Saturday, February 16, 2013

What We Have to Offer...

"What I have to offer is me.
What you have to offer is you.

I want to tell you that I have a hope, that there is a way to be in this world. And that I believe with courage and with vulnerability and with honesty, that the stuff that we put into the world can serve a better purpose in life. What I have to offer is me. What you have to offer is you."

Charlie Kaufman

Excerpts and continuations of this moving speech...

"So you are here and I am here, spending our time as we must.

I am trying not to spend this time as I spend most of my time, trying to get you to like me. Trying to control your thoughts, to use my voodoo at the speed of light, at the speed of sound, at the speed of thought.

It is an ancient pattern of time usage for me.

And I am trying to move deeper, hoping to be helpful.

This pattern of time usage paints over an ancient wound, paints it with bright colors. It’s a sleight of hand, a distraction. So, in an attempt to change the pattern, let me expose the wound. I do know it is old. I do know it is a hole in my being. I do know it is tender. I do know it is unknowable, or at least, inarticulateable.

I do believe you have a wound too. I believe it is both specific to you and common to everyone. I do believe it is the thing about you that must be hidden and protected. It is the thing that is tap danced over, five shows a day. It is the thing that won’t be interesting to other people if revealed. It is the thing that makes you weak and pathetic. It is the thing that truly, truly, truly makes loving you impossible.

It is your secret. Even from yourself.

But, it is the thing that wants to live.

It is the thing from which your art, your painting, your dance, your composition, your philosophical treatise, your screenplay is born.

People all over the world spend countless hours of their lives every week being fed entertainment in the forms of movies, TV shows, newspapers, YouTube videos, the Internet. And it’s ludicrous to believe that this stuff doesn’t alter our brains. And it’s also equally ludicrous to believe that at the very least this mass distraction and manipulation is not convenient for the people who are in charge.

People are starving.

They may not know it because they are being fed mass produced garbage. The packaging is colorful and it’s loud. But it’s being produced in the same factories that make Pop Tarts and iPads, by people sitting around thinking, “What can we do to get people to buy more of these?” And they’re very good at their jobs. But that’s what it is you’re getting, because that’s what it is they’re making. They’re selling you something. And the world is built on this now. Politics and government are built on this. Corporations are built on this. Interpersonal relationships are built on this.

And we’re starving. All of us. And we’re killing each other, and we’re hating each other. And we’re calling each other liars and evil because it’s all become marketing and we want to win, because we’re lonely and empty and scared. And we’re led to believe that winning will change all that.

The world is very scary now. It always has been. But something very grotesque and specific to our time is blanketing us. We need to see that it is not reality. It is a choice we are making or allowing other people to make for us.

Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work.

What I’d like to express is the notion that by being honest, thoughtful and aware of the existence of other living beings, a change can begin to happen in how we think of ourselves and the world and ourselves in the world.

We are not the passive audience for this big, messed up power play. We don’t have to be. We can say who we are. We can assert our right to existence. We can say to the bullies and con men, the people who try to shame us, embarrass us, flatter us, to the people who have no compunction about lying to us to get our money, to get our allegiance, that we are thinking, really thinking about who we are. And we will express ourselves.

And with this, other people won’t feel so alone.

I want to tell you that I have a hope. I believe that there is another way to be in this world. And with courage and vulnerability and honesty, that the stuff we put into the world can serve a better purpose.

What I have to offer is me.

What you have to offer is you."

Charlie Kaufman

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