honesty · integrity · self-care

Good Idea/Bad Idea

Some of you might remember a weekday afternoon cartoon in
the 90s called Animaniacs. On the show
they had a segment called “Good Idea/Bad Idea” which according to my memory of
it, showed two scenarios with a strange looking animated skeleton-like fellow –
or maybe it was a mime? – who would go through two versions of the same thing with a very droll voiceover narrator who would says something like: Good Idea: Going Ice Skating in the Winter; Bad Idea: Going Ice Skating in the Summer – and other, more creative than I can come up with right now nonsense.
This afternoon, I had such a moment. Good Idea: Drinking tea
on my couch under a blanket with my new copy of Real Simple magazine, tearing out inspiration for the handmade
holiday cards I intend to make (a failed intention I’ve set several years in a
row!) with my cat curled up on my lap as it rained and was ugly outside.
Bad Idea: Later walking past the indie movie theater by my
house, and deciding to go see the about-to-start showing of Martha Marcie
May Marlene
.
This was a bad idea ~ and I heard that Animaniacs voiceover tell me so as I walked back out into the cold feeling like I hadn’t breathed properly in two hours. The movie itself was wonderful in all
the ways art films are supposed to be wonderful – skilled, raw actors;
absorbing, believable plot; creative camera & sound work. But, it was also
emotionally wrenching, violent and sexually violent, tragic and concluded in a
sudden and unsettling way.
I used to have a much greater tolerance for psychological
dramas; perhaps as a way to cathartize other emotions I was having – in my
Shakespeare class this semester, we’ve done a lot of reading about the role of
theater as mass catharsis. But, lately, I just can’t really handle it. Give me
something a little less intense, wrenching, honest. Ironic then, isn’t it, that
I’ve said that my own poetry has recently become more of all of these.
Maybe as I find the ability to put words to my own drama, the
drama of others just over-flows the well. Maybe as I work to open myself and my
heart to the world, I’ve become a more tender human being.
Or maybe, I just want my entertainment to be
entertaining these days. 
I sort of am ashamed to say it, but I’ll take the fluff
right now, thank you very much. Sure, I feel like I’m no longer in a set of
intellectual elite who are discoursing on their favorite Kurosawa – but then
again, really, when was I?! I’m not a true cinefile – Don’t get me wrong, I
love movies – but I haven’t seen any Kurosawa. I *am* the kind of person who will sometimes
just walk into a cinema and see whatever happens to be playing then, but it
seems to me that ending this cozy afternoon by unknowingly walking into a tragedy about rape, murder,
and PTSD was a Bad Idea.
And (resigning to/embracing) the fact that I’ve
actually made plans to see the new Twilight
with a friend is a Good Idea. Bring on the innocuous brooding fluff!

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