Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Make Yourself.

Make Yourself.

What do you think of when you read that phrase? Now hold on to that thought, and we'll get back to it.

I just finished watching The Devil and Daniel Johnston which is rated PG-13 "For thematic elements, drug content and language indicating a sexual reference." Can anyone give me an example or explain what the heck "language indicating a sexual reference" is? It reminds me of the Far Side comic by Gary Larson with a caveman sitting in front of a television and the screen says something like: Caution The Following Program Contains Language.

MPAA warnings aside, the movie is an excellent documentary, in that, as a documentary should, it documents its subject very well. It is helped tremendously by Daniel Johnston's exhaustive cassettes recording much of his life; there are also many home movies he made with his Super 8, including his muse for many of his hundreds of songs. Aside from the slight discomfort from witnessing his manic-depressive behavior, I was oddly compelled by his music. He manages to distill each song into an emotion, a lyric, and a tune. That is all, and while this seems simple, it is the essence of his genius. Each component isn't always great by itself, but they combine wonderfully.

Alright, back to the matter at hand: Make Yourself. I used this phrase once as my Peanut Gallery slogan/motto. I liked the album of the same name by Incubus, and I was fresh off an Early American Lit. class that talked often of the Rugged Individualism (nothing to do with carpet baggers of the same time :) proponed by those late 19th century authors. I also liked the concept that you are responsible for your life and who you are. No "victim t-shirts" allowed.

So that is how I used to interpret the phrase. The problem I've ended up with, though, is that I don't shirk responsibility, but I'm too tolerant and accepting with my condition. I'm kinda like George W. Bush in that way; I take responsibility for getting in the war, but that doesn't make it a good thing. So my new take on the phrase is "make yourself" the imperative, force yourself. I hope to find some willpower and internal motivation in this revised reading. Wish me luck.

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At December 21, 2006 3:23 PM, Blogger Voth said...

Oh baby, I'll give you an example of language indicating a sexual reference. Just call me. I don't know if I can keep it PG-13 though.

At December 22, 2006 12:20 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

what are you going to do? we talked last night and you didn't mention anything about making yourself.

At December 22, 2006 12:23 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

The reason I didn't mention anything about making myself when we were talking was that my thoughts weren't fleshed out yet; that happened around 3:45 AM when I was writing a letter in response to a christmas card.

In answer to your question though, I hope to improve the condition of my life that I have been settling for. Baby steps like cleaning my room, going to bed early, exercising, eating better, reading more, stuff like that. Kind of my psychological New Year's Resolution.

At December 29, 2006 12:18 PM, Blogger Wee Katie said...

I'm so glad you blogged on this, because I was trying to remember this very phrase the other day, and failing. (I guess I should have looked up Incubus, cause I did remember that.) I really love this idea/resolution. This is one way you have affected my life positively.


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