from reading any articles about the impending financial meltdown. The Wife receives the Economist every week, and the narrative that’s been building over past few months has been one of increasing financial turmoil in Europe, and now the even the United States is beginning to discuss the prospect of defaulting on its loans, conjuring apocalyptic visions of a Greater Depression, bank runs out of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and generally the end of everything.
I often feel at the mercy of the world. Today is one of those days. I am depressed, and I mean that in more than one way. Yesterday I had the privilege of coming home from three days in the south of France with some of the best friends that the world could have provided me with. I am lucky and blessed to have the means and the ability to spend five days of my life in surrounded by beauty, consuming luscious food and fabulous drink. The comparison of the weekend was that the seven of us, including the kids, sharing a three bedroom vacation house for three days were far better off than the royalty that had once inhabited the drafty, dirty castle.
Now, after 12 hours of travel with incredibly patient, well-behaved children and a wonderfully resilient wife, and after a long but insufficient night of sleep in my own bed, I am recovering, and I am depressed. It is not clinical, but a come down from the highs of an incredibly beautiful and intense weekend spent among people who know me and love me for who and what I am, and who not only tolerate but relish all the otherwise awkward things about me: my intensity, my curiosity, my spirituality, my drive to know myself and others on a fundamental level, my belief that it is not what we believe, but how we act on that belief that defines who we are.
So when I heard P!nk’s ‘Raise Your Glass’ this morning I wanted to cry. I want to feel the way that song feels all the time, I want to feel the way I felt this weekend all the time. I want to be unapologetic for who I am. I want to stand proudly in my skin in a way that honors who I am and what I’ve done; in a brilliant, true, honest way that lays bare the agendas and expectations of others, and is unfazed by them. Leave it to a codependent to turn a moment of intense inner truth into a referendum on the way that other people make him feel, but hey, we’re all to some extent at the mercy of the world that way, and having the energy and the ability to recognize, evaluate and accept or dismiss the desires of others for our energies and abilities is a key tool for the safe and healthy passage through the world, and being able to do that starts with my decision to stand proudly in who I am and not compromise the core parts of myself for the convenience of others.
The trouble is that I can’t do that until I know what the core parts of myself really are. That is a process that I will, to some extent, always be going through. The review and evaluation of what ideas, beliefs and actions are still relevant and useful to me is part of being a centered and engaged human being. My difficulty is that I’ve never settled on and powerfully articulated those core beliefs for myself, since I feel incapable of doing so. I don’t believe that I have the power to define myself, but am waiting for something to define me: My parents, my peers, my spouse, my deity. That wait to be ratified is the essence of codependence. My looking to outside sources to validate the things I feel about myself is completely at odds with the power of truth, confidence and stubbornness that I feel at the heart of ‘Raise Your Glass’.
It is problematic, to say the least, to identify so strongly with a pop song produced and distributed by an industry that thrives on the emotional exploitation of its facile fans, but for today that doesn’t matter. Today, I like pop music that makes me feel powerful, whether that’s True or not in any real sense. I like pop music that makes me want to dance and raise my glass, that makes me feel like I’m not alone in feeling alone, in feeling awkward and at odds with the world, and in making me feel like I’ve got some power to say who I am and what I want no matter how you feel about it. So, if you you don’t like it, I don’t care, and if you feel the same, you can raise your fucking glass with me.